Man, this is too much fun.
Goblin Racketeer: I went with a fair rating and that's because a 4/2 for 4 mana isn't bad and I don't know how to rate Goad as a mechanic yet. The art was decent but after that, nothing else stands out about this card.
Orchard Elemental: Green boarder + green art = that's boring. Plus, the damn thing looks like it's in a European palatial grounds, not an orchard. I did like the flavor text but the card itself is poor. Six mana for a benefit that your opponents control is not good. If you get a vanilla 8/8, that's bad. If you get a 2/2 and gain 12 life, that's marginally better but this is assuming that there are still 4 players in the game when the card enters the battlefield! The odds of you getting a much worse scenario is much higher.
Skyline Despot: Red skies in a red card. It's also pretty muddied, as things go: the foreground of the head is OK but it washes out rapidly and the background of the card is tinted red enough that you can't even make out the flame coming from the dragon! But I rated the card good, because a 5/5 flier goes a long way towards keeping you the Monarch and allowing you to get more dragons every turn.
Regicide: I don't see how this is anything but excellent. One mana to destroy 3/5ths of the creatures in the game as an instant? Yeah, that's going to be superb.
Palace Jailer: The artwork's kinda boring here, isn't it? It isn't bad but it's not telling much of a story, either. Unfortunately, this is just a bad card overall, too. It's a flavor win, to be sure: a creature being jailed until the political whims shift, oh that's marvelous. But it's that flavor win that makes it such a weak card, too, because you're never going to keep a creature you removed off the table.
Illusionary Informant: Blue art + Blue card.... I like the name though and I like the way the mechanic executes. The stats aren't bad, either so I gave it a fair rating. I'd take this card for sure.
Echoing Boon: What's going on in that scene? Rats riding goblins? It's goofy and I like it, even if I can't see how it relates to the name of the card, which is marginal. But it's a fair card, doing some potentially gamebreaking stuff...if you draw the card you name. Which knocks it down to marginal overall.
Menagerie Liberator: I mean...that dude has a green jacket on. Why? Because it's a green card? That's just nonsense. I do like the leading of the charge that's depicted, though: fair. Name is excellent though. In the end, I rated it fair: the potential to be a 6/5 trampler is cool, but even if it's just a 4/3, that doesn't suck for 4 mana.
Capital Punishment: I think this card is great all the way down. Six mana to eliminate at least 3 creatures or ensure at least 3 cards are discarded and it only improves from there? That's fantastic.
Leovold, Emissary of Trest: Another great card. I dinged the name to "good" because it's solid but rote, in the Magic naming scheme. Everything else about this card I love. I know other people are thinking "Commander" but as always I'm thinking "Sixty card deck...?"
Arcane Savant: Meh to the art again but...that ability has the potential to be game breaking. Yes, you need to get lucky and/or plan (or both). Or maybe you just want to cast Murder and get a 3/3 for five mana. That's just fine too. Excellent stuff.
Recruiter of the Guard: The art here feels dynamic and have some different color schemes so I like that. I'm downgrading the name because of the ability: Guardians should have high toughness, don't you think? Why recruit weaklings? Some solid flavor text though (which also plays nicely into the ability) and, well, the card itself is fantastic.
Assemble the Rank and Vile: Jesus, let's just go all goth on this one...if I wanted to look at Juggalo group photos I'd do that. I really like the name but...it's really only good if you can get multiple copies of a creature in your deck and in an 8 person draft, my experience has been that this is not very common. Or at least, not copies of creatures you want to put in the deck. Marginal rating.
Messenger Jays: I think this is a bit of a sleeper card. Getting a really big flier isn't anything to sniff at, and that's most likely what you'll get but if you don't, drawing cards never sucks. For 5 mana, I'm rating this excellent. It's entirely possible to hit 5 mana with 4 players in the game but even if there's only 2, 3/2 + a card or 4/3 fliers for 5 are totally reasonable.
Incendiary Dissent: Why is the background building pink? WHY? I really like the name but, as with Assemble the Rank and Vile, I don't see it being anything more than a marginal card.
All in all, I think this is a pretty good set. What I'm starting to notice is that I am having some serious objections to the monotony of the art, in regards to the color scheme. This objection is holding over from set to set, and I think I'm going to keep making it until things change.