MTG Ikoria Lair of Behemoths
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Rosewater confirms 2 new MTG mechanics in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths

There will be up to four distinct mechanics in the upcoming Magic set.

Two new mechanics are coming in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Magic: The Gathering’s head designer Mark Rosewater confirmed today.

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The upcoming set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, releases on April 24 and will add two new mechanics. The first is Mutate, introduced through the Unsanctioned, found on the card Surgeon General Commander. Details concerning Mutate are slim at the moment and the second mechanic remains a complete mystery until spoilers for Ikoria begin on April 2.

But there was a clue suggesting the second mechanic may involve keyword counters, similar to the MTG Mystery Booster card Recycla-bird. Based on the WotC Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths distribution WPN page, prerelease packs will include one set of double-sided keyword counters. Keywords can include anything from Flying and Trample to First Strike and Haste. If a creature’s death triggers these keyword counters, expect the sacrifice archetype to once again dominate the Standard meta. 

The upcoming Ikoria set is also said to contain two other mechanics, one major and the other on the small side. 

“As an Arena developer, I’ve always counted four things that were a big deal for us. One of them is really small in the set though,” a WotC team member said on Reddit.

One of the other mechanics may involve another tweak to Monstrosity, similar to how Adept was created in Ravnica Allegiance. But until the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths spoilers begin on April 2, all MTG players can do is speculate for the moment. 


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Lead Magic: The Gathering/Teamfight Tactics scribe and staff writer for Dot Esports. Danny is a gamer beach bum residing in Spacecoast Florida and has been a journalist for 10 years, of which five-plus have been at Dot Esports. Prior media outllets Danny wrote for were Screen Rant and TheGamer. You can typically catch Danny playing TCGs and a variety of strategic games.