Know Yourself: Ixalan – What I missed

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of my article series, know yourself. This week I will do the very fun thing of addressing what I believe I missed last week when building my decks and going over some of my own problems when I build as a player. It is not often that one reflects publicly, but I look to do so here to address some issues I have in magic when it comes to a deckbuilder. So without further ado, here are some cards I did not use last week and why.

We will start with my most precarious booboo. That is, tempest caller is simply an insane magic card in a tempo based deck, which is everything Merfolk wants to be and more. The thing about tempo is that no matter how you slice it, you’re a spliced amalgam of an aggro deck and a midrange deck. You do great against the aggressive decks, you’re just like them but bigger: but you’ll never out-card the midrange decks in the later portions of the game. Sure, you might steal a few games if your draw works well, but they beat you on the statline 90% of the time.

Tempest Caller fixes both problems the original deck has: you don’t need to win the stat battle because you can Icy Blast their board and kill them. With a card like this, you probably don’t need a verdurous gearhulk, either: you can unsummon and tempest caller them right out of the game before they even get off the ground because the card is so powerful in a tempo deck. You don’t need to push damage with stats because of Tempest caller. So, I will go back to the drawing board with this one for sure.

Something I do often when building a deck is look for a basic shell to curve into: 4 one drops, 8 two’s, 3-5 threes, 4 fours, 2-3 fives, and support spells. I have been trying to break out of that mental shell because it streamlines, yes, and it makes it simpler on me, of course, but it doesn’t take into account most of what my opponent is doing and is generally predictable. If I don’t account for win cards like Tempest Caller(i.e. I cast tempest caller with lethal on board and my opponent can’t stop it for any reason I just win) and generally build out scapegoats for worst case scenarios. And that isn’t bad either, but only doing on or the other leaves a deck lopsided and not at all cohesive.

Speaking of cards that really end games, this card is either nuts or terrible. I’m leaning on the side of terrible if there is a good dino-ramp deck in the format, but man, Torrential gearhulking this card to kill a carnage tyrant late in the game is nuts-o-rama. Keep your eye on this one, friends, it could be the savior U/W control needs in this green heavy format. I don’t think R/W hatebears wants this card, but, I certainly want to play around it In that deck, or else it’s light out.

Control is looking to bite it with Carnage Tyrants running around wrecking up the place, knocking over gearhulks and making Glimmer’s look pitiful. But, these two powerful engines could perhaps make sure that decks that want to go late have some powerful options, along with some strong graveyard synergy enablers. I’m leaning towards Azcanta being better due to the flip side, especially since it is blue and naturally can slot in without forcing U/B or three colors, but I do not profess to be such an aficionado to determine which is better without testing them first.

So, with that said, that is what I believe I missed in the past set spoiler that I really could have mentioned. What are some other cards that you think I may have missed from the set? Is Huatli a big deal, or just hype? Are people really going to say another Jace is bad, again? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next week.

-Forrest W


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