Rivals of Ixilan

Rivals of Ixilan is heading our way in less than two weeks with exciting new cards being previewed every day! With dinosaurs, pirates, vampires and merfolk all making a return there’s bound to be tons of support for each tribe as they vie for the treasures Ixilan holds.

So what does Ixilan have in store for us?


Flip cards are still in the set and meeting conditions will help you discover new powerful lands to help ramp up your game and secure your victory. This mechanic has not gone away and many of the lands still seem to reference old and powerful lands from the past.


The set also introduces two new planeswalkers including Angranth who was hinted at previously. These are entirely new planeswalker characters we haven’t seen before adding a bit of diversity to magic’s list of walkers. Huatli’s planeswalker form encourages players to go wide and can take great benefit from token armies wile Angrath takes your opponent’s minions and life by forcing discard or taking control of their creatures and sacrificing them.


Just when you thought Dinosaurs couldn’t get bigger or more terrifying in Ixalan. Elder Dinosaurs pack a huge punch — at times for a huge investment. They promise to make short work of your opponent if they can’t deal with the threat quickly enough and tear through their creatures in short order. Ghalta in particular may find himself sitting in your hand for a while or he could potential drop onto the field quite early and end the game quickly.


Alongside the Legendary Elder Dinosaurs comes other new Legendary creatures that are bound to have an impact on the table. Merfolk and Vampires can celebrate with Kumena and Elenda — both carrying powerful abilities that benefit heavily from any tribal bonuses you can bring. Azor, the Lawbrigner on the other hand provides both life and card draw each time he attacks – providing a Sphinx’s Revelation effect each time on top of being a very big 6/6 flyer that prevents your opponents from playing instant or sorcery spells on their next turn (and hopefully keeping him a bit safer from removal). No Pirate Legendary revealed so far!


Each tribe also has an interesting creature that acts as a tutor for cards of that tribe plus an interesting bonus effect that benefits players heavily invested in that type of creature. The ability to tutor up a creature from your deck is nothing to sneeze at — especially given the small mana investment. Playing a Forerunner of the Legion can ensure you get your Elenda, the Dusk Rose to draw on your next turn. With so many Dinosaurs having powerful Enrage abilities, Forerunner of the Empire will be a huge boon to Dinosaur players.


Every set has a tendency to add a new mechanic and this time around we have Ascend. If you control ten or more permanents, you get the city’s blessing for the rest of the game and added effects to cards with Ascend. Ten permanents may seem to be a lot to ask for but in slower limited games or in decks running token strategies (vampires or treasure, for example) it may not be hard to have your cards Ascend and help you win the game.

Next week we’ll talk a bit more about the revealed cards as we head into Pre-Release weekend! If your interested in having an early crack at the new cards in Rivals of Ixilan, check out the Pre-Release events at Heroes’ Beacon!

Greg Grondin
Gregory Grondin is a full time Systems Analyst working for Mariner Innovations. He also works as a weight loss consultant for Weight Watchers and is part owner of Heroes' Beacon. You can follow his web comic series at http://www.spacepawdyssey.com

Greg is a fan of gaming and comics in general and an avid collector of Transformers figures.