Modern Horizons 2, the next new set of cards for Magic: The Gathering, looks to break from the design of many other Magic: The Gathering sets. The second iteration of the Modern Horizon series is introducing more direct-to-Modern cards that offer references to fan-favorite, older cards. Some bring back beloved mechanics, which will impact some of Magic’s most popular older formats such as Modern and Commander. With this, here are five cards from Modern Horizons 2 that will encourage memorable experiences for Magic players regardless of their background.
In a regular game of Magic, you’ll typically spend mana to cast your spells. But with Modern Horizons 2, there is a new cycle of cards that looks to change that. Originally from the Lorwyn set, Evoke is a keyword ability that allows you to pay a different cost altogether. In the case of Solitude, you can exile a White card from your hand to cast the spell without paying any mana.
If the Evoke cost is paid, the creature is sacrificed when it enters the battlefield. However, it enables you to interact at all stages of the game — even if you’re tapped out of mana. Rounding out this cycle are Subtlety, Fury, Grief, and Endurance that all offer a unique effect within their colors. This selection of cards is expected to see consistent play in Modern given how effortless they are to cast.
Another charming quality of the set is the nod to characters from the Magic lore. Garth One-Eye is one of the more experimental designs Wizards of the Coast brings to Modern Horizons 2.
Garth is unlikely to see play in Modern, but is expected to feature in the popular singleton format, Commander. As such, you can run a suite of cards such as Braingeyser, Terror, Shivan Dragon, Disenchant, Regrowth, and Black Lotus as part of Garth’s ability. More importantly, these cards all callback to Alpha, the first-ever Magic set printed. The ability to copy a Black Lotus is something you don’t often get to experience in a game of Magic, and it’s sure to offer something memorable for players to enjoy.
Planeswalkers regularly headline upcoming set releases, and Modern Horizons 2 looks to continue the trend. Grist, the Hunger Tide offers a unique static ability that opens up a wealth of deckbuilding options. Most notably, Grist is an Insect creature in addition to its other types. This is the first time such an effect exists and is sure to catch the eye of Modern players.
You’ll want to use Grist in slower strategies that hope to out-grind the opponent. Even then, you could run the planeswalker in Insect tribal strategy to make the most of the first ability. The second ability is a solid source of creature removal, and the final ability is a game-ender if you can amass enough creatures in your graveyard. For Commander enthusiasts, know that Grist can be your Commander since it is a creature in the Command zone.
For two black mana, you can destroy any target creature without the worry of it coming back through regeneration. If you find yourself facing down a board full of threats, Damn can be cast for its alternative cost and turned into a Wrath of God, sweeping the battlefield clear for you to progress your game plan. Expect to see Damn fall into slower and controlling strategies as both modes offer excellent versatility.
Sometimes Magic cards see production just because fans love them so hard, and that’s very true of the unpronounceable chef — Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar. Shortened to Asmor, the creature was referenced back in Alpha and since captured the hearts of Magic players. Now in Modern Horizons 2, they finally have a card of their own.
Due to the long name, a casting cost couldn’t fit on the card, so she comes with a one-mana cost of either black or red mana as long you have discarded a card this turn. Also, the creature lets you find a copy of The Underworld Cookbook when she enters the battlefield, providing instant value by replacing the card discarded to play her. It’s already seeing quite a bit of play in Magic: The Gathering Online as there are so many ways to discard cards for value. Expect to see the Human Wizard as a permanent fixture in Modern going forward.
There are several ways to buy Magic cards, of course. You can pick up individual cards from your friendly local game store and from secondary markets like TCGplayer online, or you can pick up booster boxes from Amazon if you fancy cracking packs. The full physical release is on June 18. The set is currently available in Magic: The Gathering Online.