Un/Commons from Ixalan in EDH

Un/Commons from Ixalan in EDH

What goodies are hidden in Ixalan's un/common sections?

As cards rise in power level, they move up in rarity. As they move lower in rarity, they either cost more or do less. This is a pretty standard concept across all Magic sets, but that doesn’t mean we can’t scrounge up some fun cards from the un/common sections of Ixalan! With the multi-creature type focus of Ixalan, each one is vying for your attention, so fun cards are interspersed amongst each color, type, and rarity. The question is, how many are there really? The prerequisites for being on this list is that there be some form of utility; that the card has the potential to do something.

Ixalan’s Binding

This card rides that fine balance of fun and good. If your opponent relies on keeping their commander out, this can be amazing shut down. It forces them to dig for removal, and can absolutely rain on their parade. Ixalan’s Binding does what normal exile effects don’t: it stops their commander from returning to the battlefield. If you drop an Oblivion Ring on their commander, they can just put it in the command zone and recast it the next turn. In that case, you only stopped them for one turn. With Ixalan’s Binding, if the removal isn’t sitting in their hand already, their end game is put on pause until they can find it. Of course, the power level diminishes when faced against decks that don’t prioritize getting their commander out. In that case, it’s just an Oblivion Ring that costs one more. It’s still removal, and it still does its job.

Navigator’s Ruin

As mentioned previously, not every un/common can have a game-breaking effect. Navigator’s Ruin, for example, is just a fun mill version of a poke. Four cards are fairly insignificant in EDH (1/25th of a deck), but it can add up. Since it is pretty weak, most players won’t toss removal at it, and will most likely just let it sit unless they drop a mass-enchantment removal spell. You have to swing to get the effect and it happens at the end of your turn, but that doesn’t stop it from being at least decent. It’s just amusing to play with, much like Altar of the Brood. Both get you the effect of pissing off a few players while removing some cards along the way; this is just the uncommon version of it. A good contrast between them is that Altar of the Brood scales based on how many players are in the game, while Navigator’s Ruin always does a set four. The good thing about this is that you can toss the four wherever you want; a key part of Navigator’s Ruin is that the opponent getting milled doesn’t have to be the one you attacked. Sure, this might mean two players are going to throw something at you in revenge, but who cares? This is what casual EDH is all about.


Ruthless Knave

Never save mana for its ability, but if your deck always seems to have some to spare, then this card might be a tiny help. Even if you can only scrounge up three mana for one trigger, when someone else board wipes, you have the ability sacrifice something to get two Treasures. Not the biggest rewards in the world, but it brings you one step closer to casting something huge, to metalcraft, to being able to draw a card. Again, one of the worst cards on this list, but it still serves a purpose.

Tempest Caller

The good: it taps all creatures one opponent controls; the bad: it’s worse than Sleep; the ugly: it’s repeatable with Deadeye Navigator. All in all, it just has a good effect and is potentially repeatable. There’s really not much else to say about it. It relies on having a board state that wants to swing out at an opponent, or at least benefits from hitting your opponent. In all honesty, Sleep is a better card, isn’t that expensive to purchase already, and is at the same rarity. I wouldn’t suggest running Tempest Caller, but it’s still alright.

You can probably tell, but Tempest Caller really scraped the bottom of the barrel. Ixalan’s un/commons didn’t add very much EDH, and I’m honestly a little disappointed. The only real ‘honorable mention’ here is Walk the Plank, which runs at sorcery speed. I understand that it hits virtually every creature, but what kills its usefulness is the fact that it doesn’t run at instant speed. Almost every two drop removal spell is better than it, and I’d even rather run a Murder over Walk the Plank. Ixalan had its share of ups and downs through its rare and mythic lists, but the un/commons was an absolute let down. This finally wraps up all of Ixalan’s cards, and unfortunately, that end is on a pretty sour note.

Cover Image Credit: Kyle Siegl

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Why Radio Annoys Me

The answer lies here.

Ah! The Radio...invented in 1895. It was the highlight of that time, but now in the time I am alive, it just plain annoys me.

Radio is something that is a little hard to explain without starting with the basic Google definition. That definition states that radio is “the transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves of radio frequency, especially those carrying sound messages”. Unfortunately that is not exactly the radio we are talking about today. Radio today is the radio that people listen to in the car every single day. Whether you have the regular local stations or the highly expensive Sirius XM subscription, you listen to radio in the car, unless you opt out of listening to radio by using an aux cord or cd player (which is honestly the best choice in my opinion) .

You get all of these subscriptions to certain things, but you only get the choice of the genre based station. Yes, those stations have different themes for their music, but you do not get to pick what plays. I hate when my dad is in the car and has to go through all of the local radio stations because the one he was on did not have a song he liked. Then, he cycles through all of the channels until he ends up coming back to the same one that he was at before. It just always annoys me so much! I do not know if you have ever had the same experience, but if you have, you are totally groaning right now.

I just like when I make a playlist on Spotify or on YouTube with the exact songs I want. I am the type of person that listens to one or two songs on loop over and over again until we get to wherever they have to go (most of the time lately has been toclass). I think having the same song to me is motivating to keep going to where I have to go. I like the songs that have the high and the low build ups. With being a video game nerd, I love listening to the main theme from Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is so beautiful with the crescendos, but I digress.

I know my opinion might not agree with everyone, but the radio is just super annoying to me. I seriously cannot take the songs being random and you not knowing what is coming. The one “radio” I will listen to is the 24/7 Nintendo Game Stream by Dystifier on YouTube. It fixes some of my problems with the radio and 95% of the music is something I like to listen to. There are even times where people can request songs for free. When that happens, the manager of the stream creates a big list on a Discord chat channel with all of the songs in the order they will play over the next couple hours. It is really nice the way the guy runs the stream and it is how I wish radio kind of was.

The current regular radio stations have the problem of always just playing the same few songs over and over, that annoys me, but that is another rant for another day. Meanwhile, I would love more choices in the way traditional radio is. Until that day, I most of the time will have an earbud in when in the car with anyone, unless we hook up a playlist of some jams.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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The Scary Truth About Technology And Our Reliance On It

How did our parents survive without the internet?

Seriously. How did our parents survive without the Internet?

When I think about my childhood, we did not have access to the internet as often. However, we did have a dial up connection that allowed my brother and I to take turns playing on the silly websites such as Club Penguin and Webkinz. We also were obsessed with playing Solitaire and the traditional Pinball. Everyone remembers Pinball with the space theme and it took forever to load up on your computer unless you had the nicer desktop. Ah, great memories!

Anyways, when I think about all of the things I have to accomplish that are submitted through an internet connection, it baffles me that our parents used to not rely on it. As a college student, we have to submit our assignments through a site called Blackboard. We create the Word documents by ourselves and then have to upload them to our professors.

How did we get to a time that we don’t have to turn in hard copy forms of our essays or even homework assignments? I remember my last year in high school, I had a teacher that created this website that we had to upload all of our work on there so we had easy access to editing it.

We have become so reliant on technology, it is scary. While we have the opportunity to look up information by typing in a question to our neighborhood friend, Google, we also lose the capacity to read a book and scan for information. We also have access to our phones to be able to text and not have to talk on the phone.

However, we lose the interactions that make us human and cannot even have a simple dinner conversation without utilizing our phones for either texting our companion or surfing social media websites.

So, as I state again, how did our parents survive without the internet? How did they survive not being able to look up the information and have instant access? Seriously, we have articles available to us on the internet through college campuses and we can instantly find words and phrases that we are searching for.

When our parents were little, they had to use encyclopedias to figure out the information that they were searching for. They skimmed paragraphs upon paragraphs looking for the right facts for the essay they were either writing on notebook paper or typing on some other device. It just baffles me how used to technology we are.

When I think of libraries, I think of the Dewey Decimal System that we had to learn when we were in elementary school. Our parents did not have databases where the call numbers were saved on a computer and they could instantly find the call number. They had their file cabinets with the call numbers and author and title of the book on the card. My father had to take that card to the librarian in order to find the certain book they were looking for, search for the information he needed, and then write down the citation of it and continue on with his essay.

How on earth did our parents survive without recent technology? How will our minds be molded with future technology? That is also something to think about and that is scary.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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