I’m definitely getting to the final phase of the Ravnica Allegiance set with today’s booster unearthing my final uncommon card1. I also managed to find a foil copy of Light Up the Stage and a Hallowed Fountain. As I’ve already talked about Shock Lands recently I’m going to instead discuss that final uncommon:

Smelt-Ward Ignus

Smelt-Ward Ignus is a 1 Generic ManaRed 2/1 creature with a single ability; pay 2 Generic ManaRed and sacrifice the card to gain control of target creature with power 3 or less until end of turn (with untapping and haste added).

This is a minor aggro card with a watered-down Act of Treason attached. Getting a body out on turn 2 that can take control of your opponents turn 2/3 play on turn 3 is fairly straightforward but it will obviously leave you at a disadvantage the following turn; they get their creature back but yours is now in your graveyard. It’s also a shame that it doesn’t have some form of kicker attached in order to take control of larger creatures during the later stages of a game.

That said, there are some decent creatures that you could take control of with this. For example, Thief of Sanity, which can effectively steal a card from your opponent. Etrata, the Silencer is also a good steal, especially if they have another creature on the board which you can then exile. Benalish Marshal is a good way to +1/+1 all of your other attackers (and removing your opponents defenders buffs) whilst Goring Ceratops can give them all double-strike. There are certainly ample opportunities at the 3 power level but the issue with this card is that it will rarely be a surprise2; having it on the board is a warning to your opponent that you could take one of their creatures at any moment… well, any moment you could cast a sorcery.

If you were utterly desperate, you could cast this on one of your own creatures in order to either untap it ready for defending or to give it haste. There are far better ways of doing that though so I only mention it out of a sense of completeness.

I could see this being a decent enough card in the Limited environment but I struggle to see how it would fit in with any other format. The going price for this card tells you pretty much everything you need to know about it’s standing in the community; it’s available for just £0.01…

  1. Leaving 19 rares and 8 mythic rares left to collect; looks like I’ll only be talking about rare cards for the foreseeable future! ↩︎

  2. If you have 5 mana available you can of course play this and then immediately sacrifice it to gain control of a creature; that would be a good surprise move but you’d be better having Act of Treason at that point. ↩︎

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.