Last updated on December 7, 2023

Itzquinth, Firstborn of Gishath - Illustration by Lars Grant-West

Itzquinth, Firstborn of Gishath | Illustration by Lars Grant-West

Each time a new Standard set is released, a new Alchemy set follows – except in some rare cases like with March of the Machine. Alchemy sets are designed to add something to MTGA-only formats like Historic, Historic Brawl, and Alchemy.

It's nice to add something different to a stale draft format, or new possibilities to Historic Brawl. Or maybe someday Commander on Arena, who knows? Let's dive in to Alchemy: Ixalan.

Alchemy Lost Caverns of Ixalan Basic Information

Might of the Ancestors | Illustration by Aldo Dominguez

Might of the Ancestors | Illustration by Aldo Dominguez

Set Details

Set SymbolAlchemy: Ixalan set symbol
Set CodeA24, Y24, YLCI
Hashtag#AlchemyLCI
Number of Cards30
Rarities10 uncommons, 15 rares, 5 mythic rares
MechanicsChorus, Intensity, Perpetually, Boons, Conjure, Seek, Spellbook

Important Dates

Previews startNovember 27, 2023
Full gallery availableDecember 5, 2023
Release on MTG ArenaDecember 5, 2023
Available on Arena TutorDecember 5, 2023

About the Set

Alchemy: Ixalan is a set that compliments The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. It features cards designed exclusively for digital-only formats, and ties in with the main release. An objective of these Alchemy sets is to further enhance decks that are legal in MTG Arena-only formats, like Alchemy, Historic, and Historic Brawl.

Set Mechanics

Alchemy designs combine regular and digital mechanics in clever and novel ways.

Chorus / Intensity

Ribald Shanty

Listen to the new mechanic on Ribald Shanty. The instant and sorcery subtype of chorus gets better in multiples, which should resonate well with most fans. Through the power of the digital game, intensity changes the values associated with the card. You could think of it like perpetually but only with instants or sorceries.

Perpetually

Cogwork Progenitor

Perpetually is a way to permanently alter a card, whether giving it a boost or a debuff. It’s similar to what +1/+1 counters do to a card while it’s on the battlefield, but here we have MTG Arena dealing with the card’s permanent alteration, so this change follows the card when it goes to different zones (graveyard, hand, library).

Boon

valiant batrider

Boon in digital-only designs means that the next time you take a certain action, you’ll get a little one-time boost. Only players can get boons. When Valiant Batrider deals combat damage, your opponent makes their next noncreature spell cost more or draw you a card. You can have multiple boons at a given time that apply to different cases, such as casting the next creature spell or the next instant or sorcery spell.

Conjure

Scalesoul Gnome

Conjure is a digital-only mechanic that allows you to create a card, either in our hand or library, graveyard or battlefield. The main difference between conjuring a card and creating a token is that the conjured card exists in all zones, while the token only exists on the battlefield.

Seek

Herald's Reveille

Seek is one of my favorite digital-only mechanics. It allows us to get a card matching the requirements from our deck into our hand, and since Arena handles the process, we don’t need to reveal the card to our opponent. So, an effect can allow us to seek a land card, or a nonland card, or a nonland card that costs 3 or less. Either way, we’re getting something from our deck and our opponents don't know exactly what it is.

Spellbook

Scalespeaker Shepherd

Taking a cue from other digital card games like Hearthstone, drafting a card from a spellbook means that you’ll get a card at random out of a given list. You’ll be presented with three options to put into your hand, and the cards come from a given spellbook with a specific theme. Scalespeaker Shepherd’s spellbook has some of the best dinosaur cards from previous sets.

Alchemy Ixalan Card Gallery

White

Legion's Chant

Blue

Black

Legion Reconsecrator

Red

Ribald Shanty

Green

Multicolor

Available Products

Alchemy: Ixalan is only on MTG Arena, and sold via Standard Booster packs and Mythic Booster packs in the MTG Arena store, or available to craft in the deckbuilder.

Wrap Up

Dead Weight - Illustration by Javier Charro

Dead Weight | Illustration by Javier Charro

Alchemy: Ixalan may be controversial, but it has niche fans, and there are some pretty interesting designs for the format. Alchemy is supposed to be like Standard but with designs that cover the Standard format’s weak points, with frequent card power changes, or new cards that bolster some archetypes that need a little oomph. Instead, what we see are crazy strong cards that take a long time to be nerfed, or different cards that add uncertainty and variance to the format.

Alchemy: Ixalan is one more tiny step in achieving what WotC wants the format to become, and if that is still to enjoy a great game, I think we're doing well. What are your opinions on Alchemy? Do you have any opinions for this set in terms of card design? Let me know your opinions in the comments section below, or over Draftstim Twitter.

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