Modern Horizorns is up. Set designed to add some freshness to Modern and provide us a good Limited environment. I’m not sure about the second part, but I’ve already found some cool cards with constructed playability. Today I’ll show you what I like in new set, and highlight cards and cycles with the highest (in my opinion) chances to see some play in Modern, and also try to find some overrated cards you should avoid. Without further ado, let’s jump to review!
Modern Horizons Review
《Horizon Canopy》 Cycle
Let’s start with some lands. 《Horizon Canopy》 is a very strong land, gives you mana in early game, and cantrips later, when you have enough ohter mana sources. Giving access to this powerful option to other colors seems fair to me, and I’m happy to see this new cycle. Aggro decks will get the most out of it, as they don’t really care about loosing life that much. Burn now can play 《Sunbaked Canyon》 to not run out of gas, and Humans can play more than four.
《Force of Will》 in Modern!!!??? Well, almost. 《Force of Negation》 has a really cool design. Problem with 《Force of Will》 is it goes both ways. It’s the best answer against all in combo decks trying to kill you on turn 1 or 2, but also helps with protecting the combo on the other side.
《Force of Negation》 works for “free” only in opponent’s turn, which means you can’t use it effectively in a combo deck (unless you can go off on instant speed). That’s a great rework, and I really love how they made a cycle work. The most annoying part of Modern for me is dying on turn 2 or 3 without playing a game of Magic, so any tool that can make it happen less often is a great addition!
《Force of Vigor》 might also see some play, as it’s very effective answer for opponent’s artifact and enchantments, and unlike other Forces, doesn’t cause card disadvantage, as you can destroy up to two cards with it!
《Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded》 was probably the worst Planeswalker in the Magic history, at least speaking about competitive environment. Obviously this poor red boy is the first that comes to mind when you see another two mana Planeswalker. This time though I think it might be actually very good! For just two mana we have Planeswalker starting with effectively 4 loyalty, and drawing a card when enters the battlefield. It’s a lot!
Remember almost every deck, and certainly every green/red deck plays a lot of fetch lands, so when you play him on turn two, you have a big chance to find a land in your graveyard. Modern is also full of 《Noble Hierarch》, 《Thalia, Guardian of Thraben》, and other small creatures that you can kill repeatedly. I’m really high on 《Wrenn and Six》!
This guy is actually very cute. 8/8 Trample for 0 mana is an insane rate, and if you only can set up a good spot for him, value you get is worth it. I don’t see many flexible spots in Dredge, but I definitely believe it might be worth to fit at least one (who doesn’t want to have a free 8/8 on turn two?), more might cause some consistency issues, as we have to cut something from a well-oiled deck, to find a place for him. Another potential way to use this big buddy is some self-mill 《Vengevine》 combo. Definitely a card I want to keep an eye on.
Legacy staple in Modern! To be honest, I’m not as high on 《Flusterstorm》 as other people. The best way to use it is probably to fight the Storm decks, but it’s not even good here. To win versus Storm in Modern, you have to harass them from the beginning. If you let them go off, and try to counter final 《Grapeshot》, they’ll just 《Remand》 it and play again. Most of the time it’s just another 《Spell Pierce》, and you know what? We have a 《Spell Pierce》 in Modern for such a long time, and it doesn’t see much of play.
Another card people I know were really excited about, and I don’t share that feeling. The best place for it is definitely Infect, but after 《Gitaxian Probe》 ban I don’t believe it’s a good choice anymore. Obviously you have some great draws, and London Mulligan helps, but if you want to play all in linear strategy, there are certainly better choices. Outside of Infect I don’t see this card being played.
Green 《Stony Silence》! That might be a heartbreaker for Affinity or 《Hardened Scales》. Now another color has access to the most annoying sideabord card ever printed against artifact strategies, just a moment after they released 《Karn, the Great Creator》. Poor artifact masters.
Just a worse 《Lotus Bloom》. I know it has MOX written in the left upper corner, so it gets a lot of hype from the community, but for me there’s no reason to even play this over 《Lotus Bloom》. In fair decks you don’t want your 《Rampant Growth》 to have Suspend three, and for combo decks Bloom does everything better.
Quite expensive for what it does, and for Modern in general, but in the right deck effect is clearly powerful. Insane combo with 《Sai, Master Thopterist》 and cheap artifacts. Works great with 《Thopter Foundry》 + 《Sword of the Meek》 combo. Seems to me as a big hit or miss, but if Urza sees some play, he’ll be a core of a deck.
Great friend of Narset! I’m not sure if Echo is playable in Modern, but it might break older formats. Even in Modern synergy between 《Narset, Parter of Veils》 and 《Teferi’s Puzzle Box》 is not that uncommon now, so who knows? Maybe we’ll also find a slot for Echo?
In the end I have really mixed feelings about the Modern Horizons. We do have some strong cards, there are also some unexplored ones waiting for someone to break them, but in the end I expected something more from the set focusing on adding cards to Modern. I’m sure I’ve missed some cards, as I never played with them and I might undervalue power level or synergy with existing ones, but I hope it gives you a good overlook on what you can expect from Modern Horizons itself.
Now I’m gonna play a lot of drafts, and really hope Limited will be as good as they advertised!
Until next time,