Spoiler season is nearly on us again, and I find myself really amazed by Ruric Thar, the Unbowed. I feel like all the complaining that I’ve been doing over the last few blocks is getting a good response finally.

(Okay, to be fair, I feel like my complaining has somehow fallen in line with someone, or possibly multiple someones, who actually matter, and things are improving in spite of me. But hey…something something gift horse, right?)

Anyway, Ruric is really in flavor for his colors, yet not so specialized that he shuts off or over-suggests a specific strategy that I almost find myself wanting to disbelieve that he’s real. The size, the blend of color-slanted abilities, and the anti-spell technology are just perfect without being so perfect that everyone immediately goes out and builds the same deck. This is a nice turn of events for new generals.

Better yet, he’s costed correctly, and fits multiple roles. If you wanted to put together a ‘spell-hate’ deck, he works. If you wanted to do some sort of an aggro thing, he works. He’s got some decent tribal alliances, and he can just head out and be a cool general for a pile of good green and red cards.

This is what I want more of from Wizards of the Coast.

Sure, it’s nice to get a Gisela or a Jarad, but what tends to happen is that you also get narrow strategies and overpowered generals that people tend to hate on as a result. I know I do whatever I can to not let Gisela stick around (or event show up to begin with), because she tends to make games really unbalanced in a hurry.

And I don’t want to play with or play against another G/B Throw-Lord-of-Extinction-At-Your-Face.dec at all.

So maybe they got Dragon’s Maze right?

I guess from a thematic perspective that we’re talking guild champions, and while I could really care less about set flavor, it makes sense that these generals are strong representations of their clans without retaining some crazy, over-the-top ability that just serves to unbalance things (leave that to the guild leaders). It’s possible that I just happen to be in the right place at the right time on my desires as a result, but maybe this really is a new leaf being turned over.

All in all, I’m excited to see what comes out of this. Specifically, I’m excited to see what Simic ends up getting, because I want more options for the Prime Speaker Momir Vigana deck I’ve been working on. Mostly, because it needs a non-embarrassing name.

So what do I want to see? Great question. If we take Ruric Thar as an example, the template is something like this:

-Power/Toughness commensurate with the slant of the guild. (Gruul is big and angry.)

-Some color-specific static abilities. (Well, pretty close, anyway. Vigilance is kind of bland nad non-specific, but reach is pretty right on for at least green. Maybe haste was too strong in this package?

-Some sort of hate directed at the diametrically-opposed color.

Some of this is pretty straight-forward and will apply across the other champions, but it does get a bit murky. For example, what color do the ‘enemy’-color guilds hate on?

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

You know what? Let’s make this a contest. It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these.


Here’s how it will play out. Pick a guild and submit what you think the guild champion will look like. Include as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable with. You should post your submissions in the ‘comments’ section below to keep us all honest. The person who comes the closest to matching up to the actual specs for the guild leader they pick will receive a foil copy from GDC as a prize once Dragon’s Maze is out. (In other words, give us time to find a damn copy).

The GDC overlords will have final say on who takes the prize, and it goes without saying that you need to have your submission in before the guild champion you choose has been credibly spoiled, or else it doesn’t count. Early birds and all of that…

To up the ante, Mr P and I will also each put a submission in the ring, so you’re also playing against the house. (I’m also putting him on notice – if I end up with the winning submission, he has to get the copy for me. If he nails it, I do the same for him. It’s on.)

Who’s in?


Guild – Simic
Casting Cost – 3UG
Legendary Creature – Merfolk Wizard
Flying, Hexproof
If you would be dealt non-combat damage from a source you do not control, instead draw that many cards and put X +1/+1 counters on (whatever this thing is called).

In case you didn’t notice, I suck at templating and I have no concept of power level. Good luck!