Lost Caverns Of Ixalan Precons Ranked

Genoslugcs December 2, 2023 4 min
Lost Caverns Of Ixalan Precons Ranked

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is MTG's most recent set, and it's been out for a little while. Long enough for players to figure out what's good and what isn't; the same can be said about the commander precons. Usually, one or two of the preconstructed decks are a bit more potent than the rest, and these are no different. That said, today, we are looking at which Lost Caverns of Ixalan precon is the best. So, if you're looking for the best that LCI has to offer, you're in the right place.

I'll be ranking the Lost Caverns of Ixalan precons from best to worst and giving my thoughts on what caused each deck to land where it did in the rankings. So, without further ado, let's get started with the worst of the four decks.

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Lost Caverns Of Ixalan Precons Ranked

4. Ahoy Mateys

Ahoy Mateys Precon

Kicking things off with number four, we have the pirate deck, Ahoy Mateys. This is probably the deck that I've played with the most. That said, I can confidently say it's the worst of the bunch here. The deck wants to get pirates into the graveyard, make token copies of them with the commander, and generate value from the ETB effects.

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So, where does it all go wrong? First, there aren't enough ways to get pirates into the graveyard, a crucial part of the puzzle. The precon more-or-less riles all on its commander to fill the yard, and it commonly falls short. There is a fair amount of times where you'll cast Admiral Brass, Unsinkableimage, mill four cards that aren't pirates and have nothing to do.

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Next, if everything goes according to plan, and you mill some pirates, it can be pretty underwhelming for all the hoops you've jumped through. Overall, this comes from the fact that pirates aren't the most supported tribe, and some of the creatures aren't that impactful.

3. Voloci-Ramp-Tor

voloci-ramp-tor precon

Voloci-Ramp-Tor is my number three pick. When the commander, Pantlaza, Sun-Favoredimage, or another dinosaur enters the battlefield under your control, you discover X, where X is that creature's toughness. You can only trigger this once each turn, so casting multiple dinos won't get you numerous triggers.

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To discover, you exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card with that mana value or less and cast it without paying its mana cost. Or put it into your hand. Then, put the rest on the bottom in a random order. This is similar to cascade and can get you some excellent value.

My issue is that the deck, despite its name, lacks in the "ramp" department and is quite clunky. Further adding to this issue is a high mana curve with seven cards of a CMC of seven or higher, which is close to the number of four drops in the deck. You can almost count on having things stuck in your hand that you can't cast.


2. Explorers of the Deep

explorers of the deep precon

At number two, we have Explorers of the Deep, which has more playability than Voloci-Ramp-Tor or Ahoy Matey. The main reason is that the commander, Hakbal of the Surging Soulimage, is a card advantage machine! And it triggers at the start of combat before you even attack.

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At the beginning of combat on your turn, each merfolk you control explores. Unlike the pirate deck, there really isn't much you need to do to get this rolling. Playing out a few merfolk isn't hard. Then you cast Hakbal, go to combat, and explore. In my experience, getting three or four triggers with this (remember, Hakbal counts itself) is fairly easy.

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Not only does this pepper your board with +1/+1 counters. You also have great control over your draws and quickly fill your hand with lands. And considering when Hakbal attacks, you can drop a land into play, which gives the deck a built-in safety to drawing into a bunch of lands and having no way to use them.

The main downside for the deck is that it relies pretty heavily on having the commander in play. However, this isn't the end of the world because you can get value from it the same turn you play it. Other than that, the only complaint is some underwhelming merfolk. But again, they can generate value and get big even if they are somewhat vanilla.

1. Blood Rites

blood rites precon

My pick for the best Lost Caverns of Ixalan precon is Blood Rites. And most of the greatness comes from the power of the commander, Clavileño, First of the Blessedimage. There's a lot of text to keep up with, but once you start playing it, it runs smoothly. Whenever you attack, target attacking Vampire that isn’t a Demon becomes a Demon in addition to its other types. And gains “When this creature dies, draw a card and create a tapped 4/3 white and black Vampire Demon creature token with flying.”

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First, the words "draw a card" are in there, which is lovely. Having card draw in the commander zone is always strong. So, Clavileño is already off to a great start. Next, he gives you a 4/3 body when your creatures die. This provides the deck with some nice resiliency against board wipes. It also means you have some wicked sacrifice synergies and they're made even better because your commander doesn't have to attack.

Playing any two-drop vampire and casting Clavileño on the next turn sets the precon up quite well. Getting a 4/3 body with evasion makes it hard for opponents to justify blocking your smaller creatures, and I find it quite easy to get in for damage that would usually be chump-blocked. Creatures that you really don't mind dying, like Bloodghastimage, can really take the value from each creature through the roof.

I've pretty much only talked about Clavileño so far but in my experience, he carries the precon quite a bit. Some vampire/sacrifice synergies work with or without him, but the deck generally wants him in play early and often. The deck is slowed down if you can't keep him in play. Aside from that, my only complaint is that the deck is a little light when it comes to single-target removal.

Conclusion

I've enjoyed playing with the LCI precons. Overall, I think they're a fun batch with some great reprints. Of course, some are better than others and Blood Rites seems to stand out above the rest. That said, the Explorers of the Deep deck is a close second. I'd love to hear from everyone which of these decks you've played and which you like best. So, comment and let me know. Until next time, take care.

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