The upcoming back-to-back-to-back Ravnica sets beginning fall 2018 don't represent Magic's first trip to the City of Guilds, or even the second. This is our third journey back to Ravnica, and therefore Magic's past brings with it numerous fan-favorite, Spike-favorite and simply beloved cards of the past. Whether they represent the guild leaders, are segments of killer combos or have beautiful art, here are the ten most beloved cards from Ravnica: City of Guilds, Guildpact, Dissension, Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash and Dragon's Maze. OK, maybe not Dragon's Maze.
Of course, some of the most memorable cards in Ravnica are the so-called Shocklands, the dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped unless you lose 2 life, in which case they enter untapped. Example:
Overgrown Tomb. Shocklands also have basic land types, which means other rare lands called Fetchlands can go get them. There was a time in Standard when fetchlands and shocklands were both legal, and it was glorious. Modern decks make judicious use of both shocks and fetches to make up their mana base, so having lots of both goes along way toward completing the best decks.
Dark Confidant from Ravnica: City of Guilds hails from the days when Magic's invitational tournament gave the winner the opportunity to assist in designing and see their likeness on a card. In this case, a pro player named Bob Maher won an invitational in 2004, and worked with Mark Rosewater to design a card with Bob's face on it. The whole story is on the mothership. Naturally, though the recent printings have different art on it now, this card is still universally called Bob in tribute to Bob Maher. It's also a Modern staple, drawing many cards in many different deck archetypes.
Doubling Season from Ravnica: City of Guilds hasn't made much of a splash in 60-card formats, but it goes in many different Commander decks of all varities, because it straight-up doubles things players care about, like loyalty counters on Planeswalkers, for example. Also, tokens and any other counters. And only for you, not for your opponent. Doubling Season also had few reprints until appearing as a chase card in Battlebond. This card is seriously powerful.
Leyline of the Void
Leyline of the Void, part of a cycle from Guildpact, is an expensive enchantment with a welcome catch: if it's in your opening hand, it starts on the battlefield. And what an effect it has: shutting down graveyard strategies like Dredge and Reanimator cold, until the opponent can get rid of it. A staple of sideboards in Modern ever since that format appeared, Leyline is absolutely a stopgap card for those players who abuse the graveyard.
Ghost Quarter, from Dissension, is a land that preys upon other lands, especially useful nonbasic lands.
Ghost Quarter was useful enough to be reprinted in the second Ravnica block. This card sees play everywhere now, because though the opponent gets to replace their lost land with a basic from their deck, they have to have a good one there first, which isn't always the case. Some decks have gone so far as to play one or two basics in case their better lands get Ghost Quartered.
Deathrite Shaman first appeared in Return to Ravnica and was a minor player in Standard, but did so much damage to specific archetypes that it was eventually banned in Modern. It still shows up all the time in Legacy, with good reason. Being able to pluck lands from any graveyard for mana, any instant or sorcery (and making the opponent lose 2 life), or any creature for a gain of 2, makes Deathrite Shaman so versatile, that some have called it a 1-mana Planeswalker.
Sphinx's Revelation is an extraordinary instant from Return to Ravnica. It spawned entire control-based archetypes the entire time this set was in Standard and made control decks dominant for many months. It seems that refilling your hand and gaining back all the life that the aggro deck dealt to you is a good thing. Even now, Sphinx's Rev, as players nicknamed it, still shows up in eternal formats. It's just that good.
Domri Rade, from Gatecrash, was everywhere during the entire time this unusual planeswalker was in Standard. Since Red-Green Monsters decks were ubiquitous, so was Domri. The ability to draw extra creatures off the top, have your creatures fight other creatures, or activate a devastating ultimate that gave your creatures all the keywords, Domri also only cost 3 and started with 3 loyalty, meaning he fit right in the 3-slot for otherwise creature-filled decks. He was good.
Boros Reckoner was from Gatecrash and was the star of many a combo deck in Magic. The idea was to do an incredible amount of damage to your own Reckoner, and then pass that damage along to your opponent thanks to Reckoner's ability. The best way to do that was to deal 13 damage to him with
Blasphemous Act from Innistrad and an otherwise full board of creatures. This was a great way to break through creature stalemates and end the game quickly.
Voice of Resurgence
Voice of Resurgence is our lone entry from Dragon's Maze, and as it turns out, the lone chase card in an otherwise crummy set.
Voice of Resurgence enabled green-white midrange decks during its time in Standard, as it's a creature that discourages both killing it and even casting a spell on the Voice owner's turn. If either of these occur, Voice spawns a token that gets bigger with more creatures on the token owner's side. Voice has also appeared in
Collected Company decks in Modern, as it's a wondeful target, and was a staple of
Birthing Pod decks before Pod was banned, because it could be sacrificed to Pod and still leave something behind.