The much anticipated follow up to Modern Horizons will soon be hitting shelves, and this week we are getting our first look at all the new toys we will get to enjoy from Magic’s newest premium set. The original set had a huge effect on the Modern format, and if the brief look we have had is anything to go by then I think Modern Horizons 2 will have a similar impact.
With fetch land reprints and new card galore, it’s going to be an interesting couple of month for the Modern meta game, and I for one can’t wait to see what new and improved decks players will come up with. In today’s article, we are going to look at a few of the cards we have already had previewed and see what kind of impact they will have on the format. So, let’s not waste any more time and get started.
Let’s start with a card that has got everyone either very excited, or absolutely terrified depending on your colour pie preference. Grief is a four mana 3/2 Elemental Incarnation with Menace that comes with inbuilt, unrestricted hand attack. That’s pretty good as it is, but then you notice that in has an Evoke cost of exiling a black card from your hand meaning that you can play this out as early as turn one (sacrificing Grief thanks to Evoke).
Now you might be thinking “Well why is that any good? You are two for one-ing yourself, right?”. And yes, you would be right, if this was an Instant or Sorcery. But since it’s a creature that mean we can blink it. Turn one you can play a white mana producing land, then Evoke Grief and hold priority. You then cast Cloudshift to exile it and return it to play, hand attacking your opponent twice and getting to keep the 3/2 as it avoids the sacrifice trigger. Cast Ephemerate instead and you get to rebound in your next upkeep to effectively Thoughtseize your opponent three times. That is potently backbreaking, and they are unlikely to be able to come back from that.
Grief could also potentially be used alongside Eldrazi Displacer to lock your opponent out of the game, giving you instant speed and repeatable hand attack. And that is just the initial few ideas the community has come up with. Give it a few weeks and I expect players will come up with any number of horrible combos with this new mythic. Expect this card to see a lot of play in the coming months. Personally, I’m thinking of trying it in Living End.
You’re going to hear me Roar.
Next up we have a card that is a bit of a build around, but potential could be stomping over the competition in the right deck. Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar is a 12 mana 7/7 Legendary Dinosaur with trample and haste, but believe me, you are not going to cast it for retail. You see, Thrasta becomes 3 mana cheaper to cast for each spell you have cast that turn, meaning if you can cast at least four spells in a single turn, you can cast Thrasta for only two green mana.
This is such a low bar to clear in Modern, with a ton of free/refunding spells in the format. How many times have you seen someone cast two or three Manamorphose or Burning-Tree Emissary on turn two? Or cast a bunch of phyrexian mana spells in a single turn? Given the right kind of build, I reckon Thrasta could defiantly see play in the format.
I haven’t even touched on the fact it can trample over planewalkers (meaning that yes, it can flatten a planeswalker and deal the excess damage to its controller) or that the turn it enters the battlefield it has hexproof. I can’t wait to get my hands on this particular dinosaur and put it through its paces.
The Rishadan Port at Home.
The last card I want to talk about today it a call back to a card that has seen a ton of play in Legacy decks like Death and Taxes. Rishadan Port is a powerful effect, been able to tap down other powerful lands and stopping your opponents from using their mana effectively. Now Wizards of the Coast didn’t give us a simple reprint, but they did give us a creature with the same effect.
Rishadan Dockhand is a one mana 1/2 Merfolk with Islandwalk and the same activated ability as Rishadan Port. Coming down nice and early, this fishy sailor can easily knock opponents off their mana curve, or even keep them off a vital colour in a greedy mana base. If you can also make use of cards like Aether Vial to avoid using your own mana to cast you creatures, you can basically use your own mana and Rishadan Dockhand to stave your opponent of their most vital resource.
So, what kind of deck could make use of this powerful one drop? A deck that also uses Aether Vial to cheat out creatures and have the mana available to activate Rishadan Dockhand? Why, tribal Merfolk of course.
Merfolk doesn’t really have the best one drop creatures and could really use a mana disruptor like Rishadan Dockhand to keep other decks off balance while it assembles its fishy army. As an example, the bane of most creature heavy decks is of course the dreaded wrath, which most of the time require two of the same mana (like double white with Wrath of God). So, you can use the Dockhand to tap down your opponents’ white source in their upkeep, keeping them off the mana they need to clear the board while you beat down their life total.
It could also see play in the less popular Blue/White version of Death and Taxes for much the same reason, with cards like Spell Queller as a backup safety valve. It might take a few months to find a home, but I expect Rishadan Dockhand to have a noticeable impact on the Modern format.
And that will about do it for today. By the time this article comes out we should have already seen a few more cards from Modern Horizons 2, so I except a follow up when we have seen what else the set has to offer. Let me know what you are looking forward to with Modern Master 2 in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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