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MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date and spoilers

2023's final Magic: The Gathering set Lost Caverns of Ixalan brought dinosaur delights - here's the set release date, spoilers, and details.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date - a frilled dinosaur

Lost Caverns of Ixalan was the fourth and final premier MTG set of 2023, released right at the end of the year. It was Magic’s second trip to Ixalan, a world fans loved from the jump for its themes and creativity, despite the original 2017 sets being lackluster in Standard and Draft. This guide has all the final release dates, set details, and key spoilers.

Check out our latest MTG release schedule to see what’s coming up next for Magic. We also have guides to Wilds of EldraineMTG Lord of the Rings, and all the other sets that came out in 2023.

For now, let’s review the Lost Caverns of Ixalan MTG set  – a madcap collection of the same adventurous vibes that fueled its 2017 predecessor, with buried treasure, dinosaurs, and caverns filled with traps and wonders. Click on the links below to jump to the info you want.

 MTG Ixalan god with a skull face and fire sword.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date

Lost Caverns of Ixalan launched on MTG Arena on November 14, and was released in full worldwide on November 17, 2023. 

Before that, it had a week-long in-store pre-release period starting on November 10. Ahead of those big dates, the official Lost Caverns of Ixalan spoiler season kicked off on October 24, 2023.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan spoilers

Here are the biggest Lost Caverns of Ixalan spoilers that had us on tenterhooks back in late October 2023. Check out the new Descend mechanic, and Discover – a new take on MTG Cascade.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan, Cavern of Souls 

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan Reprints

The biggest reprint revealed early for Lost Caverns of Ixalan was Cavern of Souls.  Not only was this immensely powerful land  reprinted in the set, it’s was reprinted in the main set – not on a bonus sheet, not in the Commander decks, not in the List slot or some weird bonus card you can only find in Commander boosters – right there in the regular booster packs.

A reprint into a base set, even at Mythic MTG rarity, means a big influx of cards to the card pool – and such cards are likely to become incredibly sought after for MTG Standard decks.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date goblin

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan mechanics

There are several Lost Caverns of Ixalan mechanics worth unpacking – overall this seems like a fairly complex set.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan card Enigma Jewel

The first is Craft, an ability word that’s showing up on double-sided artifacts. By paying a cost and exiling permanents from the graveyard or battlefield that fit the Craft cost, you’re able to transform artifacts, unlocking a more powerful form.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan card Locus of Enlightenment

Then there’s Discover, which works as a straight upgrade to the Cascade ability. You exile cards from the top of your library until you hit a nonland with mana cost equal to or less than the Discover number. Then you can either cast that spell for free or tuck the card into your hand to use later.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan card The Inner Sun

Descend is a bit of a confusing one (and a neat reference to original Ixalan’s Ascend mechanic) It’s all about putting permanent cards in your graveyard.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan card Ruin Lurker Bat

However, some Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards care about whether you ‘descended’ that turn, while others have the ability ‘Descend’ followed by a number. Those latter cards have abilities that unlock only once you have a certain number of permanents in your graveyard.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan card Didact Echo

MTG head designer Mark Rosewater has called The Lost Caverns of Ixalan “not a traditional return set”, which is why we see less continuity in terms of mechanics. For instance, it doesn’t have the same emphasis on creature tribes, as Wizards has shied away from this for recent MTG draft environments.

That said, the merfolk and vamps, dinosaurs and pirates do feature in the MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander decks.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date vampires

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan story

Ixalan’s The Immortal Sun chapter is closed, and who knows what lurks in the depths below. That said, dinosaurs don’t typically live underground, so either there’ll be some topside adventuring, or this set is going for an underground paradise, journey to the centre of the earth kinda vibe.

One thing we think is a shoe-in for Lost Cavern of Ixalan are demons. The demons in Ixalan have appeared in card art (see above) but not had much focus before – not a single creature to show them off. They’re apparently created by the bat god Aclazotz, and have a very bat-like appearance, perfect for underground living. Plus, there’s some obvious fun interaction to be had with the conquistador vampires that already star on the plane.

Artwork of gods and angels from MagicCon Barcelona shed a little more light on the characters and setting for this set. We’ve got angels protecting a magical underground core, butterfly gods, and a civilization that ride atop giant bats. Something called Cosmium seems to be at the center of things – perhaps a heavily protected resource for the vampires, angels, demons, and dinosaurs to squabble over?