– Rivals of Ixalan
January 8, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Four mana for a 2/2 creature is not going to be seen as too impressive in itself, but that comes-into-play effect most definitely is. It looks narrow and overly specific, until you actually start looking into what sorts of effects actually make use of tokens. Stealing one of Elspeth Tirel’s -2 activations or one of Garruk Wildspeaker’s -1 can leave them vulnerable to damage and your opponent in a surprisingly unfavorable place. Stealing Avenger of Zendikar’s effect or one side of Lingering Souls can destroy an entire game plan. Stealing a Splinter Twin combo turn – well, that probably won’t happen, not just because it’s banned in some formats, but flashing this guy into play will stop it before it can start. This particular silver bullet is one that some decks have been hoping for for quite a long time.
All aboard the hype train, next stop Orazca. I like this card, it has a fun and unique ability. There’s not a whole lot of token generation in standard right now, I’m not sure if this card is the best answer to Whirler Virtuoso. Limited you’re going to see more targets in the form of Dinosaurs and Treasure tokens. I think the best use of this card is to turn a disadvantage on its head. Cards like Dowsing Dagger or Baffling End are prime examples. Crafty Cutpurse is a fun card to sideboard in against elves but it has a hard time standing on its own.
And we start off Rivals of Ixalan reviews with a plundering friend. Crafty Cutpurse is as good as he looks…against the right deck. A four-mana 2/2 with flash isn’t a great rate of return, so you’re depending on absconding with a lot of tokens, or one really good token, to make this pop. The possibilities are impressive, though: take someone’s replicating Polyraptor and make your own army of Polyraptors? Steal their massive Empty the Warrens (or Crow Storm)? Yank their Marit Lage? It’s not too much to make sure you get a good return on this card (if you can take a 2/2 or larger, you arguably break even), but the challenge is that not all decks are going to have ideal targets for it. It’s a powerful card…but likely a powerful sideboard card, even in decks otherwise bereft of piracy.
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