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

Better Call Souls - A Mardu Hollow One Tournament Report

ConstructedBy Rone (2018-08-17)

It's time for some report action! Last month I talked about Hollow One variants and now I am bringing you m y latest experience as well as some discussion regarding small communities and tournament organization. Want to know more? Just keep reading.

Top 3 Decks for Legacy from Pro Tour 25

Event CoverageBy CabalTherapy (2018-08-15)

The team Pro Tour 25 in Minneapolis featured Legacy and many players had feared drastic changes to the format once the pros start working on decks. In the end, we experienced a rather average snap shot of the meta paired with some smaller surprises. In the following, I present my top three conclusions from the Pro Tour and how they will affect the near future of Legacy.

A Forbidden Love: Krav and Regna Commander Deck Tech

ConstructedBy RyanS (2018-08-15)

Battlebond reintroduced partner commanders and even though it was a bit different from their 2016 debut, the Partner mechanic did not disappoint. Having two commanders is a powerful option in the ever-popular Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) aka the Commander format. In this article, I will be looking at an unusual pair: Krav, a demon and Regna, an angel – lovers and partners. Here's a casual fun Commander deck built around them.

Dangerous Propositions: Stoneforge Mystic

ConstructedBy Kumagoro (2018-08-15)

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 has been released, anything can happen. Let's review each of those offenders to see if they're eligible for parole. This time we talk of the infamous equipment dealer.

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Cardmarket Decks

Standard

1st
Store Championship @ Good Games Rockingham
18.08.2018
2nd
Store Championship @ Good Games Rockingham
18.08.2018
7th
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12.08.2018
1st
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12.08.2018

Modern

3-4
PPTQ @ 3J Hobby Shop (Dumaguete, Philippines)
18.08.2018
5-8
PPTQ @ 3J Hobby Shop (Dumaguete, Philippines)
18.08.2018
2nd
PPTQ @ 3J Hobby Shop (Dumaguete, Philippines)
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5-8
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Legacy

2nd
MKMSeries Prague 2017 - Legacy
31.07.2017
3rd
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31.07.2017
4th
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6th
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Vintage

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12.08.2018
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Commander

1st
Bohemia HK Summer DC @ Hradec Kralove
11.08.2018
6th
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Pauper

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06.08.2018
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Highlander

1st
Highlander URPIN CUP Banská Bystrica, SK
27.05.2018
2nd
Highlander URPIN CUP Banská Bystrica, SK
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