Insider: Speculating Ixalan Standard Cards

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Hello, everyone.

Ixalan is already legal on Magic Online. This week I'm going to talk about some of my picks from the new set.

Let's first look at some of the two-sided cards.

Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun 's flipped side is basically Gaea's Cradle. The only difference between this card and Cradle is that the controller need to put some effort into developing the board in order to transform it into the side with the Gaea's Cradle effect. Obviously, Growing Rites is way slower, but I still think it will see play in some kind of Elves deck in Modern. Usually the Elves deck will dump half its hand onto the battlefield on any given turn, so the effect of finding a creature while filtering out unwanted draws is pretty decent in this type of deck. At its current price, Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun is probably worth investing in.

  • Growing Rites of Itlimoc: Current Buy Price: 2.05; Target Sell Price: 8; Profit Per Copy: 5.95

Treasure Map // Treasure Cove is an interesting card which is probably going to fit into slow control or ramp decks. In the early game, its controller can leave up mana for counterspells or removal, then activate the Map if there is leftover mana. When this card is flipped, its controller has access to three extra mana or three cards, depending on the situation. I think this card is resilient and a good card to build around. If this card stays below 2.5 tickets, I think its worth picking up a few playsets for investment.

  • Treasure Map: Current Buy Price: 2.35; Target Sell Price: 4; Profit Per Copy: 1.65

This card is very similar to Outpost Siege. These Blasting Cannons are currently played in the RG Dinosaurs sideboard, but I think it will see play in more decks in the near future, probably the Ramunap Red decks and any kind of midrange/control decks that plays Red. The card is competing for a spot with Chandra, Torch of Defiance in red decks, but I think this enchantment can be better than Chandra in some situations, as its harder to remove than a planeswalker. Furthermore, the flipped side of the card is able to provide some flooding insurance in the mid- to late-game similar to Ramunap Ruins. Right now, this card is only about 1 ticket. Personally I think this card has a lot of potential in it and is worth buying as for speculation purposes.

  • Vance's Blasting Cannons: Current Buy Price: 1.05; Target Sell Price: 4; Profit Per Copy: 2.95

Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin is already a four-of card in Blue-White Approach. The deck plays zero copies of Torrential Gearhulk and focuses fully in finding and casting Approach of the Second Sun. With Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin, the deck is able to achieve its goal very fast. Do bear in mind that this is a legendary card, but you can have one of each side in play. The trick here is exploiting the "may" trigger on the enchantment side of this card, not flipping the second copy and continuing to scry every turn. I think this card will still go up in price if the blue-white deck becomes more popular. The price is already near 7 tickets, so there surely is some risk to investing in this card. I suggest putting this card on your watch list for now, just in case.

  • Search for Azcanta: Target Buy Price: Below 5; Target Sell Price: 10; Profit Per Copy: 7

Alright, I've talked about the double-sided cards. Now let's look at some other picks from Ixalan set.

This, is definitely not Rest in Peace, but there isn't much graveyard hate against decks like God Pharaoh's Gift and abilities like aftermath and eternalize. I think at some point in the future this will be a good sideboard option. Its current price of 0.1 tickets is very cheap, so I suggest buying some for speculative purposes. Last week, I discussed using leftover credits with bots to buy cheap cards like Harnessed Lightning, and now intend to apply the same method to get plenty of Ashes of the Abhorrent.

  • Ashes of the Abhorrent: Current Buy Price: 0.10; Target Sell Price: 3; Profit Per Copy: 2.90

An instant-speed board wipe is just what blue-white control decks wanted. Being at 4 CMC, this card is able to hold back opponent's attackers while representing Glimmer of Genius and/or counterspell mana. Giving the opponent a basic land for each creature exiled is not horrible in the current Standard format, mainly because the blue-white decks win through Approach of the Second Sun. Currently, this card is at about 5 tickets, which is a bit too high. However, if this card does drop to 2 or 3 tickets, you can consider picking some up.

  • Settle the Wreckage: Target Buy Price: Below 3; Target Sell Price: 6; Profit Per Copy: 3

Captain Lannery Storm is a curve-filler for ramp decks or midrange decks that want to get to their big spells faster. I can see this card being played in some red-black decks. Technically, you could use the treasure to cast one-mana removal like Fatal Push or Aether Shockwave the turn Captain Storm resolves, with the perk of an extra damage through its triggered ability. I mean, this card is not as good as Goblin Rabblemaster, but at 0.28 ticket, this card is probably worth giving a look.

  • Captain Lannery Storm: Current Buy Price: 0.3; Target Sell Price: 2; Profit Per Copy: 1.7

Dreamcaller Siren, in my opinion, is a very underrated card. Any blue pirates deck should play this card – the only reason to play blue in an aggro deck, after all, is to tempo the opponent out. I can also see this being played as a one- or two-of in control decks to pressure the opponent's life total. Four mana for a 3/3 flash flyer at only 0.35 ticket? I think I will get some before the price goes up.

  • Dreamcaller Siren: Current Buy Price: 0.35; Target Sell Price: 2; Profit Per Copy: 1.65

Every time we have similar effects to what is on this card, we compare it with Dark Confidant. Ruin Raider is obviously way weaker than Confidant, but in Standard, this kind of effect is what an aggro deck needs to make sure it has enough gas to close out the game. I suggest getting this card when it drops a bit from the current price because although I think it's good, you can probably get it at a lower price later when more drafters have sold their cards to bots. This pick is focused more on identifying a future buy price. I think it's a good buy if you can get it cheaper, so put it on your watch list and keep an eye out the next few days.

  • Ruin Raider: Target Buy Price: 0.2

The last pick this week is Sword-Point Diplomacy. This card is similar to Read the Bones and Painful Truths, except that it gives your opponent the choice. Normally, we don't like to give the opponent the chance to decide how good our spells can be, but this one seems interesting to fit into an aggressive deck. This is another one that I'm going to use a lot of the Harnessed Lightning method that I mentioned last week and above – shall we call them Harnessed Lightning Picks in future articles?

  • Sword-Point Diplomacy: Current Buy Price: 0.01; Target Sell Price: 1; Profit Per Copy: 0.99

Alright, guys, that's all for this week. Once again, thanks for reading and I'll see you all again next week!!

–Adrian, signing out.

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