Table of Contents
- The Lost Caverns of Ixalan (LCI) Limited Guides
- Abuelo, Ancestral Echo
- Akawalli, the Seething Tower
- Amalia Benavides Aguirre
- Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon
- Bartolome del Presidio
- Caparocti Sunborn
- Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider
- Deepfathom Echo
- Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
- Itzquinth, Firstborn of Gishath
- Kellan, Daring Traveler
- Kutzil, Malamet Exemplar
- Master’s Guide-Mural
- Molten Collapse
- Nicanzil, Current Conductor
- Palani’s Hatcher
- Quintorius Kand
- Saheeli, the Sun’s Brilliance
- Sovereign Okinec Ahau
- Squirming Emergence
- The Ancient One
- The Belligerent
- The Mycotyrant
- Uchbenbak, the Great Mistake
- Vito, Fanatic of Aclazotz
- Wail of the Forgotten
- Zoyowa Lava-Tongue
- Wrap Up
Hey everyone! It’s new set time and I know you are all excited to read about all the crazy shenanigans we’re about to get into in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. I’m ready to start spelunking down into this to figure out what my exploration uncovers.
Per usual, I’ll be grading the entire set for the purpose of limited as well as writing about a million other articles about it. With all that, you’ll be well prepared to crush some serious dreams.
Here’s the usual grading scale:
- 5.0: Disgustingly powerful and basically unbeatable. Either answer it the turn it comes down or just pack up your cards. (Gruff Triplets, Virtue of Persistence, The Eternal Wanderer)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb that still gives your opponent a slim chance. (Virtue of Loyalty, Imodane's Recruiter, Realm-Scorcher Hellkite)
- 4.0: Great rare or the absolute best uncommons and removal. (Faunsbane Troll, Gumdrop Poisoner, Talion's Messenger)
- 3.5: Great role filler or removal that you never cut. (Candy Grapple, Hearth Elemental, Torch the Tower)
- 3.0: Good playable that I’m basically never cutting. (Shrouded Shepherd, Spellscorn Coven, Sharae of Numbing Depths)
- 2.5: Decent playable and the bar I hope nearly every card in my deck to reach. (Evolving Wilds, Archon's Glory, Flick a Coin)
- 2.0: Mediocre filler that normally is your 20-23rd card(s). (Mintstrosity, Ice Out, Grabby Giant)
- 1.5: Replaceable, overall bad filler. Could also be decent sideboard cards. (Titanic Growth, Scarecrow Guide, Territorial Witchstalker)
- 1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Dark Tutelage, Kindled Heroism, Impact Tremors)
- 0.5: Very unhappy to main deck this, but maybe it has fringe sideboard applications. Cards that “could” be situationally decent, but bad in most situations. (Smothering Tithe, Rhystic Study, Mana Flare)
- 0.0: Unplayable in every possible situation. They rarely print cards this bad these days. (Hew the Entwood, One with Nothing)
Abuelo, Ancestral Echo
Grandpa starts off as a warded-up Wind Drake. That’s not that great when it requires two colors. Its actual power is tied up in its ability to blink your other cards for value. It can also protect your other creatures, but it can’t protect itself outside of the ward 2 so it will have a target on its back.
Akawalli, the Seething Tower
Descend four is pretty easy to hit even if you’re not dedicated to it so this will be a 5/5 trample pretty early on. After early access, I can say that descend eight is very achievable when you’re playing self-mill cards so the dream of having a 7/7 trample that can’t be blocked by more than one creature is alive and well.
While this reads as almost French vanilla, it is pretty dece for only three mana.
If you don’t have any ways to gain life in your deck this isn’t going to do much besides being a difficult to cast bear. Just keep that in mind and you can get this to go off, but it’s still highly doubtful that you’re ever going to get it to the 20 to blow up the world.
Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon
It’s very similar to a Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin that puts the tokens in as attackers. Getting the trigger off of any non-gnome attacker is great because you don’t have to put this in any danger to keep the beats coming.
Bartolome del Presidio
Not having to pay mana for the sacrifice is amazing and makes this extremely awkward to play around with the constant threat of activation. The Orzhov deck is usually stacked with cards that create more than one game piece giving you plenty of opportunities to grow out of control.
This can get the value train rolling as long as you have some ways to enable it. It’s pretty easy with Treasures, Tinker's Tote or especially equipment. If you put Diamond Pick-Axe on this you can stack it so you can get the treasure first before tapping the treasure and the axe to get the discover trigger.
Captain Storm, Cosmium Raider
O Captain! My Captain! Don’t worry, I won’t continue to bore you with poetry. We can get back to the Magic.
This can get downright crazy when you’re playing the Izzet artifact pirate deck. You’ll have so many triggers that it’ll feel like you’re playing a storm deck. Yeah, that may have been bad, but this card certainly isn’t.
Exploring every turn on something that comes down as an on-rate creature is going to add up the value really fast. While the art makes me think it has flying, at least it can get it by copying one of your other creatures.
Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
I am well aware that this costs eight mana requiring three colors. You’re only going to want to run it in a dedicated dinosaur deck with an easy way to fix such as Poison Dart Frog or Ixalli's Lorekeeper. They pretty much have to deal with this right away because one hit could drop a pile of creatures onto the battlefield.
Itzquinth, Firstborn of Gishath
While Gishath himself might seem like a card from the days of the dinosaurs, his first born is certainly taking a more modern approach to limited. A 2/3 haste for two is pretty dece, but you also have the ETB ability to pay two to bite another creature. It’s not even limited to this little guy since he can command another dino to take a chunk out of someone.
Kellan, Daring Traveler
Getting one or two map tokens for only one green mana is a fine deal considering that it is basically a throw in on this. You don’t even need green mana to play this because the creature is just fine on its own. You’re getting a slightly overstatted two drop that might end up drawing a card on attacks or at least provide a bit of card selection.
Kutzil, Malamet Exemplar
This wants you to play tricks like Staggering Size or equipment to draw some extra cards. You could also use +1+1 tokens from maps or just normal explore creatures. It also makes it safe to use those tricks because your opponent can’t play anything on your turn.
While a 4/4 for five mana is certainly not what you are trying to do these days, you get a second one the turn you flip this since it exiles itself before coming back into play. From there it’s just a matter of having a way to keep putting artifacts into play to add an extra 4/4 every turn.
Two mana to pop off any creature is a great deal even at sorcery speed. You might think that getting to double dip won’t come up that often, but there are plenty of juicy targets such as Dusk Rose Reliquary or you can really ruin someone’s day by busting up their Dire Flail.
Nicanzil, Current Conductor
This certainly turns up the volume in the explore deck. The first part is functionally saying that you get to put any land you explore directly into play tapped though technically you can choose any land from your hand. This also ramps itself up as your other explore creatures get counters.
That sounds more like an exploration leader than a current conductor to me, but what do I know about Merfolk career choices.
Assuming that this makes it to your first combat phase you get 8/7 worth of stats with 3/3 of it being hasty for five mana. Then if they don’t deal with this (or the other egg) you get another hasty 3/3. On top of all of that the rest of your dinos get haste so this is a self-contained bomb that gets even better in the right deck.
It’s our singular Planeswalker of the set and this time we get everyone’s favorite pachyderm returning to show off his newly acquired skills. As you can imagine, it’s pretty good. It can protect itself by pooping out 3/2s every turn or you can take a chance with Discover if you need to hit something in particular.
The static ability triggers off of discover as long as you cast the spell, but doesn’t do anything if you just put it into hand.
Saheeli, the Sun’s Brilliance
To let Saheeli shine as brilliantly as the sun, you really need to have a bunch of ETBs in your deck. I’m sure that won’t be a problem as you’ll be stacking value with her every turn. The cards coming in as an artifact are a nice bonus since they trigger a lot of the things Izzet is doing.
The only real problem with this is that it is a bear with a giant bullseye on it.
Sovereign Okinec Ahau
This really needs equipment, pump spells, or ways to put +1+1 counters on your creatures to get the party started. Once they are rolling, they will keep growing every time this attacks.
I am only playing this in a dedicated graveyard deck, but you should be able to pick it up later because that’s the only deck that wants this. A three mana reanimate is pretty powerful even if you already have to stack your graveyard to be able to play it. Think of it as more of something that you can double spell turn five or six instead of something you will ever play on turn three.
The Ancient One
This can be pretty powerful in the right deck as a massive creature that isn’t online until later. You do need to be pretty dedicated to descend to even consider it, but it’ll put in work if you put it in the position to succeed. During early access, it was apparent that Descend 8 isn’t that difficult to hit when you’re playing in the Sultai section of the color pie.
The activated ability can be used to almost instantly get this online, but it can also be used as a way to mill someone out pretty quickly.
I’m not a big fan of vehicles especially those with high crew costs. This does let you Future Sight for the remainder of the turn when you attack so that is a powerful enough ability that I won’t get too belligerent about playing it.
While there are some other fungi running around Ixalan, you should mostly count on this to bulk itself up. Getting a 1/1 for every descend is a huge step up from one a turn especially since each one adds two power to the board. Just make sure you’re playing some self-mill and this will be great for you.
Uchbenbak, the Great Mistake
Six power worth of menace hits pretty hard or will usually at least demand a two for one. Then it gets to come back later on (as long as you can hit descend eight) to do it all over again.
Vito, Fanatic of Aclazotz
I was sold at 4/4 flyer for four, but Vito can be much more than that. While you might thing you need to be going crazy with Bartolome del Presidio to get these triggers, you can do it with something as simple as treasure and map tokens.
While the extra vampire demon is preferable, just incidentally gaining two life every turn that you sacrifice something is going to add up over the course of the game.
Wail of the Forgotten
If you’re just casting this as a sorcery speed bounce spell or a Strategic Planning, then you’re probably not too thrilled. Having your opponent discard could be useful if they only have one card in hand. Doing any of those is fine since you have the versatility to choose whichever one you need.
Where this really shines is late in the game when you rip this with descend 8. Getting all three is great especially if they are empty handed and have to pitch the card you bounce. They will certainly wail when you do that.
This ability seems like it would be much better than it is, but your opponent gets to choose which one so it will never get to kill them. They will probably just take three damage early on and then pitch an extra land later on which also helps fuel their descend synergies.
Almost all of the multicolor cards are really good in the proper decks for them. In this set that means the right archetype and not necessarily that you are just playing the colors for it.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow to go over Limited combos and synergies for The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Until then, stay classy people!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
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