While I was at PAX I had the chance to talk to Magic Brand Manager Paul Levy about Return to Ravnica. Due to technical difficulties associated with a loud expo floor I can’t give a transcript, but I can pass on the highlights of the talk.
First off, the Return to Ravnica block is Large, Large, Small, with half of the guilds in the first set, and half in the second, with the third featuring all ten guilds thrown together. For draft this means that the two large sets will be drafted separately until the third set is released, then all three will be drafted together. Folks who remember drafting the original block remember that it was hard to play the Ravnica guilds because there were so few mono-colored cards in the later sets. This format ought to make drafting all three sets easier by allowing players to poach the best mono-colored cards early, and still be able to make a guild affiliation effective later, due to the third set containing all the guilds.
For the pre-releases players will align themselves with one of the guilds and will receive a special guild box containing a guild specific spindown die, their packs of Return to Ravnica, a guild specific booster pack, and a guild specific playable promo card. Those last two mean that the prerelease sealed pools are going to be far higher power than previous years, especially since the promo cards seem to be entirely bombs. It’ll be interesting, no doubt.
They’ve also added guild affiliations to the Planeswalker Points system, meaning that player progress counts both towards that player’s personal point total, and the total of their guild. There are also Guild achievements that the guilds will collectively work towards, things like winning the most events, or defeating the most members of rival guilds. It’ll fun to see how that plays out over the course of the block. Currently Gruul are seriously undermanned.
I’m really looking forward to this set, and I would like to thank Paul for taking the time to talk with me, and with Jon LeRoy for setting it up. Photo Credit to Zachary Stroh.