Ravnica Allegance: Blue
Continuing on with the RNA review, next up are all the blue cards!
See my first White review for a summary of what the grades mean.
I think you at least want the first one of these. 3 mana for this effect is overpaying, but it’s a solid tempo play that replaces itself if you’re being aggressive, which seems like the way you’d normally want to be using this card. Bouncing at instant speed is still good, even if you’re paying a bit extra for it.
A 3 mana 2/2 that draws you a card seems like a solid rate for limited. There don’t seem to be very many ways to move counters around, so this won’t be busted, but it’s not bad, and it’s worth playing in your deck.
This kind of effect seems like it could be a solid engine for some constructed deck that can add counters to a lot of creatures. I’m not sure that deck exists yet, but if the right cards exist, this could be a workhorse.
I like this kind of effect to top a curve in a tempo deck. This lets you potentially tap down a big blocker to get in another big attack, and you’re left with a 3/3 flier afterward that might help close the game out.
Clear the Mind
Feel free to side this in when you end up playing a mill opponent, otherwise do anything else with your 3 mana…
Code of Constraint
I’m not sure how much I like this, but it does quite a few different things so I’m giving it some benefit of the doubt. -4/-0 can let you kill a creature in combat, and this will replace itself after. If you’re being more aggressive, you can spend the 3 mana to tap down a bigger blocker, and this still replaces itself. In that mode, Chillbringer seems better since you essentially get a 3/3 flier for 2, but this has extra flexibility.
I don’t think a vanilla 3/2 for 3 is what you want in your deck. It’s not the worst filler, so play it if you really need playables, but it seems like one of the first that’s going to get cut.
UU may be a bit hard to keep up all the time, but the ability to counter a creature spell for only 2 mana seems powerful. If you have a creature on the board, you also get a small additional benefit for your trouble.
This is a pretty funny effect, especially if you’re playing against someone without blue, but it’s way too slow to do anything. You’re paying 9 mana to scry a few times and gain control of a permanent, and they might be able to swap it back if they really want to.
1/2 worth of stats is pretty awful. You can’t even play this to trade up on except into a 3/1 or worse unless you have more on board. Pass.
Limited: 0.5 / 3.0
This is a solid card draw engine for the gate deck, if that’s a thing. Otherwise, this is a terrible card.
The 2/5 crab in GRN did a lot more work than I was expecting him to, which makes me want to rate this guy higher. The 5 health really stopped the more aggressive Boros and Izzet decks from attacking for a bit. This time though, there’s a lot more emphasis on flying units to go over the top, and this guy doesn’t help you with that.
If you’re a slow deck playing another slow deck, feel free to side this in. 8 mana steal two permanents is no joke, and 6 mana steal one isn’t the worst. But it’s still a lot to ask, and many times you’re just gonna get your face beat in by Gruul.
This is a lot of defensive stats for 5 mana, but it doesn’t do much to put you on offense. That’s still really solid, and you’d definitely play this, but it doesn’t feel as bomby as many of the other bigger cards you could luck into.
I don’t really see how this is that great of a constructed card either, which makes me feel like I’m missing something. There’s a lot of text on this card, and I could very easily be overlooking something relatively obvious that makes this a lot stronger than I’m giving it credit for.
A vanilla 1/3 isn’t where you want to be, and that’s basically what this card is. I’m sure I’ll lose to a janky mill deck one day on Arena that plays 20 copies of this card, but that’s about all it’ll do.
5 mana scry 3, draw 3 is a powerful effect, especially if you’re in a slower matchup or in sealed. 5 mana draw 3 is still really powerful if you need to hold mana up to interact with your opponent at instant speed.
For standard, this needs to compete against Chemister’s Insight, which is a fantastic card. This is slightly more clunky than that, but I could see this showing up in a 1/3 or 2/2 split (PP:CI).
This is a lot of card draw/selection for a lot of mana. I could see playing one, especially against slower decks, but you would frequently need to board this out against a more aggressive opponent.
This is going to be far too hard to take advantage of in limited. You need a dedicated deck to fill your graveyard with instants and sorceries.
Standard does have a deck that wants to do that right now — Izzet Drakes. I’m not sure the cantrips are fast enough in standard to put enough into play to make this much better than just an Enigma Drake, but I’m willing to try it out. Notably, after you adapt it it will have 5 health, which is right outside of the range of one of the most common removal spells in the format (Lava Coil). That could definitely make it worth playing over Enigma Drake.
This is a really powerful counterspell in the early half of the game when people are mostly tapping out to cast their biggest CMC threat. It does lose its effectiveness later in the game, but I think that’s worth the tradeoff, especially if your opponent is tapping out to play their bombs.
I can see this card being played in nearly every control deck and every blue deck that wants cheap, generic interaction in standard.
Sage’s Row Savant
I liked the 1/3 version of this card in M19. This card is obviously more aggresive, but I think that’s where UW and UG want to be anyway. Being able to play this on turn two and sculpt your next two draws is powerful.
I like this little guy. A 1/4 blocks a lot of things, and it can attack through a decent number of 1/1 spirit tokens without giving anything up on the backswing for 2 mana. 3 mana is quite a bit for him though, and I’m not sure Azorious wants to spend that for a creature with 1 attack. I’m going to start high though.
Shimmer of Possibilities
Sorcery speed really limits the potential on this card, but looking four deep for any card is a lot of card selection. I think you’d definitely want to play your first one and maybe even your second.
I’m not actually sure this is good enough to see play in standard. But again, four deep for any card is a solid amount of selection. There might be some deck that wants to play this. It compares closely with Anticipate, which looks three cards deep for two mana at instant speed. Notably, that card isn’t played anywhere, so that might spell badly for this card.
Limited: 1.0 / 3.0
Only really playable in a fliers deck, but in that deck this guy is really strong. A lord effect for all of your creatures with flying can add a lot of power to a board.
A 4 mana 3/3 and a 6 mana 5/5 are both below rate, but the versatility of this card could make this more valuable than either individually. This might not be as good as I’m rating it, but flexibility is very valuable, and I’ll certainly be trying this out.
-4/-0 is basically a removal spell, and it has some potential to blow your opponent out in a multi-block scenario. This seems really powerful for 2 mana.
Sphinx of Foresight
A 4/4 flier for 4, that continues to give you card selection every turn and every once in awhile will help you sculpt your first 3 draws? Hell yeah, sign me up.
I think you want exactly one of these. In a longer game, this can cripple your opponent’s board and their next draw step, which can be exactly the window you need to win the game.
This is basically Cancel. The effect doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to be relevant. Like Cancel, this isn’t unplayable, but you’d like to play better cards.
This is mostly a 3 mana do-nothing enchantment. You may get lucky and get a card draw or two, but it’s going to be quite delayed. At 5 mana you eventually get to tap down one creature, but I wouldn’t pay 8 mana to eventually get to do that.
Wall of Lost Thoughts
A 0/4 defender isn’t going to stall the game for very long, and the ETB effect is never going to be useful. Pass.
A 3/3 flier for 5 that buffs your other fliers seems really strong. This is obviously best in a deck with quite a few other fliers, but it’s going to be pretty strong either way.
Alright, 2 down, 5 more to go. Obviously this won’t be done before the prerelease, but I should be able to get this done before the official release.