Over nearly two and a half decades, Magic: The Gathering's card sets have taken us to strange worlds, whether its ones filled with sci-fi marvels or Gothic horror. Its brand new expansion, Ixalan, is no different, but its new world is a little bit zanier than most — mainly because it features a heady combination of pirates and dinosaurs.
All Images: Wizards of the Coast. Skulduggery by Deruchenko Alexander.
Ixalan, the 76th Magic. The Gathering expansion, was released on Friday. Featuring dinosaurs and pirates, I had thought that what I'd love about this set most would be squishing my opponents while borne upon the backs of giant reptiles, and possibly wearing a jaunty tricorne hat. Yet the thing that excited me most about building my next deck was a simple rule change.
Pirates, are, amazingly, one of the few avenues that Magic has rarely explored in its fantastical settings, even as its merrily fired goblins out of cannons or created absurd joke series such as Unglued. Dinosaurs, even less so, which is why the world of Ixalan — released last Friday — serves as a perfect mishmash of roaming piratical fleets, packs of dinosaurs, and even some aquatic Merfolk and Vampiric conquistadors thrown in for good measure.
It's like a beautiful mess of the internet's favourite things, blended together and pressed into a set of of cards. Which, luckily for us, means there's some truly gorgeous, pirate-y art featured in the set, and we have some of it for you to view in glorious high resolution. Check it out below!
Firecannon blast by Svetlin Velinov.
Swashbuckling by Josu Hernaiz.
Costly Plunder by Ben Maier.
Magic: The Gathering's 76th(!) expansion, Ixalan, is available now. The Art of Magic: The Gathering — Ixalan, featuring artwork and insight from the cards in the series, will be available early next year.