Podcast: SMIP # 75 - Rivals of Ixalan Vintage set review


Kevin Cron and Steve Menendian review Rivals of Ixalan for Vintage and discuss recent changes in the content and method of Banned and Restricted List announcement.

Contact us at @ManyInsanePlays on Twitter or e-mail us at SoManyInsanePlaysPodcast@gmail.com.

0:01:00: Announcements
0:31:30: Rivals of Ixalan mechanics
0:35:40: Masatermind’s Acquisition
0:44:20: Merfolk Mistbinder
0:58:19: Thrashing Brontodon
1:13:29: The Immortal Sun
1:35:00: Induced Amnesia
2:05:25: Blood Sun
2:28:03: Silent Gravestone
2:30:10: Dire Fleet Daredevil
2:44:50: Zacama, Primal Calamity
2:53:20: Release to the Wind
2:57:10: Storm the Vault
3:04:04: Bannand Restricted Announcement and policy implications

I havent listened yet, but the recording went great.

The big surprise is the Sorcerous Spyglass results 😄

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Kind of bummed you guys didn't discuss Golden Guardian.

4 is a reasonable casting cost in Workshops, even for a (4/4!) defender, and its activated ability only costs 2 - while the fight aspect is a bit prohibitive, the second part of its ability doesn't look at how it dies, meaning that it could (likely) become delicious Ravager food.

Its flipped side seems good in a game that's being drawn out. It's a Sol land with no real drawbacks, but can also churn out uncounterable 4/4s every turn

Was Golden Guardian suggested to our twitter or email? We rely heavily on requests.

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@smmenen replied to the tweet asking for suggestions on 14 January

Request: Can you discriminate between announcements and your prior set performance in the show notes / times? I find the "report card" segment one of the most interesting and thoughtful pieces of the show and would like to be able to skip right to it

(For anyone wondering, this time around it starts at 8:30 or so)

last edited by ajfirecracker

Re. Azor’s Gateway: They changed the rules for converted mana costs for split cards when Amonkhet was released. Previously, when the game asked Wear//Tear about its mana cost, the card would reply ‘1’ and ‘2’ (both halves talking). Now it just replies ‘3’ (the card as a whole).

There's Kumena's Speaker. It's not disruptive, but it's a 1 mana 2/2 Merfolk that could push the archetype towards an ultra-aggressive version.

@fsecco Cosi's Trickster exists, sees no play, is on color, and is more than likely 2/2 or better more times than not, so I think it's fair of them not to think to discuss a mostly vanilla green 2/2

@protoaddct Also pitches to FoW 🙂

@protoaddct Fair enough. I thought of that because of Randy's VSL list. But yeah the green splash seems bad.

I've been enjoying this episode, as usual. Thanks for recording these podcasts!

One quick note about Blood Sun: there is actually a case where Blood Sun affects an ability that is untouched by Blood Moon: abilities granted to basic lands by cards like Genju of the Spires are removed by the Sun, but not the Moon. This is somewhat-relevant since mono-red Moon decks have in the past played Genju as a source of early-game pressure.

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@evouga This also works with any card that animates a land and confers abilities onto it. Walker of the Wilds in the last set would make a land a 0/0 creature with haste and counters, were the sun out it would remove haste (which is largely irrelevant if you know what you are doing) or any other abilities you gave to it. Not sure that is vintage relevant at all, but who knows, could be some day.

I know these cards are not exactly Vintage-playable on their own, but here is a list of additional cards that make Induced Amnesia into a very silly card; each gives you a sac outlet on the fly, letting you either "Draw X cards where X is the cards in your hand" or "Exile all cards in target opponent's hand" at will.

Faith Healther

At least in the realm of casual magic, I jammed 4x Auratog and 4x Faith Healer into a deck alongside 4x Induced Amensia and some similar cards. The results were hilarious:

4x Auratog
4x Faith Healer
4x Chasm Skulker

4x Hatching Plans
4x Induced Amnesia
4x Parallax Wave
4x Parallax Tide

4x Memory Lapse
2x Supreme Verdict
1x Perilous Research
1x Abolish

24x Lands

If your Auratog/Healer survives, this deck gets funny as heck!

@maximumcdawg believe it or not, I also brewed an Auratog+Induced Amnesia deck.

@brass-man How did it do? Did you run an actual Vintage version?

@maximumcdawg Oh, I didn't play any serious testing games with it. I just spent a little time trying to figure out how the pieces fit together. It was an "actual vintage" approach, yeah, with restricted cards and everything 🙂 .... It didn't feel good enough on paper to play in a league for real dollars or anything

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@smmenen I forgot to say this, but the 25 year timeline Wizards recently published made me remember. About the recent restriction wave in the last few years, one thing to take in consideration is that the Magic player base got A LOT bigger in those years.
Just an example, it took from 93-2009 for Magic to have 2 million DCI events.
It only took another 4 years for that number to double.
I think that makes Wizards a lot more interested in being receptive to the public, and makes the "public voice" much bigger too.

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Love the podcast ans discussions as usual.
Sometimes you do get way too deepin a cornercase and that usually ends up significantly in your predictions. But I guess predictions atre alway kind of u predictable.

Just finished the Blood Sun part. I loved the analysis and think you asked a relevant question in what would you play turn 1 against an unknown opponent.

You got hung up a bit in the card draw of the sun making it harder to evaluate, while I thought that with the framing of that question the card draw would be the least relevant. My reasoning is that the type of decks that play these effects will want to disrupt as hard as possible on turn 1, so I think the moon effect is always preferable to the sun (and most of those decks are structured to win through combat damage, putting the magus at the top). The card draw of the sun is actually the least relevant in this case I think. Later in the game, though, the card draw becomes increasingly relevant. Would the question be about a turn 2 or 3 play, it would factor in quite a bit more I think.

In the end I think that the blood sun will see play but is ultimately inferior to blood moon and magus.

Now if they ever print a magus (or otherwise similar effect), then this becomes more relevant because it allows for more aggressive tricks like lotus vale and dark depths. As it stands, with at most 4 sun effects in a deck, that isd completely unreliable and way too much work for little payoff.

Amyway, those are my thoughts on Blood Sun. Love the card. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the show.

We are recording our next show this week. We are bringing back a long beloved but neglected segment: "Scenarios." We have 3 great scenarios we are going to analyze, but would love to have more suggestions. We are recording Tuesday, so try to get them in before then!

I had a chance to finish the last part of this one earlier in the week and enjoyed it very much. I tested two of the new creatures in Oath, Azor and Zacama. I complemented Zacama with the Auriok Salvagers set up since he's quite the impressive infinite mana-sink. I also read recently that someone played Zacama in a local event and had some success.

Overall though, I would say he is win-more. He is able to seal the deal in positions where just about any other large creature would be able to do the same, but with few distinct strengths over the others and several weak spots, although when he does win big, it is fun and sensational. We don't always have the luxury of abundant developed board states that can activate him effectively, he's soft to Jace, can be overrun with creature armadas, and there's no way of determining the correct course of action with Oath of Druids on the stack. What I mean by that is that against Workshops, in certain situations for instance involving Tangle Wire, during my upkeep I would have to make a decision about whether to fetch a land, whether that should be a Tropical or Tundra, and then decide if, given limited resources, I should anticipate Auriok Salvagers appearing and produce white mana or Ancient Grudge going into the yard and produce green mana. Orchards and potential future life loss complicate the equation. With Zacama, you have no idea whether he'll actually appear and you can't predict whether you should tap the lands prior to Oathing and if so, which color(s) they should produce. If you don't tap one or two lands if that is all the mana available mana, you might not even be able to activate him once that turn cycle, which is abysmal.

The best thing he did for me was to destroy a Stony Silence before he got Plowshared; at that point I may as well have just Oathed up a Reclamation Sage. I used him once to destroy a Rest in Peace, but the Salvagers plan was superfluous at that point so it was again, win-more.

He was fun to have in play and scored style points, but Inferno Titan outclasses him in nearly every way. Even when I hardcast him on a very developed board and destroyed a Containment Priest and non-disruptive Thorn of Amethyst, it accomplished nothing substantial beyond what an Inferno Titan would do for 66% the price.

Azor on the other hand is surprisingly functional in combo metagames. There are several things that could have been done in design to make him stronger (these sets do have the whiff of "let's scale the power down") but his ability has kept me alive v. Combo decks during that critical post-Oath turn where few creatures other than the obscenely uncastable Griselbrand would. He wants a Tolarian Academy supporting build in order to use the Sphinx Rev ability but even without that he was not horrible. It bears noting that his Silence effect can be reactivated with a Jace bounce + replay, which is sometimes the correct move.

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