The Magic: The Gathering Return to Ravnica Prerelease is coming up on September 29, 2012 and things are going to be run a little differently this time around. Players will be selecting a guild at the beginning of the event and receiving these materials:
5 Return to Ravnica booster packs
Players receive a special promo card. Normally, this card ends up heading straight to the trade binder and isn’t allowed to be played during the event. At the Return to Ravnica Prerelease events, players will receive a promo card based on their guild selection and actually be able to include it in their deck!
This fact is made more interesting because each promo card is designed to fit right in with Return to Ravnica guild specific abilities. Because players will be choosing their guilds, they’ll be selecting corresponding promo cards too. Let’s take a look at the different options and how you’ll be able to take advantage of each signature promo.
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The Azorius promo is Archon of the Triumvirate. At 7 mana, this is the most expensive promo option, but comes with evasion, a flying body, and an incredibly potent ability. Once Archon of the Triumvirate begins attacking, two instances of the Azorius detain ability will be locking down your opponent’s best cards each turn. 7 mana is a lot even in sealed deck play, but patient players can count on Archon of the Triumvirate to be a dominant finisher if the game goes late.
Izzet’s promo card is Hypersonic Dragon, a moderately priced 4/4 hasted flyer. Evasion and haste is a lot to love already, and its special ability will allow a player to take advantage of heavy-handed Izzet spells featuring the overload mechanic. Overloaded sorceries will be able to be cast at instant speed, leading to critical game altering plays during an opponent’s turn as Hypersonic Dragon keeps the pressure on. This is a powerful creature that is generally going to be cast reliably, with the special ability being a bonus to an already dangerous threat.
The Rakdos promo is Carnival Hellsteed, a massive beatstick that takes advantage of the Rakdos unleash mechanic. Players willing to “go all in” and sacrifice the Hellsteed’s ability to block will find themselves cutting loose with a 6/5 first strike surprise that can attack immediately.
With the focus on aggression and unleashing that Rakdos has, Carnival Hellsteed’s six casting cost should come at exactly the right time as the final hasted blow to finish off an opponent that has been under duress from continued assault. Players looking to eschew defenses and opting for all out aggression would be wise to pick Rakdos.
Golgari’s promo is Corpsejack Menace, an aggressively priced 4/4 designed to take over a game with the scavenge mechanic. While Corpsejack Menace doesn’t actually have scavenge, a few dead creatures in the graveyard can put an obscene amount of +1/+1 counters in play with the Corpsejack Menace’s ability. At 4 mana, Corpsejack Menace is also the cheapest of the promo cards to field and should be able to rumble onto the battlefield every game. A single scavenge can range from a huge advantage to an instant win with the Menace on the table, but this may also be the selection most reliant on having other cards available.
Wait a minute, this is a land! Why does Selesnya get a land you ask? Well, it’s only sort of a land. Assuming you’ve got a few creatures to tap, Grove of the Guardian will produce a massive 8/8 vigilant Elemental to push through any defenses an opponent may have. The Selesnya mechanic, populate, will let players copy this token quite easily.
If a Selesyna player gets to untap with one of these monsters on the table, things are probably over – And remember, this ability can be used at the end of an opponent’s turn! Players looking to take advantage of the token-cloning abilities of Selesnya need not worry that their promo is a land card, as it will be doing plenty of stomping.
|With each promo card emphasizing and enabling guild strengths and a pack of pure guild cards, a player’s guild choice for each event will be critical and often deck defining. A third color may be an option, but plan to sport your guild colors – You’re going to be handed the tools to do so!|