The excitement surrounding Magic’s hallmark format, Modern, is at an all-time high. We have the Mythic Championship quickly approaching, a new London mulligan rule, and most importantly, the release of a Modern specialty set called “Modern Horizons“. This newly announced set is exceptionally unique in the sense that it is the first set to feature both freshly designed cards and older cards from Magic’s past that will now be Modern legal.
Looking into Grand Prix tournament attendance alone, players can’t get enough Modern. What is there not to love about a format that offers both an extensive card pool to build with and the fact that you don’t have to worry about your favorite deck rotating?
Modern is dominated by U/R Phoenix, Dredge, and Amulet Titan. Due to the polarized metagame, many players were anticipating a 《Faithless Looting》 ban to increase deck diversity and to assist with the overall health of the format. Wizards of the Coast neglected to make any changes to the ban list. I speculate they decided it’s best not to ban something since Modern Horizons will be making waves in the metagame on June 14th, 2019, the official release date.
Now that we’ve briefly discussed the positive impact that Modern Horizons will have on the Modern format, let’s have some fun predicting what cards would be great additions and why!
The Top 5 Cards I Want to See Reprinted in Modern Horizons
I’m starting my top 5 list by cheating and listing a conglomerate of commons and uncommons. These cards have seen widespread play throughout their stint in Standard, and Legacy. It would be amazing if we get the opportunity to build around these cards again in both Modern and Modern Horizon’s Limited.
Overall, I don’t see a card like 《Basking Rootwalla》 finding a home in Modern, but that could quickly change with the combination of 《Vengevine》 and a watered-down version of a card like 《Survival of the Fittest》 getting printed in a future Standard set. A card like 《Wirewood Symbiote》 would be an auto-include in Modern Elves; it adds protection to an already fragile creature-based combo strategy. I look forward to seeing which commons and uncommons will get reprinted and what decks can utilize these new tools.
I think 《Hymn to Tourach》 would be a phenomenal reprint and healthy in Modern. I’m skeptical that 《Hymn to Tourach》 would be a must play all-star. 《Hymn to Tourach》 would provide much-needed help to midrange decks like Jund and Abzan. In Modern, these decks can be very medium against control and the addition of 《Hymn to Tourach》 would give our beloved midrange strategies a way to generate much-needed card advantage.
《Dack Fayden》 is the perfect card to feature in Modern Horizons, 《Dack Fayden》 is a sought after mythic rare. His playability factor is somewhat limited to a few archetypes due to costing both blue and red mana (Grixis Control, Grixis Death’s Shadow, and U/R Phoenix). Synergy based decks revolving around artifacts have been prevalent throughout Modern’s existence. Having a planeswalker at three mana that interacts with 《Ancient Stirrings》 decks would be good for the overall health of Modern.
《Containment Priest》 comes in at rank two because it showcases the impact reprints can potentially have when it comes to balancing the format. If successful, we will see specialty sets like Modern Horizons in the future. With Modern currently being dominated by graveyard-based strategies that rely on cheating creatures into play, 《Containment Priest》 is a phenomenal reprint. Being able to interact with 《Arclight Phoenix》 and 《Prized Amalgam》 is very important in Modern. I think it would be an auto-include in any white based creature deck (Humans, Death & Taxes, and Spirits).
When I think of historical Magic: The Gathering cards, 《Counterspell》 is one of the first cards that come to mind. Not only does 《Counterspell》 do a phenomenal job of representing blue as a color in Magic, but it’s also nostalgic to almost every Magic player who played when 《Counterspell》 was legal in Standard or old Extended. Though I think it’s unlikely that 《Counterspell》 would have a substantial influence on Modern, it would be an easy include in blue-based control decks over cards like 《Logic Knot》 or 《Mana Leak》.
Cards We Won’t Be Seeing in Modern Horizons
These cards are just too powerful for Modern. 《Daze》 and 《Swords to Plowshares》 are four of staples in Legacy, and for a good reason. These cards are incredibly efficient, impactful, and have minimal restrictions when it comes to deck building. I would be mind-blown to see either of these cards in Modern Horizons.
《Stifle》 isn’t inherently overpowered by design, but once you factor in that most Modern decks play fetchlands, things get tricky. The dynamic between 《Stifle》 and fetchlands completely warps how to use your fetchlands optimally. The possibility that your opponent can pay one blue and you lose your land drop is scary. I don’t see Wizards of the Coast opening that can of worms anytime soon.
《Rishadan Port》/《Vindicate》/ Onslaught Cycling Lands
Since I only ranked the top 5 reprints I would like to see in Modern Horizons; I wanted to include a couple of honorable mentions that I think are spicy. I view these cards as powerful, but not overpowering. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these classics reprinted in Modern Horizons.
First off, I think the Onslaught Cycling lands would be an easy include; If Cycling lands get introduced to Modern, we would see cards like 《Life from the Loam》 and 《Seismic Assault》 more frequently. 《Rishadan Port》 would be phenomenal in Death & Taxes in combination with 《AEther Vial》, and last, but not least, 《Vindicate》 would be an all-star in black/white midrange decks like Abzan. With access to 《Vindicate》, I suspect the Abzan decks would want to add something like 《Noble Hierarch》 to the deck so you can have the possibility of nuking your opponent’s land on turn two.
In conclusion, Modern Horizons will be monumental for the Modern format. I for one can’t wait to see what amazing cards (both old and new) we will be seeing in Modern for years to come. I look forward to spoiler season; I will be rapidly refreshing my browser to see what new and exciting cards Modern Horizons has to offer, I hope you do the same!
Brandon Ayers @AyersRares on Twitter