Like most MTG sets, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan has a whole lot to delight fans. There are plenty of powerful new cards, soon-to-be staples, and reprints galore which offer incredible value. All found within the main set, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is already fantastic, however, it only gets better. To play into the MTG set’s incredible flavor, and kick off a new promotion, Wizards has debuted Special Guests.
A brand new evolving set of cards, similar to The List, Special Guests are all reprints with a twist. Found exclusively, and rather rarely, Special Guests offer enhanced flavor through clever choices and new art. Each looking absolutely stunning with a borderless treatment, Special Guests are a great new development for collectors and reprint fanatics.
Speaking of reprints and value, many Special Guest cards are seriously expensive. While this is obviously rather enticing, unfortunately, out of the 18 Special Guest MTG cards, there are a few duds too. So, to dissect each of these, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the not so ugly of what Special Guests has to offer in The Lost Cavners of Ixalan!
As we alluded to mere moments ago, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan does have some great Special Guests. With five cards worth over $10, and four more worth over $5, these stunning cards will be great to find. While this is already enticing enough, calling one Special Guest just over $10 is really doing it a disservice.
Announced alongside the set’s First Look, the best Special Guest so far is Mana Crypt. Worth around $140, this card is an undeniable bomb that’s beloved for its utility in Commander. Offering fast mana and potentially minimal cost, Mana Crypt is an iconic and incredibly powerful MTG card.
To make Mana Crypt even better, the card is also available in the returning Neon Ink treatment. Since these variants are found within less than one percent of Collector Boosters, however, finding them will be a challenge. Thankfully, while Neon Ink cards may be rather hard to find, there are plenty of other compelling, and valuable, Special Guests.
Sitting in second place with the runners-up crown for premium pricing is currently Polyraptor. Typically selling for $26, this Rivals of Ixalan card has sorely been needing a reprint thanks to its use in Commander. The same is true of the $17 Lord of Atlantis which is a great Lord for Merfolk decks.
While another Merfolk Thrasios, Triton Hero, sits at a similar $17 price point, unfortunately, prices do drop some after that. Tumbling to $11, and then further to $9, Pitiless Plunderer and Carnage Tyrant start to show a declining trend. Even with their prices being lower, however, it’d be hard to complain about finding any of these cards within your Booster.
Obviously, as you can see above, there are plenty of Special Guests that are well worth getting excited about. Unfortunately, however, just like Bonus Sheet-esque products that we’ve seen before, it’s not all good news. Rather than being win after win, prices are a steady decline down to the floor, being little more than Draft chaff.
For better or worse, in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, Dargo, the Shipwrecker has the unenviable position of being the worst Special Guest. Worth only around $0.10, this card from Commander Legends is hardly going to excite many players. The same is true of Breeches, Brazen Plunderer, who really isn’t much better.
Typically selling for around $0.12, this version of Breeches is only here to be a flavor win. The same is true of Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator who has some absolutely spectacular art. Undoubtedly playing into the flavor of Ixalan, it’s great to see these cards and characters again… So long as you’re not opening them instead of a Mana Crypt, at least.
Overall, while there are some real duds, Special Guests don’t complete nosedive after the $5 mark. Instead, there are a few cards worth a few dollars, such as Lord Windgrace and Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist. Since both these cards are popular in Commander, it’s possible the new art for these cards could carry additional value. Whether or not that will happen, however, remains to be seen.
The Not So Ugly
While the prices of the Special Guests in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan may be rather hit or miss, there is one undeniable win. As we’ve alluded to a few times already, this is the flavor, and new art, of the cards.
Across the 18 Special Guests in The Lost Cavens of Ixalan, each one looks absolutely amazing. Boasting truly stunning art that’s bolstered by the borderless frame, these cards will make great additions to fan-favorite decks. For better or worse, this could lead to increased pricing for a few of the cards, since good art, along with rarity, can Command decent value.
Currently, since it’s before release, we don’t know exactly how far prices may fall following the set’s launch. Since Special Guests are only found within Set and Collector Boosters at a rather small percentile, there’s a real chance they don’t do much. That being said, however, a reprint is a reprint, and more cards hitting the market should lower prices no matter what.
Ultimately, while the Special Guests already look great, and predominantly fit for purpose, they’re already about to change. For The Murders at Markov Manor, Special Guests will be included in the new version of The List. Due to appearing within Play Boosters, these cards should really bolster the flavor of the set for everyone to enjoy.
Ideally, thanks to being in the main pack type, Special Guests will be a great addition to each set going forward. While this is one possibility, many Special Guests, this time around, at least, are also tremendously powerful and could easily warp Limited matches. Hopefully, this won’t happen all too much, however, we’ll have to wait and see whether or not that happens.
The Big Price Rundown
While we’ve gone over all the important details and best and worst bits already, there is one last thing to do. Namely, as the subheading gives away, a big ol’ price rundown of the Special Guest cards for The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. In case you’re curious, this will hopefully be the most digestible list possible to keep you satiated.
So, without any further ado, here are all the Special Guest cards for The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and their prices.
- Mana Crypt – $140
- Polyraptor – $26
- Lord of Atlantis – $17
- Thrasios, Triton Hero – $17
- Pitiless Plunderer – $11
- Carnage Tyrant – $9
- Underworld Breach – $8.50
- Rampaging Ferocidon – $5.50
- Mephidross Vampire – $5.50
- Lord Windgrace – $3
- Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist – $2
- Ghalta, Primal Hunger – $1.50
- Bridge from Below – $1
- Star Compass – $0.70
- Kalamax, the Stormsire – $0.30
- Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator – $0.20
- Breeches, Brazen Plunderer – $0.12
- Dargo, the Shipwrecker – $0.10