MTG Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths spoiler schedule


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2018

Arena Release Date: April 16, 2020
Asia-Pacific Paper Release Date: April 17, 2020
NA, Europe, SA Paper Release Date: May 15, 2020

Product info
Where to find previews
Card image gallery
Variant image gallery
Mechanics: Cycling, keyword counters, mutate, companion
Next set: Core Set 2021
Story archive
Premier events schedule

Magic: the Gathering is a Trading Card Game, the first of its kind, developed by Richard Garfield and his playtesters for the gaming company Wizards of the Coast in 1993. You and your opponents play the role of dueling planeswalkers, wizards able to travel between dimensions known as planes to gather unique magic. Using customized decks made up of your spells, the creatures you can summon, your mana bonds with lands, and even other planeswalkers you can call in to help out, you try to defeat your foes.

Thanks to COVID-19, all in-person events for Ikoria have been canceled and printing and distribution issues mean that the set won't be available in paper outside of the Asia-Pacific region until May 15. Check with your local game store to see if they have a Magic Arena event coming up. This also means spoiler season will be highly condensed, lasting only a week despite this being a major set.

Last time in Magic, we saw Elspeth escape the underworld of Theros and dethrone the Sun God, Heliod. Now we journey to the mysterious world of Ikoria, where giant monsters and mutants roam freely. The story can be seen in the upcoming novel by Django Wexler, Sundered Bond.

Also, for the first time, the yearly Commander deck release will tie in directly to the new set, with legendary creatures flavorfully tied to the plane of Ikoria.

In the Standard format, the following sets will be legal.
  • Guilds of Ravnica
  • Ravnica Allegiance
  • War of the Spark
  • Core Set 2020
  • Throne of Eldraine
  • Theros: Beyond Death
  • Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
Banned cards in Standard.
Official guide to starting Magic

To see what a game is like, check out Geek and Sundry's Spellslinger series, where Day[9] battles various geek celebrities, often losing, using simple and easy to follow decks.

For the digital card game, you can play Magic Arena potentially for free.

For the physical card game, there are many ways to get on board. If you go to a local game store (LGS), the owner will give you a simple Welcome Deck for free, after demonstrating how to play the game. The Spellslinger Starter Kit (Core Set 2020 edition) has two simple decks that you do not shuffle so you and a friend can get a guided tour through how a game of Magic can work. Planeswalker Decks are pre-constructed decks with four brand new cards, including unique planeswalker cards and one additional booster pack. While not particularly strong, they will allow you to actually play casual games. Challenger Decks (2020 edition) will allow you to compete in Standard tournaments using real decks for, before release, much cheaper than buying the cards individually.

If you want to build your own deck, a Deck Builder's Toolkit (Theros: Beyond Death edition) will give you a decent starting collection of cards, including 125 fixed cards, 100 basic lands, four booster packs, and perhaps most importantly, a good box for your cards.

The big thing to look forward to, however, is the Prerelease event held for every set. Well, not this time, because COVID-19. Your local game store might be doing something online regardless, so check them out. Find local game stores here.


Arena Release Date: April 16, 2020
Asia-Pacific Paper Release Date: April 17, 2020
NA, Europe, SA Paper Release Date: May 15, 2020
Card image gallery
Variant image gallery
Mechanics: Cycling, keyword counters, mutate, companion

Distant stomps and a roar

Wizards has teamed up with Toho to provide Godzilla themed variants of several cards! In-game, the actual name of this guy is Zilortha, Strength Incarnate, listed below the Toho name. With the exception of Japan, these can only be found in Collector Boosters and as box toppers for Draft Booster Boxes. There are 19 total, three of which are exclusively in Japanese.


The name of the game is big creatures, but you need a way to smooth out your draws to get to that point. That's where cycling comes in. You may pay the cycling cost and discard the card to draw a new card.

Keyword counters





You can build up your own monster with keyword counters. These provide the keyword listed, acting similarly to +1/+1 counters. There is no benefit to having more than one of a type.






The crystals of Ikoria cause monsters to change in wild and unpredictable ways. When you cast a creature for its mutate cost, you may place it on top or below a creature you control as long as it isn't a human. The creature on top of the pile dictates the name, power, toughness, types, and colors. If the creature is a token, the whole thing is considered a token. The creature cards below it will add on all abilities.


If you cast Cloudpiercer for its mutate cost on Mosscoat Goriak, you can choose either configuration above. First one gets you a red 5/4 dinosaur with reach and vigilance, second one gets you a green 2/4 beast with reach and vigilance. If an ability refers to the creature by name, remember that it's just a placeholder for "this creature".


Like bestow before it, if you cast a creature for its mutate cost but the target becomes invalid, then it resolves into a creature. Unlike bestow, however, attached cards will not turn into creatures once the base creature dies. A creature and all its attached mutations are considered one creature; the mutations are not auras.


Many cards care about being mutated, and these will trigger whether it's a card on top or below.




Some people on Ikoria have formed strong bonds with the monsters. You may play companion cards in your deck normally, but if your starting deck meets the companion condition and your companion is in your sideboard, then once a game, you may cast it from your sideboard. You are only allowed one companion. This condition applies after sideboarding too.

Companion conditions are designed to make it easy to tell if your opponent is actually meeting them, but keep an eye out.

Official articles - Nicknamed the Mothership, these articles are the primary source of news. Recommended columns are Making Magic, written by the head designer, Mark Rosewater (aka MaRo); Magic Story, which tells the story, written by various authors; and Play Design, written by various Magic developers. The other articles generally discuss deck building.
Card image gallery - Best way to see all of the spoiled cards together, but only updates once a day.
Blogatog - Tumblr ran by Mark Rosewater where he answers questions, updates very frequently.
Drive to Work - Mark Rosewater's weekly podcast about Magic that he literally records as he drives to work. Two episodes are released every Friday.
MTG Reddit - The best place to get new card information. The community sucks, though.
Gatherer - The official method of searching through released cards.
Scryfall - The better search method, with bigger cards.
Game store locator

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