Hey everyone!  Guilds of Ravnica spoiler season is finally upon us and I couldn’t be more excited to see what this set has in store for us.  As always on Modern Musings, I’ll be mostly looking for cards that have potential applications in Modern.  As such, I just wanted to lay out some of the things I’ll be looking out for in this set.  but first lets review the mechanics that will be in this set:

 

Guild Mechanics

Selesnya: Convoke (tap creatures to pay for spells)

This mechanic has a ton of potential in modern as playing spells for less than their casting cost is usually quite powerful.  R&D has been pretty careful in the past to make sure these spells are pretty fair, but it’s definitely something to watch out for.

Dimir: Surveil (its a Scry that puts the card in your graveyard instead of the bottom of your library.

The first of a few graveyard mechanics that are coming out of this set.  This could be really powerful depending on what spells it’s attached to.  I’d really like to see a Serum Visions with Surveil 2 instead of the scry, but I would be a little skeptical of them printing such a powerful card for modern as it would be like Thought Scour 5-8.

Boros: Mentor (When a creature with mentor attacks, you put a +1/+1 counter on an attacking creature with less power).

I’m not a huge fan of this mechanic for modern but if they put it on a haste creature it could be quite powerful.  I’m doubtful this will be a relevant mechanic for modern.

Golgari: Undergrowth (A mechanic that checks the number of creatures in your graveyard for some effect).

Could be quite powerful for decks like dredge that end up with a lot of creatures in their graveyard.  I’m going to be watching this mechanic very closely as it could have huge synergies, and who knows maybe we’ll finally see a Nemesis of Mortals deck in modern.  The power level of this mechanic could be quite high, it’s just going to depend on how hard they want to push it.

Izzet: Jump-Start. You can cast instants and sorceries with jump-start from your graveyard by discarding a card, paying the mana cost, and exiling the jump-started card.

A lot of people are calling this bad flashback, which is fair, because it basically is.  I think however mechanically it’s much closer to retrace.  Instead of discarding lands though, you can discard any card, which I think is the key to abusing this mechanic.  On its own, Jump-Start looks pretty unimpressive, but let’s take a look at one of the spoilers we’ve gotten with this mechanic:

On the surface this just looks like a bad Think Twice

, but in actuality you can use it more like an Insolent Neonate.  This turns every Jump-Start card into an efficient discard engine, fueling your graveyard with cards that you want in there.  While red still mostly has a monopoly on all the good looting effects, this might slot nicely into something like Esper Goryo’s.

 

Other Mechanics

Split Cards: Sadly it appears as though fuse will not be returning, but the original split cards were pretty powerful on their own so this is probably fine.  I fully expect at least one of these cards to be modern playable as the utility of having multiple effects on a single card is exactly what modern wants.

Hybrid Mana: Usually a powerful standard mechanic, hybrid mana has the potential to produce powerful cards in modern as it can possibly bend the color wheel to give colors effects that they don’t normally have access to.

 

Notable Spoilers so Far

Though this may seem kind of weak at first, it’s everything that the bridge vine decks want as it exiles problematic creatures instead of sending them to the graveyard.  This is important because it protects your Bridge from Below.  It’s even better because as an instant, you can play it in response to your Vengevine triggers or a Relic of Progenitus activation.

Though her stats are weak, Emmara has the potential to be very annoying.  She makes 1/1 lifelink tokens every time she becomes tapped, which means it happens whether you are attacking or your team gets Cryptic Commanded.  The potential abuse though probably lies within convoke or something like Glare of Subdual.

Rabblemasters 5-8? Yes please.  Goblins just keeps getting big gifts from R&D, and having 8 Goblin Rabblemasters in your deck is pretty big game.  I’m definitely going to be testing with this guy ASAP as I think Modern goblins is very close to being competitively viable.  Alternately I could imagine this guy in some kind R/G goblins with Birds of paradise, lots of three drops, and Collected Company.

 

Anyway, that’s all for now, Guild of Ravnica already looks like it could be very powerful for Modern, it depends on how hard they want to push all the mechanics.  We still have a full month until it comes out though, so we have plenty of time to brew with all the new cards until release hits.

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