Let me be clear. I have qualms about this third installment of Ravnica, but I’ll save that rant for another day. Instead I want to talk about the REAL potential of a third installment of Ravnica which is the Ravnica Themed Cube (RTC).
Of all the worlds in Magic the Gathering, Ravnica is by far one of the more popular and tidy ones to design around. The ten guilds very easily split into two large sets. Each guild has gotten its own unique mechanics in the past and it sounds like they will get a third unique mechanic for this run as well. The synergies/stories all blended nicely and the template is seemingly more intuitive to build around.
Now here are some potential bonuses for the Ravnica Themed Cube at large with this third installment.
10 new mechanics
This latest instalment of Ravnica means RTC’s will have a total of 30 unique mechanics to work with for their construction. This creates a huge array of combinations for RTC’s to toy with and even means it could focus on fewer guilds at one time. Imagine a small RTC focusing exclusively on the inherent conflict between the Azorious and Gruul guilds, or imagine a 720 card RTC of all the best cards across the history of Ravnica. I think there is a lot of potential here.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Lets face it, not all Ravnica guilds are created equal. With 30 mechanics to draw on there is also a better chance to balance out the interactions between the guilds. This way a player is less likely to get “stuck” on a sub-par mechanic and have a negative play experience. This also helps to balances the predator/prey relationships between the guilds.
Potential for a new dual lands
As wonderful as it would be to see the shock lands return, for RTC’s it’s important that we have a diversity of dual lands especially for the ambitious 720 count versions. Now in the first Ravnica block we got Bounce Lands. In the second we saw Guild Gates. It would not surprise me if we saw a third new Ravnica themed dual land at common. This will help greatly with the larger RTC’s.
Greater access to the Plane
Popular as Ravnica may be as a plane, the arrival of the first Ravnica block had the great misfortune of showing up during one of the largest declines in the Magic the Gathering player base. This was due to the overpowered nature of the Mirrodin block which nearly sank the game. As a result there were far fewer boosters printed for the first Ravnica block making the cards much harder to acquire today. Conversely, the Return to Ravnica block had a massive print run with booster boxes still selling for close to MSRP at the time of this article. This third installment of Ravnica means newer players will have an easier time of diversifying their own RTC. This will be further aided by the introduction of the Guild Kits which are supposed to include cards from all the Ravnica blocks but we don’t know much beyond that. These kits may even be an unofficially-official nod by WotC to the support of RTC’s….or I could be making that last notion up. In the end it means you won’t necessarily need to have been playing religiously since 1994 to have a shot at making your own RTC interesting and fun.
Of course, I’m not an aficionado of the cube at this point. I’ve cannibalized my own cube to sleeve up EDH brews.
For more sound advice on this idea of a Ravnica Themed Cube and other cube topics I highly recommend reaching out on Twitter to @CubeApril, @MiloDaGreat1 and @LifeBeginsAt20. They actually know what they’re talking about