|Symbol description||Compass Rose / Ship's Wheel|
Mark Rosewater (co-lead) |
Ken Nagle (co-lead)
Erik Lauer (co-lead)|
Sam Stoddard (co-lead)
|Art direction||Cynthia Sheppard|
|Release date||September 29, 2017|
|Tribal, Double-faced cards, Vehicles, Treasure tokens, +1/+1 counters, life as a resource|
or ability words
|Explore, Enrage, Raid, Crew, Transform|
+10 Planeswalker deck exclusives
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
- 1 Set details
- 2 Themes and mechanics
- 3 Cycles
- 4 Mirrored pairs
- 5 Reprinted cards
- 6 Card comparisons
- 7 Preconstructed decks
- 8 Notable cards
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
Ixalan contains 279 cards (20 basic land, 101 common, 80 uncommon, 63 rare, and 15 mythic rare) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. Ten additional cards are found in the set's planeswalker decks (2 mythic planeswalkers, 2 rares, 2 uncommons, 2 commons, and 2 common dual lands). These are numbered #280/279 to #289/279. Ten of the rares are double-faced cards which were printed on a seperate print sheet. These appear in the rare/mythic slot of booster packs, which changes the mythic rare to rare ratio from 15:106 to 15:126. A checklist card replaces the basic land in some boosters. Five of the basic lands depict a lost Jace Beleren.
A number of non-foil, double-sided Ixalan cards were mistakenly printed on incorrect card stock.
Starting with this set, all planeswalkers past, present, and future have the supertype legendary. They are subject to the "legend rule" instead of the "planeswalker uniqueness rule", which was removed from the game.
|“||Brave the Unknown||”|
This is a story about desire. It is desire for power, desire for companionship, desire for approval, desire for discovery, and everyone is racing to get what they want first. For centuries, the untamed jungles of Ixalan have hidden a coveted secret: Orazca, the city of gold, which houses a mysterious artifact, the Immortal Sun. But no secret can remain undiscovered, and no treasure can be taken uncontested. The dinosaur riding warriors of the Sun Empire and the merfolk shamans of the rival River Heralds are met by the vampire conquistadores of the Legion of Dusk and the pirates of the Brazen Coalition.
|Title||Author||Release Date||Setting (plane)||Featuring|
|Jace, Alone||R&D Narrative Team||2017-09-06||Ixalan||Jace, Vraska|
|A Question of Confidence||R&D Narrative Team||2017-09-13||Kaladesh, Ixalan||Huatli, Angrath|
|The Talented Captain Vraska||R&D Narrative Team||2017-09-20||Ravnica, Meditation Plane, Ixalan||Vraska, Jace|
|The Shapers||R&D Narrative Team||2017-09-27||Ixalan||Kopala, Tishana, Kumena|
|Something Else Entirely||R&D Narrative Team||2017-10-04||Ixalan||Jace, Vraska|
|The Race, Part 1||R&D Narrative Team||2017-10-11||Ixalan||Mavren Fein, Vona, Jace, Vraska, Huatli, Tishana|
|The Race, Part 2||R&D Narrative Team||2017-10-18||Ixalan||Vraska, Jace, Vona, Huatli, Tishana, Angrath|
As part of the preview season, Wizards of the Coast distributed trackable game pieces to stores, fans, volunteers, and some well-known community folk. As game pieces travelled from from geochache to geocache, the distances they travelled influenced the release of preview cards.
- Prerelease Events took place on September 23, 2017.
- Magic Online Launch: September 25, 2017
- Dino-Sized Weekend: The weekend of October 28–29, stores around the world host six-pack Sealed events, three-pack Draft events, and very special dino-sized Draft events using four packs of Ixalan instead of three.
- Mid-Season League: Running November 6 through December 3, stores can run Ixalan Mid-Season Leagues.
- Magic Open House: Full-art foil Walk the Plank
- Prerelease: a stamped card that can be any rare or mythic rare from the set.
- Draft Weekend Launch promo: Bishop of Rebirth
- Standard Showdown: foil basic land with art by Rebecca Guay.
- Magic League: foil Unclaimed Territory
- Store Championship: full-art foil Ghalta, Primal Hunger, showcasing the upcoming Rivals of Ixalan set (Top 8 receives a deck box).
- Convention promo: Full-art Deeproot Champion
- Buy-a-Box: Burning Sun's Avatar
- As a first, purchasers of a booster box received a "Dino sized" 9-card Buy-a-Box booster. This contained an extra Buy-a-Box promo card and the equivalent contents of two Standard Showdown prize boosters. The booster contents were only available in English and Japanese.
- As a Holiday promotion, purchasers of a booster box received the Buy-a-Box Treasure Chest booster, containing 2 foil cards of any rarity from any Standard-legal set, 4 rare or mythic rare cards from Standard-legal sets, 2 foil basic lands, and 1 out of 10 possible alternate art, foil double-faced cards. These versions of the 10 Ixalan DFC's feature the regular front sides, and outtakes from the Ixalan map on the backsides. This promotion was later extend to Iconic Masters and Unstable. The 10 alternate art, foil double-faced cards offered are:
- Legion's Landing // Adanto, the First Fort
- Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
- Arguel's Blood Fast // Temple of Aclazotz
- Vance's Blasting Cannons // Spitfire Bastion
- Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun
- Conqueror's Galleon // Conqueror's Foothold
- Dowsing Dagger // Lost Vale
- Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring
- Thaumatic Compass // Spires of Orazca
- Treasure Map // Treasure Cove
- FNM promo double-faced tokens:
- 1/1 Vampire creature with lifelink for Legion's Landing, Adanto, the First Fort, Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle, Paladin of the Bloodstained, Queen's Commission and Call to the Feast
- 2/2 Illusion creature with "When this creature becomes the target of a spell, sacrifice it." for Jace, Cunning Castaway
- 1/1 Merfolk creature with hexproof for Deeproot Waters
- 2/2 Pirate creature with menace for Fathom Fleet Captain and Vraska, Relic Seeker
- 3/3 Dinosaur creature with trample for Raptor Hatchling, Thundering Spineback, Huatli, Warrior Poet and Regisaur Alpha
- 0/2 Plant creature with defender for Dowsing Dagger
- Treasure artifact (Sun Empire flavored) with ", Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color." for Pirate's Prize, Prosperous Pirates, Sailor of Means, Spell Swindle, Contract Killing, Dire Fleet Hoarder, Heartless Pillage, Revel in Riches, Ruthless Knave, Wanted Scoundrels, Captain Lannery Storm, Trove of Tempation, Wily Goblin, Deadeye Plunderers, Vraska, Relic Seeker, Prying Blade and Treasure Map.
- Treasure artifact (Legion of Dusk flavored)
- Treasure artifact (River Heralds flavored)
- Treasure artifact (Brazen Coalition flavored)
Themes and mechanics
Ixalan is a tribal set, with Pirates (), Dinosaurs (), Merfolk () and Vampires (). This is the first time Magic has an uneven color distribution of factions within a set. Though the tribes are asymmetrical, the colors are not. Each color has two tribes. The fact that Pirates and Dinosaurs both need more cards to become tribes properly (as compared to merfolk and vampires, who are already pretty established) was a factor in them becoming the two 3 color factions. The two colour pairs that are not represented in this scheme - and - do not have multicoloured signpost uncommons, but have explore and fliers as a theme respectively.
Raid returns from Khans of Tarkir (now connected to Pirates), Crew from Kaladesh (connected to the ships from Torrezon), and Transform from Innistrad (the double-faced cards now highlighting the tales and tools of discovery). The DFCs all have a land on the "back" face cards, which features a map-inspired card frame. The front face is recognized by the icon of a compass rose and the the back face is marked by the land icon last seen in Future Sight.
There are two new named mechanics:
- Explore — Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it's a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back on top or into your graveyard.
- Enrage — Whenever a creature with this ability word is dealt damage, it has some consequences. This is the signature mechanic of the Dinosaurs.
Ixalan has seven cycles, one of which is reprinted. Notably, three of these cycles are partial, due to the uneven distribution of colors among the set's tribes.
- Legendary transforming enchantments: Five rare legendary enchantments that transform into legendary lands when a condition is met; these lands tap for colored mana and have another powerful activated ability — Legion's Landing // Adanto, the First Fort (), Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, The Sunken Ruin (), Arguel's Blood Fast // Temple of Aclazotz (), Vance's Blasting Cannons // Spitfire Bastion (), and Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun ().
- Keepers: Five common creatures with an activated ability that each costs and one colored mana, tapping and sacrificing the creature. They function as late-game mana sinks, similar to the Invokers from Legions and Rise of the Eldrazi — Encampment Keeper (), Shore Keeper (), Blight Keeper (), Fire Shrine Keeper (), and Ixalli's Keeper ().
- Allied color check lands: Each of these five rare dual lands comes into play tapped unless you control a land of one of the appropriate types. This cycle was first printed in Magic 2010 — Glacial Fortress (), Drowned Catacomb (), Dragonskull Summit (), Rootbound Crag (), and Sunpetal Grove ().
- Two-colored draft archetypes: Eight uncommon cards which each represent a two-colored draft archetype — Deadeye Plunderers ( treasure), Dire Fleet Captain ( pirate aggro), Raging Swordtooth ( enrage), Belligerent Brontodon ( dinosaur ramp), Call to the Feast ( vampires), Shapers of Nature ( merfolk), Marauding Looter ( raid), and Sky Terror ( dinosaur aggro).
- Explorer Commons: Each of these five common creatures explores when they enter the battlefield. The cycle has a rising converted mana cost in reverse enemy color order — Ixalli's Diviner (), Siren Lookout (), Brazen Buccaneers (), Sunrise Seeker (), Queen's Agent ().
- Legendary creatures: Four mythic rare legendary creatures, each of which is of one of the four tribes and has a color identity of all colors for that tribe — Admiral Beckett Brass ( pirates), Gishath, Sun's Avatar ( dinosaurs), Tishana, Voice of Thunder ( merfolk), and Vona, Butcher of Magan ( vampires).
- Avatars of the sun: Three rare or mythic dinosaurs, each tied flavor-wise to a different aspect of the Threefold Sun and with related flavor texts — Wakening Sun's Avatar (), Burning Sun's Avatar (), Verdant Sun's Avatar ().
Ixalan has two mirrored pairs.
- Rare gold creatures: A pair of rare multicolor creatures with powerful enters the battlefield abilities, each of which is in one of the tribes introduced in Ixalan — Hostage Taker ( pirates) and Regisaur Alpha ( dinosaurs).
- Uncommon scouts: A pair of uncommon scout creatures with a mana cost of M that explore when they enter the battlefield. They have a mirrored power and toughness and help the draft archetype — Seekers' Squire (, 1/2) and Merfolk Branchwalker (, 2/1).
- Air Elemental, first printed in Alpha (last seen in Welcome Deck 2017).
- Cancel, first printed in Time Spiral (last seen in Amonkhet).
- Cobbled Wings, first printed in Innistrad.
- Demolish, first printed in Odyssey (last seen in Kaladesh).
- Demystify, first printed in Onslaught (last seen in Magic 2012).
- Dragonskull Summit, first printed in Magic 2010 (last seen in Archenemy: Nicol Bolas).
- Drowned Catacomb, first printed in Magic 2010 (last seen in Archenemy: Nicol Bolas).
- Dual Shot, first printed in Shadows over Innistrad.
- Duress, first printed in Urza's Saga (last seen in Eternal Masters).
- Favorable Winds, first printed in Avacyn Restored (last seen in Conspiracy).
- Glacial Fortress, first printed in Magic 2010 (last seen in Magic 2013).
- Hijack, first printed in Kaladesh.
- Opt, first printed in Invasion.
- Mark of the Vampire, first printed in Magic 2013 (last seen in Magic 2014).
- Rootbound Crag, first printed in Magic 2010 (last seen in Commander 2016).
- Rummaging Goblin, first printed in Magic 2013 (last seen in Magic 2015).
- Slice in Twain, first printed in Scars of Mirrodin (last seen in Commander 2013).
- Spell Pierce, first printed in Zendikar (last seen in Amonkhet Invocations).
- Sunpetal Grove, first printed in Magic 2010 (last seen in Commander 2016).
- Sure Strike, first printed in Battle for Zendikar.
- Unknown Shores, first printed in Theros (last seen in Oath of the Gatewatch).
Common to Uncommon
- Castaway's Despair is a functional reprint of Sleep Paralysis from Shadows over Innistrad.
- Colossal Dreadmaw is a functional reprint of Brambleweft Behemoth from Hour of Devastation, except for creature type.
- Crash the Ramparts is a functional reprint of Awaken the Bear from Khans of Tarkir.
- Grazing Whiptail is a functional reprint of Cloudcrown Oak from Lorwyn, except for creature types.
- Looming Altisaur is a functional reprint of Kami Of Old Stone from Champions of Kamigawa, except for creature types.
- One with the Wind is a functional reprint of Spectral Flight from Innistrad.
- Queen's Bay Soldier is a functional reprint of Walking Corpse from Innistrad, except for creature types.
- Raptor Companion is a functional reprint of Blade of the Sixth Pride from Future Sight, except for creature types.
- Shining Aerosaur is a functional reprint of Skyswirl Harrier from Kaladesh, except for creature types.
- Skyblade of the Legion is a functional reprint of Concordia Pegasus from Return to Ravnica, except for creature types.
- Slash of Talons is a functional reprint of Righteous Blow from Avacyn Restored.
- Swashbuckling is a functional reprint of Goblin War Paint from Zendikar.
- Storm Sculptor is a functional reprint of Keymaster Rogue from Return to Ravnica, except for creature types.
- Wind Strider is a functional reprint of Faerie Invaders from Magic 2013, except for creature types.
- Watertrap Weaver is a functional reprint of Frost Lynx from Magic 2015, except for creature types.
Ixalan features two planeswalker decks:
|Jace||U||G||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage|
|Huatli||W||R||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight|
- Revel in Riches is an alternate-win card.
- Rampaging Ferocidon was banned in January 2018 alongside Ramunap Ruins to weaken the Mono-Red in that Standard. While not particularly notable in and of itself, it was the first card unbanned in a rotating format on August 2019, allowing play for one month before rotation.
- Hostage Taker received errata before it was released, because as worded it could create an infinite loop.
- Many of the backsides of the transforming cards are inspired by powerful lands in Magic's past:
Some cards represent a specific pirate fleet, four fleets are revealed this way, each one showing its method :
|Fleet name||Colors||Leader||Other cards|
|Deadeye Fleet||Deadeye Quartermaster||Deadeye Tormentor|
|Dire Fleet||Dire Fleet Captain||Dire Fleet Hoarder|
Dire Fleet Interloper
Dire Fleet Ravager
|Fathom Fleet||Fathom Fleet Captain||Fathom Fleet Cutthroat|
Fathom Fleet Firebrand
|Storm Fleet||Captain Lannery Storm||Storm Fleet Aerialist|
Storm Fleet Spy
Storm Fleet Arsonist
Storm Fleet Pyromancer
- Product information
- Ixalan Spotlight: Enrage. Retrieved on 2017-10-1.
- Mark Rosewater (April 23, 2017). "Does ixalan rymes with is a land...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Hélène Bergeot (April 18, 2017). "Ixalan, Worlds, Pro Tour, Nationals, and RPTQs". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (September 15, 2017). "Ixalan Release Notes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (September 1, 2017). "Ixalan Promos, Planeswalker Decks, Packaging, and FNM Tokens!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 14, 2017). "Will Ixalan's double-faced cards take their own reserved slot in booster packs?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 14, 2017). "Is the rare to mythic rare ratio still the same for ixalan?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- What slot do checklist cards take? (Reddit)
- YouTube — Official MTG IXALAN Booster Box OPENING (timestamp: 3m25s)
- Uhh I think wizards has a problem on their hand (Ixalan)
- Scott Kelly and Blake Rasmussen (August 28, 2017). "Behind the Scenes with the Alleged Ixalan Card Theft". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (October 20, 2017). "Statement on Ixalan Double-Faced Cards Card Stock". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Tabak (August 28, 2017). "Ixalan Mechanics". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen and Alison Luhrs (August 30, 2017). "Magic Story Podcast: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (June 14, 2017). "25th Anniversary Announcement Day". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (August 14, 2017). "Exploring Ixalan by Exploring Our World". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ixalan Product information for retailers
- Mark Rosewater (2017 June 12). "Metamorphosis 2.0". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Gavin Verhey (September 18, 2017). "Ixalan Prerelease Primer". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (September 18, 2017). "Announcing Dino-Sized Weekend and Ixalan Mid-Season League". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Chris Tulach (July 16, 2017). "In-Store Play Evolves". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (October 30, 2017). "Ixalan Store Championship Goodies". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Full Art Deeproot Champion Convention Promo. Reddit (2018).
- Blake Rasmussen (November 7, 2017). "Black Friday Treasure Chest Promotion". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (November 15, 2017). "The November 15, 2017 Update". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (September 13, 2017). "The Tokens of Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 4, 2017). "Just for Ix(alan), Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 05, 2017). "To what extent is Ixalan tribal?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 18, 2017). "Just for Ix(alan), Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Sam Stoddard (September 12, 2017). "Developing a Tribal Set". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (August 29, 2017). "This seems like the first time Magic has had an uneven distribution of factions?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 31, 2017). "Was the fact that Pirates and Dinosaurs both need more cards a factor?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 31, 2017). "Not a fan of the assymetric distribution of tribe colors.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 02, 2017). ""We must do 4 factions block to prove that we can". Isn't that bad design?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 11, 2017). "Just for Ix(alan), Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ken Nagle (September 5, 2017). "Conquering the Design of Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Nicholas Wolfram (September 6, 2017). "A Royal Recipe for Dinosaur Tribal". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 16, 2017). "Can you explain why W/U and B/G didn't get uncommon draft build arounds?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (September 16, 2017). "I'm not sure whether or not I'm supposed to be able to draft WU and BG in Ixalan.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (October 9, 2017). "Odds & Ends: Ixalan, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 11, 2017). "Am i wrong or Hostage Taker can go infinite just by itself?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (October 2, 2017). "Dinosaurs and Vampires and Pirates (and Merfolk), Oh My, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.