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What is Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths?

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is the 84th Magic expansion. The set was released in April 17, 2020 in Asia and May 15, 2020 for the rest of the world. Ikoria is legal like every other Standard-legal set, but will rotate with Throne of Eldraine in Standard.

The set takes on the plane of Ikoria, which is home to monstrous creatures. Humans also exist on the plane, but either learn to coexist with the beasts by “bonding” with them or by fortifying themselves in heavily-protected cities, like Drannith.

 

Raugrin TriomeSavai TriomeKetria TriomeIndatha TriomeZagoth Triome

Ikoria is divided decidedly as a “wedge” set, much like Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged. The wedges, Jeskai, Mardu, Temur, Abzan and Sultai, are renamed based on their geography on Ikoria – Raugrin, Savai, Ketria, Indatha and Zagoth respectively. Along with multicolor cards in these wedges, Ikoria also brought lands with three different land types, called Triomes, for each wedge, which have made a large impact in most formats.

 

Vadrok, Apex of ThunderSnapdax, Apex of the HuntIlluna, Apex of WishesNethroi, Apex of DeathBrokkos, Apex of Forever

Ikoria also introduced a brand-new mechanic, mutate, which works similarly to bestow from the original Theros block. Mutated creatures are cast targeting other non-Human creatures. Then, you can choose if the mutated creature goes on the “top” or “bottom” of the creature. The creature then has the stats, name, mana value and such of the creature on “top,” but has all abilities of all creatures in the stack.

 

Zenith FlareDrannith Stinger

Cycling also makes a return appearance in Ikoria, with all five Triomes having cycling as well. This popular mechanic became a centerpiece of the Limited format and even helped spawn its own archetype in Standard and Historic.

 

Vadrok, Apex of Thunder (Showcase)Vadrok, Apex of Thunder (Godzilla Series)

Finally, Ikoria notably had distinct alternate art versions of its cards in two styles. The first was a “comic book” style, with dark lines and drastic colors. The second reimagined the key beasts of Ikoria as Godzilla kaiju such as Rodan, Gidorah and of course Godzilla itself.

Borderless, showcase versions of these cards are found exclusively in Collector’s Boosters. The set was also released with a traditional suite of draft boosters and set boosters. Commander 2021 was also released alongside the set, following the themes of the set such as cycling, mutate and Human tribal.

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