Modern Horizons 2 is just around the corner and great changes seem inevitable in this balanced, stable format. Last week we saw which cards could be more interesting, fit into current decks, or give life to new archetypes.
This week we look at existing decklists to see where the new cards could work.
Mono Red has been played in Boros colors for a while and may actually return as a mono color. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Flame Rift represent the two main additions and give a noticeable boost to the deck. We’ve discussed Ragavan a lot, and it’s likely to become the expansion’s most-played card due to its huge advantage. The less-sponsored Flame Rift has always been played in Burn Legacy and won’t struggle to find space in Modern.
The format will change considerably, so it’s too early to plan a sideboard. However, Gorilla Shaman, another new arrival, will most likely find a slot in almost all red sides. Its power level is unquestionable, and some artifact in the format is always played.
Counterspell finally comes to the format thanks to Modern Horizons 2 and is a huge addition for control decks. A hard counter that gives safety and solidity to the deck, it’s the spell these archetypes lacked the most. The powerful cards and components are present to bring UW to the peak of its form.
Suspend, for example, provides a time advantage against aggressive decks. Its combination with Teferi, Time Raveler forms a strong one-mana removal as the planeswalker’s ability prevents suspended cards from coming into play again.
You will have to plan your sideboard to survive against Mono Red and UR Blitz, but this should be easy to do, and you won’t encounter many problems against other decks.
Grief has been presented as a high-power card — an Unmask with a body that is destined to be played in many decks. It may fit best here since it complements the deck’s strategy. Imagine starting with land, discarding, playing Grief, and then throwing down a turn-two Smallpox. There’s almost nothing your opponent can do in response.
Tourach, Dread Cantor is the other important addition. Its protection by white should not be underestimated. It will be sideboarded against aggressive decks, but it could be a difficult threat to manage in match-ups with Humans and GW Company.
Some newly printed cards could help the Merfolks return. The indestructible Svyelun of Sea and Sky requires you to draw a card every time it attacks, which is vital for a deck with limited resources. It resembles the popular Kira by providing Merfolks ward 1.
Tide Shaper is an alternative, stronger version of Spreading Seas. As a creature it works better with the deck, and it can put pressure on the board.
Modern Horizons 2 has come to our aid — one of the format’s decks that made history is likely returning to meta. I’ve always loved this archetype. The amount of strong cards is amazing, and it’s a pleasure to see and play.
Territorial Kavu is the first new addition. A drop to 2 is impactful, which is likely to be a 5/5 turn two thanks to the triomes, a substantial threat. Its two triggers are important. The first allows you to improve your card quality but possibly discard too much land. The second will be crucial in match-ups where your opponents wants to interact with their graveyard.
Scion of Draco finds a perfect spot that is boosted by triomes. It is a 2 mana 4/4 flying creature in most cases and provides creatures with nearly all existing abilities.
Only those who played during the Mirrodin period will be able to appreciate what they are seeing. This Affinity List is far from what was one of the best decks in history, but it can be a starting point for lovers of this archetype.
Thought Monitor is a beautiful card, and it will often be one mana 2/2 flyier that makes you draw a card when it comes into play.
A new version of the banned, powerful Artifact Lands is present. They are indestructible and make the ability “Affinity with artifacts” usable again.
This deck can make starts that are difficult to contain, but there will be games where it won’t do anything. Think of it like Combo — you probably won if you played the whole hand in the first two turns, but if not, then it’s not doing so well.
Modern Horizons 2 is bound to shift the meta towards less-played decks, and the above are just some that could return. Adding something new will be a positive shock for a format that’s been stuck on the same decks for too long.