MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan Spoilers: What to Expect from the Final Set of 2023

Introduction

Magic: The Gathering fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the final set of 2023, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. This set will take us back to the world of dinosaurs, pirates, vampires, and merfolk, but with a twist: a hidden underground civilization that holds secrets and treasures that every faction wants to claim. The Lost Caverns of Ixalan will feature new mechanics, new cards, new commanders, and even a crossover with Jurassic World. Here is everything we know so far about the upcoming set.

Mechanics

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan will introduce three new mechanics and bring back one popular mechanic from a previous set. The new mechanics are:

  • Descend: This is a keyword ability that grants an additional or enhanced effect to a card if there are four or more permanent cards in your graveyard. This mechanic encourages players to explore the depths of Ixalan and fill their graveyard with lands and other permanents. An example of a card with descend is Didact Echo1, a blue creature that draws you a card when it enters the battlefield and gains flying if you have descend.
  • Transform: This is a returning mechanic from the original Ixalan block that allows some cards to flip over and become a different card. In The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, transform will be used to showcase the hidden temples of the ancient civilization and the powerful gods that dwell within them. An example of a card with transform is Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation2, a white god that creates three times as many tokens as you would normally and transforms into Temple of Civilization2, a land that produces white mana and can transform back into Ojer Taq if you attack with enough creatures.
  • Chorus: This is a keyword ability that appears on some legendary creatures and planeswalkers. It represents their ability to influence others with their charisma or magic. Chorus counters are placed on these cards whenever they deal combat damage to a player or activate a loyalty ability. Once they have enough chorus counters, they can unleash a powerful effect. An example of a card with chorus is Malcolm, Alluring Scoundrel2, a blue pirate that draws and discards cards whenever he deals combat damage and can cast the discarded card for free if he has enough chorus counters.
  • Escape: This is a returning mechanic from Theros Beyond Death that allows some cards to be cast from the graveyard by paying an additional cost and exiling other cards from the graveyard. Escape represents the resilience and perseverance of the explorers and adventurers who venture into the lost caverns. An example of a card with escape is Underworld Breach2, a red enchantment that gives all nonland cards in your graveyard escape and sacrifices itself at the end of the turn.

Cards

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan will contain 280 cards, including 20 basic lands, 111 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, and one special rare. The set will also feature some reprints from previous sets, such as Cavern of Souls1, Mana Crypt1, and Lord of Atlantis1. The set will have five cycles of cards: one at common, one at uncommon, one at rare, one at mythic rare, and one at special rare. The cycles are:

  • Common Cycle: These are five creatures with descend that have an additional or enhanced effect if you have four or more permanent cards in your graveyard. They are Jadelight Spelunker2 (green), Didact Echo1 (blue), Bloodcrazed Paladin1 (black), Raging Regisaur1 (red), and Sun-Blessed Priest1 (white).
  • Uncommon Cycle: These are five enchantments that have an activated ability that costs two mana of their color and exiles two cards from your graveyard. They are Verdant Sanctuary1 (green), Arcane Archive1 (blue), Cryptic Tomb1 (black), Fiery Forge1 (red), and Sacred Shrine1 (white).
  • Rare Cycle: These are five legendary creatures that represent the leaders or champions of each faction. They are Ghalta, Stampede Tyrant1 (green), Malcolm, Alluring Scoundrel2 (blue), Elenda, Dusk Rose1 (black), Etali, Primal Storm1 (red), and Huatli, Poet of Unity2 (white).
  • Mythic Rare Cycle: These are five legendary creatures that represent the gods of the ancient civilization. They are Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation2 (white), Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might1 (green), The Skullspore Nexus1 (black), Breeches, Eager Pillager1 (red), and Kellan, Daring Traveler1 (blue).
  • Special Rare Cycle: These are five cards that are part of the Jurassic World crossover. They are Indominus Rex, Alpha2 (green), Ian Malcolm, Chaotician2 (blue), Blue, Clever Girl2 (black), T-Rex, King of the Jungle2 (red), and Triceratops, Loyal Defender2 (white).

Commander

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan will also have four Commander decks that are themed around the four factions of Ixalan: Dinosaurs, Pirates, Vampires, and Merfolk. Each deck will have 100 cards, including three new legendary creatures as possible commanders, 15 new cards exclusive to the decks, and some reprints from previous sets. The decks are:

  • Ahoy Mateys: This is a blue-black-red pirate-themed deck that focuses on treasure tokens, reanimation, and stealing effects. The face commander is Admiral Brass, Unsinkable3, a pirate lord that creates treasure tokens whenever a pirate you control deals combat damage to a player and can sacrifice treasures to reanimate pirates from any graveyard.
  • Dino Might: This is a red-green-white dinosaur-themed deck that focuses on ramping, stomping, and enraging effects. The face commander is Zacama, Primal Calamity3, a massive dinosaur that untaps all your lands when it enters the battlefield and has three activated abilities that deal damage, destroy artifacts or enchantments, or gain life.
  • Bloodlust: This is a black-white-red vampire-themed deck that focuses on lifegain, lifeloss, and aristocrat effects. The face commander is Vona, Butcher of Magan3, a vampire knight that can tap and pay seven life to destroy any nonland permanent.
  • Deep Secrets: This is a blue-green merfolk-themed deck that focuses on card draw, counterspells, and tribal synergies. The face commander is Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca3, a merfolk shaman that can tap three untapped merfolk you control to draw a card, make a merfolk unblockable, or put a +1/+1 counter on each merfolk you control.

Conclusion

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is set to be an exciting and adventurous set that will explore the hidden mysteries of Ixalan and its ancient civilization. The set will feature new mechanics, new cards, new commanders, and even a crossover with Jurassic World. The set will be released on November 17, 2023. You can pre-order the set and the Commander decks from your local game store or online retailer. You can also check out the official website for more information and spoilers. Happy exploring!

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