The second stop on this tour of the Return to Ravnica color wheel reminds me a lot of some older sets. Mainly that it opens with an amazing whimper. For blue mages who want excellent control spells, you’re going to be disappointed. For Johnnies looking for weird cards, you’re in luck!
Here is how I envision this card working:
Mage 1: “Look at my horse!”
Mage 2: “What in the nine hell is that?”
Mage 1: “Ha! Now you are confused and get -2/-0!”
The art of Mr. Explodey Hand is wasted on this reprint. Also if you like counterspells, I don’t like you as a person.
I really like that this aura wasn’t one where the land gains some tap ability. Instead, it is just messy whenever it becomes tapped. The weird combo player in me thinks I can really make this work on my own lands…
This may be my favorite card in the set. A mass trading gem, this is going to be a lot of fun in multiplayer as items switch hands and everyone gets to yell, “No take backs!” The high cost makes this less fun, but Zedruu is going to have a lot of fun with this.
This card is a trap. It deals damage and mills, but probably won’t do either well. Plus I bet the one guy you target with this is actually wanting to be milled.
A great reprint for Standard, Dispel doesn’t add anything new to casual or Commander.
I really like the light milling theme in Return to Ravnica, especially since it can backfire horribly against Golgari. A 0/4 for 1U isn’t awful and will hold the ground for a while. The ability, while expensive, could potential be much bigger – especially with the defender matters subtheme in Rise of the Eldrazi. For milling decks, this could really help on the defense without wasting a card slot.
Why does blue keep getting good creatures? Remember Shrieking Drake? That card was fine (and combotastic). If you’re playing an aggressive Faerie strategy or like good creatures, this card is for you.
If you play this, I hate you. This a good wall and thankfully isn’t as annoying as Wall of Denial.
Another reprint but I love seeing Doc Brown on Magic cards. Great Scott!
Jace, Architect of Thought
Did you bring your reading glasses? Jace is great as usual but this version is going to draw some major hate and quickly. The first ability helps protect him – and everyone making combat near impossible until he’s dealt with. The second one is a great lite Fact or Fiction, but the fact that the cards go on the bottom of your library makes it harder to abuse.
Jace’s ultimate though takes Blatant Thievery to a whole new level and if you resolve this, you need to win immediately because otherwise, you will die. Oh, and he gets you your best spell for free too!
I’m pro-Squid but anti-unplayable cards.
This is exactly what multiplayer mill decks needed to survive past a third opponent! CombingFeldon’s Cane with some milling makes this so worthwhile. Sure, you can’t use it as anti-graveyard tech (which would be hilarious against a Dredge player) but it still gives some longevity to milling in multiplayer.
First time I saw this art, I thought it was an absolutely giant bird. I was mistaken. It’s an okay card.
Search the City
This is the most Commander-y card I have ever read with the least Commander-y ability. I don’t understand why you would ever play this when Time Warp exists. Yes, the ability of replacing that card is really neat but it seems like this would take so much effort to make work.
In limited, I don’t see myself passing this very often but in casual formats, I don’t see a 3/4 for six making a splash.
Sphinx of the Chimes
Mahamoti Djinn is weeping. I really like the activated ability here, but it is absolutely useless in Commander. In casual though, this could be a really fun piece in a redundant combo deck. But this is the most bored sphinx I have ever seen.
Stealer of Secrets
I loved Ophidian back in the day. Thieving Magpie was fun too, but now there is this. Stealer of Secrets is a great card, but really needs some back up. But it being a human rogue makes me interested in seeing what else I can do with it.
Great art, weak reprint. Especially since Dissipate exists.
Top 5 Blue Return to Ravnica Cards for Casual & Commander
5. Hover Barrier
4. Psychic Spiral
3. Conjured Currency
2. Sphinx of the Chimes
1. Jace, Architect of Thought
As a whole, blue’s power really resides in the higher rarity cards for kitchen table players. And by that, I mean there isn’t a whole lot for blue players unless you want to try milling everyone.