Ixalan, abbreviated XLN, is the first set of the. Prereleases for Ixalan were held on September 23rd and September 24th of 2017, and the set was officially released September 29, 2017. Ixalan contains 279 cards as well as 10 additional cards which can be obtained in the Jace, Ingenious Mind Mage Planeswalker Deck and in the Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Planeswalker Deck. Each Planeswalker deck contains five exclusive cards that take the slots of 280/279 through 289/279 in the set.
The deck primarily features dinosaurs, merfolk, vampires, and pirates. The set also introduced the Explore keyword ability. When this ability is activated, the player reveals the top card on his or her deck. If it is a land, the player adds it to his or her hand. If it is not a land, a +1/1 counter is placed on the creature with the ability, and the player chooses to either leave the card on top of the deck or discard the card or put it at the bottom of his or her deck, depending on the creatures.
Ixalan also is the first set to feature the Buy-A-Box Packs. When a booster box is purchased from a brick and mortar store, he or she will also be given two Buy-A-Box packs. These packs contain two foil Rebecca Guay lands, four rares or mythic rares playable in standard, two random foils playable in standard, and a promotional Burning Sun's Avatar card from Ixalan. The Burning Sun's Avatar promo card features different art from the card in the set.
Ixalan does not contain any lottery cards. The rarest cards in the set are the seventeen mythic rares: Admiral Beckett Brass, Axis of Mortality, Boneyard Parley, Carnage Tyrant, Dire Fleet Ravager, Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Huatli, Dinosaur Knight, Huatli, Warrior Poet, Jace, Cunning Castaway, Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage, Overflowing Insight, Rowdy Crew, Star of Extinction, Tishana, Voice of Thunder, Vona, Butcher of Magan, Vraska, Relic Seeker, and Wakening Sun's Avatar.
Ixalan also contains ten token cards. A token card is included in every booster pack. The tokens for Ixalan are: Vampire, Illusion Token, Merfolk, Pirate, Dinosaur, Plant, Treasure, Treasure (Legion of Dusk), Treasure (River Heralds, and Treasure (Brazen Coalition.
A pack of Ixalan is comprised sixteen cards, as follows:
- 9 Commons
- 3 Uncommons
- 1 Rare or Mythic Rare
- 1 Foil or Common
- 1 Basic Land
- 1 Token
- 1 Marketing Card
The release of Ixalan also brought changes to Friday Night Magic. In the past, stores participating in Friday Night Magic would award foil promo cards to high-placing players and to randomly selected players, but starting with Ixalan, Wizards of the Coast changed this. Instead of awarding promo cards, foil double-faced tokens are given instead.