Ixalan Prerelease Quick Guide

The Ixalan Prerelease is almost here! Below are a couple simple lists to help with preparing for this fun event! These are great guides for players that have never attended a Prerelease before. Set sail for fun at an Ixalan Prerelease this weekend!

What to Bring

  • Backpack

  • Deck Box

  • Dice

  • Pen and Paper

  • Binder


  • 40 Cards

  • 17 Lands

  • Two Colors

  • 14 Creatures

  • Good Mana Curve*

Tips & Tricks

  • Read the Card. Now Read it Again

    Many mistakes in Magic come from simply not knowing what a card does. Taking the time to carefully read a card and understand exactly what it does can go a long way in avoiding confusion and errors in a game. Read the card when you’re looking through your cards, then read it when you’re building your deck. And go ahead and read it whenever you draw it in a game, just so you know exactly what it does!

  • Don't Block Too Early

    One mistake a lot of newer players make is blocking with a creature when their life total is high. Chump Blocking (blocking with a weak creature simply to prevent damage from an opponent’s attack) throws away a resource you have invested in with a very small gain. It’s OK if you take some damage from your opponent’s attacking creatures, especially early on when your life total is high!

  • Change Your Deck!

    At a Prerelease, you can change your deck not only between games, but between rounds as well! You may start with Round 1 playing a Red/Green deck and then decide you’d rather play Blue/Black in the very next round! (You can still only use cards you opened in your Prerelease box for that event. No adding outside cards!)

  • Write Down Opponent's Instants

    Not only should you be writing both you and your opponent’s life totals down with pen and paper, you can write down any cards your opponent plays during your games. Knowing what Instants they have in their deck can help to inform your plays in the next game!

  • Don't Get Frustrated and Have Fun!

    Why is this an Advanced Tip? Many players get frustrated by feeling like they got unlucky by having to mulligan to five cards or when they only get two lands. Don’t bemoan your bad luck, rather focus on the things you can do! And most importantly, have fun playing with the brand new cards!

*A Mana Curve simply refers to the distribution of cards in your deck with different converted mana costs.  A good mana curve is well balanced between cheap and expensive cards.  Ideally you will have a couple cards at 2 mana, 3 mana, 4 mana, 5 mana, 6 mana, and possibly one or two 7 and 8 mana cards.  If you have too many cheap cards, then your deck has the chance to peter out and lose to your opponent’s more powerful cards later in the game.  If you have too many expensive cards, then you run the risk of getting overwhelmed by your opponent’s early efficient plays!

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