Modern Horizons Preview
With masters sets being put on hold Wizards of the Coast have decided to try a completely different approach to printing supplemental/reprint sets. Modern Horizons, a set entirely designed around printing cards that will skip Standard rotation and will go straight in to Modern with some of them being reprints of older cards from formats such as Legacy and Commander.
Modern Horizons is less than one week away from it’s special pre-release weekend so let’s take a look at some of the new cards Modern players will be receiving, remember these cards aren’t bound to the Modern format by any means so many of these will be perfect for formats such as Commander and Legacy.
Modern Horizons is seeing the extension of the ’Horizon Canopy' land cycle, with similar lands being printed into Orzhov, Izzet, Simic, Golgari, and Boros colours. These lands will be an excellent addition to anybody looking to play those colours as it gives them solid mana fixing and a way to draw additional cards later on in the game.
Although they aren’t completely new to the Modern format Modern Horizons will be seeing the first ever printing of full art snow lands, this is ofcourse in addition to several snow themed cards. This will be the first time snow lands have been printed in full art and they will be replacing the basic land in each pack, foil versions of these will be perfect for anybody looking to add a bit of snow themed bling to their deck.
Despite the dire need for a reprint Fetchlands have unfortunately not been featured in the Modern Horizons set, however we are seeing the printing of a brand new type of Fetchland , ‘Prismatic Vista’ is a brand new fetchland that fetches for any type of basic land and brings it into play untapped. This land will be a favourite for any deck that includes a large amount of basic lands to counter ‘Blood Moon’ themed strategies.
An interesting land that is entirely separate from any other land type in the set is the printing of a brand new Legendary land ‘Hall of Heliod’s Generosity’ this is very similar to the Legendary land ‘Academy Ruins’ except instead of returning an artifact to the top of your deck it returns an enchantment. This card will be a must have for any player looking to run an enchantment themed strategy.
Arguably the least exciting land cards being printed in Modern Horizons are the Onslaught cycle lands. These have already been printed in other new products such as the commander preconstructed decks however this is the first time they will be Modern Legal. These lands all come into play tapped and tap for one mana of their colour as well as having the added benefit of being able to be cycled at the cost of one mana of their respective colour. This added cycling ability makes these lands favourable to basics as if you draw them later on in the game you can cycle them at a chance for a better card.
With War of the Spark being released recently hopefully most of you have had your hunger for more Planeswalker cards satisfied as Modern Horizons is quite light in the Planeswalker area. Only two new Planeswalkers will be introduced to the Magic universe in this set. Both of these Planeswalkers are brand new Planeswalker cards never before seen, these are ‘Wrenn and Six’ a Gruul Planeswalker who can recur lands back to your hand, deal direct damage to targets, and give your instant and sorcery cards retrace. The other brand new Planeswalker is a character who has been with Magic since the very beginning, ‘Serra, the benevolent’ is the first time we are seeing the Legendary character Serra in her own card. Serra was first referenced back in Alpha with the card ‘Serra Angel’, a staple in any white deck of the time. Serra’s abilities range from buffing your flying creatures, summoning ‘Serra Angels’, and giving you invincibility.
Despite being pushed as a set that will give some new tools to Modern players Modern Horizons features some brand new legendary creatures that Commander players will love. Featuring legendary figures from Magic’s history and brand new tribal commanders there will definitely be something for everybody in Modern Horizons.
The stand out names from the newest legendary creatures definitely have to be Urza and Yawgmoth, two figures that have been involved in Magic the Gathering history longer than most people have been playing the game. With both of these characters having countless cards referencing them such as ‘Yawgmoth’s Bargain’, ‘Yawgmoth’s Will’, ‘Karn’, ‘Urborg’, and the Tron lands almost every player has had some interaction with these characters throughout Magic’s history. Now that both of these characters have their very own legendary creatures players will be able to experience first hand the power that they possess. Urza is a mono-blue creature that focuses around empowering your artifacts and creating a tonne of blue mana, Yawgmoth on the other hand is a mono-black creature that focuses on distributing -1/-1 counters then proliferating to clear the board. Both of these cards bring unique abilities to the Commander format and will be great to brew new decks around.
Good news for fans of building janky tribal EDH decks, we have brand new bears, slivers, goblins, and…. Shapeshifters? All four of these creature types are receiving brand new legendary creatures as well as a slew of different non-legendary creatures. The new bear legendary creature ‘Ayula, Queen among bears’ buffs all subsequent bears you bring into play, ‘Pashalik Mons’ is the new goblin legendary that lets you turn one goblin into two as well as dealing one damage whenever a goblin dies, the newest addition to the sliver lineup ‘The First Sliver’ gives all of your slivers cascade while also having cascade itself, then finally the brand new legendary shapeshifter allows you to choose a creature type, creatures of the chosen type get +1/+1 while reducing the mana cost of those creatures by one of each mana type.
On top of these new tribal-legendary creatures we also have ‘Sisay’ a legends matter legendary creature that can tutor for legendary creatures from your deck based on the amount you already have in play, ‘Hogaak’ an avatar with both convoke and delve that can be cast from your graveyard, and finally a reprint of ‘Kess’, the grixis wizard from the Commander 2017 precon deck.
Legacy shift forwards:
The secondary major intention for Modern Horizons was to bring certain cards that are currently only legal in formats such as Legacy or Commander in to Modern legality without having them be legal in Standard. Although not many cards have been chosen to receive this treatment some of the more notable ones include cards such as ‘Flusterstorm’, ‘Kess, dissident mage’, ‘Nether Spirit’, ‘Future Sight’, ‘Goblin Matron’, and ‘Altar of Dementia’.
One of the more interesting cycles of cards printed in recent memory 5 brand new ‘Pitch’ cards are being printed in to Modern. All of these cards feature pitching a card of identical colour to the card to cast it for free. These include a blue counterspell, white creature buff, black board clear, red creature summon, and green artifact/enchantment hate. Unlike the original ‘Force of Will’ these cards can only be cast for their alternate cost when it’s your opponent's turn making them a less powerful version of their name sake that is more fitting for the Modern format.
This is it for our quick preview of the latest addition to the Magic the Gathering universe, hopefully this has encouraged you to purchase a box/singles or attend one of the many pre-release events happening next week.