Returning to Ixalan means bringing back some major kindred strategies to Magic: The Gathering, but that’s not all the set has to offer. For Commander players in particular there’s some fantastic cards you’ll be wanting to pick up to help boost the power of your decks.

From some ridiculously powerful artifact hate to one of the most powerful token enablers Magic has ever seen, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Among the cards from the set are some fantastic reprints like Caverns of Souls and Growing Rites of Itlimoc, but we’ll try to keep these picks to the new cards from Lost Caverns of Ixalan.

Chimil, the Inner Sun

Free Spells? Why Not

Full disclaimer: I have no idea how good this card is actually going to be but it looks like it would be absolutely wild. With Chimil out, none of your spells can be countered, giving you absolute confidence to run out whatever cards you want in your opponent’s faces.

The second ability tied to Chimil is that at the start of your end step, you get to discover 5. Discover functions similarly to cascade, letting you exile cards from the top of your deck until you hit something that has an equal or lower mana value equal to the associated number. A key difference in this mechanic is that if you choose not to cast it, you can instead put it in your hand. A free spell every turn seems real good, but it might be a little too vulnerable and too big of a target to reliably keep in a match.

​​Roaming Throne

A Kindred King

There’s an easy spot in most decks based on a creature type with Roaming Throne. This four mana creature lets you pick a creature type when it comes into play, turning itself into that creature type. So you could make it a giant kitty, or vampire if you wanted to, the throne is your oyster as they say.

The power behind Roaming Throne when a triggered ability of a creature of the chosen type happens, the Roaming Throne has it happen twice. So if a creature like Sentinel of the Nameless City would attack, you will make two Map tokens.

Trumpeting Carnosaur

Carnage Tyrant, But Angrier

A six mana 7/6 for six mana might not be the most impressive thing in Commander, you certainly do worse but there are plenty of things you can do better too. A key difference with Trumpeting Carnosaur is that its discover 5 ability is an enter the battlefield trigger, not a cast trigger. 

The biggest implication of this is that if you can keep flickering it every turn, you’re guaranteed a fresh spell every turn. If you have a cheap reanimator spell waiting to be used, you can also discard it easily to take down a smaller creature in play, only to get a 2-for-1 when it comes back.

Pit of Offerings

The Pit is Hungry

One of the best utility lands to be printed in a long while, Pit of Offerings combines mana fixing with targeted graveyard removal all on a land. When Pit of Offerings comes into play, you get to exile up to three cards from any graveyard, getting rid of whatever the biggest threat in the ‘yard.

It also adds one mana of any color among the cards you exile. While in a mono colored or two colored deck you might run into issues where you might not get usable mana out of the cards you want to exile, but in the worst case scenario it can always tap for a colorless mana in a pinch.

Dauntless Dismantler

Shut Down Those Treasures

There are not many ways to slow down Treasure token decks, but one of the more interesting ways comes in the way of Dauntless Dismantler. With Dauntless Dismantler, all artifacts your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped, rendering tons of artifacts useless for at least a turn.

Treasure tokens are partially susceptible to this effect, since your opponents have to tap them to use them. Even if you drop it after an opponent’s Dockside Extortionist you can sacrifice it to destroy all artifacts with a mana value equal to the amount of mana you want to pump into it, or for zero if you need to get rid of those pesky tokens.

Bloodletter of Aclazotz

Signing Your Letters…With Blood

An incredibly powerful card to drop in a game, Bloodletter of Aclazotz puts a gigantic clock on your opponent’s likely dwindling lifetotals. With the Bloodletter out, if an opponent would lose life during your turn, they lose twice as much life instead. 

Here’s the kicker, damage of all types also are considered a loss of life, letting the Bloodletter double up on how quickly it can take out an opponent. Some key caveats though to this ability. If your commander deals 5 points of damage, leading to 10 life lost, but still only being 5 points of Commander Damage. 

The Skullspore Nexus

Big Artifacts For A Little Mana

Magic has been following a trend of big green artifacts that modify their normally high casting costs, with The Skullspore Nexus being the latest. This eight mana artifact costs X mana less to cast, based on the highest power among creatures you control. So if you control a creature with a power of five, The Skullspore Nexus will only cost a total of three mana. 

With this massive artifact out, anytime a nontoken creature you control dies, you make a Fungus Dinosaur token with the same base power and toughness as that creature. This helps you survive through board wipes, targeted removal, or to give you double the sacrifice targets for your abilities. It also can be tapped to double the power of a creature of your choice for the turn, as if it didn’t have enough going for it.

Tishana’s Tidebinder

Turn Them All Off

One of the most talked about cards from Lost Caverns of Ixalan is Tishana’s Tidebinder, a new Merfolk with flash that can shut down plenty of strategies for your opponents by turning off a creature for as long as its in play by removing all of its abilities. . 

You have to actually counter an activated or triggered ability in order to shut the creature down, so you have to do it in response to an ability triggering. But that’s not going to be a problem since most commanders have some sort of game-warping ability you don’t want to let resolve anyways.

Kutzil, Malamet Exemplar

This Cat Has Claws

An incredibly powerful effect slapped on to an uncommon legendary creature has huge potential in multiple formats. The immediate effect Kutzil, Malamet Exemplar brings to your game is that it shuts down your opponents from casting spells during your turn. Sure, they can still activate abilities, but if they’re looking to counter something or use some instant speed removal, they’ll have to wait. 

Then, anytime you deal combat damage with one or more creatures with power higher than its base power to a player, you get to draw a card. It might feel a little convoluted to make sure you hit your triggers, but any chance to keep your hand stocked is a bonus.

Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation

Tokens Tokens Tokens

A positively absurd card, Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation pumps up the level of power Gods have in Magic. For six mana, you get a 6/6 creature that triples the amount of creature tokens you make at any given time. 

This card is balanced by the fact that it is a little more costly than other token doublers, and it only works for creature tokens you could make, so no tripling up on Treasure tokens. Even killing it won’t do your opponents much good since it can easily flip back over into a creature when you attack with at least three creatures. 

Ryan Hay (he/him) has been writing about Magic: The Gathering and video games for years, and loves absolutely terrible games. Send him your bad game takes over on Twitter where he won’t stop talking about Lord of the Rings.

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