Magic The Gathering's latest set "Ixalan" is slated for release on September 29th. And with four whole sets simultaneously rotating out of the Standard Constructed format, big changes may be a comin'!
In this post, we'll discuss some of the new set's themes, as well as five of the potential changes Ixalan may bring.
Before we jump in, it's important to note that many of Ixalan's cards have already been spoiled. In case you haven't heard, an employee at one of their plants allegedly stole an uncut sheet of Ixalan cards, evaded security, and posted images of the cards online shortly afterward. So where as cards are typically spoiled a handful at a time during the weeks leading up to a new set's release, we already know what a good chunk of the new set consists of.
Scott Kelly and Blake Rasmussen of Wizards released an article a few days ago named, "Behind The Scenes With The Alleged Ixalan Card Theft", which covers the occurence in greater detail. I highly recommend reading that post if you're interested in learning more about the Ixalan leaks.
On the bright side, as a result of these leaked cards, we have a better idea of where Ixalan is heading, and sooner. Therefore, I've created a list of 5 Ways Magic's Latest Set Might Change The Game.
Image: Admiral Beckett Brass | Jason Rainville/Wizards of the Coast
1. The Return of Midrange!
We haven't seen midrange be a dominant force in Standard since Seige Rhino was pillaging the place, and with Ixalan's new Dinosaur themed creatures, comes high converted mana costs, and a need for aggro to be curtailed if Wizards wants these cards to see the light of day. I anticipate seeing cards of all types, that punish faster decks, so that these colorful Jurassic creatures can break onto the scene.
2. More Tribal Decks Being Played
At least at the recreational/non-professional level. Although Kaladesh birthed Mardu Vehicles, we didn't see too many Dwarves decks. We also haven't seen too many Servo & Thopter decks, although they're technically buildable, so I think we're going to see a lot of FNM players building more tribal decks come Ixalan. Ixalan's main tribal themes consist of Pirates, Dinosaurs, Merfolk, and Vampires. Additionally, decks featuring these creature types will likely become even stronger once set 2 of 2 of the Ixalan Block, "Rivals of Ixalan" is released, on January 19th of next year.
3. Crazy Planeswalker Interactions
With the Planeswalker uniqueness rule out the door (for now, anyway) you can have multiple copies of the same Planeswalker out, as long as you're not violating the legendary rule. 3 Jaces sounds insane, and 5 Jaces due to Anointed Procession sounds like sheer chaos. I plan on running 1 or 2 copies of this new Jace in my current Jeskai Locust God deck, especially since Nahiri, the Harbinger is one of the many cards we'll be losing come rotation.
4. More Graveyard Hate
Magic the Gathering uses a lot of checks and balances in an attempt to ensure its formats stay not only functional, but fun. And since the Embalm and Eternalize mechanics have had their 15 minutes of fame, there will surely be several more ways to curb their strength in the upcoming set. Wizards of the Coast can outright ban any card of their choosing, if they deem it too powerful or just down right annoying, but it's always better for them to try to anticipate these metas and release answers on the front end, rather than waiting for all hell to break loose and having to fix issues on the back end.
5. Tokens Galore!
Even the FNM promo cards have become snazzy tokens, versus foil promo cards, so I expect to see a lot of awesome tokens decks making their way to the higher ranks. Mainly Esper Tokens. But as we just discussed, I hope they don't become so predominant, that cards like Anointed Procession see the ban hammer. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Hidden Stockpile, as that may be another card that sees a lot more play come Ixalan.
That's all for now, my fellow Wizards. To keep tabs on more Ixalan spoilers as they're released, bookmark mythicspoiler.com and visit daily. I sure will miss many of the cards leaving the Standard Constructed format in a few weeks, but I hope Ixalan brings us Magic the Gathering enthusiasts new and fun ways to enjoy the game.
Feature Image: Wizards of the Coast