Guilds of Ravnica Draft Guide

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Guilds of Ravnica is again briefly first time as a Premier Draft on Magic Area, so I feel it’s a good time to take a recent take a look at the format. After discussing the important thing options of GRN I’ll get into rating the archetypes and figuring out one of the best widespread and unusual playing cards to play in every.

General, I feel this set was an enormous missed alternative as a result of the mechanics and taste for every colour mixture is on level. It simply feels just like the playtesting section didn’t do sufficient to iron every little thing out. Probably the most obvious challenge to me is you’re pressured fairly arduous to draft the two-color guilds. Whereas they fastened this within the sister set Ravnica Allegiance with stable three-color mixtures and gate-themed decks, Guilds of Ravnica fully lacks these options.

Studying: Guilds of ravnica draft information

In Guilds of Ravnica the three-color mixtures simply don’t work out naturally. You could have Boros and Selesnya as the first ‘go-wide’ creature decks and to splash a third colour you’d be including Blue and Black, respectively. The payoff simply isn’t there so as to add these colours to aggressive decks. You could possibly mix Boros and Selesnya right into a RGW deck, however lots of the greatest playing cards are double costed and there are nearly no payoffs to justify enjoying tapped gate lands in an aggro deck.

On the opposite facet you’ve Dimir as a management archetype that would wish to splash Inexperienced or Pink to entry a second guild, which creates some actually clunky mixtures. Whereas I’ve opened Chamber Sentry p1p1 and constructed some first rate 4-5 colour ‘good things’ decks, I wouldn’t precisely contemplate that an archetype.

Couple this with the truth that two of the guilds (Boros and Dimir) are considerably overpowered, and it turns into comprehensible why GRN is broadly thought of a poor Restricted surroundings. Nonetheless, it’s removed from unplayable and could be fairly enjoyable, Guilds simply lacks the variety of archetypes we’ve got been having fun with from Ravnica Allegiance on.

Occasion Particulars

The Format

What we’ve got here’s a fairly rock-paper-scissors restricted surroundings:

  • Aggro – Boros (RW) – Mentor Mechanic (Mentor creatures assault and supply a +1/+1 counter to a weaker creature).
  • Midrange – Selesnya (GW) – Convoke Mechanic (Faucet your creatures as mana to play convoke spells).
  • Management – Dimir (UB) – Surveil Mechanic (Scry besides ship playing cards to your graveyard as a substitute of the underside of your library)
  • Combo – Izzet (UR) – Soar-start Mechanic (solid spells from graveyard by discarding a card) and Golgari (BG) – Undergrowth Mechanic (Undergrowth playing cards get a bonus primarily based on the variety of creatures in your graveyard).

No, Izzet and Golgari aren’t precisely ‘combo decks,’ however the challenge is there isn’t sufficient assist for them within the set. Soar-start playing cards repay over time however Izzet wasn’t given sufficient instruments to reliably keep alive or threaten the opponent sufficient to get that point. Golgari has some stable payoff playing cards for having creatures in your graveyard, however it may be difficult to get them in there with out giving freely card benefit. Each Izzet and Golgari can nonetheless be constructed into robust decks that may completely go off and win video games, however their mechanics are so situational that consistency is an issue. Since that is the basic downside of Combo decks, I labeled them as such.

Now, let’s take a look at among the key options of the format:

  1. There are many Bombs – These are rares that may win video games nearly single-handedly. It is very important construct round these whenever you see them so I’m going to establish a couple of for every archetype once I get into these opinions. The vast majority of them are archetype-specific, so opening one will typically lock you into an archetype early. This dynamic tends to decrease the talent ceiling is one more mark in opposition to GRN Draft.
  2. Removing is common – This makes these bombs extra highly effective and Aggro decks stronger. Sadly numerous the great removing is guild-specific.
  3. Evasive creatures are flyers – There are numerous flying creatures within the format, and a number of other of them are aggro-oriented.
  4. Creatures are common – There are numerous 2 mana 2/x creatures with skills and creatures that price a mana further than standard however have a powerful potential (draw a card, surveil, faucet down creatures, and many others..). The Mentor and Convoke mechanics assist to get much more worth out of creatures, nevertheless.
  5. The format is pretty quick – There are numerous decks able to curving out into robust creatures by third or 4th flip. Even Dimir (the management archetype) has low curve uncommons that may grow to be robust rapidly and stress opponents.

Subsequent, I shall be breaking down the guilds. I’ve already alluded to this, however mainly there are two tiers of guilds. The ‘Tier 2’ guilds can actually be robust with the fitting playing cards and synergy, however on common they’re noticably worse than the Tier 1 guilds. Crucial factor is figuring out the important thing playing cards in your drafts and constructing your decks in a method that performs to the strengths of your chosen archetype. My goal on this part is that can assist you choose these key playing cards and perceive how they work collectively to maximise synergy.

Tier 1 Guilds

I positive hope you want Boros and Dimir, as a result of it’s about 80% of what you’re going to see on Area. Whereas these two are very highly effective, it isn’t all the time going to be right to draft them, in order standard I don’t advocate ‘forcing’ archetypes.

Boros (RW)

Boros is ridiculously constant and doesn’t require many rares/uncommons to go off. The mentor mechanic is insanely highly effective in restricted, blowing out unprepared opponents and grinding out worth over time in lots of conditions. There are additionally a number of methods at widespread to stop your opponents from blocking, so even when opponents stabilize fully you continue to have outs. I don’t suppose Boros is so damaged that it needs to be pressured over every little thing else, however it’s a deck that may be constructed comparatively simply and nonetheless discover success with.

Bomb Rares

Aurelia is nuts and a surefire purpose to draft Boros. Legion Warboss is a good snowball card and Boros has numerous methods to reap the benefits of him. Commemorated Loxodon is a bomb right here or in Selesnya, however I truly suppose it’s higher on this archetype. The +1/+1 counters work very well with mentor creatures, and you’ll typically be capable of solid him as a 4/4 on flip 3 whereas buffing your 1 and a couple of drops.

Finest Uncommons

  • grn-006-conclave-tribunal
  • grn-108-lava-coil
  • grn-026-sunhome-stalwart

Boros has a set of superior playing cards to select from at this rarity. Oddly sufficient I are inclined to get most enthusiastic about drafting Boros Challenger, as a result of one of many bottlenecks Boros tends to face is getting caught with a number of 2/2 mentor creatures and never having a strategy to buff them. Paying 4 mana for +1/+1 could seem to be lots, however having that possibility gives a vital device for the archetype. Goblin Banneret additionally helps with that downside as you’ll sometimes use him to get your mentor creatures as much as 3 energy after which he’ll commerce, which is nicely value it! Boros has two of one of the best removing spells in Intervention and Justice Strike. Lava Coil and Conclave Tribunal are glorious removing choices as nicely. Truefire Captain is a bomb however the casting price could be prohibitive generally in an archetype the place you don’t need gates and infrequently minimize right down to 16 lands. Of the 9 I’m lowest on the Guildmage and wouldn’t take her over one thing like Sunhome Stalwart (one other nice card), however each guildmage skills are related to the Boros sport plan.

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Essential Commons

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You really get the entire Boros bundle at widespread on this set. Healer’s Hawk, Skyknight Legionnaire, and Wojek Bodyguard are the creatures you must prioritize drafting. Direct Present, Luminous Bonds, Intrusive Packbeast, and Positive Strike are all nice instruments for preserving your creatures alive and attacking. Positive Strike is a lot better in GRN than standard because of the mentor mechanic. Generally you’ll use it in your essential section to get an additional +1/+1 counter whereas different instances you’ll get 2-for-1’s when opponents stack block to take down your mentor creatures. Cosmotronic Wave is a card I normally need precisely one in all in my Boros decks. The injury isn’t all the time related however shutting down blockers for a flip wins many video games on this format. You’ll often draw it whenever you would slightly see a creature, but it surely has the power to win video games out of nowhere when your opponent has stabilized and you’re in prime deck mode, and that’s one thing aggro decks are all the time in search of. One last word is not any 2-drop creatures made my listing of commons.

So as of choice I like Ornery Goblin, Recent-Confronted Recruit, and Skyline Scout to fill out my curve.

Dimir (UB)

Whereas there are specific playing cards (particularly at unusual) that Dimir relies on to actually go off, the common energy degree remains to be very excessive as a result of Blue and Black have among the greatest commons within the set.

Bomb Rares

Connive // Concoct isn’t a bomb within the conventional sense, but it surely gives implausible utility in a format that doesn’t have a lot of it. Doom Whisperer is a standard bomb, and with the ability to pay some life to energy up most of your further playing cards is a capability this deck loves. Thief of Sanity is unbelievably highly effective, although. Even stealing one card is a good benefit, and the thief will win the sport all by itself if left unchecked.

Finest Uncommons

Greater than every other guild, Dimir wants uncommons to tick. Dimir Spybug, Disinformation Marketing campaign, Nightveil Sprite, and Thoughtbound Illusion are a very powerful, and it’s vital to acquire a few of them to have a profitable draft of this archetype. Disinformation Marketing campaign is especially devastating as the sport goes on, and is the one most essential card for this archetype. Home guildmage is one of the best guildmage on this set because of the Surveil enabling (and creature lockdown when vital). I feel the cardboard designers missed some alternatives with the opposite guildmages, though they did a bit higher with the Ravnica Allegiance ones. Nightveil Predator is a good pickup pack 2 or 3 in case you are constructing a Dimir deck, however I wouldn’t mechanically draft it in p1p1 because of the mana price.

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Essential Commons

Whereas the uncommons are essential for going off, nice commons is the place Dimir will get its consistency. Clever Takedown, Lethal Go to, and Watcher within the Mist are a very powerful, so be sure to are aware about leaving the excessive finish of your curve open to fit in these. After that, Dimir Informant is extraordinarily vital because the 1/4 physique is crucial for surviving early aggression from Boros/Selesnya. The Surveil on Notion Rain makes it very stable (particularly paired with Disinformation Marketing campaign), though dropping 2 life could be irritating in opposition to Aggro. The remaining are simply instruments to remain alive/allow surveil playing cards. When it comes to ‘brokers’ I truly favor Whisper to Darkblade, as a result of they’re typically simply used to commerce 1-for-1 and also you not less than get a surveil out of Whisper Agent. It’s uncommon that you just get aggressive sufficient with this archetype to attract playing cards with Darkblade Agent, but it surely nonetheless isn’t a nasty choose by any means.

General, I actually like drafting Dimir, and though wizards way back patched the bots in area to cease wrapping disinformation marketing campaign it’s nonetheless a Tier 1 archetype.

Tier 2 Archetypes

The final three guilds are weaker than Boros and Dimir, however can nonetheless come collectively into robust decks in the event you draft them correctly. I’ve personally had essentially the most success drafting Selesnya, then Golgari, and lastly Izzet, so I’ll current them in that order. I don’t suppose they’re objectively ranked in that order, although, and contemplate all of them to be in the identical Tier.

Selesnya (GW)

Selesnya has some really excellent playing cards, and there may be actually robust synergy by means of the convoke mechanic. In a format with comparatively poor removing Selesnya can shine with swarms of creatures flanking fatty threats. Selesnya is a creature archetype, and I like to recommend drafting round 17. Nonetheless, it as soon as once more appears like wizards simply missed a couple of beats when flushing out every guild. The place are the tokens which might be sometimes in a convoke set? Particularly on the low finish of the curve, it simply appears like there are playing cards lacking that ought to have been printed. Complaints apart, drafting Inexperienced/White remains to be a stable possibility and shouldn’t be neglected, particularly in case you are seeing the playing cards beneath as you crack open your packs.

Bomb Rares

Okay, so I struggled essentially the most deciding on these out of all of the guilds, however I feel the three above greatest exemplify Selesnya. Beast Whisperer felt somewhat incorrect to incorporate, however he’s unbelievable in a deck that doubtless contains 17-18 creatures. This archetype is excellent at emptying its hand onto the battlefield through convoke, and Beast Whisperer is one of the simplest ways to throw gasoline on that fireside. Nullhide Ferox is at residence on this deck greater than Golgari, as a result of why ought to we play something however creatures? Even when we’ve got 6-7 noncreatures within the deck, paying a tax on them is nicely value a 4 mana 6/6. Plus, most black decks are going to be working Burglar Rats in order that further textual content on the underside of the cardboard can and can get you straightforward wins. Trostani Discordant is one of the best bomb you possibly can hope for in these colours, although, and is a powerful contender for essentially the most highly effective card in the complete set.

Finest Uncommons

Conclave Cavalier and Ledev Champion are nice causes to be in Selesnya, whereas the remainder are pleased to be slotted into Boros as nicely. Conclave Tribunal is without doubt one of the few noncreature spells that you must completely attain on on this archetype, and the Inspiring Unicorn is healthier right here than in Boros. I’m glad they realized Pegasus Courser was a damaged widespread, however getting access to it at unusual (Roc Charger) remains to be nice for Selesnya. Sunhome Stalwart has numerous potential targets on this archetype and a couple of mana for a 2/2 first strike is a stable deal by itself. Not dangerous throughout!

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Essential Commons

Rosemane Centaur is the MVP widespread for Selesnya. You need about 3 of him. He’ll normally come down on flip 4, however generally flip three in the event you curve out. 4/4 and vigilance are nice stats in GRN, and this man could make life depressing to your opponents. Beneficiant stray has good synergy with convoke and mentor creatures comparable to Parhelion Patrol. Healer’s Hawk can also be glorious on this archetype. Early on it may possibly leech some life out of your opponent, after which act like a Llanowar Elf later through convoke. I’m a fan of Intrusive Packbeast as a one in all on this archetype. Tapping down two blockers can enable your small creatures to get by means of for a flip (or enable your fatties by means of with out dying), and getting a 3/3 vigilance out of the deal is sweet. Outdoors of Luminous Bonds (which is nice), Prey Upon is Selesnya’s solely different possibility for removing at widespread. Sworn Companions is one other card that isn’t very thrilling, but it surely does play nicely with convoke and mentor. General, I hope this illustrates one of the best instruments Selesnya has to supply. Though I feel it’s a Tier 2 archetype, I’ve drafted some very profitable Selesnya decks and revel in the way it performs.

Golgari (BG)

Identical to Selesnya, though I’m putting Golgari ‘Tier 2’ it may possibly nonetheless come collectively to make an distinctive draft each occasionally. I simply suppose on common Golgari decks are going to have a more durable time being profitable than a Tier 1 archetype. The first purpose for that is Golgari must fill its graveyard to beef up numerous its playing cards, and there simply aren’t sufficient enablers within the set. It appears like this guild is a puzzle that’s lacking some items. If there have been only a couple extra playables at widespread or unusual that supported undergrowth I feel this archetype can be Tier 1. Nonetheless, there are many compelling causes to draft Golgari because it stands.

Bomb Rares

As damaged as the opposite two are, I truly suppose Discover // Finality is one of the best card right here. Finality will nearly all the time wipe the board and go away you a fatty, so that’s the mode you’ll usually be going for however ‘Discover’ is nice utility to have. Vraska is an excellent planeswalker, and just like Ral she is troublesome to take away (normally ending her first flip with 6 loyalty). When you can and will splash Discover // Finality or Vraska (in Dimir or Selesnya), Izoni is a pure Golgari card. In case you are allowed to untap with it the sport is normally over (assuming you had not less than a pair creatures in your yard). Doom Whisperer may go right here as nicely. Though Surveil is a Dimir mechanic, it performs nicely with undergrowth, and Doom Whisperer is a bomb creature regardless.

Finest Uncommons

Golgari has some very nice potentialities at unusual. Glowspore Shaman is certainly essentially the most controversial selection right here, however I feel the power is absolutely essential! It’s actually unusual to me how few enablers there are for Undergrowth on this set, and a 3/1 for two that provides worth to a lot of your different key playing cards is a good deal in the event you ask me. Keep in mind that you should not have to place a land on prime, however having the choice to ensure a 3rd land can turn out to be useful generally. Golgari Findbroker, Standing // Statue, and Worth of Fame are nonetheless the three greatest playing cards on this listing although, and needs to be prioritized in the event you see them. This set is removal-deprived general however Golgari has entry among the better of it. Talking of removing, Kraul Harpooner and Ochran Murderer are candy additions as creatures/removing. This set has fairly a couple of 1/x flyers that Harpooner can kill free of charge, whereas Murderer mechanically kills your opponent’s greatest creature and has huge upside you probably have methods to pump it.

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Essential Commons

Just like Rosemane Centaur in Selesnya, I can not emphasize sufficient how essential Rhizome Lurcher is to this deck. To be able to be aggressive you must attempt to get 3. In case you construct a correct Golgari deck he needs to be popping out as a 4 mana 4/4 or 5/5 not less than. As a late sport prime deck I’ve seen him get to 10/10. Every little thing else is constructing round Lurcher. Since this set is astonishingly absent of playing cards devoted to filling your graveyard, we’ve got to be inventive about getting creatures in there with out dropping worth. The best choice is ‘cantrip’ creatures like Burglar Rat or Beneficiant Stray. They’re impartial card benefit so chump blocking with them or sacrificing them to Severed Strands doesn’t lose you something and provides to your Overgrowth. Ideally you possibly can commerce with them to realize some card benefit or get some injury in. Plan B is deathtouch creatures like Employed Poisoner or Pitiless Gorgon. The thought is you possibly can commerce them with a menace out of your opponent for a web acquire attributable to your Overgrowth payoffs. Erstwhile Trooper is Plan C I suppose. He can dump a creature immediately for +2/+2, however dropping a card for 2 further injury is dangerous. Profitable a fight attributable to his buff is one of the best case situation, however you must watch out to not stroll right into a 2-for-1 in case your opponent has fight trick.

Izzet (UR)

Though I’m not too keen on Izzet on this format, I do suppose it has stable upside. The problem with Izzet is its playing cards are very depending on each other, and it necessitates a deck that has a reasonably equal creature to spell ratio. In restricted it may be very troublesome to tug off decks that don’t have many creatures. Particularly in opposition to decks like Boros and Selesnya that flood the board with creatures rapidly, it may be very arduous as an Izzet participant to outlive lengthy sufficient to combo off with your whole spell synergy. Due to this I are inclined to keep away from enjoying Izzet until I see sure bombs early.

Bomb Rares

All three of those rares are extraordinarily highly effective first picks. Whereas Dream Eater could be fortunately slotted into Dimir, the opposite two require an Izzet deck. Dream Eater can also be nicely fitted to Izzet as a result of it performs nicely with the tempo sport plan. However Niv-Mizzet and Ral actually exemplify what Izzet is attempting to do – draw playing cards and deal injury with on the spot/sorcery synergy. Ral has a inbuilt Beacon Bolt and is troublesome to your opponent to take away because the Izzet archetype is excellent at defending Planeswalkers.

Finest Uncommons

Assuming you aren’t seeing the bomb rares pack 1 choose 1, these are the playing cards at unusual which may put you in Izzet. I feel essentially the most highly effective is Murmuring Mystic. Not solely does it shore up defenses with 5 toughness, however can single handedly win the sport with birds. This archetype is excellent at casting many instants and sorceries and Mystic is one of the best payoff for that (moreover Niv-Mizzet). After that, Crackling Drake and Wee Dragonauts are additionally nice payoffs. I used to be somewhat skeptical on Wee Dragonauts earlier than I drafted Izzet a couple of instances, however with the entire Soar-Begin playing cards it’s very easy to set off for lots of harm. I nonetheless suppose Crackling Drake is healthier, however they’re shut. Beacon Bolt and Lava Coil are glorious removing spells (even at sorcery velocity), so most likely my solely controversial choose right here is Chemister’s Perception. Whereas I don’t suppose it’s nice in Dimir, Perception can actually be the engine an Izzet deck wants. You’ll typically be leaving mana open in your opponents flip to faucet, counter, kill, and/or draw, so Perception is a good device to have out there.

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Essential Commons

Izzet has some actually nice spells to solid, and Goblin Electromancer is an incredible enabler. He makes good-but-expensive spells like Hypothesizzle, Command the Storm, and Chemister’s Perception extraordinarily mana-efficient, and permits for loopy tempo turns the place you’re casting a number of spells directly. The draw back is he may as nicely be an enchantment, since you are solely going to dam with him out of necessity. The first weak spot of this deck is defending in opposition to early aggression. So, playing cards like Piston-Fist Cyclops and Dimir Informant are wanted. Nonetheless, Izzet is a really reactive deck, and that’s usually dangerous in restricted. It simply doesn’t have many good threats. Sure, some video games you’ll drop a Crackling Drake and trip it to victory as you take away/bounce/counter every little thing your opponent does. In these video games Izzet will really feel like a Tier 1 archetype. However, the issue is a few video games you may be stalling as you attempt to discover your threats, and ultimately Boros mentor or Selesnya convoke mechanics ramp as much as the purpose you can’t take care of them. Soar-start is a cool mechanic but it surely requires lengthy video games to money in on all of its worth. So, whereas I feel this archetype is actually playable and able to full blow out video games, the consistency challenge is an actual sticking level for me.


I hope you discovered this write up useful! Guilds of Ravnica isn’t an excellent restricted set attributable to its few playable archetypes and underdeveloped card interactions. However, I hope my information will allow you to make higher card decisions in your path to Mythic.

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