Return to Ravnica Draft Breakdown
In this draft spot, I’ll break down the white commons and un-commons of Return to Ravnica as far as their worth in draft. No point of doing the rares or mythics because, they are mostly good, and are true no-brainers. Return to Ravnica seems to be a great drafting set and with all of the card prices climbing or sold out, I would draft it as much as possible. Look forward to me covering the other colors in future spots!
ARMORY GUARD is a 2/5 for 4 mana that can get vigilance. Seems like a good mana cost for a big boy on the ground to hold it down as long as your flier count is up there. I’ve played much worse, that’s for sure then the old A guard.
ARREST is a lock-down enchantment that’s been great in draft since the beginning. Whenever you see it, take it, not much you would take over it with any color combination other than a rare or a very very solid creature if you have a shortage of creatures after pack one or two.
AVENGING ARROW is white removal for 3 mana after a creature has dealt damage this turn. I played this card the other day and found it, not terrible. It looks bad on the first look because the creature will either already do damage to your head or merc a creature that blocks it before you get to use a card to kill it. But it just reminds me how good any removal is, but if I had a few good removal and solid creatures, I’d probably leave this one alone, it’s do-able but just doesn’t compare to straight up removal.
AZORIUS ARRESTER is a solid 2/1 for 2 mana that detains a creature when he comes into play. I’m pretty sure with 23 of these in a deck and land, I’d win some games. Seems like a good creature especially to keep your mana curve low, good to have some two drops to begin the beating and he has the 2 power you want and also isn’t a dead draw late in the game, aka you can win the game with it. I say draft em.
AZORIUS JUSTICIAR is another fine creature, a 2/2 for 4 mana. Meh, so that’s not the best, but this guy is also a game winner with its ability to detain two creatures. So you can sandbag him for awhile then drop it to clear the way for a final beatdown. You can also play it early to get the tempo in your favor, I’d like about one or two of these in a deck, probably one and look for bigger threats for 4 mana.
BAZAAR KROVOD is another 2/5, this one for 5 mana. This one has a random ability that may come in handy one day but nothing worth counting on. It pretty much has a large butt and can go with a bunch of fliers once again. If I don’t have tons of fliers, I stay away from this freak.
CONCORDIA PEGASUS: is the 1/3 flier for two mana, my boiiiii! I love a couple of these or even just one, the little flying horse is a nice way to start the game on turn two. It can get you some flying damage in, or turn into a blocker for at least all the two power fliers in the format. Also a great enchantment target it you have anything to load up, you can do a lot worse than playing one or two of these winged beaters.
ETHEREAL ARMOR is the enchantment that makes a creature bigger for each enchantment you control and gives it first strike. This is a definite 23rd card if you have a good amount of enchantments, I don’t like to risk getting two-for-one’d unless the payoff is big and this one is not good enough.
EYES IN THE SKIES is the 4 mana instant bird token and then populate card. I’m a fan of this card as well. At the very worst if you have nothing else to populate, you get two birds out of it. The potential of getting you something else jumungous makes this card an auto include if you have a couple token cards.
FENCING ACE is another two drop, this one has double strike on a 1/1. Another fine creature that of course is better if you have any pumps or enchantments. I like a deck to have a good amount of two drops, so as you draft, keep in mind to grab at least 4 or 5 two drops if they’re decent. That will start the pressure for the bombs you’ll be bringing later, put the heat on them!
KEENING APPARITION Pretty much refer to above. Another two drop, this is a 2/2 bear that can sac to kill an enchantment. I’ll take it. The ability can be useful and it comes down early and beats. Early in the picks, I’d just take better cards over this kind of guy, but if that’s all that is left I’ll take it. Or later in the draft, you may have to take this kind of card over better more expensive(mana) cards if you curve is already too high.
KNIGHTLY VALOR I like this card, a 5 mana enchant creature that spits out a 2/2 vigilance when you play this and also gives the enchanted creature +2/+2 and vigilance. This turns a small flier into a beater and a blocker, with the added bonus of giving you another chump. I try and save this til they’re tapped out because even if they kill the creature after the enchantment has been landed, then at least you got your 2/2 out of it and it’s a one-for-one you can live with.
PHANTOM GENERAL is a 2/3 for four mana that pumps tokens. Seems worth taking. He’s a body on the ground, not huge but can block 2/2’s but you have to have at least two and hopefully three token makers to really make use of him. If you take this guy in first pack and don’t see the token making stuff in your colors, then it will be an unplayable wasted pick, but I’d rather snatch this guy later in a draft after I could see that he’d be good in my deck.
ROOTBORN DEFENSES: is populate and your creatures are indestructible. This is not a bad trick card, it’s a three mana instant. This kind of card you do want to limit though, I want most of my deck creatures and removal if not all, so what I don’t have in removal I can make up in tricks, this would be a fine one if I have tokens but I wouldn’t play it over solid creatures or removal.
SECURITY BLOCKADE I played this the other day, it’s a fine card. Nothing amazing, nothing terrible, you get a 2/2 for three mana, there’s not much land destruction so you’ll get the prevent effect probably for the rest of the game. If there’s better stuff, take it, but if this is all that is in a pack for your colors, feel fine snatching it up and running it.
SELESNYA SENTRY I like this guy, he’s 3/2 for three mana, that’s enough for me. A solid beater. He also has a regenerate ability for green that you may use someday. He trades with higher costed guys and if they don’t have blockers, or you have removal, he gives a lumping. This guys fine unless you can find fliers instead.
SELLER OF SONGBIRDS Three mana for a 1/2 and cranks out a 1/1 birdie. Not terrible, not great, I’m guessing I ususally can find a better creature in the pack but if not I’d take em and hold him as the 23rd card unless I can find anything else decent to boot him.
SOUL TITHE is kind of like removal. An enchantment that makes them pay the creatures mana cost or let it go. Card is good early game but not so great late, as the mana is tight for the first couple of turns. I’d probably be happy to have one in my deck but once again, don’t take it over real removal or a great creature, it’s lower tier.
SPHERE OF SAFETY is usually going to be un-runable. A 5 mana enchantment that makes them pay mana equal to the number of enchantments you have in play for each of their creatures that wants to attack you. Even if you have several enchantments in your deck, on turn 5 you’re playing an enchantment instead of a threat or removal, and it’s effect is soft, depending on other things of course.
SUNSPIRE GRIFFIN is a well balanced card. A 2/3 flier for three mana, but the cost has double white in it. I’ve taken other fliers that aren’t as big over it just because of the double white. It really depends on your mana base though. Great card if you can get the white mana, you would probably have at least 8 sources in hope of hitting it on turn three if you’ve drawn it. If you do have the mana, a no brainer include or grab several of them and have the biggest butts in the air
SWIFT JUSTICE I like this cards trick a lot. If you have a lot of creatures and need a trick, this, for one mana, gives first strike, +1/0, and lifelink. All good things! I take one every time if my creature count is high, it is great straight up removal.
TRAINED CARACAL is a 1/1 lifelink for 1 mana. I have run this card and I may have to do it again. I’m not proud of it but sometimes you just need cheap creatures because you’ve already drafted a bunch of good 3 drops and higher. He gets it on! Besides, who doesn’t like free life?
TROSTANI’S JUDGMENT is an instant, exile creature and populate, for 6 mana. This card looks too expensive but in this format, seems real good. Taking away one of their bombs by the time you can cast this, and hopefully you’re playing a couple of token generators in your deck to make this card real good. I’m sure I’d take two if I could get them but that’s the cutoff because of the mana cost. I’d take this over a decent creature early on because you can fit in other creatures but white removal is hard to come by.
That’s the breakdown of the white cards from Return to Ravnica and what I think of them for drafting and getting it on. Let me know what you think and I can run down the other colors, do some drafts and let you know.