Ravnica block

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Not to be confused with Return to Ravnica block.

The Ravnica block is the 11th Magic: The Gathering block, comprising of the large expansion Ravnica: City of Guilds () and the two small expansions Guildpact () and Dissension (). The block was released in 2005–2006. [1][2]

Sets[edit | edit source]

RAV logo.jpg
GPT logo.png
DIS logo.png

Details[edit | edit source]

Development codenames[edit | edit source]

The development codenames for Ravnica block expansions are "Control", "Alt", and "Delete".[3]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Dissension Life Counter featuring Rakdos the Defiler art

Ravnica block fat packs featured specially designed life counters with artwork from the sets instead of the spindown life counters normally found in fat packs.

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

Themes[edit | edit source]

Thematically, the Ravnica block was multicolor-centered and, thus, was the spiritual successor to the Invasion block of 2000–2001. The Ravnica block was the first block to introduce the "guild model", wherein a number of guilds, each of which with its own cards and abilities and/or keywords, would be as introduced in an expansion and be as developed and complex as they would be (until returning to the plane with Return to Ravnica block), rather than the traditional model of expansions, wherein abilities and/or keywords would be introduced in the first of usually three expansions and then progressively increase in complexity throughout the block. Four guilds (Boros, Dimir, Golgari, Selesnya) were introduced in City of Guilds, three more (Gruul, Izzet, Orzhov) were introduced in Guildpact, and the final three (Azorius, Rakdos, Simic) debuted in Dissension.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

The keywords introduced in the Ravnica block are: [4] [5]

Guild Azorius
Keyword Forecast Radiance Transmute Dredge Bloodthirst Replicate Haunt Hellbent Convoke Graft

In addition to these 10 keywords, the Ravnica block was the first block to feature hybrid mana costs and hybrid cards. Each of Ravnica's 10 guilds featured three hybrid cards, one at each level of rarity as of then; common, uncommon, and rare.

Mega cycles[edit | edit source]

Ravnica block features 11 10-card guild mega cycles [6] [7], with one card per guild, and one 20-card guild mega cycle (the "imbalanced gold card" cycle) distributed across Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, and Dissension.

Cycle name Azorius
Bounce lands Azorius Chancery Boros Garrison Dimir Aqueduct Golgari Rot Farm Gruul Turf Izzet Boilerworks Orzhov Basilica Rakdos Carnarium Selesnya Sanctuary Simic Growth Chamber
Description and notes: When each of these common nonbasic dual lands enters the battlefield tapped, its controller returns a land he or she controls to its owner's hand.

Each of these lands can tap to produce two mana, one of each of the its associate guild's colors.

Each card's artwork was illustrated by John Avon.

Guildhalls Prahv, Spires of Order Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion Duskmantle, House of Shadow Svogthos, the Restless Tomb Skarrg, the Rage Pits Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind Orzhova, the Church of Deals Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree Novijen, Heart of Progress
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon nonbasic dual lands taps for {C} and has an activated ability costing mana of the associated guild's colors for a thematically related effect.

Each card (all illustrated by Martina Pilcerova) represents the associated guild's headquarters within Ravnica.

Signets Azorius Signet Boros Signet Dimir Signet Golgari Signet Gruul Signet Izzet Signet Orzhov Signet Rakdos Signet Selesnya Signet Simic Signet
Description and notes: Each of these common artifacts has "{1}, {T}: Add (one mana each of the respective guild's color) to your mana pool."
Shock lands Hallowed Fountain Sacred Foundry Watery Grave Overgrown Tomb Stomping Ground Steam Vents Godless Shrine Blood Crypt Temple Garden Breeding Pool
Description and notes: Each of these rare nonbasic dual lands has two basic land types and enter the battlefield tapped unless its controller pays 2 life.

Each card's artwork was illustrated by Rob Alexander.

Guildmasters Grand Arbiter Augustin IV Razia, Boros Archangel Szadek, Lord of Secrets Sisters of Stone Death Borborygmos Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind Ghost Council of Orzhova Rakdos the Defiler Chorus of the Conclave Momir Vig, Simic Visionary
Description and notes: These legendary multicolor creatures, almost all of which cost a certain amount of colorless mana plus two mana each of their respective colors, produced powerful effects thematically tied to their respective colors.
Guild Champions Isperia the Inscrutable Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran Circu, Dimir Lobotomist Savra, Queen of the Golgari Ulasht, the Hate Seed Tibor and Lumia Teysa, Orzhov Scion Lyzolda, the Blood Witch Tolsimir Wolfblood Experiment Kraj
Description and notes: Each of legendary multicolor creatures rewarded players for playing with cards of their two colors, often doubly so for using multicolor cards.

Isperia and Kraj are different, but this is clearly the result of their effects and cost having been swapped with those of their respective guildmaster at some point.

Guildmages Azorius Guildmage Boros Guildmage Dimir Guildmage Golgari Guildmage Gruul Guildmage Izzet Guildmage Orzhov Guildmage Rakdos Guildmage Selesnya Guildmage Simic Guildmage
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon 2/2 creatures costs two hybrid mana of its guild's colors and each has two abilities, each of which requires mana of one of the guild's colors.

They form vertical cycle with common and rare hybrid spells.

Guild Artifacts Walking Archive Sunforger Bloodletter Quill Plague Boiler Gruul War Plow Mizzium Transreliquat Moratorium Stone Rakdos Riteknife Crown of Convergence Evolution Vat
Description and notes: Each of these rare artifacts have an activated ability costing both of its guild color.
Common Hybrid Spells Minister of Impediments Boros Recruit Lurking Informant Gaze of the Gorgon Wild Cantor Petrahydrox Mourning Thrull Riot Spikes Centaur Safeguard Shielding Plax
Description and notes: Each of these common spells has exactly one hybrid mana in its mana cost.
Rare Hybrid Spells Dovescape Master Warcraft Shadow of Doubt Gleancrawler Giant Solifuge Djinn Illuminatus Debtors' Knell Avatar of Discord Privileged Position Biomantic Mastery
Description and notes: Each of these rare spells has at least two hybrid mana in its mana cost.
Common Gold Cards Plumes of Peace (or Azorius First-Wing, or Overrule) Rally the Righteous Perplex (or Dimir Infiltrator) Shambling Shell Scab-Clan Mauler (or Burning-Tree Bloodscale) Leap of Flame Blind Hunter Gobhobbler Rats Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi Vigean Hydropon
Description and notes: Each of these common gold cards uses the guild's ability. Dimir and Gruul have two such cards.
Unbalanced Gold Cards Azorius Ploy
Swift Silence
Flame-Kin Zealot
Firemane Angel
Clutch of the Undercity
Mindleech Mass
Drooling Groodion (or Woodwraith Corrupter)
Grave-Shell Scarab
Skarrgan Skybreaker
Rumbling Slum
Goblin Flectomancer
Invoke the Firemind
Souls of the Faultless
Culling Sun
Anthem of Rakdos
Rakdos Augermage
Congregation at Dawn
Description and notes: Each of these cards are one of 2 gold cards for every guild (Golgari has 3 cards) that have 2 of one color and only 1 of the other, with rarity varying.
Off-color activated permanents Soulsworn Jury
Ocular Halo
Ordruun Commando
Screeching Griffin
Tattered Drake
Roofstalker Wight
Elves of Deep Shadow
Ghor-Clan Bloodscale
Gruul Nodorog
Torch Drake
Hypervolt Grasp
Shadow Lance
Ostiary Thrull
Nettling Curse
Kill-Suit Cultist
Votary of the Conclave
Simic Ragworm
Silkwing Scout
Description and notes: Each of these monocolored permanents has an activated ability that use their guild's other mana symbol.

Elves of Deep Shadow is the only spell of this cycle that doesn't that mana as an activation cost.

Allied boosting spells Azorius Herald
Court Hussar
Flash Conscription
Boros Fury-Shield
Induce Paranoia
Ribbons of Night
Vigor Mortis
Rolling Spoil
Tin Street Hooligan
Gruul Scrapper
Steamcore Weird
Ogre Savant
Shrieking Grotesque
Revenant Patriarch
Crypt Champion
Squealing Devil
Dryad's Caress
Seed Spark
Patagia Viper
Description and notes: Each of these mono-colored spells does something extra if you use its guild's other color to pay its mana costs.

Those in Ravnica are spells with additional effects, those in Guildpact are creatures that gain enter-the-battlefield abilities, and those in Dissension are creatures with enter-the-battlefield abilities that are sacrificed unless paid for with the other color. [8]

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (June 17, 2013.) “Modern Tales, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (August 27, 2018.) “Founding The City”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast. (December 16, 2004.) “Ravnica Revealed”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Matt Cavotta. (May 24, 2006.) “Hellbent, Hellbent for Threshold!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (May 2, 2016.) “Storm Scale: Ravnica and Return to Ravnica”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (January 16, 2006.) “Just The Ten of Us”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Aaron Forsythe. (November 04, 2005.) “Reinforcing the Structure”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Aaron Forsythe. ( April 21, 2006.) “Dissension ’s Enhancements”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.