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 Transmute Hellbent Bloodthirst Convoke Haunt Replicate Dredge Radiance 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
Off-color activated permanents Soulsworn Jury
Ocular Halo
Tattered Drake
Roofstalker Wight
Nettling Curse
Kill-Suit Cultist
Ghor-Clan Bloodscale
Gruul Nodorog
Votary of the Conclave
Shadow Lance
Ostiary Thrull
Torch Drake
Hypervolt Grasp
Elves of Deep Shadow
Ordruun Commando
Screeching Griffin
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 have mana as an activation cost.

Allied boosting spells Azorius Herald
Court Hussar
Induce Paranoia
Ribbons of Night
Crypt Champion
Squealing Devil
Tin Street Hooligan
Gruul Scrapper
Dryad's Caress
Seed Spark
Shrieking Grotesque
Revenant Patriarch
Steamcore Weird
Ogre Savant
Vigor Mortis
Rolling Spoil
Flash Conscription
Boros Fury-Shield
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]

Common Hybrid Spells Minister of Impediments Lurking Informant Riot Spikes Wild Cantor Centaur Safeguard Mourning Thrull Petrahydrox Gaze of the Gorgon Boros Recruit Shielding Plax
Description and notes: Each of these common spells has exactly one hybrid mana in its mana cost.
Guildmages Azorius Guildmage Dimir Guildmage Rakdos Guildmage Gruul Guildmage Selesnya Guildmage Orzhov Guildmage Izzet Guildmage Golgari Guildmage Boros 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.

Rare Hybrid Spells Dovescape Shadow of Doubt Avatar of Discord Giant Solifuge Privileged Position Debtors' Knell Djinn Illuminatus Gleancrawler Master Warcraft 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) Perplex (or Dimir Infiltrator) Gobhobbler Rats Scab-Clan Mauler (or Burning-Tree Bloodscale) Guardian of Vitu-Ghazi Blind Hunter Leap of Flame Shambling Shell Rally the Righteous 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
Clutch of the Undercity
Mindleech Mass
Anthem of Rakdos
Rakdos Augermage
Skarrgan Skybreaker
Rumbling Slum
Congregation at Dawn
Souls of the Faultless
Culling Sun
Goblin Flectomancer
Invoke the Firemind
Drooling Groodion (or Woodwraith Corrupter)
Grave-Shell Scarab
Flame-Kin Zealot
Firemane Angel
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.
Guild Champions Isperia the Inscrutable Circu, Dimir Lobotomist Lyzolda, the Blood Witch Ulasht, the Hate Seed Tolsimir Wolfblood Teysa, Orzhov Scion Tibor and Lumia Savra, Queen of the Golgari Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran Experiment Kraj
Description and notes: Each of these 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.

Guildmasters Grand Arbiter Augustin IV Szadek, Lord of Secrets Rakdos the Defiler Borborygmos Chorus of the Conclave Ghost Council of Orzhova Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind Sisters of Stone Death Razia, Boros Archangel 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.
Signets Azorius Signet Dimir Signet Rakdos Signet Gruul Signet Selesnya Signet Orzhov Signet Izzet Signet Golgari Signet Boros 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."
Guild Artifacts Walking Archive Bloodletter Quill Rakdos Riteknife Gruul War Plow Crown of Convergence Moratorium Stone Mizzium Transreliquat Plague Boiler Sunforger Evolution Vat
Description and notes: Each of these rare artifacts have an activated ability costing both of its guild color.
Bounce lands Azorius Chancery Dimir Aqueduct Rakdos Carnarium Gruul Turf Selesnya Sanctuary Orzhov Basilica Izzet Boilerworks Golgari Rot Farm Boros Garrison 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 Duskmantle, House of Shadow Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace Skarrg, the Rage Pits Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree Orzhova, the Church of Deals Nivix, Aerie of the Firemind Svogthos, the Restless Tomb Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion 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.

Shock lands Hallowed Fountain Watery Grave Blood Crypt Stomping Ground Temple Garden Godless Shrine Steam Vents Overgrown Tomb Sacred Foundry 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.

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.