This Box Has Wurms in it! Thoughts on the Guilds of Ravnica Buy-a-Box Promo
Article by Adam Ray
So by now we've all seen the Guilds of Ravnica Buy-a-Box promo, made official by Wizards after it was leaked on the German flavour of the mothership. It's a creature from the same genus and species as the Worldspine Wurm from Return to Ravnica. Since we're returning to Ravnica, and we're returning to Return to Return to Ravnica, we're evidently returning to the thing that clears entire city blocks. Giant wurms.
It's probably not the ramp target Standard deserves, and not one it'll ask for since ramp decks lose Hour of Promise. Admittedly though, 10 mana feels a whole hell of a lot less with Convoke stapled on. We'll talk more about that in a second, but a tokens deck with a big beater gives it inevitability and something to do off the sideboard a turn before the Cleansing Nova comes down to disintegrate your hopes and dreams.
I honestly do not love it. I appreciate a big Green beater as much as the next guy, but a 16/16 without trample will be chump-blocked for all time. It'll feel like wiping your hands with a wet napkin spending all your extra mana and tapping your creature tokens to have old Wurmy McSquirmy here met with Vraska's Contempt. Indestructible is a step towards greatness, but multi-blocking with enough guys to match 16 toughness, or hoping for a burn spell in a 60 card format to deal with 16 toughness is pretty close to indestructible anyway.
Now lets not beat up on Wurmy McSquirmy yet. Not having trample might be a point off favour, but 'dies to removal' isn't fair. Vraska's Contempt is the nonsense insurance that Force of Will is for Legacy. Unless your opponent has exiling removal (which sadly, Black and White decks will) then they will stare down the biggest P/T line in new Standard.
Convoke coming back spells big things for Standard and other formats. Mark Rosewater himself said that there will be new and returning mechanics for all the guilds. This obviously means the ability to tap creatures to cast spells known in the Selesnya Conclave is a very welcome returning mechanic. With all the token support in Standard, it leads me to think of how to best use Wurmy.
Seal Away x3
Spore Swarm x4
Impervious Greatwurm x2
Fairly rough draft on a Green/White tokens deck, including Wurmy McSquirmy. Having the Wurm as another top end is a great way to sure up a late game against a Settle the Wreckage where casting it is actually a consideration. As most other token decks go, it's all about team pump. Benalish Marshal being a non-tribal Lord is just great in a deck with vampire tokens and saproling tokens, with warriors angels needing a power boost. Shanna will grow big very quickly, remaining impervious to your opponent's Seal Aways. Pride and the third chapter of Song make great team pumps as they just blanket everyone. On the early chapters, pouring all that mana into Shalai's ability for a permanent team bump is just as great, all the while protecting everyone.
I can't say for sure if Impervious Greatwurm will do to Standard what Nexus of Fate did to wallets; I somehow doubt it, but it does mean a return of a powerful mechanic. With hope, the likes of Chord of Calling or Obelisk of Urd (particularly with how tribal future Standard looks to be) would be very welcome.
Stay close to Fantastic Universes and Adam's Dragon Cave for when spoilers for Guilds of Ravnica begin.