Daily Dose of Ixalan – Drop your buffs, it’s a Pirate Raid!
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Ixalan, where we're currently less then three weeks away from the set’s release on Sept. 29th! Last week was jam-packed full of previews, and this week is starting with more of the same here on the Daily Dose.
Last week I reviewed some new mechanics coming with Ixalan like Explore and Enrage. Today I’m shifting my attention to a returning mechanic called Raid. We first saw the Raid mechanic in Khans of Tarkir, mostly on Warriors. Some of the more notable Raid mechanic cards to see Standard play were Wingmate Roc and Bloodsoaked Champion. To review what the mechanic does, let's take a look at Wingmate Roc.
Basically, a Raid ability is activated if you've attacked previously that turn with at least one creature. Most of the time this is an easy ability to activate, unless you have an empty battlefield. It often leads to some confused opponents when you attack them with an 0/2 creature, or send a 1/2 creature into a 4/4 blocker that they might have. Sometimes you can get away with making them think you have a combat trick and get your creature through unblocked, but with Raid coming back some opponents will eventually catch on to what you're doing and your attacker will be crushed. It won’t matter though, as you’ve achieved your goal of triggering Raid!
This time around, it looks like most if not all the cards that have the Raid mechanic will be Pirates. This makes a lot of flavour sense with their constant need to steal everyone’s treasure. Let’s have a look at the first card with the returning Raid mechanic. Here's Storm Fleet Aerialist.
This is one of those variance cards with Raid where you'll either get a low value 1/2 Flying creature for two mana, or a high value 2/3 Flying creature for two mana. Having Flying is important for this card as Pirates want to have evasion abilities like Flying and Menace since they'll be attacking most of the time. If you are playing with this card in your deck you'll want to make sure that you have from six to ten one-drop creatures so that you can activate Raid on turn two most times. You could always wait until later to cast Storm Fleet Aerialist so that you can trigger Raid with higher cost creatures, but by that point it might have been more worthwhile to have just hit them for one damage a couple of times.
Next up is a card that could gain you some positive card advantage. Let’s look at Marauding Looter.
To start off you get a 4/3 body on a creature for four mana, which are pretty good stats for an uncommon. This Raid trigger is much different than the one we saw on Storm Fleet Aerialist in that you can activate it multiple times. Since its Raid trigger is activated during the end step, you'll still get the effect the turn you cast it as long as you've attacked. It’s nice that you get to draw a card before discarding so that you have more options to choose for card advantage. Another advantage for this card is that it can attack to activate its own Raid, so it doesn't need any other creatures to start accruing value.
This is another card like Marauding Looter that can trigger Raid every turn. We've seen abilities that make you lose life equal to a card's casting cost a few times before. This is an ability that can either win the game thanks to serious card advantage, or lose the game if you lose too much life in the process. A key thing to note, and to watch out for when playing this card, is that the Raid trigger is not a may ability. If you attack, and if you have Ruin Raider on the battlefield, it will trigger during your end step. This could make for an awkward situation where you're unable to attack with any of your creatures for fear of losing from the card that’s on top of your deck.
There you have it folks, Raid is back and ready for action. Are you excited to see the Raid mechanic return in Ixalan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’m interested to see if there are a few more Raid mechanic cards still to come in Ixalan as I believe a few more would round out the set nicely for this mechanic. Thanks again for joining me for the Daily Dose of Ixalan. Join me again tomorrow as I see what new cards emerge.