Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan is here!
Magic: The Gathering – Ixalan Is Available Starting From 23rd September via Prerelease Events In Malaysia
By Yue Lynn
Wizards of the Coast has announced the release of Magic: The Gathering – Ixalan, a fantasy set filled with pirates, vampires, merfolk and dinosaurs! This means that players can teleport themselves to any of the prerelease events taking place in Malaysia on the 23rd and 24th of September to experience the, ahem, magic. Find a local shop near you here.
“Your travels have brought you to Ixalan, a world of discovery—lush jungles, gorgeous waterways, and no small amount of treasure. Much of that treasure, not to mention unimaginable power, lies within Orazca, a lost city of gold. In fact, this would be a lovely vacation spot if it weren’t for everyone constantly fighting to locate and control Orazca.”
THE SUN EMPIRE (AND THEIR ENRAGED DINOSAURS!)
“The Sun Empire is a powerful civilization that dominates the eastern coast of Ixalan and a new ruler has brought the empire into an era of expansion, seeking to reclaim the lands it once held in the continent’s interior.
The Warriors of the Sun Empire have also learned to command terrifying Dinosaurs on the battlefield. Their signature mechanic is enrage, an ability word that encompasses abilities that trigger whenever the Dinosaurs with them are dealt damage. You do not want to make Dinosaurs angry.”
THE RIVER HERALDS (AND THEIR ELUSIVE MERFOLK!)
The River Heralds are a collection of small nomadic bands of merfolk, who were the dominant inhabitants of Ixalan before the rise of the Sun Empire. They live in harmony with the land, and their shamans wield powerful nature magic to control the elements of wind and water.
The Merfolk strategy revolves around being very difficult to block and growing via +1/+1 counters. They don’t have a named keyword, and thus don’t have a preview card in this article. If you’re a Merfolk fan, don’t fret, there are plenty of goodies in store.”
THE BRAZEN COALITION (AND THEIR RAIDING PIRATES!)
“The Brazen Coalition was formed by sailors who fled across the sea to escape the advancing Legion of Dusk. These mariners originally sought to establish colonies on Ixalan and trade with the cities of the Sun Empire, but the empire drove them off and the sea captains turned to piracy and plunder.
If you’re a Pirate in the Brazen Coalition, you seek to amass treasure. It’s what you do. If you want to save fifteen percent or more on the amount of effort it takes to amass treasure, you attack those who already have it. The raid mechanic rewards ruthless aggression.”
THE LEGION OF DUSK (AND THEIR BLOODTHIRSTY VAMPIRES!)
“The Legion of Dusk is built around the rites and devotion of a powerful church led by undead paladins who sustain themselves by drinking the blood of their enemies. After seven hundred years of war, as their armies marched across the sea, the vampires of the Legion have come to add Ixalan to their territory.
Similar to Merfolk, the Vampires in this set don’t have a named keyword. Rather, their strategy revolves around the manipulation of life. If you choose to serve the Legion, you’ll find yourself paying life for powerful effects, regaining that life via lifelink and other abilities, and ultimately draining the life from your foes.”
Additional swaggy features from the Ixalan set include:
Vehicles make their return in Ixalan, ready to ferry your forces to victory. Each Vehicle starts out as just an artifact and has a crew ability that turns it into an artifact creature.
DISCOVERING A WHOLE NEW . . . FACE
Ixalan also marks the return of double-faced cards. But instead of showing a creature transforming into another version of itself, the double-faced cards of this set highlight the tales and tools of discovery.
PLANESWALKERS OF LEGEND
Starting with this set, all planeswalkers past, present, and future will have the supertype legendary. They will also be subject to the “legend rule.” The “Planeswalker uniqueness rule” is going away. What does this mean? In short, everything that’s true about legendary permanents will now be true about legendary planeswalkers. Also note that this does not mean legendary planeswalkers can be your Commander unless an ability says so.
Features asides, as a newbie to this whole Magic: The Gathering shebang, I am genuinely impressed with Ixalan’s set. I love how the four factions range from pirates, merfolks to vampires; it’s thematically encompassing to have four very different factions of fictional reverence! And the cards are aesthetically pleasing as always.
Additionally, the Creatures in the set screech of coolness as we have characters like Watertrap Weaver, Siren Stormtamer, Deathless Ancient, Storm Fleet Arsonist, Otepec Huntmaster, Fleet Swallower, Carnage Tyrant, Bishop of Rebirth, Colossal Deadmaw and so much more! On top of that, creatures like Dinosaurs really do provide the game and lore with more spice.
Ixalan also has more great cards up their sleeves such as Jace, Cunning Castaway (who has three unique abilities that will make your opponents feel extremely salty), Deadeye Quartermaster (which acts as a supply manager of sorts), Raptor Hatching (opponents who deal damage on the wee baby will find themselves running from its angry parents), Walk the Plank (destroys target non-Merfolk creature) and many more.
With so many factors (type of abilities, interesting pair-ups and etc.) coming into play, players will have to employ strategic deck-building and cunning gameplans to come out victorious in Ixalan. And boy, it will be a ride!