Cook’s Kitchen – Return to Ravnica! (pt. 2)
Last week I wrote about the first half of the Return to Ravnica spoilers, this week I’ll cover the second! Let’s pick up right where we left off!
Angel of Serenity
– Commander playable, but that’s about it. But that’s fine, dropping this Angel off of a Kaalia of the Vast is going to be powerful. Let’s hope the rules committee doesn’t think this is too powerful too… Even outside of dropping it into play, it’s fine if it’s hard cast. It’s still a three for one. The coolest part to me is that when the Angel dies, the creatures are returned to the hand and not the battlefield. It’s not exactly Oblivion Ring, it’s better.
Rest in Peace
– This card has potential! I mean, it’s going to be great across multiple formats and it’s not overpowered. R&D can give themselves a pat on the back for this one. In Standard, it’s a solid answer to part of the Zombie outbreak that’s bound to happen. No recurring, no undying, and no scavenging – that’s the double tap*. Although, you have to put the zombies there to begin with.
In Legacy, it’s going to stop Zombies in a different kind of way. Dredge. R&D has been trying to correct that mistake since its creation. The one mechanic that can win a game all on it’s own without ever using mana. Good job. Rest in Peace is going to create a problem for these dredge decks, now they’ll have to worry about this as well as Dryad Militant. We’ll see how these zombies fair, since well, they only come from the grave.
Oh yeah, it’s white.
White has Enlightened Tutor.
This is an enchantment.
*If you don’t understand this reference you’re really missing out.
– It’s no Vapor Snag, but in the remaining decks playing blue it’s a nice tool. I say this because I have a feeling blue is going to see a lot less play in this new format. Cyclonic Rift is very much like Into the Roil in Zendikar standard. It’s a solid card in the early to mid-game for slowing the game down to your pace. Which is very important, and then when you’re ready Overload. It’s going to be a card that dictates games. You’ll hear your friends moans and groans after a couple of rounds, “Ugh, I had the game wrapped up then my opponent Overloaded Cyclonic Rift.”
It’s going to happen.
– Can we stop with the trying to draw in Twilight fans? Magic players don’t like things that sparkle other than foils. Stop it.
–Flametongue Kavu and Fleshbag Marauder had a kid – it’s Slum Reaper. There probably aren’t too many people that are excited for this creature, but I am! It’s going to be very good in my Kresh Commander deck. I’m always slightly excited when I see cards that are made for multiplayer and the implications of those cards. Then reality comes crashing down and I realize that it probably wasn’t very good to begin with. I don’t think this is the case here.
– Another card to remove Zombies from the game! This is going to be a great compliment to Pillar of Flame in standard. While the two have similar targets most of the time, Annihilating Fire can remove Dreg Mangler from the game before it can scavenge. What is beyond me is if the ability to remove a creature from the game is more relevant than two more damage from a Morbid Brimstone Volley. I do know this; Annihilating Fire is definitely a card that is on the brink of being good.
– A two mana, two power, first strike, with haste! Oh yeah, and another ability too? This card shows promise, but not as much as it seems. It’s going to be solid, but I see the potential down the road in other formats. It’s good to see red get some creatures like this with an effect the opponent could actually care about. Hopefully this trend continues and it’s possible to see a red “Death and Taxes” type deck in a year or two down the road in Legacy. More than likely it would be more of a merge of decks, possibly a red and white deck supporting Thalia too. Just an
This card is good, in fact, it’s almost on par with Shattering Spree. It’s going to be a great Commander card, that’s for sure. The card it reminds me most of would be Ingot Chewer, the reason being that for one mana, you get a decent effect for its mana cost. But then, at five mana, you get a much greater effect and you should for five mana. The difference between Vandalblast and Ingot Chewer is for five mana, blast is a much better card. Destroying everything else rather than getting a 3/3 body is better in most circumstances.
When I first read it I considered it as a Burning Wish target in storm until I realized that my version of the deck would never hit five mana against Stax type decks. Perhaps it’s a more viable option in slower decks such as Omniscience combo.
– Like Vandalblast this card is very much like an old favorite – Broodmate Dragon. For six mana a player receives double the power of the initial creature, not bad. I’d like to think that this creature will see play, but I’m on the fence. Green and white decks already have Sigarda, Host of Herons or Thragtusk at the top of the curve, I’m just not sure if those types of decks will be looking for another huge creature like this. Although, I’m pretty sure if I ever was able to cast Restoration Angel, blinking this creature, I’d ask the highest of fives from everyone in the room. Even my opponent, would have to understand. I think at the end of the day this card probably falls under the category of, “The dangers of cool things!”
Call of the Conclave
– Another throwback! This time to Watchwolf! Back when Watchwolf was originally printed it pretty much broke the power/toughness to mana ratio because it had no draw back. Well Call of the Conclave has brought back an old favorite that’s just slightly different. This time instead of a wolf, it’s a centaur token, which is something R&D is trying to push in this set. Centaurs? It’s beyond me.
– This set is all about two old favorite cards merging with one another other to make new ones! This time the Maelstrom effect and Oblivion Ring. Oblivion Ring sees the most play in blue and white decks, in both Legacy and Standard. I see Detention Sphere being a strict upgrade for the most part. Oh, you have three Gravecrawlers? Gotcha! Yes, this card too hates Zombies. Anything that removes creatures from the game is going to be extremely valuable in the upcoming months. The downside to this card over other options is that it does get hit by Abrupt Decay, watch out!
– Well, we have the first card worthy to reveal off of Epic Experiment in standard. The problem is that there are no instants or sorcerys in standard that generate enough mana to cast spells. Both Firemind’s Foresight and Epic Experiment are looking for some new exciting dark ritual effects to be printed.
– Over all? Unimpressed. The -1/-1 ability to all creatures isn’t as good as I would’ve hoped. I would’ve rather seen Terror. The destroy an enchantment is pretty much only good versus Detention Sphere and the regenerate ability is weak.
– Like Golgari Charm, the third ability is next to useless. But the first two abilities are on the same level. They could’ve done a lot more to explore these guilds.
– So… you printed the same card with a slightly different ability? It no longer requires haste to kill with a Curiosity I suppose – but that’s it. They could’ve experimented with this a bit.
Rakdos, Lord of Riots
– I like this creature. It brings a new and exciting point of view to magic. It encourages spells to be played post combat which isn’t too different than the norm, but this card really emphasizes it. That’s interesting to me. Not to mention the fact that it reduces creature costs, dropping a Griselbrand for BBBB seems a lot better than adding 4. There’s going to certainly be some commander games broken open with this creature, that’s for sure.
– So… They printed Regrowth, but slightly worse? It exiles itself now… And it costs a black instead of a colorless. Alright, I expect somewhere down the road there will be a practical use for this in standard.
– Not amused, I thought Thrun was the last troll!
Editor’s Note: Bryant you just got Trestle Trolled.
Keyrunes – No signets, just Keyrunes. That’s fine. I think that these will bring an interesting change to standard. Potentially this will make sorcery speed “Wrath” effects even worse than they already were due to Undying and recursion. They’re also an accelerant too! They’ll play a vital role in some sort of four color control deck fixing mana while not dealing damage. Part of me thinks that R&D wanted to slow the format down, instead of Signets making the fundament turn from two to four, we’re seeing a shift from three to five. There’s some pretty good five drops currently in standard, Thragtusk?
Overall, I think this set started very strong and dwindled as it continued to be spoiled. Which is bound to happen, the best cards are usually spoiled at first to spark excitement. The set is still great, no mistakes about that, I just wish that it could’ve finished as strongly as it started. Seeing some reprints such as Pithing Needle taking up a rare slot was disappointing.
Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource