There’s no time to lose. Modern Horizons 2 will soon be here and it is time to dive into some of the previews and have a look for some fun cards to liven up your Commander game play. I know these are intended for Modern play, but let’s be real, many of these are really intended for us Commander players… and that is sweet. Let’s jump right in!
Gareth One Eye
Let’s start with this guy for the novelty and the nostalgia. Garth is yet another in a long line of ridiculous 5C commanders coming out of Modern Horizons 2. It seems like Wizards of the Coast is intent on printing 5C commanders in virtually every set, and thus we get Garth.
However while cards like Golos, Tireless Pilgrim and Kenrith, the Returned King just generate ridiculous amounts of value, Garth is a little different. The fact that you can use Garth to generate a replica of one of the six most iconic cards in the history of the game is just oozing flavour. I mean, who wouldn’t love to cast a Black Lotus, especially if you don’t already own one?
However, the fact remains that Garth gives you the ability to access a toolbox of intriguing and versatile cards to help ensure you can stay ahead of your opponents. If this is left unchecked, this is ridiculous card advantage generated turn after turn. I foresee this being a very popular commander card and one that will see a significant amount of play going forward.
Aeve, Progenitor Ooze
When I saw this card, I just laughed.
Once I was over the shock of seeing Storm on a Green creature, I thought about how easy it would be to build this into a deck. This just seemed like an excellent card for any deck that could generate multiple spells in a single turn and make a pile of Oozes. Maybe a Temur deck playing a bunch of cheaper cantrips could utilize this effectively as another Storm finisher. What about Mono-Green elves? Elves can often play 4 or 5 creatures prior to playing something like this. What about a Witherbloom deck leaning into the Magecraft mechanic and something like Plumb the Forbidden in a token deck could be explosive. Let us not even speak of the potential of going off with this while The Great Henge is in play, because the interaction seems positively breathtaking.
Bottom line, I think this sort of card has lots of potential and could a very fun addition for the simple fact that everyone enjoys Storming off… even Green Mages.
Sword of Hearth and Home
The latest in the cycle of Sword of X/Y. This cycle has been getting quite watered down as we have gone and we are a long way from Sword of Feast and Famine. However, this card could be a potent addition because the ability to Blink a creature you control for value and to ramp seems downright insane. Simple options include Skyclave Apparition or Acidic Slime, but what is stopping someone from using this to Blink Yorion and getting a HUGE series of ETB triggers. The protection granted to the creature is valuable, particularly considering White’s growing popularity and its removal suite being quite strong.
The real question becomes the price at which one can get one of these. If the price tag remains very high then this will be much less widely adopted. However, should this not make a big splash in Modern, we could its price tumble and then we could get it around $10. During MH1 it was possible to get Sword of Truth and Justice, and Sword of Sinew and Steel around $10 and I expect this will follow suit as well, making it appealing.
Chatterfang, Squirrel General
Well, they did it. They gave us a Squirrel commander.
I really like this card and feel like it is an excellent card from both a flavor and design perspective. On the design end, I really appreciate the judicious use of the Forestwalk ability. I really do think Squirrels ought to have forestwalk just by virtue of how they move around. However, the fact that Chatterfang calls his furry forest woodland creatures to the battlefield makes it a very powerful card. I also think that dipping into Black with the activated ability seems strong and a welcome addition to give Squirrels a interesting dynamic that I have not heard much discussion about. I think the combination of Chatterfang and Toski, Bearer of Secrets will make Squirrel players very happy and give them plenty of ammunition to make the forests come alive… and torment their opponents.
This has needed a reprint for a very long time. There is no way that this card should have been over $100, but it was because it had just continued to avoid a reprinting. With this being in close to 31k decks on EDHrec.com (and likely far more than that in real life due to decks going unreported) this is dearly needed and something that heavy Black decks are going to appreciate having once again.
Oh baby. I really like this card. I like it at face value as a 5/5 for 5 with flying that compares favorably to Serra Angel. The Eternalize and Plainscycling abilities will allow a white deck the chance to make its land drops, and then bring back the creature from the dead. This sort of play pattern is hardly overwhelming, but it will fit nicely into curve considerations and be included in most White decks just because it is a decent creature. Furthermore, I really do believe that W/G tokens builds, particularly Populate decks, are going to gobble this card right up and enjoy the big tokens.
Thrasta, Tempests Roar
This is one BIG dino. 12 mana. 7/7 with Trample and Haste. This thing is going to leave a mark, that is for sure.
I will admit, right off the hop, that I like the fact that this has a modified Hexproof clause because facing down enormous, Hexproof dinos is no fun. However, I also think that allowing this to be protected long enough to attack without being messed with is a good choice from a design perspective.
I am super interested in seeing what the cost reduction mechanic will mean for the playability of the card. Do you play this in a high velocity creature deck where you churn together a couple of elves and power this out, or do we elect to play a spell heavy deck in order to get this big dino onto the field? Maybe you don’t worry too much about it and run it in dino tribal and cast it affordably with some Kinjalli’s Caller-esque effect. I’m not sure but I am curious to see where this big dino takes deck construction.
For years we have been tempted by countless variants on tutor effects. While this one is tempting, I think this card we really ought to avoid it. This card all boils down to the Suspend on it, making it a very slow tutor. In most cases, you will suspend this card and the table now has two turns to deal with you.
Now, you could play the political game and make a deal that you won’t tutor the combo. Or, you could be fully transparent and tell them what exactly you are tutoring for. These options are a big gamble and many players will avoid this.
There are ways to cast this without the suspend counters by using things like Electrodominance, but that is a lot of work for marginal payoffs. The real test is this: would you run this over Diabolic Tutor? I think the overwhelming consensus is no. The two turn delay is just too much of a drawback in almost every scenario.
Will this see some play? Sure! However, I think the vast majority of players will quick discover that this doesn’t do enough and is often cut out of decks.
Well, there we are folks. I will have my full top ten Modern Horizons 2 list coming shortly, so stay tuned for more from me on this very refreshing and exciting set.
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