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Ravnica Allegiance: Set Overview

Prime Speaker Vannifar, by Kieran Yanner, Owned by Wizards of the Coast © All Rights Reserved.

As a Canadian citizen, it is quite funny to me that this will be the first time writing anything for PDH Home Base within Canada. Recently, after a trek across Mainland China towards Hong Kong, a flight towards Toronto with a fever, and a remaining half sedated trip to Halifax, I finally made it, with a few days to finally rest and get over the flu. I had laid out the template to this piece about a week ago, but only recently found the time to wrap this up.

The new set, Ravnica Allegiance, provides a large array of both new commanders and solid commons to support any general 99. With multi-color options to add to different, there is a bunch to be added to your own decks. Let's dive in!

The Commanders

As always, I will take the time to observe the top 5, as well as honorable mentions. This set actually held a fair number of uncommon creatures, but most didn't suit well for a commander. With that said, a few did pop up as decent options, some even great. Take a look below at the the top 5 picks for Ravnica Allegiance.

The first I'd like to mention is Sphinx of the Guildpact. A new 5-colored option is always welcome, especially a non-vanilla option that doesn't restrict you to any particular strategy. A large array of new guildmages were added to the mix, but the two shown above hold the most potential for effective builds. Spirit of the Spires holds a great deal of potential, as there is a large number of white creatures with flying. Pteromander is certainly a unique choice, with the potential of inspiring new and unique brews.

In addition to the top 5, these honorable mentions certainly deserve a nod, as they add to existing strategies. Previously taking time to write about vampires, here are two additional potential strategies in mind. Bloodmist Infiltrator bring a primarily blue commander trait to black for the first time. With black being one of the most resourceful colors to stand alone, adding a mono blue strategy to black (despite its setbacks) is always a treat. Vindictive Vampire is limited by its lack of color, but would indeed compliment a discussion about Shadowborn Apostle a number of months back.

For these two above, the best I can say is, "I like them, but they don't change the game for me, yet." Both are of low cost, with both providing unique additions to their color pairing. Both are unique, but both are easy to remove, while making a minimal impact on the board. With that said, there's nothing more exciting than being proven wrong in the hopes of learning something more. With all of this out of the way, let's take a look at the new commons added to the mix.

The Rest of the 99

There's a wide variety of new potential parts for your 99, with no particular inclination towards any single strategy. Without any more delay, let's discuss each color below.

White tends to support token creature strategies, and both Impassioned Orator and Tenth District Veteran play a part in sustaining yourself through all games. With more and more ways to clear a board of tokens and effects to knock life points out quickly, the combination of the two will allow you to maintain life while giving you a shot at dealing more damage to others. White in PDH holds minimal options for permanent removal (non-reversible removal unlike Oblivion Ring), so an additional piece such as Summary Judgment is welcome. Additional chances to blink creatures are fantastic, and open up additional ways to protect yourself. I am delighted to see Justiciar's Portal.

An additional opportunity to reshuffle the graveyard back into the library in PDH is fantastic, but the flavorful interest here comes from Persistent Petitioners. Joining the "have as many in your deck as you'd like" club with Shadowborn Apostle and Relentless Rats, this new creature makes Clear the Mind all the more necessary. I will revisit this card in the near future, so stay tuned.

Three of the four black choices are not exactly unique, but they are certainly welcome, and will find places in a 99. Thirsting Shade brings an early drop lifelink, with opportunities to boost. The two instants, Grotesque Demise and Undercity's Embrace introduce additional means of removal. The most interesting of the four comes from the unique addition, Ill-Gotten Inheritance. Although having a higher cost, this will slowly chip away at your opponents while keeping you up. There are downsides to this, however. First, unless another opponent can benefit from this, you will be targeted in one way or another. Can this card be sacrificed in response to removal? It can, but the cost to do that is quite high, leaving you in positions where you may not sacrifice it at all.

First and foremost, I NEED to talk about Spear Spewer. It's a goblin (a strategy I had previously discussed), it has potential to come out early and do some damage, and will serve you in a late game as well. It isn't bolt proof, but it will be safe from Electrickery. Although there's no additional card draw methods added to red (which is not of any surprise to anyone), additional removal is great. Land removal has always had a high cost, but at least Rubble Reading gives you a scry.

Green is unfortunately rather lackluster this set (this seems to be an ongoing issue). However, I will be play testing Open the Gates. For such a low cost, given enough colors in the deck, this may be quite useful. There are better lands than the gates, but opportunities to fetch aren't abundant in this format. It's worth testing.

For these color pairings, all of these creatures are quite decent, providing a deal of utility. The newest instants to the mix are also welcome staples to their respected color pairings, soon to become auto includes in any deck. In particular, Growth Spiral will be added to all decks applicable, with little doubt.

Finally, finishing off this cycle, redundancy for mana rocks in a format lacking them is a welcome note. However, as I had mentioned before, this locket cycle is indeed intended for redundancy, as the previous cycles do a better job.


That wraps up all notes upon release of Ravnica Allegiance. I am looking forward to testing out some of these cards myself, and seeing what others do with the new additions to this budget format. In the following weeks, I will be observing Persistent Petitioners and seeing how it can be utilized into the best deck possible. I can't place a set date, as work still has a a large impact on my schedule, so you'll have to stay tuned. Happy playing, everyone!



#2019 #multicolor #NewSet


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