Hey everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings!  This week we’ll be finishing up our look at Guilds of Ravnica as most of the set is spoiled as of the writing of this article.  I’m going to review the cards we have left and then summarize the impact that I think this set will have on Modern as a whole.  While nothing that was spoiled so far compares to Assassin’s Trophy, there have been a few interesting cards that definitely merit talking about.

The most prominent of these cards I think is Mission Briefing:

So it’s not Snapcaster Mage, but it has the potential to be better in some circumstances and worse in others.  The most obvious thing about this card is that it isn’t a 2/1 flash creature, but instead has Surveil 2.  Is Surveil 2 better on average than a 2/1 flash creature? Probably not.  However, that being said, being able to manipulate the top of your library while also filling your graveyard with spells that you want to flashback in the future can be pretty valuable.  This card has the added bonus of getting around some of the more targeted hate that Snapcaster suffers from, since you choose which card you’re flashing back upon resolution of the spell.  The other upside of this spell is that you can still cast it if your graveyard is empty in the hope you can mill something good with Surveil.

Maximize Velocity is special because it’s most similar to the card Reckless Charge, something we didn’t really have access to previously in Modern.  I’m not saying this will be a breakout card from the set, but it’s definitely something to consider in the Nivmagus Elemental decks or the Akroan Crusader decks.

Basically this card is the Elf version of Experiment One, with some upsides and downsides.  On the upside, we see that the “evolve” mechanic has gotten an upgrade in that it now looks at when things die in addition to entering the battlefield.  As a potential downside, instead of the regeneration bit, he gets trample. This means that on average he’ll probably be a little worse against control.  That being said, he is also an Elf and could potentially be good in a more aggressive Elf deck that maybe ran something like Talara’s Battalion and Steel Leaf Champion.  Potentially.

The last spoiler I want to talk about today is Swiftblade Vindicator.  How far we’ve come since the days of Boros Swiftblade.  This is an absolute house of a two-drop, and could be on par with Blighted Agent for one of the scariest 2 drop creatures to play against.  Like Blighted Agent, though, you have to pair this guy with pump spells or another buffing effect for him to be good.  Fortunately for him, he’s a Human, and while the bar for Humans is pretty high, this guy has an awful lot of text for his cost.

Summary and Card Ranking 

I think that Wizards tried really hard to give us Modern-relevant spells for a number of different archetypes in this set, with Assassin’s Trophy taking the cake power-level wise.  Overall I like the set. I don’t know exactly how much its going to impact Standard, but Modern will be changing fairly drastically I think.

With that out of the way It’s time to give you my top 5 cards in Guilds of Ravnica that I think are most likely going to see play in Modern!

#5: Mausoleum Secrets

While this card is a very effective tutor, I don’t know if it’s needed in any of the decks that it could see play in.  Dredge/Bridgevine don’t really want to play this card.  The most effective deck that I can see it being played in is some kind of As Foretold deck that uses it to tutor Living End or Restore Balance.  Ultimately it will probably just see some fringe play.  Probably.

#4: Beast Whisperer

I think that this guy might once again legitimize Elf Combo.  Four mana is a steep price to pay though, and it’s possible it might just be too slow for the Modern format.  Still, he’s worth testing, and I suspect someone will find a way to break him.

#3: Goblin Cratermaker

It’s possible that Goblin Cratermaker should be taking the #2 spot, but while he is super strong, it’s not entirely clear he has a home outside being in red sideboards.  While he does appear to be one of the better 2-drop Goblins, the current incarnations of Goblins are hyper aggressive, and I’m not sure if they want to be playing a card that isn’t Goblin Bushwhacker on turn 2.  It’s possible that this might go better in a Skred-Style Midrange Red deck.

#2: Mission Briefing

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to play this card in Modern.  Mission impossible puns aside though, I do think that Mission Briefing will slot nicely into most decks that want to be playing 4 Snapcaster Mages.

#1: Assassin’s Trophy

I really can’t sing the praises of Assassin’s Trophy enough, as I think it will dramatically shift the Modern metagame.  I think that people will be rewarded for playing more basics in their decks as well as playing a higher mana curve.  Pick up your playset now, as you’ll probably be using them for a long, long time to come.



And that’s all I have for this week. Next week I’m going to be looking at how G/B/x decks are going to look post Guilds and what that means for the rest of the meta.

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