It’s All About the Dinosaurs!

Regisaur Alpha is one of the premier Ixalan dinosaurs

Regisaur Alpha

What is up with this card anyway? Regisaur Alpha offers seven power over two bodies — three of which have haste — all for five mana!

How fast can we sign up?

Regisaur Alpha looks great! One of the few poor things about the dinosaur is that it makes Huatli, Warrior Poet look so bad.

Huatli, Warrior Poet spits out Dinosaurs

Huatli, Warrior Poet

Regisaur Alpha and Huatli cost the same [total] amount of mana. Assume you’re spitting out a 3/3 the first turn you control Huatli. Now, which would you rather have?

  • A 4/4 dinosaur lord who is making all of your other dinosaurs faster, or
  • A 3 loyalty Planeswalker who could easily die

Regisaur Alpha’s 3/3 token is better than Huatli’s 3/3 token, too… Just on basis of haste.

That said, Huatli, Warrior Poet is probably meant to be one of the centerpiece cards of the set. Not only is he a Planeswalker (and therefore theoretically automatically cool), they made not only another Planeswalker version of him, but a badass dinosaur tutor that can go find it.

Huatli might be meant for play in a dedicated Planeswalker deck. Think:

  • Three: Gideon of the Trials
  • Four: Chandra, Torch of Defiance
  • Five: Huatli, Warrior Poet

All three Planeswalkers protect themselves well. All three will contribute to expanding control of the battlefield itself. Gideon can both attack and defend. Chandra kills creatues outright. Huatli can make blocker after blocker or gain life turn after turn.

Gishath, Sun’s Avatar is one busty dinosaur

Gishath, Sun's Avatar

Instead of looking at Gishath as a clunky eight mana creature, why not look at it as an eight mana Fireball?

Huh?

That’s right! How much would you pay for a Fireball where x=7? You’d pay eight mana, right? Well Gishath costs eight, and does seven damage with haste… He’s kind of an eight mana Fireball, therefore.

Everything else is gravy. The vigilence is going to be awesome… But it’s awesome gravy. Next turn’s attack? Gravy. This is not to say you should actually pay to get Gishath onto the battlefield… Just if you had to, it wouldn’t be that bad of a deal.

There are even more dinosaurs discussed in this week’s episode, which takes Ixalan from one green mana to the aforementioned eight drop… and more!

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Winding Constrictor is Great with Energy

Winding Constrictor
Winding Constrictor will be a two drop of choice.

Silly Mike!

He saw the old…

“If you would get one or more counters, you get that many counters plus one instead[.]”

… line as a “bad” thing.

After all, it is pretty easy to not want Winding Constrictor on the battlefield if you imagine yourself playing against Infect. Every usually 1/1 Glistener Elf, Blighted Agent, or Inkmoth Nexus starts hitting with extra force, after all.

Mike didn’t think about other counters that “you” get. Sure, it’s bad when you might be acquiring poison counters… But what about energy counters? All of a sudden Winding Constrictor is great again! Winding Constrictor being great at energy, remember.

Winding Constrictor’s “rate”

As a 2/3 creature for two mana — abilities aside — this snake can be considered playable on the merits. It might not be Tarmogoyf, but it is unlikely to be completely outclassed on turn two. With a third toughness, the Constrictor can intimidate “industry standard” 2/1 or 2/2 creatures that you might see in the first two turns of the game; and even “bounce off” of a Sylvan Advocate that rumbles in with vigilance.

Abilities aside, the card provides a reasonably sized body for the cost. But there are two abilities to be discussed…

Winding Constrictor combos

Just think about the first ability in conjunction with Rishkar, Peema Renegade for a moment.

If you start with the Constrictor on turn two, then follow up with the Top Level Podcast preview Elf, you will quickly have a dominating board position. Winding Constrictor will go from 2/3 to 4/5 and Rishkar will be 4/4! Imagine something as simple as playing an Aether Hub as your third land. You would start by getting two energy counters (instead of one energy counter) and still go from there.

Any cards with a +1/+1 counter theme are game, not just Rishkar.

Imagine instead of Rishkar on turn three, you played Evolving Wilds into Greenwheel Liberator. The Greenwheel Liberator would not only trigger its Revolt mechanic, it would get an additional +1/+1 counter, making for a 5/4 creature for just two mana.

Winding Constrictor is just one of several cards that Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin and Resident Genius Michael J Flores discuss in this week’s podcast:

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