Collecting Ikoria

Posted in Card Preview on April 2, 2020

By Mike Turian

Before joining Magic Online as its digital product manager, Mike worked as a producer for Wizards's technology department, a product manager for organized play, and as an R&D lead developer. He has played Magic Online since it came out in 2002 and Magic since The Dark.

Hello!

I'm Mike Turian, principal product designer for Magic. One of the coolest parts of my job is when Magic heads to a completely new world. We spend a lot of time defining what that new world could be, needs to be, and what makes it awesome. Today, I'm going to spend time delving into the world of Ikoria and showing off the amazing treatments that you can find in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and the Ikoria Collector Booster.

With Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, we visit a world dominated by monsters. All aspects of the world are focused on what it means to have monsters being the key lifeforce in the setting. One of the first aspects that we focus on for each set is understanding the question around what drives conflict on this plane and whom that conflict is with.

For the world of Ikoria, we knew that monsters would be the driving force behind the conflict engine. We would want to show monsters fighting other monsters. Magic is inherently a game about fighting, and with a focal point such as monsters, we needed to capture the excitement of when two behemoths crash into one another.

A second piece of the conflict is showing off monsters versus cities. As the world of Ikoria developed, humans quickly realized what types of defenses were needed to stave off monsters. The humans were quick to become both militaristic and ingenious. For instance, in areas where monsters didn't fly, humans created flying cities. Unfortunately for the humans, the monsters of Ikoria have begun to mutate and the fortresses that were previously successful at protecting humans have now become fodder for the monsters to annihilate.

Cloudpiercer

So, with Ikoria featuring the first Magic set focused on a world dominated by monsters, how do we translate that into our Collector Boosters?

Each Collector Booster will have the following contents:

Collector Booster info

  • 4 Foil commons or common dual lands
  • 2 Foil uncommons
  • 1 Foil basic land
  • 1 Ikoria Commander card (any rarity)
  • 1 Extended-art rare or mythic rare (43 rares, 7 mythic rares)
  • 1 Foil rare or mythic rare, or foil extended-art rare or mythic rare
  • 2 showcase mutate commons or uncommons (5 common, 15 uncommon)
  • 1 Showcase rare or mythic rare (10 rares, 8 mythic rares)
  • 1 Foil showcase card (any rarity)
  • 1 Godzilla Series Monster card (could be foil or non-foil; the Buy-a-Box mythic rare is only available in non-foil)
  • 1 Foil token

Showcase treatments

For Booster Fun, this time, we wanted to go in a direction that played off the emotion and energy conveyed by Ikoria's monsters. Something, pun somewhat intended, larger than life. After many explorations, we settled on a comic book style. Super-huge, in-your-face monsters exploding out of the cards at you, hitting you in the cornea like a comic book onomatopoeia! You know, something really "WHAM! BLAM! KAPOW!"

Cloudpiercer ShowcaseIlluna, Apex of Wishes Showcase

Talking with James Arnold, the graphic designer who helped build out the showcase frames, he hit on how, philosophically, the big idea behind the alternate-art mutant frames was to really push the idea of that larger-than-life mentality. These are supposed to be some of the biggest, baddest creatures the game has ever offered up, and we wanted them to have that movie star treatment. Not even the frame would be enough to contain the over-the-top energy and aggressiveness these mutants have to offer. In essence, the frame is trying to do what we all should if we were to ever encounter these mutants: get out of the way!

For the showcase cards, in the common and uncommon slot, these will always be mutate cards such as Cloudpiercer. In the showcase rare or mythic rare slot, you could get a showcase mutate rare or mythic rare such as Illuna. Or you could get one of the three new borderless planeswalkers such as either Lukka or Vivien.

Lukka, Coppercoat OutcastVivien, Monsters' Advocate

Lukka highlights a different approach to living in a world filled with monsters. Instead of being antagonistic toward the monsters, Lukka decides a more novel approach is the best way to adapt to the environment. He and the monsters form a bond with each other to deal with this environment. We loved this approach as we saw it as a natural connection. While Ikoria has plenty of harming monsters, there are plenty of lovable and charming monsters to team up with as well.

There is one additional showcase treatment that you could get in the showcase rare or mythic rare slot featuring amazing new lands, but we can't show you those just yet!

Luminous Broodmoth

As we worked on Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, we knew we had an amazing opportunity to tap into the cultural phenomenon of Godzilla. Magic was finally going to a world filled with its most epic monsters, so it was too good of an opportunity to miss partnering with the Toho Corporation and its iconic monsters such as Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. We call these cards Godzilla Series Monster cards.

For each Godzilla Series Monster, we went through Ikoria and found the best flavor fit and gave each Godzilla Series Monster card its own card in the set. A total of 19 cards were given this treatment. One card, the Buy-a-Box card, only exists in its Godzilla Series form, but each of the others has both an Ikoria card and a matching Godzilla Series card. For the purposes of playing, they are equivalent to one another (that is, you can still only play a maximum of 4 copies in a deck no matter if you are playing the Godzilla Series or Ikoria versions).

Here is how you can get these Godzilla Series Monster cards (click the image below to magnify in order to scroll through):

WPN stores will have a foil Godzilla card as part of the Buy-a-Box promotion in addition to a single-card box topper pack that comes with each Draft Booster box. So if you preorder from your local WPN store, you can get two cards featuring Godzilla Series Monsters.

Each display of Draft Boosters will have a single-card box topper pack featuring a Foil Godzilla Monster Series card. In Japanese boosters, there are 18 different box topper cards in foil (three found only in Japanese language). In all other languages there are 15 different box toppers.

Each Collector Booster has a dedicated slot which will have either a foil or non-foil Godzilla Series Monster. In this slot, you can get either one of the 15 worldwide box toppers or the Buy-a-Box (non-foil only). Japanese Collector Boosters may also contain one of the 3 Japanese-language exclusive cards. (Please note, this is different than originally communicated. For more information, click here.)

In Japanese Draft Boosters, 1 in 12 packs will have a non-foil Godzilla Series Monster card. 1 in 60 will have a foil Godzilla Series Monster card. You cannot get the Buy-a-Box card in this way; only the other 18 Godzilla Series Monsters cards.

Commander Cards

As Commander (2020 Edition) decks are debuting for the first time alongside a set's release, we thought it appropriate to include the Ikoria Commander cards in the Collector Booster. Even though the cards debuting in Ikoria Commander aren't Standard-legal, we wanted to give another way to obtain these cards. Instead of an extra foil common or uncommon, the Ikoria Commander card slot offers each one of the new cards in a non-foil treatment.

Extended-Art cards

Extended-art Keruga, the Macrosage

Extended-art treatments continue to be a popular way to show off a little something extra in decks. For each rare or mythic rare that doesn't have a showcase or borderless treatment, we want the Collector Booster to highlight each of those rares with a cool treatment of its own. Collector Boosters remain the only way to get extended-art rares and mythic rares.

Here, we see the new companion mechanic combined with an extended-art treatment. One of the things that appealed to us about companion was how it let you pick a monster to team up with and build a deck around. Much like how Lukka has a bond with his monster, the companion mechanic opens up new deck-building possibilities and grants access to a guaranteed monster right from the start of the game.

How do I find all of these cool cards?

Extended-art cards – Extended-art cards are found exclusively in Ikoria Collector Boosters. Every Collector Booster has 1 of 50 non-foil extended-art cards with a chance of getting an additional foil extended-art card.

Showcase mutate cards – All showcase mutate cards can show up in Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters with a small handful being available in Theme Boosters as well. The Ikoria Bundle comes with ten Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain showcase mutate cards as well.

Borderless planeswalkers and Triomes – All borderless planeswalkers and Triomes can show up in Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters. The Ikoria Bundle comes with ten Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain these cards as well.

Commander (2020 Edition) – Cards from Commander (2020 Edition) can be found in Ikoria Commander Decks or Ikoria Collector Boosters.

Godzilla Series Monster cards – See graphic below.

What types of cards can I get if I buy a Draft Booster?

Along with all of the awesome cards of Ikoria and their foil versions, you can get showcase mutate cards, borderless planeswalkers and borderless Triomes in both foil and non-foil. In Japanese-language packs, you can also get 18 of the Godzilla Series Monster cards in foil and non-foil. The 19th Godzilla Series card, Godzilla, King of the Monsters can be obtained through the Buy-a-Box promotion at WPN stores while supplies last.

In addition, every display box of Draft Boosters will have a one-card box topper pack sealed inside of the display. That pack contains 1 of 15 of the Godzilla Series Monsters in all languages except Japanese, which has 18 possible cards. Godzilla Series box topper cards will always be a foil when coming from the one-card pack.

What types of cards can I get if I buy a Collector Booster?

Every Collector Booster contains the following:

  • 4 Foil commons or dual lands from Ikoria
  • 2 Foil uncommons from Ikoria
  • 1 Foil basic land from Ikoria
  • 1 Non-foil Commander (2020 Edition) card
  • 1 Non-foil extended-art rare or mythic rare
  • 1 Foil rare or mythic rare, either regular or extended-art frame
  • 2 Non-foil common or uncommon showcase mutate cards
  • 1 Non-foil rare or mythic rare showcase mutate card, borderless planeswalker, or borderless Triome
  • 1 Godzilla Series Monster card (non-foil or foil)
  • 1 Foil common, uncommon, rare, or mythic rare showcase mutate card, borderless planeswalker, or borderless Triome
  • 1 Foil token

Treatments Yourself

In the best pack of an Ikoria Collector Booster, you can get up to six rares! You are always getting a minimum of three rares (one extended-art rare or mythic rare, one foil mythic rare or foil extended-art rare or mythic rare, and one showcase rare or mythic rare), and then you can get up to three additional rares (one Ikoria Commander card, one foil showcase, or one Godzilla Series Monster card)

In Draft Boosters, you get more cool treatments than before. Ikoria really brings our visions of Booster Fun to life. showcase mutate commons and uncommons show up in about 1 in 3 packs. Showcase rares or mythic rares, including mutate cards and the showcase lands, are in approximately 1 in every 14–15 packs. The borderless planeswalkers show up every 3–4 boxes. Japanese Draft Boosters have Godzilla Series cards 1 in every 12 packs. Foils of everything mentioned above exist with 1 in 3 packs having a foil.

Whether you are opening a Draft Booster pack or a Collector Booster, I hope you enjoy all these amazing treatments for Ikoria. We really have gone all out creating new, expressive ways to bring joy to Magic cards. I hope you find the treatments that you love and build an awesome deck around them.

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