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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: Double-faced, Artifacts, and Lands
Hadana's Climb / Winged Temple of Orazca: It's an easy flip if you have other ways to place counters on the chosen creaature. The flip has a cool flying boost that can be really good, but only if you have a creature. It will tempt you to not load up with flyers because they get flying from this. I am not sure that's a good idea. I would much rather pack flyers and if I play this, it's really for the boost. Of course, Merfolk are not flyers. In that case, yes, by all means, play this.
Journey to Eternity / Atzal, Cave of Eternity: It can be a really quick and easy flip and the reanimation clause is good. I would drop some big critters on my graveyard from my deck ahead of this flip.
Path to Mettle / Metzali, Tower of Triumph: Another possibly quick flip. It has an interesting pair of non-intersecting clauses. You can ping for 1 to Enrage something, but only those creatures that don't have the abilities needed for the flip. It takes some setting up for a quick flip. It's a slow yet steady clock to wear down your opponent with damage in batches of two and once-per-turn single creature removal. It's creative.
Profane Procession / Tomb of the Dusk Rose: It will take fifteen mana to flip it, and that's a pretty high bar. The exiling for five mana I will take even if I never get to flip it. Of course, after you have spent fifeteen mana on anything, you should be able to get a lot for that mana, and you do here by casting what you exiled for four mana a pop. It's a great flip, just a very expensive one. Exiling, though, is always awesome and should be expensive.
Storm the Vault / Vault of Catlacan: This one is a lot easier to flip since you can get to five artifacts through just having artifacts in your deck. The clause of the enchantment is a great Ascend enabler, even if getting your creatures to deal direct damage is never as easy as it seems. There are some unblockable creatures in this Standard, and in this very set. They should help for this setup. The flip is amazing, of course, since it's Tolarian Academy.
Azor's Gateway / Sanctum of the Sun: The individual steps are cheap, it's just that there are five turns of them unless you have a way to untap this more than once per turn. The flip is effectively infinite mana, and in this one case, the life gain for the flip is really good.
Golden Guardian / Gold-Forge Garrison: I wish it was a lot smaller to flip it as an Ascend helper. As it is, it's a little too heavy for that. It should be a fun play, however enticing an army of late game 4/4 artifacts is.
Awakened Amalgam: That's a really clever and fun casual clause.I am sure I could come up with 24 different lands to put in a Modern deck for this card to shine.
Captain's Hook: A little too costly to be widely used. How about I equip it on my opponent's creature not a Pirate? That should be fun.
Gleaming Barrier: A desperate selection in Limited.
The Immortal Sun: That is one cool artifact. It will only get better as more planeswalkers are issued. If in a few years from now most of the torunament decks in Modern, or whatever format replaces it have planswalkers in them, expect this card to get some use.
Orazca Relic: It does not help you get to Ascend. I don't see it's use right now.
Silent Gravestone: Reanimator hoser. A lot less efficient than other reanimator hosers. It should only be useful in Standard. Compare to Nihil Spellbomb (1 Artifact Tap, Sacrifice Nihil Spellbomb: Exile all cards from target player's graveyard. When Nihil Spellbomb is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay Black. If you do, draw a card.)
Strider Harness: I guess you can use this in Limited.
Traveler's Amulet: Needed reprint. The dual lands in this Standard need help.
Arch of Orazca: If it had made you tokens, it would have been much better. I guess it could be made useful in a specific deck. I am not seing it right now.
Evolving Wilds: a needed tool in every set.
Forsaken Sancuary: I guess I could have clipped it out of this image.

 

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