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Dragon's Maze Draft Analysis - Azorius & Orzhov - Alex Metcalf (5/13/2013)

Hello, I thank you very much for clicking on this article. The reason for this article is none other than I felt like writing something. What else should I write about than the new limited format, as the full Dragon's Maze spoiler was posted recently.

For this article, I really wanted to analyze each guild as they pertain to full set draft. To do this, I'm going to go through two of the Guilds and point out some of the strategies each can have, and discuss in (some) detail the type of cards you'd want to pick up for each deck. If this is well received, I'd be willing to write the other parts. I'm going to go by the color pie you'd see on the back of every Magic card, and go by order. Therefore, White/Blue is the first two colors one would come across, and I will continue from there.

Azorius:
For those of you that remember Azorius in Return to Ravnica draft, you would most likely remember that while White and Blue are historically the most defensive color pair, the Azorius Guild can actually be quite aggressive when it wants to. Therefore, I will be talking about the two main ways to draft Azorius, the aggro deck, and the control deck.

The control deck wants cards like Voidwielder
Voidwielder
VoidwielderSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Chase Stone
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Voidwielder enters the battlefield, you may return target creature to its owner's hand.
and Armory Guard
Armory Guard
Armory GuardSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Armory Guard has vigilance as long as you control a Gate.
from Return to Ravnica, as those two creatures stopped most of the damage that would be coming through to you in that format. With the addition of Gatecrash and Dragon's Maze, we get cards like Angelic Edict
Angelic Edict
Angelic EdictSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Text:
Exile target creature or enchantment.
, Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia
AgoraphobiaSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
30
Artist:
Jim Murray
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -5/-0. {2}{U}: Return Agoraphobia to its owner's hand.
, and Runner's Bane
Runner's Bane
Runner's BaneSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
17
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Enchant creature with power 3 or less When Runner's Bane enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature. Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
to lock down creatures completely. In addition, the larger creatures in Gatecrash at uncommon and rare are perfectly capable of holding back armies of smaller guys just as the ones designed for this Guild are in the first set. Cards like Guardian of the Gateless
Guardian of the Gateless
Guardian of the GatelessSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Wesley Burt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Guardian of the Gateless can block any number of creatures. Whenever Guardian of the Gateless blocks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature it's blocking.
, Mindeye Drake
Mindeye Drake
Mindeye DrakeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying When Mindeye Drake dies, target player puts the top five cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
and Sapphire Drake
Sapphire Drake
Sapphire DrakeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
U
Number:
47
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it has flying.
, and even the surprise Merfolk of the Depths
Merfolk of the Depths
Merfolk of the DepthsSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
14
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Merfolk Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
221
Artist:
Scott Chou
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.)
to catch the opponent off-guard are the best options from your second pack.

The first pack that you will open in Return to Ravnica block draft is, of course, the Dragon's Maze pack; therefore, most players will begin the draft with a great variety of multicolored cards that will make them want to stray into a third color. For this particular deck, Red is possibly your best bet for either a splash or a full on third color. In Dragon's Maze, removal like Punish the Enemy
Punish the Enemy
Punish the EnemySet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
35
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Punish the Enemy deals 3 damage to target player and 3 damage to target creature.
and Turn//Burn, and larger creatures such as Maze Rusher
Maze Rusher
Maze RusherSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
33
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
6
Toughness:
3
Text:
Haste Multicolored creatures you control have haste.
and even Blaze Commando
Blaze Commando
Blaze CommandoSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
56
Artist:
James Ryman
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever an instant or sorcery spell you control deals damage, put two 1/1 red and white Soldier creature tokens with haste onto the battlefield.
can pack a punch later game. The second pack rolls around and you find yourself with a deck sporting Maze Sentinel
Maze Sentinel
Maze SentinelSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
3
Toughness:
6
Text:
Vigilance Multicolored creatures you control have vigilance.
, both Sunspire Gatekeepers
Sunspire Gatekeepers
Sunspire GatekeepersSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Sunspire Gatekeepers enters the battlefield, if you control two or more Gates, put a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield.
and Opal Lake Gatekeepers
Opal Lake Gatekeepers
Opal Lake GatekeepersSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vedalken Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
16
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Opal Lake Gatekeepers enters the battlefield, if you control two or more Gates, you may draw a card.
, and a few other larger creatures and/or removal spells. At this point, there is a wide variety of cards for the Blue/White/X deck, depending on the third color. Red gives you mostly aggressive Boros cards, but some removal such as Mugging
Mugging
MuggingSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Mugging deals 2 damage to target creature. That creature can't block this turn.
can be a star player, even in the slower format. Black has access to all of the extort cards, which are excellent in a slower deck such as this one. In addition to good extort creatures in Basilica Screecher
Basilica Screecher
Basilica ScreecherSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Christine Choi
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
and Syndicate Enforcer
Syndicate Enforcer
Syndicate EnforcerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
, this color lets you cast Devour Flesh
Devour Flesh
Devour FleshSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature, then gains life equal to that creature's toughness.
and an amazing late-game card in Gateway Shade
Gateway Shade
Gateway ShadeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shade
Rarity:
U
Number:
65
Artist:
Ryan Yee
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{B}: Gateway Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Tap an untapped Gate you control: Gateway Shade gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
.

Whatever color you choose as your third, make sure it helps you get to your late-game, which is where both the Return to Ravnica pack and your high cost creatures will shine. As we make our way into the last pack of the draft, we are looking to pick up the meat and potatoes of this deck, this is where most of our playable cards are based. In this pack, we can find removal in everyone's favorite Mythic Uncommon, Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
, Trostani's Judgment
Trostani's Judgment
Trostani's JudgmentSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
28
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Exile target creature, then populate. (Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a creature token you control.)
and Avenging Arrow
Avenging Arrow
Avenging ArrowSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
James Ryman
Text:
Destroy target creature that dealt damage this turn.
. With the undoubtedly large amount of removal we have so far, it may be wise to look into picking up some more creatures: cards with actual power and toughness. So far, we have higher-end creatures. In fact, I haven't yet named one that cost less than 4. Cards like Azorius Arrester
Azorius Arrester
Azorius ArresterSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Azorius Arrester enters the battlefield, detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
, Doorkeeper
Doorkeeper
DoorkeeperSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Homunculus
Rarity:
C
Number:
37
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
0
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender {2}{U}, {T}: Target player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of creatures with defender you control.
, and Hover Barrier
Hover Barrier
Hover BarrierSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Illusion Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
40
Artist:
Mathias Kollros
Power:
0
Toughness:
6
Text:
Defender, flying
can really grind the game to a halt early on. As we draw cards with Inspiration
Inspiration
InspirationSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Text:
Target player draws two cards.
and Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
, our bigger guys come into our hand, at which point with either evasion or sheer power, you should be able to close the game up.

Equipped with your Hussar Patrol
Hussar Patrol
Hussar PatrolSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Seb McKinnon
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Vigilance
s and Frostburn Weird
Frostburn Weird
Frostburn WeirdSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
10
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
C
Number:
215
Artist:
Mike Bierek
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
{(u/r)}: Frostburn Weird gets +1/-1 until end of turn.
s, your worst matchup may be slower, midrange style decks that have a great amount of staying power and removal. I assume your deck will be a tad light on creatures, say about 14 or so. With this few, it can be easy for the removal-heavy deck to destroy every single creature as it comes out.

As we come to the end of the slower side of the Azorius Senate, I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the faster aggro deck our favorite Senators are able to dish out.

One card that really sticks out to me from Dragon's Maze for this particular deck is Boros Mastiff
Boros Mastiff
Boros MastiffSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Boros Mastiff and at least two other creatures attack, Boros Mastiff gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by a creature with lifelink also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
. As you know, bears are very good in limited, and this one will gain lifelink quite often. There are several other cards from the set that are appealing to me; Lyev Decree
Lyev Decree
Lyev DecreeSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Detain up to two target creatures your opponents control. (Until your next turn, those creatures can't attack or block and their activated abilities can't be activated.)
, Haazda Snare Squad
Haazda Snare Squad
Haazda Snare SquadSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever Haazda Snare Squad attacks, you may pay {W}. If you do, tap target creature an opponent controls.
, and Hidden Strings
Hidden Strings
Hidden StringsSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
You may tap or untap target permanent, then you may tap or untap another target permanent. Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)
all offer ways to get creatures out of the way. The Decree detains two guys, making them unable to attack on their controller's next turn. The Snare Squad taps a dude when it attacks, and Hidden Strings
Hidden Strings
Hidden StringsSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
You may tap or untap target permanent, then you may tap or untap another target permanent. Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)
taps two creatures. Wind Drake
Wind Drake
Wind DrakeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
106
Artist:
Zina Saunders
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
as a cheap, flying beater is very good here, along with the cards in Return to Ravnica that made this deck great: Sunspire Griffin
Sunspire Griffin
Sunspire GriffinSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Griffin
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying
, Vassal Soul
Vassal Soul
Vassal SoulSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
224
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, and Tower Drake
Tower Drake
Tower DrakeSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
82
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying W: Tower Drake gets +0/+1 until end of turn.
.

In Gatecrash, the pickings are actually rather good, seeing as this is the home to the Boros Legion, the most aggressive Guild on the plane. These guys have cards like Boros Elite
Boros Elite
Boros EliteSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Willian Murai
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Boros Elite and at least two other creatures attack, Boros Elite gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
, Syndic of Tithes
Syndic of Tithes
Syndic of TithesSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
, Daring Skyjek
Daring Skyjek
Daring SkyjekSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Jason Chan
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Daring Skyjek and at least two other creatures attack, Daring Skyjek gains flying until end of turn.
, and Court-Street Denizen as cheap white Creatures. Also, hybrid cards like Gift of Orzhova
Gift of Orzhova
Gift of OrzhovaSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
219
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has flying and lifelink.
and Arrows of Justice
Arrows of Justice
Arrows of JusticeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
7
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
211
Artist:
James Ryman
Text:
Arrows of Justice deals 4 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.
provide us some extra life while we continue to beat down with our army of dudes. Cards that offer us a late-game board presence are cards like Urbis Protector
Urbis Protector
Urbis ProtectorSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Steve Argyle
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Urbis Protector enters the battlefield, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
and Knight Watch
Knight Watch
Knight WatchSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
19
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Text:
Put two 2/2 white Knight creature tokens with vigilance onto the battlefield.
. While blue in this set has access to that half of Simic, I believe that it is best to stay away from anything that isn't called Cloudfin Raptor
Cloudfin Raptor
Cloudfin RaptorSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Evolve (Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, if that creature has greater power or toughness than this creature, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)
. Being able to go turn 1 Raptor into two-drop into a Lyev Skyknight
Lyev Skyknight
Lyev SkyknightSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
179
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying When Lyev Skyknight enters the battlefield, detain target nonland permanent an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
to Detain their only creature seems extremely rewarding.

Our Return to Ravnica pack holds goodies like New Prahv Guildmage
New Prahv Guildmage
New Prahv GuildmageSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
181
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{W}{U}: Target creature gains flying until end of turn. {3}{W}{U}: Detain target nonland permanent an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
, Skymark Roc
Skymark Roc
Skymark RocSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
U
Number:
196
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever Skymark Roc attacks, you may return target creature defending player controls with toughness 2 or less to its owner's hand.
, and Lyev Skyknight
Lyev Skyknight
Lyev SkyknightSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
179
Artist:
Johannes Voss
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying When Lyev Skyknight enters the battlefield, detain target nonland permanent an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
as the best uncommon in the whole block for this deck. This is the pack that has Detain in it, and we might as well take advantage with cards like Azorius Arrester
Azorius Arrester
Azorius ArresterSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Azorius Arrester enters the battlefield, detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
, Azorius Justiciar
Azorius Justiciar
Azorius JusticiarSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
6
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Azorius Justiciar enters the battlefield, detain up to two target creatures your opponents control. (Until your next turn, those creatures can't attack or block and their activated abilities can't be activated.)
, and (to a lesser extent) Inaction Injunction
Inaction Injunction
Inaction InjunctionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
Detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.) Draw a card.
. In addition to Detain, cards that get things out of the way are abundant in this pack. We have straight-up removal in Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
, and, at rare, Detention Sphere
Detention Sphere
Detention SphereSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
155
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
When Detention Sphere enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent not named Detention Sphere and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent. When Detention Sphere leaves the battlefield, return the exiled cards to the battlefield under their owner's control.
(but let's not talk about that). We also have access to bounce spells like Dramatic Rescue
Dramatic Rescue
Dramatic RescueSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
156
Artist:
Ryan Pancoast
Text:
Return target creature to its owner's hand. You gain 2 life.
and Voidwielder
Voidwielder
VoidwielderSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
56
Artist:
Chase Stone
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Voidwielder enters the battlefield, you may return target creature to its owner's hand.
to remove a blocker. Hybrid cards that do some work for us here are Dryad Militant
Dryad Militant
Dryad MilitantSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
214
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
If an instant or sorcery card would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.
, which is perfectly acceptable in an aggressive deck as a 2-power 1-drop, and Frostburn Weird
Frostburn Weird
Frostburn WeirdSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
10
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Weird
Rarity:
C
Number:
215
Artist:
Mike Bierek
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
{(u/r)}: Frostburn Weird gets +1/-1 until end of turn.
, a card that can become a 4/1 or a 2/3 when the time is right.

As with any aggro deck, this archetype's main weakness is itself: running out of gas too early is always a concern with these decks. In the event that this happens, Detain becomes your new best friend. Anything that stops the opponent from attacking you while you stabilize is extremely important. Even your 23rd card in Hands of Binding
Hands of Binding
Hands of BindingSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
37
Artist:
Raymond Swanland
Text:
Tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)
Ciphered to your 0/1 Cloudfin Raptor
Cloudfin Raptor
Cloudfin RaptorSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Peter Mohrbacher
Power:
0
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying Evolve (Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, if that creature has greater power or toughness than this creature, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)
goes a long way to helping you get back onto your feet. Another weakness this archetype has is the slower, big creature decks that one occasionally plays against. Cards like Armory Guard
Armory Guard
Armory GuardSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Armory Guard has vigilance as long as you control a Gate.
, Guardian of the Gateless
Guardian of the Gateless
Guardian of the GatelessSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Number:
14
Artist:
Wesley Burt
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Guardian of the Gateless can block any number of creatures. Whenever Guardian of the Gateless blocks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature it's blocking.
, and Armored Wolf-Rider
Armored Wolf-Rider
Armored Wolf-RiderSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
4
Toughness:
6
are extremely scary if you are out of Detain triggers. If you don't have your New Prahv Guildmage
New Prahv Guildmage
New Prahv GuildmageSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
181
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
{W}{U}: Target creature gains flying until end of turn. {3}{W}{U}: Detain target nonland permanent an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that permanent can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
out, then these creatures will stall your board while they do something else that probably involves flying to kill you.


Orzhov:
If you're like me, then you love playing the Orzhov Guild in Gatecrash. Luckily for us, Dragon's Maze has plenty of tools for us to play Orzhov in Block Draft. While the new set only has one extort creature at common or uncommon in Tithe Drinker
Tithe Drinker
Tithe DrinkerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.) Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
, it has several tools to make it not as bad as one would think.

Orzhov wants to be extorting, a lot. In Gatecrash, it was easy to get six, maybe seven extort creatures. Here, it will be much harder seeing as Return to Ravnica has no extort and Dragon's Maze has one. But, once again, there are two ways to draft this deck: the heavy extort cheap spells deck, and the aggro deck. The first of these I will talk about is the extort deck, purely because I feel like it.

In Dragon's Maze, we have only one extort creature: Tithe Drinker
Tithe Drinker
Tithe DrinkerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.) Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
. While some people like me are upset about this, it actually makes up for being the only one because of the great power level it has. If you open a pack with one of these and nothing much else, and you get another two picks later, this deck might be what you want to play. In addition to the vampire lady, we have cards like Boros Mastiff
Boros Mastiff
Boros MastiffSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Boros Mastiff and at least two other creatures attack, Boros Mastiff gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by a creature with lifelink also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
, Lyev Decree
Lyev Decree
Lyev DecreeSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Detain up to two target creatures your opponents control. (Until your next turn, those creatures can't attack or block and their activated abilities can't be activated.)
, Bane Alley Blackguard
Bane Alley Blackguard
Bane Alley BlackguardSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Mike Bierek
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
, and even Sinister Possession
Sinister Possession
Sinister PossessionSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
29
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Text:
Enchant creature Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, its controller loses 2 life.
as cheap spells to help fill out the curve with extort. At the three and four drop slot, there are cards like Hired Torturer
Hired Torturer
Hired TorturerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Winona Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender {3}{B}, {T}: Target opponent loses 2 life, then reveals a card at random from his or her hand.
, Fatal Fumes
Fatal Fumes
Fatal FumesSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
24
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target creature gets -4/-2 until end of turn.
, both sides of Profit//Loss and both Sunspire Gatekeepers
Sunspire Gatekeepers
Sunspire GatekeepersSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Sunspire Gatekeepers enters the battlefield, if you control two or more Gates, put a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield.
and Ubul Sar Gatekeepers
Ubul Sar Gatekeepers
Ubul Sar GatekeepersSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Ubul Sar Gatekeepers enters the battlefield, if you control two or more Gates, target creature an opponent controls gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
for the midgame. Hired Torturer
Hired Torturer
Hired TorturerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Winona Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender {3}{B}, {T}: Target opponent loses 2 life, then reveals a card at random from his or her hand.
is especially good in this deck because of its ability to deal damage while still being held back as a blocker. Of course, this would require you to leave 4 mana open during their turn, something that you usually do not want to do if you have sorcery-speed spells to play and to extort with. Late game spells like Maze Abomination
Maze Abomination
Maze AbominationSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
4
Toughness:
5
Text:
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.) Multicolored creatures you control have deathtouch.
, Maze Sentinel
Maze Sentinel
Maze SentinelSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
4
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
3
Toughness:
6
Text:
Vigilance Multicolored creatures you control have vigilance.
, and Steeple Roc
Steeple Roc
Steeple RocSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
8
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying, first strike
give you both evasion and good blockers. While you might not want to play more than one of these guys, at least one is important, especially if you are low on extort. I suggest picking one up later in the pack.

Once you get your 15 picks from the new set, Gatecrash takes its turn and we get our best shots at pulling some extort. If you want to go heavy extort, this is your pack; you have little room for error here, as one wrong pick is devastating to this deck. There are several extort creatures that would normally go first pick in Gatecrash draft, such as Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's PetSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Thrull
Rarity:
C
Number:
173
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
and Basilica Screecher
Basilica Screecher
Basilica ScreecherSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bat
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Christine Choi
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
; they have a much greater chance of floating in packs around 6-7th pick, and if you're lucky, you might be able to wheel one. Knight of Obligation
Knight of Obligation
Knight of ObligationSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Vigilance Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
and Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's PetSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Thrull
Rarity:
C
Number:
173
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
are the two that you should look to pick up most, one because it has 4 toughness and vigilance, the other for its flying. There are 8 creatures with extort at either common or uncommon in the set. I'm sure I don't have to say you should prioritize these at the highest echelon of cards for your deck.

In addition to extort, there are cards like Dutiful Thrull
Dutiful Thrull
Dutiful ThrullSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Thrull
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Daarken
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{B}: Regenerate Dutiful Thrull.
and Debtor's Pulpit
Debtor's Pulpit
Debtor's PulpitSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
10
Artist:
James Paick
Text:
Enchant land Enchanted land has "{T}: Tap target creature."
that lock down opposing creatures. Most of our straight-up removal will also come from here in the form of Grisly Spectacle
Grisly Spectacle
Grisly SpectacleSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
66
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Text:
Destroy target nonartifact creature. Its controller puts a number of cards equal to that creature's power from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
, Angelic Edict
Angelic Edict
Angelic EdictSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Trevor Claxton
Text:
Exile target creature or enchantment.
, Smite
Smite
SmiteSet: Stronghold
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
117
Artist:
Daren Bader
Text:
Destroy target blocked creature.
, Devour Flesh
Devour Flesh
Devour FleshSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature, then gains life equal to that creature's toughness.
, One Thousand Lashes
One Thousand Lashes
One Thousand LashesSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
U
Number:
183
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 1 life.
, and Executioner's Swing
Executioner's Swing
Executioner's SwingSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
161
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Text:
Target creature that dealt damage this turn gets -5/-5 until end of turn.
. While most of these cards will be on the top end of our curve, they are very important to slowing the flow of creatures while you get your extort base of operations up and running.

As we wrap up our last picks from Gatecrash with hopefully a Corpse Blockade
Corpse Blockade
Corpse BlockadeSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Lucas Graciano
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Defender Sacrifice another creature: Corpse Blockade gains deathtouch until end of turn.
, we proceed to the Return to Ravnica pack, where we will find our best support cards for our base of (hopefully) at least six creatures with extort. In the first set of the block, the Guilds of Rakdos, Selesnya, Azorius, and Golgari fall into our two colors. From these, we can immediately eliminate Rakdos and Selesnya; the first for being too aggressive for what we're doing, and the second for being awfully streamlined. We may be able to pick up a few Selesnya cards like Dryad Militant
Dryad Militant
Dryad MilitantSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
214
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
If an instant or sorcery card would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.
and Sundering Growth
Sundering Growth
Sundering GrowthSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
10
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
223
Artist:
David Palumbo
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment, then populate. (Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a creature token you control.)
for our sideboard and the best Rakdos card for Orzhov, Grim Roustabout
Grim Roustabout
Grim RoustaboutSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Skeleton Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Steven Belledin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Unleash (You may have this creature enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. It can't block as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.) {1}{B}: Regenerate Grim Roustabout.
; most of the multicolored cards in this set are not hybrid, so we will be forced to stick to the monocolored cards for most of this pack unless now you choose to splash. If you do go into a third color now, I suggest Green, because both White and Black have a guild aligned with that color here.

In Azorius, cards like Azorius Arrester
Azorius Arrester
Azorius ArresterSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
5
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Azorius Arrester enters the battlefield, detain target creature an opponent controls. (Until your next turn, that creature can't attack or block and its activated abilities can't be activated.)
and Azorius Justiciar
Azorius Justiciar
Azorius JusticiarSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
U
Number:
6
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Azorius Justiciar enters the battlefield, detain up to two target creatures your opponents control. (Until your next turn, those creatures can't attack or block and their activated abilities can't be activated.)
offer Detain while being an additional spell to extort off of. We also have Vassal Soul
Vassal Soul
Vassal SoulSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
224
Artist:
Dan Scott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
, the 2/2 flying hybrid guy. If you see one of these guys, I strongly suggest picking it up. Most of the white cards for us will be cheap, very few will cost more than 3. These are along the lines of Arrest
Arrest
ArrestSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be played.
and Ethereal Armor
Ethereal Armor
Ethereal ArmorSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each enchantment you control and has first strike.
, along with bears like Fencing Ace
Fencing Ace
Fencing AceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
11
Artist:
David Rapoza
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Double strike (This creature deals both first-strike and regular combat damage.)
and Keening Apparition
Keening Apparition
Keening ApparitionSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice Keening Apparition: Destroy target enchantment.
.

In Golgari, we have Daggerdrone Imp, Stab Wound
Stab Wound
Stab WoundSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Artist:
Scott Chou
Text:
Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets -2/-2. At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, that player loses 2 life.
, and Sewer Shambler
Sewer Shambler
Sewer ShamblerSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
75
Artist:
Nils Hamm
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Swampwalk (This creature is unblockable as long as defending player controls a Swamp.) Scavenge {2}{B} ({2}{B}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to this card's power on target creature. Scavenge only as a sorcery.)
. Dark Revenant
Dark Revenant
Dark RevenantSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
61
Artist:
Daarken
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When Dark Revenant dies, put it on top of its owner's library.
is actually a good card for this deck; when it dies, it puts itself on top of your library, waiting for you to cast it, and extort for one or two while you're at it. Of course, if we're talking about Black in Return to Ravnica, I would be in the wrong for not at least typing the words: Pack Rat
Pack Rat
Pack RatSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Pack Rat's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Rats you control. {2}{B}, Discard a card: Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of Pack Rat.
.

Phew, and that was only half of Orzhov. The other half of this Guild is an aggressive deck. It is a deck that wants low cost everything: creatures, support spells, even fewer lands than normal. Here, four is our top end; we don't want many 4-drops if we're beating the opponent down with little guys.

With the addition of Dragon's Maze, I find it hard to talk about Orzhov Aggro without mentioning either Boros or Rakdos. A splash into red is most likely necessary in the first pack. With access to this color, we get to play cards like Viashino Firstblade
Viashino Firstblade
Viashino FirstbladeSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viashino Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
113
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Haste When Viashino Firstblade enters the battlefield, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
(which is amazing, by the way), Warleader's Helix
Warleader's Helix
Warleader's HelixSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
116
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Warleader's Helix deals 4 damage to target creature or player and you gain 4 life.
, Blaze Commando
Blaze Commando
Blaze CommandoSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minotaur Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
56
Artist:
James Ryman
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever an instant or sorcery spell you control deals damage, put two 1/1 red and white Soldier creature tokens with haste onto the battlefield.
, Rubblebelt Maaka
Rubblebelt Maaka
Rubblebelt MaakaSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
C
Number:
38
Artist:
Eric Velhagen
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Bloodrush — {R}, Discard Rubblebelt Maaka: Target attacking creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
, and Riot Piker
Riot Piker
Riot PikerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Berserker
Rarity:
C
Number:
37
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike Riot Piker attacks each turn if able.
. In Black, we have an evasive 2-power 3-drop flier in Rakdos Drake
Rakdos Drake
Rakdos DrakeSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Drake
Rarity:
C
Number:
28
Artist:
Karl Kopinski
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Unleash (You may have this creature enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. It can't block as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.)
. In White, we get a few good cards. These are Lyev Decree
Lyev Decree
Lyev DecreeSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Detain up to two target creatures your opponents control. (Until your next turn, those creatures can't attack or block and their activated abilities can't be activated.)
(which I keep coming back to, for some reason), Boros Mastiff
Boros Mastiff
Boros MastiffSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
1
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Boros Mastiff and at least two other creatures attack, Boros Mastiff gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by a creature with lifelink also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
, and while it is a little slow, Haazda Snare Squad
Haazda Snare Squad
Haazda Snare SquadSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
Whenever Haazda Snare Squad attacks, you may pay {W}. If you do, tap target creature an opponent controls.
. Of course, how can we talk about Orzhov without mentioning Tithe Drinker
Tithe Drinker
Tithe DrinkerSet: Dragon's Maze
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.) Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
? 2-power lifelink for two mana with extort? Sign me up!

In Gatecrash, we get access to the Orzhov Guild in full force, and most of the Boros cards that we can use. Similar to the aggressive Azorius deck, Boros cards like Daring Skyjek
Daring Skyjek
Daring SkyjekSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Knight
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
Jason Chan
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Daring Skyjek and at least two other creatures attack, Daring Skyjek gains flying until end of turn.
, Boros Elite
Boros Elite
Boros EliteSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Willian Murai
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Boros Elite and at least two other creatures attack, Boros Elite gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
, and Court Street Denizen
Court Street Denizen
Court Street DenizenSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
8
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever another white creature enters the battlefield under your control, tap target creature an opponent controls.
are a perfect fit into this deck. In addition to these, the extort creatures are once again important, although not as important as in the first archetype, are still incredibly useful. Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's Pet
Kingpin's PetSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Thrull
Rarity:
C
Number:
173
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
flies over most things, while Syndic of Tithes
Syndic of Tithes
Syndic of TithesSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {(w/b)}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
is a very good creature even without extort.

If you are still splashing Red, now is a good time to pick up your Homing Lightning
Homing Lightning
Homing LightningSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
96
Artist:
Slawomir Maniak
Text:
Homing Lightning deals 4 damage to target creature and each other creature with the same name as that creature.
s, Firefist Striker
Firefist Striker
Firefist StrikerSet: Gatecrash
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
90
Artist:
Tyler Jacobson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Battalion — Whenever Firefist Striker and at least two other creatures attack, target creature can't block this turn.
s, and Warmind Infantries. These are, along with the amazing other Boros 2-drops, some of the best cards for your deck.

Seeing as Gatecrash was the pack for you to pick up your White cards, Return to Ravnica is when you get your Black stuff. The Cult of Rakdos sees you and welcomes you to the Blood Carnival with open arms. In here, we can get some amazing picks out of Rakdos Cackler
Rakdos Cackler
Rakdos CacklerSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Devil
Rarity:
U
Number:
220
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Unleash (You may have this creature enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. It can't block as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.)
, Dead Reveler
Dead Reveler
Dead RevelerSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Unleash (You may have this creature enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. It can't block as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.)
, and Thrill Kill Assassin. If you're in Red, the multicolored cards here are also decent. There is removal like Augur Spree, an amazing 3-drop in Hellhole Flailer
Hellhole Flailer
Hellhole FlailerSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Number:
167
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Unleash (You may have this creature enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it. It can't block as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.) {2}{B}{R}, Sacrifice Hellhole Flailer: Hellhole Flailer deals damage equal to its power to target player.
, and the good later game play Rakdos Ragemutt
Rakdos Ragemutt
Rakdos RagemuttSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental Hound
Rarity:
U
Number:
185
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Lifelink, haste
. In this pack, you want to act like you're drafting Rakdos in triple RTR again, like you have (hopefully, it was pretty good) done many times before.

And with that, I think I'll end here. For this article, at least. This is my first time writing something Magic-related, so give me some feedback, tell me what you think on the Forums. If you enjoyed it, I'd consider writing the other four.

Thanks for reading and, uhh… Go play some Magic! [Editor's note: Hey, that sounds oddly familiar...]


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