Do you like big, terrifying monsters capable of laying waste to cities and armies? If you answered “Yes,” then Magic: The Gathering’s latest set – Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths – is for you. The next set entering Standard, Ikoria is a love letter to classic creature features and monster movies. Working alongside the legendary production studio Toho Company, Wizards of the Coast is implementing monsters from the Godzilla films into this set.
Acting as alternate art for new legendary creatures, players can expect creatures such as Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah to make an appearance. Tied to the Collector Boosters for physical players, we suspect the Toho Company versions will be available on MTG Arena as Card Styles. This is a creature-focused set and Ikoria will introduce three new mechanics that will shake-up gameplay in exciting ways.
- Name: Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
- Release Date: April 16 (MTG Arena), May 15 (Paper)
- Number of Cards: N/A
- Mechanics: Mutate, Cycling, Companion, Creature Counters
- Format Legality: Standard, Pauper, Brawl, Historic, Draft, Sealed
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Release Date
If you want to experience Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths as soon as possible, it will be available on MTG Arena on April 16. This release is weeks ahead of the physical launch date, which has been altered due to concerns about COVID-19. This also goes for the new Ikoria Commander decks which will not be released until May 15. It’s unclear if these Commander decks will ever come to MTG Arena since the format doesn’t exist on this platform. However, since many of the cards could be used in Brawl, there’s a small chance we could see these pre-made decks arrive on MTG Arena.
Cards – Red
Cards – Blue
Cards – Black
Cards – White
Cards – Green
Cards – Multi-Colored
Cards – Artifacts/Lands
Cards – Godzilla Themed (Alternate Art)
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Trailer
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Mechanics
One of the new mechanics coming to Ikoria is Companion. Unlike previous mechanics, Companion relies on the entirety of your deck. If the Companion requirement is met then you can play that card from outside the game once. For example, if you are using Lutri, the Spellchaser you can cast it from your sideboard if all the nonland cards in your deck have different names. If your deck doesn’t meet this requirement then Lutri cannot be cast from outside the game. This mechanic has the potential to be explosive since it will effectively give you an additional card to play with. The viability of Companion will entirely depend on what the requirements end up being for these cards.
Mutate is one of the coolest and weirdest mechanics to arrive in Magic: The Gathering. Acting an alternate way to cast specific creatures, Mutate allows users to “stack” abilities onto a single card. To Mutate, you must target a non-Human creature and then decide if the card with Mutate will go on the top or bottom. If it’s the top then it will retain the same Power/Toughness before it mutated. Inversely, if you put a mutate card on the bottom then the card you targeted will determine its color, name, creature type, and Power/Toughness. Regardless of which choice you make, these two cards will fuse into one and retain both of their abilities.
The final new mechanic coming to Ikoria are Keyword Counters. This mechanic allows you to put keywords onto specific creatures via counters. So if you have a card that says it “Put a Hexproof Counter on it,” then whatever creature you give that counter to will have Hexproof. It’s a simple mechanic that we expect to be exceptionally dangerous in Draft or other Sealed formats. Being able to give your creatures permanent abilities could easily swing a game or serve as a great combat trick.
Cycling is the only returning mechanic coming to Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Acting an as alternate way to use your card, Cycling allows you to discard the card with this mechanic to draw a card. The Cycling cost can vary depending on the spell and some cards trigger alternate abilities if you Cycle. Think of this as a way to rummage through your deck or ditch dead cards in your hand. It won’t always be flashy, but Cycling offers you a way to find that one card you desperately need.