Ravnica Allegiance, the latest expansion in Magic: The Gathering’s standard rotation, seems really pushed. Powerful commons with these crazy keyword abilities will run rampant all over the battlefields at your local game store, so we need some bombs to keep them in check.
These uncommon cards will absolutely do the job. As my favorite rarity level, I’m always on the hunt for uncommon cards I might actually get to use when playing. We’ll look at the best three from each color and the best three from each color combination, a total of thirty cards.
Well, thirty-one because we have an artifact we like, as well.
This is essentially three mana for 4/3 across three bodies. The 2-power allows the Ministrant to trade well with attacking creatures, and the two 1/1 tokens left behind ensure that you end up on top of any trade you make. Even if you want to sacrifice this for a powerful Orzhov or Rakdos effect, you’ll still get those tokens.
In other words, play this and make sure it dies quickly to get the most value.
With flash, this aura essentially becomes a combat trick that sticks around for turns to come. +1/+2 will usually let you win combat, and your creature suddenly has vigilance on the following turn, all set to jam and attack without recourse.
When played in the main phase, the lifelink you get for a turn can save your life in a pinch. It’s best used in combat when you’re ambushing a creature, but addendum’s addition to the spell gives you a nice bonus if you’ve got nothing to pounce on.
A 2/4 flyer for four mana is already a card you’ll want in your deck, but one that helps ensure your flyers, especially your afterlife tokens, survive tough combats is even better.
A Salamander who becomes a Drake who becomes a full blown 5/5 Dragon. Only in Simic. Sure, in Limited Magic, you might not live the Dream of casting a 5/5 flyer for two mana, but with enough spells, you’ll get there at a solid rate.
Then, your mutant Dragon should be enough to put the game away.
One of my goals in Ravnica Allegiance is to get this and Spirit of the Spires into play at the same time, forming a lord across two cards. The Simic combine would be proud of my Angel Drake Flying Lord.
Five mana is a bit costly, but in a dedicated flying deck or an Orzhov afterlife deck, an evasive army of boosted creatures could close out a game with little problem.
White/Blue flyers are back in a big way, and the only way to truly celebrate is to give everything flying! Your Gruul creatures with riot, your adapted Simic mutants, anything and everything with counters is now a flyer with this guy in play.
Again, tag-team this with Windstorm Drake, and that’s a mean, nasty beatdown deck you have.
Play him, trade with something, get your afterlife token. Slick, efficient, nice little card. The black cards in this set are all hit-and-miss, whether it’s Clear the Stage or Cry of Carnarium or Bankrupt in Blood or Bloodmist Infiltrator. These will either be your best cards that win you the game or your worst cards that totally mess you up, too inconsistent to be reliable.
Orzhov Enforcer is as reliable as they come.
True, I just poo-poo’d him, but I don’t care. I like this card. I don’t want to go too heavy on this sacrifice idea, but I just can’t help myself here. Sacrifice your opponent’s creature if you have an Act of Treason, deal 3 guaranteed damage. Not so bad!
Later in the game, with one of these in play and a Ministrant of Obligation or a Debtor’s Transport in play, you have enough sacrifice outlets to deal 9 damage over three turns, likely finishing off your opponent while they helplessly watch the vampire slip by everything they put in its way. This demands an answer if the game goes on too long, and while 1 toughness isn’t that much, the ability to ignore interaction with other creatures in huge.
Orzhov Racketeers is easily a more consistent card and probably the better choice between the two, but Bloodmist Infiltrator is easily the more exciting.
Black wants in on this Flying game too. Here, it provides a fun card that can be used to both ambushing incoming attackers or push through more damage. Remember, it can target itself, meaning a 4/1 flyer that comes into play for three mana will always trade up with any 4 toughness creature. Good trade.
If playing offensively, this gets you an extra two points of damage in combat or to the face. Afterlife tokens love this card, especially after blockers have been declared and they take down a superior 3-toughness creature. The 2/1 flyer left behind now hopefully has nothing to worry about when it comes charging in the next turn. All good scenarios.
In a Gruul or Temur deck… oh man. With two, three, or even four riot creatures or adapt creatures in play, this monster almost guarantees that nothing will be able to block the turn it comes into play, and that’s just a beating. You’re left behind with a nice 6/6 blocker in the meantime, but if you don’t close out the game on the spot, you’re missing the point of this card. There should be no need to block the next turn because…
…dare I say your opponent will be… ruined?
A little slow for the early game, but this guy ensures your big creatures get through later in the game, possibly enough to seal the deal. Attack the turn it comes down, slip a powerful attacker in there for big damage. If you get a Rubblebelt Recluse or a Frenzied Arynx ready for the next turn, or a removal spell of course, you can easily push even more damage through.
Gruul obviously doesn’t like blockers looking at these uncommons.
Flames of the Raze-Boar has a higher top end and can easily win you the game if it wipes an opponent’s board of incoming attackers. However, Rakdos is a bit short of 4-power creatures, and even though it’s unlikely, you still might be missing the essential ingredient when the time comes in a Gruul deck as well.
Dagger Caster is much more consistent, killing tokens and 1-toughness creatures, triggering spectacle, keeping Planeswalkers in check. He does it all, guaranteed value, and leaves behind a nice 2/3 body in the process. Guaranteed value.
Solid riot card. This grants an automatic 2 power onto any creature it attacks with if haste is up, which is a nice little boost. If you go with the counter, it’s an additional 3 damage any turn, which is also a nice boost. Regardless, this card is built for quick wins or big wins, and that variety makes it a killer.
A 5/5 for five mana that can become a 7/7 on the next turn? Really?! On top of that, it and all of your riot and adapt creatures have trample?! Untap with this, and your army will probably win the following turn.
Two mana gets you an aggressively paced creature or the chance to dig for that land or bomb you desperately need to win the game. You’ll want this early and late in the game since it will find what you’re looking for.
The low end is a bit weak here, even if it replaces itself with a draw. Izzet and Golgari, the guilds that cared about graveyard nonsense is behind us, and the “escape pod” side of this card has no value.
However, the top end is great. If you’re staring down a Gruul monster or Simic mutant, go ahead and play this. They lose their game-winner and you just gained yourself six, seen, eight, NINE life. Solid trade for four mana. Shame it’s not an instant.
Legion Guildmage proved to be an uncommon bomb as a mana sink that guaranteed victory afte so many turns. Syndicate Guildmage is pretty similar, even if the clock to victory runs a bit slower. Pinging for two here and there should end the game if your afterlife creatures and spirit tokens are holding back the enemy.
If not, tapping a big creature should buy you enough time to stabilize. Both are good abilities, making Orzhov’s Guildmage a solid pick.
Ugh, what a nasty Magic card. First, it weakens all of your opponent’s creatures, which is a disgusting, mean, dirty tactic no matter how you look at it. Plus, it’s impossible to interact with really. Flying keeps it safe from the brutes on the ground, and first strike pretty much guarantees it will kill any weakened flyer who tries to block it.
You’ll need removal to take care of this mean spirited jerk.
Not a bomb, but too much fun to ignore. “Big butt” decks are always a blast, and at three mana, you’ll easily cast this and get in for strong damage.
I see more than enough common and uncommon targets here to make this a solid uncommon build-around. Just to name a few… Azorius Knight-Arbiter becomes a 5/5 vigilance that can’t be blocked. Disgusting… Concordia Pegasus is a 3/3 flyer for two mana, nice deal. Spirit of the Spires is a 4/4 flyer that turns your afterlife tokens into 2/2 flyers… Senate Courier, Humongulus, even Watchful Giant.
Early blockers turn into game winners once this hits the battlefield, and the mana sink ensures you’ll get some value out of your unused mana at some point. Great card, I want to first pick in in a draft somewhere down the line and just go crazy.
The Azorius Guildmage easily puts you in a good position to win. Both abilities are cheap, and both could save your life in a pinch. For a single mana, you can “loot” through your deck, hopefully finding the card you need to either stablize or win.
Likewise, 2 life isn’t all that much, but when you need it, it’s always there for just one mana. I’d take the card nine times out of ten, but when your hand is empty, you’re desperate to stay alive another turn, or you just have nothing you want to discard, 2 life isn’t that awful.
On the low end, you automatically trigger spectacle, kill off a token, ping a larger creature for one point of damage, or even hit the player for that last point of damage. All fine options for an escape pod on this card.
On the top end, 3 points of damage is fine, but that discard ability can wreck an opponent’s plans and end the game immediately. Best of all, we don’t have Nullhide Ferox to worry about in this set. Ugghh….
Rakdos’ Guildmage is pretty sweet. The potential to ruin your opponent’s hand later in the game will force them into making awkward plays, always a good way to knock an opponent off balance. The ability to trigger spectacle every turn for a single mana though is the big winner here. Get those bonuses so easily.
Who knows, this might even ping your opponent for that last point of life once or twice.
The 2 damage at the opponent is nice, but the 2 damage at a creature is the real winner here. A two-for-one is everything in Magic, and getting a 4/3 on the board while they lose a creature can easily shift the game in your favor.
The Magic community is going crazy over this card, and you know I’m all about it. The natural downside of this card in Limited Magic is that if you’re playing Gruul, your creatures already have riot, and this does nothing really. However, even something like Rubblebelt Recluse can close the game the turn it comes out, and Rhythm of the Wild’s very presence forces your opponent to always leave up blockers.
I love this card. Probably my favorite in the set, but I’ll love it even more once I jam it in a deck with Llanowar Elves and play it on turn-2. However, that’s an article for another day.
Gruul is stupidly powerful at uncommon, and I have too many cards to choose from. However, I like this card a lot, but more so when it’s splashed into a Simic deck. When cuddled together with a host of adapt creatures, it has unlimited ammunition to toss at an opponent’s face.
Likewise, if you were forced to drop an early +1/+1 counter on an adapt creature, turning off its ability to use adapt, this dude removes that counter and graciously opens access to their full adapt potential.
Bolrac-Clan Crusher is a build-around, but it’s too much fun not to write about.
Killing a flyer is a nice low end, especially since there isn’t a single one in the set who can survive 6 points of damage. On a Gruul creature, +4/+2 trample at instant speed could be enough to survive multiple blockers or even seal the deal, especially for just two mana.
Both will have their uses, but as a combat trick, this is really overpowered.
I’ll talk about one artifact I like. In a build-around Gate deck, this is an 8/8 threat that just keeps coming back and coming back at a cheaper and cheaper price each time. Eventually, but not likely, you’ll get to play this 8/8 for free! Living the dream!
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