Friday Apr 17, 2020

Brewer's Guide to Ikoria, Part 1: Mutant Companions

Ikoria, Episode 1: Brewers' Guide to Ikoria, Part 1


Several months ago, an article from WotC R&D issued a cryptic warning. Standard set releases, they said, were going to be intentionally powered up. Throne of Eldraine was at "approximately the desired power level" — ominous words for a set whose headliners, Oko and Once Upon a Time, have since received the Gitaxian Probe treatment and are now banned in nearly all formats. Even beyond those outliers, efficient powerhouses like Mystic Sanctuary, Brazen Borrower, and Mystical Dispute have become format-defining cards, with additional cross-format staples up and down the spoiler.


Theros: Beyond Death had giant footsteps to fill, yet it broke loose even more forcefully. The top tier Pioneer metagame is almost entirely defined by Theros-powered decks, while Uro and Kroxa are running rampant in Modern, and the Legacy ban list gained a fine new addition in Underworld Breach.


So it is with great trepidation that we greet the arrival of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Can a battlecruiser set full of casual Godzilla monsters really make an impact on Magic's eternal formats?


Yes, yes it can.


In this special double-header edition, we present our comprehensive Brewer's Guide to Ikoria, analyzing every card that we expect to have an impact on Modern and Pioneer. The set is so stuffed with power top to bottom that we couldn't even fit it all into one recording. Instead we are dividing this weeks' show into two parts, clocking in at more than four hours of content. Check back for Part 2 of our Brewer's Guide very soon!



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Part 1: Companions, Mutants, and Planeswalkers



Outline + Timestamps


The Companions

12:32 Kaheera, the Orphanguard
17:24 Yorion, Sky Nomad
22:15 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
28:11 Obosh, the Preypiercer
34:02 Jegantha, the Wellspring
39:22 Zidri, the Dawnwaker
44:03 Umori, the Collector
47:57 Lutri, the Spellchaser
55:02 Keruga, the Macrosage
59:53 Gyruda, Doom of Depths
The Planeswalkers

1:05:12 Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
1:09:54 Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
1:15:16 Narset of the Ancient Way
The Mutants

1:23:18 Snapdax, Apex Predator
1:26:42 Brokkos, Apex of Forever
1:30:31 Necroi, Apex of Death
1:33:55 Vadrok, Apex of Thunder
1:38:35 Illuna, Apex of Wishes
1:41:41 Sea-Dasher Octopus
1:45:37 Lore Drakkis
1:48:25 Gemrazer
1:51:25 Migratory Greathorn
1:53:42 Everquill Phoenix
1:56:16 Dirge Bat
1:59:08 Parcelbeast
2:03:06 Pollywog Symbiote
2:06:22 Mysterious Egg


In Part 2, we will cover the wedge cycles, cycling, and the best of the rest. Stay tuned!



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