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Set Review: Rivals of Ixalan

I hope you enjoy reading my notes for recent sets. I am a terrible Limited player. My focus is on Johnny fun deckbuilding. I am not a competitive player. It is very hard to review cards in a vacuum, and when I look back at my previous reviews, I have been laughably wrong about busted cards like Aetherworks Marvel (I stated it required too much setting up... what was I thinking?!). Enjoy!
Rivals of Ixalan: Blue
Admiral's Order: I love these 'alternate casting cost' cards. Yes, you can only counter something for U after you have attacked, and it's great.
Aquatic Incursion: Another over-costed battlecruiser enchantment to cheapen these packs for many years to come. I am going to pursue a dozen other strategies in deck building before I would go for 3U to make something unblockable. For that, I will board-wipe my opponent.
Crafty Cutpurse: Nice way to flip the token generation weakness of some of the cards in this set. Still, you are casting something that generates a token for your opponent, it's on the stack, and now you need 3U free to cast this with Flash.... that's a lot of free mana to make the clause work. Just saying!
Crashing Tide: Cool battle trick to recover one of your Merfolk if it's about to get killed. The 'Draw a card' clause is my favorite in Magic.
Curious Obsession: Awesome. I want to enchant a creature that is Unblockable and Hexproof like Invisible Stalker.
Deadeye Rig-Hauler: Meant for Limited. It does not have any form of evasion (like Flying), yet returning one of your opponent's creatures to their hand for free can be very disruptive.
Expel from Orazca: An over-costed Unsummon that will be a low-costed Griptide once in a blue moon.
Flood of Recollection: Under-costed when compared to Call to Mind and the self-exile caluse is the drawback. I think it's really good. There is a mono-blue deck in Standard that will annoy a lot of opponents, yet has some cool tools. Ascend belongs in that dekc and nowhere else.
Hornswoggle: Essence Scatter plus one for a treasure token is fair. The loss of momentum for the extra one mana is OK in blue.
Induced Amnesia: You can use it to mill your opponent at the risk of giving them a lot of cards. If you want to target yourself, you may want to destroy this soon after you cast it. I would much rather use it on myself with enchantment destruction in my deck.
Kitesail Corsair: OK in Limited. It would be much better if it had Flying all the time, but blue Limited creatures are supposed to suck.
Kumena's Awakening: In an enchantment-heavy mono-blue deck, Ascend is definitely going to happen often enough for blue Ascend cards to be useful. I would play it safe by having a way to destroy this enchantment if my opponent took me down a notch and I no longer had Ascend.
Mist-Cloaked Herald: Goes perfectly well with Curious Obsession. This is a surprisingly good common in an era of 'all commons are lame' like battlecruiser.
Negate: A needed tool in all sets.
Nezahal, Primal Tide: I prefer the 'can't be countered' clause on any other color than blue to help the long turn goal of making Legacy and Vintage less blue-dominant. You are likely casting this late game, when having no hand size limitations is less relevant. The clause limiting your opponent's ability to cast non-creature spells is the best one. That is one cool control clause. Commander card, of course.
Release to the WInd: Meant to be used on a card with a really good Enter-the-Battlefield (ETB) clause. It is more versatile than a card that immediately reutrns the card just exiled. That means you can exile something, and pick a later turn in which to bring it back.
River Darter: Meant for Limited. In draft, it's likely that if you picked blue, other people at the table picked Dinosaurs. It does not scream 'pick me.'
Riverwise Augur: Interesting. You draw three cards, and then you combine those cards with the cards previously in your hand, and then you pick two of those to place on top of your library. Yeah, that's a lot more interesting than Scry 3, then draw a card, for example.
Sailor of Means: A simple wall without Flying that can help balance a second or third color in Limited.
Sea Legs: Versatile since you can use it on your own Pirate, or on your opponent's DInosaur.
Seafloor Oracle: I would couple this card with lots of cards that have Flying or are unblockable to make sure I scored the extra draws.
Secrets of the Golden City: A reasonable Divination and a much better card once in a blue moon.
Silvergill Adept: A five drop that draws you a card if you don't have a Merfolk in your hand... OK, I guess that works for battlecruiser Standard. I am a sucker for 'draw a card,' and that means that I would like to play this card. It makes me want to keep a Merfolk in my hand to get the extra card for free, though, and that's OK.
Siren Reaper: I could be stuck with this card in my hand waiting for a Raid trigger. More than 50 percent of the time, it will be a 5-drop 3/2 with Flying.
Slippery Scoundrel: I am going to forget the Ascend clause. It's a common 3-drop 2/2 without evasion, and meant for Limited.
Soul of the Rapids: A Limited flyer.
Spire Winder: A Limited Flyer. Once in a blue moon, it will get that +1/+1 bonus from Ascend.
Sworn Guardian: A Limited filler.
Timestream Navigator: If you take oiut Ascend, it's a 2-drop 1/1 without evasion... ouch. The pack this card is in will be one disappointing pack. If this was my only Mythic Rare in a bundle (previously fat pack), that would really suck. I used to go gaga over 'take an extra turn,' and then I played enough to do so and then I realized that most of the time you take an extra turn to drop another land and you are already in blue anyways and you have all the lands you need because you played a bunch of counterspells and your opponent has done nothing for three turns straight.... what I am trying to say is that this card will be great once in a long while, and even then, well, it's not fantastic..
Warkite Marauder: Because it had Flying, there will be opportunities to attack with it, and be able to take out someone's beater creature after turning it into a 0/1 creature. I think this card can be awesome in some scenarios. I would play it in Black and take out the transformed creature.
Waternot: A needed tool in Limited.

 

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