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By: AJ_Impy, AJ Richardson
Sep 18 2018 12:00pm
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 Hello and welcome to PureMTGO’s preview for Guilds of Ravnica, freely given by Wizards of the Coast for our perusal and enjoyment. Without further preamble, we are proud to present:

There’s a fun little mill enabler if ever I saw one. Reminiscent of Psychic Corrosion in that it adds a two cards to the yard rider onto something you’ll be doing anyway, but with the crucial difference that you can target yourself. As we’ve seen so far from Ravnica’s prior incarnations and the cards revealed so far, several of the Guilds lean heavily into using the graveyard as a resource, and particular to Guilds of Ravnica, the ones that dovetail with the all-surveilling Dimir in terms of their colors especially. On the blue side, running a Dimir-Izzet pair, Jump-Start with its curious mix of Flashback and creatureless Spellshaper could get a nice self-fuelling engine going. Going Sultai with Dimir and Golgari potentially helps you dump creatures to power out Undergrowth effects. Everyone’s favourite creature to sacrifice to Dread Return is back, and getting out a 1/1 flyer for essentially free might well have its uses here too.

 

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the history here. ‘Whenever you cast a blue spell’ appearing in Ravnica is apropos, because our first visit to the plane was the first time that text (In later-errataed 'play' flavor) appeared on a card, on a duo of legends expanding to a trio across each set of the block if we allow for the slight variation on the Simic representative.

 

Circu, Dimir Lobotomist

Tibor and Lumia

Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

The fourth part-blue legend of that cycle had to content itself with making blue spells cheaper, thus misses out on this little callback. Dimir mill was a big part of the original Ravnica limited, with Vedalken Entrancer the key common. We’ll have to see the rest of the set before seeing if this rare has a viable draft deck to act as a capstone for, but there may be constructed applications as well, perhaps pairing up with Psychic Corrosion and Patient Rebuilding. 


The ever-beloved Nexus of Fate highlights a potential problem with mill in Standard, as the self-shuffling Time Walk always gives our opponent something to draw. Since the only places it can't thwart the mill plan from are in the opponent's hand or in exile, Overflowing Insight has the potential to tie up that loose end. It remains to be seen if Search for Azcanta will be updated to 'At the beginning of your upkeep, surveil 1' but between getting flipped by Drowned Secrets and Azcanta being able to dig for plenty of fuel, it plays very nicely with its fellow blue two mana enchantment. Another deck possibility is self-mill for reanimation: Drowned Secrets could have been best friends with The Scarab God if it hadn't just rotated. As it is now, most Standard reanimation costs 5 or more and isn't blue. Perhaps the Dimir have something special planned, but that space is usually occupied by the Orzhov and Golgari. Nonetheless, let's give it a shot with what we have.


There are multiple sources of repeatable reanimation available, for your choice of costs between sacrifice, loyalty counters or mana. Taking a hostage, paying its ransom, then sacrificing both hostage and taker with your blood liturgist to recur a fatty from the deeps seems a very Bolas thing to do, with everything aside from Whisper and the Gravewakers (Be right back, forming a Goth band) triggering Drowned Secrets to make sure you have some nice recursion targets. Jace gives sacrifice fodder and looting as well as curving nicely. If combat damage isn't going to cut it for one reason or another, Fleet Swallower opens up using Drowned Secrets offensively as a backup.

In truth, we'll need the full context of the set to explore the full possibilities of this card, tied in as it is with the mechanics of its related guilds and the cards around it. But for now, at least, the secret is out: May all your explorations as to what you can do with it go swimmingly.

 

Manager's Note: We are sharing our preview card with Terran over at the MTGOtraders.com YouTube Channel! Make sure you watch the video that he made sharing his thoughts about Drowned Secrets as well!