September 17, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I suspect that Ixalan is mainly going to be remembered for its dinosaurs – and why wouldn’t it be? Everyone loves dinosaurs, and the block did a great job of introducing them to Magic. They had representatives in various colors, cards that lent themselves to a range of strategies, and they were more than viable in Standard tournaments, for those who are interested in that sort of thing. Raging Swordtooth can be seen as an enabler for the enrage mechanic seen on a large number of dinosaurs, but it’s equally effective as an answer to a herd of 1/1 creatures – it has better stats than Goblin Chainwhirler, even. Its mana cost can sometimes be an issue, as there are a lot of expensive dinosaurs and it can be hard to find space for all of them at once. It’s also a little metagame-dependent, as Regisaur Alpha is better against removal-heavy decks and even Charging Monstrosaur’s speed can make a difference in some matchups. But when you’re facing Vampires, Servos, Saprolings, or the like, the Swordtooth is absolutely devastating.
Raging Swordtooth is a relatively subtle and elegant Dinosaur, which might not be words normally associated with the tribe. Much less a 5/5 with trample for 5 mana, but still!
A 5/5 for 5 with trample is…in today’s Magic, playable enough, though with room for improvement. The major attraction is in that triggered ability: 1 damage to everything else. Dinosaurs in Ixalan were known for their Enrage mechanic, which triggered when they were dealt damage, regardless of source, and this is a way to make sure they all get rightly irked. So 5 mana for a 5/5 with trample that also turns on enrage triggers? Now it looks a bit better. It also can finish off wounded creatures in combat and wipe out a field of X/1 menaces, like Spirits or Servos or Thopters.
It’s not a Constructed star, but it does work in Limited and can work in the right set-up. It offers a bit for Dinosaurs overall, though the tribe has the issue of being too slow and ponderous to work outside of Standard; other formats are too fast and unfair for them to compete.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Visit the Magic Card of the Day Archive! Click here to read over 4,000 more MTG Cards of the Day! Daily Since 2001.