Rivals of Ixalan Prerelease and Standard Bans

What’s happening saltines? I hope everyone had a grand prerelease weekend featuring the new cards from Rivals of Ixalan.

This below video is my gopro footage of the midnight prerelease at Jack’s on Queen.

I need to figure out a better way to film this…

The pool was a resounding meh, I ran with a black and white vampire build, sporting my fancy promo Vona’s Hunger. The supreme lack of board wipes in limited, mixed with massive board states of cheap creatures makes anything with the new Ascend mechanic really powerful. There were seventeen attendees, so we did five rounds. At the conclusion of said rounds there were three 4-1s and a lot of 3-2s, myself being a 3-2. Since my only loses were to those that came first and second, my breakers were good enough that I cracked into prizing and clutched fourth place.

I also attended a second prerelease in which I sported another black and white vampire build, this time supported by Radiant Destiny, and Twilight Prophet. I ended up going 3-1 and coming in third place.

I’m looking forward to what this set has in store for standard, too bad energy decks will be running the format until they rotate….wait a minute…

WotC Drops the Ban Hammer!!!

Oh boy did we get some spicy news today. Four cards from the standard format got wiped the table today. Two of them to deal with the problem deck of the format, and two preemptive bans to prevent a second deck from taking over. I’m going to go through them one by and one and give my take.

Attune with Aether

Attune with Aether

I used to play sultai energy and I always enjoyed the power of this card. This one drop not only advanced your untouchable resource, but it also allowed you to take super greedy hands and not get punished for it. I for one can vouch for the power of this card and for sure agree that this card needed to go. The temur and sultai energy decks tend to take super aggressive, super greedy hands, and Attune with Aether allowed them to do that.

Rogue Refiner

Rogue Refiner

This dude was a huge all-star in both temur and sultai energy lists. Being a three mana, three power creature is already pretty good, but throw in the added bonus of generating two energy and replacing itself by drawing you a card is insane. This card was just too good to exist. Just the fact that it is completely self sufficient and even if you kill it, the damage is already done. I feel that they did need to ban a second card from the energy decks, and I feel this was indeed a good choice.

Ramunap Ruins

Ramunap Ruins

Now a lot of people were surprised to see this uncommon land get banned, myself included. However, the explanation given by WotC as to why it was banned was very well though out and explained very well. As a TLDR; with the banning of two linchpin energy cards, they could easily see Ramunap Ruin decks simply take over as the strongest deck in the format. I do agree with them that Ramunap Red would indeed take over as the newest deck to beat. Lands are very hard to deal with in standard, and having a resource that allows you to shock your opponent when you’ve run out of gas would be too strong with the energy decks gone.

Rampaging Ferocidon

Rampaging Ferocidon

This was the ban that no one saw coming. This dino from Ixalan was a sideboard card for some Ramunap Red decks, and a mainboard card for other Ramunap Red decks. No one saw this card getting banned, but WotC did a very good job as to explaining why. Apparently this card was designed when SaheeliFelidar combo was running a muck in standard. That makes a lot of sense as this card completely stops the OTK from the combo as they would need to kill themselves in order to OTK. I feel that with this ban, vampire tribal decks will take off, causing life gain strategies to go through the roof as this was the only Skullcrack effect in standard, but only time will tell.


With these four bans hot off of the press the format appears to be wide open. What deck will you be bringing to FNM once the smoke clears? Leave your deck ideas in the comments below! I’ll be posting a new deck tech soon, so stay tuned!

Until next time, stay salty my friends.



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