Return to Ravnica: Playing to your Weaknesses – Multicolor

I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to get to this sooner. By now, a lot of you have already played in a midnight release or just started your tournament and this article won’t be too helpful to you. However, there are those that are playing on Sunday, and that’s who I’m writing this for. I’m also writing this for those people who will be drafting Return to Ravnica heavily in the future. Hopefully some of my insight will help you to form some good combos that you can use in your matches.

And now . . . . what you’ve all been waiting for the most . . . Multicolor Return to Ravnica cards!

Spawn of Rix Maadi

I believe that Rakdos will be very, VERY strong. Almost every creature it puts out is a threat, and your opponent is going to be forced to either use up their removal spells or to end the game quickly. Each Rakdos creature will put your opponent on a clock. This guy is almost as good as a Fire Elemental that can block, or it can be a Craw Wurm that can’t block. He’s a mid game beater and will help you to hammer your opponent into submission.

Selesnya Charm

The best charm in the set of 5. I had a chance to play with this at my first pre-release and used both the trample and exile effects often. There are a few creatures with trample in RTR, and in Selesnya you have huge creatures but no way to push that damage over. Friends don’t let opponents chump block. Slam this down, scream “For the Conclave!” and let that damage pour over your opponent. The second effect is extremely powerful against Rakdos’ midgame, so hold onto it until it’s absolutely necessary!

Rix Maadi Guildmage

Return to Ravnica lacks in mana acceleration, but it is great in “life loss” acceleration. This guildmage’s 2nd ability is great in an Izzet/Rakdos deck alongside a Guttersnipe and other damage effects. The first effect is good in a straight Rakdos deck where you’re trying to beat down your opponent. Your opponent is going to be sending blockers to stop your Dead Revelers left and right, but keep them alive and suck the life out of them with the first ability!

Rakdos Charm

While Selesnya’s Charm would be great in a main deck, Rakdos Charm is better left in the sideboard. If you’re playing against a Golgari player that relies heavily on scavenge, use that first ability. The second ability won’t be too useful in limited. The last one would be great against a populate happy Selesnya deck. If you match up against those decks, think about putting this in.

Korozda Guildmage

Not a bad Guildmage. Selesnya is played somewhat heavily in limited, but most players are using Azorius and giving a black creature intimidate would be beneficial. It can also be used multiple times, but you’ll probably only use that ability when you have the extra mana. It’s second ability is a little more useful, especially in a Golgari deck. If your creature is about to die, just sacrifice it before damage is dealt and get some Saporlings instead. White has some high toughness creatures, so this guy might not be too bad in a Golgari/Selesnya deck. He’ll give you some Populate targets if you don’t have any other, plus he’ll let your big creatures walk all over your opponent.

Izzet Charm

I didn’t see too many people using this at the pre-release, but then again Izzet wasn’t as popular as Azorius was. In a deck with Guttersnipe this would be great. There are quite a few non-creature spells in Azorius and Izzet that the first ability would work well against, the second ability could take out a low defense Rakdos creature, and the last one is good if you get mana flooded. Not a first pick card, but it wouldn’t be horrible to have as one of your 23 cards in an Izzet deck.

Heroes’ Reunion

Gaining life could just be postponing the inevitable, but it could also save your ass in a pinch. Sometimes you just need one more turn to end the game, but your opponent has you on the ropes on this turn. I don’t think I’d use this main deck, but keep it close to you in the sideboard against decks like Rakdos or Izzet where damage can pile up quickly. It just might give you the edge you need.

Grisly Salvage

Awesome. If you’re playing a mostly creature and land Golgari or GBR deck, this card would be sweet. It isn’t card draw, but it’s damn near close to it for these colors. It’s sort of a mix between Lair Delve and Lead the Stampede, but in common form. I wouldn’t mind splashing this card into a Golgari/Selesnya deck either. You also have the choice of putting a creature straight into the graveyard to use it’s scavenge if you want.

Golgari Charm

This card isn’t bad for limited. It’s surely better than the Rakdos one that’s for sure, and I also think it’s better than Izzet’s in draft or sealed. If your opponent is populating a lot of little birdies, the first one is good. It can also be used to kill a creature that just blocked/was blocked and needs a little bit more to kill it. The 2nd effect might be more of a sideboard effect, but it’s not bad to have main I guess. The last effect is pretty good I think. If you’re being over run by tokens and have to block with everybody, or if your opponent just nuked all of your creatures, the last ability will really save your butt. The uses are rather situational however, so it wouldn’t hurt to take this out of your main deck if you wanted to side something else in.

Goblin Electromancer

Great in Izzet, but this card would also be very useful in an Izzet/Azorius build too. If you’re running any other guild alongside Izzet though, I’d leave him out. Just one of him would make your Cyclonic Rift, Mizzum Mortars, or Cancel easier to cast. You could also cast your Syncopate for 1 mana after your opponent taps out! He’s also really useful alongside a Guttersnipe, so think about going Izzet if you have enough good instants and sorceries.

Dreg Mangler

Can . . . not . . .wait  . . . to play . . . . Green/Black zombies. There, I said it. I can’t wait to play with Gravecrawler, Blood Artists, and Dreg Mangler with Rancor in BG zombies! It’s gonna be awesome! But in limited, this card is pretty damn awesome as well. It’s a 3/3 haste zombie (image of running plant zombies = scary). It also has scavenge which would hit on the 5th turn. This is great on the curve, has a lot of power, and would be perfect in both Goglari and GBW decks. I would definitely take this early in a draft or use it in sealed.

Dramatic Rescue

Unsummon was pretty useful in M13 draft in certain aggressive decks, and this is basically Unsummon with white mana tacked on for 2 life. If I was drafting this I’d probably take it as my 12th or 13th card in an Azorius deck. The life comes in handy against Rakdos match ups, and the unsummon ability is great against Selesnya’s tokens and Golgari’s creatures with scavenge tokens on them. I think you’ll find some uses for this in limited for sure.

Centaur Healer

Good card all around. It’s got a great body for a common 3 drop, and the bonus 3 life is also nice. It seems to me that in past sets, this would have been an uncommon. I’m kind of surprised that this is a common. I’m going to slap this into my GW life gain deck after rotation on Friday, but until then, I’ll be using it as a beater in my Selesnya decks.

Call of the Conclave

Two mana for a 3/3 creature is great value. Selesnya will use this the best because you’ll be able to continue to populate it over and over and before you know it you’ll have an army of Centaurs in play. Combo this with some Rootborn Defenses or Druid’s Deliverance for maximum effect.

Azorius Charm

I’d probably rank the Azorius Charm around the Izzet Charms level. If you’re attacking with a lot of creatures, you can gain a lot of life. This is good against Rakdos, and would be great teamed up with a card like Rootborn Defenses. With all of that life, you could keep using your flying creatures and bang away at your opponent until they’re dead. Drawing a card isn’t bad either, though I think that would be the last ability I wanted to use (maybe if I’m already in charge of the game and ready for the final blow). The last one is basically like Dramatic Rescue, and if you need that effect then great. Otherwise I’d probably save this for the life gain when you need it in a pinch.

Auger Spree

It kills and it thrills. There aren’t a lot of Rakdos creatures that could survive a -4 to their defense, but if they do, you’ll be slamming your opponent quite heavily. But that’s the point I think. This is a card that would be a finisher in Rakdos, and otherwise it would be a decent form of removal against a lot of creatures with 4 toughness. I like the versatility and I’d use this in a Rakdos or BRU or GBR deck as one of my later draft picks.

Chris’ Picks

  • Augur Spree
  • Centaur Healer
  • Chemister’s Trick
  • Common Bond
  • Courser’s Accord
  • Dramatic Rescue
  • Essence Backlash
  • Grisly Salvage
  • Hussar Patrol
  • Skull Rend
  • Sluiceway Scorpion
  • Trestle Troll
  • Sundering Growth

Chris picked a lot of the cards I did, and why not? There are tons of great multicolor cards in Return to Ravnica.

I didn’t choose Sundering Growth because it’s largely a sideboard card. If you want to populate, great, but if you can’t destroy an artifact or enchantment, you can’t populate. Great as a sideboard card in Selesnya though.

Trestle Troll and Sluiceway Scorpion are great in Golgari decks. Trestle Troll is like a mini Giant Spider, but his bonus is regeneration. It’s a good ability, but it’s too high for me. If you’re playing Golgari it’s great, but in a 3 color deck I’d be cautious about using him. Sluiceway Scorpion is a very solid card. A 2/2 Deathtouch with scavenge for 3 mana. He’s not an allstar but he’s good both dead and alive.

Chemister’s Trick is an interesting card, but I think it’s in the wrong colors. First off, Izzet doesn’t have a lot of creatures to block with, and even if you were to use this in a Rakdos/Izzet deck, you’re still not going to be able to block those creatures because you’re probably unleashing them. How it could be useful is if you make all your opponents creatures attack, then hit them hard the next turn with everything you have.

I used Common Bond a lot at the pre-release, it’s a good card to use at the right moment to kill your opponent’s creatures. I think Courser’s Accord is a little too high of a casting cost to put 6 power on the table, but if you have enough creatures to populate with and some anthem effects, this could be a good effect.

Essence Backlash was sprung against me a few times. Luckily it was only on a 3 power creature. Later in the game when somebody is casting a 6+ power creature however, this could do some big damage. Hold onto it in an Izzet deck for mid to late game and it will pay dividends for you. Hopefully you’ll have something to deal with the other creatures that come out before that turn though. Control decks are tough to balance out.

In this format, Hussar Patrol is pretty bad ass. It was used against me a few times and I lost a few of my 2 toughness creatures to it. He’ll be able to absorb quite a lot of hits for you, and being able to flash him in will catch more than a few players off-guard. Vigilance is also a good ability in this format. Hussar Patrol is really good against Rakdos players that are playing aggressive and think their attacks will land each turn

Skull Rend is kind of meh to me. Five mana is too high for me and some fast decks will have all of their hands on the table by the time you cast it. Against slower control decks its good though. Against Izzet and Azorius are where it would be the most effective.

Wrap Up

You’ll have to use your better judgment when playing with multicolor cards. There’s an upside and downside to all of these cards, so don’t leave yourself with too many weaknesses when building your deck. Try to keep it balanced and don’t sacrifice creatures for too many spells. This format can change on your very quickly. It can be really aggressive but then suddenly swing back to a game of attrition where the person with the most creatures will win. Splashing in a 3rd color is sometimes really useful at addressing your decks weakness, so look for cards that will compliment your deck idea.

I wish you the best of luck in your deck building and hope to see you back here in another few days to go over rares with me and see how they will fit in the current metagame, as well as how they’ll change the metagame. Good luck and thanks for reading!

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