Commander cards from Lost Caverns of Ixalan are coming to MTG Arena and you can get digital rewards for buying physical cards. Fans who purchase the Lost Caverns of Ixalan preconstructed decks for their EDH games will also receive digital copies of Commander cards for MTG Arena, according to a news article on the official Magic website.
The MTG Commanders that are coming to Arena are not the four face commanders from the Ixalan precon decks, interestingly enough. Three out of four of them are: there’s Pantlaza, Sun-Favored from the Velociramptor deck; Admiral Brass, Unsinkable from the Ahoy Mateys deck; and Clavileno, First of the Blessed from the Blood Rites deck.
But then for the Merfolk deck, Explorers of the Deep, Wizards of the Coast has snubbed Hakbal of the Surging Soul, and thrown in the friendly-faced Xolatoyac, the Smiling Flood instead. We’re never going to be sad to see an axolotl in Magic: The Gathering, but we do wonder why the choice was made.
Xolatoyac seems like an interesting Commander, and there’s all kinds of fun things to try out around them with counters, but unlike the other three, Xolatoyac doesn’t care about a particular MTG creature type, leaving the collection looking a little unsymmetrical.
There’s no obvious reason why Hakbal would be difficult to code in, or be less effective in a two-player game. The only thing we can think of is that perhaps Hakbal was considered quite similar to Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca, an already popular Merfolk commander. You would think ‘Explore’ would be a significant enough difference, but then again, ‘explore’ mainly does card draw and counters, which Kumena already has covered.
These four creatures will obviously not be playable in Standard MTG Arena decks. You’ll need to be playing Brawl (or more likely Historic Brawl, since they have loads of vital pirates, MTG vampires, and MTG dinosaurs) if you want to enjoy them in digital form.
Players will be able to craft the Commanders in MTG Arena using wildcards as normal. But Wizards says:“If you play with the preconstructed Commander decks at your local WPN store, you’ll also be eligible to receive these Commanders for your Brawl decks”. The company says more details on how this will work will be shared later in November.