Hello everyone! A new week has arrived and with it, some more spoilers!

This past weekend I attended Grand Prix Washington DC, playing Jeskai God-Pharaoh’s Gift. The weekend started off great, when I won a Grand Prix trial, going 5-0 with the deck, and punting about 3 games, which helped me learn a lot for the actual event, and gave me an extra bye for the event. It also marked the first time I would have my decklist published! Day 1 was a rollercoaster, with me going 3-0, 0-3, 3-0 to make Day 2. In Day 2, everything went wrong and i finished 8-7, but my good friend Jed Piekny picked up his first Pro Point, which made the weekend all worthwhile. Congrats man!

In the end, Wizards lost all the Trial decklists, so my quest for the published list continues. With that out of the way, lets dive into some more spoilers!

Sentinel Totem

Another card in the long list of Relic of Progenitus imitators. However, unlike the others, this card is actually good! The most important thing it does is tap for no mana. this allows you to keep advancing your game plan while keeping it up, unlike some of the other options in the format, Crook of Condemnation and Scavenger Grounds. Scavenger Grounds may be better just because it is a land and can be used multiple times. The scry is sort of relevant, but is mainly a nice bonus to the card’s main effect. I think this card is great, and will be a popular sideboard option against graveyard-centric decks.

Ixalan’s Bidding

While many of my friends immediately dismissed this card as worse than Cast Out, I think Ixalan’s Bidding has a shot to do well. Oftentimes, control decks struggle with decks that have a variety of threats, such as Mardu Vehicles. It is very hard to answer normal creatures, vehicles, and planeswalkers all at the same time. This card can completely nullify the threat of one of those, allowing the deck to focus on disrupting a more confined category of threats. I think this card could at least deserve a 1-3 split with Cast Out, and may even end up being better.

Huatli, Warrior Poet

This card is a mystery so far. The real ability is clearly its 0 ability, which gets really good after 3+ turns. I think the big thing with this card is that the opponent has to constantly be able to block because of the presence of its -X. A careless opponent may leave up only 3 blockers, in which case Huatli’s -X and a haste creature can make quick work of their life total. The fact remains that the card is a 5 mana planeswalker that starts on 3, and is very easy to kill (lookin’ at you Glorybringer and Lightning Strike).

Wakening Sun’s Avatar

I am super impressed with this card. At first, I saw 8 mana, and immediately dismissed it, but then, I realized that there have been multiple G/W Ramp decks circling around lately. I think this card would be a great fit, as World Breaker and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger are rotating with the release of Ixalan. Avatar sweeping the board is extremely powerful, as having your opponent play around both a board wipe and a 7/7 threat is very advantageous for you, whether or not you actually have the card in your hand. I think Wakening Sun’s Avatar will see play, and I hope to be casting this card soon.

Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring

I think this card is very hit or miss. It will either be super powerful in control decks, or end up fizzling and not ever being played. Honestly, I think it has the potential to be extremely successful, as casting something like a Walk the Plank or Glimmer of Genius is so powerful that your opponent will have a hard time coming back into the game afterwards.

Kitesail Freebooter

This card is very strong, as it takes a large chunk of tempo from your opponent. It being able to attack in the air is super powerful, and I think it will be very good in Red-Black aggro decks in Ixalan Standard.

Conqueror’s Galleon // Conqueror’s Foothold

He attac. He protec. But most importantly, he regrowth.

This card has the potential to be really good. The back side is clearly phenomenal, but the fact that it has Crew 4 is very restrictive. If we manage to flip it, I think the value is so high that we can out-grind our opponent every time, which makes this card testable at least. I really hope to see it succeed, as I think these cards that flip into lands are super sweet and interesting to play with.

Drover of the Mighty

Speaking of that G/W Ramp deck…. Drover of the Mighty is a great two drop that can ramp you, but also becomes a reasonable threat when you start casting your dinosaurs. A common problem with Ramp is that many of your cards become bad as the game goes on. Drover of the Mighty becoming a 3/3 when you cast your dinosaurs establishes an even faster clock, which I think makes the card a must for Ramp decks going forward.

Lightning Strike

Oh cool a new burn spell… WAIT WHAT!?!??! Lightning Strike, my old friend, is back in Standard. My all time favorite Standard deck is Jeskai Tempo from Theros-Khans Standard, and Lightning Strike was one of the crucial cards in the deck. Strike will be great in Ramunap Red, and may be good in U/R Control, although that deck has Abrade already. Anyways, the card is great and whatever ends up happening, be sure that Lightning Strike will be played.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this article, and you are also excited for Ixalan. Going to the Natural History Museum in DC and seeing all those Dinosaur replicas got me even more hyped for this set! We’re coming off a great Standard, but I believe this Standard is also going to be great, and I at least have very high hopes. My next tournament is the team sealed Grand Prix in Providence, and hopefully we can do well in that! Good luck in whatever you have coming up, and as usual, I’ll see you next week!

Riccardo Monico

If you want my thoughts on more Ixalan spoilers that I believe will shape the Standard formats to come, read my article from last week here.

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