Magic's Mark Rosewater on Why Ravnica's Guilds Get Spit Up Between the Sets


Magic: The Gathering Head Designer, Mark Rosewater, talks about Ravnica's guilds and why they were split between original Ravnica's three sets.

Most Magic: The Gathering players are familiar with the 10 guilds that are found on the plane of Ravnica (Azorius, Izzet, Orzhov, Simic, Gruul, Rakdos, Boros, Golgari, Selesnya, and Dimir). And Magic players are probably accustomed to the guilds being spread out among a Ravnica block's sets. But why did Wizards of the Coast split them up to begin with?

Well, the answer is quite simple.  When they're all in the same set, there is simply too much going on.

"We had a play test where we had all ten two-color pairs," explains Magic: The Gathering head designer Mark Rosewater.  "I remember we played with R&D...these are former pro tour players.  These are people who're, like, some of the best people to play Magic -- really good Magic players."

One of those R&D members was Henry Stern, a person who had previously studied to be a rocket engineer.

"Henry Stern came up to me and he goes 'Mark, I can't.  You're melting my just was insane'," recollects Rosewater.  "And I realized that it was just too much.  There was just too much going on."

Rosewater tells the story in the video below as the long-time Magic: The Gathering designer kicks off a series of videos with Magic Untapped about the original Ravnica block over the next three months.

Magic Untapped would like to thank Mark Rosewater for his participation in this video and those to follow.  Be sure to subscribe to Magic Untapped's YouTube channel as to not miss out on any of the content!

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.