Cards Realm team's thoughts and opinions about Ragavan

Magic: the Gathering


Cards Realm team's thoughts and opinions about Ragavan

07/06/21 Comment regular icon0 comments

Some of our team members have gathered to give their opinions about the most hyped card of Modern Horizons II: Ragavan.

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Today we planned a slightly different article: our team got together to speculate and think about the new card that is causing many sensations and theories:
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Ragavan references a token created by Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, also generating a... funny feeling, I would say. But, in addition, the price of the card is skyrocketing, which often leads to conversations and theories about the subject. The set was barely released in the physical edition and the value is already sky-high!


Our members talked a little about it, as well as thinking about the card inserted in some formats. Get to know our team better, have fun with the article and take the opportunity to think and create theories in the comments too!

Leon Diniz

Leon is a programmer for Cards Realm. He's a professor of some subject I don't remember, besides computer science. He has a lovely sense of humor and stylish hair. Occasionally, he crashes the Cards Realm server accidentally, but fixes it with great speed!

The price of a card is always linked to the sale value of the Boosters Boxes of the sets in which a card is found. I believe we can all remember the fetchlands of Khans of Tarkir. The lands used to cost $15-20 while the booster box used to cost $90 to $100. While the set remained at Standard, the price of fetchlands remained around this price range, The reason the price was maintained is because, if the demand for fetchlands increased, it was enough to open new booster boxes, which could be ordered at will. When the set rotated out, retailers could no longer order booster boxes at will, and currently the box is worth more than $250 and the fetchlands skyrocketed in price. This example shows us that card prices depend on demand and supply and are regulated by box prices. The more a card is important than others within a set, the more it "absorbs" the box price. I'll give you another example, with Voice of Resurgence. This card played a lot in the competitive scene, but, before the first reprint, it could only be found in the Dragon's Maze. Yes, the fateful set in which, I believe, only this card saw play. It reached the absurdity of the set being sold for $100 while this card cost, alone, $75. Is it worth buying the box to try to get this mythic rare? A difficult question, as it would only be worth it if the card was present in the box. After Voice reprint its price dropped and so did the same the booster box, it went to $20! I want to reach the following conclusion: the monkey costs $80 because the Modern Horizons 2 booster box costs around $300. The monkey represents almost 25% of the box's value, something totally plausible, we've seen several cards costing $20 to $40 in sets that cost $100-150, such as Ugin among other mythic rares. The monkey is not a Voice of Resurgence, which absorbs the entire box price. Simply the fact that it is the best card in the set is enough for the price to skyrocket. This is due to the price of the Modern Horizons 2 box and is the new reality of Magic.

Diogo Leal

Diogo is also a Cards Realm programmer (he fixes things when Leon explodes them). He is serious, but if you talk to him a little, you will see that he has a good heart.

I don't see the little monkey playing in many decks and I believe that his hype will drop a lot. He has a fragile body (2/1) and has no haste, which makes it difficult for him to be used on turn 1, and the lack of flying or menace to not be blocked by any creature also hinders his ability, making it necessary to generate evasion or clear the board to make it attack the opponent.


If instead of: "

Whenever Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer deals combat damage to a player

" was: "

Whenever Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer attacks

" and it was blue, it would be a perfect card, in my opinion because I see this card playing in control decks, if it were that color. But I believe the card will find its home in tempo decks.

Raphael Martinez

Martinez is one of our poster boys. He is a math teacher and event narrator for Cards Realm. He also has a wonderful hair. Here's his opinion:

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer in my view is the new Dreadhorde Arcanist. Within their February 15 ban announcement, Wizards of the Coast claimed that with the departure of Oko, Thief of Crowns from Legacy, the Delver decks would be dominant in the format, so they decided to ban Dreadhorde Arcanist as well.
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Three months after this ban they release Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. It has a very similar strategy to Dreadhorde Arcanist, promoting a strong card advantage in the first turns of the game, both because of the treasure and because it "steals" cards from your opponent's library. Some people may claim that drawing cards from the top of the opponent's library could be irrelevant in most matches. When analyzing the top 10 of the most played cards in Legacy, all are cards that the decks that have Delver of Secrets, whether UR or Temur, would be able to use with quality (such as Ponder, Preordain, Brainstorm, Thoughtseize, etc.). So, either there is a contradiction within Legacy's banning policy, or the fate of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer must be the same as Deadhorde Arcanist sooner or later.

Humberto Romeu

Humberto is a writer and translator here at CR. He writes analyzing formats and events; he's also part of "Amigos do Meta", our twitchcast that follows the metagame. He is also a broken deck magnet so, if you ever see him say that he loves playing with a deck, it's probably going to be banned. Let's see what he has to say about the little monkey?

Ragavan is not an easy card to evaluate because it has less conventional angles than you would expect from a red card. On the one hand, the card that has even been called "the next Deathrite Shaman" by Todd Anderson, has an absurdly high potential for formats where it is legal because it generates mana advantage


card advantage every turn, as long as it has space to deal damage to the opponent.
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This means that Ravagan is not the type of card you play and then go to the race with it. Instead, you'll use it and keep the board clean with removals and counterspells or use it (with Dash, it's worth mentioning) on ​​a board that's already clean and get so much card advantage that the opponent will hardly be able to keep up. In a format as mana efficient as Legacy, Ragavan can easily dominate the game if unanswered, countered or blocked by the opponent, with this third point being far less common in Legacy than in other formats. Besides, Legacy is a format where colors tend to mix frequently, so the chances of you taking an opponent's card that you can actually play are quite high.


My only problem with the card is that it's fighting for space with other cards that are very efficient and that, unlike a Dreadhorde Arcanist (to which the card is commonly compared), Ravagan is a bad top deck when you're behind in the game. In Modern, I believe that Ragavan has less room to shine because the format is much less mana efficient (at least so far) when it comes to decks that can use it in the “right way” and compete with cards like Monastery Swiftspear and the recently released Dragon's Rage Channeler.
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Of course, I could see him playing on lists like Death's Shadow, since Jund Shadow, for example, uses Hexdrinker or Knight of the Ebon Legion, which are essentially weaker and less efficient 1-drops than Ragavan, but the fact that it's a worse top deck (after all, it doesn't have a mana sink ability) in a format where creatures are more prevalent and spells are more expensive makes me a little skeptical about the card's viability. In the end, I believe that Ragavan has great potential, but he is competing with powerful cards in the respective decks where he can belong and time will tell if he really is as strong as people speculate him to be.

Antonio Faillace

Antonio is a level 2 judge, writes articles for CR and makes cameos on our narrations, always bringing interesting facts about interactions and rules. He has an inexplicable passion for weird combos and different decks, but we accept him anyway.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is a card that mixes several remarkable abilities in a package aimed at aggressive decks. If anyone has doubts about the "power creep" promoted in recent sets, just compare Ragavan with Isamaru, Hound of Konda - it's even unfair. Two rules reminders for guys: The Ragavan text says you cast the exiled card, meaning exiled lands can't be played. And cards that have Suspend cannot be "Suspended", since Suspend is an ability that only works when the card is in your hand.

Eduardo Silveira

Eduardo started writing Commander articles for CR recently, is a Visual Artist and Art Mediator, and enjoys building alternative decks.

Among so many words to describe Ragavan, Agile Hustle, the one that best describes him is


. Its presence gives you card advantage, ramps, undermines your opponent's possibilities and all for one red mana. In a multiplayer format this is even more effective as the possibilities for free attacks are even greater. On closer inspection, interactions with the top of the deck are devastating, catching opponents off guard abusing the dash ability, in addition to the numerous possible synergies for your type and abilities. In the most competitive scene, his presence is guaranteed in any deck with access to red.


What about you, my reader? What do you think about Ragavan? Do you believe it's going to be a format-warping staple or just one of the most overhyped cards from the recent years?


Leave your comments below, and thanks for reading!
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Tabata Marques

Tábata Marques, Cards Realm editor-in-chief and Magic player in her spare time, besides managing tournaments, Streams and feeding cats.

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