CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Black

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?


Blood Operative
Standard - 5
Modern - 2
Commander - 4
Draft - 5

I don't understand this card, honestly I don't. Repeatable lifelink creature that can remove a card from a grave on cast but deals you three when returned to hand. I mean I feel like I'm missing something with this here but I honestly don't see this as playable in most formats. In Draft it's okay, it's playable since lifelink even though it's a low bar it certainly meets it.

Doom Whisperer
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 10
Draft - 7

Doom Whisperer is just a good card all around. A flying threat with decent stats that tramples and provides reasonably costed topdeck control. In Standard and Draft this is just an amazing choice for top end. In Modern it's a little slow but I honestly can see this being playable in certain control shells. Commander is Doom Whisperer's new territory. Essentially every black deck will want to run this, 40 starting life means Doom Whisperer filters your deck insanely efficiently while filling the graveyard. Hooooo boy this is gonna cost a lot in the near future.

Gruesome Menagerie
Standard - 5
Modern - 4
Commander - 7
Draft - 5

I think Gruesome Menagerie can put up numbers I just don't know if it will. In all formats there are plenty of solid targets this can hit, the issue seems to be it's restrictions. With other spells like Unburial Rites they can hit massive creatures allowing you to sort of circumvent their mana costs. With Gruesome Menagerie you're pretty restricted but reanimating multiple creatures sort of makes up for this drawback. I'm interested to see what this card can do and I'll definitely be keeping my eye on it.

Mausoleum Secrets
Standard - 5
Modern - 6
Commander - 9
Draft - 4

Weird Demonic Tutor that can only hit black cards. Not sure what deck really wants this in Standard or Draft but it's playable in really any black based creature deck. In Modern I can see this as a piece in Dredge allowing you to tutor up cards with startling efficiency. As for Commander this should basically just be an auto include into any graveyard deck featuring black, honestly.

Midnight Reaper
Standard - 4
Modern - 2
Commander - 7
Draft - 6

Card draw engine in black, nothing that new or innovative but it can be good. In Modern there are just better options while in Standard I'm just not sure what deck wants to run this. In Commander this is a good choice for black creature based decks given high life total and the massive amount of board wipes present in the format. In Draft this is a valuable ability on a solid body, while certainly not first pickable if I'm in black and this comes around I'd take it.

Ritual of Soot
Standard - 7
Modern - 7
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

Okay Ritual of Soot is kind of really good. In Standard and Modern this hits almost everything. This card can shut down so many top tier decks it's almost a second Damnation. Orzhov Board wipes is an archetype I think can happen and this is a step in that direction. In Commander it's another board wipe so why not, fill your deck with higher cost creatures or low cost guys that have an upside on death and boom, value. In draft this can either kick ass or suck hard. The Draft format for Guilds of Ravnica has some aggro possibilities but from my experience it's a grindier format so late game Ritual of Soot can set you back more than your opponent. Be careful with it in draft.

Coming up next: Red
Go back to the beginning of the series: White

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 24, 2018 by East2West
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