MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date speculation and news

Lost Caverns of Ixalan closes out this year of Magic: The Gathering with some underground exploration. Here's everything we know, from key dates to mechanics

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan artwork of a merfolk conjuring magical water.

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan will be the fourth and final premier MTG set of 2023, coming out at the end of this year. It’ll be our second trip to Ixalan, a world that loved from the jump for its themes and creativity, despite its sets being lacklustre in both Standard and Draft. MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan looks to continue the adventurous vibes of this world, as we go spelunking for buried treasure. Indeed, this set takes place underground, in caverns filled with traps and wonders.

We’re pretty amped to return to this colourful setting (particularly for the dinos) and according to a poll by Mark Rosewater, only March of the Machine has more fans drooling for it. Here we’ll cover everything we know about Lost Caverns of Ixalan, from release dates to mechanics. With this MTG set still months and months away, there’s not loads of concrete details, but that’s not going to stop us speculating and sharing what we do know.

Check out our MTG 2023 release schedule to see what’s coming up next for Magic. We also have guides to Wilds of Eldraine, MTG Lord of the Rings, and all the other sets that are releasing this year.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan artwork of a cute baby dinosaur with a feathery ruff

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan release date

Lost Caverns of Ixalan is coming out in Q4 2023, so we can expect it in either October, November, or December. If Wizards sticks closely to the schedule of last year and puts the set out around when Brothers’ War released, it’ll be November, but only time will tell.

As always, we can expect a couple weeks of card spoilers leading up to The Lost Caverns of Ixalan’s release date, a prerelease in stores the week before (and remember, your cards are immediately legal now) and the set to drop on MTG Arena a little before its available in paper.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan artwork of a vampire about to trigger a trap involving a giant spider

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan mechanics

Although no The Lost Caverns of Ixalan mechanics have been confirmed, we have got a confirmed card name that gives us a strong clue about one of them. The artwork above is from a card called ‘Spider Trap’. Trap is a card type from the original Zendikar – instants that you can play for a very cheap cost in response to your opponents taking specific actions. Ixalan seems to be sort of inheriting Zendikar’s title of the adventure set, so we bet you $5 there’ll be Trap cards in the set. We’re coming for you, Yugioh!

MTG head designer Mark Rosewater has called The Lost Caverns of Ixalan “not a traditional return set”, so we can expect less continuity in terms of mechanics. For instance, it seems unlikely it’ll have the same emphasis on creature tribes, as Wizards has shied away from this for recent MTG draft environments. That said, we’ve already seen art featuring the merfolk and vamps, dinosaurs were promised in the Wizards Presents video – and it’d be odd to leave out pirates in a set all about searching for underground treasures.

MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan artwork of a vampire having a vision of a bat demon

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.