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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: Black
Arterial Flow: Versatile. It's great for Commander and Two-Headed Giant (2HG). I want to play a discard deck in Standard, and I want this card in that deck. Mind Rot is simpler, but I think this card is better and much more versatile. This card does not fit the battlecruiser mold that I roll my eyes about.
Canal Monitor: Close to square, and a good filler in Limited.
Champion of Dusk: I love this card. It can draw me three, four cards when it enters the battlefield. There are enough ways to create Vampire tokens to get that creature count as high as possible.
Dark Inquiry: Distress for one more mana... sad. Distress was already a weaker card than Duress, Despise, Harsh Scutiny, and, of course, Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize. You want to be able to get at that card you want your opponent to discard as soon as possible. Every additional mana, no matter how much wider the selection can be, is that much worse in playability. This card misses the mark by a lot.
Dead Man's Chest: Interesting wall of text. I am a huge fan of 'wall of text' junk rares. Let's say you exile five cards. On average, three of them will be non-land cards. That can be fun. Of course, it would be hilarious if the creature was a 10/10... that's why these junk rares can be so much fun.
Dnosaur Hunter: A bear with an anti-Dinosaur clause. That's cool in Limited.
Dire Fleet Poisoner: Flash and Deathtouch are a great combination of abilities. I love this card. It's aggressively costed, and if you can afford to lose it and another one of your Vampires, you can take out two big threats with the element of surprise. Yeah, this could be a really good play.:
Dusk Charger: Limited filler 99 percent of the time.
Dusk Legion Zealot: That's a lot better than Limited filler if you draw a card when it enters the battlefield. Paladin of Atonement goes well with this creature.
Fathom Fleet Boarder: Fair filler in Limited.
Forerunner of the Coalition: I am a sucker for the 'this happens and your opponent loses 1 life' type clause. We just need to hope for many more Pirates to be issued for years to come and this card will only get better, especially as a Pirate tutor.
Golden Demise: Reasonable in Limited. All Ascend cards are effectively commons 99 percent of the time.
Grasping Scoundrel: OK in Limited as a filler.
Gruesome Fate: All of these cards that are based on the number of creatures you control are wishful-thinking sucky cards. The Voice of Resurgence token is the only exception and that's because it comes for free with Voice of Resurgence. ALL other cards with this clause suck because you have an opponent, and your opponent's job is to reduce the number of creatures you control. Now, let's say the clause read 'for each land you control': that is completely busted. 'Number of creatures you control': sucky.
Impale: Murder for one more mana... :{
Mastermind's Acquisition: Interesting. Outside the game is your exile zone and your sideboard, right? This card reminds me of Burning Wish (1R Sorcery You may choose a sorcery card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Exile Burning Wish.)
Mausoleum Harpy: Usually as good as a common filler card in Limited, unless you win the lottery and you satisfy the Ascend clause. It does have Flying, and that's a great plus to get your flyer count up in Limited.
Moment of Craving: Limited battle trick.
Oathsworn Vampire: I love the graveyard clause. It's a great card in combat. It dies, then you cast it again.
Pitiless Plunderer:Perfect segway from Oathsworn Vampire. I would play it in a deck that rewards me for sacrificing creatures, with cards like Bone Splinters (B Sorcery As an additional cost to cast Bone Splinters, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target creature.) and Altar's Reap (1B Instant As an additional cost to cast Altar's Reap, sacrifice a creature. Draw two cards.)
Ravenous Chupacabra: Really good, especially since you get to pick which creature.
Reaver Ambush: Exiling is great. True, you can only exile small critters. It reads like a very useful card. There are plently of powerful creatures in the range that it works in.
Recover: Disentomb is one black mana minus the 'draw a card' clause. I normally don't like battlecruiser over-costed cards, but any card that says 'draw a card' gets an automatic pass because any card that replaces itself is already doing something good for you.
Sadistic Skymarcher: Every three drop Vampire needs to be compared with Vampire Nighthawk (1BB 2/3 Creature — Vampire Shaman Flying, deathtouch, lifelink). This one forces you into a Vampire tribal deck, has less toughness, and does not have Deathtouch.
Tetzimoc, Primal Death: Nice! I like the setup a lot. This is a really cool creature. The gameplay is very creative. Sure, it's not as powerful as Grave Titan (4BB 6/6 Creature — Giant Deathtouch Whenever Grave Titan enters the battlefield or attacks, create two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens.), yet the creature destruction is really good.
Tomb Robber: Menace will allow you to hit with it even as a 1/1. Once you start exploring, then it can grow. I am a fan of Explore, and maybe this creature will be a better Explore creature than the really weak ones we got in Ialan.
Twlight Prophet: Like all Ascend cards, it's really good if you do hit the 'ten or more permanents' requirement, and it's considerably weaker if it does not. I am so NOT a fan of Ascend.
Vampire Revenant: Reasonable for the flyers count in Limited.
Vona's Hunger: If you hit Ascend, this is awesome. If you don't, this card sucks. That's true of all Ascend cards. I am not a fan of such as a digital choice for these cards. The design should have allowed for another option, a third option that makes these cards OK if you don't hit Ascend. As printed, they are 'all or nothing' cards.
Voracious Vampire:That's pretty good for a Limited common. Menace makes all cards reasonable to good.

 

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