My Top Cards from Modern Horizons

Christian Calcano

Christian Calcano

Introduction

Modern Horizons is fast approaching; we’ve been getting countless spoilers in the past few weeks and we finally have the full set spoiled! There’s a lot of anticipation for the release of this set with all these awesome cards entering the Modern format. The next Mythic Championship will be Modern and feature Modern Horizons so today I’ll be talking about which cards I’m most excited to try and how they might make an impact on Modern going forward!

My Top Cards from Modern Horizons

《Fiery Islet》 / 《Nurturing Peatland》 / 《Silent Clearing》 / 《Sunbaked Canyon》 / 《Waterlogged Grove》

Fiery IsletNurturing PeatlandSilent Clearing
Sunbaked CanyonWaterlogged Grove

Wasn’t sure if we’d ever see these outside of the original one in 《Horizon Canopy》, but introducing these lands is bound to have a big impact on Modern. Burn decks will defintiely be interested 《Sunbaked Canyon》. Izzet Phoenix and Grixis Death’s Shadow will most likely be interested in 《Fiery Islet》 and there’s an argument for Dredge playing 1 or 2 as well. All the BG decks will be pleased to add 《Nurturing Peatland》 to their manabase. Infect, Whir Prison, and Bant Spirits are all happy to get 《Waterlogged Grove》, and BW Eldrazi can finally replace Canopies with 《Silent Clearing》s.

These lands will definitely be seeing a lot of play going forward and will certainly help a lot of decks that haven’t been seeing as much play lately.

《Wrenn and Six》

Wrenn and Six

On first glance this card seems truly amazing. A card that many have already expressed excitement for as an addition to the Lands archetype in Legacy, I think it could definitely have potential in Modern as well.

Tranquil ThicketLife from the LoamSeismic Assault

With the reprint of the cycling lands (《Secluded Steppe》, 《Lonely Sandbar》, 《Barren Moor》, 《Forgotten Cave》, and 《Tranquil Thicket》), I could see the potential for building a deck around this card, 《Life from the Loam》, and 《Seismic Assault》. Reminiscent of the old Aggro Loam decks of the past.

《Kess, Dissident Mage》

Kess, Dissident Mage

I was incredibly excited when I saw this card was spoiled. I think the powerlevel of this is big enough where we’ll definitely see it in Modern.

Snapcaster MageLightning BoltFatal PushKolaghan's Command

I don’t think this is a card that will find it’s way into Grixis Shadow, but we’ll see them more in Midrange/Control decks with 《Snapcaster Mage》s, 《Lightning Bolt》s, 《Fatal Push》es, 《Kolaghan’s Command》s etc. The only issue with this card is that it’s only during your turn so it’s not as good as 《Snapcaster Mage》 since you can’t recast your counterspells on their turn, but still have plenty of removal, discard, and cantrips to take advantage of the free recycling every turn. Also dodging 《Lightning Bolt》 with its 4 toughness is defenitely a plus in this format.

《Unsettled Mariner》

Unsettled Mariner

This card would appear to have a very clear home in Humans decks and plays incredibly well in the strategy as you’re trying to flood the board with creatures. A cheap creature that makes spot removal worse is a card that Humans, Spirits, Merfolk, and even Slivers alike will all be happy to include. Will be interesting to see if this card has players move away from black in their Humans decks or if 《Kitesail Freebooter》 will still see play going forward. Also we may have to see more decks playing 《Wrath of God》 effects if this card becomes very popular in these creature decks.

《Prismatic Vista》

Prismatic Vista

It’s difficult to know how good this card will be in Eternal formats as decks generally play a lot of non-basic lands and are often fetching for duals, but decks like UW Miracles in Legacy could be interested in this as extra 《Flooded Strand》s that can get basics to play around 《Wasteland》.

Wastes

For Modern the most interesting thing is being able to fetch for 《Wastes》 which could open the door to more Eldrazi strategies such as the RG Eldrazi deck that Grzegorz Kowalski introduced to us last year. With the London Mulligan being fully implented, and Mono Red Eldrazi having performed pretty well there, we could see Eldrazi decks on the rise going forward!

《Ranger-Captain of Eos》

Ranger-Captain of Eos

Martyr Proclamation has been a fringe deck in Modern for the most part, but it definitely gets a nice addition with 《Ranger-Captain of Eos》. While it searches for one less creature than 《Ranger of Eos》, getting access to a 《Martyr of Sands》 a full turn earlier can certainly be game changing. I think this new Ranger will easily be a 4 of in this deck along with 1-2 《Ranger of Eos》 as well.

Giver of Runes

Another card that could be a great addition to go along with Ranger-Captain is 《Giver of Runes》. Not quite as good as the original 《Mother of Runes》, but could still see play when you have so many 1 mana creature tutors.

《Force of Negation》 and 《Force of Vigor》

Force of NegationForce of Vigor

When it comes to the cycle of Forces in this set, these are the two I feel will most likely have the biggest impact in Modern. With the exception of perhaps Humans (although getting a Turn 1 《Aether Vial》 is huge), 《Force of Negation》 should lineup well against the majority of the most played decks in Modern. All these decks have key noncreature spells that often define the game.

Karn LiberatedKarn, the Great CreatorCathartic ReunionHardened Scales
Whir of InventionJace, the Mind SculptorNeoform

《Karn Liberated》, 《Karn, the Great Creator》, 《Cathartic Reunion》, 《Hardened Scales》, 《Whir of Invention》, 《Jace, the Mind Sculptor》, 《Neoform》, etc, all these cards are some of the most powerful spells in the top decks in Modern. I think we’ll mostly see 《Force of Negation》 played in tempo decks and we’ll see a rise in blue decks.

Blood Moon

As for 《Force of Vigor》, while its alternate casting cost doesn’t help you against 《Karn, the Great Creator》, it’s still a powerful effect to have vs any artifact deck and will be a key answer to cards like 《Blood Moon》 for all these three color green decks.

Conclusion

Those are some of the cards I’m most excited for from Modern Horizons and I definitely can’t wait to start testing for MC Barcelona with all these new tools and seeing how Modern evolves leading up to the MC. Things have already changed quite a bit since the introduction of War of the Spark, and things will be sure to get shaken up again with these new cards!

Thanks for Reading!

Christian Calcano (Twitter)

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Christian Calcano

Christian Calcano At the Grand Prix level, he has two wins, at GP Minneapolis 2012 and GP Atlantic City 2015, in seven total top eight finishes. He has also three additional top 16 finishes, and at the Pro Tour: Ammonket he has won the top eight awards. He is one of the top players who travels the world and continues to fight. Read more articles by Christian Calcano