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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Return to the Ranks
Image from Wizards.com

Return to the Ranks
- M15

Reviewed Aug. 4, 2014

Constructed: 3.43
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 3.63
Multiplayer: 3.49

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Deck Garage

Return to the Ranks

I like that the Core Sets have returned to the philosophy of "reintroduce one old keyword mechanic each set". I also like the new flavor text on Return to the Ranks. And I especially like what this thing can do in an aggro deck like Boros or even White Knights. The "CMC=2 or less" clause is a little restrictive, but it can get back Soul's Attendant, Serra Ascendant, Serra Avenger, Sightless Brawler, Wall of Omens, and quite a few other intriguing cards-- and that's just in White. Heck, you could Day of Judgment even when you've got solid board presence and follow it up with this just to mess with everybody. And the ETB abilities firing off all at once! The imagination boggles!

Constructed- 3.75
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 3.95

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Return to the Ranks
I still sort of can't get over that this is just one card, and the X refers to the number of creatures that get resurrected. Bringing back a bunch of knights and whatnot that your opponent spent resources killing would be devastating in itself. But remember Humanimator? Remember Cathedral Sanctifier, Alchemist's Apprentice, Cartel Aristocrat, and if you go back to the last decade, Saffi Eriksdotter? Convoke is mostly a throw-in bonus on a card like this, but it does make the second one easier to cast than the first (assuming your opponent even survived the resurrection of all those knights, Cartel Aristocrat, and Saffi).
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 4/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Return to the Ranks which is a two White and X sorcery with Convoke that returns X target creatures with converted mana cost of two or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.  This is an excellent middle to late game play for small creature decks using White mana, particularly if combined with Haste in a Boros or Slivers build.  For four mana, or two with two tapped creatures, this is already card advantage that just increases in value with each additional target.  It will be a very popular card across formats and unless an opponent has countermagic, graveyard destruction, or mass removal it is a game-ending play.
In Limited there may not be many viable targets in the graveyard, but even one creature for three mana is playable and two or more is a clear advantage.  An easy first pick in Booster and automatic inclusion when using White in Sealed.
Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

Return to the Ranks
There's a similar card that I've tried to take advantage of for a while now: Immortal Servitude. It asks you to pay 3 hybrid black/white mana and X to bring back all creatures from your graveyard with a mana cost of X. I tried to build a Festering Newt deck where I had the newt and lots of 1 cost creatures that tried to come back and wreak havoc multiple times, but usually bringing them all back at once was overkill, and the deck itself had other problems. Another time, I built a deck with lots of 3 casting cost enchantment creatures - including Grim Guardian - and aimed to dump them in my graveyard and recur them all at once. If I could get Mogis Marauders among them, they wold not only trigger constellation, but gain haste and intimidate. Trying to do all that at once proved to be too much to reliably pull off.
I came to the conclusion that Immortal Servitude was just not as good as I wanted it to be. I think the same will be true for Return to the Ranks. If you're going for a big, one time combo, it's pretty hard to put it all together. The best place I see for a card like this is in the sideboard of an aggressive deck. If you're playing against someone who's great at sweeping away your weenies, side this in for a second round of attacks. Convoke will sometimes be helpful, but if you've got enough creatures out to make convoke matter much, you're probably just as well off attacking with those creatures.
Constructed: 2
Casual: 3
Limited: 2
Multiplayer: 2

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