News Brief: Ravnica Allegiance and Competitive Play Updates

There are still a few days left in 2018 but the world of Magic is ready to turn the page. The news this week was focused on what 2019 has in store.

Ravnica Allegiance

Even though Wizards of the Coast was closed last week, information about Ravnica Allegiance started to trickle out. The promotional cards and packaging hit the web on Monday. Once again there is a Buy-a-Box promo available in booster boxes from local game stores during the prerelease (January 19-20) or after the release (January 25). The Haunt of Hightower will only be available as the Buy-a-Box promo.

We also got to see the special guild basic lands and found out the rewards for different events. Open House (January 12-13) will give away full art copies of Rakdos Firewheeler, Draft Weekend (January 26-27) will award Simic Ascendancy, the Magic League starting January 28 will give out Gate Colossus, and Friday Night Magic this cycle will award promos of Growth Spiral, Light the Stage, or Mortify. Finally, the next Ravnica Weekend will have copies of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade as a promo. The same article also reveals that the Planeswalker decks from Ravnica Allegiance will feature new versions of Domri Rade and Dovin Baan, as both will appear in the new set. We are also going to see a potential new card for Kaya, Ghost Assassin.

A separate article from Matt Tabak unveiled the guild mechanics for Azorius, Gruul, Orzhov, Rakdos, and Simic. Each day last week meant another new mechanic was disclosed. Azorius has the ability word addendum, which provides a bonus if the spell was cast during your main phase (in the vein of Return to Dust). Gruul has riot, which lets a creature enter the battlefield with either a +1/+1 counter or with haste. Orzhov has afterlife. When the creature with afterlife dies, you create a number of white-black Spirit tokens with flying equal to the afterlife number. Rakdos gets spectacle. Spells can be cast for their spectacle cost if an opponent lost life that turn. Simic will get adapt, which bears more than a passing resemblance to monstrosity. Adapt lets you put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to the adapt number onto the creature if there are no +1/+1 counters already on it. But if you remove the counters, you can reactivate the adapt ability. This differs from monstrosity in that if a creature was ever monstrous, even if the counters get removed it is still monstrous and the ability cannot be activated.

Competitive Play

We got a few updates on competitive play in 2019 this week. First, we found out the formats for the Mythic Championship in Cleveland. Taking place February 22-24, the first Mythic Championship will feature Ravnica Allegiance Limited and Standard.

More information about qualification structure also hit Twitter this past week. Grand Prix will continue to qualify players for Mythic Championships but will not provide a direct path to the Magic Pro League. But performing well at Mythic Championships could help you qualify for the MPL in 2020.

Looking Forward

The final weekend of 2018 signals the final Grand Prix unattached from a MagicFest. The ultimate event of 2018 will be Grand Prix Vancouver, featuring Ultimate Masters Sealed on Day 1 and Draft on Day 2. What a way to send off 2018!

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