It has been five years since Magic: The Gathering last ventured to the plane of Ixalan, but this time, the plane has unearthed some incredible new regions to explore: a vast underground network of caves! There are returning factions like Merfolk, Vampires, and Dinosaurs, as well as a new group coming from the core of the plane—a subterranean civilization that has sealed itself off from the surface world.

Make sure you’re caught up with all of today’s The Lost Caverns of Ixalan mechanics and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander decks so you don’t miss any of the new Dinosaurs, Pirates, Merfolk, Vampires, and more.

With spoiler season officially underway, here’s everything you need to know about The Lost Caverns of Ixalan before the set drops in November.

What’s Happened To Ixalan?

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan takes place roughly a year after the multiverse-wide Phyrexian invasion and the linking of planes via the Realmbreaker. The Sun Empire is in a period of rebuilding after the invasion and the appointment of a new Emperor. The swashbuckling group of Pirates, the Brazen Coalition, have heard of a new realm where even more treasure awaits and seeks to fill their coffers with gold. Not to be left behind, the Vampires of the Legion of Dusk have heard whispers of their dark god, Aclazotz, returning, waiting to be discovered deep beneath the earth. The Merfolk of the River Heralds were hit particularly hard by the Phyrexian invasion, with their homes and rainforests having been destroyed, and are seeking shelter beneath the surface world.

Two new factions join the fray. First is the Malamet—jaguar-folk—who have built massive hanging cities beneath the feet of everyone else. These people have a strong written history, keeping their pasts in glyphs that can be summoned to power their magic. There is also the Oltec, a highly advanced civilization who are the original ancestors of the Sun Empire. They live at the heart of the plane and have been there since Ixalan’s creation. Over the course of their history, the Oltec have experienced tremendously cataclysmic events, which has led them to seal off their empire from the rest of the world.

Among the newly rediscovered caves and caverns are deadly traps, monsters, spirits, and a new threat called the Mycoids. The head of a hivemind of fungi, The Mycotyrant, has been denied access to the core and the energies contained there and will do anything to gain access to it once again. These Mycoids are highly intelligent but derive their knowledge from consuming matter.

The Heroes(?) Of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan

With all these different groups racing to a head-on collision with each other at the core of the plane, there is going to be some intense conflict, especially since Ixalan has been connected to the greater multiverse with the Omenpaths. Several familiar faces find themselves caught up in the turmoil, including the two desparked lovers, Saheeli and Huatli.

Saheeli, the Sun’s Brilliance has a unique ability to manipulate metal is highly desired by the Sun Empire, who wants her to create machines of war for them, though she does not want to contribute to war. On the other hand, Huatli has been ordered by the new Emperor to find weapons, wealth, and allies in their desire to conquer Torrezon, the home of the Legion of Dusk.

The newly awakened planeswalker Quintorius Kand makes his debut in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Originally from Strixhaven and hailing from the plane of Arcavios, Quint has the unique ability to communicate with spirits, making him an asset to Huatli as she explores the depths of Ixalan. Quint makes fast acquaintances with Abuelo, the spirit of a warrior who passed on ages ago.

Also seeking an ancient discovery is Vito, Fanatic of Aclazotz, the now demonic vampire who leads an army of fanatics in search of their god, Aclazotz. Vito has changed since last we encountered him and is now half-demon, half-vampire, representing how deeply he has been consumed by his quest.

While most of the factions are delving deep into the core of Ixalan for monetary or selfish reasons, the River Heralds are trying to find a new home. Deep under the earth, the River Heralds have found a massive freshwater ocean where they seek to rebuild what they lost in the Phyrexian invasion. Jadelight Splunker is also the Buy-a-Box promo for the set, which is great since it’s a card that scales in power the longer the game goes on with its Explore X ability.

One of those who are seeking to plumb the depths of the plane for treasure is Malcolm, Alluring Scoundrel. A Siren with the Brazen Coalition, Malcolm has a unique looting effect that helps keep your hand fresh and then eventually lets you cast spells for free.

Gods will play a major role in the future of Ixalan, with Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation, making a huge impact on creature token decks. This six-mana God makes three times as many tokens if you were to make any, but that only works on creature tokens. When Ojer Taq dies, it flips to become a land, Temple of Civilization, which adds a white mana or can then be transformed back into a creature.

Having survived his battle with the Phryexians, Gishath, the Sun’s Avatar returns because why fix what isn’t broken? This reprint might have the same stats but comes with brand-new artwork and the promise of a massive Dinosaur attack in your opponent’s future.

Special Variants

Borderless Planeswalker Quintorius

Not only does Quintorius Kand get his own Planeswalker card now that he’s on Ixalan, but he also gets two special versions to show off. The cards are incredibly vibrant, taking inspiration from modern cultural influences and bringing them into Ixalan’s design.

Cosmium Neon Ink

Bringing a card style back from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty is the Cosmium Neon Ink style. We have two examples of these Neon Ink cards so far, Cavern of Souls and Mana Crypt, two incredibly powerful cards to collect. There are going to be yellow, red, blue, green, and a new purple neon color with these cards, though we don’t yet know if each color has its own rarity.

Gods of Ixalan Showcase Frames

The Gods of Ixalan frame is inspired by the coin treatment that players first saw back in March of the Machine, with a little more uniqueness to match the power of the Gods. These cards have ornate frames with the icons of the Gods inside. Ojer Taq has little jaguar heads with even smaller fungi in their mouths on either side of the card.

Legends of Ixalan

Certain cards from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan are getting a special frame treatment called Legends of Ixalan. Taking inspiration from the Mayan Calendar, these characters have a backdrop relating to their story, with most of the cards depicting the characters being on Ixalan or exploring the depths of the plane.

Special Guests

Special Guests cards are themed reprint cards from older sets. Each one is a full-art borderless card featuring the reprinted card in the context of the current set. This portion of the set is also where you can find the Jurassic World cards, like Life Finds a Way, an enchantment that lets you populate, creating a copy of a creature token you control anytime a non-token creature with power four or more comes into play under your control.

There are going to be 26 Jurassic World cards in this mini-Universes Beyond, bringing artifacts like Dino DNA to the game, as well as Ellie and Alan, Paleontologists, which is a fantastically flavorful card.

Jurassic World Secret Lair Drops

Two special Secret Lairs are coming just for Jurassic World in the 2023 Secreversery Drop.

The first is Life Breaks Free, which will showcase some of the coolest scenes and moments from the Jurassic World franchise in the form of specially picked cards.

Then, the iconic Jeff Goldblum is getting his own Secret Lair—or, rather, his character from the film Dr. Ian Malcom is. His card is a swapped version of Atla Palani, Nest Tender, and while we don’t see anything else of either of these two drops, they seem like a good time for fans of big ol’ dinosaurs.

More news about Lost Caverns of Ixalan is on its way soon, so make sure to check back for all your Magic: The Gathering news!

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