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Ravnica: City of Guilds

Ravnica: City of Guilds
RAV logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description A tower
Design Mark Rosewater (lead),
Mike Elliott,
Aaron Forsythe,
Tyler Bielman,
Richard Garfield
Development Brian Schneider (lead),[1]
Randy Buehler,
Henry Stern,
Matt Place,
Mark Gottlieb,
Aaron Forsythe
Art direction Jeremy Cranford
Release date October 7, 2005
Plane Ravnica
Themes and mechanics Guild System, Enchantments, Hybrid mana
Keywords/​ability words Convoke, Dredge, Radiance, Transmute
Set size 306 cards
(110 commons, 88 uncommons, 88 rares, 20 basic lands)
Expansion code RAV[2]
Development codename Control[3]
Ravnica block
Ravnica: City of Guilds Guildpact Dissension
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Salvat 2005 Ravnica: City of Guilds Guildpact
This page is about the set. For the plane, see Ravnica. For other uses, see Ravnica (disambiguation).

Ravnica: City of Guilds, shortened as Ravnica (pronounced /RAV-nih-kuh/ IPA: /ˈɹæv.nɪ.kə/),[4] is the first set in the Ravnica block. It is the 36th Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released on October 7, 2005. The prerelease was September 24–25, 2005.[5]

Set details[ | ]

Ravnica: City of Guilds contained 306 black-bordered cards (88 rare, 88 uncommon, 110 common, and 20 basic lands[6]). "Ravnica" is a multicolor oriented set.[7] The design is based around four two-color pairs, including cards in which those pairs of colors work in concert.[8][9] All the multicolor cards in the set Ravnica block are associated with one of the four guilds. As a consequence of multicolor cards and an unbalanced color distribution, there are fewer red and blue cards. The appearance of a guild symbol in the background of a card's text box identifies that card's guild affiliation.[10] The guild symbols have no effect on game play. Ravnica: City of Guilds also introduced the hybrid mana system used throughout the Ravnica block. The expansion symbol of the set is a tower, which stands for the overdeveloped cityscape of the plane of Ravnica.[11]

"Ravnica" (ravnìca; равнѝца) is a Serbo-Croatian word for "plain".[12][13] The influence of Eastern Europe is not only reflected in this etymology of the expansion name but throughout the flavor of the set.[14]

The expansion set was well-received, particularly because of its innovative "guild model",[15] and won the 2005 Origin Awards for Best Collectible Card Game or Expansion.[16]

Marketing[ | ]

Ravnica: City of Guilds was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack.[17] All products except the boosters contained a random Pro Tour Players Card. The booster packs featured artwork from Savra, Queen of the Golgari, Moroii, Loxodon Hierarch, Helldozer and Circu, Dimir Lobotomist The prerelease was held on September 24–25, 2005;[18] the prerelease card was a foil alternate art Gleancrawler. The release card a Dimir Guildmage.[19] The name of the set was changed from Ravnica to Ravnica: City of Guilds at a late stage to convey that the guilds were central to the design.[20] It was accompanied by the novel of the same name by Cory J. Herndon.

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

Main article: Ravnica (novel)

Following in the tradition of recent previous Magic blocks, Ravnica takes place in a plane of the multiverse that was previously unexplored in the game's backstory. The world of Ravnica is an ecumenopolis, a vast city that covers the entire surface of its planet,[21][22][23] and is home to a diverse assortment of sentient races.[24][25] For ten thousand years, there has been a power struggle between the ten Ravnican guilds, political factions that each represent a combination of two of Magic's five colors.[26] Ten millennia ago, the Guildpact was signed by the paruns, ending active warfare between them and ushering in an era of peace. But now, on the eve of the celebrations of the accord's ten thousandth anniversary, a sinister force threatens the survival of that peace.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Ravnica introduced hybrid cards with entirely new mana symbols ("Guild mana").[27] Each symbol is a circle halved diagonally, in which the top left half is one color and the bottom right half another. A smaller version of the color's icon (sun for white, skull for black, etc.) appears in the corresponding half. These mana symbols mean that mana of either color may be used to pay it. The cards with these mana symbols have a colored border that fades from left to right, out of one color and into the other.

Ravnica also introduced a heavy "auras matter" theme, being the second block (after Urza's Saga) to place any sort of mechanical focus on the enchantment subtype. Although there are no mechanics directly related to auras, cards like Gatherer of Graces, Bramble Elemental, and the Magemark cycle encouraged the use of the local enchantments.

Ravnica: City of Guilds introduced four of the ten Ravnica block bicolored guilds, each of which with its own keyword or ability word.

Guild Colors Guild symbol Legendary guild members Keyword or ability word
House Dimir {U/B}
Ravnica block House Dimir crest
Szadek, Lord of Secrets
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist
A player may pay a certain amount of mana and discard a card with Transmute that's in their hand. Doing this allows the player to find a card with the same converted mana cost from their library and put it into their hand.[28][29]
Selesnya Conclave {G/W}
Ravnica block Selesnya Conclave crest
Chorus of the Conclave
Tolsimir Wolfblood
A player playing a spell with Convoke can tap their creatures to pay part or all of its mana cost. Each creature tapped reduces the cost by one mana of that creature's color, or by one colorless mana.[30]
Golgari Swarm {B/G}
Ravnica block Golgari Swarm crest
Sisters of Stone Death
Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Cards with dredge may be returned from a graveyard to their owner's hand, provided that they opt to skip drawing a card and instead put several cards from the top of their library into their graveyard.[31]
Boros Legion {R/W}
Ravnica block Boros Legion crest
Razia, Boros Archangel
Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
Radiance is an ability word that appears on spells and abilities that affect every creature that shares a color with a targeted creature. When that creature is more than one color, the effect spreads to all that card's colors.[32]

To note: the Guilds are presented in the official {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} order, but they were originally displayed alphabetically by Wizard: Boros Legion, House Dimir, Golgari Swarm, Selesnya Conclave.

Creature types[ | ]

The creature types Archon and Lammasu were introduced in Ravnica: City of Guilds.

Cycles[ | ]

For cycles that are part of the guild mega cycles, see Ravnica block#Mega cycles.

Ravnica has two cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Come into play Auras Faith's Fetters Flight of Fancy Strands of Undeath Galvanic Arc Fists of Ironwood
Each of these Enchant Creature - Auras has an enter the battlefield effect.
Hunted creatures Hunted Lammasu Hunted Phantasm Hunted Horror Hunted Dragon Hunted Troll
Each of these rare creatures' casting costs included two mana of the appropriate color. Each had greater-than-average power, toughness, and abilities for its cost, but caused one or more token creatures to enter the battlefield under an opponent's control to balance the cost.[33][34]

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Functional reprint[ | ]

Colorshifted[ | ]

Strictly better[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

The preconstructed theme decks are:

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Dimir Intrigues U B
Selesnya United W G
Golgari Deathcreep B G
Charge of the Boros W R

References[ | ]

  1. Aaron Forsythe (September 09, 2005). "Strike a Chord". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (December 8, 2013). "Cube Drafts and Ravnica Drafts Return!". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (August 12, 2002). "Codename of the Game". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth (September 15, 2005). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (December 16, 2004). "Ravnica Revealed". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Jeremy Cranford (September 12, 2005). "The Essence of Basic Land". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (September 05, 2005). "City Planning, Part I". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (October 03, 2005). "Getting Your Philosophy". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (September 12, 2005). "City Planning, Part III". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Aaron Forsythe (October 14, 2005). "Framing Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. "ravnica" — Wiktionary
  13. "ravnica" — EUdict
  14. John Dale Beety. (August 8, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica (for Those Who've Never Been)",
  15. Mark Rosewater (September 12, 2005). "City Planning, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Allan Sugarbaker. (July 1, 2006.) "2005 Origins Award winners announced",
  17. Magic Arcana (September 19, 2005). "Ravnica Fat Pack". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Brian David-Marshall (September 19, 2005). "Choose Your Own Ravnica Adventure". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Magic Arcana (October 06, 2005). "Ravnica Release Event Promo Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Mark Rosewater (June 17, 2013). "Modern Tales, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana (August 29, 2005). "The Basics of the Setting". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Magic Arcana (August 31, 2005). "The Basics of the Setting, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Magic Arcana (September 02, 2005). "Wallpaper of the Week: Ravnica Forest". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Rei Nakazawa (September 05, 2005). "Life in the Big City". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (October 10, 2005). "Urban Flavor". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Magic Arcana (October 03, 2005). "Guild Symbols in Art". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Aaron Forsythe (September 23, 2005). "Ravnica: Review and Preview". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Aaron Forsythe (September 16, 2005). "Perplexing Choices". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Aaron Forsythe (November 11, 2005). "Secrets of the Secret Guild". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Aaron Forsythe (October 07, 2005). "Completing the Conclave". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Aaron Forsythe (October 28, 2005). "Golgari Query". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Aaron Forsythe (December 09, 2005). "The Legion of Beatdown". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Magic Arcana (September 26, 2005). "Ravnica Hunted Tokens 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Magic Arcana (December 01, 2005). "Ravnica Hunted Tokens 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater (August 4, 2023). "How Trivial with Mark Rosewater (Video)". Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.

External links[ | ]