An Optimization Guide to Ravnica

Magic the Gathering in my D&D? What is a gamer to do? Instead of doing a review of the book. I am going to go through chapter by chapter and look at the character options. I am debating whether I will add the Guild Master’s Guide To Ravnica to my normal optimizations guides or to keep it separate. But, for the time being, I will be keeping it separate and I may include it later down the road.

**Update 1/16/19 – I just changed hosting, so hopefully I won’t be running into too many issues and I will be able to get back to updating more regularly  

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Races
  • Subclasses
  • Guilds and Backgrounds
  • Magic Items

*Featured Image for this post is Lazav, The Multifarious by Yongjae Choi from Wizards of the Coast – MTG*


I am a big fan of crunch in my RPGs. And, I think any source that adds to that is going to be greatly appreciated by the fan base of Dungeons and Dragons. I do think that these optimization guides are great for people who, like me, enjoy theory crafting and building wild and crazy characters that are true and tried adventurers. So for those of you who love system mastery, this is for you, if you are looking for a review of this product, you’ll not find it on this page.

Alright, now the explanation. These guides all follow a similar rating scale. I am going to be using the one that I like the best, which will be outlined below. Remember I am rating these based on what I think their effectiveness is in combat first. Also, these are all my opinions and I am happy to change them if I see a valid reason to.

Rating Scale

  • Gold (+++) = Must have, you better have a good reason for picking something else.
  • Sky Blue (++) = Great Choice
  • Blue (+) = Good Choice
  • Black ( | ) = Decent choice
  • Purple (-) = Pick something else if you can, but won’t cripple you
  • Red (–) = Only pick this if you have a story related reason to do so

Races of Ravnica

We are going to go ahead and skip over the standard races and only focus on those that are specific to this setting or have options specific to this setting. So with that let’s dig into the races!

  • Centaur ( + ) – You are a fey creature with four legs, and you are medium size. You get a nice bonus to Str and Wis.
    • Racial Traits
      • Charge ( + ) – When you move your speed and attack, you can make a bonus hoof attack. More attacks are great
      • Hooves ( + ) – Depending on the class you pick having a natural weapon can come in handy and if you’ve read my Barbarian Guide you will know I love natural weapons.
      • Equine Build ( – ) – The bonus is that you can carry more, the negative is that climbing sucks. I think the cost is too high for the advantage, but I can see what they were going for.
      • Survivor ( | ) – Bonus skills are always welcome, even is the choice is pretty weak.
    • Class Options
      • Tier One ( + + ) –  The three class that I think fit firmly in tier one for this race is going to be Fighter, Ranger, and Cleric
      • Tier Two (  + ) – Barbarian, Paladin, Monk, and Druid all fit here between the bonus to Str and the Bonus to Wis
      • Teir Three ( – ) – Everything else. Sure you can be a Centaur Warlock, Bard, rogue, Wizard. But, the stats and abilities don’t really match up.
  • Loxodon ( | ) – The elephant in the room can now be a playable character. Loxodons are huge (for medium-sized creature) humanoids. With that, you get a bonus to wis and a bigger bonus to con.
    • Racial Traits
      • Powerful Build ( | ) –  You can carry more. I am sure there is a pack or trunk joke here, but it is slipping my mind.
      • Loxodon Serenity ( + ) – Having a bonus against being charmed and frightened is a pretty nice bonus.
      • Natural Armor ( | ) – This is okay, but really there shouldn’t be very many builds that this is going to be great for.
      • Trunk ( + )–  With a reach of 5 feet and the ability to use it with an unarmed strike. I feel like this my sync well with monks.
      • Keen Smell ( | ) – Advantage on a handful of skills is great, but it only relies on smell. So, if you have a jerk DM, you may never get to use this bonus.
    • Class Options
      • Tier One ( + + ) –  I think with the big boost to con you can safely put Barbarian here and with the boost to wis and the potential reach I think this could be a great Monk.
      • Tier Two ( + ) – I think leaning into the con Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers might be great here and with the wisdom boost that means Clerics and Druids may be a good choice too.
      • Tier Three ( – ) – Well, if you rely on int, cha, or dex you likely aren’t going to be playing this. So Rogues, Bards, Wizards, Sorcs, and Warlocks. Not the best choice for you.
  • Minotaur ( + + ) – Keep rolling out the monstrous races, please. Getting a bump to Str followed by a bump to con you are going to be ready for the front line.
    • Racial Traits
      • Horns ( ++ ) – Natural weapons and these have a little bit higher die of damage than some of the other natural weapons we’ve encountered.
      • Goring Rush ( + ) – After using your action to dash you can, as a bonus action, attack with your horns. This is a low key version of the Charger feat. Not a bad bonus at all.
      • Hammering Horns ( ++) – Attack, then use your bonus action as a shove. I think this is a pretty solid extra bit of action from the Minotaur. This will allow for some positioning and getting your allies out of danger options.
      • Imposing Presence ( | ) – Free training in either Intimidate of Persuasion. Since you aren’t a charisma race this isn’t going to do a whole lot for you, but free skills are free skills. I’ll taken ’em
    • Class Options
      • Tier One ( + + + ) – Welcome to playing a barbarian or fighter. Stats line up perfectly and you have a lot of great extra options.
      • Tier Two ( ++) – This is a strong race and with that you are going to get a lot of solid options. Paladin and Ranger are among them. There are some interesting possibilities with Rogues (since you can use your dash as a bonus action) but I am going to put them in the next group.
      • Tier Three ( + ) – I know I am adding an extra teir just for Rogues. And it is all due to the Hammering horns and that sweet use of dash as a bonus action.
      • Tier Four ( – ) – Monk, Bard, Wizard, Sorc, Warlock. You know, those classes that use int, wis or cha.
  • Simic Hybrid ( + + ) – I am not sure what this is, but it has some interesting options. You get a nice bump to Con and then a floating bonus to any other ability score. So lots of options here.
    • Racial Traits
      • Darkvision ( + ) –  Seeing in the dark is great. Everyone should do it.
      • Animal Enhancement – Not only do you get a choice when it comes to your floating ability bump, but you also get a sweet power of your choice.
        • Manta Glide ( | ) – Being able to glide is pretty cool, and it will help you not take damage from falling a certain distance. But, is this a great ability? Not really, not when we have races with flight. But, it isn’t garbage either.
        • Nimble Climber ( + ) – A climb speed is great for getting around and not having to worry about silly things like ladders.
        • Underwater Adaptation ( | ) – This is okay. If you are in a sea-based campaign this gets better.
        • 5th level –  At fifth level, you can choose one of the above that you haven’t chosen already or you get one of the abilities of your choice below.
        • Grappling Appendages ( + +) – Oh many. Natural weapons do not get better than this. You hit with these natural weapons (which have respectable damage) you then as a bonus action can attempt a grapple. And, you can flavor these to be claws or tentacles.
        • Carapace ( + + ) – You don’t get many opportunities to get a bonus to AC. And, you get this one so long as you aren’t wearing heavy armor. Just a static bonus. Nice.
        • Acid Spit. ( + ) – A scaling ranges attack that the save is keyed off your con and you get a bonus on how many times you can do it based on your con score. They are really making this choice tough.
    • Class Options
      • Tier One ( + + ) – This race is ridiculous. Everyone can use con and that floating bonus means you can pump any stat for any class. I will say the standouts here are going to be Fighter and Barbarian due to the bump to con and the potential smaller bump to your attack stat.
      • Tier Two ( + ) – Everything else.
  • Vedalken ( ++ ) The cool and calm in the face of chaos. These guys get a major bump to Int and a lesser bump to Wisdom to represent their understanding of the order of the universe. Or something, I’ve never heard of these guys till this book.
    • Racial Traits
      • Vedalken Dispassion ( + + + ) – You have advantage on all of three different saves. All of your non-physical saves. So if you wanted to go fighter and pick up saves with Str and Con that means you would get some extra durability.
      • Timeless Precision ( + ) – Bonus skills and bonus tool skill, and the skill choices are pretty sweet. This is another nice little boon for this race.
      • Partially Amphibious ( | ) – This is good if you are in a campaign with a fair amount of water, it is decent in most other campaigns. But, nothing to write home about.
    • Class Options
      • Teir One ( + + + ) – Wizard is going to be you big choice here, after that it is dimishing returns. But, it is still a great race no matter what you pick.
      • Tier Two ( + ) – Cleric is a good choice here. Monk is solid too.  The bonus to Int, maybe not the best. But the Wis is nice
      • Tier Three ( | ) – Now the stats don’t line up great but Barbarian, Paladin, Fighter, and Rogue can really take advantage of that Vedalken Dispassion.
      • Tier Four ( – ) – You Cha classes are going to suffer here. So, Sorc and bard and Warlock are going to suffer here.

Subclass Options

**Coming soon **

Guilds and Backgrounds

**Coming Soon **

Magic Items

**Coming Soon **

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  • Zach

    June 3, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    With the change it wording, a Monk Minotaur would not only be strong be also very funny to think about. The horns can now be counted as Unarmed Attacks and thus, work for monk weapons. A monk, who runs in, and waves his head back and forth.


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