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Ravnica Allegiance Standard Set Review: Simic & Everything Else

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It's Friday, and that means Ravnica Allegiance is now legal and this article will conclude my Ravnica Allegiance Set Review. Today we have the ever changing Simic to evaluate along with the Green, artifact, and lands card. I will not be going over cards that I believe will not see play in Standard. For example, cards like Azorius Skyguard and Senate Griffin will be omitted since they are just Limited cards and saying, "This is just a Limited card" repeatedly gets old rather fast. Don't worry though, I will be covering all the rare and mythic cards in the set. So, if you like a certain rare or mythic, it will be mentioned in the review.

Keep in mind I'm rating all these cards for Standard playability. I may mention Modern/Legacy applications, but my goal is focused on Standard.

Each card will be listed by color/guild, then alphabetically by name.

Each card will given a rating of 1-5. If a card would receive a 0, meaning it will see no play in that format ever, its rating is left off the list.

Rating - Explanation - Standard - Examples

0 - Will never see play in this format (0 ratings are not listed).

1 - Unlikely to see play. (Light of the Legion)

2 - Could see fringe play, or occasional sideboard card. (Drowned Secrets)

3 - Commonly played, staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Wildgrowth Walker, Disdainful Stroke)

4 - Format staples. Sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (History of Benalia, Settle the Wreckage, Arclight Phoenix)

5 - If you're in these colors, you should almost assuredly be playing that card. (Teferi, Hero of Domanira, Niv-Mizzet, Parun, Carnage Tyrant)

Let the festivities begin!

Let the smashing commence!

Adapt and overcome!

Biomancer's Familiar
2 - Training Grounds with legs is fine, and I know about the combo with Slimefoot, Biomancer, and Ruthless Knave I just don't think it's good enough. You need another Familiar to make it an infinite damage and infinite life combo with Slimefoot. That's four pieces you need to get. That's a lot. Would be fun to play with but I do not believe it will be very competitive.
Frilled Mystic
3 - Mystic Snake that is harder to cast but gets another point of power! That is sweet and powerful. I expect Frilled Mystic to be in a lot of tempo decks.
Growth Spiral
4 - This gets my vote for best Simic card in the set. I'm so glad that Wizards let us have a Rampant Growth / Explore variant in Standard. Ramp decks have been lacking as of late because we haven't had many good ramp spells. I hope Growth Spiral means they are okay printing a 2 mana non-creature ramp spell from time to time.
Hydroid Krasis
3.5 - uw got Sphinx's Rev, ur got Explosion, and now Simic gets Jellyfish Revelation. I really like this card, especially since the draw X and gain X part is on cast so it can't be countered by normal means.
Prime Speaker Vannifar
3.5 - My initial impression was that Prime Speaker Vannifar was too slow because I was comparing it to Birthing Pod. While she's no Birthing Pod her ability is still very good if you get to untap with her. The best Prime Speaker deck will be one that does not rely on Vannifar but instead where Vannifar is just a catalyst to do powerful things. Bant, Sultai, or four colors are what I predict will be the best.
Simic Ascendancy
1.5 - Hadana's Climb is a better card than Simic Ascendancy and currently sees no play. I don't have much hope for Simic Ascendancy as a competitive card.
Zegana, Utopian Speaker
2 - It is a little sad that the rare Simic card is just worse than Crackling Drake. I do not see Zegana making Merfolk playable and don't really see a good home for her. Maybe in some sort of Temur deck with Riot but you are probably just better off playing Gruul.
Incubation // Incongruity
2.5 - Incubation is all right at finding you a certain creature if you are trying to combo or you have your deck built around a specific creature or two. Being attached to a ug removal spell is nice, especially since it exiles.
Repudiate // Replicate
1 - Stifle was already unplayble in Standard so a 2 mana one is not going to be any better. Replicate is not even instant speed and is literally just a worse Quasiduplicate. Simic easily got the worst split cards this set.
Biogenic Ooze
3.5 - This card is sweet and powerful. I especially like that you can tutor it up with Vannifar and the Ooze will pop itself, the token, and Vannifar. Biogenic Ooze will easily take over the game if it is not dealt with and you can't kill your opponent.
End-Raze Forerunners
2.5 - Could be played as a singleton at the top end for Prime Speaker Vannifar or an elf deck that tries to combo by generating a lot of mana, drawing cards with Beast Whisperer, and then casting End-Razer Forerunners to kill the opponent.
Growth-Chamber Guardian
4 - Growth-Chamber Guardian will be a staple for the entirety of its legality in Standard. It is a solid creature that becomes a 4/4 and draws you a card. If you manage to give it Riot with something like Rhythm of the Wilds you can grab another Growth-Chamber Guardian right away.
Guardian Project
2 - Play singleton Standard with four Guardian Projects! I think it is fun but not good enough for Standard. Better for Commander and/or Brawl.
Incubation Druid
3 - I like mana elves that can ramp you for a ton or become a decent attacker themselves and Incubation Druid is just that. It also combos pretty well with Stony Strength, turning it into a Green Dark Ritual.
Rampage of the Clans
1 - I don't want to play a lot of artifacts / enchantments and then destroy them. Maybe with Smothering Tithes? I don't see it.
Sagittars' Volley
2 - Possible sideboard card if afterlife spirits becomes big so you can kill them all with one go.
Saruli Caretaker
2.5 - Springleaf Drum creature, this card has seen play before, and I could see it seeing play again. Probably in some time of tokens theme or small creature theme. Possible alongside Song of Freyalise.
Silhana Wayfinder
3 - Finds you lands early game and a creature late game. Seems like a solid creature to give your midrange creature deck more consistency.
Stony Strength
2 - Just mentioning this for the combo potential for Adapt creatures, mostly Incubation Druid.
Tower Defense
2 - A nice bust of damage for Arcades or High Alert. That's the only place this card will see play though.
Wilderness Reclamation
4 - Anytime you see Wilderness Reclamation you can bet your opponent is up to some sort of shenanigans. Wilderness Reclamation is not meant to be a fair card, it is a combo card and should be used as such.
Glass of the Guildpact
2 - 2 mana anthems are nice but the deck-building restriction is too much. I'd I would try to find some other way to pump my creatures if I really wanted that affect. With cards like Judith or Benalish Marshall.
Scrabbling Claws
2 - Better than Sentinel Totem overall since it draws a card, but it is still not the best graveyard hate. Though I guess you do not want a complete graveyard hoser when Golgari's mechanic wants to use the graveyard. Same with Izzet.
Plaza of Harmony
3 - Plaza seems good to me. The other land that gained us life was Radiant Fountain and Glimmerpost. They both added Colorless mana only and did not gain you nearly as much life as Plaza of Harmony. Plaza of Harmony produces colored mana as well. You can build a decent gate deck right now. If you can also figure out the right about of gates to run so that Plaza of Harmony is online by turn three-four, that's where you'll want to be. I personally really like this card but I'm also a fan of five color decks.

Top 5 Cards:

  1. Growth Spiral
  2. Wilderness Reclamation
  3. Growth-Chamber Guardian
  4. Prime Speaker Vannifar
  5. Hydroid Krasis

Simic also did well, all the guilds got some pretty powerful things that they can do. I really like that Wizards is printing more powerful cards in each color so that every color can do something powerful. This means not one card will take over and be the most busted thing in Standard. I am a little disappointed in Simic's split cards, as they appear weaker than the rest but overall, I'm content with what tools Simic got.

That's it for my set review. I hope you've enjoyed reading it and hopefully you've gained some information from doing so. Enjoy new Standard and I'll see you back next week with Ravnica Allegiance brews.

As always, thanks for reading,

Ali Aintrazi

Follow me @AliEldrazi

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