The Tribal Decks in RIX Limited

by Kelvin Chew on 26 January 2018, Friday

Kelvin Chew


The Tribal Decks in RIX Limited

Hi everyone, I have been playing lots of Rivals of Ixalan draft in preparation for upcoming Pro Tour and would like to share what is my impression of the format.





River Heralds' Boon One with the Wind Dive Down

I feel that Merfolk power level got downgraded compared to triple Ixalan draft. It is harder to get your Merfolk to attack through without trading as there are no River Heralds' Boon and One with the Wind in Rivals of Ixalan. In triple Ixalan draft, blocking a Merfolk player would be devastating if they happen to have river's herald boon and most of the time you will win with protecting a creature enchanted with One with the Wind with Dive Down.


Crashing Tide Waterknot Mist-Cloaked Herald

Merfolk can't play a late game strategy as your creatures just get outclassed quickly and have to depend on cards like Crashing Tide, Waterknot and Mist-Cloaked Herald to push through damage.

Mist-Cloaked Herald is good if you are able to combine it with pump effects like Merfolk Mistbinder, Jadecraft Artisan or combo it with Seafloor Oracle or Curious Obsession to draw a card every turn. It is also another good way to trigger raid cards like Deadeye Rig-Hauler to gain another tempo advantage.


Mist-Cloaked Herald Crashing Tide

I also like Crashing Tide in Merfolk as it allows you to try to out-tempo your opponent while not losing card advantage and with enchantment like Luminous Bonds and Waterknot, bouncing your creatures is also possible.

Most of the good Merfolk creatures like Mist-Cloaked Herald, Silvergill Adept, Giltgrove Stalker in Rivals of Ixalan have only one toughness so be careful not to get blown out by cards like Forerunner of the Empire, Shake the Foundations, Dual Shot and Golden Demise


Vampires is still my favorite tribe in Rivals of Ixalan booster draft. 

Vampire get access to the lots of quality common and uncommon removal in black and white like Baffling End, Luminous Bonds, Divine Verdict, Moment of Craving, Ravenous Chupacabra, Reaver Ambush and Impale.


Baffling End Luminous Bonds Divine Verdict Moment of Craving Ravenous Chupacabra Reaver Ambush Impale

I feel that Vampire become less of a "synergy" tribe and more like a "good stuff" deck. There are lesser payoff cards and the payoff cards are weaker compare to Ixalan draft where your Anointed Deacon become Legion Lieutenant which became an uncommon and your Vampire's Zeal now gains you two life instead of giving your Vampire first strike.


Legion Lieutenant Moment of Triumph

Vampires is very good at grinding the long games as you have access to Legion Conquistador, Dusk Legion Zealot, Martyr of Dusk and also Recover, which is especially good with Ravenous Chupacabra and bombs.

You can also answer most of the bombs your opponent casts, which is also why I like the archetype as this is a bomb-heavy format. Picking up Legion Conquistador is also much easier now due to Rivals of Ixalan being a small set.



Knight of the Stampede Colossal Dreadmaw Belligerent Brontodon

Dinosaur gains the most significant mana accelerant in the form of Knight of the Stampede which reduces the cost of all Dinosaurs by 2. Being 2/4 is also relevant as it acts as a good blocker to help you reach the late stage of the game. I like curving out Knight of the Stampede into six-drop Dinosaur like Colossal Dreadmaw, which is very powerful. If you can pick up Belligerent Brontodon in Ixalan, it also turns your Knight of the Stampede into a 4/4 attacker.


Forerunner of the Empire Polyraptor

If you are drafting Red-Green Dinosaurs, Forerunner of the Empire combos well with all the enrage Dinosaurs such as Frilled Deathspitter, Needletooth Raptor, Overgrown Armasaur or even Polyraptor for huge overkill as demonstrated by Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa at Grand Prix Indianapolis. It's ability also allows you to kill one-toughness creatures.

Splashing for removal in Dinosaur deck is also fairly easy as you have access to Traveler's Amulet, Thunderherd Migration, Evolving Wilds, New Horizons, and Commune with Dinosaurs.


Pirates have gotten more aggressive in Rivals of Ixalan. It can be broken down into Black-Red, Blue-Red, and Blue-Black.

Black-Red Pirates


Grasping Scoundrel Daring Buccaneer Fanatical Firebrand

This color combination has access to all the aggressive one-drop creatures like Grasping Scoundrel, Daring Buccaneer and Fanatical Firebrand.

Dire Fleet Neckbreaker is also another payoff card to draft the Pirate tribe. Be careful not to walk into removal when attacking with Dire Fleet Neckbreaker as the +2/0 ability is only active when it is on the battlefield. If it gets killed or bounced mid-combat, your creatures all shrink in size. Goblin Trailblazer, Fathom Fleet Boarder and Swaggering Corsair are all good aggressive creatures that fit into the archetype.

Blue-Black Pirates


Siren Reaver Kitesail Corsair Sailor of Means

This is a more midrange/control deck as you are usually winning with flying creatures like Siren Reaver and Kitesail Corsair.

Alternatively, you can also splash the bombs and removal you picked up with Sailor of Means, making it easy to pick up any powerful cards or tools that you need..

Blue-Red Pirates

I call this the aura archetype.


Sea Legs Tilonalli's Crown 
See Red Curious Obsession


You have access to aura like Sea Legs, Tilonalli's Crown, See Red and Curious Obsession in Rivals. Goblin Trailblazer and Kitesail Corsair are good commons that work well with the aura except for Tilonalli's Crown. Blue-Red also have access to Slippery Scoundrel and Storm Fleet Sprinter to deal unblockable damage. My favorite part is to stick an aura and pair it with Buccaneer's Bravado!


Buccaneer's Bravado

With that, we've come to the end of this article. I hope it helps you understand more about drafting the tribal archetypes in Rivals of Ixalan Limited. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, and I will gladly answer them. I will be skipping Grand Prix London this weekend, so... good luck to all my friends and teammates who are competing!

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