The art for Simic Growth Chamber, a Simic dual land. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast and Jenn Ravenna.

The Simic Combine: Go with the Flow

Merfolk, elementals, druids. Flowing streams and giant forests. Simic is the colors of blue and green, of growth and nature. Blue cards go with the flow, diverting and controlling like the current of the waves. Green cards have giant, powerful creatures and can make them even more giant. Together, you have mother nature at it’s finest and most deadly.

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

The Simic guild is all about preserving Ravnica’s natural state while also improving upon what is already there. Using magic they not only conserve the land and its creatures but they also create new ones. Biomancers, or mages that study life, are prevalent in the Simic guild. They create mutants, and sometimes if things go wrong, piles of dangerous and replicating ooze.

Adapt and Overcome

The new mechanic for Simic reflects the heart of the guild: adapt.

Adapt X – if this creature has no +1/+1 counters on it, put X +1/+1 counters on it.

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

A typical green mechanic like Monstrous, Adapt makes your creatures even bigger and harder to deal with. But that’s not all. Combining it with abilities like Zegana, Utopian Speaker, your +1/+1 counters are doing more than just make your creature bigger. A little splash of blue gives the ability more possibilities. Typical merfolk behavior, if you’ve played Ixalan. So glad merfolk are coming back already. So. Glad. I love getting smacked in the face by unblockable hexproof merfolk with a million +1/+1 counters on them, don’t you?

Adapt is a little limited, however. If a creature already has any number of +1/+1 counters on it already, it cannot adapt. Although, if those counters are removed – even if the counters were because of adapt – the creature can adapt again. So imagine using a card like Aetherborn Marauder to move the adapted counters off your Aeromunculus so you can adapt Aeromunculus again. We could be seeing a strategy like this that hasn’t been revealed yet. Wizards of the Coast says there “may be” ways to remove counters in this set in their announcement for Simic.

What We Have So Far

So we have Spectacle with Rakdos, Afterlife with Orzhov, and now Adapt with Simic. And I really have to say, so far, Ravnica Allegiance is pushing out guild mechanics that are superior to Guilds of Ravnica.

At least, as far as drafts are concerned. Grigori’s Undergrowth wasn’t all that impressive when you couldn’t dump enough stuff in your graveyard. Izzet’s Jump-start was extremely disappointing. Dimir’s Surveil, I thought, was pretty cool because there were cards you could trigger with the mechanic. Only Boros’ Mentor and Selesnya’s Convoke really stood as great mechanics for Guilds of Ravnica.

Time will tell as we wait for Azorious and Gruul to show us what they have up their sleeve as to whether Allegiance will beat out Guilds for play-ability. But from where I stand, this new Ravnica block is going to be one of my favorite blocks I’ve ever played.