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Modern Horizons: Spoilers and More!

Modern Horizons is the first set to introduce cards directly into the Modern format without hitting Standard, designed primarily with the Modern format in mind. The set is scheduled for release on June 14th, 2019 and will feature 254 cards plus an exclusive Buy-A-Box card (Flusterstorm) available with in-store preorders. Pack price will be slated for $6.99, similar to previous Masters sets. However, Modern Horizons will be printed to demand. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Spoilers are slated to start Sunday, May 19th and are slated to follow this schedule. Check back with us frequently for the latest spoilers and our MTG Finance flavored commentary!

May 30th

It’s been a minute since we’ve had an update here, and that means a ton of spoilers to dive into! This week brought us a ton of fantastic cards and has generally improved many player’s outlooks on the quality of this set. The general consensus seems to be that the set is jammed packed full of Commander cards, leading some to dub the set “Commander Horizons”, but I think it’s hard to fully grasp the impact of these cards without seeing any tournament results with these in the environment.

 

These mythics appear to be Commander focused in their design at first glance, but maybe there’s something more here. While Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and Kess, Dissident Mage strike me as obvious generals, I think we get an interesting card in Echo of Eons, which does a nice impression of Timetwister. Modern Storm decks may consider slotting a copy of this in as a Gifts Ungiven target, and the synergy with Narset, Parter of Veils is downright disgusting.

  

Tribal cards are mattering more and more here, with goblins, changelings, and ninjas emerging as major players. It feels incredibly fitting to see Eladamri’s Call get a reprint, with creatures mattering so much in this set.

I’m excited to see cards like these, which seem to be tailor-made for the format, and provide answers to a lot of matchups. Kaya’s Guile looks like a very strong card for decks that want it, like Esper or Mardu builds that may struggle to make it to later turns against a variety of different strategies. Collector Ouphe is a nice hatebear to include against a metagame full of Hardened Scales and other artifact-based decks.

 

The Onslaught cycle lands make their return, hinting at a “lands matter” archetype that could develop, although there will be a few hurdles to this style of gameplay given the speed of the Modern format.

Quite a few enablers of an archetype like this were revealed and may allow the deck to see play, possibly in a prison-style deck with Ensnaring Bridge. Life from the Loam and other land-related cards are seeing a lot of pressure due to this, and it could turn out to be a viable archetype in the format.


   

Even more surprising than lands mattering is the return of delve and dredge. These mechanics are pretty high on the Storm Scale (also in the set) and have to be tuned very carefully to not break the format in half. I think we’re seeing that here, but these look like fair cards to add to the format. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis seems like a viable player, as there are so many ways to get this thing on to the battlefield despite its strange casting restriction. Modern Dredge will likely slot this into the decklist, as it is easily castable there.

 

Significant snow cards were revealed, giving us a brand new reason to look at cards like Into the North and Scrying Sheets. While not quite Dark Depths, Marit Lage’s Slumber is an obvious build-around enchantment that could find success in the format. We may be missing a few pieces, but being able to recur this enchantment in the face of removal will be important to this deck’s success.

Speaking of enchantments, there seems to be strong support for them in the set, given cards like Hall of Heliod’s Generosity. The type shifting from artifact seen on Academy Ruins is a pretty significant enabler for decks that want to use cards like Mirrodin Besieged, Marit Lage’s Slumber, and more. For Mirrodin Besieged in particular, it could slot into Lantern Control as another win condition, as it is one of the grindiest decks in the format. It’s not clear if the deck will be able fit the Hall in to go with it, but it is certainly possible.

May 25th

A pretty slow day for spoilers, but we did get one very important mythic!

Another allied color Sword gets added to the mix, this time in Rakdos colors. Blowing up a planeswalker or artifact is certainly very strong if this connects, but this Sword feels very specific, especially for Modern. There just aren’t many situations where you’d get to take advantage of both abilities on hit with a format that is so fast-paced. If this ever sees play, it will probably be relegated to sideboards.

May 24th

Friday wraps up with some really exciting cards spoiled, and I think we’ve officially hit a point where we can be optimistic about this set.

 

Archmage’s Charm is still not Counterspell. Despite this sad fact, it’s a flexible piece of countermagic that does a lot of things that further UW Control’s gameplan in Modern. The casting cost is a bit restrictive at UUU, but manabases will likely adapt to accommodate this. Winds of Abandon may not fit into white decks right away. Path to Exile is still legal in the format, and performs at a better rate for the turns that matter (1-4).

 

Wrenn and Six is an aggressive push for a two-mana planeswalker. In a format with fetchlands and the Canopy cycle, this enables pure card advantage and has a decent minus ability to help protect itself. It’s a bit underwhelming in situations where you’re behind on board, but I could see this easily slotting into something like Lantern Control or Whir Prison. Hexdrinker brings back the level up mechanic from Zendikar block, giving a nice mana sink in limited play. I’m sure this will be an easy addition to cubes everywhere, though I don’t see it performing well outside of that. This card feels more like a rare, rather than a mythic, despite offering a mini Progenitus once you reach level 8.

These mythics, on the other hand, are a bit more exciting. Unbound Flourishing is the next card to spark buyouts and price adjustments on any relevant card with an X cost printed on it. Nissa Steward of Elements, Genesis Hydra, and even Walking Ballista were the targets of speculative purchasing within the first hour of being spoiled. Sword of Truth and Justice brings back the Sword of X and Y cycle, this time pairing the allied colors. Dropping a +1/+1 counter and proliferating doesn’t sound like much, but generals like Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice might enjoy this effect greatly.

As well, it is worth noting that UWx Control is one of the most popular archetypes in Legacy right now. Having a specific Sword against these decks will likely be very strong coming out of the sideboard of decks like Stoneblade, Maverick, and Death and Taxes looking to search it out with Stoneforge Mystic. Many are hopeful that we could receive Stoneforge in this set to go along with the Swords, but this is just baseless speculation with the information we currently have.



May 23rd

Things slowed down a fair bit today in comparison to all the previous days of spoilers, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get any interesting cards.

   

Ayula, Queen Among Bears and Ayula’s Influence are some pretty sweet bears. Wizards really doubled down on flavor here and give us some exciting options for bear-related Commander decks.

Another sliver gets added to the mix in Cloudshredder Sliver. While we already have cards like Galerider Sliver to provide flying, this will give another option for aggressive sliver builds. The last of the Force cycle comes in red with Force of Rage. This one is a bit more interesting than the other four, as it directly impacts the board state with blockers or aggressive attackers. It’s not clear if this will be adopted by red decks, but it is certainly more flexible than the rest of the cycle.

Last, but not least, here are what I think were the biggest cards from the day. Bazaar Trademage represents a flavorful nod to a lot of Arabian Nights cards, like Bazaar of Baghdad, Serendib Efreet, and Flying Carpet just to name a few. Some are speculating it could be a solid graveyard enabler in decks like Dredge or Izzet Phoenix, but that remains to be seen. Mox Tantalite is a great example of a divisive card. A lot of people believe it could be very powerful, while others are rating it the worst Mox to be printed so far. Free mana effects are often broken, and Modern has a few of them like Chancellor of the Tangle, Simian Spirit Guide, and Mox Opal. This one doesn’t quite meet the same standard without very specific deck building, but there’s still an opportunity for this to see play somewhere.

May 22nd

Wednesday comes to a close, and we saw plenty of bombshells dropped today.

The return of Slivers is huge. It was widely rumored that the tribe would make an appearance sometime this year, and Wizards did not fail to deliver. The First Sliver will be a popular choice for Commander players looking to play meathooks, and that has a ton of cards like Sliver Queen, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Hive, and basically every significant tribal card on the upswing. The reactionary purchasing based off of this card, and the previously spoiled Morophon, the Boundless has moved the needle on a ridiculous amount of cardboard.

This has also increased interest in Modern and Legacy builds of the tribe, with cards like Cavern of Souls, Aether Vial, and Collected Company on the move. The premier tribal deck in Modern is, of course, Humans, but this new collection of slivers will have brewers trying them out in the Modern environment.

Ranger-Captain of Eos is an incredibly interesting mythic, and looks like an instant inclusion into Humans and Legacy Death and Taxes builds. This answers Terminus in response to the Miracle Trigger, which is nothing to scoff at when your win condition is a critical mass of dorks. Good-Fortune Unicorn is an awesome new edition for Abzan CoCo builds, pairing nicely with Collected Company, and persist creatures like Kitchen Finks.

The white Force was spoiled today, with Force of Virtue acting as a flash anthem effect. That leaves us with only the red one left to finish out the cycle. Sisay, Weatherlight Captain throws another 5-color Commander option into the set, with an interesting set of abilities. Legendary-matters cards should be on your radar.

 

Rounding out the day, we have some potentially busted cards here with Goblin Engineer and Scale Up. Goblin Engineer could represent a strong utility card in artifact-based decks to tutor things like Ensnaring Bridge or Grafdigger’s Cage, though it is a bit fragile to common removal spells in Modern and competes with Whir of Invention for a similar ability. Scale Up will likely be a premier pump spell in Infect builds, and may lead to an increase in turn two kills off the back of Glistener Elf and Mutagenic Growth.

May 21st

This Tuesday started off hot, with a barrage of solid additions to the set.

We have to start here, with the cycle of Canopy lands (Horizon lands?). Similar to Horizon Canopy, this enemy colored set pains you for access to either color or allows you to essentially pay 2 and draw a card. It’s not clear if these will see widespread adoption just yet, but there is a good chance they will depress the price of Horizon Canopy.


 

Some significant commons from the day are Spore Frog and Nimble Mongoose, which will offer cheaper foil prices than ever before on these cards. Spore Frog foils will be interesting pickups further down the line, as it is a significant EDH card with only one previous foil printing in Prophecy.


Continuing the Force cycle, we have Force of Despair, which destroys all creatures that entered play that turn. An instant speed Damnation will severely punish decks looking to dump their whole hand onto the table on one turn pretty effectively, albeit at the cost of two cards. Lightning Skelemental, a devastating combination of Ball Lightning and Blightning, presents an incredibly aggressive card that may be aggressively costed enough to see play in Modern.

A strong contender for Modern playability is Giver of Runes, our Modern reimagining of Mother of Runes from Urza’s Legacy. While it can’t target itself like good ol’ Mom can, the added benefit of an extra toughness and protection from colorless sources still may provide utility to creature decks looking to dodge removal.

Now here’s a mythic! Urza, Lord High Artificer is perhaps the most powerful card we’ve seen from the set so far. Likely to be a Commander all-star, this artifact based general does everything you’d want in your Mono-Blue artifact deck. Static Orb, Winter Orb, Sword of the Meek, and more were significant winners today, all due to their synergy with this card.




Lastly, here’s the official art of Astral Drift, a drastic improvement over the blurry leaked image we received days ago. There have been no prominent leaks since then, but I’ve seen quite a few shares and retweets of cards like Brainstorm, Counterspell, and even Daze floating around. Be careful out there, and take every blurry image with a grain of salt.

May 20th

It’s Monday, and that means more spoilers! The scheduled spoilers made their way to social media and had the MTG sphere going mad.

 

Among the cards spoiled today, the most important was this, an official rendering of the Flusterstorm Buy-A-Box promo. After the leak, it was important for Wizards to get this one out as soon as possible. Runner up was Prismatic Vista, a straight upgrade to Evolving Wilds, but not quite as good as the Onslaught or Zendikar classics that we are used to. It only fetches basic lands but can grab any of the five at the cost of 1 life. It’s not clear whether this will see widespread adoption in Modern, but may have a home in decks like Legacy Miracles or Stoneblade.

 

Force of Vigor confirms a cycle of spells similar to Force of Will, but this one is green. Tagging two artifacts or enchantments for free sounds like a good deal for two cards, especially against decks like Hardened Scales in Modern. Morophon, the Boundless sparked a ton of reactionary Commander buying, including Jodah, Archmage Eternal foils, and Fist of Suns.



 

Closing out the day, significant additions are Ice-Fang Coatl, another snow card that can act as a strictly better Baleful Strix under the right conditions. Last up, we have a nice reprint in Fact or Fiction, a blue draw spell that might one of the most skill-testing cards in the entire game of Magic.

May 19th

We’re officially into the first part of Modern Horizons spoilers season, with the first official spoiler on the schedule coming to us from the MOCS coverage, live on Twitch. The stream started off with a ton of commons revealing some of the mechanics from the set. Significant new mechanics include convoke, buyback, flashback, kicker, and entwine, storm. Already, we’re seeing movement on old foils of two key cards, Prohibit and Lava Dart.

With the first wave of uncommons release, we see a very important card for Modern goblins in Goblin Matron. In Legacy builds, this is a potent tutor for finding cards like Goblin Ringleader, Goblin Warchief, and Goblin Piledriver. Time will tell if this shot in the arm brings this deck to the forefront of Modern, but this will certainly have many Goblin players excited to purchase complements for the deck.

As was speculated by many, Snow-Covered lands were confirmed as the basics for the set. Movement on cards like Scrying Sheets will be expected, and the first wave of speculators will be releasing them back into the market very soon.


Coinciding with the finals of the MOCS, we received two more rares to drool over. Going with the theme of classic reworks, we have Deep Forest Hermit and Force of Negation. These new takes on Deranged Hermit and Force of Will show that we’ll likely be getting a lot of interesting cards that are either powered down or are functionally different enough to make a splash in Modern.

 

May 17th

As we head into official spoiler season, we were given two preview cards by Matt Nass and Cassius Marsh:

Cabal Therapist represents what many believe to be a theme of the set – reworking iconic spells into a new form. Serra the Benevolent will be the flagship card of the set, featured on most of the promotional material, and the first Angel-centric planeswalker. We can see the direct nod to Cabal Therapy from Judgment, and the ultimate ability of Serra being an immovable Worship. I’m excited to see what new cards we’ll receive that follow these same patterns, and where the Modern format as a whole goes from here.

Early leaks indicate that Flusterstorm and the new Astral Drift are the promos for Modern Horizons. Flusterstorm entering Modern is a huge deal, and it is confirmed that this will be the Buy-A-Box promo for the set. We’ll be seeing the effects of this in the next few hours. Astral Drift is also an incredibly interesting card that gives us a new take on Astral Slide, and definitely indicates that cards with cycling will be featured in the set. Expect related cards like Fluctuator to be on the move in the next few hours.





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Christopher O'Berry

Christopher O'Berry

Christopher O’Berry is a Magic player based out of Boise, Idaho. He started playing in 2010 at the age of 18. He enjoys Modern, Legacy, and Draft formats the most, but really is just happy playing a blue deck of any sort. His career highlights include several undefeated finishes at FNM, and a top eight (of nine in attendance) at the saddest TCGplayer States event ever seen.

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