Taking A Swipe At Rivals Of Ixalan: Round 2!

Brad and Todd super like one another. But that isn’t what this is about. This is about Rivals of Ixalan! So who will fall in love and who will be heartbroken when the set starts selling soon? Cast your votes!

Brad Swipes Left:
First of all this card is a lieutenant, which reminds of my favorite card
from last season: Thalia’s Lieutenant. Now I did play that card
with Collected Company as I tend to shy away from linear aggressive
strategies, and Legion Lieutenant looks like a linear card, but I’m not
down for that. My aggressive decks have to have a little more pizzazz.

If ever there was a world where Vampires ruled Standard, I’d imagine it
would involve Oketra’s Monument and Ixalan’s Binding, as those are some of
the best cards a white aggressive deck could play. I just can’t imagine a
Vampire-themed deck needed a lord effect to make them playable. Even though
lords can be good, they tend to come with at least one more ability. Legion
Lieutenant does not.

The best thing about this card is its flavor text, and if the Twilight vampires acted a little more like the Ixalan ones, I
would have invested in the director’s cuts.

Todd Swipes Right:
Like any lord before it, Legion Lieutenant is a card with a lot of
potential, but is only as good as the cards around it. And since Vampires
are traditionally good at creating a lot of tokens, I think this card could
be insanely good. While probably not as powerful as something like
Imperious Perfect, which could take over a game by itself, Vampires already
has enough “engine” cards to make Legion Lieutenant worthwhile.

This could be the card that actually puts Vampires into the spotlight as a
tribe. And with this guy by my side, we can do anything.

Brad Swipes Right:
This is a beautifully-made Magic card. I can’t think of anything about it
that I dislike. The ability is powerful but expensive. It takes a total of
eight mana to have any impact on the game. Then it can’t be abused too much
since it transforms into a land once you’ve activated it three times. This
creates tension in gameplay from both sides.

The player controlling Profane Procession may want to hold out for a better
target before transforming it, and the person playing against the
enchantment may want to hold onto their best threat. When’s the right time
to transform it and start playing the exiled goodies? How can I find a path
to victory against this card?

Most good cards make the games feel shorter as they take the game over
almost immediately. Profane Procession will slow down some games as both
players execute a much-forgotten trait in Magic: patience.

Todd Swipes Right:
I like all the things going on here. As I wrote about in

my article last week

, Profane Procession is a lot like Legacy Weapon, except with a
significantly cheaper (and less awkward) mana investment. Plus, after it
flips, you get to start casting the creatures you removed. While I don’t
think this card will be tearing up the tournament scene anytime soon, I do
love the design and power level. I’m hoping to be surprised by just how
good this card is.

And damn does this card have a sweet little backside on it.

Brad Swipes Right

If Profane Procession is the dating phase, then Tomb of the Dusk Rose is
when the long-term relationship begins. All that complex decision-making is
over. Now it’s just time to settle in and make all the easy decisions like,
“What should we watch on Netflix?” or “What should we watch next on

On top of all that easy decision-making Tomb of the Dusk Rose provides, it
also goes along with the golden rule of every long-term relationship which
is “What’s yours is mine.” After all, there’s no better feeling than
winning an argument using their own words against them.

Todd Swipes Right:
So we hit it off.

(Ship it.)

Brad Swipes Left:

No, no, no, and no. Storm Fleet Sprinter will order for you, not use the
menu, and ask to speak to the chef about perfecting their recipes. It’s all
about Storm Fleet Sprinter. Every year a new three mana Izzet uncommon gets
previewed, and every year that Phoenix is unplayable.

Oh shoot, I’m mixing metapoors.

What is it about people’s love for Izzet creatures like this? There’s no
way this card sees Constructed play, and yes it will be decent in Limited
but only if Izzet is a good color combination. I guess it’s a Pirate so
there’s that, but whatever. Unblockable is stupid, Pirates are stupid, and
showing a date pictures of that time you “ran on water” is stupid.

“If you slow down, you sink, that’s my motto.”


Todd Swipes Left:
Wow, it’s a cool gimmick. I just don’t think cards like this are playable
in Standard. The only reason Invisible Stalker was ever remotely good was
because it also had hexproof. And don’t get me wrong: I don’t want cards
with hexproof running rampant again. I just think that unblockable is a
weird gimmick that doesn’t really mean much of anything anymore.

Now, if it had some sort of “Ophidian” ability, then we could keep talking…

Keep walking, dude.

Brad Swipes Right:
One of my hard fast rules of dating is to never be with someone who doesn’t
have friends. There’s most likely a reason for this, and giving them the
benefit of the doubt tends to bite you harder than a Wasteland Viper
bloodrushing a Polukranos, World Eater.

Another rule I’ve learned the hard way was to not date someone who refers
to strangers as prey while putting stickers on them. Seriously, why mark
everyone for death? Jim from Accounting did nothing to you! But what do I
know? Maybe Tetzimoc, Primal Death has a gentle soul behind those cold dead
eyes and underneath its blood-drenched quills.

I expect this card to see Standard play, but I’m unsure where exactly. It
seems like a wonderful midrange finisher as its best built for when games
stagnate. I don’t see it being a finisher for a control deck since there’s
much better options out there.

Todd Swipes Right
: I’m all about this big boy. If you want to see it in action, check out
VS video from last week
. Long story short, this card is insanely powerful, but I’m not sure if it
can withstand the onslaught of Energy in its current form. Everything
replaces itself. You can’t really kill The Scarab God. And worst of all,
Whirler Virtuoso still leaves behind a bunch of fliers that you might not
be able to race.

As a fun card in formats like Commander, Tetzimoc, Primal Death will easily
be able to find a home. In Standard, some things will have to change, but I
think the overall power level is there.

I’d let this tall drink of water slide into my DMs.

Brad Swipes Left:
In person, this will look nothing like it does on the internet. First of
all, who wants to play an edict effect in a deck that is trying to rush to
ten permanents? Either you can deal with their creatures or you can’t. If
you can’t, they’re only losing the worst ones, which weren’t the problem
anyway. If you’re not trying to get the city’s blessing, then do you really
think this card is going to work out for you? Again, you’ll only get their
worst creature. There’s not much more to say. Edict effects are bad unless
they can kill planeswalkers.

Todd Swipes Left:
Spells that require ascend just aren’t that good unless their effect is
already worthwhile. We’ve had a lot of three-mana spells that are edict
type effects in Standard over the last few years, and the only one that saw
a lot of play was To the Slaughter, and that was because it could hit

Now, if you have the city’s blessing, Vona’s Hunger could be sweet. The
problem is that hitting ten permanents in the same deck that wants to play
a lot of removal won’t be that easy. The only deck I could see wanting this
card is B/W Vampires, because you make so many tokens, but even then I
think you’d just want to make more tokens.

Bye, Vona.

Swipes Left:

Clearly a bot account. They didn’t even take the time to make this thing
look real. Seriously, did a random card generator make it or something?

Rivals of Ixalan
had to have been made in the spring since this thing is clearly an April
Fool’s Joke they forgot to take out of the file. The only time “can’t
attack or block” should find its way onto a card is on a white enchantment,
because we all know that’s the color where flavorful design goes to die.

Todd Swipes Left
Wayward Swordtooth. Wayyyyyward Sword….tooth. What are you even doing
here? You should be seeing play in an explore deck, but you’re a Dinosaur.
And yet here you are, coming at me like you want something. Well, I got
some bad news for ya. I don’t wantcha. I don’t need ya. And I don’t want
nothin’ to do withcha.

On the plus side, this card is a mythic rare, which means it’s probably
better than it looks. My guess is that it was changed a lot in development,
and somewhere it got nerfed so hard that it ended up completely missing the
mark. The only reason cards like Courser of Kruphix or Oracle of Mul Daya
were playable was because they could play lands from the top of their
library. With Wayward Swordtooth, you need to have a bunch of extra lands
in your hand to accelerate with. And, in order to get full value, you’ll
need some type of card that allows you to draw a lot of excess lands.

Brad Swipes Right:

A head to nurture, a head to listen, and a head to… heat things up. What
more could you ask for?

Zacama, Primal Calamity seems like a lot of work initially, but well worth
it once summoned. Especially on Ixalan where planeswalkers can’t seem to
get off the plane while mana sinks can’t find a way onto it. I’m fairly
certain you won’t want to be bringing Zacama, Primal Calamity with you to
your local game store, but you will enjoy leaving with one. That means I
think this card is clearly only Limited playable and won’t see the light of
day in 60-card formats. You probably already knew that though.

Todd Super Likes:
Good gravy.

I want…all of this…all the time. I want to untap my lands and blow
stuff up. I want a 9/9 for eight with a million abilities. I’m liking
everything I see here. I’m getting excited just thinking about
Zacama. Will I take Zacama, Primal Calamity to a few tournaments? Probably.
Do I think I’d marry Zacama, Primal Calamity? Probably not. But we can have
a fun few years before I move on to another format.