Return to Ravnica block

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Not to be confused with Ravnica block.

The Return to Ravnica block, comprising the large expansions Return to Ravnica ({RTR_symbol}) and Gatecrash ({GTC_symbol}), and the small expansion Dragon's Maze ({DGM_symbol}), is the 19th block in Magic: The Gathering history. The block was released over 2012–2013.[1][2][3] [4]

Sets[edit | edit source]

RTR logo.jpg
GTC logo.jpg
DGM logo.png

Block details[edit | edit source]

Unlike most blocks, the Return to Ravnica block has two large expansions; Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash. These expansions were drafted at three booster packs each (i.e., RTR-RTR-RTR followed by GTC-GTC-GTC). Dragon's Maze is a small expansion; and, upon its release, the draft order will be DGM-GTC-RTR.[5]

Return to Ravnica (the first set) focuses on five guilds (Azorius, Golgari, Izzet, Rakdos, Selesnya), while Gatecrash focuses on the other five guilds (Boros, Dimir, Gruul, Orzhov, Simic), and the last set Dragon's Maze covers all ten guilds.

Development codenames[edit | edit source]

The development codenames for the Return to Ravnica expansions are "Hook", "Line", and "Sinker". [1][2][3]

Flavor text message[edit | edit source]

In the flavor text of each Guildgate three or four letters are minutely offset from the others. If the Guildgates are ordered in guild order a message is revealed. [6]

  • Return to Ravnica: THE GUILDS OF RAVNICA
  • Gatecrash: WILL DESTROY EACH OTHER
  • Dragon's Maze: UNLESS THE MAZE IS SOLVED AND THE GUILDPACT REBORN

Themes and mechanics[edit | edit source]

See also Return to Ravnica#Themes and mechanics and Gatecrash#Themes and mechanics.

The primary theme of Return to Ravnica block was the bicolored guilds of Ravnica and multicolored cards.

The keywords introduced in the Return to Ravnica block are: [7]

Guild Azorius
{W/U}
Boros
{R/W}
Dimir
{U/B}
Golgari
{B/G}
Gruul
{R/G}
Izzet
{U/R}
Orzhov
{W/B}
Rakdos
{B/R}
Selesnya
{G/W}
Simic
{G/U}
Keyword Detain Battalion Cipher Scavenge Bloodrush Overload Extort Unleash Populate Evolve

The block, specifically Dragon's Maze, also introduced the mechanic Fuse, which is featured exclusively on split cards.

Mega cycles[edit | edit source]

See also Dragon's Maze#Guild cycles.

Return to Ravnica block features six 10-card guild mega cycles, with one card per guild, distributed across Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash.

Dragon's Maze itself features 10-card guild cycles.

Cycle name Azorius
{W/U}
Boros
{R/W}
Dimir
{U/B}
Golgari
{B/G}
Gruul
{R/G}
Izzet
{U/R}
Orzhov
{W/B}
Rakdos
{B/R}
Selesnya
{G/W}
Simic
{G/U}
Off-color-activation cards Tower Drake Towering Thunderfist Horror of the Dim Stonefare Crocodile Disciple of the Old Ways Pursuit of Flight Dutiful Thrull Deviant Glee Selesnya Sentry Frilled Oculus
Description and notes: Each of these permanent cards have an activated ability costing mana of other color of the guild to which they are aligned.
Guild charms Azorius Charm Boros Charm Dimir Charm Golgari Charm Gruul Charm Izzet Charm Orzhov Charm Rakdos Charm Selesnya Charm Simic Charm
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon instant spells costs two colored mana, one for each guild color, and allow their controller to choose one of three thematically relevant effects.[8] [9]
Gold guildmages or gold-mages New Prahv Guildmage Sunhome Guildmage Duskmantle Guildmage Korozda Guildmage Skarrg Guildmage Nivix Guildmage Vizkopa Guildmage Rix Maadi Guildmage Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage Zameck Guildmage
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon 2/2 creatures costs two colored mana, one of each of its guild's colors. Each gold-mage has two activated abilities that cost both colors of its guild and are thematically related to both of the colors of the guild.[8][10][11]

As these guildmages require one of each of its guild's colors and thus have a gold-colored card frame, as opposed to a hybrid card frame, colloquially, in Wizards of the Coast R&D, they are referred to as "gold-mages".[12]
Guildmasters Isperia, Supreme Judge Aurelia, the Warleader[13] Lazav, Dimir Mastermind[14] Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord Borborygmos Enraged Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius Obzedat, Ghost Council[15] Rakdos, Lord of Riots Trostani, Selesnya's Voice Prime Speaker Zegana[16]
Description and notes: Each of these mythic rare legendary creatures represents the current leader of its respective guild.
Guild Champions Lavinia of the Tenth Tajic, Blade of the Legion Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker Varolz, the Scar-Striped Ruric Thar, the Unbowed Melek, Izzet paragon Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch Emmara Tandris Vorel of the Hull Clade
Description and notes: Each of these rare legendary creatures represents the champion sent by the guild into the Implicit Maze
Multicolored spells (mythic) Sphinx's Revelation Aurelia's Fury Duskmantle Seer Vraska the Unseen Domri Rade Epic Experiment Deathpact Angel Rakdos' Return Armada Wurm Master Biomancer
Description and notes: Each of these mythic rare spells are thematically unrelated, except for their being multicolored spells.
Hybrid spells (common)[17] Vassal Soul Shattering Blow Deathcult Rogue Golgari Longlegs Pit Fight Frostburn Weird Beckon Apparition Rakdos Shred-Freak Sundering Growth Bioshift
Description and notes: Each of these common spells are thematically unrelated, except for their being hybrid spells.
Hybrid spells (uncommon)[17] Judge's Familiar Arrows of Justice Coerced Confession Slitherhead Burning-Tree Emissary Blistercoil Weird Gift of Orzhova Rakdos Cackler Dryad Militant Merfolk of the Depths
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon spells are thematically unrelated, except for their being hybrid spells.
Hybrid spells (rare)[17] Azor's Elocutors Boros Reckoner Nightveil Specter Deathrite Shaman Rubblebelt Raiders Nivmagus Elemental Immortal Servitude Cryptborn Horror Growing Ranks Biomass Mutation
Description and notes: Each of these rare spells are thematically unrelated, except for their being hybrid spells.
Keyrunes Azorius Keyrune Boros Keyrune Dimir Keyrune Golgari Keyrune Gruul Keyrune Izzet Keyrune Orzhov Keyrune Rakdos Keyrune Selesnya Keyrune Simic Keyrune
Description and notes: Each of these uncommon artifacts can tap to produce one mana of either of the two colors of the guild with which they are associated and has an activated ability allowing it to become a creature, more often than not gaining an ability additional ability, until end of turn. [18]
Shock lands Hallowed Fountain Sacred Foundry Watery Grave Overgrown Tomb Stomping Ground Steam Vents Godless Shrine Blood Crypt Temple Garden Breeding Pool
Description and notes: Each of these rare nonbasic dual lands has two basic land types and enters the battlefield tapped unless its controller pays 2 life.
Guildgates Azorius Guildgate Boros Guildgate Dimir Guildgate Golgari Guildgate Gruul Guildgate Izzet Guildgate Orzhov Guildgate Rakdos Guildgate Selesnya Guildgate Simic Guildgate
Description and notes: Each of these common nonbasic lands with the Gate subtype enter the battlefield tapped and produce one of either of its respective guild's colors.

These lands were designed in light of the necessity for common mana-fixing but the Ravnica block "karoo lands" or "bounce lands" being too "good" in Limited. [19][20]

Each of these were reprinted with zoomed-out art and new flavor text in Dragon's Maze. [21]

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Monty Ashley. (April 9, 2012.) “Announcing Return to Ravnica”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Monty Ashley. (July 16, 2012.) “Announcing Gatecrash”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Trick Jarrett. (November 12, 2012.) “Announcing Dragon's Maze”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (June 24, 2013.) "Modern Tales, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  5. San Diego Comic-Con Panel 2012 (3:54-4:22) by wizardsmtg, YouTube, July 15, 2012
  6. Trick Jarrett. (May 24, 2013.) “Embedding Puzzle”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (May 2, 2016.) “Storm Scale: Ravnica and Return to Ravnica”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Trick Jarrett. (August 27, 2012.) “Playing with Izzet vs. Golgari”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (August 30, 2012.) "Are other multicolored charm spells done that way?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (September 17, 2012.) “Return on Investment, Part 3”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Steve Sadin]. (September 19, 2012.) “Whenever You Need It”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Monty Ashley. (August 30, 2012.) “Card of the Day - August 30, 2012”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Gavin Verhey. (January 8, 2013.) “Zero to Sixty: Commanding Aurelia”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Adam Styborski. (January 1, 2013.) “You Have No Secrets”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Gavin Verhey. (January 1, 2013.) “Evil Never Dies”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Brady Dommermuth. (January 9, 2013.) “The Fathom Edict”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Mark Rosewater. (October 15, 2012.) “Nostalgia vs. Innovation”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Monty Ashley. (November 16, 2012.) “A Closer Look at the Keyrunes”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Adam Styborski. (September 25, 2012.) “Tribute”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Monty Ashley. (January 4, 2013.) “The Gatecrash Guildgates”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Trick Jarrett. (April 17, 2013.) “Zoomed Guildgates”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.