Lost Caverns of Ixalan (LCI) Closed and Prerelease Guide • MTG Arena Zone

  • November 11, 2023

Hello everyone! It’s time to move on to local releases to include more games for the new Magic set, The Lost Caves of Ixalan. I will be your tour guide as we go deeper into the caves to find out what wonders are still hidden there. In layman’s terms, I’ll be discussing how to build your own closed deck and some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Building Your Closed Deck

The biggest impact you can have on your event EV is building it properly. You can’t change what you open, but you can change what you do with it. That could be the difference between taking home some of those sweet packs and walking out empty-handed. I will be going through step by step how you should be building a sealed LCI.

The first step is to see if you have won a rare/legendary lottery. Sometimes these things build up, but not nearly as often as people think. Once you are calm and looking at your pool logically, you should organize your power cards. That means rare, rare legends, and unspoiled quality removal. This is what you will be building your deck around.

Next go through each suit to decide which cards you really want to play, which ones you’ll play if you have enough synergy, which ones you’ll run to make playable, and which ones you really don’t want to play. This is a great way to check which of your colors are actually deep and which look good because they are too heavy. This often allows you to get all the color out or decide which ones would make a good splash.

Next you want to look at your mana adjustments. There isn’t a lot of general tuning to go around with this set so you’ll usually have to keep the brightness low instead of covering the full five colors. There are no Prophecy Prisms running around and you’re stuck with Promising Vein instead of Evolving Wilds. There are many fortune-makers in red that can help give you something nutritious. Otherwise, you may need to end up playing Compass Gnome if you want to splash.

Now that you have a better idea of ​​your colors, start creating different configurations to see which ones look best. This allows you to see which one appears to be the best build or identify weaknesses that could be prevented by splashing.

The big thing here is to consider that your deck can hang in power level with similar decks. If you don’t feel comfortable going into the late game, see if you can build a cheap aggressive deck to fit under it. Even if you don’t follow that route, it’s a good idea to have it ready to go in case you need to deviate from it.

Once you’ve settled on your deck, simply build a viable base mana and you’re ready to smash.

Tips and tricks

This is a format of collaboration over power. Yes, you can just play a bunch of powerful cards and get there, but most of the time you want to play cards in the same order. That doesn’t mean the opposite of cutting your Ojer Kaslem, Deep Growth because your whole environment is based on decline. It means that in that deck you might want to play a card like In the Presence of Ages over a normal big creature.

The set is not really light output, but it is bright in quality. There aren’t many good ways to deal with old dinosaurs running around.

Abrade has always been a good card, but it’s a lot more premium with all the artifacts that work around it. Despite the lack of maintenance, it is worth considering spraying it.

A copy of Captivating Cave can help power splashes with a bit of a look later. The extra mana to play your primary colors is a big tempo hit so don’t use duplicates.

Don’t go crazy in caves. There really aren’t enough good rewards for doing something as rewarding as playing colorful caves. Build rounds are very difficult to get out of a closed area.

Counterspells tend to work better in closed than in drafts. Confounding Riddle is good for both so you were going to play it no matter what. Out of Air gets a lot more fun in sealed though.

Since the sealing is slow it is possible that you get to “do something”. Don’t try to put the top end in too much or you will still roll over. You can get away with more card advantage and big stuff, but you can’t have a deck full of six and seven drops.

While there isn’t much to do, Graveyard Hatred has the potential to be much better here than most sets.

On that note, self-grinding is a big advantage here. It may not be as value filled as dumping disruptive creatures into the yard, but enabling a bunch of drop cards can be just as good.

There are enough artifacts and magic going on that I’m willing to play a copy of Over the Edge on my main board.

Speaking of artifacts, be very careful not to get smashed by Dreadmaw’s Ire. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it, but missing the perfect double block can be a setback.

Another thing a lot of people missed was that landcyclers started dropping as they added a permanent card to the graveyard. That means you can cycle at a faster speed to surprisingly activate all 4 of your creatures. Another tricky way to do it is to donate something to a Diligence Donation.

You know what doesn’t slow down? Signs to the cemetery. Yes, they go to the graveyard temporarily, but the drop defines a “permanent card”.

I have a feeling that Cogwork Wrestler will “get” a lot of people early on. Keep it in mind when they carry one blue. It’s more likely to be that than Relic’s Roar.

The last piece of advice is to remember that this is an early release. Win some packs, but most importantly have fun while doing it.

Finish it

Thanks for reading! I hope this guides you to victory this weekend in your LCI pre-release. I’ll be back tomorrow to continue my full review of the Lost Caverns of Ixalan with Artifacts and Lands. Until then, stay classy!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

You can also find me at: