MTG debuts its strongest two-mana creature ever

Jack Bye
MTG IXalan blue-black god

The Ancient One is one of the best cards in MTG The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, with incredible stats and easily avoidable drawbacks.

With more sets debuting than ever before, it takes a careful hand to prevent power creep from slipping into Magic: The Gathering.

While cards are undoubtedly more commonly complex than in years past, MTG’s overall power level has not risen egregiously, outside of outlier sets like Throne of Eldraine. But now, Magic is about to release a two-mana creature with stats that would put end-game creatures to shame.

The Ancient One’s power needs to be unsealed

MTG The Ancient one Japanese card

While The Ancient One’s card hasn’t yet received an official English translation, fans have dutifully translated the card and deciphered its text and abilities.

The Ancient One is an 8/8 creature that can be cast for one Blue mana and one Black mana. Creatures with this level of power and toughness would usually cost six mana or more, so the comparative cheapness of The Ancient One is somewhat shocking.

MTG players will be expecting the card to come with a drawback, and of course, there is one. A vanilla 8/8 for 2 with no downsides would signal power creep so great that Wizards has utterly lost control of the game’s balance.

The Ancient One cannot attack or block until there are eight or more permanents in its player’s graveyard. As a result, The Ancient One can have little to no impact if played early in the game, aside from intimidating opponents.

The upside is that blue mana has access to a huge variety of powerful targeted mill spells, which can be turned against your own library just as easily as your opponents’. With a single activation of something like Drown in Dreams, blue players can stack their graveyard and activate the requisite Descend 8 in a single swoop.

Ixalan’s gods are among its most powerful cards

The Ancient One is a standout addition to Ixalans’s roster of gods, being multicolored in contrast to the Ojer and Aclazotz’s mono-identity. Receiving the special-edition card treatment that The Lost Caverns’ other gods have, The Ancient One will be a sought-after card when MTG returns to Ixalan this November.

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About The Author

Ecommerce writer with an MA in Creative Writing, covering MTG, DnD, and everything tabletop for Dexerto. Previously at WePC and VideoGamer. When not rolling dice and shuffling decks, he's playing old RPGs and wishing someone would remaster Skies of Arcadia already. You can reach him at