Ranking the factions of Magic The Gathering's Lost Caverns of Ixalan

Ranking the factions of Magic The Gathering's Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Images via Wizards of the Coast

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


15th Nov 2023 10:39

It's a shame Halloween's been and gone, because Magic The Gathering's next set, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, features pretty much every fancy dress inspiration I had in my younger years.

Between vampires, pirates, dinosaurs, and huge fungal hive minds (OK, maybe not that one), that was my Halloween school disco lineup covered. It feels like this new set (the game's 98th, if you can believe it), offers a whole heap of childlike enthusiasm for treasure hunting - and as I mentioned in my preview, it's pretty intoxicating.

What of these factions, though? Between all of the above, we're going to be making plenty of friends in this set - so it's time to do what we do with any friend and rank them by how cool they are.

Lost Caverns of Ixalans factions ranked

As you can probably tell since the set isn't out yet, this is just for fun and doesn't take into account how each faction plays. With that covered, let's go cave-diving.

5 - Vampires

Vito, Fanatic of Aclazotz card from MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan set
Click to enlarge

Look, vampires are cool, that's undeniable. Some people like the sparkly kind, but I like mine more violent - the Blade 2-style ones.

That's not to say the Legion of Dusk doesn't have teeth (get it?) but they're all about bringing forth their big scary vampire gods, meaning they're pretty much just trying to be d*cks about it - and that's less cool for me than secret vampire nightclub parties, or even just love triangles with werewolves with washboard abs.

4 - Merfolk

Merfolk card in Magic The Gathering's Lost Caverns of Ixalan set
Click to enlarge

"Life it is better, down where it's wetter, take it from me", Sebastian the crab famously crooned in both his animated and CGI forms, but it's not been great for the Merfolk in Lost Caverns of Ixalan.

The River Heralds, to use their official title, are searching for a new home beneath the surface of Ixalan, and with the ability to control the tides, they sneak into this spot on our list.

3 - Mycoids

Bloodrage Mycoid card from MTG's Lost Caverns of Ixalan set
Click to enlarge

An army of fungal creatures in the caverns of Ixalan? Can't be mush-room for them (sorry).

The Mycoids get in there because they're a bit scary in truth, and also because they give me flashbacks to fighting The Flood in Halo. I mean, just look at this thing:

Mycotyrant card in MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Click to enlarge

Just need that Halo crossover so I can summon a shotgun, eh?

2 - Pirates

Admiral Brass, Unsinkable Magic The Gathering card
Click to enlarge

Pirates certainly fit The Lost Caverns of Ixalan thematically, hunting for treasure, but also, pirates are never not cool.

Offering the freedom of the seas, with wide open possibilities for trouble and adventure in equal measure, Pirates will likely be popular with MTG players as they rack up treasure tokens - or in Admiral Brass' case, summon cards from beyond the grave. Spooky seafaring? Love it.

1 - Dinosaurs

Dino DNA, Life Finds A Way and Ellie and Alan cards from MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan
Click to enlarge

OK, they're known as the 'Sun Empire' and they're technically a mix of humans and dinosaurs, but come on - it's dinosaurs.

We've had dinosaurs in Magic before, but this set also introduces the Jurassic World crossover. Does it make sense in the context of the Lost Caverns of Ixalan? No, not really, but do I care? Not one jot, because dinosaurs, as any four-year-old will tell you, are badass.

Magic The Gathering's Lost Caverns of Ixalan set launches this Friday, November 17, but is already available in Magic The Gathering: Arena.

Lloyd Coombes
About the author
Lloyd Coombes
Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.
Why trust GGRecon?

Established in 2019, we don’t just cover games - we live them. Our expert team is full of dedicated gamers, qualified journalists, and industry insiders who collectively boast decades of experience covering gaming and esports. This deep-rooted expertise allows us to provide authoritative and nuanced perspectives first-hand from a team who are playing, and researching every game covered on our website. 

Our foundation is built on a profound commitment to editorial independence, ensuring our content remains free from external influence and advertising pressures and is held to the highest level of editorial conduct, integrity, and quality. 

Every article on GGRecon comes from rigorous research, informed analysis, and a passion for gaming that resonates with our readers. We uphold these standards through a transparent editorial policy, accessible here, which governs our processes and maintains our accountability.

The best & weirdest fairytale cards Magic The Gathering: Wilds of Eldraine
Exclusive Magic The Gathering's Wilds of Eldraine card reveal
Magic The Gathering's Wilds of Eldraine set turns the Golden Goose into a honking hydra
Magic the Gathering artist on designing Sauron for Lord of the Rings crossover
Why there's never been a better time to start playing Magic: The Gathering