Ravnica Allegiance Limited Set Review

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

By Doug Lambert


Below I’ve rated all cards from the upcoming set, Ravnica Allegiance, with a letter grade.


My rating system is as follows:

  • A+: Cards that can win the game on their own with built-in card advantage or resiliency (e.g. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria; Tezimoc, Primal Death; Doom Whisperer)

  • A: Game-ending threats (e.g. Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice; Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar; Niv-Mizzet, Parun)

  • A-: Threats with card advantage; expensive major threats; hyper-efficient removal (e.g. Thief of Sanity, Bounty of Might, Lava Coil)

  • B+: Best commons; unconditional instant speed removal at low cost or with bonus; mild card advantage creatures (e.g. Watcher in the Mist, Price of Glory, Ledev Champion)

  • B: Unconditional sorcery speed removal at reasonable cost (e.g. Luminous Bonds, Deadly Visit)

  • B-: Conditional or mana-inefficient removal, resilient/mana-efficient creatures (e.g. Healer's Hawk, Direct Current, Boros Challenger)

  • C+: Average cards with some bonus or mild efficiency (e.g. Skyknight Legionnaire, Rosemane Centaur, Goblin Electromancer)

  • C: Average cards (e.g. Fresh-Faced Recruit, Spinal Centipede)

  • C-: Slightly below-average cards you don't normally want to play (e.g. Goblin Locksmith, Portcullis Vine, Vedalken Mesmerist)

  • D+: Below-average but playable; strong archetype-specific cards (e.g. Loxodon Restorer, Guild Summit)

  • D: Fringe-playable under the right conditions

  • F: Don’t play these cards

  • SB: Cards that start in your sideboard but can be excellent when brought in after the matchup is evaluated (e.g. Naturalize, Pierce the Sky)


Averaging out the card grades, I rank the average card quality of the guilds as follows:


1. Rakdos

2. Gruul

3. Simic

4. Orzhov

5. Azorius


Averaging the cards on a weighted basis, with weight priority given to commons, then uncommons, then rares and finally mythics (60:18:6:1), I get the following rankings:


1. Rakdos (tied)

1. Simic (tied)

3. Gruul

4. Azorius

5. Orzhov


The distribution of grades for each guild is:



Also worth noting is the frequency of removal in each guild:


A few summary insights from the grades above and individual card reviews:

  • Azorius and Orzhov should be built defensively and win with flyers and card advantage from scrying and afterlife.

  • Rakdos should be built aggressively, utilizing its plentiful removal (11 total) and direct damage spells and abilities (roughly 16 playable).

  • Gruul and Simic should be built to go big, winning with larger creatures. Of note, the only two-mana common creatures that scale well in the late game are in green (2) and red (1).

  • Simic has a very low removal spell count, so take the Simic grade average with a grain of salt.


My top overall cards (which received a grade of A- or higher) are, in order:


  1. Spawn of Mayhem (black)

  2. Skarrgan Hellkite (red)

  3. Sphinx of Foresight (blue)

  4. Domri, Chaos Bringer (Gruul)

  5. Theater of Horror (Rakdos)

  6. Seraph of the Scales (Orzhov)

  7. Zegana, Utopian Speaker (Simic)

  8. Judith, the Scourge Diva (Rakdos)

  9. Angel of Grace (white)

  10. Rakdos, the Showstopper (Rakdos)

  11. Kaya’s Wrath (Orzhov)

  12. Biogenic Ooze (green)

  13. Electrodominance (red)

  14. Captive Audience (Rakdos)

  15. Hydroid Krasis (Simic)

  16. Ethereal Absolution (Orzhov)

  17. Rhythm of the Wild (Gruul (uncommon))

  18. Rakdos Firewheeler (Rakdos (uncommon))

  19. Warrant // Warden (Azorius)

  20. Thrash // Threat (Gruul)

  21. Ravager Wurm (Gruul)

  22. Pestilent Spirit (black)


Top five commons for each guild are:


Azorius:

  1. Lawmage’s Binding

  2. Summary Judgment

  3. Slimebind

  4. Azorius Knight-Arbiter

  5. Senate Griffin


Orzhov:

  1. Summary Judgment

  2. Grotesque Demise

  3. Civic Stalwart

  4. Imperious Oligarch

  5. Blade Juggler


Rakdos:

  1. Get the Point

  2. Skewer the Critics

  3. Grotesque Demise

  4. Rakdos Trumpeter

  5. Blade Juggler


Gruul:

  1. Skewer the Critics

  2. Savage Smash

  3. Titanic Brawl

  4. Scorchmark

  5. Gravel-Hide Goblin


Simic:

  1. Aeromunculus

  2. Titanic Brawl

  3. Applied Biomancy

  4. Slimebind

  5. Sauroform Hybrid



Individual card ratings are provided below:


Excel Version of card ratings can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MEdvkL6VDgyvHxvUAl2lnpYF6FNrs44U4nQ0DLcCeWc/edit?usp=sharing






Best of luck at your Prerelease!



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