Exciting Rares in Ixalan

Exciting Rares in Ixalan

Some cards in Ixalan are just too fun to pass up.

Exciting Rares in Ixalan

I was absolutely correct in hoping that Ixalan would be able to impress me; I’ve been absolutely blown out of the waters by some of the rares in the upcoming set. This article is going to focus more on the fun side of things instead of the strictly good, so don’t expect to see the poor-man’s Gaia’s Cradle on here. While some of these cards are in fact good, I’m specifically looking for things that are fun. Wizards has a good habit of making good and fun archetypes collide!

Sunbird’s Invocation

This card had me grinning before I even started to think of ways to abuse it. Wizards are very careful about wording cards that let you cast things for free, but I think that being an Enchantment that costs 6 saved this. With removal being a staple for the format, (generally) three other players to worry about, and enough mana to scrap the rest of your turn for non-green decks, this card definitely makes up for it in power. When running this alongside another color:

Green: If you’re running green, more likely than not you’re already running big creatures, so there’s almost no harm in running this card. Ramp may or may not nab you another ramp spell or removal, but hard casting Kozilek can probably dig deep enough to grab a second finisher.

Blue: Casting a counter spell will shift your deck a bit; be prepared to work a little more on-the-fly than usual. Since the ability is a ‘may’, you can dump everything to the bottom. Do remember that this trigger will clear the stack before everything else on it; if you really want to counter something, you can grab one using this ability and your opponents will be forced to counter both of your counters if they want their spell to clear.

Black: This color is a bit more wonky; decks generally use black as either a removal toolkit or for finishers like Sheoldred. Depending on what the rest of your shell looks like, you’ll have to judge for yourself whether this will help or hinder you.

White: Unfortunately, White gets the short end of the stick. Because White likes to stay in the CMC five or less range, you won’t be getting a real bang for your buck out of this. Casting a five drop will get you a five-or-less, which isn’t terrible, but could also end in a whiff more often than not.

Please do remember that this is a cast trigger, so even if your spell is countered, you still get the trigger. This card will leave grins on the lips of whoever is playing it, and groans on everyone else’s.

Search for Azcanta/Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin

Do I think this card is flawless? No. Do I think it’s playable? Yes! It’s pseudo-scry for two mana, which is fantastic. I really appreciate the fact that as Delirium moves out, more graveyard-centric cards are able to move in, with this being one of them. It’s a very sensibly costed, with the drawback being you lose the card to the graveyard instead of the bottom of your deck, but still offers it every turn until you ultimately flip it. The backside continues the theme of sensibly costed. Pay three, filter, get a card. I think the beauty of the card comes in how ‘meh’ it is. Veteran players will look at this and think that it’s alright and pass it by, but newer players will love it. If you’re building a new player a beginner EDH deck, this would be a beautiful card to give them. It teaches them about the difference between what to put in the graveyard and what not to, and how important filtering is. For that reason alone, it’s really hard to hate the card. Not only that, but the rare symbol is in the middle of the card, which looks like the perfect place for it. At the time of writing, the red flip enchantment hasn’t been spoiled yet, and I’m very excited to see it.

Revel in Riches

This card is just plain funny, and very exciting. Mechanized Production was cute, Approach of the Second Sun was interesting, and this card gives me a very good feeling that we’re going to see a ‘you win the game’ card every block from here on out. I hope that this assumption is correct, because this right here is what makes me want to play EDH. At the moment, I only have one deck to use, and that deck is Approach of the Second Sun. In my personal opinion, which is one from someone who plays Approach of the Second Sun competitively, I think Mechanized Production/Revel in Riches/Hellkite Tyrant could become an insanely viable deck. There is so much support for this already; Mycosynth Lattice, March of the Machines, etc. It’s very hard for me to pass up this card. Grixis token duplication is something I’m very, very interested in building in the coming months.

Settle the Wreckage

This is a card that makes me think ‘this is so terrible, I have to play it’. It’s so hard to say this card is good, but I want to try it and see it in action. Because it says ‘player’, you can target yourself, which can lead to some interesting arguments about it. Some may say giving your opponents more lands is too risky while also say nuking your own field to get lands is equally bad. The problem with these arguments is that you’re the one who gets to decide how much you’re committing. You get to choose when to demolish your opponent’s field in favor of the lands, and you also get to decide how many creatures you want to remove off your own side of the field when you’re using it on yourself. It’s the pickiest Path to Exile we’ll ever see. It’s just really hard for me to judge this right now, but I already know it’s going to lead to something funny in the future. All I know at the moment is that I’d probably want an exile effect for the original Eldrazi Titans, and this card gives them their effects before it can even clear the stack.

Primal Amulet/Primal Wellspring

While Search for Azcanta was for new players, this card is definitely looking to be broken open by experienced players. Right off the bat, the number of charge counters is just the right number to make it feel like there will be an equal number of games where it either flips or gets destroyed. I already know for a fact that as soon as I get my hands on one, it’s going into my Approach deck (Note: It’s not for Approach itself, but for cards like Expropriate and Diabolic Revelation to help me get the chance to cast it). Casting something twice is usually a good thing, and casting things cheaper is never a bad thing. At this moment, I have yet to come up with a good way to absolutely break this card (Copying Time Stretch for no extra cost is amazing, but not completely broken), but I’m sure it’ll come to me eventually. Copying a Howl of the Horde with a Raid trigger into something cheat like Glimpse the Unthinkable would be absolutely hilarious, especially if you throw Strionic Resonator into the mix to copy the Primal Wellspring trigger (The end result of these four cards would be Strionic doubling Primal Wellspring, giving you three Howls, giving you six copies of Glimpse plus the original, milling 70 for 7 mana). Having this happen is outlandish and improbable, but we’re talking fun, not logistics!

Hostage Taker

While Primal Amulet doesn’t bring a combo to mind for me, this one certainly does. It always feels good to make a combo better, and this does it perfectly. Great Whale and Deadeye Navigator is already a powerful combo, but tossing in this card makes it even better. Personally, I use Duplicant with Whale/Deadeye to board wipe, but Hostage Taker makes it a permanent steal! On the surface, this card is just plain funny. It’s an Oblivion Ring with a little Psychic Intrusion tossed in, which is amazing on its own, but it also has a combo to slide right into! I already know I’m going to hate seeing this card in EDH, but it’s just like Sunbird’s Invocation; as bad as it feels to get your stuff stolen, it’s just as fun to steal it yourself.

I hope everything that did make it on the list sees play in a few decks, even if it’s just for newer players like in the case of Search for Azcanta. I’m not seeing a lot of hype for these cards, even though Sunbird’s Invocation and Primal Amulet are playable cards. Right now 138 of the 279 cards have been spoiled, which means we’re exactly half way to the end of spoilers. Unfortunately, with 13 of the mythics spoiled, we won’t be seeing more than a handful more of them, but I do hope to get a chance to put the light on some more fun cards for EDH instead of just the strong ones. Prerelease is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to start cracking packs! Until then, I’ll just be happy knowing Ixalan is looking pretty good.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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Toulouse Grande, Ari's Dog, Stole The Spotlight In The 'thank u, next' Music Video

Any dog other than Toulouse Grande? Thank you, next!


For those of you who don't know (or who are jumping on the Ariana Grande train just now), Toulouse is one of Ariana's many dogs. He's appeared in a few other music videos, like 'Right There' and 'No Tears Left To Cry'. However, his cameo was most prominent in her latest music video for 'thank u, next', which, by the way, broke YouTube records.

1. He's first seen rolling up with Ari, dressed as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde

Hannah Lux Davis

Toulouse called shotgun.

2. Toulouse stars as Bruiser Woods, Elle's sidekick

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Name a more iconic duo.

3. He's featured in some close-ups

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Every other dog on the planet is QUAKING in their boots.

4. Toulouse has no fear of the spotlight with his mommy by his side

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Nerves? Thank you, next.

5. He even wears his own custom swimsuit 

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He's living his best life.

6. How could you forget his studded collar?

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This collar probably costs more than my car.

7. He is completely unfazed by the cameras 

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He was BORN for showbiz.

8. At one point he literally watches himself on TV

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An absolute ICON.

9. He was even seen being pampered in behind the scenes footage

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Sadly, this scene didn't make it to the actual music video.

10. He got all the affection in between takes

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Only the best smooches for Toulouse.

11. Toulouse was an absolute spotlight-stealer

Hannah Lux Davis

He is killing it.

12. Keep living your best life, Toulouse!

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We'll keep living vicariously through you.

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