Lost Caverns of Ixalan is Magic’s next Standard-release set and a sequel to the Ixalan Block (Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan), which were released 2017-2018. The first visit to the plane featured a heavy typal theme, and one of the most prominent creature types was Dinosaur. So, it comes as no surprise that Lost Caverns features plenty of dinos too — including a collaboration with Jurassic World!
As has become customary, you can find these Jurassic World cards in both Collector and Set Boosters. It’s not a full-on bonus sheet, as we’ve seen in so many sets of late, but rather similar to the Universes Beyond Transformers cards that appeared in The Brothers’ War.
WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK!
The Jurassic World franchise kicked off with Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park in 1990. It focused on an attempt to open a theme park featuring live dinosaurs. Three years later, the novel was made into a film.
During the last three decades and change, the franchise has grown larger with five full-length sequels, two short films and two animated television shows. And now, the characters of the franchise are making their way into The Lost Caverns of Ixalan booster packs.
We have recently seen larger Universes Beyond sets, including Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth and Doctor Who — both of which featured Commander decks. Lord of the Rings was even a full-scale. draftable set.
Jurassic World doesn’t fall into the same category. In fact, it isn’t really large enough to be considered a set. Instead, they are calling it the “Jurassic World Collection.” It features only 26 cards, and there aren’t any products that contain only cards from the collection.
As usual with Universes Beyond, the designers at Wizards of the Coast get to put together some really amazing, top-down designs. These are designs where a particular event or character is in mind before they ever design the card. In short, UB sets have amazing flavor.
Let’s take a look at a few of the cards from the set and how they represent iconic moments from the franchise.
Most Jurassic World stories feature a disastrous attempt to open a dinosaur theme park with genetically engineered and cloned dinosaurs. At this point, things have gone wrong at Jurassic Park so many times, it’s a wonder they keep trying to make it work.
Sagas are one of the best ways for a Magic card to tell a story in multiple parts. “Welcome to…” does an excellent job of representing these types of stories. The first chapter builds a wall, the second chapter gives you a dinosaur and then the third chapter blows up all the walls before becoming a land that gives dinosaurs in your graveyard Escape.
Bringing Dinosaurs back into the world during modern times was no easy task, and the way scientists from the series achieved this was by extracting dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber. The genetic sequence was incomplete, so they had to add in some extra DNA from modern animals to complete it.
This is well-represented in Dino DNA, which lets you exile a card from a graveyard, and then you can make Dinosaur token copies (or clones) of that creature.
In the end, the genetic engineers at Jurassic Park only wanted female dinosaurs. This was to prevent them from breeding and creating an independent population.
However, scientists made a grave error. They used frog DNA to complete the sequence, and frogs can change their sex — so the dinosaur clones at the park were able to as well. Early in the film, Ian Malcolm warns that “Life finds a way,” and that no matter how hard they try, this situation could get out of control.
The Enchantment “Life Finds a Way” represents the moment the characters in the first film realize Malcolm is right, and it allows you to populate every time a big creature enters the battlefield. In other words, your dinosaurs rapidly multiply. I am a little disappointed they didn’t put one of Jeff Goldblum’s trademark “uh”s in the card name, though.
Meanwhile, here’s a fun fact: Since the original book and movie came out, we’ve actually learned that a more direct descendant of dinosaurs — the Komodo Dragon — can reproduce via parthenogenesis. In other words, female dragons are able to produce offspring without genetic material from a male. These offspring are effectively clones. So…life really does find a way, in some species.
In the first book and film, everything goes wrong at the park and the dinosaurs end up breaking free of their enclosures. One of the most tense moments in the film involves its characters trying to avoid being attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Paleontologist Alan Grant realizes that if they stay still, the T. Rex can’t see them. “Don’t Move” is a Sorcery that destroys all tapped creatures, and until your next turn, whenever a creature becomes tapped, it gets destroyed.
I think representing the T. Rex as “seeing” creatures that are tapped or those that become tapped is an awesome design. After all, generally speaking, your creatures become tapped when they “move” in one way or another, whether this involves attacking or using an ability.
What do you think about the Jurassic World Collection? Are the designs spot-on for the franchise? How will the set impact 60-card formats and Commander? Hit me up on X with your take.
Jacob has been playing Magic for the better part of 24 years, and he especially loves playing Magic’s Limited formats. He also holds a PhD in history from the University of Oklahoma. In 2015, he started his YouTube channel, “Nizzahon Magic,” where he combines his interests with many videos covering Magic’s competitive history. When he’s not playing Magic or making Magic content, he can be found teaching college-level history courses or caring for a menagerie of pets with his wife.