Daily Dose of Rivals of Ixalan – Great mythical beings
Welcome all to another edition of the Daily Dose of Rivals of Ixalan, where today I’m going to talk about some powerful new Mythic cards.
Most of the cards from Rivals of Ixalan are cards that fit well within one of the four major tribes, or otherwise work well with some of the mechanics of the set. There are other cards, like the ones I’m going to be talking about today, that work in multiple decks and are just overall powerful cards. While I am a fan of tribal synergy, it’s always nice to just open a booster pack and get a powerful Mythic that you want to put in your deck.
First off, I want to talk about a creature that has a built-in ability that harkens back to a card that saw plenty of play when Return to Ravnica was the talk of the town. Here is Azor, the Lawbringer:
Now who doesn’t like a large Sphinx to battle with?
Most six-mana cost Sphinx cards of the past have had base stats of 4/5, 5/5, or 5/6 at best, with only Sphinx of Magosi matching the 6/6 body of Azor, the Lawbringer. Having this on the battlefield will create a quick clock for your opponent. Its first ability alone will almost guarantee you getting in one attack phase with it. This brings us to the second ability of this card, which is Sphinx’s Revelation on a stick! Even if you can only use this ability once, you will still likely get to draw three to four cards and gain that much life at the same time. This type of card advantage is hard to come by and can swing the game in your favour.
Trying to figure out what type of deck that will want to play this card is the key here. If you want to play it in a control deck, tapping to attack in addition as tapping out your mana to use its ability during your turn is often not what you want to be doing. That aside, perhaps it could be used as a great finisher for control decks, and you can use its card draw ability only when needed.
Next up, I want to talk about a returning Planeswalker from the first Ixalan set, Huatli.
In Ixalan, we saw Huatli, Warrior Poet, a red/white Planeswalker with three abilities that could be used right away. Let’s see what Rivals of Ixalan has in store for her. I present to you, Huatli, Radiant Champion:
Let’s break down the abilities for Huatli, Radiant Champion.
[+1]: Put a loyalty counter on Huatli, Radiant Champion for each creature you control. – First thing to note with this ability is that you will be adding loyalty counters equal to 1 + the number of creatures you control. So, even if you don’t have any creatures on the battlefield, it will still raise its loyalty counters by one. If you do have a bunch of creatures out though, there is a chance that in one or two turns you'll able to get enough loyalty to use Huatli, Radiant Champion’s ultimate ability.
[-1]: Target creature gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of creatures you control. – This is an ability that you want to use when you have an open attack or want to be able to push a creature through that otherwise would be easily blocked by your opponent’s creatures. This ability could help if the battlefield becomes a stalemate of creatures without any evasion.
[-8]: You get an emblem with "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may draw a card." – Talk about card advantage. If you have this Planeswalker in your deck, then it should be chalk full of creatures that will allow you take serious advantage of this ultimate ability. As mentioned earlier, increasing loyalty on Huatli, Radiant Champion should be easier than most Planewalkers, if you have some creatures on the battlefield that is.
As you can see by its abilities, already having a presence on the battlefield will go a long way to making this Planeswalker maximize its potential. There are times though where her abilities could do nothing if you have an empty battlefield. This is a card that you want to build your deck around.
The last card I want to talk about from Rivals of Ixalan is my early pick for my favourite card in the set. Here is Rekindling Phoenix:
I’ve always been a fan of Phoenix cards like Chandra’s Phoenix and Ashcloud Phoenix. Over the years though, there have been some serious misses when it comes to Phoenix cards like Akoum Firebird and Firewing Phoenix. Sometimes the mana cost to bring the creature back onto the battlefield is just too much.
Rekindling Phoenix, however, is a hit in my books. For four mana you get a 4/3 Flying creature, which are some pretty good base stats. It’s also very hard to kill, as you will basically need to kill it twice to make sure it doesn’t come back on the battlefield. To top it all off, if it does return to the battlefield from your graveyard you won’t even miss an attack phase with it since it gains haste until end of turn. I look forward to putting this in a red deck to give it a late game, hard to remove win condition.
There you have it folks, three Mythic cards that you'll want to see in your booster packs on prerelease weekend. Leave me a comment below to let me know which of the three cards you want to play with the most. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Rivals of Ixalan and join me tomorrow as I continue to delve into all beautiful new cards from the upcoming set.