I’m only 65 cards away from completing the Ravnica Allegience collection but still picking up a number of good cards with each pack. Today’s finds included Wall of Lost Thoughts, Rumbling Ruin, and Growth Spiral but I’m going to talk about an Orzhov split-card made up of two sorceries:
A straight up sorcery that lets you return a creature with CMC 3 or less from your graveyard directly to the battlefield. These kinds of combat tricks are always good and you are basically getting the chance to re-cast a 3 cost creature for 2 mana which is a decent deal. There are several good creatures that this could return for you: Resplendent Angel, Pestilent Spirit, Kinjalli’s Sunwing, Midnight Reaper, Thief of Sanity, the list goes on and on1.
As usual, I have a minor complaint; I’d have preferred this to have been at instant speed so it can be cast on an opponents endstep. Of course this is probably unreasonable at this mana cost and being part of a split-card.
Note that this ability is available on Bishop of Rebirth as a free ability whenever it attacks or with Whisper, Blood Liturgist on the proviso that you also sacrifice two creatures. If you just want to return to your hand rather than the battlefield and you don’t want to be encumbered by a CMC limit, a cheaper option is March of the Drowned whilst a more expensive option with card draw is Recover.
The more expensive sorcery doubles your life total whilst your opponent loses half their life (rounded up2). This is mildly reminiscent of Dire Fleet Ravager and Fraying Omnipotence except the bad thing only happens to an opponent and there is a sweetener for you in the form of double HP. Most people will look at the damage side of the equation but I think the life gain is far more important; consider that in a deck you may have many trickles of life gain from life-link or Ajani’s Welcome and it is entirely feasible you could be casting this to get up to 50 or 60 life. In terms of damage, the most you are likely to do is 103 and in reality this is more likely going to be a “knock them down from 12 to 6” if played around turn 6.
Regardless of when you cast it, this is going to turn the tide of a game pretty quickly. Again, I’d prefer if this was an instant so I could keep up something like Seal Away or Settle the Wreckage and then cast this on the end step if I still have mana; it is a split-card though so I do need to be realistic.
Overall I think this is a pretty good card with two very usable elements. Ideally you are going to be wanting to cast Revenge but if you have this burning a hole in your hand early on and you have a good creature in the graveyard then Revival is also a fine option.
In fact there are 167 creature cards that are currently legal in Standard with a CMC of 3 or less and containing only Black, White, or Generic mana. Of course, if you are splashing other colours you could be looking at 447 creatures that are available to this spell… if they’re in your graveyard. ↩︎
So this will never be a fatal revenge. ↩︎
Unless they too are playing a life-gain deck in which case you could do considerably more. ↩︎
This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.