When War of the Spark was announced, fans had many questions about the future of Ravnica as a plane. Even though the set takes place on the Plane of Ravnica, Wizards confirmed that there would be no mechanics from the past two sets appearing in the new one. While guild-specific cards remain absent from the set, there will be a lot of cards that bring back popular characters from the Ravnica stories. This spoiler makes good on that promise: the legendary dragon, Niv-Mizzet, has been reborn.
When it comes to Legendary Creatures, Niv-Mizzet is one of the longest standing Ravnica characters. In the original Ravnica block, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind debuted as the leader of the Izzet guild. The super-genius dragon led the guild in research projects during his tenure. It was confirmed by Gavin Verhey that all these research projects were a back-up plan in case he were to fall. By the looks of it, those experiments paid off.
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Niv-Mizzet Reborn is a rare sight on the Ravnica Plane as a five-color card. However, this card works wonders for people who love playing with the guild cards. When entering the battlefield, Niv-Mizzet Reborn reveals the top ten cards of the owner’s library, who can then choose one card of each color pair to put into their hand. With the many dual color planeswalkers and legendary creatures in the set, Niv-Mizzet can tutor a ton of very powerful cards.
Along with this card, we also received an excellent tool to synergize with Niv-Mizzet and help pay for the cards he just added to your hand.
Firemind Vessel is a really cool mana rock that is definitely unique. Most mana rocks either tap to add a number of colorless mana (see Sol Ring or Worn Powerstone), or one mana of a single color (see Commander’s Sphere or Izzet Locket). Firemind Vessel breaks this mold by adding two mana of two different colors. This fits really well into the guild theme of all Ravnica sets and looks to be a new commander staple.
Niv-Mizzet Reborn and Firemind Vessel have some major implications to the lore of the set and the story that will play out. The easier of the two to talk about is Niv-Mizzet himself. With today’s releases and the title of “Reborn”, Wizards is confirming the death of the dragon. It also seems that his new form will become a major leader on the Plane, as his five-color identity and guild-based ability show him rallying the Tenth District as a martyr and inspiration.
The Vessel then alludes to the process from which he came back from the dead. The flavor text at the bottom of the card shows that the Firemind Vessel may have been one of the pieces used in his resurrection.
With Niv-Mizzet being such a prominent and popular figure among the players, it only makes sense that he would take a leading role in this war.
Niv-Mizzet Reborn is not a card many will see in Standard play. With his five-color mana cost and such a niche ability, most players may shy away from it in 60-card formats. The one format that Niv could see a lot of play in is Commander. Commander is a multiplayer format with 100-card decks that are headed by a legendary creature. Having Niv-Mizzet Reborn as your commander would be a fantastic idea.
To help ensure you get as many of your two-color creatures, run things like Brain in a Jar and Seer’s lantern that allow you to look at the top cards of your library and possibly put them on the bottom. This filter effect will ensure that you hit as many of your color pairs as possible.
Another important piece to this deck is removing the limitation on your hand. Effects like Reliquary Tower and Thought Vessel increase your maximum hand size. This ensures you do not discard any value cards from the trigger on Niv-Mizzet.
For Firemind Vessel, there isn’t much to talk about for unique uses of this card. You could add cards like Voltaic Key and Unwinding Clock to help add more mana from the Vessel. It should be noted that this card is obviously useful even beyond its synergy with the new Niv-Mizzet. If you are building any multi-color deck, this card will help improve the deck’s effectiveness.
Niv-Mizzet Reborn is an extremely exciting card. It’s overall flavor and effectiveness will probably make it a fan favorite. It won’t see a lot of play in Standard but will be a favorite for Commander and Brawl players. Firemind Vessel is looking like a potential Commander staple as well. It might see more play in other constructed formats as a better mana rock as well.