Modern Musings: Pirates, Merfolk, and Dinosaurs oh my!

Hey everyone, and welcome to another Modern Musings! I hope everyone had fun smashing their opponents with dinosaurs and looting treasure with pirates over the prerelease this past weekend.  This week we are going to look at some established lists that could be updated by some cards from Ixalan.  Let’s take a look at some of these decks:

Elves

The big addition for elves is the Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun, which I think probably replaces Chord of Calling in most elves lists since you need to be keeping the non-creature spell count low for Collected Company.

The downside of running a list like this is that you’re trading off utility in Chord of Calling for raw explosive power in Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun, which very well might not be worth it.

Merfolk

The big question with Kopala, Warden of Waves is: does it replace Kira, Great Glass-Spinner? Our resident merfolk expert Nikachu already talked about this card at length in a video a while ago, I do want to weigh in on this guy a little bit.  There are a couple things that we can use to judge how good Kopala, Warden of Waves is going to be vs. how good Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is now.  The first criterion we’ll use is a test case vs. fatal push.  Let’s say your opponent has 3 mana and 2 Fatal Pushes in their hand, if you have a Kira on board then they have to expend both of their removal spells to kill your one creature.  If you were to have a Kopala, Warden of Waves, then they would only have to expend 1 Fatal Push to kill your creature, but they will have spent their entire turn doing so.  I think that while the card advantage of Kira, Great Glass-Spinner is tempting, and in some cases might be better than Kopala, Warden of Waves, the tempo that you gain from Kopala is extremely significant and ultimately may give merfolk an edge it didn’t quite have previously.  In addition Kopala, Warden of Waves is of course a merfolk, so it gets all the buffs that merfolk do, a trait that Kira, Great Glass-Spinner does not share.  A final note on this card is it’s second ability, which prevents decks like eldrazi tron from using Walking Ballista to ping down your lords, a feat that Kira, Great Glass-Spinner wasn’t as good at doing.  So what will merfolk look like after it includes this card? Something like this:

That’s all for this week guys, I hope you had fun this past weekend, and I know I’m looking forward to Ixalan’s release this Friday!  I’m excited for next week when I’ll be able to play with these cards in paper form and maybe have some fun brews for you guys too!

 

 

 

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