Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Then and Now: Guild Champions

Welp, I forgot to do the Guild Leaders (maybe sometime down the road), so I'll cover the champions today. I'm also placing bets on who'd win on a one-on-one fight. Not based on the cards, but based on the story.

Boros: Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran vs. Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
Starting out with a completely unfair fight eh? Agrus is great, but he's only human, so he dies really easily but he buffs everyone else. Tajic, on the other hand explodes into Konda, Lord of Eiganjo whenever he brings friends to the party. Seriously, that guy's a badass!

Agrus Kos: 3/5
Tajic: 5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: This one's a toss-up. I'm going to say Agrus just because.

Dimir: Circu, Dimir Lobotomist vs. Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist

Both of these guys have their advantages and disadvantages. Circu costs 4 whereas Mirko costs 5. Circu's ability is easier to trigger, but requires more cards. Mirko is going to get more cards a turn on average than Circu, but Circu exiles them as opposed to just milling them. Both have their pros and cons, but I'm going to have to give a slight edge to Circu since he can lock down opponents by exiling a copy of a really good card (let's just say Thragtusk) and making sure that they can't play another copy. That, and he doesn't need to swing to be effective.

Circu: 4/5
Mirko Vosk: 3.5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Probably Mirko. Circu can kill you if you're strapped to a chair, Mirko can fly. 'Nuff said.

Simic: Experiment Kraj vs. Vorel of the Hull Clade
Experiment Kraj

Ugh, this one's not going to make me many friends: the question here is "is baby Glider Bairn better than Experiment Kraj?" and the answer is "Eh". In EDH, Kraj wins since he'll come in with a bunch of really nice abilities and then put on some Lightning Greaves (don't ask me how) and use some right away. In non-EDH, Vorel will be the better choice because he's cheaper and putting counters on creatures (such as Nimbus Swimmer), artifacts (such as Lux Cannon), or lands (such as City of Shadows) is really nice. And for those of you crying "Vorel's terrible since he can't put counters on planeswalkers", Gideon Jura and his best friend Gideon, Champion of Justice would like to have a word with you. Outside. Now.

Experiment Kraj: 4/5
Vorel: 4/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Hmm... Tough choice. Giant, angry ball of goo that can subdue a demon or a fish guy? I'm going to bet on the goo.

Azorius: Isperia the Inscrutable vs. Lavinia of the Tenth
Isperia the Inscrutable

Is this even a fair fight? Isperia was probably considered the worst champion from original Ravnica by most people and Lavinia is really, really good. Isperia is a sometimes tutor (defeated by your opponent having no hand) and she's really under-powered for her cost. Lavinia is a 4/4 for 5 with a relevant protection and literally locks down the vast majority of everyone else's board when she shows up. Her and her magical Conjurer's Closet make for some fun times...

Isperia: 1/5
Lavinia: 5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Person vs. sphinx. Do I really need to say more?

Rakdos: Lyzolda, the Blood Witch vs. Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch

Lyzolda wins this battle of crazy women. Initially, I gave her the win because instant-speed sac for a good-to-great effect is always amazing, but then I realize why I truly didn't like Exava: her cost. Honestly, if WotC had switched their mana costs, they'd be on the same level, but Exava costs too much. In an Unleash deck, you want to be winning by turn 4 (since you can't block and are probably about to be whumped) and she comes out a turn too late. In block, she'll give 3 things in her guild haste: Chaos Imps (which would be nice), Bloodfray Giant (eh), and Spawn of Rix Maadi (another resounding "eh"). For someone who proports to be all about speed, Exava is just too slow.

Lyzolda: 4.5/5
Exava: 2/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Neither. Knowing Rakdos, they'd both lose to kill the other one.

Orzhov: Teysa, Orzhov Scion vs. Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
Teysa, Orzhov Scion

Holy synergy Batman! Teysa belongs in a Teysa deck and she'll work great with Teysa! New Teysa is a little on the expensive side, but when you take into consideration the vigilance, the protection from creatures, and the super-No Mercy attached to her, you can see the reason for costing. Old Teysa is costed great with two amazing effects (especially when she works with new Teysa). There's not much else to say than Orzhov may have the most consistently awesome champion!

Teysa, Orzhov Scion: 5/5
Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts: 5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Teysa.

Izzet: Tibor and Lumia vs. Melek, Izzet Paragon
Tibor and Lumia

I slightly prefer Tibor and Lumia to Melek, but only barely. Melek lets you dig through the top of your deck quickly and doubles your spell count, sure and Tibor and Lumia only give flying and hurts everything on the ground, but there are a couple reasons why I prefer T&L to MIP (Melek's new nickname as far as I'm concerned). First, T&L's cost is a lot more in-line with what a speedy Izzet deck would want. Also, they're a centaur that might be able to fly. The big thing that separates these two in my opinion is that while MIP can turn your Shock into an Aladdin's Ring, Tibor and Lumia can turn make it a Shock with an Ashen Firebeast thrown in. All I'm saying is I like T&L's mass control potential over MIP's duality. Also, MIP costs 6, which is a little much for an Izzet deck, don't you think?

Tibor and Lumia: 3.5/5
Melek: 3.5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: It's two-on-one, so Tibor and Lumia get my vote.

Selesnya: Tolsimir Wolfblood vs. Emmara Tandris
Tolsimir Wolfblood

Selesnya: what have they done to you? Tolsimir was really, really good for 6 mana, especially since he came with a 4/4 friend (I know it's a 2/2, but it was a 4/4 really). Emmara, just... Well, let's put it this way: if you can be replaced in EDH (the only place a 7-coster will see regular play outside of Limited) by a 3-drop Kamigawa creature (Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant), you've DONE YOUR JOB WRONG! Even IF she saw play, she barely does anything in any environment! Most boardwipes don't do damage (and that's how you usually deal with tokens) and even if you used a Blasphemous Act, she dies to it, so she's basically a fog! She also fails on a flavour level since 5/7 is not the body of an elf.

Tolsimir: 4.5/5
Emmara: 1/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Again, it's a two-on-one fight. Tolsimir wins.

Gruul: Ulasht, the Hate Seed vs. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Ulasht, the Hate Seed

Both great cards. Ulasht usually comes in as a 4/4-6/6 in non-EDH games and is able to deal a lot of damage quite quickly or fling Teds out like nobody's business. Ruric AND Thar (seriously, they're two separate entities) comes in late game and starts beating your everyone equally. The thing that gives Ulasht the slight advantage is that it doesn't have to attack every turn like Ruric and Thar do. If they had some sort of evasion, then I wouldn't count it against them, but since they might have to swing into a Typhoid Rats, they get docked slightly.

Ulasht: 4/5
Ruric and Thar: 4/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Ruric and Thar would probably gets stumped by trying to count how many heads Ulasht has, in which time it's eaten them.

Golgari: Sisters of Stone Death vs. Varolz, the Scar-Striped
Sisters of Stone Death

Finally, we come to Golgari, where the Sisters lose horribly to Varolz. There are already decks (like this one made by yours truly) that abuse his omni-scavenge ability to destroy opponents at a remarkable rate. The Sisters... cost 8. And require a lot of mana. And a huge gamble, since you are going to be tapping out to play them.

The Sisters: 1/5
Varolz: 5/5
Who I'd Bet On In A Fight: Doesn't matter how trolly you are, being turned to stone kinda means you lose the fight Varolz. Also, it's a three-on-one.

Final Scores:
Ratings: Old Ravnica 3 - 3 New Ravnica (with 4 ties)
Fights: Old Ravnica 7 - 1 New Ravnica (with 2 ties)

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