Today is my set review of every rare and mythic rare from Ravnica Allegiance, along with my financial suggestion of whether to buy or sell now. I divided the set into eleven categories: White, Blue, Red, Green, Black, Colorless, Orzhov, Azurius, Simic, Rakdos, and Gruul. Each card is ranked within its appropriate category according to how playable I perceive it to be. Since there is a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of space to do it in, let's get started.
Angel of Grace (mythic) - $16 BUY
In contention for chase mythic of the set, this one comes with a ton of value. Flash and flying are what make this card great. The other abilities are nice and will certainly come up but having a threat that will win the game on its own in four attacks that can be played on the opponent's end step makes this an excellent finisher for aggro, midrange, and control decks. It's also a relevant creature type, although I don't know how many Lyras you'll be able to fit into the deck with Angel of Grace already clogging up the five-drop slot. Lyra is $30 though, so Angel of Grace has room to rise in price if it proves to be as good as I expect it to be.
Tithe Taker - $2.25 BUY
I think this card is excellent in Modern Spirits and also playable in a few other Modern decks. It is also a solid Standard card that should make its way into the white aggro decks. Not an all-star, but a solid enough role player to merit inclusion in all the decks.
Hero of Precinct One - $2.25 SELL
A useful ability, but I don't know how many multicolor cards we can fit into a deck that also wants 1/1 Human Tokens. It will see some play, but probably not enough to spike in price. Mantis Rider is still under $1.
Lumbering Battlement - $.75 SELL
This isn't exactly Reveillark, but if you have enough ETB triggers attached to your creatures, this can make for a very powerful effect. Five-drop white creatures that aren't Angels probably won't see a lot of play though.
Unbreakable Formation - $1.5 SELL
The effect is about on par with populating, but this is overall worse than Rootborn Defenses because if the opponent doesn't play a sweeper on their turn, then unlike Rootborn Defenses you cannot cast this card for any value on their end step.
Smothering Tithe - $2 SELL
At first I thought this made Clues instead of Treasures. This may be a multiplayer all-star and therefore maintain value, but for 1v1 play this card seems pretty bad. Smother me all you want, Tithe Taker already took my tithe.
Sphinx of Foresight - $3.75 BUY
This effect is very powerful if it's in your opener. And a 4/4 flyer for four mana is not that bad of a rate. My foresight could end up being totally off on this one, but I think scrying 3 at the beginning of the game for free is just too insane for this not to see play. I suppose I could see it getting edged out of the metagame by Rekindling Phoenix, though.
Mesmerizing Benthid (mythic) - $4 SELL
This card is definitely playable, but I don't know what type of deck wants it. If you're stalling the board with ground creatures, wouldn't a sweeper be better? Maybe Prime Speaker plays one copy to search out, but that's about the only function I can imagine.
Mass Manipulation - $.25 BUY
I know the mana cost is quite high, but this can be a very swingy topdeck late in the game. It is not the worst card in the set, so since it is currently priced as the cheapest rare, I'm saying buy. I don't expect big things from it, but I think its chances of seeing play are higher than about a dozen other rares in the set.
Benthic Biomancer $1.25 SELL
This is another solid one-drop that tribal Merfolk has been missing. I'm not holding my breath for Merfolk to be playable (sorry Corbin), but if you're going to hold your breath for something, might as well be for the underwater tribe. So I'm buying.
Precognitive Perception - $1.75 SELL
I perceive this might see play as a 1x or 2x in control decks, but I doubt it. Teferi is way better and clogs up the five slot. I'm certainly not buying at $1.75.
Verity Circle - $.25 SELL
Most trash cans have a circular rim. That's where most Verity Circles will end up.
Spawn of Mayhem (mythic) - $15 BUY
This card's rate is off the charts and fits perfectly into any aggro deck that can support the double black mana cost. Depending on how the metagame shapes up, this could end up being the chase mythic of the set since it is likely a 4x in whatever decks it sees play in.
Gutterbones - $1.5 BUY
Speaking of black aggro decks, this card should slot nicely into such decks. It provides early pressure to turn on spectacle and it provides card advantage later on if the opponent kills it early.
Priest of Forgotten Gods - $2 SELL
The effect is interesting and it's unique enough that I'm less confident in my prediction to sell than I am with most other cards. There is a lot going on with this card and if edict effects prove good, I could see this finding a home. But the starting body is insignificant and takes a lot of work to Recoup the card and mana spent on the Priest.
Font of Agonies - $.50 SELL
This is a Doom Blade that you have to work really hard for, but it can also turn into multiple Domo Blades if you jump through all the hoops enough times. It would shine brightest in midrange decks full of removal spells and fetches, but even then you'd probably rather have a planeswalker or one-shot removal spell.
Pestilent Spirit - $3 SELL
Interesting ability, especially in a Rakdos deck with Arc Trail or Electrickery type effects, but I suspect the fragile body just doesn't quite cut it.
Awaken the Erstwhile - $1 SELL
Neat ability, but I'm waiting to hear of a good way to use this card. I suspect I might be waiting for a while, even an erstwhile.
Electrodominance - $8 BUY
Very powerful in Modern alongside As Foretold as a way to cast Living End, Ancestral Vision, and other free spells. How good that deck proves to be will determine this card's worth.
Rix Maadi Reveler - $2 BUY
This card seems excellent to me. It's a fine body on the second turn if you didn't draw any of your premier two-drops, and it helps smooth out your draw with the ETB ability (either discarding an extra land or discarding a spell to find a third land), but where it shines brightest is when you have four mana and no more relevant cards in hand. In that spot it draws you three cards. If you are hellbent, that is a 4-for-1 from your two-drop! This is very similar to Bedlam Reveler but much easier to setup in Standard.
Skarrgan Hellkite (mythic) - $8 SELL
I get it, Glorybringer is gone and we all want Glorybringer back. This is not it, though. It's a fine card that will likely see some play, but I'd be surprised if it takes off. There are many more powerful cards in Standard than this.
Mirror March -$.50 SELL
This card looks fun, but unlikely to see any play.
Immolation Shaman - $1.5 SELL
Marginally playable, but not worth the risk at this price.
Amplifire - $.50 SELL
I'm sure that hitting Ulamog off this feels pretty sweet, but paying four mana for a 1/1 with no way to protect itself? What could possibly go wrong?
Growth-Chamber Guardian - $4.5 BUY
This one is quite powerful, allowing you to chain 4/4s together for five mana without investing any more resources other than mana. That's not an especially powerful ability on its own except that it's a two-drop that turns into a 4/4 attacker on turn three. It's almost like a Leveler creature that gives you three free copies of Beast Attack to play on future turns. The one downside is that if they kill the creature in response to the ability being activated, you wasted five mana with nothing to show for it. Still, I think the upside merits this risk.
Biogenic Ooze (mythic) - $7 SELL
This is a powerful ability that can definitely take over a game quickly, but I'm not feeling $7.
Guardian Project - $1 BUY
In a mostly creature deck of one-ofs, this card feels nice. I expect this to be good in Commander.
End-Raze Forerunners - $.50 BUY
If you get to eight mana, this card is a boss. I'm not expecting too much from it, but I think it's above bulk.
Incubation Druid - $3.5 SELL
It could see play in Modern or Standard, but I'm selling at $3.50.
Rampage of the Clans - $.50 SELL
What sort of deck wants to make a bunch of artifacts and then turn them into 3/3s?
Hallowed Fountain - $7 BUY
Godless Shrine - $7 BUY
Breeding Pool - $8 BUY
Stomping Ground - $8 BUY
Blood Crypt - $8 BUY
The shock lands are all great and are the main reason the other rares and mythics in the set will have their prices tempered.
Plaza of Harmony - $.50 SELL
Will a gate deck even want this? Isn't the purpose of a gate deck to amass as many Gates as possible as quickly as possible?
Glass of the Guildpact $1.25 SELL
Tome of the Guildpact - $.75 SELL
Garbage of the Guildpact.
Seraph of the Scales (mythic) - $7 BUY
This card feels great to me. It sizes up perfectly against Spawn of Mayhem and some of the other flyers in Standard. And when it dies you get value. This can even come out reasonably in a trade with Rekindling Phoenix if you have a way to remove the Elemental Token.
Kaya's Wrath - $5.50 SELL
It will see play, but the color requirements are steep and restrictive, meaning it won't likely have more than one or maybe two homes. And I'm not paying upwards of $5 for that.
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper (mythic) - $9 SELL
In Standard this doesn't seem great, but I can see it being playable in older formats where 1 mana cost permanents are more common.
Teysa Karlov - $2.75 SELL
I wouldn't be surprised if this sees play in a token deck, but four mana is a lot for a creature that doesn't even grant an anthem effect.
Ethereal Absolution $1.25 SELL
Unless your deck is 40 cards, I'm passing.
Revival // Revenge - $2 SELL
Both effects are slow, so this card will be sitting in your hand. Then when do you make the decision to cast the front half instead of waiting longer for the back half? The card seems really oddly designed.
Absorb - $2 BUY
I'm surprised this is so low. The Invasion version in NM condition is more than for times this price. And I expect this to see a lot of Standard play and even some Modern play.
Deputy of Detention - $3 BUY
I already wrote an entire article about this card and its applications in Standard and Modern. The ability to exile any nonland permanent instead of just creatures makes it much better than the typical Banisher Priest type card.
Dovin, Grand Arbiter (mythic) - $12 SELL
I think this card is pretty good and there is a decent chance it sees play. I just don't think it's as powerful as some of the other mythics, and the price of all the mythics will be diminished by the presence of shock lands at rare, so I think $12 is too high.
Warrant // Warden - $1 BUY
This is one of the more underrated cards in the set. It's better than Azorius Charm. It does the same thing in the majority of cases (get rid of an attacker temporarily) but then also becomes a Serra Angel later if you want it. When an efficient removal spell can also be an efficient finisher, this should go straight into Azorius Control decks. And it even costs the perfect amount of mana to cast off the two lands untapped by Teferi. And the token has vigilance so it can block to protect Teferi. How is this only $1? This one feels like a sleeper.
Emergency Powers (mythic) - $3.5 SELL
Powerful effect, but seven mana is a lot. Instant speed Timetwister effect means you can play it on the opponent's end step and basically get first crack at resolving your (sorcery speed) spells drawn off it.
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade - $4.5 SELL
I'm just not seeing it. How is this good? It is too narrow for Modern unless the metagame is exactly right for it and the abilities aren't that relevant for Standard. Why is this nearly $5? Message me if you know something I don't know because I want to love it but I don't see how.
Bedevil - $6 BUY
Wow, this card is powerful! There aren't enough planeswalkers in Modern for this to see play over Kolaghan's Command, but it might be a one-of replacement for Terminate in some decks. In Standard, however, it looks like an all-star. Rakdos seems really good and this is a big reason.
Theater of Horrors - $1.75 BUY
This effect usually costs four mana and is still good enough as a sideboard card against slow decks. This effect is actually even better than a lot of its four-mana counterparts because a card gets exiled each turn and then when you damage an opponent you can play any of the cards that have been removed by it, not just the most recent one. This is therefore much closer to Phyrexian Arena than Outpost Siege.
Judith, the Scourge Diva - $4.5 SELL
Named after my mom (Judy Wescoe, hi mom!), this is pretty powerful in a heavy creature deck. It's also a human, which makes it a consideration in Champion of the Parish decks in Modern. I think it's a strong card, but it might not even make it into Rakdos Aggro in Standard and it's nearly $5, which seems too high to me.
Rakdos, the Showstopper (mythic) - $4 SELL
It's certainly playable, but six mana is a lot and there are better mythics in the set. This is a reasonable buy, but not one I'm excited about. I doubt this will be a four-of in any deck that wants it, unlike some of the other mythics.
Captive Audience (mythic) - $2 SELL
It's a good thing it enters the battlefield under the opponent's control because then maybe the opponent will forget to give it back at the end of the game. That's about the only way I see being able to get rid of this piece of hot garbage.
Bedeck // Bedazzle - $.75 SELL
Six mana conditional Stone Rain? Bedeck / Bedazzle be dog poop.
Thrash // Threat - $.75 BUY
This and the Azorius one are the two that stand out to me as excellent. Your creatures can deal their damage to other creatures or to planeswalkers or you can get a reasonably costed body if you don't have a creature or if the opponent doesn't have one. Really versatile card that I think will fit nicely into Gruul in multiples.
Gruul Spellbreaker - $4.5 SELL
I think this card is good, and I almost said to buy it, but ultimately I decided it won't live up to the current $4.50 price. I think $3 is about right.
Cindervines $3 - SELL
It might see some play, even in Modern, but I think Destructive Revelry is still overall better in a lot of cases.
Ravager Wurm (mythic) -$4 SELL
This is playable but pretty restricted in who would want it.
Domri, Chaos Bringer (mythic) - $16 SELL
This feels to me like the most overrated card in the set. Maybe I'm wrong, but if you use the minus ability to find a creature or two, then you're left with few loyalty to keep Domri alive. And if you use the plus ability instead then you have a decent amount of loyalty but then you just spent four mana to essentially not impact the board. If you get to untap with Domri, things will likely be very good, but without a way to defend itself I just don't see this being an all-star.
Nikya of the Old Ways - $1.75 SELL
If your deck is full of Fireballs or Eldrazi, this is sweet. But intermediate Mana Flare effects that die to removal spells are a hard sell.
Prime Speaker Vannifar (mythic) - $15 BUY
This is probably the most powerful card in the set and will see play in Standard and Modern. Not only will it see play in these formats but it is also a card that you specifically want to build your deck around, meaning it will be an indispensable four-of in the decks that want it.
Biomancer's Familiar - $2 BUY
Adam Yurchick has some things to say about this card. Both its abilities are powerful and I expect it to see enough play to merit buying at $2. If someone breaks it, it could be a sleeper.
Zegana, Utopian Speaker - $.75 BUY
The frontside rate on this is not bad. Then when you pump mana into this creature it becomes an 8/8 trampler. It essentially has the monstrous ability. And since you are Simic, your deck is likely filled with cards that produce and/or benefit from +1/+1 counters. It might not have its voice heard because it costs the same amount of mana as a superior speaker, but I think it is good enough to see play.
Hydroid Krasis (mythic) - $8 SELL
The scaling effect of this is good, but not $8 good. This is definitely the inferior simic mythic.
Repudiate // Replicate - $3 SELL
If stifle effects are really good then this can be good enough, but I'm definitely selling at $3.
Simic Ascendancy - $1 SELL
The text on this card includes the phrase "you win the game," which is ironic because that's something that will never actually happen if you put this card in your deck.