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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: Multicolored
Angrath, the Flame-Chained: The +1 is very strong, similar to that of Liliana of the Veil's. The -3 is more of a Standard thing since in many scenarios, your opponent will not have any creatures in the eternal formats. You are in Red, and that means that with Fling, you can even get something out of the smaller creatures. The -8 ultimate can be a miss. Your opponent can have a small number of cards in their graveyard. It hoses reanimator, which is interesting since it is in the colors of this planeswalker. Five-drop planewalkers need much better ultimates and a negative ability that is more universal than a creature-based one to make in any format other than Standard.
Atzocan Seer: A little too heavy for a mana dork, yet it does work well to round out your mana in Standard. The sacrifice clause is great to recover a lost beater.
Azor, the Lawbringer: It's a square 6 drop 6/6 that is not earth-shattering and I like it a lot. The first clause makes for an easier next turn with the casting restriction on your opponent. The bottom clause is fantastic since you are playing a Sphinx's Revelation whenever this attacks. This is a Mythic Rare I want to pull.
Deadeye Brawler: Deathtough is the part I like. This is yet another Ascend card that by itself does nothing to get you to ten or more permanents.
Dire Fleet Neckbreaker: Fun battle stick for a Pirate deck. It reminds me of Kragma Warcaller (3BR 2/3 Creature — Minotaur Warrior Minotaur creatures you control have haste. Whenever a Minotaur you control attacks, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.)
Elenda, the Dusk Rose: Will take way too much setting up to be useful, yet it is worth trying. If Triad of Fates (2WB 3/3 Legendary Creature — Human Wizard 1, Tap: Put a fate counter on another target creature. W, Tap: Exile target creature that has a fate counter on it, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control. B, Tap: Exile target creature that has a fate counter on it. Its controller draws two cards.) had more going on than this and it failed to take off as a playable creature, I don't have great hopes for this one. It does have the ability to get you to Ascend though, and that may be it's most important role. It doesn't read like a Mythic Rare.
Huatli, Radiant Champion: With the new rule, you can play Ixalan's Huatli at the same time as you play this one, and I think that is really cool. I really lik this +1 even if I am not in general a fan of the 'for each creature you control' clause on many other recent cards. In this one instance, this clause is really good and can be amazing. You can ultimate this planeswalker as it comes in if you have done a good job with yout creature count, and that is awesome. The -1 is good too, but can be a little fickle. You can have a board in which you are not ready to attack for a couple of turns. This -1 cannot get you out of trouble. It can only help you when you are already ahead. The -8 ultimate is not game-ending, As much as I love card drawing, it could be a slow way to winning the game. To be fair, the +1 ability can get you to ultimat really quickly.
Jungle Creeper: Fun for casual games, square vanilla 3-frop 3/3 most of the time.
Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca: Tapping sucks. Whatelse can I say? That much tapping cannot a Mythic Rare make. The loss in momentum to all that tapping is not made up by any of the benefits. It doesn't even fly.
Legion Lieutenant: This is a really good creature. A two-drop lord for Vampires is just amazing. I want to play it in Modern, where I have better mana fixing. In the current Standard, the mana fixing is not that great. It reads like a Rare. I will not be surprised if there is not more than one of this per booster box.
Merfolk Mistbinder: (same as for Legion Lieutenant) A two-drop lord for Merfolk is just amazing. It's great that there is more than one awesome uncommon I would want to pull out of this set. Pirates and Dinosaurs did not get one of these awesome lords.
Protean Rider: I love this type of card because of how much variety it adds to a game. The effect is not nearly as epic in practice as it reads, but I play Magic to have fun and this card is all about that. I love it. It reminds me of Artisan of Forms (1B 1/1 Creature — Human Wizard Heroic — Whenever you cast a spell that targets Artisan of Forms, you may have Artisan of Forms become a copy of target creature and gain this ability.) which I was really fond of when it was in Standard.
Raging Regisaur: That's a great Enrage clause you have there buddy. Sweet casual and fun uncommon.
Relentless Raptor: Another cool casual Dinosaur.It has to attack all the time, which means that it will likely be cannot fodder. And why not? We are supposed to be having fun.
Resplendent Griffin: A 3-drop 2/2 flyer is OK as an uncommon. The Ascend clause requires setting up by the other cards in your deck.
Siegehorn Ceratops: That's a great Enrage clause, yet it is limited since you can only hit this for one initially to trigger it. It's cool. I love Enrage.
Storm Fleet Sprinter: Unblockable with Haste is great. I love it. I want to enchant it with Curious Obsession.
Zacama, Primal Calamity: Commander Dinosaur deck incoming. In Standard, If you have nine mana available in a Dinosaur deck you should have won the game already. Still, this is one cool beast to build a Commander deck with. I would have wanted some removal for the White clause instead of life gain.

 

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