Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Magic: The Gathering - News on Ixalan/Rivals of Ixalan, and new Planeswalker Rulings

With the many sets that Wizards of the Coast have been releasing seemingly non-stop, 
we have seen the arrival of 8 sets - in order of age, oldest first, Shadows over Innistrad,
Eldritch Moon, Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, Ixalan, and now,
Rivals of Ixalan. 

Ixalan/Rivals of Ixalan - 
Creature types that get a boost or creation with the release of these two sets - Vampires, 
Pirates, Dinosaurs, and Merfolk.

The stress on the Blue & Green Merfolk in Ixalan and Rivals is not new completely, however,
with new Blue-Green Legendary Merfolk creatures, they add to the EDH and Standard 
formats greatly. The Black & White Vampire synergy in the new sets gives a new addition to 
the current Mardu colored (Red, Black, & White) Vampire Tribals, and makes for a good 
bonus to EDH soon after the release of the Edgar Markov deck. The Naya (Red, Green,
White) Dinosaurs are a relatively new idea, making big waves in both Standard and EDH,
with both being ideal formats forthe three color deck, as the formats don’t require for a 
super fast mana curve/ deck.

The benefit to Grixis (Red, Black, & Blue) Pirates with the implementation of the new sets 
are large, as the ability to run a true Pirate Tribal is now on the seas of imagination, (hopefully
with no idea pirates around) andone may add in a touch of Green due to the new Vraska 
Planeswalker card. The new Planeswalkers, should they be from Pre-cons or the packs 
themselves, are most certainly valuable and follow their color “identity” which they follow, as 
the Pre-con Hautli isRed-White and the Rivals Hautli is Green-White. The new Jaces  are 
both very strong, with the Pre-con Jace being better than  Party Jace (Jace Beleren), and 
the new Legendary Jace from the packs allotting now for the use of multiple Jaces at one 
time. Thus, all formats are forever changed by this ruling making new decks able to revolve 
around a single type of Planeswalker.

New Planeswalker Rulings-

Now with the release of Jace, Cunning Castaway, the ruling that you can only have 1  
Planeswalker of the same type (i.e. a Gideon, Chandra, Nissa planeswalker) on the field at  
a time has gone away to be replaced by the Legendary Planeswalker rule, which basically  
means that as long as your Planeswalker has a different name, and is non-legendary, you  
can run as many Planeswalkers of the same type (i.e. a Gideon, Chandra, Nissa 
planeswalker) on the field as there are varieties of it. This could allow for decks to arise in 
both Modern and EDH (Commander) formats that focus on the abilities of one Planeswalker 
type, such as Gideon, as the example below explores.
        Image result for jace cunning castaway            Related image

The change in ruling allows for players to dominate the field with powerful abilities like 
Gideon of the Trials’ +0 ability, making it truly impossible for you to lose the game, or for your 
opponent(s) to win the game, as long as you control a Gideon Planeswalker. Combo this 
with the fact that now you can play as many Gideon Planeswalkers with different names on 
the field as you want, and you have the potential to shut down win conditions such as 
Black-Blue Mill, Infinite Combos, Storm, and Door to Nothingness decks.