Daily Dose of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths #3 – Cycling: The Tour de Ikoria
Welcome all to another edition of the Daily Dose of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. It’s the start of a brand-new week and I’m happy to say that the monsters haven’t taken over yet, but they are causing a lot of noise. With all the new monsters running around Ikoria, it is good to know that there is one of my favourite mechanics returning. Let’s all welcome back, Cycling! I can’t stress enough how much sweeter Limited play is when Cycling is in the set. It provides fewer games where you get mana screwed and allows you an extra deckbuilding space during Limited. What they have done in Ikoria is provided some sweet cards with Cycling, but also some great cards that work well with the mechanic as well.
First off, I want to start with a 1-drop creature that both has Cycling and takes advantage of Cycling. Here is Flourishing Fox.
There appear to be many cards in this set with Cycling, which means this 1-drop creature can start to power up quickly. Most cards should be able to be Cycled for one or two-mana, like Flourishing Fox, which means you could be attacking for 2 or 3 damage on turn two. It can only keep growing from there, while you still get to refill your hand with the cards you are cycling. In the late game, if you draw this and it won’t be strong enough on the battlefield, it has an amazing Cycling cost of only 1 generic mana. Another advantage of Cycling cards, in general, is that it'll help build up the graveyard for any graveyard strategies. I expect Flourishing Fox to find its place in a white aggro deck. It’s value though will be finalized once we know all the Cycling cards that are available throughout Ikoria.
Next up is a massively large slow turtle, that takes a while to get going, but once it does it’s ready to go. Here is Yidaro, Wandering Monster.
Now, what's not to love about this card? You have an 8/8 trample, haste Dinosaur Turtle in which the goal of the card is to never actually cast it from your hand. Having this in Limited, chances are you will only have 1 copy of it in your deck and the most likely scenario is you casting it for 7 mana and attacking with it. If you are playing in Standard though and have 4 copies in your deck, there is a much higher chance of you drawing them, followed by Cycling them to draw a card. This makes it more likely that you will Cycle it four times in a game, triggering it to be able to come on the battlefield and start dealing some heavy damage. I like that you can also Cycle it during your opponent’s turn to get a large blocker on the battlefield at instant speed. The fact that it triggers when you Cycle it four or more times means even if it is removed from the battlefield, each subsequent one your draw can go back onto the battlefield again on the next Cycling of the card. Trying to figure out what deck archetype this will go into will be challenging, but it could include a new Jeskai Control deck or a Rakdos Control deck.
Finally, a card doesn’t need to have Cycling for it to be great with the mechanic. Here is Rielle, the Everwise.
Rielle, the Everwise is basically a ground version of Enigma Drake, but with a very powerful ability upgrade on it. Her ability will be triggered most of the time by either having something a spell or ability that makes you discard cards or more conveniently Cycling a card. With her on the battlefield, the first time you cycle each turn, you will get to draw two cards instead of one. Now I want to look at the best cards currently in Standard that make you discard your own cards.
Cavalier of Flame – Discard X, draw double X cards. Sounds like a good plan to me.
Chemister’s Insight – How about casting it for its Jump-Start cost. You get to discard one and draw three mana.
Fae of Wishes – You can return it back to your hand to cast Granted again, and you get to discard two, draw two for two mana.
Ox of Agonas – When you cast it, you get to discard your hand while drawing three plus the number of cards that were originally in your hand.
The Royal Scions – How about a +1 ability, where you draw a card, discard a card, then draw another card.
Thrill of Possibility – How does discard one and draw three for two mana at instant speed sound? The answer, pretty good.
This card has a ton of potential including working well with draw-two effects like the one on Irencrag Pyromancer. Look for the rebirth of an Izzet Phoenix deck thanks to this card.
There you have it folks, the return of the great Cycling mechanic. We won’t know if it will have an impact on Limited play for Ikoria, but time will tell if it can make an impact on Standard. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Ikoria. Join me again tomorrow as I investigate what’s coming up next in Ikoria.