Ixalan is finally here and I’m very excited to sail the seas and fight some dinosaurs! Last week we tried a red/green Dinosaurs draft and this week, thanks to the vote, we’re diving deep into Merfolk!

Well… That was interesting.

No matter how much I pushed for it, Blue/Green Merfolk was not happening. This was an excellent challenge for my skills as a drafter to try and cobble together a decklist while still trying to match up with the original Merfolk goal. I may have failed in the attempt, but the deck was certainly fun and I got to try out a lot of abnormal cards. Let’s break it down a little:

Spell Swindle – This card was gifted to us as a first pick when there were some minor hiccups at the start of the evening. It’s not a card I’d normally run in draft (although I’d almost certainly want one in Sealed), so it was a weird curve ball to be thrown. After trying to make it work, it just felt like I was always too far behind to sit back on it. This is at least partially because of the rest of the deck didn’t support it. We had very little removal and no good early blockers like Sailor of Means. We couldn’t sit back on five mana because we were always behind and didn’t have other instants or abilities to use if our opponent didn’t run into Swindle. I’d be willing to try another crack at the card with a deck filled with good blockers and cheap removal, but that kind of a deck can probably run almost anything as a late-game and win. My evaluation of this card as almost unplayable (like most 5-mana counter spells in draft) hasn’t changed.

Revel in Riches – Whoooo boy. This one was interesting. I liked the idea of Revel into Spell Swindle to steal games and the idea seemed sound, but it never came together entirely. I’m not totally off of it like I am with Swindle, however. It’s not a card I’d jam in any deck, and my inclination is to put it in the same deck as I described with Spell Swindle; Something packed with early blockers like Sailor of Means and removal like Vanquish the Weak and Walk the Plank. The big difference I see between it and Swindle is that it has a certain amount of inevitability. If you have Trove of Temptation or Deadeye Plunderers to generate the Treasures, you’re going to get there eventually and Enchantments as win-conditions are notoriously more annoying to answer than creatures; Look at cards like Sandwurm Convergence for example. All of that aside, I’m not recommending picking Revel in Riches at any point before pack 3 unless a pack is totally devoid of cards for your deck and if I recommend taking it in pack 3 it’s because you lucked into the right deck with lots of treasure generation and early game control that is also lacking in game-winners; a near-perfect storm.

I, of course, will be grabbing them all the time for the challenge. I just don’t recommend it.

I’ll be back next week with another crack at UG Merfolk!