Welcome back to part two of our Modern Horizons 2 set review for Commander. In last week’s part 1 we took a look at the set’s monocolor cards – you can find that here – while yesterday we looked at what impacts the set might have for Modern (find that one here). Today we’re finishing up by looking at the set’s multicolor cards, artifacts, and lands. So strap in and join us one more time for
Time Spiral Remastered 3: Back to the Future Sight Modern Horizons 2.
BPhillip York: Love it. Built-in sacrifice effect, with a sacrifice trigger. Love squirrel tribal. All about that life. Also works with Korvald really well.
FromTheShire: Magic’s answer to Monty Python’s killer bunny is nasty. Obviously it’s purpose made to go in the new BG squirrel deck, but this bloodthirsty guy is going to be at home in a whole host of Jund, Abzan, and Golgari sacrifice decks, giving you value for doing the things you want to do and growing into a huge beater to boot.
BPhillip York: I think for all the effort that seemingly went into this card it should do more. Obviously you can make a deck around it, a madness deck, or what not, but while it’s interaction with madness is neat it just feels like kind of… in particular when you compare this to Anje, Falkenrath it just feels kind of lacking.
FromTheShire: Boy, this is a deeeeeep lore cut, dating all the way back to Granite Gargoyle in Alpha, which is also referenced with the printing of Marble Gargoyle in this set, and the madness mechanic also hearkens back to Asmor’s callout on the Time Spiral printing of Lightning Axe. As for the card itself, I think this is more of a roleplayer in Commander than a build around necessarily, but in other formats has some very interesting potential in a madness/ reanimator shell.
Rob: As a certifiable Magic Old I kind of never cared about them making this as a card. The food mechanic is pretty neat in a “lore matching rules” kind of way but this isn’t a lore character I really wanted to play.
BPhillip York: So this is definitely commander bait and a card for generating a ton of coin-flipping. The thing is, I find coin flipping to be kind of an annoying mechanic, and I sort of wish WotC would stop pushing it. Coin flipping apps are one thing, but actually flipping coins can take forever. Nonetheless it’s a quite strong card, either as a commander or a support card in coin flipping decks.
FromTheShire: Strong disagree, I absolutely love Yusri and flipping coins. It’s basically the only holdover from old school “dexterity” cards like Chaos Orb which appeals to me, and coin flipping chaos decks are an absolute blast to play. The randomness is a feature not a bug, and this is outstanding either in the 99 or on its own.
BPhillip York: Very strong support card.
FromTheShire: This doesn’t matter quite as much in battlecruiser games, but in cEDH and Modern where you’re more likely to be spellslinging or storming off cost reducers can be a huge deal.
BPhillip York: You can definitely make a deck around this, and I think it’d be a fun one. I think you could really leverage this with some clue creators and maybe some druids, since they tend to generate 5 ETB’s each, with elves for ramp and the option of some big blue finishers could be quite a fun deck. Also functions very well in a deck that generates a lot of clues or creature ETB’s.
FromTheShire: It’s nice that they gave us something a little different mechanics wise for Simic for once. With that being said, this just doesn’t excite me very much. At the very least it feels like this should be Bant, there’s a bunch of good investigate cards in white that you can’t run here.
BPhillip York: Awesome way to return Razaketh to play. The sorcery speed is limiting, but being able to drop it on turn 2 then cast Buried Alive on turn 3 and then return something is nice. The extra value from the Unearth is really nice too. Also, 2 power 2 toughness with 2 CMC, meaning most recursion engines can pull this back out of your graveyard, particularly useful if you want to generate tons of death/ETB/sacrifice triggers.
FromTheShire: Extremely powerful ability that can come online quickly, in colors that looooove sacrificing things for value and otherwise stocking the graveyard.
BPhillip York: So big boost for enchantress type decks, 2 cost enchantment is really nice, life gain on top of it is nice also. It is itself an enchantment, so fetchable with many tutors and creates its own triggers, though not Constellation so it doesn’t trigger on itself. Just a solid support card or a commander.
FromTheShire: Enchantress has a long history as an archetype in Legacy but hasn’t really existed in Modern, and it’s clear that with this set Wizards is trying to change that between some notable cards being printed into the format and the addition of Sythis. These decks really want to draw a bunch of cards and snowball out of control, and this is a perfect piece, tacking on incidental life gain as well. For EDH players being Legendary is a bonus, though for Modern players it is a bit of a downside since you can’t stack multiple copies.
BPhillip York: Bigly hyped card, but I think Dakkon is a bit disappointing to be honest, especially given how good Dakkon Blacklade was back in the days of yore, when all decks were bad.
FromTheShire: I’m one of the people who is hyped as hell, absolutely shocking for the guy who owns copies in English, Japanese, and Italian across Legends and Chronicles, as well as a couple of alters for the full gamut of command zone options for my personal Dakkon deck. I moved recently, and I still spent 10 minutes digging through boxes to find my copy of the 1996 Armada comic starring Dakkon. I legitimately sputtered at the temerity of Demonlord Belzenlok claiming to have forged the soul-drinking Blackblade when we returned to Dominaria at long last. The actual card can be quite powerful and I love both the return of RKF and the old art style, and the abilities hearkening back to the original. The lands matters is straight off of that card, the exile is perfect for his blade, and the ultimate makes some degree of sense for an artificer so skilled he made the finest blade in existence and was made a Planeswalker because of it.
Rob: Yeah it’s neat that they worked in the lands = power deal but otherwise he’s kind of boring. The weirdest part of this card is that they had another artist besides RKF do the full art variant. Like a weird experiment to make the promo worth less than the standard printing.
BPhillip York: I think this is a monster card, generating tokens off multicolor spells is potentially huge, especially given synergies with cards like Feather, the Redeemed, and plenty of good Boros multi-color cards, especially creatures, exist at this point. Hexproof from monocolored is an interesting ability.
FromTheShire: Absolutely has a ton of potential, and I think this is going to be a serious player in Modern as well. In commander it opens up an at least somewhat new play pattern for Boros, and in Modern it is a massive value engine that also dodges a huge swathe of commonly played removal by virtue of the hexproof from monocolored.
BPhillip York: I think this is a potentially really devastating commander if you’re willing to go all-in and fill your deck with insects. The whole “is considered a” is an interesting side effect, but for commander mostly meaningless, though I’m sure the intent is in constructed your other Grists’s will be grist for the mill. Oh, I see what they did there. Clever.
FromTheShire: A very interesting way to print a walker that can be your commander, assuming they are actually changing the layering to make it work that way as has been indicated. This is definitely going to see EDH play, and there are rumblings in both Modern and Legacy as well.
BPhillip York: I really like this card because I think planeswalkers in 4-player need more support. Being rewarded when they get attacked is a nice tradeoff, and ticking up faster is potentially really a big deal.
FromTheShire: Frenemy of Dakkon, survivor of Carth, and founder of the Carthalion line, this is another deep lore card that I am extremely stoked to see. All of his text is outstanding, he’s an immediate auto include in any planeswalker deck that is these BG or more.
BPhillip York: Corruption type counters and things like this are interesting, but I keep waiting for Wizards to do more combining of types of tokens, bounty, corruption, etc.. If there were multiple stacking effects out there this could potentially be viable for something, but as it’ll probably just get swept by random utility creatures running into it.
FromTheShire: Love the final piece of the Blackblade trifecta as well. Here we get to see the demonic planeswalker who destroyed cities, convinced Dakkon to forge his blade, gave him his spark, then later conspired to trick him to slay the Elder Dragon Piru and steal the dragon’s power for herself before binding Dakkon to her service. I don’t know how playable this will ultimately be, but the flavor is absolutely on point here.
BPhillip York: I love these squirrel cards.
FromTheShire: Unlike Ravenous Squirrel this really only goes into exactly the deck you expect it to, but it is a great roleplayer in that deck.
BPhillip York: Imo this card is a misfire, yes it can go infinite with a flicker effect and haste but… and yes they are iconic spells but why doesn’t he cast Word of Command? That’s how he got away in the first novel.
FromTheShire: Strong disagree, even if Garth didn’t actually cast a couple of these in Arena, they are iconic spells from Alpha that could easily be in his repertoire. This is an incredible callback to literally the first Magic novel and I love it. All of the chosen spells are useful as well. Maximum respect if you show up with an actual Lotus to use when you cast it using Garth.
Rob: You’re absolutely wrong. This card rules, even if he doesn’t cast Word of Command. Just an incredibly cool card. Though they missed a huge opportunity to make a Black Lotus artifact token. Now gimme a card for Greensleeves, Wizards.
BPhillip York: I like more elder dragons, want to play true EDH, Elder Dragon Highlander, and it’s nice to see some more bad but not awful ones being printed. Can also use it as a board clear with cards like Sneak Attack.
FromTheShire: I really like seeing Piru finally get a card. As previously mentioned, this is the dragon that was slain by Dakkon, so we never saw them in the original Elder Dragon cycle. The mana cost, upkeep cost, and size are perfect, and even the flavor text is a callback – the Dueling Chasm of Golthonor was formed by the explosion of power when Piru was slain. I will absolutely be building this deck to round out my collection of decks with the OG Elder Dragons as the general.
Rob: I also love this card for being just the right kind of fluffy and stupid. Probably worse than Oros, the Avenger but will be much more fun to build around.
So there’s a whole cycle of indestructible, enters tapped, artifact, dual lands with no pain. I think that’s really neat and potentially abusable. Enters the battlefield tapped is generally bad, but if you combine it with effects like Armageddon, things like affinity, and artifact ETB triggers I think the idea of artifact lands definitely has legs.
We’ll see how these actually play out, there are some rumblings in Affinity, and historically artifact lands have created Problems. It’s possible entering tapped is enough of a downside to temper them somewhat.
BPhillip York: So this is one of the exciting pieces from the set, a whole new type of thing, an enchantment land, which happens to be a Saga. Sadly it didn’t appear in Urza’s Saga expansion, or it would’ve been the Saga of Urza’s Saga in Urza’s Saga. Fetching a 0 or 1 cost artifact can be huge. You can really abuse this with Hex Parasite, the way Saga counters work, if you remove a counter while the Saga effect is on the stack, it won’t be sacrificed, and will just occur again. You can use this get a 1 or 0 cost artifact over and over. Did I mention Hex Parasite is a 1 cost artifact? Grabbing Sol Ring, a Mox, Sensei’s Divining Top, or Skullclamp can be huge, so I think this is definitely going to see some play, though not in every deck.
FromTheShire: This card has the potential to be capital B Busted. There are a number of Modern and Legacy decks that are eyeing this up, not least because you can respond to the trigger to move to the third step, meaning you get two Karn-structs which is incredibly powerful in an artifact deck.
BPhillip York: Typically swamps matter a lot more than forests, but there are definitely some “if it’s a forest” tricks you can play, and particularly turning forests into other things has potential. Without a Cabal Coffers it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, and there’s a weird thing where you can punish your opponent for having swamps you made their lands into, forests not usually so much.
FromTheShire: This is going to be absolutely bonkers in a couple of Legacy decks at the very least, namely Elves and Lands, but really anything where you have a mana base with a bunch of lands like Rishadan Port and Maze of Ith. Also a great lore reference.
BPhillip York: I think this is a totally fun, chill, Boros commander to make a modular deck around that goes wide and has fun with lots of artifacts and recursion.
FromTheShire: Yeah this looks linear but lots of fun.
BPhillip York: Cool card imo, can be used for graveyard removal or grabbing a fattie off someone else or a neat way of getting out a big fatties really fast.
FromTheShire: This is perfect for something being built with the 75% philosophy – basically you build your deck at 75% of its maximum power level so that you can play it at a wider array of tables. One of the ways you do this is with clone effects, because in general a deck should be able to handle the threat level of the creatures it contains.
BPhillip York: 2 mana value mana rocks are always worth noting.
FromTheShire: 2 drop rocks are where it’s at, and having a Liquimetal Coating tacked on is situationally helpful. Hooray for power creep.
BPhillip York: This card has huge implications, shutting down artifacts, but most notably all the 0 cost counterspells, like Force of Will, which are everywhere. Also can create weird locks with certain cards like Possibility Storm.
FromTheShire: There are a lot of people hyping this up as a silver bullet against Tron who I think are going to be pretty disappointed in how that actually plays out, especially with Yavimaya being released in the same set.
BPhillip York: Weird card with a weird effect. If you make one food token you get one clue, one food, and one treasure. If you have have 2 of these automata you get 3 of each. You get 3^(X-1) tokens for each manufactor, but not infinite, but possibly a lot with something like Orvar, the All-Form. Or just clones or Copy Artifact.
FromTheShire: Intriguing. There are definitely ways to abuse this, and being an artifact it can slot in anywhere you’re making at least one of these token types.
BPhillip York: This is definitely playable, blinking and land ramping are both really nice. Huge for Omnath, Locus of the Roil.
FromTheShire: For decks that struggle with ramp, fetching a land and flickering your Solemn Simulacrum is so, so good, and green and white are both very relevant removal types so the protection is pretty nice as well.
BPhillip York: This is definitely a card, call-out to the most expensive casting cost card in Magic, I’m not sure there’s much to be done with it, but probably giving hexproof is worthwhile.
FromTheShire: Very cool callout to Draco that can give you a massive set of keywords in 5 color decks. Where this is getting a huge amount of hype is in Domain Zoo type decks in Modern, an archetype that has faded away in recent years but seems to be getting a push in this set.
Well that wraps up our look at the second half of Modern Horizons 2. It’s another exciting set that’s sure to have a massive impact on a number of formats. We’re looking forward to it! In the meantime if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.