Ixalan Prospects Sealed and Draft

Hello everyone!  We are on the precipice of a new Magic set, Ixalan.  With Ixalan we will usher in a new standard format.  Some of us we have been waiting a long time for this, a chance to start fresh.  Some of us are more excited for a new draft and sealed format!  These cards are going to be ones I personally will be looking out for in sealed and drafts.

 

Let’s start this off with Raptor Hatchling.


This little guy is pretty great value. One colorless and a red mana for a 1/1 creature doesn’t seem scary.  It’s not scary, true, but the new keyword Enrage works wonders with this little guy.  If he takes damage you get a 3/3 dinosaur.  You will get a lot of incidental damage because of this.  People just continuously let him through.  Most of the time you will be getting a 3/3 because of blocking but this set also has several pumps spells to get him to survive against the wide range of 2/2 creatures that will be all over this format.  He comes in as an uncommon but if I manage to get 1 or 2 in my sealed pool I will be a happy camper.

 

Next up!  Territorial Hammerskull.

This hard head should give some people headaches.  Two colorless and a white for a 2/3 is average but if you go wide then tapping down 1 or 2 of you opponent’s blockers every turn can do work. In two headed Giant this can be a lot more useful than in 1v1 but let’s look at something else real quick.  This dinosaur is just a common so getting several in sealed or even draft isn’t a stretch. With his 3 health he survives a decent amount of removal so keep an eye out for this guy.

 

Storming forward, next, Storm Sculptor.

 This Merfolk is definitely a wizard.

For 3 colorless and a blue 3/2 is a little behind the curve but he is a card that can reshape the curve.  He can not be blocked and returns a creature to its owner’s hand.  This can be a good combo enabler or just used to get some slight value from a previous creature.  Bouncing stuff is part of what makes blue fun in sealed!  Just enjoy your little 3/2 while getting value from your other ETB effects.  Yet another fun and value filled common out of Ixalan.

 

As I write this I have to confess something.  Reading all the cards in the set I might just be hooked on the Dinosaur love wagon.  The next card is adding to this theme.  Commune with Dinosaurs

So dinosaurs seem really strong to me but I could be just wrong.  Commune with the Dinosaurs is adding another chapter to the Commune search cards.  This one will help you in finding your win conditions and even straighten out a mediocre starting hand or find that bomb you need in the late game to edge out your opponent. This is definitely high up on my list if I have the synergy to support it.

 

Last isn’t one card but several.  Cards with explore that have a 3 converted mana cost or less.

Merfolk Branchwalker, Seekers’ Squire, Emissary of Sunrise…..

 

 

 

These three cards in particular seem strong to me.  Explore as a mechanic is fairly strong, but creatures with higher mana costs suffer with drastically reduced power and toughness for the land gain.  You could just fail to get a land and only get a semi-scry.  With cheaper mana costs though, the risk becomes more worth it.  The worst case scenario is you gain knowledge of what you are going to draw. And you still have a respectable 2/3  or a 3/2.  As uncommons I don’t expect to have an ample supply of these cards in my pool.  My goal would be 2-3 so not to lower my deck curve to much, depending on the build.  These cards have potential and I personally think these will be quite enjoyable to play with.

 

Honorable Mentions!!!!!!

 

Spell Pierce in its return to the standard game.  Opt In its first printing of the modern age!

Sleek Schooner is a solid vehicle.  Sure, isn’t isn’t a Skysovereign, but in a sealed pool it can do wonders with all the tokens you can use to crew.  Dire Fleet Captain can become a big beat stick on a little cheap frame.  Ancient Brontodon…yeah I couldn’t leave this off.  This guy is the biggest card in the set at 9/9.  So many ways to make it cheap and give it trample.  Sold!

This is my first attempt at an article and is obviously my opinion.  I could be dead wrong on these and if so, bring on the beatings.  Either way, this set looks like a blast no matter how you build it!  Dinosaurs and Pirates and Merfolk and Vampires!  How can you not build a fun tribal deck out of all this craziness!

Our first Ixalan draft at Advantage Games will be held on Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30pm!  Come on down and join in the fun!

Until next time!

Tobey