Ravnica Allegiance has been out for a week now, and after diving right into the draft queues with gusto, it’s clear to me Wizards have crafted a limited format that’s both starkly different from Guilds of Ravnica and full of references to my failed marriage. It’s still early days yet, so these rankings may change as I explore the format more and continue to have regular sessions with my therapist, but for now this is how I view the archetypes from worst to best.
6th – Azorius
Azorius is a classic ‘skies’ archetype, pairing numerous efficient common and uncommon fliers with well timed interaction and defensive tools, painfully reminiscent of how Sharon’s signature beef stroganoff was paired with full-bodied notes of a Cabernet Sauvignon to create a powerful one-two punch that I may never forget.
5th – Rakdos
Rakdos has two distinct directions in which the Spectacle mechanic pushes you: aggro-slanted builds relying on Spectacle to snowball the game and the more controlling builds, which use Spectacle to generate powerful effects and consistent sources of card advantage. Roberto, too, is a man of contrasts: his powerful frame full of electric, intoxicating energy while his deep baritone and calm eyes are almost supernaturally soothing.
4th – Gruul
Gruul is a midrange strategy in this format, as the lack of reliably impactful 2-drops and a shortage of combat tricks makes it difficult to gain a tempo advantage in the early turns – much like how Sharon made it difficult for me to show my face at the local bowls club ever again, after she told everyone that I collect my fingernail clippings.
3rd – Gates
The Gates deck is a haymaker control deck that relies on the massively impactful ‘gates matter’ payoff cards available at uncommon to make up for the tempo lost when playing lands that come into play tapped. Every time I play a huge Gate Colossus or Gatebreaker Ram, I can’t help but think about how I tried to save our relationship with big gestures like a surprise trip to Hawaii or a chocolate Labrador puppy.
2nd – Orzhov
Orzhov is a flexible control archetype that relies on copious amounts of removal and sticky Afterlife creatures to slowly grind out the game – often leaving the opponent with no way to make progress at all in the face of such powerful tools. This is similar in many respects to my life without Sharon, as any pathetic attempt I make at human connection is ruined by the constant images running through my head of Roberto and Sharon making passionate love on our patio, beside the 4-burner grill.
1st – Simic
Simic decks are often focussed around powerful uncommons, rares, and mythics – with key synergistic combos like Sharktocrab plus Combine Guildmage or Incubation Druid plus Stony Strength making up for the guild’s lack of a more pronounced theme and paucity of removal. This over-reliance on individually powerful cards strikes a chord with me, as in many ways I have come to realise that it was really only my footballer physique that had earned Sharon’s attention when we first met – and that, after multiple knee injuries, my bland personality and plodding intelligence has been singularly unsuccessful in engaging her further.
What about you? Do you agree with my rankings? Which guild most resonates with the heartbreak that’s reduced you to a shell of your former self? Sound out in the comments!
Chifley Cole is widely regarded as the most significant Sin of Anubis, ranking far above Jackal Pup and Ankh of Mishra by this measure. He is also a Multiple PT Competitor ™, but only because he was smart enough to play Jace the Mind Sculptor – truly an under-looked gem.