Misadventures in the Forgotten Realms Part 3
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Hello, SassyGamers! This is the final article in the Modern Horizons 2 series! Unlike the first Modern Horizons set, Modern Horizons 2 really stepped up the number of multicolored cards in terms of amount and complexity, giving us way more great cards for Commander. I am very excited for so many of them, so let’s get right into it!
For 3 mana, we get a 2/2 First Striker that also puts a counter on all of your other artifact creatures, allowing for extra power on both your modular creatures and your other normal artifact creatures. Not to mention that when this robot kitty dies, you get to put their counters on another artifact creature of your choice, keeping the value train moving along. This is one of those cards that, whilst not terribly exciting, allows for good lines of play and keeps your board strong, with your opponents consistently on the back foot when it comes to combat maths.
Final Verdict: 6/10: Definitely a great addition to Boros artifact decks, especially aggressive ones like Jor Kadeen and Alibou.
Outlast was one of my favorite mechanics in Khans of Tarkir limited, and sadly we are still yet to get a commander that fully offers synergy with the mechanic. However, we do at least have a really powerful addition to the Selesnya +1/+1 counters deck of a 2 mana 2/2 with two very strong keywords, as well as outlasting for just 1 mana. On top of that it, it lets all your other creatures get a chance to outlast as well. Definitely one for all Selesnya +1/+1 counter decks, it will often be one of the most useful cards in your 99, and I definitely want a few copies for myself.
Final Verdict: 7/10: A really exciting uncommon. One you can build around and enjoy casting. It just keeps giving you power and advantage at every single turn.
The underworld chef has joined the fray! She’s able to be cast for just 1 mana as long as you have managed to discard a card this turn. She cares about food and making good eats for whoever will dare try them but unfortunately, her cooking tends to be a little too spicy for most. Nevertheless, she offers Rakdos players a whole new way to play and her being a 3/3 certainly makes her a powerful choice. We’ll be discussing The Underworld Cookbook (a card which she automatically grabs as soon as she comes into play) a little later and rating both accordingly.
Final Verdict: 6/10: Our head chef has only got 83 decks on EDHrec, but I can only see that number increasing. The Underworld Cookbook is a pretty decent card, too, if a little unexciting. I think she’ll be a player in Commander for sure, but will likely only see play as a Commander as I feel she’ll just be too situational in the 99. Thankfully Gavin Verhey has offered a pronunciation guide which you can see here.
Best friend of Dakkon Blackblade, father of Jarad Cathalion, and all-around friend to Planeswalkers (so long as they aren’t named Geyadrone). Carth the Lion, the sole survivor of Geyadrone’s massacre of the city-state of Carth is a really cool guy who merely wants your Planeswalkers to be better than before. So Carth can find you a Planeswalker whenever he enters play, also allowing your walkers to try and find one whenever they die. Of course, this is already a pretty great ability, as digging 7 cards deep should often give pretty good results. Still, when you also factor in that Carth’s second ability means that your Planeswalkers also get an extra loyalty counter (whenever they use any ability, meaning that your plus abilities give an extra counter and your minus abilities require one less), it goes from pretty great to reasonably fantastic!
Final Verdict: 8/10: While Carth will likely not be helming too many decks, the sheer amount of superfriend decks within Green and Black means that while his home is destroyed Carth can take refuge safely inside your decks.
I love token strategies, so this is a card that excites me; You get permanently flying tokens while you have this, and for just 4 mana, you can turn any old token into a big 4/4 beater that also gains flying. Unfortunately, this is one of those cards that doesn’t seem very exciting until you actually start playing with it. I’ve not gotten to play any games with one as of yet, but I have done enough theory-crafting to determine that this card should be pretty good!
Final Verdict: 7/10: Your Simic or Bant tokens decks just got a new toy to play with and with a meager 2 mana investment for a flying team: I can’t think of many times you wouldn’t want this in play.
This is actually a super interesting Planeswalker and one I have had strong feelings about for a while now. Entering with loyalty equal to your land count means that in the late game, this can often enter the battlefield with 7+ loyalty which is rather strong in and of itself. Surveil 2 allows you to fill up your graveyard with powerful cards and unconditional removal on a minus, which is pretty good too. The ultimate is where the power really comes from, though, as for 6 loyalty, Dakkon can put any artifact from either your graveyard or your hand into play, working well alongside the first ability. This and being able to cheat a Darksteel Forge or a Blightsteel Colossus into play for just 3 mana is something I am always interested in doing. However, Dakkon is very niche in his actual uses… You’ll need a lot of setup and a very dedicated deck to utilize him fully. Decks like Sydri, Sharuum, Alela, and Breya will all certainly welcome Dakkon into their ranks, but how long until Dakkon is thrown to the wayside for more efficient cards?
Final Verdict: 6/10: Poor Dakkon, after being betrayed by Geyadrome, you are being betrayed by me. I raise your hopes and dash them with a 6 rating. And yet, have no fear, little Dakkon, for you may surprise me yet!
Garth One-Eye, star of the first-ever Magic the Gathering novel, “Arena” (Which is a great read if you can find it), finally has a card and well, and it’s quite fascinating. Garth allows you, for the cost of tapping him, to cast a copy of 6 different classic Magic cards; Disenchant, Braingeyser, Terror, Shivan Dragon, Regrowth, and BLACK LOTUS. This will be one of the few times many people will cast a Black Lotus, and the only way to actually do so is in Commander. However, you can only cast each of these spells once, so your Garth deck will need to include ways to get around this, with blink effects being one of the easiest and best ways that spring to mind. All 6 of these cards are very strong and offer different levels of utility. Players should look at Garth as a Swiss army knife commander: A true jack of all trades but master of each and every one of them.
Final Verdict: 9/10: I think Garth One-Eye is the most interesting 5 color commander we have ever had printed and is one that we will be seeing on tables with all manner of deck types for a long time to come. He already has 116 decks, a number I am certain will be rising quickly, with at least one more from me personally.
Boros has been getting all sorts of toys to help them stand out from the role of “turn sideways and lose” Commanders, and Ferrous should be the next in line to shake up Boros. He is a 3/1 for 3 mana with a good protection ability where he can only be targeted by multicolored spells, making him very hard to kill. Also, every time you cast a multicolored spell, you get to bring a 4/4 Golem to the party, making this a card that will get out of hand quickly. It should be extremely fun to play against it!
Final Verdict: 7/10: The Boros Legion would be left in good hands with Ferrous, and players have certainly started to embrace him, with 97 decks at the time of writing on EDHrec and more to come, I’m sure!
Geyadrone Dihada, the Planeswalker who tricked Dakkon into forging the Blackblade, allowed her to return to her previous state of power, triggering Dakkon’s spark. But let’s look at her actual card rather than her super cool lore. She is a 4 mana Grixis planeswalker, leading to obvious comparisons to the elder dragon Nicol Bolas. While she isn’t as flashy as Nicky B, she does have some tricks up her sleeves.
Right off the bat, she is bringing in a new counter type known as a corruption counter. They don’t really do anything on their own besides the fact that Geyadrone has protection from permanents with corruption counters on them. Starting at 4 loyalty, she can +1 to have each opponent lose 2 life (whilst you gain 2 life), but she also gets to corrupt a creature or Planeswalker, which your opponent controls. For -3, you get a threatening effect that once again puts a corruption counter down, but it has to be on the thing you’re stealing. You can steal Planeswalkers with this, though, which leads to some shenanigans of ultimating your opponent’s Planeswalker. And finally her ultimate, (which needs 7 loyalty to perform) allows you to gain control of all permanents that have a corruption counter on them, giving you a big tempo swing in the process.
Sadly though, I think that even with these really cool and inventive abilities, players will struggle to find a home for Miss Dihada. She is certainly powerful, can’t be denied, and she is a really interesting Planeswalker too, but I just struggle to think of a deck where I really want to play her.
Final Verdict: 4/10: Depressingly, I just can’t work out what to do with her… I think she is really neat and will hopefully have a deck where she can shine in the future, but as it stands, I’m just not impressed by Geyadrone.
NOT GRUUL?! THEN DIE! Almost all Magic players know this quote, attributed to the Gruul guild of Ravnica, and this card is a wonderful inclusion for your Gruul decks. Being a 2/2 for 2 is already a decent deal, but giving all your Red or Green spells a 1 mana discount makes it even better. Sadly though, it will not give your Red and Green spells a double discount with how the rule is written. With that said: As long as you cast 2 spells in a single turn, then it outclasses a regular mana dork and can even get in the red zone each turn for 2 damage.
Final Verdict: 6/10: Granted, it is a little unexciting, but this card will do work for Gruul decks that would appreciate a discount on their spells. When you consider the rising cost of the Medallion cycle of artifacts, this creature is an especially welcome boon for sure!
Exciting uncommons are a great thing to see in Magic. These cards will often demand a low price tag and give people more inclined to want to play with them both because the risk factor is so low and because the card is so cheap to pick up. Graceful Restoration is one of those cards for sure. A 5 mana reanimate spell that brings the creature back with a +1/+1 counter is nothing to sneeze at, but also being able to revive 2 creatures with power 2 or less is where this card seems to shine. In Alesha decks or Hatebear lists, you can often bring back 2 threats worth way more than the 5 mana you paid to bring them back. This is a card that just gets better the more love you put into it with your deck building.
Final Verdict: 7/10: One of my favorite uncommons in the whole set, this card rewards you for building around it, and in a pinch, you can revive a bigger creature and give it a +1/+1 counter, making a strong creature even stronger!
Grist, one of the very few non-humanoid Planeswalkers, is a sentient insect who ventures to different planes and, upon arrival, finds a carrion to act as a host for her. She is considered the queen of The Hunger Tide, a mysterious swarm of insects; she is also the latest in Planeswalkers, who are also legal as Commanders. She is treated as a 1/1 insect creature whenever she isn’t on the battlefield. Her +1 has you make a 1/1 insect token and then mill a card. If you mill an insect, you put an extra loyalty counter on Grist and repeat this process. This is already great value and solidifies Grist as the de facto Insect tribal commander. Her -2 has you sacrifice a creature and lets you destroy a target Creature or Planeswalker, which is some premium tier removal. Finally, her ultimate (which only needs 5 loyalty) causes each opponent to love life equal to the number of creature cards in your graveyard, often a good enough amount to end games outright.
All in all, Grist is a super interesting commander. Her utility and Insect matters theme really make her stand out as a unique Golgari Commander choice and one I expect to see a good amount of in the coming months.
Final Verdict: 9/10: My pick for what is easily the best Planeswalker in the set, Grist offers so much and has actually very little in the way of requirements of you; She sets herself up and rewards you for playing extra insects and having ways to manipulate them on top of your library.
Lonis, a Snake Elf Scout from Ravnica, is a Cryptozoologist. This means she searches for Cryptids, creatures of such extraordinary mystery that many don’t even believe they exist. Lonis is our first ever Clue/Investigate matters commander, and in my opinion: This one knocks it out of the park. The amount of versatility she offers you is genuinely incredible. Whenever you play a creature, she investigates, letting you get some card draw a little later into the game. However, the real power comes from her tap ability, wherein you can tap her and sacrifice X clues, which makes an opponent reveal X cards from the top of their library. You then get to snatch a non-land permanent from them as long as it costed X or less and put it straight into play. This is incredibly flavourful for her as she is searching for a Cryptid, and what could be more mysterious than the undiscovered world of your opponent’s library!
Final Verdict: 10/10: I don’t often want to build a paper deck in a color combination I already have, but Lonis will likely be the exception as she is brimming with flavor. It certainly helps that Investigate is one of my favorite mechanics, meaning I truly cannot wait to get cracking with her. I’m clearly not alone in this either, as she already has 296 decks on EDHrec, which is a stellar number considering she has not even been released for a week!
Master of Death is one of those cards clearly designed with competitive play in mind, but I think there may just be a place for this zombie in Commander. When Master of Death enters play, you surveil 2, and at the beginning of your upkeep (if it’s in your graveyard), you can pay a paltry 1 life and return it to your hand! Zombie decks, Graveyard matters decks, and aristocrat strategies can all benefit from this card. In addition, its 3/1 body means it can often trade with other similar strength creatures.
Final Verdict: 7/10: If you’re a budding necromancer or just can’t get enough of that Dredge, then Master of Death is a welcome addition to your forces. This zombie has some serious strengths going for it and is something I hope to see more of!
We are often told to do things in moderation. This card tells you even to play Magic in moderation! This 3 mana Enchantment draws you a card every time you cast a spell, but it only lets you cast one spell per turn. Now I think this is a potentially powerful spell for Control decks. You can slam down your finisher in your turn and draw a card from it. Then, on your opponent’s turn, counter a spell and draw a card. Turning your Mana Drains into Cryptic Commands but with more upside seems like a good thing. To everyone turning your nose up at this card, go ahead and try it out. Or just donate it to people with Zedruu.
Final Verdict: 5/10: I think testing is needed on this card to evaluate its power fully, but I actually hope that control decks could gain some crazy value from it, removing it when it becomes a problem. Plus, Zedruu can just give it to the combo player and ruin their day.
Piru, the life partner to Chromium and the mother of Crosis is a tragic dragon indeed. She birthed an entire nation’s worth of dragons and was even a survivor of the Elder Dragon War. Then she became a servant to Geyadrone and was forced to fight Dakkon Blackblade and was eventually killed with the power of the Blackblade itself. Piru is the Mardu elder dragon, costing 8 mana and requiring you to pay Mardu mana during your upkeep to keep her around. She is a 7/7 with flying and lifelink, and when she dies, she deals 7 damage to each non-legendary creature. An important thing to know is that this damage will also cause you to gain life equivalent to the damage dealt, which can be a massive life-point swing. Viewing her as a Commander, I find her a hard sell due to the high mana cost, but in the 99 (specifically in a Mardu colored reanimator deck), she could definitely pull her weight!
Final Verdict: 4/10: She will need to be reanimated for her to feel like a powerful card truly and, as she doesn’t do much the turn she comes into play (unless you wish to kill her off to sweep the board), I am sadly unimpressed.
Oh, how I yearned for this to be a Cleric, so I could play it in Ayli or Orah as a great little Cleric to use and abuse, however that was not meant to be. Instead, the priest of Fell Rites functions as a nifty tool for your decks to act as a pretty cheap, albeit slow, reanimation tool. For 3 mana and tapping the priest, you can nab any creature out of your Graveyard and put it straight into play. The sorcery speed limitation on this effect does hurt a little as you can’t use it to grab a blocker. The icing on the cake here is that you can then unearth the Priest a little later for just 5 mana, and, given that Unearth grants Haste, you can then reanimate a second creature.
Final Verdict: 7/10: Alesha loves this as you can bring it back easily due to her having 2 power, which allows you to keep the gravy train going by bringing back a creature each turn. In other decks, this will still be a very fine addition to your reanimation ranks.
I love Prophetic Bolt, a card that I have had lots of success with my cube, even in Commander, especially with cost reduction effects. Prophetic Titan brings this effect stapled onto a 4/4 Giant. Aegar has been having success in Commander as both a spellslinger general and as Giant tribal, and this fits right into that. Prophetic Titan does need Delirium to be active to use it to maximum effect, but when you need either the impulse effect or the 4 damage, it still feels like you’re getting a good deal. But when can you do both? This card actually ends up feeling unfair levels of good.
Final Verdict: 8/10: I think Giant tribal with Aegar may be the best place for this card, but if you can easily get Delirium online in your U/R/X deck, then you can get some seriously good value from it. Replacing itself and killing mid-level creatures and even leaving a very good 4/4 body behind to do some damage or trade for another creature certainly makes this card a valid consideration.
This little 1/1 cutie gets out of hand incredibly quickly. Whenever you sacrifice a creature or an artifact, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on the squirrel, but you can also use this card as a somewhat expensive sac outlet for them, turning your leftovers into a card. Chatterfang will, of course, love this one, but Mazriek, Meren, Kresh, and Ghave (just to name a few) will also adore this little guy for growing quickly. It even offers them a little extra draw power for a slightly premium price. Not to mention that it pairs incredibly well with Pitiless Plunderer as the tokens it makes also grow the Squirrel.
Final Verdict: 10/10: Nearly all sacrifice heavy decks will definitely want to be playing this card. The amount of work it puts in just for a 1 mana creature is actually shocking, and the ability to, in a pinch, draw some cards is very strong in and of itself, too!
Aftermath cards often get left behind a little in favor of the immediate flexibility of traditional split cards, but I have a love for them thanks to the powerhouse card that is Dusk // Dawn. Road // Ruin has a pretty high chance of being good too! Road, the starting part of the card, is a 3 mana Rampant Growth, which decks are playing anyway with the rise of Beanstalk Giant. Now you don’t get a big dumb beater further down the line with this card, but you instead get to cast Ruin from your graveyard, which for 3 mana lets you burn a creature equal to the number of lands you control. Honestly, this card seems far better than people expect it to be, as both halves of the card certainly seem good.
Final Verdict: 6/10: I think the jury is still out on whether this card will be good or not. Both halves of the card are actually legitimately strong and could easily be played in most decks. If you have a lands matter gruul list, then I feel this is a welcome sight.
A new enchantress creature doesn’t come around often and is always looking out for, so when that new creature is also a Legendary version, this is something truly special. Sythis already has 315 decks on EDHrec, and that number is sure to climb when people build more decks with the new set. Being able to draw a card off of every single enchantment you play is already good, but also gaining an incidental life each time just makes this card even sweeter. Combine that with the very cheap cost of GW and the fact that she herself is an Enchantment (meaning that all of your enchantresses’ draw a card when she enters), which is incredible!
Final Verdict: 9/10: I cannot think of a single enchantress deck that doesn’t want this card. She is cheap, draws you cards, and gains you life just for doing what your deck is intended for. Throw in the fact that she can even be your commander, and yeah, I’m sold on this one!
Kavu is one of the classic Magic races and is so ingrained in Magic’s deep lore that they are seen consistently throughout the planes. Territorial Kavu is a 2 mana creature with power and toughness equal to your basic land types amongst the lands you control. This means you could have, as early as turn two, a 5/5 creature in play and even better this card does something when it attacks. In addition, you get the choice to either rummage a card or exile a card from any graveyard. The flexibility this provides certainly helps the Kavu a lot, as being able to get new cards in your hand is valuable, but if your hand is good, you can choose instead to shut down someone’s graveyard recursion plans.
Final Verdict: 7/10: You really need to be in 3 or more colors to make the Kavu feel worth playing, as it being anything less than a 3/3 just makes it far too easy to be removed. The fact it needs to attack to do anything means it will need to be big enough to survive the battle.
Commander players like many things, and one thing that ranks pretty highly is the concept of silly and potentially game-winning effects that actually feel fun to play with and execute. Yusri is exactly that, this 3 mana 2/3 Izzet Efreet does some really silly things. When Yusri attacks, you can flip between 1 and 5 coins; For each one, you win you get to draw a card, whilst losing flips cost you 2 life. But if you go for the whammy by flipping 5 and call them all right, you get an Omniscience effect for the rest of the turn. If Krark the Thumbless or Zndrsplt/Okaun has taught us anything, it’s that Commander players absolutely love flipping coins.
Final Verdict: 6/10: I actually think Yusri has some real potential to become the new de facto coin flip commander. It’s pretty likely on an attack that if you flip all 5 coins, you will, on average, draw 2-3 cards, which is a pretty good deal, even if it will cost you 4-6 life to do so. Throw in a Krark’s Thumb and a Chance Encounter, and you have a pretty mean deck already.
With that, we have finished Multicoloured cards, and our journey is almost over. We have seen some dizzying highs in this set, along with some bizarre cards which could be considered lows. All in all, though, Modern Horizons 2 has been great, so let’s take a look through the artifacts and see what remains in this set!
With Modern Horizons 2, we have some love given to us across the artifacts. While not all of them are amazing, we are at least given some truly unique designs that leave us spoilt for choice regarding equipment for our creatures. We even get a few surprises sprinkled in for good measure! So whatever takes your fancy, I’m sure there is an artifact for you. Here are my picks for what I feel are the cream of the crop amongst artifact options, along with the cards that you should probably leave alone and keep buried away.
I love this card. It’s so unique and actually does an awful lot. So, with Clues, Food, and Treasure being the three token types focused on within this set, wouldn’t it be great if, when you made one of them, you got all three? Well, this Assembly-Worker quite literally does just that! I can see this card seeing far more play than expected as it changes from an investigate trigger into a ramp effect to create a food token and ultimately into something far more powerful indeed!
Final Verdict: 8/10: If your deck produces a reasonable amount of any of these token types, then this card is a must-have. It just makes each of your cards better! A bonus tip here would be that with Fae Offering, you get three of each token, which is utterly crazy good.
Dermotaxi, what was going through the minds of R&D when they were making you? The idea that you are hollowing out a creature, putting wheels on it, and just zooming about as a vehicular-creature hybrid is maybe the funniest and most horrific thing I’ve actually ever seen in Magic. So when you cast Dermotaxi (for just 2 mana, mind you), you get to exile a creature from your graveyard and imprint it onto the Dermotaxi. Then you can tap 2 creatures to crew the taxi, making it a copy of that creature until the end of the turn, except it also becomes a vehicle. I actually think this is a pretty good and interesting take on a colorless reanimate spell. I mean, that’s really what you’re doing: You get to reanimate a creature but as a vehicle. Being able to hook back an Elesh Norn or an It That Betrays seems very good for just 2 mana.
Final Verdict: 6/10: All things considered, I think it really depends on what your deck is trying to accomplish with your creatures, as you need both bodies to crew the taxi and a suitably strong creature for it to become. Despite that, I think there are certainly decks out there that would love the process of hollowing out their own pets and driving them about.
I remember seeing people be very excited about this card. The prospect of a creature version of Lion’s Eye Diamond, one of the most unexpectedly powerful cards ever to see print, had people’s minds racing. Well, sadly, Diamond Lion has not managed to impress anyone. It’s a slow card that doesn’t even have great stats for its cost, and the fact that there’s honestly very little you can do with it definitely damages it. In the most competitive sense, Dredge decks likely won’t even need this card to fill their graveyards, as they can likely just play LED and get the same effect but at a far cheaper rate.
Final Verdict: 1/10: I struggle to think of a single deck that would actually want this. Perhaps you could get away with playing it in a very flashback heavy deck or with Osgir to copy it and then dump them away in exchange for 6 mana to copy a different artifact from your graveyard.
Oh, Kaldra, brought to life through the trials of Glissa Sunseeker to free Mirrodin from the clutches of Memnarch. Sorrowfully, Kaldra was destroyed by Memnarch, and when Mirrodin fell and became New Phyrexia, Kaldra was completed and was integrated into the Living Weapons project… But at least the card is good, right? Kaldra Compleat is a 7 mana equipment with Living Weapon so that it will enter attached to a Phyrexian Germ token. The equipped creature gets +5/+5 and First Strike, Trample, Indestructible, Haste, and if it deals combat damage to a creature, you just get to exile it. It is very, very good, made even better by the existence of Stoneforge Mystic, which can cheat it into play, and Puresteel Paladin to reduce its mammoth equipment cost down to 0.
Final Verdict: 7/10: While Batterskull, Jitte, or Swords of X/Y are likely the better cards to be put into play from your SFM, this card is a powerful addition to the toolbox of Stoneforge targets and one that I will gladly play in my decks that also happen to house the Mystic.
From one Living Weapon to another, we have the Nettlecyst. A 3 mana equipment which gives the wielder +1/+1 for each artifact and/or enchantment you control, which in turn means that an artifact or enchantment heavy decks (most likely Voltron lists), your creature will likely be very strong indeed. This is another perfect card in the decks where you’re also playing Stoneforge Mystic, as you can put this into play at instant speed and bring in a powerful creature quickly. I expect a lot of play from this card, with its power being pretty obvious to most players.
Final Verdict: 8/10: One of the best equipment cards we have seen for a while. Nettlecyst does some real work; It’s a great boon for many different commanders and is a card that doesn’t ask much from you, as it easily inserts itself into the decks you’re already planning on playing it in. This card does the rest of the heavy lifting for you!
Many years ago in Planeshift, we were treated to Draco, a 16 mana creature, which is still the most expensive costing creature in the game to date. The gimmick costs 2 less for each basic land type amidst your lands, which could bring it down to just 6 mana for a flying 9/9. It also needed to be kept into play by paying 10 mana, but that’s another aspect of the card that was reduced by 2 for each basic land type. Draco was never really that good, but what about the Scion?
Well, Scion of Draco is a lot more friendly than the original, not threatening to blow itself up while costing a whopping 12 mana, which is thankfully once again reduced by 2 for each basic land type in play. For this, you get a 4/4 flyer that rewards you for being multicolor. Your White creatures get vigilance, Blue creatures get hexproof, Black creatures get lifelink, Red creatures get first-strike, and Green creatures get trample. Put simply, your creatures each get an ability that is synonymous with the color that they are. Of course, you’d need to really be in a 5 color deck that’s also heavily creature-based actually to use the Scion to its full effect, but I think that even then, it just isn’t a strong enough card to be viewed a must pick. Sure, it is very flashy, and your dragon tribal deck will likely play it, but aside from corner cases like that, I have little hope for Scion of Draco.
Final Verdict: 3/10: Even in Dragon Tribal, this card only seems to win more effect, which Dragons really don’t need any more of. You’re likely playing the best creatures at the table, so the last thing you need is more abilities for them, which is unlikely to increase their threat. At least for me personally, this is a card I would avoid.
With Modern Horizons 1, we saw Mox Tantalite, a suspended version of the Moxen, which after 3 turns, could be played as any color mana rock. With Sol Talisman, after 3 turns and a 1 mana investment, you get what essentially amounts to a Sol Ring. There are always debates about whether Sol Ring is actually good for the format or not, and I completely understand both sides of the argument, so this isn’t really the place to weigh in on that. Instead, let’s just look at the facts. Sol Talisman is a very serviceable mana rock that I don’t think I’ll ever want to play. Some decks can abuse it, such as Osgir, who can grab it from the graveyard for free, and Cascade commander decks can also get a free cast if they cascade into it.
Final Verdict: 4/10: The amount this card makes you work to be able to cast it makes it pretty apparent that, more often than not, you should just be casting a different mana rock instead. Maybe that’s the lesson here. Either that or it’s some neat design space that, for this card at least, just didn’t pan out.
Sword of Hearth and Home is a great design and feels like the perfect mixture of the two colors. Like with all swords, it gives protection from 2 colors as a +2/+2 buff, in this case, Green and White. These are two pretty sweet protection effects as single target removal is pretty premium in White, and with protection from Green, you can often slip past a Green deck’s defenses completely. In addition, you also get to use an effect that resembles each color; In this case, you get the White effect to flicker out a creature you control and the Green effect of searching for an untapped basic land. Each effect is very strong and will likely make Hearth and Home comparable with the best swords, especially in non-Green decks where the land ramp will feel like a major blessing to you.
Final Verdict: 9/10: Sword of Hearth and Home is incredibly strong and offers so much potential to you like. The benefits of flickering and grabbing extra land are great. Plus, the two protective colors serve a valuable purpose too. So expect to see a lot of this card in your pods.
Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, the greatest chef in the multiverse, created a gastronomicon, (aptly named The Underworld Cookbook) with recipes for Granite Gargoyle breast, gray ogre toes, and roasted beeble. Now the card itself evokes some great flavor as you can discard a card to create a food token or pay 4 mana and sacrifice the cookbook to return a creature from your graveyard to your hand. The book lets you physically cook your creatures, but you can also scour the book for the perfect recipe, which destroys it. As a reminder, Asmor searches up the book as soon as she enters play, so this card is, of course, a slam dunk in her deck, but any deck that distinctly cares about food or wants a full graveyard could actually gain to play this card. It’s certainly low impact but still very viable.
Final Verdict: 6/10: I think The Underworld Cookbook actually really has some legs. I consider it very flavourful, surprisingly strong, and it seems to fit well in a good number of decks, food-based and otherwise.
Hate cards are not commonly seen in Commander, but this one is so particularly hateful and oppressive that I cannot avoid talking about it. Void Mirror is a 2 mana artifact that counters spells if no colored mana was spent to cast them. Other than completely ruining colorless decks, this also has some real power to slow down fast mana. More often than not, a mana rock is cast from a different mana rock that usually produces colorless mana. So void Mirror has some real potential just to slow your opponents down, and you can play around it well knowing that you’ll be casting it. All in all, getting the most of your mana rocks first and then playing it seems like a very good line to me.
Final Verdict: 5/10: I think hate cards in a format without a sideboard is a very risky thing to be playing, as you’ll occasionally get into situations where you’ll cast it, but your hate card will not actually produce any real impact, making it feel like a waste of a card slot. Playing Void Mirror is a risk akin to eating spaghetti bolognese whilst wearing a brand new white dress: It’s dangerous, but maybe a little exciting?
Zabaz, a glimmerwasp native to Mirrodin, got its name just from the sound it makes when it swoops through the air. It is said that there is only one being as ill-tempered as it is on all of Mirrodin; Which is Chickik, an ant-like being from the Razor fields… Hopefully, Chickik gets their card next.
Zabaz is a strange creature and is clearly there to give us our Modular matters commander. With a Red and White activated ability, it has the Boros color identity. Zabaz lets you double-dip on your modular triggered abilities, so Zabaz gives that creature an extra +1/+1 counter whenever your modular creatures die. So you can pay 1 Red and destroy one of your own artifacts, letting you trigger modular on them, or you can also pay 1 White making Zabaz take to the skies, gaining flying.
Final Verdict: 6/10: Zabaz represents a very interesting new deck for Boros. While still a very aggressive deck, Modular artifact creatures is definitely a unique take for Boros and one I think has the potential to be reasonably successful.
And with that, we have finished up on the artifacts meaning we only have one type of card left to discuss. That, of course, is possibly the most important card type of all: Lands! Lands help us cast our spells, and without them, we would be nothing.
We all love lands: They are truly the backbone of our decks. They are the most important part of all and are an aspect of the game where we often show off special artworks and funky designs. Alternatively, we can have them all be mismatched just to throw our opponents off of their game! Whatever your poison is, I am sure there is a land in Modern Horizons 2 for you!
While I won’t be writing about each and every one of them, I will give an honorable mention to the new cycle of tap lands from this set of artifact lands. They enter tapped, and each can tap for the enemy or ally color pairs. Heavy artifact decks will likely be interested in these, but I can’t really rate them as they entirely depend on the deck that you’re playing and the budget of your deck too. But they are always a welcome sight to see more of.
This artifact land is something a little more interesting, however. While still entering tapped, it can produce colorless mana or mana of any color, provided it’s being used for artifact spells or the abilities of artifacts. In addition to all of this, it has modular 1, so it holds a +1/+1 counter for your artifact creatures which, if the depot is ever destroyed, you can give to one of your creatures.
Final Verdict: 6/10: This unassuming land will likely see some real play in artifact strategies, especially ones that can utilize the +1/+1 counter that this land holds onto.
As an Enchantment land, Urza’s Saga is very powerful. It’s the first of its kind and also the first land that is also a saga. It enters marked on 1, where it just taps for colorless mana, but on 2, it retains the ability to tap for colorless whilst also gaining 2 mana to produce a construct token, which has +1/+1 for each artifact you control. Finally, its last ability, which sacrifices the land upon resolution, lets you search for an artifact that costs either 1 or 0 and puts it straight into play. Admittedly, it needs to have 1 or 0 as the printed cost, meaning you can’t search for an Esper Sentinel, but you can grab your Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, or Sensei’s Divining Top. This is an incredibly powerful ability placed on what was already a strong land, making it easily one of the best cards in the set and viable for almost any deck out there.
Final Verdict: 10/10: In my humble opinion, Urza’s Saga may just be the best card in the set! The sheer value that this creates is just so hard to beat, making a total of 2 constructs (as you can use the middle ability before you need to sacrifice it) and then grabbing a powerful artifact from your deck along with it pushes this card over the edge into being a must-have card.
Yavimaya is a color shift of an all too powerful and well-renowned card in Commander: Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Yet instead of making all lands into Swamps, this makes all lands into Forests. As a result, Urborg has clear combo potential with cards like Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant, and Cabal Coffers. Yavimaya is far tamer. Yavimaya, of course, helps you get Green mana easier by just making all of your land’s forests, but there are some levels of combo potential here, though they are far less abusive than their Black counterpart. You can now use Arbor Elf to untap any of your lands, most notably Gaea’s Cradle, your Elvish Champion. Granting forest walk to your elves is now far more relevant, and Nissa, Who Shakes the World, can now get better as your non-forests are now forests.
Final Verdict: 8/10: This is a very strong land which, as Magic continues onwards and more “Forest Matters” cards see print, will only get stronger. As it stands, Yavimaya will be a great inclusion into 2+ color decks, and the more colors you’re playing, the better it will feel.
And with that, the Lands are done, and more importantly, we are out of cards to critique in Modern Horizons 2! I really hope you found this as enjoyable to read as I did to write. Magic is a real love of mine, and being able to offer my perspective on the format I have played for over 8 years and potentially help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to buy a new card for your deck means a huge amount to me!
As always, if you’re looking to spend some money on Magic, maybe consider putting that money into your local gaming store. In these difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect, they need all the support they can get right now. And if you can’t support your own local gaming store, maybe look at other smaller independent businesses before turning to big box stores or large online marketplaces. But, again, independent businesses need all the help we can give them.
If you want more content like this, then please let me know. You can reach me on Twitter @PrincessLilyMTG