Swooping Pteranodon
Swooping Pteranodon

Swooping Pteranodon – Lost Caverns of Ixalan

Date Reviewed:  November 22, 2023

Constructed: 2.37
Casual: 4.25
Limited: N/A
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 3.88

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


That ability is eye-catching – it’s very powerful, but also very specific. According to the card databases, there are currently only 15 dinosaurs with flying, counting Swooping Pteranodon. That suggests you can either play all of them, in a Commander deck or some such; or, alternatively, just use the ability judiciously when you really need it. I actually quite like that it has no inherent size limit, but naturally kills smaller creatures when it expires – that means it’s actually a type of modal ability, either a mini-Flametongue Kavu or a turbo-charged Enthralling Victor. The fact is, both pseudo-modes can win games, and the times you have it pick up and drop Emrakul on your opponent, thanks to Magic’s technicalities, will be hilarious.

Constructed: 2.5 (a little slow for Legacy, and most of the other flying dinosaurs are too)
Casual: 4
Limited: N/A (they seem to only be in set and collector boosters)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


As part of the crossover mini-set with Jurassic World, this card is not in Limited, and its legality is constrained to Legacy, Vintage, and Commander as far as official formats go.

Here to show that swooping is, has been, and always will be bad, Swooping Pteranodon is an interesting sort of take on the “threaten” effects we often see…it takes the creature, but then it attempts to kill it by dropping it on the ground afterwards. It’s only a kill if its toughness is 3 or less (or you have ways to add in damage to get it dead), but this is still a pretty solid way to push ahead. It’s even an aggressive body on its own, a 3/3 with evasion and haste, so that makes for some fun…though it needing to target things you don’t control means it’s not going to do the Zealous Conscripts thing of “end the game with Splinter Twin or Kiki-Jiki”, which might be for the best.

Still, this is good, even if it’s maybe a bit too slow for Legacy. It does diversify the Dinosaur gameplan a bit by allowing you to have an aerial threat (and it’s in part of the colors that Dinosaurs were centered on in Ixalan), it plays well with red’s fondness for temporary copies, and it even triggers if you have other swooping friends to join in on the fun. Swooping Pteranodon, in all, is a good mix of numbers and abilities that will let it have something to do against most decks, and it helps to reinforce that swooping is, indeed, bad.

Constructed: 2.25
Casual: 4.5
Limited: N/A (this would be very high, around a 4.5 or higher)
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4.25

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