Set Information

Factions Collide in Rivals of Ixalan

Rivals of Ixalan has arrived and the stakes are higher than ever. All four of Ixalan’s factions have finally arrived at the Golden City in search of The Immortal Sun. In addition, Jace has gotten some or all his memories back, putting his newfound friendship with Vraska in question. Who will come out on top? Will Nicol Bolas once again get what he wants from this scenario or will Jace’s unexpected appearance thwart his plans and put him on the backfoot as the story pivots to Dominaria? Only time will tell. For now, players have tons of new and exciting mechanics and cards to dig into in Rivals of Ixalan. Released on 19 January 2018, this expansion comes in a booster pack with an MSRP of $3.99 (est. 3,32€).

Ascension, A New Breed of Dinosaur, and Returning Mechanics

As with any main Magic: the Gathering expansion, Rivals of Ixalan brings both new and returning mechanics to new heights, while granting tribal players even more focused tribal support for their brews.

Ascend is the most important new mechanic in Rivals of Ixalan, granting players the city’s blessing when they have ten or more permanents on the battlefield. Once a player gains the City’s Blessing, they will not lose it until the end of the game. Many cards in Rivals will also gain extra effects when a player has the blessing. A powerful example of a card that relies on the ascend mechanic is Timestream Navigator. This card is cheap to cast at two mana and for the low cost of four mana and tapping, it secures its controller an extra turn. In addition, its extra-turn effect is reusable. It remains to be seen whether the city’s blessing is consistently obtainable in constructed formats, but all the cards that require the blessing offer powerful effects in exchange.

Dinosaurs are back in force with a brand-new cycle of terrifying Elder Dinosaurs. Ghalta, Primal Hunger is particularly terrifying, offering a powerful 12/12 trampler for as little as two mana, depending on the total power of your creatures on the board. The Black Tetzimoc, Primal Death offers an interesting one-sided board wipe that comes down at 6 mana. This offers black decks a potentially powerful sweeper, depending on how easily players find prey counters to acquire. Red gets a commander-friendly dinosaur in Etali, Primal Storm, who exiles the top card of each player’s library when it attacks, and can cast those cards without paying their mana costs.

The popular transform cards are also returning in Rivals of Ixalan. The most significant of these appears to be Journey to Eternity. This card reanimates any creature it enchants on that creature’s death. In addition, it transforms into a land that taps for any color and has the power to put any creature in your graveyard onto the battlefield for five mana. Storm the Vault is another exciting transform card, offering newer players a shot at playing with one of Magic’s oldest and most powerful non-basic lands, Tolarian Academy. These transform cards were a fan favorite in Ixalan and look to be just as popular in Rivals.

Ixalan’s Factions and New Tribal Support

Ixalan was definitely a set that valued its respective factions. Rivals of Ixalan takes this concept and dials it up to eleven, offering many new powerful tribal cards across all four of its tribes. One new merfolk is Deeproot Elite, a potentially more versatile Metallic Mimic (for merfolk) that also counts as a merfolk in the hand. Merfolk are getting an exciting new legendary creature in Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca. Kumena can, for the low cost of tapping some merfolk, draw cards, become unblockable, and make +1/+1 counters. Vampires are also getting a new legendary creatureElenda, the Dusk Rose, who costs four mana. Elenda is only a 1/1, but she gets bigger and creates 1/1 flying lifelinkers equal to her power when she dies, giving her some interesting utility for Commander fans.

Rivals of Ixalan is a fitting send off for the old-style two-expansion blocks, so get ready to pick a side and gain the city’s blessing in this exciting new Magic expansion.

Insight References

5 Lessons Learned from PT Guilds of Ravnica

Event CoverageBy Toffel (2018-11-14)

Magic can be a tough game. There is a lot of uncertainty, and it's therefore hard to pinpoint the source of success or failure. Join Toffel for his journey leading up to PT Guilds of Ravnica and the events many ups and downs.

Dangerous Propositions: Punishing Fire

ConstructedBy Kumagoro (2018-11-14)

The Modern ban list is a maximum-security prison with 33 inmates, some of which pose a potentially serious threat to the meta. But now that Big Jace is free, anything can happen. Let's review each of the offenders to see if they're eligible for parole. This time, we talk of the burn spell that won't stay away.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Pauper Staple Comparisons

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What makes a good card? What makes a bad card? This all depends on the situation. Today, I'm looking at cards that are similar in mana cost and/or effect and comparing them to find the best and the worst. I'll be using Pauper cards as their power levels are similar, but the principles used in this article should hold true for any Constructed format.

#CMAskTheJudge Episode 29 - Animated Forest

EntertainmentBy MaximilianK (2018-11-09)

Episode 29 of Cardmarket's AskTheJudge series. Each installment in this series will include a video that poses a rules question about MTG. Watch the video, comment with your answer, and then check your work below. This week's question involves your grizzly creatures turning into a colorless land.

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Cardmarket Decks

Standard

MTGO
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11.11.2018
MTGO
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11.11.2018
MTGO
MTGO Standard PTQ
11.11.2018
MTGO
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11.11.2018

Modern

MTGO
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12.11.2018
MTGO
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12.11.2018
MTGO
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12.11.2018
MTGO
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Legacy

2nd
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3rd
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Vintage

5-8
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5-8
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1st
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5-8
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Commander

3-4
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2nd
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3-4
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Pauper

5-8
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5-8
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Highlander

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3rd
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