We’ve got a new Magic: The Gathering set coming down the pipeline, and it is set in on the city world of Ravnica, where every speck of land as far as the eye can see is a dense urban space contested by a bunch of different organizations called guilds. Since the original introduction of Ravnica back in the early 2000s, it has been one of the most loved locations in the game.
One of the reasons is that those guilds that I mentioned are always emblematic of a certain color pair. Dimir is black and blue, so their cards are all about taking out an opponent’s creatures and preventing them from laying down new threats. Rakdos is black and red, so they’re out there causing immense damage and mayhem to go along with it, ripping apart your opponent’s hand and sacrificing allied creatures for questionable benefits.
What I have for you today are two new cards from Gruul, the green and red color paired guild. Gruul is all about smashing things apart with brute force. They’re about damage. They hate technology. They’re getting ripped off beet juice milkshakes.
Savage Smash is the heart of the Gruul mindset. Use everything to your advantage, and literally smash through everything that gets in your way. It is an elegant and clear card that almost certainly is going to help you punch through enemy creatures and start hammering your opponent. I do want to register here, though, that there are dozens of other words that Magic could be using that don’t contain the racial weight that “savage” does, and I’m pretty disappointed that a company that prides itself on being forward thinking clearly missed the mark on this one.
Gruul Beastmaster is also going to be a Limited must-include, and it could make its way into some mono-green Standard beatdown decks. It gets big, and it makes its friends big. I just hope that there’s a Gruul card of that weird yak-cat thing there.
If you like the art for these cards, I suggest you check out the work of Zoltan Boros (Savage Smash) and Kimonas Theodossiou (Gruul Beastmaster).
And there you have it. Some absolutely rad cards that are going to make your Gruul decks better and that will absolutely make your opponents cringe when they hit the board. No more, no less, simple and easy. That’s what Gruul is all about, of course.
Ravnica Allegiance releases on Jan. 25, 2019.
Cameron Kunzelman tweets at @ckunzelman and writes about games at thiscageisworms.com. His latest game, Epanalepsis, is available on Steam.