Modern Horizons 2 was one of the most impactful events for the format’s evolution.
Online players have been using the set’s new cards to try new strategies and improve existing decks. However, everyone wonders what direction the format will go and which will be the new top-tier decks.
There are four decks that have had the best recent tournament performances:
- Amulet Titan
- Izzet Blitz
- Urza’s Kitchen
- Jeskai Stoneblade
But how is Modern Horizons 2 affecting these decks?
- Clunkiness without Amulet of Vigor in play
- No windows to play other threats due to the need to play many lands and the need for other ways to access special lands
Urza’s Saga is proving to be the solution to these weaknesses.
This card gives you access to eight copies of Amulet of Vigor and lets you find Expedition Map, which in turn helps you find Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle or Tolaria West, which then helps you find Primeval Titan.
It’s difficult for Primeval Titan or Dryad of the Ilysian Grove to remain in the battlefield when playing control decks. You can increase the number of threats on the board when Titan’s triggered ability puts two Urza’s Saga into play to create constructs.
Blitz was already top tier of the format before Modern Horizons 2 because it puts a lot of pressure in the early game, but it had a few weaknesses:
- It must mulligan if it doesn’t have either a creature on turn one or the Manamorphose and Stormwing Entity combo
- It needs continuous gasoline and drawing some extra lands could be lethal
- It needs more than one spell to kill threats like Tarmogoyf or Planeswalker with a lot of loyalty counters.
Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Unholy Heat easily solves these problems.
The recently-released Dragon’s Rage Channeler seemed perfect for Legacy, and it’s now being acknowledged that it could greatly impact Modern. It’s not explosive like Monastery Swiftspear or Soul-Scar Mage, but its surveil function increases the resources supply, and it’s a difficult threat to block when the deck is in delirium.
Unholy Heat is the perfect burn spell for the deck. You can solve big threats with a single card, which is not easy for red-based decks. Unfortunately, it can only target creatures or planeswalkers, which is why only two copies are needed.
This new deck is gasoline! I love this brew because it has a powerful approach in every stage of the game. In the early game it has Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer — the best 1 mana creature in Modern that can easily steal the game if uncontested — and it has a solid midrange plan with the shell Asmor, The Underworld Cookbook, Ovalchase Daredevil, and Urza’s Saga. These cards generate a lot of food tokens, removal, and enormous constructs.
I was impressed by Urza’s Kitchen during testing, and I suggest trying some shells of it because you will win many matches and have fun.
Before Modern Horizons 2, Jeskai Stoneblade hasn’t been as visible. In the old metagame, Batterskull wasn’t an impressive turn-three play and, with the exception of Stoneforge Mystic, the deck didn’t have a fast clock. The late game was also weak in comparison to control decks like UW or Esper Control.
The addition of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer has made the deck solid due to being an incredible threat at turn one. A turn-one Ragavan and Force of Negation combo will win the game most of the time.
Stoneforge Mystic’s power level increased thanks to Kaldra Compleat’s aggression. This card destroys any bg strategy because it can fight against every creature or removal spell, and it’s better than Batterskull against control decks.
Switching Path to Exile for Prismatic Ending allows you to have an answer to almost everything in the format, but I suggest adding a land with a fourth color to maximize the strength of this card.
We are just starting with this new Modern metagame, but already Modern Horizons 2 has had a significant impact on the format. I will test some spicy decks this week, and I can’t wait to play for real!