We have now reached the end of our journey. It’s time to take a look at new offerings from the Simic Combine.
The Simic Combine
Where the Gruul are trying to retake the parts of nature taken over by urban sprawl, and the Selesnya try to find harmony between the wilds and civilization, the Simic are about evolution between the two. Unlike the Izzet who experiment to create new things, it is primarily the Simic who experiment on the living, and sometimes on themselves individually. There are multiple options that they explore while constantly trying to adapt to the ever changing landscape of Ravnica.
Each guild, with the exceptions of Dimir, and Rakdos have their guild leaders in place. Each other guild has had another leader due to the influence of Nicol Bolas, or another member in the guild stepping up. The latter seems to be the case here as Prime Speaker Vannifar has taken the role. The Simic are preparing for war, and they are looking for ways to enhance the power of their soldiers while still tending to the natural surroundings of Ravnica.
This card is a creature version of Birthing Pod, and if you remember that card then you should know the power level of this card. This card will see play in Modern.
Speaking of evolving it appears Mystic Snake has evolved into Frilled Mystic. This is the card I am most interested in seeing how it impacts play in Magic. It’s not often we get to say “Elf Lizard Wizard”, but now we can, and with a casting cost lacking a generic mana cost we receive an additional point of power. Keep an eye on this one.
Creatures are not the only thing the Simic explore when adapting to their surroundings. As civilization expands they also try to find ways to produce the mana they need for their experiments. Growth Spiral not only is in the long line of Rampant Growth effects, but is also at instant speed. This allows you to hold up a counterspell, and if unused you can then get ahead on mana. Excellent card!
While she is no longer the guild leader Zegana is still out there leading her school of Merfolk into battle. This is the first card with Adapt, the current mechanic in the guild. The Merfolk from the Ixalan sets had ways of producing +1/+1 counters which helps you draw a card when Zegana, Utopian Speaker enters play. She can also provide counters to those that don’t have them giving your other creatures with counters trample. Trampling Fish? That’s definitely Simic.
However combat is not the only way this guild can win battles. They always seek to improve themselves, and Simic Ascendancy helps that a lot. Getting counters on creatures provides counters on the Ascendancy, and if you survive to your upkeep with twenty or more counters on it then you win. Being in blue allows options for taking extra turns so I can see this becoming an FNM deck.
Uhm…the last time we had an effect like this in Standard was during Caw-Blade with Sword of Feast and Famine. How did that go again? Sure my thoughts on Wilderness Reclamation might be a tad bit hyperbolic, but I lived through Caw-Blade summer. I enjoyed the deck, but it’s impact was not fun. Keep an eye on this.
While the Replicate side is ok (you probably want to copy a Ravenous Chupacabra) the Repudiate side is Stifle. That side can even be used in mono-green or other non-blue decks that are heavy into green. Something to consider.
That wraps up my trip around the guilds in Ravnica. I need to get out of here as a war is brewing. This spring War of the Spark will be the set that ties all of this story (that has been building since Magic: Origins) together. It’s been a fun time though. This is what I accomplished:
- I followed all the laws of the Azorius Senate.
- I saw the Boros Legion on patrol.
- I told House Dimir a secret they did not know.
- I helped elves in the Golgari Swarm till the land in preparation for a resurrection. Weird.
- I saw a Gruul Clan raiding party, but they did not see me. It was a riot.
- I helped a member of the Izzet League with an invention.
- I learned paying all taxes to the Orzhov Syndicate is a wise thing to do.
- I was a guest DJ at a nightclub ran by the Cult of Rakdos. It was quite the spectacle.
- I attended several meetings with the Selesnya Conclave. They need to learn population control.
- I stopped by to visit the Simic Combine, and saw the birth of a Sharktocrab. It was gross.
All in all it was good fun, and hopefully things don’t get completely out of hand with this coming war.
I will be back in two weeks (Jan. 28th) to shift my focus back to Modern.
TAP MORE MANA!!!
Scott Campbell, better known as MTGPackFoils, has been playing Magic since he was 17 (which was in 1993). He’s known for loving decks such as Azorius Control, Jund, and others (especially in Modern). He is a husband, father, and a former nightclub DJ.