Bringing Ingenuity to Ixalan

Connor Bryant
September 15, 2017

Spoiler season has come and gone, Ixalan has been fully spoiled this morning and now the work begins. Ixalan is one of my favorite sets over the last few years. It has a lot of awesome tribal synergies that can be built in a lot of different ways, which is awesome. Tribal synergies often feel very pre-packaged and tend to feel boring. Ixalan not falling into that trap makes it really exciting to build these decks. Dinosaurs range in size from a Medium to an XXXXXXXXXXXXL. The Merfolk have a lot of interesting synergies that play into each other. Pirates can be built as more of a tempo deck or a straight aggro deck. The Vampires are a bit murkier but I am interested to see what rises to the top. The tribal synergies aren’t the only thing I am excited for though.

 The transform cards are all really interesting and inherently more powerful than they read. The effects on them are really splashy but the inherent ramping of an extra land is incredible in standard where a lot of decks are racing to their giant endgame. As an avid green mage, a certain one has my eye.

Okay, a Gaea’s Cradle has my attention. Attach that to an Impulse effect, I’m even more in. This is a card that could be a core of a deck much like Cryptolith Rite and I was a big fan of those decks when they were in style.The card I am most excited to pair this with is Tishana , Voice of Thunder.

The big merfolk gal is reminiscent of Regal Force, which has been a constructed all-star since it was printed. Pairing Gaea’s Cradle and Regal Force isn’t exactly rocket science but figuring out the rest of the shell may be.

I am into flipping Growing Rites on turn 3 as much as possible. Ornithopter and Servo Exhibition are great at doing that for you. Legion’s Landing is basically a 1/1 lifelinker for 1, which isn’t great but our deck is great at flipping it. We mostly don’t care about the token making ability but I am in to the ramp upside. Harvest Season is a lot like Growing rites and these cards both want cheap creatures in play on turn 3. Access to a redundant powerful ramp piece makes this shell viable and let us cast consistent turn 4 Tishana, which is deec ++.

GW Growing Rites Connor Bryant Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter Ornithopter Rishkar, Peema Renegade Servant of the Conduit Tishana, Voice of Thunder Walking Ballista Sunpetal Grove Scattered Groves Plains Island Forest Botanical Sanctum Attune with Aether Growing Rites of Itlimoc Harvest Season Legion's Landing Servo Exhibition


I want to do some more Gatherer searches and I am not sold on everything in the deck, but this shell feels legitimately powerful to me. I also think a Temur version could be possible focusing more on energy and Whirler Virtuoso. That card has some ridiculous synergies with what is going. I could also see an artifact based shell that is based more on Inspiring Statuary and Efficient Construction, maybe combined with Paradoxical Outcome.

I think this deck has a lot of potential. The huge rotation will leave a lot of space for new things and between the powerful enablers in Ixalan plus some of the combo engines printed in Kaladesh block now having some room to breathe could spark interesting new archetypes. At the very least, it will spark some creativity.

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