The upcoming Magic: The Gathering expansion Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths features innovative mechanics like Companion, Mutate, and keyword counters, and it also has a light three-colored theme along with the best tri-colored land cards ever designed. Before fans get to enjoy Ikoria in MTG Arena later this week, you can learn more about the design story of how mechanics for the new set came to be as well as the Companion cards that didn't make it in the set.
Magic Senior Designer Gavin Verhey is back with a new Good Morning Magic video in which he interviews MTG Game Design Architect Dave Humpherys about the design and mechanics of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. You can watch the video below:
Humpherys reveals that the design team took a lot of time testing the new Companion mechanic, and that there were Companion cards that ultimately didn't make it in Ikoria. He revealed that there was a Companion card with the restriction that says that you have to play all cards with the same rarity, and there's another with the restriction that says that none in your deck can share the same exact mana cost.
When talking about the decision to add a three-colored theme in this set, Humpherys said that with the Shocklands from last year's Ravnica sets, this is a great time for Ikoria to feature tri-colored cards as well as the triome lands with cycling.
As for the keyword counters, Humpherys revealed that the inspiration came while he was working on the Amonkhet block. He said that he felt like there was a lot of space that he could open up with the punch-out cards.
Humpherys also talked about how the Mutate mechanic originally required creatures to share creature types, and the original version always had the latest Mutate card on top instead of either.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is set to launch on Magic: The Gathering Arena on April 16, for tabletop play in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong on April 17, and for tabletop play everywhere else on May 15.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Fandoms page.