This feels a lot like the old ravnica: Great art and flavor, some really great cards, but also a lot of really bad cards. The original ravnica block wasn't all amazing cards you know. I think everyone is just spoiled.
Shocklands are back, I dig most of the guild mechanics (Unleash is terrible, but hey 4 out of 5 isn't bad), we get a sweet new charm cycle, cool new guild leaders, one of the more interesting riffs on a planeswalker we've had in a while, and a huge number of cards that really make me want to get back into Brainstorm mode when it comes to making decks. Plenty of nice EDH cards, too.
I can't wait to draft this set and I can't wait to see what new Standard will bring.
For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!"
And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
I think this set looks cool! While I'll agree that none of the mechanics particularly lend themselves to cool interactions, they still look fun to play with. Ravnica always seemed to me about individual cards and the weird stuff you can do with them than pre-designated interactions.
From first look, I like this set, there's reprint of shocklands (of course), then Gate type land that feel flavourfull. Also I like the charm cycle, pithing needle, chromatic chrome, new guild leaders, and many more.
Mechanics are normal for me, except for unleashed, so many of them are overcosted that this mechanic become more disadvantage rather than giving a creature good boost.
Also I remember the first time overload mechanic are spoiled, "that keyword !!"
I agree with the OP, that the set is dissapointing. And its not just because its Ravnica 2.0, which was my favourite set, but because (in my opinion) Wizards just doesnt know how to make a good set again.
First is the art. The multicolored cards look great for the most part, but some of the artwork just feels like Wizards said: "Ok, we need a vampire art" and then accepted the first one available. For example Ash Zealot, Necropolis regent, those red imps, Guild Feud and Axebane guardian all look like they just came from Innistrad. And that Mythic Wurm looks like its from Zendikar.
Then the guild mechanics, which are the most dissapointing thing. They are just not interesting, and could be compared to Bloodthirst in old Ravnica.
Detain, Scavenge, Populate, Overload and Unleash are ALL abilities that affect things on the battlefield (mostly creatures because obviously thats where the fun is). In original Ravnica you had things like transmute and dredge.
Then they are boring, and require NO thought whatsoever. They are all made so that a 10yr old knows best when to use them and that he doesnt have the slightest chance to fail. You just play your ability and stuff happens.
In original Ravnica, you had replicate, dredge, transmute, haunt, forecast etc. and all required some thought, except for bloodthirst. Radiance could hurt your own permanents, but overload doesnt? These new keywords are boring and safe.
And then we have the Wizards "must have" list. This set just had to have a mythic vampire and mythic dragon. Then the standard crap/boring commons/uncommons with the "its for limited" excuse. Why print such mythics then? Sealed is always won by the guy who gets the most broken mythic/rare. I should know because I was first at the Innistrad prerelease with 2x Ludevic abomination and Grim-Grin. The guy who will open the armada wurm or the loxodon smiter will have such a huge advantage its not even funny.
And then the random hosers for strategies that wizards thinks are "Anti-fun", like the cannot be countered cycle or that red lady from innistrad and her graveyard hate, and that white enchantment etc... Most of these hosers seem so random to me, they just ruin the feel of the set.
But like I said I just believe Wizards doesnt know how to make a decent set anymore. The original Ravnica (and other sets) used to be ideas of a plane, spilled on cards. Now Wizards has the idea they need to keep making new sets every year to get money, and they randomly pick a plane and then make a set which is similar to so many others. Honestly ever since Shards of Alara I feel like Wizard sets are all made after the same pattern. And of course everything in those sets needs to be made so that 10yr old kids dont need to think and the cards play the game for themselves. And ofc creatures are fun for everyone, thats why they get more efficient from set to set.