Ixalan Hidden Gems

Ixalan Hidden Gems

ixalan hidden gems tapping cardboard

It’s time for Ixalan Hidden Gems and discussing all of the underrated cards for the newest set. So let’s take a look at the Pirate/Dinosaur/Aztec set that came out of nowhere but everyone secretly wanted.

ixalan hidden gems

The first thing a lot of people are seeing with this is a 5-mana Counterspell, but that’s not exactly true. It’s actually a 5-mana Mana Drain. That’s still probably not that appetizing, but consider it in the current Standard. Decks that run Torrential Gearhulk won’t care too much about the cost since you can get two uses out of one card. The first spell you counter gets you the extra mana you need to cast your Gearhulk which, in turn, lets you counter another spell. Even outside of those decks, this is great for decks that run X spells like Torment of Hailfire or big mana sinks like The Scarab God since you can save the Treasure tokens for when you need the mana as opposed to needing to spend it right away.

ixalan hidden gems vicious conquistador

A 1/2 for 1 isn’t that spectacular, but a 1/2 that drains when it swings makes it pretty decent. Add on to that a very relevant creature type and you have a stellar uncommon entry into Ixalan Hidden Gems. I don’t know how well Vampires are going to do in the new Standard meta, but if they show up this will be at the forefront of the mana curve. Outside of Standard, this could see some play in Commander at it drains all your opponents instead of just one, so it’s a way to hit everyone at once for minimal impact.

ixalan hidden gems chart a course

This draws you two cards for 2 mana, without having to sacrifice something. There’s not much more I think I need to say about this, but I will explain a little more. Most cards that draw you two cards for 2 mana require a physical sacrifice of some kind (Altar’s Reap is a good example). You could say that discarding a card is a downside, but you can easily avoid it by tossing a small creature at your opponent’s face beforehand. Even if you can’t attack, discarding a card isn’t really much of a downside in today’s meta (regardless of format). Toss something with Flashback, something you want to reanimate, or even just a land you don’t need into your graveyard and suddenly it’s an upside! This thing is a very underrated 2-drop right now in my opinion and I think it will surprise a lot of people.

ixalan hidden gems trove of temptation

This card is going to be a big surprise in one format or another, I can feel it, so of course it makes it into the Ixalan Hidden Gems list. Forcing your opponent to attack you every turn doesn’t seem like a very smart plan, but you can turn it to your advantage if you play your cards right (pun intended). Cards like Circle of Flame, Hissing Miasma, or Isperia, Supreme Judge like it when you get attacked so building a deck around this card is pretty simple. It just needs someone brave enough to try piloting it.

ixalan hidden gems sky terror

Finally, we have the deceptively amazing 2-drop that’s going to lead a much-discussed deck to victory. This card is both a Dinosaur and extremely difficult to block. Having what is basically an unblockable 2/2 in a tribal deck puts a lot of pressure on your opponent very quickly (talk to anyone who runs Merfolk in Modern or Legacy). Even if it is blocked, it means that your opponent has thrown 2 blockers in front this and they are most likely going to be flyers, so you still come out on top. In fact, I’m so sure that this deck is going to be a thing, I wrote up a little decklist for it!

Stompy Dino Fun Time

4x Aether Hub
1x Burning Sun’s Avatar
4x Deathgorge Scavenger
4x Dinosaur Stampede
4x Forest
1x Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
4x Mountain
4x Plains
4x Priest of the Wakening Sun
2x Raging Swordtooth
4x Rampaging Ferocidon
4x Ranging Raptors
4x Raptor Hatchling
3x Regisaur Alpha
4x Rootbound Crag
4x Sky Terror
4x Sunpetal Grove
1x Wakening Sun’s Avatar

You can discover some of these Hidden Gems in our Ixalan League. It’s one of the best ways to play some casual magic so come on out and play some games in this sweet limited format!

Jay Edwards is an advocate for janky magic combos, and exploring fun and casual Magic ideas. When he’s not contributing columns to A Muse N Games.ca, he keeps himself busy as a Magic Judge. His new column, Tapping Cardboard, will appear here twice monthly so be sure to check it out!