January 9, 2018

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Daily Dose of Rivals of Ixalan – Top Rivals of Ixalan Uncommons for Prerelease

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Rivals of Ixalan, where I’m continuing my prerelease week coverage.

Yesterday I talked about the best commons that you'll want to watch for when opening your Rivals of Ixalan packs. Today, I want to switch the focus over to those three cards that appear just before your Rare or Mythic, the uncommons. These cards, in my opinion, often set the tone for the deck and help build synergy within your deck. Uncommons can often be the most playable cards in your deck, as often rares are powerful by themselves, but might not work within the context of the deck you're building. So let’s jump right in to the best uncommons that you want to be playing on prerelease weekend.


Everdawn Champion – This is a great creature for three mana that cannot be killed with combat damage while attacking or blocking. If your opponent doesn’t have another way to deal with it, it basically becomes an indestructible blocker. Plus, if you can enchant it with some auras, it can become a very troublesome attacker as well.


Forerunner of the Legion – The cycle of Forerunner cards in Rivals of Ixalan all scream value! While a 2/2 for three mana isn’t strong by itself, it does allow you to control your next draw step and pump up your Vampire creatures for the rest of the game whenever you cast a Vampire.


Aquatic Incursion – This is a great enchantment that synergizes well with a lot of cards in the set. First off it gives you two hexproof Merfolk. Second, you can make it so that one of your Merfolk becomes unblockable to get in some crucial damage. Finally, it puts three permanents onto the battlefield to help you achieve Ascend and gain the City’s Blessing.


Curious ObsessionCuriosity is one of the best blue Aura cards ever printed, and this enchantment falls in line with a few conditions on it. The key here is that you need to make sure you attack with a creature every turn or else it will get sacrificed. Of special note is that it doesn’t have to be the creature that Curious Obsession enchants though. This does apply to the turn you play Curious Obsession on though, so be sure to attack with a creature or it will get sacrificed.


Flood of Recollection – One of the best things you can do is Limited is play a great Instant or Sorcery that changes the game. Even better is a card that lets you cast that powerful spell one more time. Flood of Recollection basically gives one of your non-creature spells in your graveyard have a Flashback of two mana.


Silvergill Adept – When I’m looking for cards to put in my deck, I’m looking for value cards. Cards that will provide card advantage and an edge in the game. Being able to play a 2/1 Merfolk that replaces itself will allow you to establish a presence on the battlefield while not losing a card.


Arterial Flow – One of the best card disruption cards of all time is Blightning. Remove two cards and deal three damage to your opponent. Arterial Flow is not far off from that. This spell works best if you build up some Vampires on the battlefield in the early turns, then use Arterial Flow later in the game to gain the most value from it, and perhaps even remove your opponent's last two cards.


Forerunner of the Coalition – This Forerunner allows you to get another Pirate from your deck to play on the following turn. After that, each Pirate that you cast will ping your opponent for one life. That additional damage might just let you finish off your opponent without even attacking.


Ravenous Chupacabra – Yesterday I talked about the power of the four mana removal spell Impale. Now we have a 2/2 creature that does the same thing. This is my favourite uncommon from the set, and one that I'm sure you will be seeing a lot of during prerelease weekend.

32 - ReaverAmbush

Reaver Ambush – This instant removal spell goes a long way to removing a pesky smaller creature on the battlefield. It's a step up from Vanquish the Weak from Ixalan, which only destroyed a creature with power three or less.


Charging Tuskadon – This 4/4 Dinosaur is one that your opponent will want to deal with sooner rather than later. If they can’t destroy it right away, you will be putting your opponent on a quick clock. It becomes an 8/4 if unblocked, and even if they do decide to chump block it, any damage that tramples through will still be doubled.


Forerunner of the Empire – There are some very powerful and large Dinosaurs in Rivals of Ixalan, and knowing that I will be drawing one the following turn is comforting. It also has a built in enrage enabler that can gain you extra value as well.


Needletooth Raptor – This is the Dinosaur I want to have on the battlefield when an opponent is trying to decide how to attack. A lot of times you will be able to kill two creatures thanks to its enrage ability, or one large creature if you need to. With so many cards and creatures having the ability to deal one damage to a creature, you might even get use its enrage trigger more than once.


Pirate’s Pillage – This card not only allows you to have better card selection, it also helps you ramp into a larger creature the following turn. Being able to drop a six or seven mana creature a turn or two earlier than expected will cause no shortage of problems for your opponent.


Crested Herdcaller – The advantages of having six power and six toughness on the battlefield in two creatures is greater thanks to Ascend being in Rivals of Ixalan. The spreading out of creature power can become an advantage if you have some Ascend cards to play with them. Even without Ascend cards, getting that power and toughness on the battlefield for only five mana shouldn’t be overlooked.


Forerunner of the Heralds – The last of the Forerunner cards from Rivals of Ixalan, this one allows you to put a Merfolk on top of your library, and there are plenty of good ones to choose from. Each Merfolk you cast after that will put +1/+1 counters onto Forerunner of the Heralds. There's lots of synergy with Merfolk and +1/+1 counters that can be taken advantage of with this.


Swift Warden – There are plenty of removal spells going around, and you want to make sure that your Merfolk are protected from them. Not only will Swift Warden prevent those removal spells from doing their job, it could also provide a surprise blocker that your opponent was not ready for.


Deadeye Brawler – This Ascend card makes the list, not for its Ascend triggered ability (which is awesome by the way), but because of its defensive possibilities. Having a creature with deathtouch and a high toughness of four will make it hard for your opponent to get any creatures past it without dying. When ready, you can put it on the offensive to start gaining some card advantage.


Dire Fleet Neckbreaker – Most Pirates have a lower power compared to some of the other tribes, so increasing that power by two whenever they attack could lead to some favourable trades, or pushing through extra damage.

2-legionlieutenant  2-MerfolkMistbender

Legion Lieutenant / Merfolk Mistbender – I’ve put these two tribe lords together as they're sure to battle against each other throughout the weekend. I give a slight edge to the Legion Lieutenant, as there are more ways to create extra 1/1 Vampires than to create more Merfolk. Either way, getting in some extra damage and being able to trade up with your Merfolk or Vampires will be something to look forwards to.

That’s quite the list of powerful cards, but are there any uncommon card that you think I missed? Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose, and don’t miss tomorrow as I talk about the removal cards and combat tricks that you'll want to stay on the look out for when building your 40-card prerelease deck.