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Monday, August 27, 2012

A Few Early Morning Return to Ravnica Impressions

Hey, I'm finally updating the blog! Yay!!!

(EDIT: I'll post article links later to give credit where credit's due, but they're on the main page of dailymtg.com throughout the day Monday, 8/27)

This morning came a lot of information about Return to Ravnica, which is exactly as it sounds: Magic's first run back to Ravnica since the plane was first explored in Ravnica: City of Guilds block.

While I don't have a lot of time (after all, it's 2:04 AM here as I type. lol!), I can give you a few highlights to chew on...

1) Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari is not just Ravnica-block reprints. Actually, like Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret, each deck will have preview cards from Return to Ravnica! Yes...preview cards!

2) The return to Ravnica will be much more kind and gentle than recent returns to planes. Whereas Dominaria had been through wars and an Armageddon and Mirrodin was invaded and changed, Ravnica will be relatively unharmed and unchanged from its previous incarnation. Consider this a check-up to see how everyone's doing.

3) NEW MECHANIC: Scavenge seems to replace Dredge in the Golgari colors (B/G). What is Scavenge?

"Scavenge 4GG", for example, means "4GG, exile this card from your graveyard: Put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to this card's power on target creature. Scavenge only as a sorcery."

Take for example a 5/5 creature with Scavenge 4GG. When it's in your graveyard, on your turn at any time you could normally cast a Sorcery card, you can activate its Scavenge ability by paying 4GG and exiling this creature card from the graveyard to put 5 +1/+1 counters on any creature.

I can see Doubling Season getting a reprint or a lot more casual play. And you thought the price was high already...yeesh! ;)

4) NEW MECHANIC: Overload goes on Instants and Sorceries aligned with Izzet (U/R).

Take a new card in the Duel Decks, Street Spasm

Street Spasm
Street Spasm deals X damage to target creature without flying you don't control.
Overload XXRR

"Overload [Cost]" is an alternative way to pay for the spell. If you pay the Overload cost instead of the mana cost, you change each instance of "target" to "each" instead.

So let's take Street Spasm and say we have 8 mana.

Cast it for its normal cost. That's 7R, so X = 7. How does Street Spasm read?

"Street Spasm deals 7 damage to target creature without flying you don't control."

Instead, cast it for its Overload cost. You pay 33RR, or a total of 8 mana (6 generic {X=3 and X = 3} and 2 Reds).

It now reads

"Street Spasm deals 3 damage to each creature without flying you don't control."

Notice the subtle but important difference? You do less damage, sure, but you deal that damage to each creature now instead of just one creature.

I don't doubt we'll see cards that have normal casting costs but alternate Overload costs to change all instances of "target" to "each." For example...

MADE UP IZZET DAMAGE + DRAW CARD deals 4 damage to target creature and target player draws 3 cards.
Overload 6RRUU

But the point is...NEW MECHANIC! And it still fits the Izzet's theme of copying and its old version, Replicate. Changing "target" to "each" is kind of like saying "copy this spell as many times as there are targets and choose only 1 target that hasn't been targeted yet."....or something like that. That's what I get for doing this at 2:00 AM! lol!

4) GUILDMAGES ARE BACK: They're not your hybrid-color Guildmages, though. A Golgari-themed one in the Duel Decks has a casting cost of BG but is called Korozda Guildmage.

At this early an hour, that's all I have for you. If I can find time before Wednesday I'll post the preview images for all to adore. :)

Until then, may the wait for Return to Ravnica spoilers be short!

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