I have always had a soft spot for Magic: The Gathering’s original Ixalan block (yes, back when stories and sets still transpired across a block).
I had just returned to Magic after quitting the hobby as a broke adolescent way back in Fifth Dawn, and a dinosaur set was definitely not what I expected when I returned to playing again.
Fast forward a few years, Magic is back in the plane of Ixalan again, this time in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and we're extremely excited for the brand new dinosaur card Yahoo has as a preview, courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.
For three generic mana, one red and one green mana, Palani’s Hatcher is a rare 5/3 dinosaur, and yes it even comes in Booster Fun treatment!
I usually don’t like alternate treatments of Magic: The Gathering cards (sorry Wizards), but I have to say I quite enjoy the art on the Booster Fun version of Palani’s Hatcher this time. I am not quite sure if this new art is watercolour, but it looks novel and I think the art is pretty.
Unfortunately, Palani’s Hatcher is not a legendary creature, so it cannot be the Commander for any Dinosaur tribal deck you intend to brew.
However, Palani’s Hatcher is still a good inclusion in any Dinosaur tribal deck as part of the 99, simply because it gives other Dinosaurs haste.
And while the haste keyword will not work well for a Standard deck considering Palani’s Hatcher can’t drop early in Standard, its other effects are interesting.
When Palani’s Hatcher enters the battlefield, you get to create two 0/1 green Dinosaur Egg creature tokens. They have haste since they are Dinosaurs, but why would you attack with these 0/1s?
However, at the beginning of combat on your turn, if you control one or more Eggs, you can choose to sacrifice an Egg to create a 3/3 green Dinosaur creature token.
Now, you don't just need Dinosaur Eggs that are created from Palani's Hatcher. For example, Smoldering Egg is still legal in Standard, and it is also an Egg, even though it eventually turns into a dragon (close enough, I guess)!
And for those old school enough (and not Standard legal), there's also the Rukh Egg, though it eventually turns into (sorta) a birb with no haste... and you get a dino WITH haste. Two birbs with one stone.
There could also potentially be other Eggs in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and if that is the case, Palani’s Hatcher can quickly apply a lot of pressure the moment it hits the battlefield, if your deck revolves around Eggs.
Remember, the 3/3 green Dinosaur token can be declared as an attacker in the next phase of combat, since it enters the battlefield at the beginning of combat and Palani’s Hatcher gives it haste!
With enough Eggs lying around, Palani’s Hatcher and an army of green Dinosaur tokens can potentially go out of hand.
The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is available for pre-release between 10 - 16 November.
Jay is a content creator who likes to hoard vintage photographic lenses, and loses too often in Dota 2 and Magic: The Gathering after work.