At the time of writing, we are in the thick of spoiler season for the upcoming Lost Caverns of Ixalan Magic set, and since we here at Pandemonium are getting hyped for all the new goodies, it only felt right to share some of that enthusiasm with you! There's a lot of terrific stuff arriving with all the calamity of Gishath's footfalls, so without further ado, here are some particularly spicy cards that have us more excited than even the most Restless Ridgeline!
Cavern of Souls
While there are plenty of new goodies arriving in Lost Caverns, we'd be remiss not to address the elephant... erm, Dreadmaw in the room; that being the reprint of Cavern of Souls into Standard and Pioneer. This card has resonance that we've seen in eternal formats, where it protects decks that lean a lot on typal synergy while also fixing their mana. We think Cavern of Souls will make a huge difference in these control-heavy environments, and might even provide some much needed leverage for green. We likely won't know how impactful this card will be until the set releases on November 10th, but chances are we'll be feeling the reverberations of it's presence for years to come.
Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation//Temple of Civilization
Whenever WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) prints a new god-cycle, our eyes tend to bug out of our heads Tex-Avery style, and the reveal of Ojer Taq was no exception. Comparing it to other popular doublers like Doubling Season or Mondrak, Glory Dominus, this feels like a resilient creature that can bounce back from most removal without missing a beat. We'll be keeping our eyes on Ojer Taq for both Standard and Commander. Maybe you should too!
The Thousand-Year Calendar
Since this preview was in German, here's a quick and dirty translation we found.
Whenever one or more permanents become untapped during your untap step, put that amount of time counters on The Thousand Year Calendar.
2, T: Double the amount of time counters on The Thousand Year Calendar.
When there are 1000 or more time counters on The Thousand Year Calendar, sacrifice it and each opponent loses 1000 life.
Somebody did the math, and apparently you can blow up all of your opponents after nine turns in play, and that's without any shenanigans. I personally grew up with a Darksteel Reactor in my local meta, and seeing the twenty turn clock of certain doom more than halved leaves me frightened, but also strangely intruigued? Once someone breaks this card, chances are it'll be the lynchpin of a group-slug commander deck, or the centerpiece of some proliferate/counters constructed nightmare. I for one welcome our ancient timepiece overlord.
The discover mechanic feels like a very powerful variant of the cascade keyword from Alara Reborn, where you aren't obligated to cast the card you discover into. Zoyowa's Justice looks like the poster child for how powerful this effect can be, letting the player choose how narrow the window of discoverable cards can be, and which player's permanent gets yeeted back into their deck. While this card smacks of Divine Gambit, I'm convinced that this is going to be some serious tech for the Living End decks that we see in Modern, since it can cascade into the eponymous sorcery with a little clever deck building.
More like Microtyrant, am I right? He's very cute for a grumpy golgari guy, and it's very on-flavor that he rewards you for filling your graveyard with permanents, a la the new descend mechanic. Between going tall, going wide, and fueling all sorts of aristocrat shenanigans, the Mycotyrant looks to be a super fun commander for thallids, and perhaps a windmill pick in draft (looking at you Skrelv's Hive.)
Barltolome del Presidio
Speaking of aristocrats, that's a free sacrifice outlet right there. For free. Zero mana. And it eats creatures AND artifacts. At instant speed. Hmm. Its almost like someone looked at Carrion Feeder and said "I could fix him better," and then they did. We expect Bartolome to be absurd in limited, especially if you can find ways to feed his ravenous hunger.
When Tishana's Tidebinder enters the battlefield, counter up to one target activated or triggered ability. If an artifact, creature, or planeswalker's ability is countered this way, that permanent loses all abilities until Tishana's Tidebinder leaves the battlefield. (mana abilities can't be targeted)
So its a Stifle, with a body, that then erases the text box of the creature, artifact or planeswalker it stifled until the Tidebinder leaves play. That's not busted at all. We have a feeling that this will be some serious support for merfolk decks in Modern and Pioneer, but might also slot nicely into a Phyrexian Dreadnought shell as a fifth or sixth copy of Stifle.
Poison Dart Frog
Lastly, the humble frog, who is here because she does so much for someone so small. Don't let that smile fool you, she's a Birds of Paradise that can turn into a kill spell at the blink of a hat, and all of that is printed at common. While we haven't seen a lot of Lost Caverns' commons, they're the backbone of draft and so chances are we'll see plenty of these little buggers popping up all over the place. Plus, its going to be pauper legal, so while it can't take down a Troll of Khazad-dum by itself, its still a team player who knows more than a handful of helpful tricks.
All said, Lost Caverns of Ixalan is shaping up to be a powerhouse of a set. These are just a few of the cards we're excited for, but with spoiler season in full swing, we're sure this is just the beginning!