Ravnica for noobs?

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I've only been playing MtG about a year and a half so I missed Ravnica the first time and am confused by all the talk of guilds, etc.  Help a noob!  What books or sites can I read to get up to speed on who's who and what's what?  THANKS
Here's a good start:
wiki.mtgsalvation.com/article/Ravnica

I fully expect someone with more free time to write up an essay about Ravnica in this thread. :P
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Ravnica, the city of Guilds.

Ten thousands years ago, the plane of Ravnica was on the brink of total war. Ten armies rose up on the plane, threatening to destroy each other. Just when it seemed the darkest, Azor of the Azorius Senate came with a contract. The Guildpact, as it was known, was an agreement between the ten "guilds" of Ravnica. Each guild would get a part of the plane, and in exchange each guild would give something to Ravnica.

After some conflict, the guildpact was signed by all ten guilds, and so the guildpact was created. It's magic dominated Ravnica for the next 10,000 year.

Cut to, the Ravnica block. It is the eve of the 10,000 year celebration of the Guildpact. And major changes are about to happen to the city plane of Ravnica. I don't want to spoil the plot for you, I suggest reading the Ravnica trilogy.


Ravnica has ten guilds, each representing two colors. They are the ruling class of the plane. People not belonging to a guild are guildless. They have limited power, and are second class citizens. The guilds are ruled by Guildleaders. Now, some Guildleaders actually have ruled the guilds since the time of the guildpact. If a guildleader is an original signed of the Guildpact they are refered to as that guilds' Parun.

Each guild has a role in Ravnica.

The Azorius senate represents law and order. Their role in Ravnica is to write the laws.

The Dimir is the guild that doesn't exist. It hides in the shadow, and most peolpe on Ravnica don't even think it exists. Just some story parents tell thier children to scare them. THe Dimr's role in the guildpact is secret, I won't spoil it for you.

The Rakdos are assassins, miners, and party animals. THey represent hedonism. Thier place in the gulidpact is to mine, though they also provide assassins and slaves.

The Gruul is the guild that isn't a guild. Originally tasked with protecting the wild places of Ravnica... they failed. Now Ranvica is completley covered in cities and the giuld has no place. Splintered by in-fighting, the Gruul are no longer a cohesive whole, but insatead a collecting of indepedant tribes.

The Conclave is a relgion. It is the main religion worshipped on Ravnica. But secretly, the Conclave powre the guldpact. The faith people have in the Conclave is what gives power to the guildpact.

The Orzhov are the lawyers and merchants of Ravnica. They are modeled after the mafia.

The Izzet are the inventors of Ravnica and are in charge of maintaining it's vast infastructure.

The Golgari rule the undercity of Ravnica. They focus on perverting the cycle of life and death, ressurecting the dead to serve. The Golgari provide the food to the citizens of Ravnica. While this normally means rot farms, they also grind up the dead (If the dead isn't edible, instead they ressurect it).

The Boros are the standing army of Ravnica, they are also the police force. They are charged with enforcing he laws and protecting the guildpact. They also ressolve disputes between guilds.

The Simic combine are the mad scientists of Ravnica. Charged with preserving life on Ravnica, they've since begun to adapt life to the city. The Simic have a lucrative bussiness selling bio-products from soaps to viruses.


There's alot of great flavor in Ravnica. If you have any speifiic questions, feel free to ask.
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Thanks!  A while back I read the book "Agents of Artifice."  A lot of it was set in Ravnica and I think the world sounds really interesting.  I'm going to try to pick up the Ravnica trilogy.  Ty again.