– Rivals of Ixalan
January 11, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 3.83
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
How often has the formula for strengthening a color combination or a creature deck or a whole tribe turned out to involve giving it Naturalize on a creature? It worked for Bant and Naya in the form of Qasali Pridemage; it worked twice for elves, with Viridian Zealot and Reclamation Sage. It will undoubtedly work for dinosaurs with Thrashing Brontodon. If you’ll permit me to mention one more old card, its cost and stats recall Burning-Tree Shaman from Guildpact, which was able to dominate combat brutally in its own day. The average power to cost ratio of creatures may be higher now (someone should really do that calculation more rigorously than I have, for interest), but there are still plenty of situations where a Brontodon coming down on the third turn will dominate everything the opponent did on their first two turns. And of course, even with Smuggler’s Copter and Aetherworks Marvel gone, the rest of Kaladesh is still in Standard . . .
I’m surprised how excited I was when I saw Naturalize was reprinted. Kaladesh is still lingering in Standard while Double-Faced enchantments run amok. Slice in Twain was far too expensive for a utility spell that could end up collecting dust in your hand. But hold on a second, Christmas came twice this year. Thrashing Brontodon is the answer to artifacts and enchantments that Dinosaur tribal desperately needed. Sure, mana wise its still 4 mana to destroy a card, except it’s attached to a solid 3/4 body. Qasali Pridemage showed how valuable this ability can be. My minor gripe is that its odd that a Brontodon doesn’t have Reach, but I’m just being greedy at this point. Whether its used for blocking or shattering, Thrashing Brontodon is one of the best Dinos in the set.
Naturalize on a body is a good way to have the effect without committing to a card that may well be dead in a match-up, and Thrashing Brontodon does exactly that. A 3/4 for 3 mana is quite reasonable, even without Naturalize, but being able to pop itself to pop a troublesome permanent is very nice. And being a Dinosaur should help it to see a healthy amount of play. It’s probably not apt to be the most impactful card in Standard, but with Kaladesh still legal and the prevalent flip enchantments, having something able to interact with them without diluting your deck is a nice tool to have in your kit. Definitely good as a 1-of or 2-of in the Dinosaur deck in Standard, and serviceable outside of that.
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