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Commander Review: Modern Horizons | Part 2 | Red, Green, Multicolor, Colorless, Lands


Modern Horizons is fully spoiled and that means it's time for the Commander Review! These are my picks for the best cards in the set for the Commander format. Part 1 can be viewed here covering White, Blue, and Black. Now we're doing the rest in Part 2! Let's go!

 

RED

 

Alpine Guide

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I bet a lot of readers might be surprised why this draft jank card is in a Commander review, but it turns out Alpine Guide is one of the first cards that I'll be looking to pick up for one of my own personal decks: Zedruu the Greathearted. In a Zedruu deck, Alpine Guide's drawback turns into an advantage, letting you ramp a Mountain (including dual lands like Steam Vents), then donate away the Guide to an opponent -- preferably one with Mountains. You draw a card off Zedruu, and when the Guide dies, its the new controller that has to sacrifice a Mountain, not you! This is the absolute perfect ramp card for Zedruu!

 

Aria of Flame

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Once Aria of Flame is on the battlefield, you need to cast 4 instants/sorceries to offset the 10 life you gave one opponent (10 damage). If you're playing a typical 4-player FFA with 3 opponents then you need to cast 8 instants/sorceries to offset the 30 life total you gave your opponents (36 damage). Once you've collected 10+ verse counters the damage quickly becomes lethal, but that's quite a tall order for most decks.

Compare Aria of Flame to Guttersnipe: same cmc, and creatures have a higher mortality rate than enchantments, but the goblin starts gaining value as soon as you cast your first instant/sorcery, while Aria requires 8. Yeah, nah.

I see Aria of Flame being playable only in decks that consistently deny your opponents lifegain, like Sulfuric Vortex and Tibalt, Rakish Instigator. Then this enchantment is all upside. Otherwise I don't see myself ever running this.

 

Bladeback Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Just like Scuttling Sliver, I don't expect Sliver decks to be running Bladeback Sliver unless you have some infinite combo in mind. I'm sure such a combo exists, but I don't know what it is or how janky it is off the top of my head. Let me know if there's an obvious combo here that is actually amazing.

 

Cleaving Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

For extreme budget versions of Sliver Tribal, Cleaving Sliver isn't the worst. Your Slivers hit harder, and that's good. It's better than Battle Sliver and almost always the same as Bonesplitter Sliver. For straightforward budget Sliver decks this works like a charm.

 

Fists of Flame

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Fists of Flame is my favorite Red card in the entire set. It doesn't look like much, but it ends up being one of the best cards in one of my favorite decks: Zada, Hedron Grinder. Imagine having Zada out and three 1/1 tokens and casting Fists on Zada: Zada gets +2/+0 (minimum if you cast this on your turn after draw step), then the next token gets +3/+0, +4/+0, and +5/+0! AND YOU DRAW 4 CARDS! FOR 2 MANA! AHHHHH! If you drew other cards this turn beforehand (Expedite), then this is just a game-ender if you get to swing. Disgusting. I love it.

This is also a staple in Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest decks for a similar reason, easily bringing his power to one-punch range for just two mana if you draw some cards beforehand.

But I know where Fists of Flame will see the most play in: Feather, the Redeemed. And yes, it's an instant staple in the deck, providing a steady stream of card draw while also helping Feather close out games with commander damage. You can even use it to pump an opponent's attacking creature if they're swinging at a mutual enemy. Fists won't be as busted in Feather as it is in Zada, but it's still the perfect inclusion.

 

Force of Rage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

When the Force cycle was being revealed, I was over the moon when I saw "Force of Wheel," Red's Force card that was an instant-speed Wheel of Fortune. I was beyond hyped, until the moment I realized that it was a fake card. Then I felt overwhelming disappointment.

Then I felt even more disappointment when Red's real card was revealed: Force of Rage. Yikes.

I know you're never supposed to count out spells with free alternate costs. I know. We've seen it time and time again that these cards end up being broken eventually. I'm sure that one day Force of Rage is going to be a $50 card because of some breakout brew. But right now, in the Commander format, I'm not seeing it. Maybe Omnath, Locus of Rage for two easy Elemental death triggers? Maybe? I don't know. Let me know what you're doing with this. Until then, I'm putting it in the "cards I'm picking up a copy of in hopes that one day it'll be good" pile, right alongside Force of Virtue.

 

Goblin Engineer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Goblin Engineer is a fixed/weaker version of Goblin Welder, but even this depowered version is still so amazing that it'll quickly become a staple for any Red Artifact deck just like its predecessor. The tutor is fantastic, allowing you to grab any artifact card, either stuff the Engineer itself can get back (Skullclamp) or your other artifact recursion can recover (Krark-Clan Ironworks). Engineer's recursion is worse than Welder, but it still performs similar duties like sacrificing Myr Retriever to get back Lightning Greaves + any other artifact.

Card is great. Card is a staple. Run it in all your Red Artifact decks.

 

Goblin War Party

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Goblin War Party is a solid new inclusion in Goblin Tribal decks (Krenko, Mob Boss) and Red Token decks (Zada, Hedron Grinder). It's not on the level of Hordeling Outburst, but it provides as many Goblins for its cost as Beetleback Chief, a card I usually end up running in those decks, and also comes with the option to pump your army. It's not amazing, but it's slightly above-average for these decks and I expect it will usually make the cut.

 

Hollowhead Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We covered Scuttling Sliver, Bladeback Sliver, now there's Hollowhead Sliver that offers a durdly effect based on tapping/untapping. I'm sensing a theme here. This isn't something I'd jam into a random Sliver deck, but if there's some way we can use these cards to combo off then I'm all for it. Again, no clue how to make such a combo work, but I am definitely curious about it at this point.

 

Pashalik Mons

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Pashalik Mons is the most ridiculous Goblin Tribal commander we've seen since Krenko, Mob Boss. He's basically a combo on a stick; the moment you can generate infinite red mana, Pashalik generates infinite Goblins and pings all your opponents to death. Absurd. I don't think you can assemble infinite mana consistently enough in Mono Red for Pashalik to be better than Krenko as the commander -- though I could be wrong about that -- but even if he's not your commander, he's absolutely in the 99 of any Goblin Tribal deck. Combo or no, Pashalik brings huge utility to any Goblin deck and is always worth running. Staple.

 

Planebound Accomplice

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Planebound Accomplice, aka Sneak Attack for planeswalkers, is bound enable some spicy plays that should make any Red Superfriends deck take note. First and foremost, any deck that can blink planeswalkers like Aminatou, the Fateshifter and Venser, the Sojourner, or just running Sundial of the Infinite, can completely negate the downside and make this card a hyper-efficient ramp engine for your 'walkers. But put this with Cloudstone Curio and we're getting super degenerate, activating planeswalkers over and over for R each time. This can also ramp out Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God combos, combining with Aminatou, the Fateshifter + Altar of the Brood for infinite mill, or with Oath of Teferi + Jace, Cunning Castaway to make infinite Bolas tokens. Planebound Accomplice makes the Jace combo cost 3UWRR, saving you 6 mana to set it up. Nice!

 

Shenanigans 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Shenanigans!

I think this card is excellent in Commander. Being able to just have this card chilling in your graveyard and getting it back whenever a threatening artifact is cast is just awesome. I love the idea of looting/self-milling/discarding this card and have it ready whenever. Red has the staple Vandalblast, and the much underrated By Force, but I think Shenanigans is right up there for top-tier artifact hate.

 

Spiteful Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Slivers just assimilated Spitemare into the ranks. Will this lead to Sliver decks winning the game with a giant Star of Extinction? Maybe. Most will probably skip this, but I think it's neat! NEAT!

 

Tectonic Reformation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tectonic Reformation has a ton of potential in very different decks. First off is, obviously, Lord Windgrace, where you're more than happy to cycle away excess lands to recur them later with Windgrace himself or stuff like Splendid Reclamation. Second is Boros decks that are running Land Tax, turning those excess lands into other cards. Finally there's the Cycling deck, likely 5C Cycling versions where you just get to cycle even more stuff to activate Astral Drift and whatnot. Even if you don't have extra lands in hand, you can always just cycle away this cheap enchantment. Fantastic addition.

 

Throes of Chaos

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I love Throes of Chaos. I love the cascade mechanic; it's a great blend of randomness and card advantage mixed together. Adding retrace to it is just brilliant, letting you "cycle" away your extra lands for nonland spells. Things get better when you use cascade to cast spells that you otherwise normally can't cast, like Living End or Wheel of Fate.

I think Throes of Chaos is just a good value card for a bunch of decks that are hurting for card advantage. It's also good in Cascade decks like Maelstrom Wanderer, or any sort of "Random" decks.

 

Viashino Sandsprinter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Another easy inclusion to Cycling decks focusing on winning with Living Death / Living End.

Also I love the fact that Viashino Sandsprinter references Viashino Sandstalker, one of my favorite cards when I first started playing and still one of my favorite artworks to this day.

 

Volatile Claws

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Volatile Claws is a riff on Blades of Velis Veil. It's a bit disappointing that this version isn't a changeling for those sweet tribal synergies, but whatever. This probably will see near-zero play but I got an idea, so hear me out: Sylvia Brightspear + Khorvath Brightflame. These are bad partners because Knights and Dragons don't have any overlap outside of these two cards and, while Sylvia is actually amazing, Khorvath is far too expensive to be worth casting. Still, there's a casual appeal that calls out to me, and with these new changelings in MH1 we've got some spice to play with.

Imagine Sylvia + Khorvath on the battlefield and whatever else. You cast Volatile Claws, now all your creatures have +2/+0, flying, haste, and double strike. Amazing, right? Okay, not amazing, but neat, right? NEAT!

 

Ayula, Queen Among Bears

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Bear Tribal has never been anything more than a meme deck ... until now. Ayula, Queen Among Bears singlehandedly makes the entire tribe not just viable, but good, if properly built. If you're interested in seeing how, I recently wrote a Budget Commander article on her that I recommend checking out. And I'm trying reeeeeally hard not to make any bear puns here or else I'll relapse and spout them all week long, but the article has an unbea -- has a lot of them. Phew.

 

Ayula's Influence

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ayula's Influence is one of the best Bear generators in the game and therefore one of the best cards for Ayula, Queen Among Bears. Great with Life From the Loam, Doubling Season, Bearscape, or just drawing a ton of cards (always recommended!). 

 

Collector Ouphe

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I know the CEDH community is going wild over Collector Ouphe. Null Rod is heavily played since it's one of the cheapest answers to prevent any deck heavily reliant on mana rocks (Mana Crypt) from going off. Ouphe being a green creature makes it even better than Rod in green decks since it's far more easily tutorable (Survival of the Fittest). In slower, less competitive metas, Collective Ouphe is more of a temporary roadblock, as eventually someone will remove the Ouphe via targeted removal or board wipes and allow the artifacts to keep functioning, so artifact destruction (Creeping Corrosion) ends up becoming more valuable. It's not bad even in casual playgroups though.

 

Deep Forest Hermit

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Deep Forest Hermit references Deranged Hermit and like its predecessor, it's a solid token generator + anthem. I'm a fan of Squirrel Tribal and this is one important step closer to make the tribe viable outside of relying on UN cards (Earl of Squirrel).

 

Force of Vigor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Force of Vigor is up there with Force of Negation as my favorite new Force cards. Of the entire cycle, Vigor is the best value when hardcast: compared to White staple, Return to Dust, Force of Vigor is pretty much the same card when hardcast, except instead of being able to exile you have the flexibility of destroying two things at instant speed whereas Return can only do so when cast at sorcery-speed. But of course, the main draw of this card is that you can cast this spell for free if you exile a green card. Fantastic. It's a great emergency plan if ever you need to respond to an opponent immediately.

Of all the Disenchants in Green, my favorite is still Nature's Claim, getting the job done at instant speed for just 1 mana. But Force of Vigor is now probably my second favorite and I expect to run it in all Green decks except those that are entirely committed to creature synergies (Nikya of the Old Ways).

 

Glacial Revelation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Winter is coming ... and hopefully when we see that snow-themed standard set it won't be such a disappointment. When that time finally comes, I look forward to drawing 6 cards off Glacial Revelation.

 

Hexdrinker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Hexdrinker, aka "build your own Progenitus." Not a great card but still good enough for Snake Tribal due to our shallow card pool.

 

Llanowar Tribe

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I always favor cheaper ramp over more expensive ramp, so I will always be running 1cmc mana dorks like Arbor Elf and Llanowar Elves before I run Tribe. Unless I'm running a very creature-focused deck, I prefer running land ramp (Nature's Lore) over mana dorks since lands are far less likely to be destroyed than creatures in most playgroups. So automatically I'd rank Llanowar Tribe pretty low on my priority list for generic Green ramp.

But there are one or two specific decks where I think Llanowar Tribe will be a high priority ramp card. The Tribe has a GGG casting cost, making it a nice inclusion in Green Devotion lists. They are also Elf Druid, so there's potential for Elf Tribal (Ezuri, Renegade Leader) and Druid Tribal (Seton, Krosan Protector). They tap for GGG which makes them really good with untap effects (Seedborn Muse). The more synergies your deck can capitalize on, the better Tribe gets.

 

Mother Bear

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Mother Bear is another top performer in Ayula, Queen Among Bears. It's a Grizzly Bear with upside. Not much else to say; if you're playing Ayula, you're playing this card.

 

Scale Up

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Scale Up looks like an excellent finisher for Token decks focusing on generating 1/1's (Tendershoot Dryad), which is most of them. The first commander I immediately thought of when seeing this was Tana, the Bloodsower, where it works both as a finisher and as a way to generate 4 extra saprolings with Tana. Seems sweet!

 

Springbloom Druid

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Springbloom Druid is basically another Farhaven Elf for most decks, and holy crap that card is pushing $2 US despite multiple reprints! So this is a cheaper Farhaven Elf ... for now. Decks with land recursion like Lord Windgrace can take full advantage of the land going to the graveyard, making it probably the best 3cmc land ramp dork there. Excellent budget (for now) ramp card for lots of decks.

 

Unbound Flourishing

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Unbound Flourishing is the Doubling Season for X Spell decks. A half-priced Season. This is aggressively good. Any deck heavily focused on X spells, most notably Rosheen MeandererWort, the Raidmother, and Kruphix, God of Horizons, is going to have a field day with this new staple.

 

MULTICOLOR

 

Cloudshredder Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Galerider Sliver and Heart Sliver combined into Cloudshredder Sliver is reeeeeeeally good at 2cmc! I expect this to be pretty much a staple in Sliver Tribal. I love the artwork evoking the original Skyknight Legionnaire artwork too!

 

Etchings of the Chosen

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Etchings of the Chosen is a pretty meh anthem, but is notable that it's a tribal sac outlet that can protect one of your creatures from removal. This is great in Go Wide Tribal decks that have an important creature you want to protect. The first one that comes to mind is Edgar Markov; you usually have a bunch of generic 1/1's made by Edgar, then one or two important vampires like Captivating Vampire or Cordial Vampire that you want to protect. Etchings of the Chosen does a great job of that, while giving your army some extra oomph. I can see this also being useful in Cleric Tribal like Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, again to protect important creatures but also to provide a decent sac outlet if you don't have a better one on the battlefield. Seems like a good card that should be tested in a variety of tribal decks.

 

Fallen Shinobi

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh wow! Fallen Shinobi is one of the most fun ninjas I've reviewed so far! Whenever it connects, you get two cards off the top of your opponent's library! And since it says "play" not "cast" you can actually play lands that you hit with this too, which means you're always getting 2 cards out of this. Fantastic! Sure, Fallen Shinobi isn't the best addition to the absolute most competitive versions of Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, which are purely focused on killing opponents as quickly as possible with a super aggressive curve, but personally I'm not interested in that version; Fallen Shinobi is exactly the style of Ninja Tribal that I'm excited to play!

 

The First Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We have a ton of 5C legendary slivers already: Sliver Queen, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Legion, and Sliver Hivelord gives us a ton of options, from funny jank to fairly competitive. But out of all these options, The First Sliver is instantly my favorite. I love cascade. It's always fun for me to use the mechanic, I like card advantage, and I enjoy the semi-randomness that comes with it. If I had to play a Sliver deck, it would definitely be led by The First Sliver. It's not as strong as Sliver Overlord or even Sliver Queen, but I'm totally fine with that; Overlord plays every single game the exact same way and I get bored just thinking about it. Give me value! Give me chaos! Let's cascade a billion times!

As fun as the deck will surely be, it's my duty to warn you that if you play a Sliver deck, you will be targeted right off the bat. Sliver decks always snowball. If they aren't shut down swiftly and decisively, they will grow out of control. That's what the tribe has always been about since its inception. So people will be doing their best to stop you the moment you reveal your commander, and rightly so! It doesn't matter if you made a "casual" version. It doesn't matter if you say there's no combos. It doesn't matter that your commander was already killed off and you're honestly not the biggest threat at the table -- you're gonna take beats regardless. If that bothers you, then don't build a Slivers deck! I know a week from now there's going to be internet posts of people complaining that they are being unfairly targeted for building a Slivers deck, and it sucks that you spent all this time and money building one and you didn't expect this to happen and now you don't know what to do. If I can save anybody from that heartache, then maybe this can persuade you. However ... if you want to build a Sliver deck, want all that sweet cascade value, and can take on the role of archenemy in stride, then do it! It's gonna be a wild ride and I hope you enjoy!

 

Good-Fortune Unicorn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Good-Fortune Unicon fills a similar role to Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit and Ivy Lane Denizen without any restrictions. This is an excellent, mana-efficient way to get +1/+1 counters on all your creatures and immediately benefit from payoff cards: ramp with Riskhar, Peema Renegade, draw cards off Armorcraft Judge, and draw cards + protect creatures with Inspiring Call, just to name a few ways! The Unicorn also enables infinite combos with persist creatures + a free sac outlet, like Good-Fortune Unicorn + Kitchen Finks + Ashnod's Altar for infinite mana and infinite life. Very solid inclusion in a bunch of decks!

 

Hogaak, Arisen Necorpolis

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis was immediately panned by the Commander communities for being an underwhelming Golgari commander. I think that's an unfair assessment, and poor Hogaak is falling victim to the classic Golgari commander problem of not being as ridiculously pushed as Meren of Clan Nel Toth or The Gitrog Monster at their respective archetypes. Seriously, those two commanders really mucked things up for any future commander, and woe to the format when we start seeing commanders that surpass these two.

Hogaak isn't just a bland beater that most people criticize it for. It's a beautiful, intelligent mass of ancient corpses that is strong and independent. Yeah, it's a beater, but Golgari has the tools to really make it shine: draw 8 cards with Life's Legacy / Rishkar's Expertise. Turn it into a swarm of insects with Carrion, which can also be used to recast it from the grave. Constantly sac'ing its big body for value is amazing for us because we can cast it from the graveyard so we never need to pay command tax recasting it. Yeah, it's not as strong as Meren, but it's fun and different and can still be powerful!

I have a Budget Commander article on Hogaak in the works. Unfortunately for me, while most people are ignoring Hogaak in Commander, it's kinda sorta breaking the Modern format and the what once was a $2 card is now ... well ...

Yikes. This might be the first time where I exclude the commander's price from the budget, folks.

 

I like the reference to Haakon, Stromgald Surge, by the way. WOTC is killin' it with those references in this set.

 

Ice-Fang Coatl

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ice-Fang Coatl is the lovechild of Ambush Viper and Baleful Strix and I'm all for it! Like most of these snow payoff cards, all you need to maximize value from this card is just upgrade your basic lands to snow-covered basics. That's it. It seems too good to be true. That said, I still won't be jamming this card into every Simic deck, but Blink decks (Roon of the Hidden Realm) might enjoy this, as will obviously Snake Tribal under Kaseto, Orochi Archmage.

 

Ingenious Infiltrator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

CARD DRAAAAAAW!

Cheaper Coastal Piracy for Ninja Tribal. Itself benefits from Ninja synergies. Ninjutsu cost of just 2 mana. Perfection. Instant staple for Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow. Boom.

 

Kaya's Guile

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Kaya's Guile is a sick new removal spell. You'll be choosing the first two modes 90% of the time; killing off creatures and exiling graveyards has tons of value in Commander. Getting two modes at instant speed for 3cmc is great value. Having the entwine cost option whenever you have three extra mana is the cherry on top. Orzhov is spoiled with instant speed removal, so Kaya's Guile does have strong slot competition by Anguished Unmaking, Despark, Swords to Plowshares, Utter End, etc. But hitting all graveyards makes this one stand out.

I expect I'll be running Kaya's Guile a decent amount going forward. It's by no means a format staple, but it's going to do work every time you cast it.

 

Lavabelly Sliver

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Lavabelly Sliver looks like yet another infinite combo inclusion. This + Sliver Queen + Mana Echoes is infinite tokens and infinite damage. I'm sure there's other sliver-based combos out there with this. If you aren't looking for a combo Sliver deck then feel free to skip over this, but if you're looking for Sliver combo finisher then Lavabelly Sliver might be exactly what you want.

 

Munitions Expert

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Cheap, instant speed Goblin Tribal removal? ETB trigger so it pairs nicely with bounce or recursion? Is a Goblin so you can more easily tutor it up with things like Moggcatcher? One toughness so you can Skullclamp it??? Sign me up! Munitions Expert is a no-brainer inclusion for Rakdos Goblins, aka Wort, Boggart Auntie, and I so desperately hope this surge of Rakdos Gobbos hints towards a return to the plane of Lorwyn, please oh please!

 

Reap the Past

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Reap the Past is all about the sheer quantity of recursion. If X=1 it's a bad Regrowth, but at X=2 it's already a cheaper Restock, albeit a random one. Anything more than that and Reap the Past becomes straight gas. I can see myself running it in a few Gruul decks, and there's one in particular where it's a staple: Rosheen Meanderer! Pairs nicely with the other new card, Unbound Flourishing!

 

Rotwidow Pack

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Rotwidow Pack doesn't look like much, but there's a single deck out there eager to welcome it: Ishkanah, Grafwidow. Spider Tribal is a jank tribe, but it's growing one card at a time.

 

Ruination Rioter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Ruination Rioter could be interesting in a Lord Windgrace deck with a Sacrifice/Graveyard subtheme ... if that exists? Maybe? I dunno. Could be sweet.

 

Soulherder

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Soulherder was made for Brago, King Eternal. You get to blink a creature on each of your end steps for free to get extra value from your Mulldrifters and whatnot. Plus as you blink your creatures, Soulherder grows and grows, quickly becoming a lethal threat. Brago decks tend to durdle a lot, and actually winning the game is, well, it's not a high priority for them, so Soulherder helps solve that problem by being a value engine that accidentally kills people. Seth, if you're reading this: please add Soulherder into your deck and put us out of our misery.

 

Thundering Djinn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

In a Wheel deck like Arjun, the Shifting Flame or The Locust God that regularly draws 5+ cards a turn, Thundering Djinn is an excellent repeatable source of removal. The card is going to be dirt cheap to buy so it's an excellent pickup for budget Wheel decks and should hold its own in all but the most expensive/competitive Wheel decks.

 

Wrenn and Six

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Holy crap. Wrenn and Six. Its +1 is a superior Crucible of Worlds since you can discard the land for value (Tectonic Reformation) -- and this planeswalker has a lower cmc! Its -1 is pretty weak in most Commander games, but at the competitive tables that run 1cmc mana dorks it's gonna do work sniping Arbor Elf and friends. Finally, the emblem is solid. But really it's all about that +1. Wowza.

Wrenn and Six is an instant staple in Lord Windgrace decks. No question about it.

 

COLORLESS

 

Farmstead Gleaner

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Farmstead Gleaner goes infinite with Grand Architect for infinitely an large beater. It's also another Scarecrow, The Reaper King players are pleased -- at least the ones who haven't switched to cheating with Arcane Adaptation.

 

Mox Tantalite

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

I don't care how many people say that Mox Tantalite is terrible. Mox are always going to be useful somewhere. People were talking smack about Mox Amber until War of the Spark made everyone go crazy for Superfriends decks and it turned out to be one of the best mana rocks there. So even though I have no clue where I'll add it, I'm picking up a copy of Mox Tantalite. It'll be great somewhere, eventually. It already has synergy with cascade (Throes of Chaos) and random stuff like As Foretold. If we ever go back to a set with Suspend then you know some new variant of Jhoira's Timebug is going to break this wide open. So yeah, it's a Mox, it'll be good somewhere.

 

Scrapyard Recombiner

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Recently, Richard built a Construct Tribal deck for Commander Clash. It was terrible, obviously. But Scrapyard Recombiner might have the power to carry the tribe all by itself. You can fetch it with Goblin Engineer, then use it to fetch a bunch of sweet things like Metalworker and Myr Battlesphere. It's a ridiculously powerful tutor limited only by a fairly small card pool. Definitely a card to pick up a copy of and hope for more good Constructs in the future.

 

Sword of Sinew and Steel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

For the Sword cycle, Sword of Sinew and Steel is fairly middle of the pack. The protection is always nice, and there's always an artifact to blow up, but planeswalkers are generally more rare. However, if your playgroup regularly plays planeswalkers or even Superfriends, Sword of Sinew and Steel easily jumps to being the best Sword of the cycle. This Sword should be consistently good enough to be worth a slot in Equipment decks, and sometimes it's amazing depending on what you face.

 

Sword of Truth and Justice

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Unlike Sword of Sinew and Steel, Sword of Truth and Justice's value largely depends on your own deck: does your deck have a counter theme? If so, this card is nuts. I can imagine Atraxa, Praetors' Voice Superfriends / +1+/1 Counter / whatever going to town with this Sword. But even without any counter synergy in your deck, Sword of Truth and Justice is offering you protection and essentially two +1/+1 counters on a creature each time you connect, which is honestly worth the cost already. It's a good equipment that only gets better in the right deck.

 

Talismans (Enemy Cycle)

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Out of all the new cards from Modern Horizons, these new five Talismans that complete the Talisman cycle are the most important cards for the format as a whole. I've been banging my drum about the importance of 1-2cmc ramp for all Commander decks, since they're so crucial for maximizing your early turns and advancing your board state as quickly as possible so you don't fall behind the rest of the table.

The talisman cycle, especially the non-Green ones, are essential ramp options for basically all the non-Green decks in the format. There's very few non-Green 2C+ decks that I wouldn't want to immediately jam a Talisman into. Finally completing the set and giving us 5 more options is a huge boon for all of us Commander players, from the most casual to the most competitive. It's fantastic. I highly recommend getting a copy of each one because people have been wisening up to the importance of 1-2cmc ramp in Commander and all the mana rocks keep going up in price despite reprints. I don't think we'll ever reach a point where power creep kicks Talismans out of decks, so always have them handy!

 

Universal Automaton

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Universal Automaton is notable because it's often the cheapest Bear / Vampire / Ninja / whatever ever printed, making it a reasonable, if not excellent, inclusion in a whole bunch of Tribal decks. It's also an artifact so it benefits from a bunch of random artifact synergies (Goblin Engineer) too. I've thrown Universal Automaton into my Ayula, Queen Among Bears deck already and expect to toss it into other random Tribal decks as well.

 

LANDS

 

Canopy Cycle

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

I don't know what the official title of this land cycle is. I just called them Canopy Lands because they're based off Horizon Canopy. Let me know what you call them!

I won't jam these lands in random decks, especially slower decks where the lifeloss really starts adding up over the turns. But there's a bunch of decks where I definitely will be adding these lands too. For example, Boros decks running Sun Titan might like Sunbaked Canyon as a ghetto sort of card draw if they're desperate. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter will love Waterlogged Grove as an easy way to trigger her ability. Land decks like Lord Windgrace and The Gitrog Monster will love Nurturing Peatland. Oh, and masochist decks like Selenia, Dark Angel will like Silent Clearing as on-demand lifeloss.

This is a really cool land cycle that makes you think about synergies instead of just mana-fixing, though it does an alright job of that too.

 

That's All, Folks!

Whew! Part 2 was way longer than Part 1! Maybe next time Part 1 will cover White, Blue, Black, Red, and Part 2 will do the rest? We'll see. Anyway, we're done for now. Let me know what you think about the review, if there's anything I missed, anything I got wrong, yadayada. I do read all the comments made within the first few days of posting and I'm eager to know what you think about this set!


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