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.

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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Studying The Coupon Website Market and The Storyline of DealsShutter

Studying The Coupon Website Market and The Storyline of DealsShutter

In this article, we will be talking about a company called Dealshutter which provides  deals, coupons and exclusive sales notification to its members from all over India.

With a rapidly increasing internet user base in India has led to increase in awareness of the varieties available in terms of products and services, ways of doing things, tips and tricks to save time and money, and much more.

India has opened up to ths future of the way of doing business. About 25% of the retail shops in India have gone online and there are hundreds of e-commerce business functioning as mediator for products and services provided by a wholesaler.

Opening up of e-commerce businesses and the competition led to variety in options available for the customers and also different type of offers available on categories and types of products.

It is humanly next to impossible to check hundreds of websites for offers on products and also takes a lot of time. This opportunity led to another in the space of coupon and deals business.

According to report on a daily, coupons business account of 13.5% of e-commerce business as of 2017 in India, and also saw a growth of 63% approx interns of unique visitors on coupon sites.

In 2017, approx 9 out of  every 10th internet user in India used/accessed coupons website to search for the deals and coupon codes.

Generally,  a deal/coupon website such as dealshutter provides a code and redirects the audience to the product page of the site and then by using the coupon code (which is accessed via Bar-code by Deal shutter and also has an expiration date) one gets cashback in dealshutter wallet which can be further used to buy other products on different sites. One can also club all the deals and cashback to buy a product.

The discount or cashback range generally go from 5% to 20% or even more depending on the site /brand. With an increase in percentage of businesses going online, coupons website such as Deal Shutter has also started to offer coupons and cashback deals on hyper local retailers and small shop retailers who have their website online. This move has helped coupons website to attract different class in the society, and this has helped the modeling of coupons website to go towards economies of scale which would in turn increase in the amount of profits with increase in customer base.

Restaurants are another target market for the deals and coupon wevsute, where a company ties up with a chain of restaurant on Pan India basis and offers offline cashback and deals on tied up restaurants. This has also helped many coupon websites to serve Tier1 cities and see an increase in audience and customer base across India.

With increasing sizes of existing e-commerce business and also an increase in numbed of e-commerce business, the coupon market has parallel grown as the varieties of coupons/deals increase and let their customer be retained or come back again to search for deals.

The coupon market is valued around 3billion$ in India and has seen a parallel growth of 52% as per a report on a Daily.

With the amount of competition amongst coupon websites and increase in e-commerce businesses, it has to only benefit the customers to choose and make a wise decision.

At the end of this all, we can say that there is a win-win situation. 

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10 Severely Unappreciated Disney Characters That Are Actually Magical

They'll always be in my heart

Elsa. Ariel. Baymax. Dory. All of these characters, and so many more, are recognizable just by their name, even if you have never watched their movie. Disney’s popular characters have redeeming qualities, and it is obvious why people love them. However, being an avid Disney fan who is fluent in a large scope of their films, I often think of lesser-known characters, especially from movies that are older or didn’t do well, and wish that they were better known in pop culture. Here, I present, in no particular order, some of Disney’s unacknowledged characters that are actually wonderful.

1. Timothy Q. Mouse from "Dumbo"

Though "Dumbo" turned quite a profit in 1941 and was critically-acclaimed, it is mostly swept under the rug and forgotten about today. Though it is not one of my personal favorites, I watched it again recently and was struck by Timothy, a mouse who befriends Dumbo after Dumbo’s mother is locked away.

Unlike essentially every other character (excluding Dumbo’s mom of course), he is the only other person who doesn’t immediately cast Dumbo aside as an eccentric freak. When everyone abandons Dumbo for being odd, Timothy becomes a loyal friend who encourages Dumbo to not be ashamed of his large ears and use them for something good.

Timothy is completely selfless and devotes all his time and energy to making Dumbo a success, taking no credit himself. The idea that elephants are typically afraid of mice makes this connection even more interesting. Timothy Q. Mouse teaches us lessons in loyalty, friendship, and helping others.

2. Pongo from "101 Dalmatians"

This 1961 film was also successful at the box office and even got a 1996 reboot. Though I prefer cats (sorry dog-lovers), I have always loved this movie. Pongo is the main character in the film and is incredibly brave and protective over his loved ones. We first see Pongo orchestrate one of the most adorable meet-cutes in Disney film, winning over viewers from the beginning. Pongo adores his mate, Perdita, and vows to protect her from the evil Cruella De Vil. After their puppies are dognapped, Pongo ventures out to find them and risks his life saving not only his own puppies but the others Cruella dognapped as well. Had he not brought the other puppies with him, they surely would have been skinned.

3. Bagheera from "The Jungle Book"

The 1967 animated version was a financial success for Disney and revamped in 2016. Bagheera (which means “tiger” in Hindi) is a black panther who finds Mowgli in the jungle and gives him to a mother wolf to raise. Though he does not take an active role in raising him, Bagheera keeps an eye on Mowgli as he grows up.

Eventually, he realizes that Mowgli will do best and be safest if he returns to the “man village” and is surrounded by other humans. Though Mowgli resists and hates Bagheera for this decision, Bagheera is adamant and knows what is best for Mowgli. At the end of the film, Mowgli realizes that Bagheera is right and willingly goes to the man village. Though Bagheera is serious and critical of Baloo’s carefree lifestyle, he teaches viewers lessons of determination, loyalty and selflessness.

4. Figaro from "Pinocchio"

Though Disney’s 1940 film can get kind of creepy, I still enjoyed it as a kid. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a cat person, so I always thought that Geppetto’s cat Figaro was adorable. Admittedly, Figaro doesn’t really do anything in the film — he’s just a kitten doing his kitten thing — yet he has quite the personality. Figaro even starred in some Disney cartoons and was one of Walt’s favorite characters. The only lessons we really learn from Figaro are to be as cute as possible and make your goodnight kisses brief.

5. Tadashi from "Big Hero 6"

Obviously, the star of this 2014 film is the personal healthcare companion Baymax, but there are other redeeming characters as well. Tadashi, the older brother of protagonist Hiro, is only in the film briefly yet leaves a legacy for viewers to admire and Hiro to look up to. When Hiro participates in illegal robot fighting, Tadashi recognizes his skill and encourages Hiro to apply to his school, the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

When Hiro is frustrated with himself for not coming up with any innovative ideas for the science fair, Tadashi encourages him to keep trying and believes in his talents. Hiro, as well as the audience, can admire Tadashi for never giving up, being brave, and helping others. Also, without Tadashi, there would be no Baymax, which would just be sad.

6. Big Mama from "The Fox & The Hound"

Like so many other Disney films, this 1981 movie is largely forgotten today. Big Mama is an owl who, like her name, is protective and watchful over Tod. She found Tod after his mother was killed and arranges for him to live with Widow Tweed. Without her care, Tod would have surely died on his own. Like Bagheera does for Mowgli, she keeps a close eye on Tod as he is raised. When Tod befriends a hound dog, Copper, she opens Tod’s eyes to the reality that they are natural enemies and will end up hurting each other in the end, and she turns out to be right.

After Widow Tweed sends Tod back to the forest, Big Mama still watches out for him and sets him up with a female fox. Owls are depicted as being wise and all-knowing, and Big Mama is no exception, using her skills to educate Tod so he won’t get eliminated.

7. Marie from "The Aristocats"

Marie is the fierce female kitten in this 1970 box office hit. Of the three kittens, she certainly has the most personality. She adores Thomas O’Malley, and when she falls in the river and is rescued by him, it gives Duchess another reason to consider taking him home to Madame Adelaide. Though she is the only girl, she keeps up with her brothers and is the queen of sass.

8. Mushu from "Mulan"

This 1998 movie is praised for its portrayal of a powerful female, but often overlooked is Mulan’s dragon companion Mushu. After accidentally breaking the Stone Dragon, Mushu vows to protect Mulan himself and accompanies her to the battlefield. Though misguided, Mushu tries his best to help Mulan pretend to be a man and help her navigate the problems that arise in training. After helping Mulan defeat Shan Yu at the palace, the ancestors make Mushu the Fa family guardian. Both helpful and feisty, Mushu is an endearing, loyal friend who shows that hard work does pay off.

9. Mrs. Potts from "Beauty and the Beast"

In this 1991 tale that is as old as time, we often focus on Belle, the Beast, and Gaston as the most interesting characters, but what about the servants? Of these, most notable is Mrs. Potts, who is (unsurprisingly) a teapot, who acts as a motherly figure to Belle. Always willing to put on some tea, Mrs. Potts never loses faith that the Beast will find a companion in Belle. She also rocks her part in “Something There” as well as provides the title song itself, “Beauty and the Beast,” which is perhaps more iconic than the movie.

10. Jaq and Gus from "Cinderella"

In this emblematic 1950 princess movie, Cinderella gets a lot of help from her rodent friends in making her dreams come true, especially Jaq and Gus. These two loyal mice do a lot for Cinderella, from finding materials for her dress, avoiding Lucifer, transforming into horses for her carriage, and — most importantly — bringing the key up to her door so she can get out of her room and try the glass slipper on. Without Jaq and Gus, Cinderella would have likely been a maid forever and never would have been with Prince Charming. Though mice are disgusting creatures, I’ll admit that Cinderella’s mice are essential to the film.

Cover Image Credit: Walt Disney

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