MTG Arena artwork for Gishath from the new Lost Caverns of Ixalan set

[Update #2]: MTG Arena is adding a super high powered new format with no bans - Timeless!

[Update]: MTG Arena's Alchemy: Ixalan mini-expansion is launching December 5th with some spicy new cards.

Seemingly inspired by everything little kids like, MTG Arena's The Lost Caverns of Ixalan set has just recently arrived with plenty of dinosaurs, vampires, pirates and weird fungus creatures to mess around with. In gameplay terms this means there's around 300 new cards to brew with, a variety of returning mechanics like Explore, as well as three interesting new keywords: Craft, Descend and Discover.

Craft, in the most basic terms, is a new way of transforming artifacts. By paying the craft cost and exiling a specific number and type of cards from your graveyard or battlefield, you can transform your artifact and get a powerful effect. I find it to be quite an elegant mechanic, especially in limited.

Descend is a keyword that cares about specifically permanent cards in the graveyard. This can be in the form of you getting some sort of benefit when permanent cards hit your graveyard, or it could be an effect that cares about the total number of permanents in your graveyard. The most important thing to note here is the word "permanent" as tokens going to the graveyard won't trigger your Descent abilities!

Discover is a fixed version of cascade. When Discovering X you exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a card with mana value X or less, and then you can either cast that card for free or simply put it into your hand. Once you're done, you put the other exiled cards at the bottom of your library. Unsurprisingly, Cascade v2.0 is quite a lot of fun to play with!

As for the actual cards that feature these keywords, those you can find over at the MTG website. And if you're curious about what exactly is going on in Ixalan and why pirates, dinosaurs and vampires are once again in the same place, you can find your answers through the slightly messy but still interesting series of short stories.

The final thing worth talking about is The Lost Caverns of Ixalan's limited format, or rather what you should expect if you're planning to dive in yourself. In my experience it's a highly synergy focused format with a potential for some incredibly explosive starts. On that note, there aren't a lot of creatures with reach so flyers, even the 1-cost ones, can do a ton of work. Because of all of this, regardless of what archetype you decide to go for, make sure you have both early interaction and early blockers as otherwise you risk getting run over by birds and pirates before you can even begin thinking about dropping your giant dinos.

Oh, actually I lied, there's one more thing to mention! As a nice little surprise, Wizards of the Coast has also added four Commander cards with The Lost Caverns of Ixalan set, though you won't find these in the actual packs and will need to craft them instead. That's a small price to pay, however, as some of them are awesome! Here's the list:

 Admiral Brass, Unsinkable
Clavileño, First of the Blessed 
Pantlaza, Sun-Favored 
Xolatoyac, the Smiling Flood

Have fun brewing up new decks! I know I will!