Return to Ravnica

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For other uses, see Ravnica (disambiguation).
Return to Ravnica
RTR logo.png
Set symbol
RTR symbol.jpg
Symbol description
unknown
Design team
Ken Nagle (lead),
Zac Hill,
Alexis Janson,
Mark Rosewater,
Ken Troop[note 1]
Development team
Erik Lauer (lead),
Zac Hill,
Dave Humpherys,
Tom LaPille,
Adam Lee,
Billy Moreno,
Shawn Main
Release date
October 5, 2012
Themes and mechanics
Gates,
Guilds,
Hybrid mana
Keywords and/or ability words
Detain,
Overload,
Populate,
Scavenge,
Unleash
Set size
274 cards
(25 basic lands, 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code
RTR
Development code name
Hook
Return to Ravnica block sets
Return to Ravnica Gatecrash Dragon's Maze
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari Return to Ravnica Commander's Arsenal

Return to Ravnica is the first set in the Return to Ravnica block. It is the 59th Magic expansion and was released on October 5, 2012. [1] [2]

Contents

Set details

Return to Ravnica contains 274 cards (25 basic lands, 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares), including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. As was the case with the original Ravnica block, Return to Ravnica focuses on the guild system and multicolor cards. [3] Five guilds — the Azorius Senate, Golgari Swarm, Izzet League, Cult of Rakdos, and Selesnya Conclave — are featured in Return to Ravnica; the other five guilds appear in the following expansion, Gatecrash. [4] Because R&D had to fit in five guilds, rather than four, the set contained more uncommon cards than usual. [5] It it is unknown what the expansion symbol of this is set is meant to represent, though some people think it is a stylized Orzhov Mitre.

As Gatecrash would not feature any basic lands, despite being a large expansion, Return to Ravnica featured 25 basic lands, 5 more than the usual 20. [6] For the first time basic lands were printed in an expert expansion with reused artwork: one of each basic land type featured artwork previously used in the Ravnica block. [7] Return to Ravnica also marked the return of the shock lands. [8]

Richard Whitters was the Return to Ravnica Lead Concept Artist. He, alongside Aleksi Briclot, Pete Mohrbacher, Wayne Reynolds, Sam Burley, Jeremy Jarvis, created the Return to Ravnica motif sheets and style guide. [9]

Flavor and storyline

Choose Your Guild

As the name of the expansion implies, Return to Ravnica is set in Ravnica, a plane comprising a singular megalopolis or ecumenopolis, [10] in which a vast and diverse variety of inhabitants co-exist. [11] [12] [13] Once, the law of city and plane of Ravnica was dictated by the Guildpact and was controlled in relative harmony by the ten guilds, each of which representing a color pairing of the five colors of Magic. In Dissension, however, the Guildpact had been broken. Faced with a magical code that is built into the very foundations of the city-world itself, Jace Beleren marches into the numinous depths of Ravnica’s underbelly in search of the promise of powerful magic. Once buried in past, the code resurfaces as Ravnica’s power-hungry mage guilds, unbound by the Guildpact that had once maintained order, struggle for control of the plane.

Marketing

Jace and Niv-Mizzet
Return to Ravnica 6-card booster

Return to Ravnica was sold in 16-card boosters, 6-card boosters, five intro packs, two event decks and a fat pack. As a first for a expert-level set, it also featured a Booster Battle Pack [14]. The 16-card boosters featured artwork from Korozda Guildmage, New Prahv Guildmage, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius, Rix Maadi Guildmage and Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage. [15] The small booster featured artwork from Vraska the Unseen.

An early preview picture of the set showed Niv-Mizzet, the leader of the Izzet League, adjacent to planeswalker Jace Beleren. [1] Wizards of the Coast created a "Choose Your Guild" interactive quiz and Planeswalker Points Web page for the expansion, allowing Magic players to choose their guild. At the expansion's prerelease events on September 29–30, 2012, players chose their guild; a choice that affected gameplay, as, in addition to receiving five Return to Ravnica boosters, players received a guild-specific sticker, an acceptance letter from their guild leader, a spindown life counter, a promotional prerelease card, an achievement/challenge card, and an additional guild-specific booster. [16][17] The launch party was October 5–7, 2012 [18] and Game Day was October 27–28, 2012.

In September 2012, Mark Rosewater confirmed that Magic novels would return as e-books, with Doug Beyer writing them. [19] On November 28, 2012, Doug Beyer introduced the novel written for Return to Ravnica as The Secretist, with the first part being available from then onwards as an e-book. [20] The novel is centered around the Jace Beleren.

In addition to interactive online activities and promotional cards, after widespread interest expressed on the part of the people on Twitter, Wizards of the Coast paired up with licensing partner Araca to produce guild t-shirts[21] and baseball caps.[22]

Promotional cards

For the first time, there were five promotional prerelease cards, with the card received dependent on the guild chosen. Another novel feature of the Return to Ravnica prerelease was the fact that the card could be played in decks at the prerelease itself, unlike previous promotional prerelease cards, [23] were:

These cards were also available in the intro packs as foils, albeit without the alternate art and prerelease date. [24]

Other alternate-art promotional cards were: [25]

Tokens

Korozda Guildmage, a gold-mage and a producer of green 1/1 Saproling creature tokens.
The sixteenth card in the boosters is a token creature card. Although there are advertising cards on them, one of which featuring Gideon Jura on its front face, there are no "Tips & Tricks" cards associated with Return to Ravnica. [26]

The Return to Ravnica tokens, in the order in which they are listed, are: [27]

  1. Manaw.gif 1/1 Bird with flying produced by Eyes in the Sky and Seller of Songbirds
  2. Manaw.gif 2/2 Knight with vigilance produced by Knightly Valor, Security Blockade, and Selesnya Charm
  3. Manaw.gif 1/1 Soldier produced by Precinct Captain
  4. Manab.gif 1/1 Assassin with "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game." produced by Vraska the Unseen
  5. Manar.gif 6/6 Dragon with flying produced by Utvara Hellkite
  6. Manar.gif 1/1 Goblin produced by Goblin Rally and Survey the Wreckage
  7. Manag.gif 3/3 Centaur produced by Call of the Conclave, Centaur's Herald, Coursers' Accord and Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
  8. Manag.gif X/X Ooze produced by Slime Molding
  9. Manag.gif 4/4 Rhino with trample produced by Horncaller's Chant
  10. Manag.gif 1/1 Saproling produced by Korozda Guildmage
  11. Manag.gif 5/5 Wurm with trample produced by Armada Wurm and Worldspine Wurm[28]
  12. Manag.gifManaw.gif 8/8 Elemental with vigilance produced by Grove of the Guardian


Themes and mechanics

Return to Ravnica revisits five of the ten Ravnica block bicolored guilds, each of which with its own keyword or ability word that is similar but not identical to the original one. [29] [30] As a returning mechanic, the set also featured hybrid mana. [31]

Guild Colors Guild symbol
Legendary guild members
Keyword or ability word
Notes
Azorius Senate
Manawu.gif
Azorius Senate
Isperia,

Lavinia
Detain "Control" theme (tapping effects, "bounce" effects, counterspells, "taxation" effects)

Combat abilities, particularly "Flying" and "Vigilance", and effects subtheme
Golgari Swarm
Manabg.gif
Golgari Swarm
Jarad,

Varloz
Scavenge
"Graveyard matters" subtheme
Izzet League
Manaur.gif
Izzet League
Niv-Mizzet,

Melek
Overload
Spells subtheme
Cult of Rakdos
Manabr.gif
Cult of Rakdos
Rakdos,

Exava
Unleash
"+1/+1 counters matters" subtheme
Selesnya Conclave
Managw.gif
Selesnya Conclave
Trostani,

Emmara Tandris
Populate
Weenie token and, more broadly, creature token subthemes

Other themes and mechanics include:

Creature types

No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.

Cycles

Guild cycles

For cycles that are part of the guild mega cycles, see Return to Ravnica block#Mega cycles.

Guild cycles in Return to Ravnica each comprise of five members, one for each guild featured in the expansion. Along with many of the Gatecrash guild cycles, many of the Return to Ravnica guild cycles form Return to Ravnica block mega cycles.

Cycle name Description and notes
Azorius

Manawu.gif
Golgari

Manabg.gif
Izzet

Manaur.gif
Rakdos

Manabr.gif
Selesnya

Managw.gif
Uncounterable spells
Each of these rare multicolored spells with the ability to not be (conventionally) countered.[33][note 2]
Supreme Verdict Abrupt Decay Counterflux Slaughter Games Loxodon Smiter

Pairs

Matched pairs

Return to Ravnica has one matched pair.

  • Chemister's Trick and Teleportal are both multicolored non-permanent spells costing Manau.gifManar.gif and have Overload Mana3.gifManau.gifManar.gif. Whereas Chemister's Trick shrinks opponents' creatures until end of turn and forces them to attack, Teleportal pumps your creatures and makes them unblockable until end of turn.

Mirrored pairs

Return to Ravnica has one mirrored pair.

  • Downsize and Dynacharge are both multicolored spells that cost C and have Overload Mana2.gifC. Whereas Downsize shrinks opponents' creatures, Dynacharge grows your Both are spells costing one mana with Overload at three mana each. Downsize shrinks opposing creatures while Dynacharge pumps your creatures.

Although Rakdos' Return and Sphinx's Revelation are an apparent mirrored pair, with their similar, but opposite, effects and similar, but non-identical, casting costs, Mark Rosewater has stated they are not in fact a mirrored pair, neither intentionally nor unintentionally, on multiple occasions.[34] [35] Furthermore, the sphinx referred to in Sphinx's Revelation is not, or at least not necessarily, Isperia, the guildmaster of the Azorius Senate in the Return to Ravnica block. [36] Rosewater has, however, said that Magic players, being who they are, will invariably think that the two cards are a mirrored pair, and that they are what people see them to be; either a mirrored pair or not. [37]

Reprinted cards

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Return to Ravnica:

Functional reprints

Preconstructed decks

Intro packs

Return to Ravnica has five bicolored guild-centric intro packs.[24]

Intro pack name
Colors included
Foil rare
White Blue Black Red Green
Azorius Advance Archon of the Triumvirate
Izzet Ingenuity Hypersonic Dragon
Rakdos Raid Carnival Hellsteed
Golgari Growth Corpsejack Menace
Selesnya Surge Grove of the Guardian

Event decks

Return to Ravnica has two bicolored event decks.[39]

Event deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Creep and Conquer
Wrack and Rage
Return to Ravnica block preconstructed theme decks
Return to Ravnica intro packs: Azorius Advance (Manaw.gifManau.gif) | Izzet Ingenuity (Manau.gifManar.gif) | Rakdos Raid (Manab.gifManar.gif) | Golgari Growth (Manab.gifManag.gif) | Selesnya Surge (Manag.gifManaw.gif)
Return to Ravnica event decks: Creep and Conquer (Manab.gifManag.gif) | Wrack and Rage (Manab.gifManar.gif)
Gatecrash intro packs: Boros Battalion (Manar.gifManaw.gif) | Dimir Dementia (Manau.gifManab.gif) | Gruul Goliaths (Manar.gifManag.gif) | Orzhov Oppression (Manaw.gifManab.gif) | Simic Synthesis (Manag.gifManau.gif)
Gatecrash event decks: Rally and Rout (Manar.gifManaw.gif) | Thrive and Thrash (Manar.gifManau.gif)
Dragon's Maze intro packs: Azorius Authority (Manaw.gifManau.gif) | Orzhov Power (Manaw.gifManab.gif) | Rakdos Revelry (Manab.gifManar.gif) | Gruuel Siege (Manar.gifManag.gif) | Simic Domination (Manag.gifManau.gif)
Dragon's Maze event deck: Strength of Selesneya (Manaw.gifManag.gif)
Related pages: Return to Ravnica block/Preconstructed theme decksReturn to Ravnica block preconstructed decksRavnica block/Preconstructed theme decksReturn to Ravnica block theme decks

Gallery

Notes

  1. With contributions from Mark Gottlieb, Ethan Fleischer, Shawn Main, and Billy Moreno, who designed 11 cards, namely, Bazaar Krovod, Chronic Flooding, Codex Shredder, Oak Street Innkeeper, Rogue's Passage, Search the City, Security Blockade, Street Sweeper, Tavern Swindler, Underworld Connections, and Urban Burgeoning.
  2. These uncounterable spells can be "countered" by removal from the stack by cards such as Mindbreak Trap and Time Stop, for example, or, in the case of spells with targets, by causing the spell to "fizzle" due to a lack of legal targets.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Monty Ashley. (April 9, 2012.) "Announcing Return to Ravnica", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Gottlieb. (December 31, 2012.) "Gatecrash Diaries", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. "How long have you guys been deliberating this?", Tales from the Pit, Tumblr. (April 8, 2012.)
  4. Mark Rosewater. (September 10, 2012.) "Return on Investment, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. "Why does Return to Ravnica have 80 uncommon cards?", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 17, 2012.)
  6. Mark Rosewater. "How come RtR has 274 cards and GTC has 249?", Tales from the Pit, Tumblr. (August 21, 2012.)
  7. Mark Rosewater. (September 03, 2012.) "Return on Investment, Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Monty Ashley. (September 24, 2012.) "Shocklands Then and Now", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Jeremy Jarvis. (September 25, 2012.) "The Look of Return to Ravnica", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Ken Nagle. (September 3, 2012.) "On the Origin of Scavenge and Overload", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. The Magic Creative Team. (August 22, 2012.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. The Magic Creative Team. (September 05, 2012.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. The Magic Creative Team. (September 19, 2012.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 3", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Monty Ashley. (September 12, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Booster Battle Pack", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Monty Ashley. (September 04, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Booster Packs", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Devon Rule. (July 16, 2012.) "SDCC Panel: Return to Ravnica and More!", gatheringmagic.com.
  17. Wizards of the Coast. (2012.) "Worldwide Prerelease Tournaments" — Wizards of the Coast
  18. Return to Ravnica FAQ — The Wizards Community
  19. Mark Rosewater confirms return of Magic: The Gathering novels — Examiner.com
  20. Doug Beyer. (November 28, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica: The Secretist, Pt. 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Wizards of the Coast. (September 18, 2012.) "Choose Your Guild Shirt!", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Monty Ashley. (November 26, 2012.) "My Colors, My Guild, My Hat", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Tim Willoughby. (September 24, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Prerelease Primer", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Monty Ashley. (September 5, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Intro Packs", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Monty Ashley. (September 11, 2011.) "Return to Ravnica Promo Cards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. drakelordphil. (October 9, 2012.) "[GTC] Gideon Jura" — MTG Salvation
  27. Monty Ashley. (September 18, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Tokens", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Adam Styborski. (September 4, 2012.) "Game Breaker", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Wizards of the Coast. (September 2, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Mechanics", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Nate Price. (November 26, 2012.) "Price of Progress: Looking at Mechanics", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Mark Rosewater. "Is it safe to say there isn't a returning mechanic in RTR block?", Tales from the Pit, Tumblr. (September 5, 2012.)
  32. Sam Stoddard. (October 26, 2012.) "Return to Multiverse", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater. (September 24, 2012.) "Card Day's Night", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Mark Rosewater. "Come on, Maro.", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 4, 2012.)
  35. Mark Rosewater. "You seem to constantly miss what are "obviously" cycles or mirrors.", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 4, 2012.)
  36. "Why wasn't Sphinx's Revelation named Isperia's Revelation?", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 2, 2012.)
  37. Mark Rosewater. "About Rakdos's Return and Sphinx Revelation.", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 6, 2012.)
  38. Brian David-Marshall. (September 14, 2012.) "Moving the Needle", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Monty Ashley. (October 1, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Event Deck Decklists", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Monty Ashley. (September 4, 2012.) "Return to Ravnica Booster Packs", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

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