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MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan: 10 best cards in the new Magic: The Gathering set


Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

The best Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards can help create brand-new decks, revitalise some old typal Commander ones and shape the next few months of competitive play. Lost Caverns of Ixalan takes us back to the world of pirates, vampires, merfolk and dinosaurs, and then throws in a few fan-favourite characters as well.

Best MTG Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards

There are a lot of really intriguing cards in the latest Magic: The Gathering set, including a set of gods who transform into land cards when they’re defeated. With so many over-the-top creatures and spells to choose from, it can be hard to know what to keep an eye out for.

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It feels like the competition for the best cards from Lost Caverns of Ixalan is especially heated. A lot of the new mythic rare cards and rare cards have abilities that could well be game-ending in a short amount of time. Take Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation, for example. Ojer Taq is a six-mana white card that triples the numbers of tokens you create, which is absolutely absurd, but only if you create tokens after they’re played. It's an amazing card, but the six-mana cost means it’ll likely only see play in Commander.

As such, we’ve tried to choose the best Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards that are going to be good in more than one MTG format.

1. Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might/Temple of Power

Fear the swarm

Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might is a red 4/4 creature with Trample that returns as the land card Temple of Power when killed. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might is a four-mana red 4/4 with Trample that comes back as a land when it dies. As a land, you can transform it back to Ojer Axonil for three mana if you’ve dealt at least four damage with noncombat red sources during your turn. Basically, it’s hard to kill, and works well in decks that enjoy dealing damage with spells.

Ojer Axonil also has a very strong ability. If a red source deals noncombat damage to an opponent with weaker power than Ojer Axonil, it gets bumped up to Axonil’s power. Assuming you’ve got five mana the turn after Ojer Axonil is played, even if you’ve just got five spells that deal one damage each, suddenly you’ve got 20 damage in hand with nothing else needed.

2. The Ancient One

A two-mana 8/8

8/8 for two mana? You'll need a little patience while you put permanents in your graveyard, but the wait will be worth it. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

It’s very hard to say anything about The Ancient One other than the fact that it’s a two-mana blue and black 8/8, but we’re going to do so anyway. To be fair, this spirit god can’t attack or block until there are eight or more permanents in your graveyard, but that’s not going to be hard to do if you build your deck to support it.

Plus, The Ancient One has a four-mana ability that allows you to draw a card and discard a card, before choosing a player to mill cards equal to the discarded cards’ mana value. You can target yourself with this ability - filling your graveyard very rapidly as a result - or mill out someone else if you want to.

3. Quintorius Kand

Spirits from exile

Quintorius Kand is the only new planeswalker card in Caverns of Ixalan - but with abilities like this, do you really need another? | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Lost Caverns of Ixalan’s solitary planeswalker is Quitorius Kand, an elephant person with a love of spirits. We couldn’t be happier. This five-mana red and white planeswalker comes in with four loyalty, can create 3/2 spirit tokens, allows you to Discover with a value of four - which means you can cast the next nonland card in your library with a mana value of four or less for free - and lets you exile cards from your graveyard to gain mana, then cast those cards if you want to.

Along with all of that, which is already a lot of good stuff, Quintorius has a passive skill that lets you deal two damage to each opponent and gain two life whenever you cast a spell from exile. This is so easy to do in MTG now - especially in red and just with Quintorius - that you’ll get a lot of use out of this card.

4. Bloodletter of Aclazotz

Take it and double it

Bloodletter of Aclazotz's ability is simple yet effective: double any life damage opponents take during your turn. Ouch! | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Bloodletter of Aclazotz is a four-mana black 2/4 with Flying. It’s also a vampire demon, which is a very fun mix of creatures. While it doesn’t have a complicated ability, it does have a very good one.

It simply makes it so that if an opponent loses life during your turn, they lose twice that life instead. That means that if you hit them with a 2/2 they’ll take four damage, and so on.

It’s just very strong; while it’ll probably die every time you cast it, if it ever sticks around, you’ll likely win very quickly.

5. Chupacabra Echo

That’s dead now

Chupacabra Echo functions much like Ravenous Chupacabra. While it doesn't technically destroy cards when it enters the battlefield, its power can be used to quickly kill a creature if you have enough permanents in your graveyard. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Ravenous Chupacabra is a card that destroys a creature when it enters the battlefield. It’s a very potent MTG card, and not one we expected to see coming back in Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Despite that, here we are staring down Chupacabra Echo, which is basically the ghostly version.

This four-mana black 3/2 gives a target creature an opponent controls -X/-X until the end of turn, where X is the number of permanent cards in your graveyard. Thanks to not technically destroying things, it means you can even kill indestructible creatures with this ability.

6. The Skullspore Nexus


The Skullspore Nexus gets cheaper as you play more powerful creatures, and can bring back dead creatures as Fungus Dinosaur tokens. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Here we have an eight-mana green artifact called The Skullspore Nexus, which could definitely be a location in Baldur’s Gate 3 that we’ve just not found yet. First of all, this card costs X less to play, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control, meaning it’ll never cost eight mana. Secondly, you can pay two mana and tap it to double a target creature’s power until the end of the turn.

Here’s where things get really cool. The card reads: “Whenever one or more nontoken creatures you control die, create a green Fungus Dinosaur creature token with base power and toughness each equal to the total power of those creatures.” If your creature dies, it just comes back to life as a mushroom dinosaur. That’s awesome.

7. Bonehoard Dracosaur

Card-draw dinosaur

Bonehoard Dracosaur spawns Dinosaur and Treasure tokens in return for exiling cards, helping quickly fill your side of the board. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

We love a good dragon. This is a dinosaur dragon, which is at least 37% better. This five-mana red 5/5 has Flying and First Strike - making it not only hard to block, but hard to beat even if you do block it.

Along with that, it reads: “At the beginning of your upkeep, exile the top two cards of your library. You may play them this turn. If you exiled a land card this way, create a 3/1 red Dinosaur creature token. If you exiled a nonland card this way, create a Treasure token.”

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More creatures is good, and Treasure tokens are famously absurd, so this seems like a great card in Lost Caverns of Ixalan.

8. Squirming Emergence

Back again

Fill up your graveyard and use Squirming Emergence to bring out a costly creature. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Ignoring the fact that the word ‘squirming’ makes our brains itch, Squirming Emergence could be a very potent spell. This three-mana black and green sorcery allows you to return a nonland permanent to the battlefield from your graveyard with a mana value equal to up to the number of permanent cards you have in your graveyard.

If you’re playing a deck that mills itself and fills the graveyard quickly, this allows you to potentially spend three mana to get a 12-mana creature into play with no downside. That’s the kind of card that ruins games of MTG, but not for the person playing the card.

9. Echoing Deeps

Whatever you need

Echoing Deeps can copy another land card from any graveyard - a powerful way to borrow your opponents' lands or duplicate your own. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Echoing Deeps is a really interesting land card from Lost Caverns of Ixalan. It only adds colourless mana to your mana pool as standard, but you’re rarely going to be playing it as Echoing Deeps. That’s because this card can enter the battlefield as a copy of a land card in any graveyard.

This means you could have it come in as a fetch land, or a land that can turn into a creature, or countless other amazing land cards that Magic: The Gathering has released over its many years.

Matzalantli, the Great Door/The Core

A lot of mana

Matzalantli, the Great Door turns into The Core, a land card that will add mana of one colour equal to the number of permanent cards in your graveyard - a potentially huge resource cache. | Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Finally, we’ve got Matzalantli, the Great Door - but only sort of. That’s because this three-mana artifact is interesting, but not half as much as the thing it turns into. This card can be tapped to allow you to draw a card and discard a card, or you can pay four mana and tap it to transform it as long as there are four or more permanent types in your graveyard.

Once transformed, it becomes The Core. This is a land card that allows you to add X mana of any one colour, where X is the number of permanent cards in your graveyard.

Given that you needed at least four permanent types just to transform into this, that means you should be getting at least four mana per tap - and that’s only going to become more as the game goes on.

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