On December 9, 2016 an official Wizards of the Coast survey showed packaging design concepts for Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation and two previously unknown sets: Atlazan and Conquest of Power. On the same day Blake Rasmussen performed some damage control in the Daily Magic Update, implying that the real names for the sets would be revealed on Announcement Day. Indeed, these became Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan.
Cancelled Masterpiece Series
The proposed Masterpiece Series for Ixalan block was canceled, because R&D had realized that producing one for each set would eventually lead to the overall quality level dropping below their standards. The Ixalan Masterpieces would have had an "exploration" theme. The proposed card frame was reused for the land back face of the legendary transforming enchantments.
Several cards with Ixalan themed art and searching mechanics later turned up in other places and are suspected to have been part of these "Ixalan Explorations":
- Scapeshift (Core Set 2019)
- Merchant Scroll (Judge Gift 2018)
- Vampiric Tutor (Judge Gift 2018)
- Demonic Tutor (Ultimate Masters)
- Gamble (Ultimate Masters)
- Spoils of the Vault (Ultimate Masters)
- Pattern of Rebirth (Ultimate Masters)
- Hélène Bergeot (April 18, 2017). "Ixalan, Worlds, Pro Tour, Nationals, and RPTQs". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (2017 June 12). "Metamorphosis 2.0". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (December 9, 2016). "The December 9, 2016 Update". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 23, 2018). "What's up with the lack of masterpieces in ixalan?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (December 07, 2018). "Were the Ixalan masterpieces going to be themed around treasure hunting? Represented by tutors?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2018). "Treasure Cove's frame... was that the frame that the Ixalan Masterpieces were going to use before they were scrapped?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- The Lost Masterpiecies of Ixalan (Reddit)