I am not a Magic fan by any stretch of the imagination. I used to play back in the day, but (except for three games when I went to Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago) I haven’t touched a Magic deck in 5 or 6 years unless it was to search for a Rebecca Guay card for my collection. I state this caveat to make clear I am not a Magic fan, afficionado, or even a casual interested party and that my statements from now on are not those of a crazed card flopper.

RAVNICA looks awesome!!!

The first I read about it stated that Ravnica was set in a world that had been overrun by one huge metropolis (Ravnica); a world where nature had been incorporated into the architectural landscape, pushed underground or erradicated; a world ruled by ten world-spanning guilds that had been locked in a strained peace for the last ten thousand years. The copy sounded like the world was either very interesting or very lame. I followed the link in the story back to Magic’s website and I beheld the artwork for one of the basic lands, the Ravnica Forest:

I was hooked. The art for the basic lands alone told me tons about this world, and gave me a dozen ideas in a second, more than any recent RPG product has done. (Top to bottom: Plains, Mountain, Island, Swamp – click on each to see a larger version, it’s worth it.)

The artwork is incredibly evocative, and truly captures something I’ve always wanted to see/do in a game, a fantasy megapolis of truly epic proportions. The more I read about the setting, especially about the ten guilds, the more I’ve gotten hooked on the setting (heck, I’m even enjoying the articles on the design of the set!). Though I don’t see myself buying cases and cases, I might buy a deck or two and then steal all the flavor from the online card database for this and the next two sets in the block. This is a world where I would like to run a game, where I can see myself developing stuff to fit the setting; in short, the first time I wish WotC would do a cross-over and release a D&D setting of their Magic material.

I invite everyone to check out the various articles on Ravnica at www.MagicTheGathering.com (both the Archives and the Ravnica section), if only to see the awesome artwork and the ideas they can spawn.