Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date, mechanics, Jurassic World crossover & more

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date, mechanics, Jurassic World crossover & more
Wizards of the Coast

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


24th Oct 2023 18:00

Magic The Gathering's next set, Lost Caverns of Ixalan, will bring huge dinosaurs and buried treasure - as well as a familiar franchise collaboration: Jurassic World.

Magic The Gathering keeps things fresh by hopping between planes of existence, but this time around we're swinging back to Ixalan, somewhere we last visited in 2017.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan is a little different, moving us to underground tombs and caves, hunting for treasure while dodging the monsters that protect them.

It's the 98th expansion for the game, and the last one of 2023 before we move onto the next phase of the MTG roadmap - including Fallout and Final Fantasy crossovers.

Here's everything you need to know about Magic The Gathering: Lost Caverns of Ixalan.

What are the release and pre-release dates for Lost Caverns of Ixalan?

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Tishanas Tidebinder
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Wondering when you can get your treasure-digging hands on the new set? Wizards of the Coast has listed the following important dates.

  • Complete Story Drop: October 20
  • Debut and Previews Begin: October 24
  • MTG Arena Streamer Event: November 9
  • Prerelease In-Store Play Events: November 10
  • MTG Arena Release: November 14
  • Global Release: November 17

Looking to cut to the chase? November 17 is when the set will be out in the wild, meaning at the time of writing that's just a few weeks away.

Magic the Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Theme and Mechanics

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Breeches Brazen Plunderer
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Players can expect to go spelunking for treasure in the new expansion, at least according to Wizards:

"This time, the journey heads down into the untold depths below: riches, wonders, mysteries, and ancient gods—all intertwined with danger—are just some of what awaits us with The Lost Caverns of Ixalan."

To that end, players will find Mesoamerican-inspired ruins, fraught with traps and danger, but treasure, too. And, of course, there are dinosaurs.

It's much deeper than that, too - be sure to check out our full preview for more.

In terms of fresh mechanics, there are a few new ones and a returning one, too.

  • Descend: Putting permanent cards into your graveyard will mean you descend, and many cards will offer mechanics based on how far you've descended. Some, like Didact Echo, will gain new abilities or keywords after you've descended a number of times, while others will let you pull cards from your graveyard, often with a finality counter.
    • Finality counter: These cards won't endlessly return to your graveyard, and will eventually be exiled once the counter expires.
  • Discover: Cards with Discover will let you exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card with a set mana value (for example, Discover 3 will let you exile cards until you find a card with a mana value of 3). Once you find one, you can put it into your hand, or cast it without paying the mana value.
  • Explore: A returning mechanic, Explore lets you reveal the top card of your library. If it's a land, you can draw it, and if it's not, you can add a +1/+1 counter to the creature with Explore. This is augmented with Map Tokens, a new artifact token that allows for continued use of Explore when sacrificed.

Expect these mechanics to feature prominently throughout the Lost Caverns of Ixalan set.

Magic the Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Set Details & Commander Decks

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Huatli, Poet of Unity
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Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, and Draft Boosters can be preordered now, as well as a quartet of new Commander Decks.

Commander uses prebuilt decks, making it a great way to jump in. The four decks for Lost Caverns of Ixalan are below, along with their taglines. We'll add more detail as we get it.

  • Ahoy Mateys: Blue, Black and Red - "Put pirates in the graveyard, bring them back bigger".
    • Commander is Admiral Brass, Unsinkable
  • Blood Rites: White and Black - "Spawn vampire minions, sacrifice to flying demons".
    • Commander is Clavileno, First of the Blessed
  • Explorers of the Deep: Green and Blue - "+1/+1 counters, explore for lands & buffs".
    • Commander is Hakbal of the Surging Soul
  • Veloci-Ramp-Tor: Red, Green and White - "Play extra lands, Dino devastation".
    • Commander is Pantlaza, Sun-Favored

Players can expect 10 Jumpstart Boosters this time around, but we don't know which will be included just yet. Expect each to offer 20 cards to build instant decks from by putting two of them together.

Collectors will want to know the following:

  • The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Set Code: LCI
  • The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander and Treasure Trove Set Code: LCC
  • Special Guests Set Code: SPG
  • For more on Magic The Gathering, check out our rundown of the Doctor Who set

Universes Within Jurassic World

Welcome to Jurassic Park two-sided card from Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Set
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Just as "life, finds a way", Jurassic World is rolling into Lost Caverns of Ixalan in a similar way to the Transformers bots added in The Brothers' War. Jurassic World cards will be available in Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, and Bundles.

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Indominus Rex card
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We know to expect 26 cards so far, and we have some additional ones thanks to our recent preview - check them out below:

Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Ravenous Tyrannosaurus card
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Magic The Gathering Lost Caverns of Ixalan Jurassic World cards
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For more on card games, check out our rundown of the best digital card games in 2023. GGRecon uses affiliate links, if you purchase any products from our links we may earn a commission.

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.

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