Fans of Magic: The Gathering and prehistoric beasties unite, the day is finally here and the huge new Lost Caverns of Ixalan set has arrived. This bold new set sees four fantastical rival factions – pirates, merfolk, vampires and bloody dinosaurs – delve deep into the caverns of Ixalan in search of power and treasures.
Oh, and as an extra special treat there are some familiar faces, and teeth, from a little old franchise known as Jurassic World (or Park if you’re old like me) along for the ride. Check it out:
“Four rival factions descend into the caverns of Ixalan, racing to be the first to uncover the source of Ixalan’s power. Will you walk with Dinosaurs of the Sun Empire, seek fame and riches with The Brazen Coalition of Pirates, revel in demonic shadows with the Legion of Dusk, or heed the call of the depths from the shamanistic Merfolk? Each faction is represented in a preconstructed The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander Deck, ready to be played straight from the box for both new and experienced players. Below are their respective face Commanders.”
Aside from boasting gorgeous designs with a distinct Mesoamerican flavour evoking the thrill and fantasy of treasure-hunting fiction, this new Ixalan set really drives home its themes with its new mechanics, which we were able to get a taste for first-hand at a recent launch event. Your creatures, artifacts and knowledge alike become crucial commodities with mechanics like Discover, where players can chew through their library looking for free cards to play, or Descended which offers up effects based on lives lost and lessons learned. Meanwhile Craft is for the treasure hoarders among us, letting players spin artifacts into powerful new items at a cost. Playing in the Commander format with the set’s pre-made decks (no surprise that the dinos were the most popular of the night), it was a ton of fun to watch these new mechanics unfold in some stunningly explosive ways.
The word stunning remains in mind when thinking about the set’s gorgeous card treatments to, including some more Mesoamerican inspiration with the Collector Booster-exclusive and unfathomably rare Cosmium Neon Ink cards which look absolutely incredible. There are of course plenty of gorgeous Showcase, Extended Art, Borderless, and more cards all through the set. I’m always a sucker for some great basic land designs, and the Travel Poster basic lands in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan that I’ve pulled so far have been some of my favourites to date.
And of course, with this set comes the next Universes Beyond collection and it’s none other than Jurassic World. You’ll be able to find some of the most iconic characters, dinosaurs and moments from the Jurassic Park and World films with a total of 26 cards, including the timeless Ian Malcolm, Ellie and Alan, Dennis Nedry’s finger-wagging Permission Denied screen and the Jurassic Park gates themselves.