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Return to Ravnica Mechanics

Happy Sunday MTG peeps,

Following up on our two previous posts, PAX Ravnica Party and the Return to Ravnica Spoiler List, we think we now have all the Return to Ravnica keywords / mechanics for a proper post to publish.  Let's go . . .

Return to Ravnica revisits five of the ten Ravnica block bi-colored guilds, each of which with its own keyword or ability word that is similar but not identical to the original one.

Azorius Senate         blue / white    
Golgari Swarm         black / green   
Izzet League         blue / red   
Cult of Rakdos         black / red   
Selesnya Conclave     green / white   

Multicolored: Gold and Hybrid

 These cards require mana from two or more different colors to be played. Multicolored cards tend to combine the philosophy and mechanics of all the colors used in the spell's cost.  Hybrid mana (also known as half-half mana) is a type of mana first introduced in Ravnica: City of Guilds and featured throughout the Ravnica and Shadowmoor blocks. Each hybrid mana symbol represents a cost which can be paid with one of two colors. The hybrid mana symbol can be of any combination of two colors, or any color of mana and two generic mana.

Detain (Azorius Senate)

When you detain an opposing permanent, until your next turn, that permanent's activated abilities can't be activated and (if it's a creature) it can't attack or block. 

Overload (Izzet League)

Overload provides an alternate and more expensive mana cost for a card which can be used when casting it, and upon doing it increases the whole effect of the card.

Unleash (Cult of Rakdos)

One may choose to have a creature with unleash enter the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter it. As long as it has one or more +1/+1 counters on it, it can't block—no matter how it got +1/+1 counters.

Scavenge (Golgari Swarm)

The reminder text for Scavenge reads 'Exile this card from your graveyard: Put a number of +1/+1 counters equal to this card's power on target creature. Scavenge only as a sorcery.'  You can activate the scavenge ability of a creature card in your graveyard any time you could cast a sorcery by exiling it and paying its scavenge cost.

Populate (Selesnya Conclave)

The reminder text for populate is 'Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a creature token you control'.  Populate doesn't target anything, and you don't have to choose a token to copy until you're actually populating.


Gold cards can put a strain on your mana, so Return to Ravnica features common "dual lands" - lands that can tap for either of two different colors of mana - called Gates.  

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