Guildmages Convene: Ravnica Allegiance Spoilers 3/1/2019

Article by Adam Ray

Just as I saved and shipped yesterday's piece about the spoiler coverage, several mythics appeared on forums. We' saw two Planeswalkers in the releases yesterday, as well as the a rare legendary creature from the Cult of Rakdos. As today rolled on, wurms and vile demons were revealed. Let's take a look.
The splashy Commander sorcery has arrived. As Standard play goes, it can see the Mono Blue Tempo deck steal Teferi on curve, on the draw, but that's not the sideboard slot we're looking for.
Behold the crazy red thing. The last one was somewhat of a meme card that aggro players turned around on then bought up in a Frenzy. This may not have quite the explosive applications that Experimental Frenzy does, but being able to have a 4 mana 30/30 on an early turn in Modern, when paired with Emma is fun, but a thing for brewers braver than I to put together.
The Orzhov Mythic. It's only a mythic rare because this will win many games of Limited. A 4/3 flier that reliably gains other keywords and leaves multiple evasive bodies on death is strong. There are more interesting things for Black/White to do at 4 mana in Standard. What upsets me is the floor on it. The big mythic angel of the Orzhov only has Afterlife 2? We mustn't expect high Afterlife numbers on many Orzhov creatures. Many of them will be just Doomed Traveler.
An interesting Aggro Legendary to say the very least. Judith can become Black/Red's Benny Marsh. Her trigger would be very powerful if it checked tokens, likely sharing a slot with Legion Warboss, but puts her in an interesting design space. Is this the drain effect the Standard Aristocrats deck has wanted, other than Poison-Tip Archer?
Somewhere, Vintage players are shaking their heads at the rate that "draw three" has in current Magic. In all seriousness, this is a interesting remix on Jace's Ingenuity. Casting it on your main phase to scry and then draw is very real card advantage. As draw spells go, it's unclear whether the sorcery speed is worth it on a card like this, and the cost is quite intensive when Chemister's Insight has been present and effective in every Control build thus far.
Ah, Wurmy McSquirmy. The top end of ramp or Red/Green Monsters may have been realised, or at the very least their finest weapon against Izzet decks. Either mode is relevant. Giving him the counter with Riot and choosing to fight eliminates Niv-Mizzet without letting your opponent draw. The second mode destroys a flipped Azcanta. It's a top end, and a utility creature. It will be very playable.
The playability of Demons has gone progressively up since Belzenlok, into Hug Demon. I remember a time in Standard when Mindwrack Demon, a 4 power Flampler came with a downside. This one has a very marginal downside. A downside which fuels your own Spectacle cards. As the game draws out, he'll only grow under the weight of the destruction, and his damage clock is much faster when aimed at your opponent compared to you. A very strong mythic which will see play.
The most interesting and controversial static ability of the day. Let me make this clear, Standard players: she DOES NOT copy Afterlife triggers. When a creature with Afterlife dies, the card with Afterlife will have moved from the battlefield to the graveyard once the trigger goes on the stack. It won't be a permanent on the board anymore for her ability to copy. She lets you draw two and lose two with Midnight Reaper, and she forces two sacrifices out of your opponents with Butcher of Malakir. Unless a headache of a rules change is coming, then I don't think she'll do quite what we'd expect at first glance.
Now she's, as everyone agreed, middling to bad. Which is a crying shame. I'm certain that the graveyard hate will make her considerable in Orzhov/X Standard sideboards. Her play may take her to Legacy, where Exiling two is very relevant against Grixis decks that enjoy Delving cards. That may yet provide some value to Legacy Taxes decks, as the repeatable exile would feed Eldrazi Processors like Wasteland Strangler very reliably. Also her minus kills Marit Lage, which is just funny.
Now go with me, because this may catch me some flack, but I love this card. The Addendum mechanic is bringing Instant speed cards to the main phase, in an attempt to take the colour combination away from Teferi decks. Dovin is an engine for that, to keep a Blue/White Tempo deck on board with Thopters and in cards with his ultimate. His plus, gaining loyalty in combat may make him suggestible in decks like Mono White or Mono Blue, if they splash for him. Those decks would probably prefer Tempest Djinn, or Benalish Marshal as their three drop. If he has a shell, I imagine its in one of the old Blue/White Historic decks from early in the Dominaria format. Cards like History, Adanto Vanguard, and Merfolk Trickster all keep Dovin loyal. Cards like Wizard's Retort and Seal Away act as disruption. Raff Capashen gives the key cards Flash, alongside spice like Karn's Temporal Sundering or Urza's Ruinous Blast. This deck has potential, but requires the right shell to be made possible. It's true, this is a confirmation that Blue/White is being moved away from Control, but how much more interesting to see this side of the colour pair.

We've seen many cards today, and some of today's will carry over into the article before 2019's first FNM. Keep up with Fantastic Universes for more Magic updates.

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