Ixalan in EDH: Our Current Mythics

Ixalan in EDH: Our Current Mythics

A lot of cards we're seeing feel sub-par, but that doesn't mean they're unusable.
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I would like to start off by saying that Ixalan has disappointed me so far. The first impressions I’m getting is just underwhelming, and I still haven’t determined whether that’s because I set the bar too high, or because it’s in all honesty just plain bad. As of this writing, exactly eight mythics have been spoiled: these can be broken down into one Planeswalker, three legendary creatures, and four miscellaneous others. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that there are at least seven more mythics coming our way, and hopefully at least one of them will be more impressive than what we have right now.

Jace, Cunning Castaway


Again, hopefully, the cards we haven’t seen will be more impressive; or, more specifically, I hope Vraska doesn’t end up being as terrible as this Jace is. Personally, I hate Jace from a story perspective, but a lot of that billows out onto the cards as well. I doubt that Wizards will ever run out of ways to use Jace, but I feel like it’s time to take a break from this blue walker. If we saw less of him, he could come back as a stronger card. Strength is one thing this card is lacking. The plus relies on a big if. You don’t get any benefits unless you make a connection with your opponent. You can be swinging away, but if your opponent has enough blockers to just trade creatures, then you gain nothing other than the loyalty counter from activating it. There isn’t a situation where I’d want to pay three mana just for the 2/2 Illusion, and the ultimate just brings us more ‘if’s. If this card were to find its way into EDH, it would be in Superfriends exclusively for the infinite token combo it gets with Doubling Season. One combo isn’t enough to make waves in EDH. In the coming months, it may find a home in Standard, but it isn’t anywhere near being the new EDH staple.

Admiral Beckett Brass


I’m absolutely torn with this card right now. I want to love it so much, but I’m not quite there yet. When Ixalan is done and we’re off to the next plane, I’m sure there will be a lovely deck waiting for it to helm, but right now it’s a pirate without a treasure trove of useful cards to stand beside. He’s a Grixis 3/3 for four, which is already a good start, and then he has a creature subtype specific anthem to him. This screams themed deck, and I cannot wait to start seeing these to start showing up to my FNM. The triggered ability amuses me, but I don’t think it’ll be relevant too often due to Unblockable being a traditionally Merfolk ability, and considering we have Pirates and Merfolk in the same set, it’ll probably go to the Merfolk. I do believe it’ll be funny when it does happen; I just don’t count on it being often. My only problem with him is that virtually all Pirates will be coming from Ixalan, which means the card pool to choose from will be very narrow. I hope players won’t mind being forced to use mediocre commons and uncommons in a format where ‘good stuff’ is a type of deck.

Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

There is not a card that has let me down more than this one. We’ve heard of Dinosaurs for months now, and it was obvious that they’d fall into part of the Naya spectrum, so I was ready for some serious beat down dinos. This is the exact card that makes me think ‘maybe I set my expectations too high because a lot of people seem to be fawning over this, but I can’t bring myself to even want to build it. An eight drop for a 7/6 with three keywords is very impressive, yes, I understand that, but the problem is that it costs eight. Think of the triggered ability; this is an aggressive card, it wants to come out swinging, but it’s not going to come out until late game. Your opponents will see it coming from a mile away; they know that as soon as turn eight comes, you’ll be dropping that beast to put your deck into action. Why would you run Gishath if you’re not running dino-tribal? There’s absolutely no chance that they’re not sitting on a counterspell or a kill spell. Considering Carnage Tyrant another mythic Dinosaur that has both ‘can’t be countered’ and Hexproof, it’s an absolute shame that those abilities didn’t go to Gishath. I’d trade Vigilance and Haste for even a little bit of protection any day.

Tishana, Voice of Thunder

Of the three Legendaries we’ve seen so far Tishana has my vote for most potential. Prime Speaker Zegana is already a powerful commander that focuses on having something big, now we have a version that likes to go wide. A friend of mine is in the process of foiling out his Prime Speaker Zegana, so my opinion might be swayed a bit, but I definitely think Tishana will be a solid Commander. What gives her a leg up over Gishath is that she doesn’t need to hit the field at a specific moment in gameplay, and she doesn’t need to stay there to be effective. In the wake of a board wipe, even if you wait for two turns and draw only two or three cards, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for you. The more the merrier though: drawing closer to or beyond ten cards could be devastating to your opponents. While she may not be the most impressive when compared to all of the potential commanders in Magic’s history, I do expect to see her played a few times.

Rowdy Crew

There’s nothing much to say here other than this card is terrible. Discarding at random is never pleasant and is only ‘okay’ when you don’t care about a single card in your hand, and if you don’t care about a single card in your hand, then why are you playing any of them? There stands the argument that there are decks built to abuse the graveyard, or that there are cards that rely on discarding, but there are better ways to do it than this. Discarding without a choice of what goes is a dangerous game to play. Beyond just that, does it matter if you get the shared card types anyways? Casting this card on turn 4 and netting the two +1/+1 counters isn’t going to be a game ender. Save yourself some time and keep this out of your deck, you’ll be replacing it if you try it anyways.

Star of Extinction

Let’s break this one down: Day of Judgment costs four mana, Stone Rain costs three mana, so Star of Extinction costs seven mana. Do I think this card is good? No. Do I want to run it? Yes. Will I run it? No. This card is funny in a flavorful way, and I think I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t printed. It’s not fantastic, but it’s leagues and bounds above Rowdy Crew (which I don’t think would even cost a quarter at rare level). The first effect is alright, by turn seven you could be knocking out a Shrine to Nyxthos, Thespian Stage, or an Alchemist’s Refuge, but I usually frown upon land destruction. Land destruction for seven would give me a decent laugh at least. There’s not much else to say here other than players who run Stuffy Doll or other damage-matters cards will like it.

Boneyard Parley

I love janky cards, and this card gets me excited for Ixalan. Things to note: the creature cards don’t have to be from your own graveyard; the card does not exile itself; the phrase ‘up to’ means there doesn’t have to be a full five targets; anything you don’t choose goes to the graveyard to be picked again later. I am absolutely hyped for this card. I know some people may find it unimpressive, but I think this will be fun to play. If you do decide to run this card, there will always be a use for it. Worst comes to worst you’re reanimating either one big baddie because your opponents tried to sway you from picking it, or you’re reanimating four creatures to go wide. The card’s drawback comes in the mana cost, but for the effect, you’re getting it’s not too much of an issue.

Carnage Tyrant

Well, if it isn’t the card we mentioned earlier. Carnage Tyrant has all the protection in the world but is otherwise fairly vanilla. If Dinosaur Tribal is going to be a deck, expect to see this in every single one. It’s certainly not a game winner, but it’s still a solid card. A 7/6 isn’t something to scoff at, but this card falls into the trap of ‘could I be running something better’. I feel like if this card is put into a deck that runs green, there’s a lot of things that could simply fill the slot better. Not every card can be perfect, but I at least feel like this card is deserving of the mythic title (unlike another rowdy bunch we’ve already talked about…).

So far Ixalan has yet to impress me, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the set can’t change my mind. There are at least seven more mythics coming, and I’m excited to see them. One thing that I really want to see is another Legendary Creature for each tribe. Considering the fact that we have yet to see a multicolored Legendary Vampire, I expect one to be spoiled soon enough. One thing I do expect to see is one more absolutely terrible mythic, and one that’s absolutely insane. We still have almost three weeks until release, which is plenty of time for Ixalan to sway me!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.

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What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

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