WHERE TO FIND M21 AND JUMPSTART PREVIEWS

WHERE TO FIND M21 AND JUMPSTART PREVIEWS

by AAG Staff

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/where-find-m21-and-jumpstart-previews-2020-06-02   Core Set 2021 and Jumpstart previews are almost upon us! It can be a bit daunting to try to follow along with everything, so to help out, we've created this guide to preview season. This page will help you follow along with everything coming on every day by giving you the outlets we have planned on each day. The goal is to help you find what you're looking for every day and avoid engaging in leaks (which hopefully don't happen [knock on wood]) if you so choose. Below, you'll find a list of dates as well as any outlets previewing a card on that date. Once the previews are live, we'll update this very article so that you can easily find previews once they're up. If the link simply goes to the front of a website or social media site, that means they probably haven't previewed the card yet. Tune in June 4 at 7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET/2 p.m. UTC to Twitch.tv/magic as we kick things off with a stream to give you a first look at both Core Set 2021 and Jumpstart, including previews! We're running previews all the way from June 4 until June 20. Core Set 2021 previews will run until June 16 (when the full set will be revealed), and then we'll switch to Jumpstart previews for June 17, 18, and 19, with the full set up on June 20. And if you just want to see all the cards that have been officially previewed in one place, you can always check out our Card Image Gallery and our bonus Variants Card Image Gallery (which contains alternate versions of Core Set 2021 cards). Note that the CIGs aren't published as of the posting of this article but will be updated every morning starting Friday, June 5, so they will contain all cards previewed the previous day (and earlier), but not the day of. For the most up-to-date listings, you can check this page! CORE SET 2021 June 4 Debut: Twitch.tv/magic Alia Deschain Grzegorz Kowalski Liga Magic Ma No Ah WPN June 5 @MTGArenaJP Commanderin' Daily MTG Dana Fischer Eli Loveman Eric Teixeira John Rolf Magic: Puzzle Quest NOTAWOLF Star City Games The Command Zone Voxy WyattDarbyMTG June 6 A Jie CobaltStreak Davinnistrad Deathsie Gabriel Nassif HandsomeDoge HorussTV June 7 Bloody Brian Kibler EPIC Paitodupan June 8 Bazar Esports Cherrigan dogdog Gamespot GatoBros hobbyjapan.co.jp/cardgamer Kotaku Australia Magic Wechat Magic Weibo MagicShibby Making Magic Marin Juza Metabomb NessaMeowMeow NGA PCGamer r/MagicArena Tencent VGTime June 9 @maro254 Daily MTG Day9 InMagic Community Magic Korean Facebook Mein-MMO Nalguidan nl_Kripp PCGamesN r/MagicTCG Sebastian Pozzo Team TCS Wizards Fan Email June 10 @mtgjp AllieStrasza Amazonian Corocoro.jp Daily MTG Duende Pablo Impetus Gaming Magic Facebook Magic Mics Masak MTG LATAM & MTG Brazil YouTube channels Ondrej Strasky Santos Vella SnailArg Spieletipps.de TCGplayer Trusted Reviews Yoshihiko Ikawa June 11 @MagicEsports AliasV Ally Warfield CalebDMTG Daily MTG Hobbyconsolas Magic c'est chic MeriStation Pinnoel Player.It Weekly MTG June 12 @MTG_Arena Alayna Danner ChannelFireball CoolStuff Inc. Daily MTG Face to Face Games GabySpartz GLHF Goodgame Le Journal Du Geek Limited Resources LoadingReadyRun Magic Arcanum MTGGoldfish OrgoglioNerd June 13 Bernardo Santos NoxiousLive Sjow Wizards of the Coast Instagram June 14 Amaz Crokeyz Kai Budde June 15 AliEldrazi Brainstorm Brewery Good Morning Magic Hipsters of the Coast Lords of Limited Making Magic Masters of Modern TheAsianAvenger Tolarian Community College JUMPSTART June 17 @Wizards_Magic ashlizzlle Daily MTG Gamestar.de Magic: The Gathering LATAM YouTube Channel Merchant RPS Skybilz Val & PL June 18 @tomoharusaito @Wizards_Magic Accumulated Knowledge MTG Covertgoblue Daily MTG EmmaSkyeward GAmesOnAus Good Games Adelaide LegenVD Magic APAC English Facebook Chinese (Traditional) Magic Facebook mtg-jp.com MTGNerdGirl Velberan Weekly MTG ZiggyD June 19 @sekappyofficial After Office TTV bigmagic.net Blacker Lotus DeejayKnight JamieTopples JanaAmari Magic: The Gathering LATAM YouTube Channel Minotaur Guy PleasantKenobi The Vorthos Cast Wizards Fan Email

SIGNATURE SPELLBOOK: CHANDRA PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

SIGNATURE SPELLBOOK: CHANDRA PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

by AAG Staff

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/signature-spellbook-chandra-packaging-and-contents-2020-06-03 Signature Spellbook: Chandra is a collection of eight cards plus one premium foil version of one of those eight cards at random. It's the ideal way to show your love of Chandra, stylize your Commander deck, or just help the world burn—in a good way. Check out the packaging and all eight cards below! Signature Spellbook: Chandra will be available in English exclusively at local game stores beginning June 26, 2020.

PLANESWALKER'S GUIDE TO IKORIA

PLANESWALKER'S GUIDE TO IKORIA

by AAG Staff

COPIED FROM WOTC INTRO My name is Vivien Reid. If you are reading this guide, it means that you seek the mysteries of Ikoria, as I once did. Here, I have recorded the lessons and observations I have collected during my travels on this plane. I trust you to explore and admire this beautiful world without meddling in its affairs. If you have already arrived on Ikoria, I recommend leaving or finding a safe spot before reading further: it is not a kind place to those who stand around idle and unaware. MONSTERS Ikoria is a world of monsters. I have seen many fantastic creatures in my travels, but I assure you that no other plane in the multiverse compares to Ikoria. Monsters here come in all shapes and sizes, from terrifying, city-stomping behemoths to clever little beasties small enough to perch on your shoulder. Skysharks soar over herds of lumbering goriaks, winged foxes flit through crystalline forests, and brooding nightmare creatures emerge from the shadows to hunt the unsuspecting. Monsters are everywhere, and they are all amazing in different ways! Art by: Jesper Ejsing I saw this big guy wandering around aimlessly the other day. He seemed gentle at first, but one cry in the distance and he took off barreling toward it. I don't think I've ever seen something so big move that fast! If you learn just one lesson from this guide, learn this: the monsters of Ikoria demand your respect. You may think you understand them at a glance, but each possesses power and beauty far beyond what you think you see. What's more, they're liable to mutate into something completely different right before your very eyes! If you tread carefully, observe from a distance, and expect the unexpected, these wonderous creatures will reveal their secrets to you. But if you underestimate them, take your safety for granted, or assume you've got the upper hand, they will not hesitate to prove you wrong. HUMANS Humans are the only so-called "civilized" species to have survived on Ikoria, occupying a precarious midpoint in its monstrous food chain. I tend not to care much for people, but anyone who manages to persist on Ikoria is deserving of some credit. This is not an easy plane to scrape out an existence, and humans owe their resilience to a variety of strategies that have allowed them to elude extinction for generations. Humans on Ikoria are acutely aware that they're no match for monsters on a physical level, so most of them choose to live inside of protective sanctuaries. These communities range from small wilderness outposts to massive walled cities, and each employs a combination of techniques to ward off monster attacks. Most sanctuaries I have visited employ both physical defenses (high walls, moats, spikes) and magical defenses (guardian wards, warning crystals). Human naturalists, sages, and hunters learn the behaviors of nearby monsters to best defend against them, or at least stay out of their way. Despite the humans' ingenuity and determination, Ikoria is not a world that can be tamed. Humans have learned the hard way that there is no "solution" to monster attacks, especially when the monster that is attacking you might mutate at a moment's notice. When it comes down to it, nothing on Ikoria stands up to a monster except another monster. BONDERS While most humans on Ikoria struggle against the way of their world, others embrace it. Bonders are those special few humans who form magical connections with monsters. A bond of this type is called an eludha, and it is much more than just a relationship of trust and friendship; it is a mystical, enduring link that ties the spirits of a person and a monster together. I have met many bonders on my travels and learned much from them. Their connection to their monsters grants them wisdom and insight far beyond that of their city-dwelling counterparts. Each bonder forms their eludha differently. Some connect with their monster instantaneously on sight. (This is quite a shock to most!) Other bonders spend years living in the wild alongside their future companion before finally bonding with it. Bonders do not think of their monster as a pet or property; it is "their" monster in the same way it is "their" best friend or "their" trusted life companion. A bonder named Winota told me how she lost her arm trying to kill the monster that she ended up bonding with! Now she and her companion travel Ikoria helping other bonders and monsters learn to fight side by side. Art by: Magali Villeneuve Monsters are incapable of human speech, but bonders and monsters communicate in a variety of nonverbal ways. In addition to body language and intonation, their eludha provides an empathic link shared between the partners. According to bonders, this link works at a subconscious level, meaning neither they nor their companion can hide their true feelings from the other. I have lived alongside animals all my life, but even I am jealous of the innate intimacy between bonders and their monsters. Bonders often wear clothing or gear to mimic the look of their monster. I met one with a handcrafted headdress that matched her monster's elaborate antlers. Another dyed his hair to match his monster's patterned fur. Some bonders with small monsters wear clothing covered in handholds so their critter can easily climb up their body, while others with larger monsters build struts and handlebars into their armor so they can easily be picked up and carried. Most bonders have one monster companion, but some like Kinnan are able to bond with many. I tried to ask him how he does it, but he just growled at me before riding off on the back of one of his beasts. I guess if you grow up with monsters, you have no need for manners! Though bonders share the adaptability and creative spirit of city-dwelling humans, they are far from friendly. Sanctuary society sees monsters as dangerous threats, and any association with them is strictly forbidden. New bonders are forced to either give up their bond or be exiled from their homes and human families. The bonders I have met in the wilderness of Ikoria seem content with their choice, though I'm sure it is difficult to leave behind one life to answer the call of another. TRIOMES Art by: Jonas De Ro Ikoria has five major geographical regions called "triomes." Each triome has its own unique terrain, a dominant clade of monsters, and a fearsome apex monster. Another traveling Planeswalker named Narset told me that these triomes are due to the unique flow of magic through the land of this plane. Each region is the result of three distinct types of mana mixing together. It is unclear to me how much the local population understands about such things, as they are usually preoccupied by much larger concerns. SAVAI Art by: Titus Lunter Savai is a cracked plain of arid grasslands along an expansive coastline, with branching cave networks lying under the surface. Prides of big cats hunt across the steppes, while the tunnels and trenches below the grassy surface provide cover for humans and other prey species. QUICK FACTS Terrain – Grassy plains atop mountainous cliff faces and swampy subterranean tunnels Dominant monster clade – Cats Savai has an arid climate, receiving only a few inches of naturally generated rainfall per year. Humans ration water carefully or produce it through magic, while much of Savai's wildlife relies on the movements of large monsters who bring weather systems with them. The canyons and tunnels of the Unundo cave system extend for miles under Savai. Watch your step down there in the dark; some tunnels terminate suddenly in massive drops, like the seemingly bottomless Glondo Gorge. The Jal Korcha, or "terror road," runs west from Drannith, along the shore of Attayal, and through the mountains of Raugrin before reaching the city of Lavabrink. The Savai stretch of the road involves crossing many precarious stone bridges over the triome's many trenches. CATS The Cat clade of monsters are ferocious carnivores that roam in prides across the plains and mesas of Savai, hunting grazers like oxen, antelope, and elephants. Similar to cats you might be familiar with from other planes, Ikorian cats enjoy playing with their food. The larger members of the clade delight in hunting humans: turning the tables on monster hunters, stalking traveling merchants, and circumventing the defenses of sanctuary cities through their strength, agility, and cunning. When bonded, cats often use food as gifts to show affection. Art by: Sidharth Charturvedi You can identify cat clade monsters by some common features they share with more "traditional" cats. They have similar ears, tails, and paws, and often feature lion-like manes or fur patterns reminiscent of tigers, cheetahs, or jaguars. Many Ikorian cats also have wings. To my surprise, the locals seem to treat this as a natural feature of the clade rather than a special mutation. In either case, my advice is the same: always keep an eye on the sky. SNAPDAX, THE ALL-HUNTER Art by: Viktor Titov Savai is home to the cavern lair of the apex monster Snapdax, a ferocious hunter that collects trophies from its kills. Trophy hunting is among humanity's greatest cruelties, so there's a twisted justice to a monster that collects trophies from humans (though I'm sure the Ikorians wouldn't see the humor). Snapdax is unrivaled as a predator, combining cat-like cleverness and nightmarish stealth with dinosaur aggression. It would be hard to imagine a more efficient killing machine. Art by: Seb McKinnon Rielle tells an ancient tale of Snapdax destroying early human settlements all across Savai. According to her, the survivors of the attacks joined forces to build a new sanctuary together, which they named Drannith. DRANNITH, THE INVINCIBLE CITY Drannith is the largest human sanctuary on the plane, a thriving city with tens of thousands of residents. Located on the lush plain of Egali in the lowlands of Savai, it's rooted by a gigantic crystal pillar and protected by concentric circles of high stone walls. Drannith's highly trained military is second to none at warding off monster attacks; according to the locals, its walls have never fallen since their creation. They tell me that Drannith was founded in a time when humanity's numbers were wearing thin, which is perhaps why an unforgiving fear of monsters is rooted deep in their culture and ideological leadership. Drannith is built around the Argalith, the largest single crystal in the world and a symbol of hope and protection for Drannith's residents. The Argalith forms the city's central axle and is the foundation of Drannith's magical defenses against monsters. Drannith's survival strategy is strength; they face monstrous threats head-on, beating them back from within their walls. The Drannith Defense Force, informally called the Coppercoats for their banded uniforms and polished buttons, is the most well-resourced, powerful military force in the world. The Coppercoats are a tight-knit militia of city defenders, uniformed defense mages, and magistrates. Soldiers use pikes, ballistae, nets, and other anti-monster weaponry to keep monsters at bay. Mages engage monsters directly with attack spells and defensive enchantments and help maintain the crystal alarm system that warns of incoming monsters. I find their methods brutish, but I acknowledge their tenacity and solidarity. Coppercoat soldiers fight together just like the bonders and monsters that they reject from their city. Art by: Zoltan Boros KETRIA Art by: Sam Burley Ketria is a river-fed temperate forest full of crystal formations. Waterfalls plunge from rocky tree-lined cliffs into inland lakes and river systems. Nowhere are crystals more seamlessly integrated with the landscape than Ketria. Naturalists and sages often travel here to draw inspiration from its wondrous displays of raw nature. QUICK FACTS Terrain – Rivers and waterfalls that wind through crystalline forests and cascade down mountain sides Dominant monster clade – Elementals Lake Attayal, fed by the Tal River, is the largest lake on the plane. If you didn't know better, you might think it was the sea itself! I'm told it is deep enough to support enormous aquatic life. It was here that I met Rielle, a sage whose wisdom is exceeded only by her age. She shared with me many of the legends and secrets that I now pass along to you. The Quartzwood is a special forest with especially dense crystal formations. The wood glows day and night in a variety of iridescent colors. Some naturalists claim that elemental monsters are born here and are more volatile when nearby. Enormous herbivores have felled timber groves along a twenty-mile stretch of the Tal River, creating an extensive system of dams. The pools created by the dams support a thriving population of fish that serves as a feeding ground for monsters and resourceful humans alike. ELEMENTALS In the crystal-infused forests of Ketria, air, water, earth, and fire are just as much alive as any plant or animal. The elemental clade of monsters are manifestations of these natural forces. They take on familiar forms of animals, but with vivid colors, ethereal silhouettes, and cracked or disconnected anatomical features that defy gravity. Just as crystals are a natural part of Ketria's landscapes, they're also integrated into these elementals, hovering around them or growing out of their skin. Art by: Lie Setiawan Elementals are naturally aloof, but they can be quite friendly once you have gained their trust. However, do not forget their primal nature, or you could very quickly find yourself caught in a localized natural disaster. An earth elemental is as dangerous as a landslide, with a similar level of concern for your safety. ILLUNA, THE WISH-GIVER Art by: Chris Rahn Floating through Ketria from crystal to crystal is the apex monster Illuna, an ethereal being with the power to weave dreams and grant wishes. Little is known for certain about Illuna, and what is known seems to defy the logic of the waking world. Illuna is said to quite literally make dreams come true, though it seems to bestow its gifts entirely at its own whim. I have witnessed the cry of Illuna, an unforgettably beautiful chord that seemed to harmonize with the world itself. Art by: Seb McKinnon Rielle tells an ancient tale of Illuna conjuring a creature from dreams, but every time she tells it, the creature is different! Is her mind finally starting to go, or is this yet another of Illuna's great mysteries? CRYSTALS & MUTATION Naturally occurring crystals are a common sight throughout Ikoria, though they are most plentiful in Ketria. These crystal formations are not well understood by both city dwellers and bonders, but they are known to power the growth and evolution of monsters. Throughout a monster's lifetime, it can grow, warp, and change into new forms. Some monsters simply become bigger or more powerful. In other cases, they may gain entirely new traits. I have witnessed monsters spontaneously sprout wings, extra limbs, full coats of feathers, and even an extra head! Art by: Jason A. Engle Some monsters mutate into hybrids, blending characteristics of multiple monster clades (like a dino-tiger or an elemental-wildebeest). Art by: Cristi Balanescu Many of Ikoria's crystals flare when monsters are near, a property that city-dwelling humans have learned to utilize as an advanced warning system. Large crystals the size of buildings are built into the architecture of many human sanctuaries. Smaller crystals are often incorporated into military uniforms, to serve as monster-detection devices as well as to designate rank and specialty. Magic employed by the military's mages often mirrors the shapes and refracted colors of the crystals that are found in or near their sanctuaries. INDATHA Art by: Noah Bradley Indatha is a stretch of low hills and mysterious lowlands, lit by eerie, luminous creatures. The helica trees and the chilly frondlands are said to draw in travelers, which in turn feed the region's fearsome nightmares. Indatha is a land of sparse cover and clear sightlines, meaning most predators rely on stealth to ambush their prey. QUICK FACTS Terrain – Swampy pools within lowland plains, dotted with uniquely shaped trees Dominant monster clade – Nightmares It is said that some of Indatha's lowlands were formed by a long trail of enormous footprints, leading from the forests of Zagoth in the south to Indatha's northwestern coast. Rielle believes they were made by the largest monster that ever walked the plane, before it vanished into the sea long ago. Indatha supports several varieties of nightcats, batbirds, insects, and other creatures whose bodies produce a phosphorescent glow. Even the gloomiest valleys of Indatha are often lit by eerie, bioluminescent animals. The helica trees in Indatha split into multiple trunks as they grow from the root, often wrapping around each other into double helix patterns, with broad tufts of foliage in the canopy. Some of these helica trees envelop crystals or other objects as they mature, creating bent and misshapen forms that seem to attract some nocturnal creatures. NIGHTMARES Nightmares, as their names suggest, are the inspiration for humanity's darkest and most primal fears (or perhaps the corporeal manifestation of those fears). They hunt at night through the shadowy hills, forests, and lowlands of Indatha, their eyes (sometimes as many as ten of them) gleaming in the dark. They seem to take genuine pleasure from stalking prey. Some survivors of nightmare attacks swear the monsters actually feed on fear itself. While the nightmare clade of monsters are quite varied in shape and size, they are easy to identify thanks to some strikingly horrifying anatomical features. Nightmares often have a more-than-usual number of appendages, be they spindly arms or slinking tails. They almost always have extra sets of eyes, occasionally positioned in places other than their heads (though I've definitely seen one with no eyes at all). Art by: Antonio José Manzandeo One soldier I met told me the easiest way to identify a nightmare is if it appears out of nowhere at the worst possible time. I won't mince words: it is hard to recommend that you seek out interacting with nightmares. They are a wonder to observe from afar, but even the cutest of their clade can prove deadly beyond expectation. Bonders who manage to forge a connection with a nightmare are among the bravest souls I've ever met. NETHROI, THE DEATH-DWELLER Art by: Slawomir Maniak Every traveler I met in Indatha shared with me the same piece of advice: beware the whispers. The whispers they speak of belong to the apex monster Nethroi, a slinking cat-nightmare-beast hybrid with the power to raise the dead. It's surrounded by the souls of long-dead creatures that hear its call, while their rotting carcasses lurch out of the muck in a terrifying mockery of life. Monster hunters have many stories of fallen comrades who killed their quarry only to have it rise and exact its revenge. Though the tales are horrifying, at least they all have happy endings (from my perspective, anyway). Rielle tells an ancient tale of Nethroi's first kill. The sages believe being eaten by Nethroi is the only way for one to be truly erased from existence, as the monster's dominion over death allows it to consume both flesh and soul. SKYSAIL Skysail is a "city" in the sky made of dozens of balloon-driven airships. The sanctuary's balloons and rudder-sails grant it almost permanent flight, allowing it to fly high above the threat of monsters that walk, crawl, or swim. Its floors and girders are made from extremely light wood and hollow pterodactyl bones, and individual balloon-ships can detach or reattach at will. Art by: Piotr Dura Skysail's survival strategy is mobility. The sanctuary never stays in one place for very long, allowing it to avoid the migration paths of Ikoria's many flying monsters. When an attack does happen, Skysail can scatter into many smaller pieces and reassemble later in a safe place—or they can send off decoy ships to lure flying threats away from the main bulk of the fleet. The people of Skysail are bold and independent, preferring a life on the move to sitting and waiting for an attack. Though the sanctuary still boasts a military force, I appreciate that their approach to hostile monsters is mostly to leave them alone. The sky dwellers tell me that many generations ago, there was once a walled sanctuary in Indatha called Orn. The city stayed safe by training bioluminescent nightcats and batbirds to circle the sanctuary and nest in its towers, keeping the sanctuary lit at all hours. But one night, for unknown reasons, the luminous creatures did not come, and nightmares breached the gates under cover of darkness. Some of the residents of Orn escaped, salvaging some of Orn's raw materials to construct rudimentary hot-air balloons. Over time, more and more balloonists joined their vessels together, forming what's now known as Skysail. Personally, I hope that the citizens may one day return to the ways of their ancestors, learning to live alongside monsters as partners instead of enemies. RAUGRIN Art by: Jonas De Ro Raugrin is a rim of volcanic peaks, white-sand beaches, and lava-dripping cliffs that runs along the coast. The region is separated from the rest of the continent by the Ongra mountain range. The sanctuary of Lavabrink is built in the mountains between a volcanic shelf and Kauld, the lake of lava. QUICK FACTS Terrain – Volcanic mountains surrounding white-sand beaches along the coastline Dominant monster clade – Dinosaurs Raugrin's bright white beaches stretch for hundreds of miles, and the coastline is still growing! Lava flow from the Ongra mountains spills into the sea, creating igneous jetties and slowly extending the land's reach. The Jal Korcha, or "terror road," winds for thousands of miles from Lavabrink in the southwest, through the Ongra range, along the shore of Attayal, and to Drannith on the great Egali plain. The Raugrin stretch of the Jal Korcha is lined with alarm crystals that warn of the approach of dinosaurs and other monster threats. They say the volcano Charrog is the highest point of elevation in the world: the zenith of the Ongra mountain range. Dinosaurs incubate their eggs in nests along Charrog's scorching slopes. It seems humans aren't the only ones who have learned to use the land to their advantage. DINOSAURS Thriving in the sweltering environment of volcanic Raugrin, the dinosaur clade of monsters embody all the violence and fury of churning molten rock. They hunt without subtlety or discrimination, eating anything that moves and demolishing anything that stands between them and a meal. They are not above eating carrion, but they prefer prey that struggles and wriggles going down. Ikorian dinosaurs are tougher and more reptilian than those found on other planes like Ixalan. They have scaly skin often covered in spikes, horns, and rock-hard plating. Many are bipedal and have thick muscular tails they can use to bludgeon combatants. Winged and aquatic dinosaurs are also common, though they all seem to share the same belligerent attitude. One bonder I spoke with said the best way to gain a dinosaur's respect is to square off against it and hold your ground. I recommend trying this with one of the smaller dinosaurs first. VADROK, THE THUNDER-RAPTOR Art by: Zack Stella Named after the terrible rumbling it produces as it streaks across the sky, the thunderous apex monster Vadrok rules the skies of Raugrin. It may not be the biggest or fastest monster in the sky, but it is by far the fiercest. Vadrok generates magical energy as it flies, then releases it through its breath of blue flame. The sages say Vadrok's flames have magical properties that can cause all sorts of devastating effects, but historically the final result always seems to be the same: death. Vadrok's uncontested dominance and mobility means it is liable to show up just about anywhere in Raugrin, and many city dwellers from other triomes derisively refer to the region as "Vadrok Turf." Rielle tells an ancient tale of Vadrok burning a human sanctuary to ash. She claims the magical fire not only destroyed the city but also erased all memories of its existence! Naturally, I couldn't find anyone else to confirm the story. LAVABRINK Lavabrink is a sanctuary city tucked under a huge volcanic shelf in the Ongra Range in Raugrin. Rivulets of lava pour over the shelf into carefully maintained canals and floodways, running out to Kauld, the lava lake. Lavabrink's dwellings and marketplaces are built on bridges and walkways over these canals of lava. Lavabrink's survival strategy is inaccessibility. By building under a volcanic shelf, Lavabrink has created a powerful defense mechanism that offers a compelling incentive for hungry monsters to find another less-deadly meal elsewhere. Mages called stonesingers can call out to the huge igneous dams on the slopes above the town, tuning the flow of lava as they desire. In dire circumstances, Lavabrink can create an almost continuous curtain of lava in front of the entire city, blocking entry to all but the most persistent of monsters. The residents of Lavabrink are a hardy lot, choosing to live in an incredibly dangerous situation in order to ward off even more dangerous monsters. Lavabrink citizens have excellent access to around-the-clock volcanic heat and are renowned for their blacksmithing, metalworking, toolmaking, and sculpting. All across Ikoria, I have been told by city dwellers and hunters that the best weapons and gear are all made in Lavabrink. It disappoints me that even a community mostly content to hide away from monsters is still such a big part of human violence against them. ZAGOTH Zagoth is a vast, dense rainforest of mushroom-like trees and humid swamps. Lumbering, herbivorous greatbeasts graze among the fanspore groves, and iridescent insects alight on the vast lily pads floating in Zagoth's shallow ponds and wetlands. QUICK FACTS Terrain – Teeming rainforests with vast lily pools and swampy wetlands Dominant monster clade – Beasts The sturdy forests of Zagoth often root in muggy wetlands. The ponds that make up these wetlands support Zagoth's mighty lily plants. These giant plants can grow to over thirty feet in diameter and are strong enough to support the weight of multiple creatures at once. For ground walkers like me, the giant lilies are the easiest method to traverse the waterways. The beast herds of Zagoth move with the vegetation they most prefer. Some herbivorous species follow each other's migration paths—as one group feeds on a woodland's sturdy outer leaves, the next group feeds on the tender, unprotected fruits left behind. Zagoth is a hotspot for monster-hunter activity, as the tusks, horns, pelts, and meat of the region's beasts are valuable commodities that can be traded or sold. The self-proclaimed master hunter Chevill spends most of his time slogging through the wetlands like he owns them. He's an expert at replicating the calls of certain animals, which he uses to draw large-antlered alphas away from their herd. He is the worst kind of human. BEASTS The lush forests of Zagoth teem with life, dominated by the beast clade of monsters in various sizes and shapes. Most of them resemble large herbivores—elk, horses, rhinos, camels, boars, and the like—but it is dangerous to conclude that they are at all docile. Even smaller beast monsters are territorial and irascible, liable to stampede or trample when they are alarmed or threatened. Beasts have many telltale traits: shaggy hides, thick skin, antlers and tusks, stumpy feet or hooves, etc. While most are large and lumbering, there are also many smaller, graceful beasts that more closely resemble horses or antelopes. Beasts tend to respond well to offerings of food. Just make sure the beast can clearly distinguish where the food stops and you begin. BROKKOS, THE FOREVER-BEAST Art by: Filip Burburan All of the apex monsters are ancient, but Brokkos is believed to predate them all. This gentle giant roams the forests of Zagoth with a miniature forest of its own growing on its back. It is said that Brokkos experiences time differently from the rest of us: its blinks take minutes, its breaths take hours, and its naps take weeks! But just like time itself, Brokkos is an unstoppable force. Once it starts moving, nothing can halt it, be it humans, monsters, or the land itself. According to Rielle, Brokkos's movements coincide with the changing of seasons on Ikoria, though it's unknown whether Brokkos follows the seasons or the seasons follow Brokkos. Art by: Seb McKinnon Rielle tells an ancient tale of Brokkos. According to legend, the first human was a hunter who tried to slay the apex monster. Instead of fighting back, Brokkos gave the human two gifts. The first was a vision of the past, so she may learn from her mistakes. The second was a vision of the future, so she may lead others forward. HUNTERS Only the most foolhardy, diehard, desperate, and cruel of humanity take up the life of a monster hunter, wandering far from the relative safety of the sanctuary cities in search of their prey. Some hunt for the thrill and sport of it; some nurse personal vendettas against certain monsters; others sell monster parts to interested parties. In my eyes, all are equally vile. Most other humans agree to some extent. Though hunters are rarely barred from entering the cities, they tend to be unwelcome. In turn, most hunters find civilization and its rules stifling—perhaps the only point on which we agree. Some hunters are outcasts who are no longer welcome in certain sanctuaries, and others are survivors of sanctuaries that have been destroyed. I have little sympathy for them. A soldier who fights to protect their home is understandable, but I cannot abide the callous destruction of life for profit or sport. Art by: Svetlin Velinov Hunters deploy both mundane and magical traps to snare their quarry. Capturing and returning monsters alive is a rare and often ill-advised task, but it's not unheard of among the most skilled hunters. Art by: Livia Prima You can spot a hunter by their gear. Most wear helmets, goggles, or other headgear for protection or to make themselves more fearsome to their quarry. Hunter weapons are often enormous (even larger than the hunter wielding them!) to contend with equally oversized prey. The most sadistic hunters carry barbed and jagged weapons meant to injure and maim should they fail to kill their target. GOOD LUCK OUT THERE! Now, you are ready to explore Ikoria for yourself! It is a plane made of equal parts majesty and peril. With preparation, respect, and a little good fortune, you may discover the many wonders awaiting you. It is my hope that this guide will assist you in doing so while keeping your head on straight. May it serve you well, and may you pass it along to the next Planeswalker you meet in need of a guide. —Vivien Reid

IKORIA: LAIR OF BEHEMOTHS MECHANICS

IKORIA: LAIR OF BEHEMOTHS MECHANICS

by AAG Staff

COPIED FROM WOTC The new set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths brings us to Ikoria, a breathtaking world where an enterprising Planeswalker such as yourself can find sights unlike any other. Massive crystal formations, unfathomable caverns, towering spires, and more await you. But we didn't name the set Ikoria: Lair of Annoying Tourists for a reason. There are those behemoths, after all. Are you friend or food? Your mastery of the new abilities here may make the difference. CYCLING Cycling is a fan-favorite mechanic that helps you find the perfect card, assuming the perfect card is somewhere near the top of your library. Cycling lets you trade a card in hand for a new card. Maybe it's late in the game and Drannith Stinger isn't going to cut it. Maybe you already control a Drannith Stinger and need that extra 1 damage. Whatever the reason, cycling a card gives you another shot at finding the card you need. Cycling abilities work while the card with cycling is in your hand. Each cycling ability has a cost. In this set, the cycling costs are just mana, but non-mana cycling costs have appeared on previous cards. To activate a cycling ability, pay that cost and discard the card with cycling from your hand. As the cycling ability resolves, you'll draw a card. Some cards have additional bonuses for cycling them. These are written "When you cycle [this card's name], [effect]." They will happen before you draw a card for the cycling ability. Some permanents, such as Drannith Stinger, have an ability that rewards you for cycling other cards. These work only if the permanent with that ability is on the battlefield as you cycle the other card. KEYWORD COUNTERS Ikoria introduces keyword counters. Just as a +1/+1 counter gives the creature it's on +1/+1, these keyword counters give the permanent they're on the listed ability. This allows some spells and abilities to have a little more staying power. For your convenience, we've made punch-out counters to easily track which creature has which ability. Using them is optional, but they can be very handy once several kinds of keyword counters are spread around. For this group of counters, having more than one of the same counter provides no additional benefit. Note that if one of these counters ends up on a noncreature permanent, it won't necessarily apply right away, but it will if the permanent becomes a creature. Hexproof counters will be effective even if on a noncreature permanent, as will deathtouch and lifelink counters, provided that noncreature permanent can deal damage somehow. MUTATE Mutate is a new keyword that lets you combine creatures in a new way to build better monsters. You know, for fun and smashing. Every creature card with mutate gives you two ways to cast the spell. Somewhat predictably, the first is just cast it for its mana cost. Somewhat safe. Reasonably reliable. Hope it works out for you. The second option is a little more exciting: rather than just cast the creature spell, let's cause a creature on the battlefield to mutate! Here's how it works. When you cast a creature spell for its mutate cost, a few things change about how you cast it. First, you pay the mutate cost rather than the mana cost. Second, the spell will require a target. Specifically, a target non-Human creature you own. Humans on Ikoria spend all their energy merely surviving, so their cells just aren't up for the mutation thing, I'm guessing. Mutate can be used only if you're casting the spell. If a creature card with mutate enters the battlefield some other way, it just enters the battlefield. As a mutating creature spell resolves, instead of entering the battlefield, it merges with its target into one creature. Its controller chooses to put the resolving mutating creature spell on top of its target or underneath it. You'll end up with a pile of cards (or tokens—we'll get to that in a second) that all represents a single creature. That creature will have all the characteristics of the top card, and it will also have the abilities of every card underneath. For example, let's say you cast Cloudpiercer for its mutate cost with Mosscoat Goriak as the target. As Cloudpiercer resolves, you can put Cloudpiercer on top, in which case you end up with a 5/4 red Dinosaur with mutate, reach, that triggered ability we'll definitely get to in a second, and vigilance. If you instead put Cloudpiercer on the bottom, you'll end up with a 2/4 green Beast with the same suite of abilities. In most cases, power and toughness will guide your decision. Having a 5/4 with some abilities is usually better than having a 2/4 with the same abilities. But remember that the creature's name, converted mana cost, colors, and creature types are all determined by the top card. You may even find that rare situation where you want a creature to be smaller so as to avoid smiting or banishment or whatever it is they do to large creatures here. The resolving mutating creature spell doesn't enter the battlefield. It simply makes the creature that was already on the battlefield change characteristics. If that original creature was tapped, the new merged creature is tapped. If it had any counters on it, or Auras or Equipment attached to it, it still does. And it's still presumably a non-Human creature you own, so you can cast another creature spell with mutate and have a third card join the pile. Same rules apply: the new card goes on top or on the bottom and will change the creature's characteristics accordingly. Why would you want to mutate over and over again onto the same creature? One reason is those "Whenever this creature mutates" triggered abilities. When a mutating creature spell resolves, all triggered abilities the resulting creature has with that trigger condition will trigger. It doesn't matter if the ability is on the existing creature (before it mutated) or on the new piece (the resolving mutating creature spell). They all trigger, and they can be put on the stack in any order. Some creatures, like Bristling Boar above, have abilities that refer to themselves by name. Remember that from a rules perspective, a card using its own name in an ability really just means "me." For example, if Cloudpiercer ends up on top of Bristling Boar, that ability will work on the resulting creature. If all goes well, the mutated behemoth you've created will go on to pulverize your opponent and you'll win the game. But I suppose they might get lucky and find a way to get your creature off the battlefield. What then? If a mutated creature leaves the battlefield, all of its components go to the appropriate zone. So if it dies, each card ends up in the graveyard. Any ability that triggers "whenever a creature you control dies" or similar will trigger only once. Same with exile, your hand, or your library. If it's put into a specific position in your library, such as on the bottom or third from the top, you choose the relative order of the cards. We've covered what happens when a mutating creature spell resolves. But what if it doesn't? While it's on the stack, a mutating creature spell is still a spell, so it can be countered. If one is countered, it heads to the graveyard as you'd expect. But here's something you may not expect: if a mutating creature spell tries to resolve but can't because its target is illegal or has gone missing, the mutating creature spell will simply resolve and enter the battlefield. So, it's not quite an "all Dinosaur eggs in one basket" kind of risk. One note though: although the spell resolves and the creature enters the battlefield, any "Whenever this creature mutates" abilities it has won't trigger. Remember that the targeting requirement for a mutating creature spell is a non-Human creature you own. (Technically, it's a non-Human creature owned by the same player as the mutating creature spell, but casting such a spell you don't own is pretty unusual.) Nowhere in that phrase is the word "nontoken." Tokens can mutate just like nontoken permanents can. For any merged creature, if a token is on top, the creature is a token. If a card is on top, the creature is a nontoken permanent. Mutate is the kind of keyword that includes a lot of rules innovation, and that can be distracting. But make no mistake: smashing your monsters into other monsters and making buffed-up supermonsters and rampaging over your rivals is pretty sweet, and I can't wait to see what combinations you all come up with. COMPANION There are ten companions in Ikoria, each one a legendary creature whose companion ability lists a deck-building rule. If your starting deck follows that rule, then the legendary creature can serve as your chosen companion. For example, if our majestic friend Keruga is going to be your chosen companion, then your starting deck can't include any cards with converted mana cost 1 or 2. You can have up to one chosen companion for each game. That chosen companion doesn't start in your main deck. Rather, it's a card in your sideboard. (If you're playing casually without sideboards, it's just in your collection outside the game. All the same rules apply to it.) This means it doesn't count as a card toward meeting the minimum deck size in the format you're playing, but in Constructed formats, it is one of your fifteen sideboard cards. Just before the game begins, reveal your chosen companion to all players. Once during the game, you may cast your chosen companion from your sideboard. Doing so follows all the normal rules for casting a creature spell, so do so only during your main phase. Casting your chosen companion brings it onto the game for good. The spell will go on the stack. If it resolves, it will enter the battlefield under your control (yay!). If it's countered, it will go to your graveyard (boo!). Once it's in the game, it can be exiled, go back to your hand, be shuffled into your library, etc. It won't return to your sideboard until the game ends. Your companion's deckbuilding rule applies only to your starting deck, which is the deck you begin play with each game. It won't consider any cards in your sideboard, so those cards don't have to follow the deck-building rule. Additionally, you can just ignore the deck-building rule and include creature cards with companion in your main deck. This is especially relevant to formats like Booster Draft, where following the deck-building rule may not be possible. But if you can pull it off, glory awaits. So, the companions are legendary creatures who begin outside your starting deck and have great influence over the rest of your deck. Where have I heard this before? Ah yes, Commander. Commander players, even though you don't have sideboards, you can still get in on the fun. Each Commander deck may include a chosen companion. It starts outside the game and doesn't count as one of your 100 cards. Just like the rest of your deck, your commander must follow the deck-building rule if you're going to use a companion. As a puny human, you may be hopelessly outclassed by the monsters roaming Ikoria, but at least you won't have to fight alone!

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