Our last go in Guildpact and Ravnica block as a whole, we’re off to test the madcap engineers of the Izzet guild. Joining me at the table is Sam, who’s ready to put Gruul Wilding to work. Will the Izzet be able to build themselves a win, or will they be smashed to pulp by the guild that always leads with the blunt end?
In 1992, a twenty-three-year-old aspiring filmmaker named Robert came up with a plan that would help him make the movies he’d dreamt of making since his childhood. With his grades not high enough to get into the film department of his local college, it was “plan B or bust.” The idea was simple: make a low-budget film, sell it, and use the proceeds to fund the next one- repeat as needed. He raised funds for his first “feature” film however he could, including volunteering to take experimental drugs in drug-testing studies. Finally, when he’d cobbled together all of $9,000, he was ready to shoot.
As mentioned in the review of Code of the Orzhov, Ravnica block was the first full block to break from the evolutionary style we associate with most Magic releases. Ordinarily, you had a story in three acts, with a stage-setting for the opening large set, and two follow-on expansions that move the tale towards its dramatic conclusion. In some cases, a larger narrative has strung multiple blocks together, most notably with the Rath Cycle (which connected blocks from Mirage through Invasion) but also with smaller arcs like the Odyssey/Onslaught blocks. For the guild-based Ravnica block, the sense of forward progression was gone, leaving Wizards needing to rely upon other ways to retain a sense of advancement across the card pool.
For our opening look at Guildpact, Sam’s ready with Izzet Gizmometry. Itself an unusual build, today’s match pits one unorthodox style against another. In the end, only one can prevail… will the Orzhov have enough to make sure theirs is the last Thrull standing?
Mark Rosewater, he of Wizards R&D fame and perhaps the game’s most public face, once told the story of how in a brainstorming session for the development of Ravnica block and its guilds, there was a space on the wall for each of the ten. Rosewater then encouraged everyone to stick up pictures of things that they thought best represented the guild, to get a sense of where everyone’s thoughts were at and to help flesh out the character and identity of the entities that would be carrying the block. Then Rosewater himself went over and pinned up a picture under the White/Black, an individual he felt best represented what the colours in tandem would produce. The picture? Don Corleone.
Welcome to another installment of Whispers of the Muse, the occasional feature where a reader submits their tinkering of a precon deck and look for constructive criticism and feedback from the community. Today we’ve got a letter from Ed G, who has a rather unusual proposition. In lieu of a decklist, he has this to say:
[This is] probably the “worst” (in terms of being able to win games) pre-con I have ever come across…