Today was a huge announcement for all Magic players though specifically Modern players and I am ecstatic. On Weekly MTG Modern Horizons was announced as a new standalone set that will skip Standard legality and be specifically formulated for the Modern format. There has been a lot of speculation for the past few months about what would happen moving forward with the announcement of no more Masters sets after Ultimate Masters. This was the solution that I and many others had hoped would take place as opposed to the possibility of pre-constructed decks similar to the Challenger Decks made for Standard. I am sure you are excited to hear the details so lets hop in.
Modern Horizons is a full 254 card set along with a Buy-a-Box promo for a total of 255 cards. This set will be made up of entirely new cards created for the Modern format as well as some reprints. The reprints found in this set though are cards that have never been legal in Modern so they could be cards that were printed before Eighth Edition or they could be card printed in other supplemental sets that were never legal for Modern. This puts things like Counterspell and Leovold, Emissary of Trest on the table as well as totally new cards too powerful to go through Standard.
There were two cards revealed to us during the WeeklyMTG live stream both of which are brand new cards. The first of which was Cabal Therapist.
Obviously a nod to Cabal Therapy and wow this card is pretty powerful. This a Cabal Therapy that can be killed but can be used just about every turn if you can produce a creature to sacrifice. Baseline this can be sacrificed to itself but you do need it to survive till the next turn in order to get the Cabal Therapy out of it but if this survives to be activated twice then you will be really putting the screws to your opponent. I am most excited of ways to make it useful to target yourself in conjunction with cards like Arclight Phoenix and Hollow One. The design team was very careful with this card in the wording of when the effect would take place so it wouldn’t just break the format but Cabal Therapist is going to be a must kill if you see it on the other side of the battlefield. One other random note about this card is it does have a relevant creature type in Horror so it can’t be bounced by a flipped Thing in the Ice.
The second card that was revealed was a little less exciting to me but it does say a lot about the creative direction of the set as well as it’s nature being a set that has cards too powerful for Standard. The card is Serra the Benevolent.
Serra is obviously just a bit too much for a Planeswalker in Standard. Being only 4 mana and making a Serra Angel with a Planewalker still hanging around afterwards could prove to be quite powerful in Standard. Though I am not sure this is good enough for Modern or rather if this has a home in Modern. I could see it getting adapted into some UW control lists or maybe playing a role in Spirits to pump the team though that doesn’t sound too great. The emblem could be powerful in a strategy with some Bogles or other hexproof/indestructible creatures but there aren’t a ton of those running around. There is also the possibility of this fitting into an Abzan midrange strategy but this card will definitely take a little more work to find a good home. This card shows off the design team’s ability to take this standalone set and present players with new and old characters and stories that wouldn’t make sense to touch on in current Standard but stories that they want to tell. Personally I just want to open a Serra the Benevolent in a Sealed or Draft event.
Modern Horizons will release on June 14th about a month after War of the Spark and will even have a Prerelease Weekend June 8th-9th. We can expect to start seeing some previews for Modern Horizons at the end of May. The set will be available in stores and on MTGO but will not be coming to Arena which is a little disappointing but somewhat expected. Since Wizards recently did away with MSRP I am not sure how much packs will be in stores but on MTGO packs will be $6.99. There will also be a few MagicFest GPs with Modern Horizon‘s Limited as the format including MagicFests D.C., Copenhagen, and Seattle. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is as excited as I am. What cards do you hope to see in this set? Let me know in the comments and on Twitter. Hope everyone has a great weekend!