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Modern Horizons 2 Commander/EDH Set Review – Green and Other

It’s already time for another set review? Seriously? Well, if it’s going to be like this, at least we’re working with a set as sweet as Modern Horizons 2. This set is really delivering on all fronts, from lore-based to mechanically interesting and everything in between. As far as ratings go, I don’t use numbers or grades – instead, I use this more subjective set of categories (though what really matters is what I write about the card, as I suspect most reviewers will tell you). Let’s take a look at some Modern Horizons 2 Commander goodies!

 

Header - Ratings Scale

  • Commander: You want this card in the command zone at the start the game. Its best use is to lead the charge as the cornerstone of your deck, but it can probably fit into your 99 as well.
  • Build-Around: This card can be a huge player in the theme of your deck. It either enables the theme by itself or is something you’re looking to take advantage of over the course of your ideal game. It’s probably worth dedicating other slots in your deck to cards that work with a build-around.
  • Powerhouse: This card’s not really about synergy, but it’s good all by itself.
  • Role Player: This card might not be the cornerstone of a deck list, but it’s an important part of the engine or strong enough on its own to merit potential inclusion. This category also covers cards that look good enough to try out but don’t seem like obvious winners.
  • Tech Card: Counterplay is important, and if a card doesn’t fit into one of the above categories but is good enough at countering other strategies, it’ll be included here.
  • Niche Inclusion: This card might make your deck if you have a deckbuilding restriction, whether it’s self-imposed based on theme, a power level consideration, or a card availability concern. 

As a reminder, my focus is on social Commander rather than competitive EDH. That means you’ll be hearing about cards largely from that more relaxed perspective. My goal when playing Commander is for everyone to have fun but also for me to have a good shot at winning the game, so if that’s your mindset as well, these ratings will probably resonate with you.

I won’t be reviewing reprints, so you can just assume I feel the same way about Nevinyrral’s Disk as I did before we found out it was in this set. I also don’t review every card – if I feel they’re not worth mentioning, I don’t give them a write-up, but we all know there’s a deck out there for every card. When you inevitably disagree with a rating or omitted card, please feel free to tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts!

 

Header - Green

Aeve, Progenitor Ooze
Rating: Commander
The biggest problem with storm is matching your enablers with your payoff, and by virtue of being a legendary creature, Aeve makes your payoff card available pretty much all the time. That said, mono-green storm doesn’t give you a lot of rituals to work with, but between cantrips, Explore and other cards that put lands on the battlefield untapped, mana elves and ways to give them haste, and some cheap (or free) artifact mana, it’s certainly possible to put something together. As a friend of mine pointed out, throwing in an Altar of Dementia can turn this from funny to scary pretty quickly.

Blessed Respite
Rating: Tech Card
This card accomplishes a lot at once, which is interesting and quite strange. I like the art’s reference to Gaea’s Blessing and the flavor nod to Greensleeves, who, as we all know, “called a Giant Badger to her aid in an battle with the desert mage Karli.” I’m going to start using that quote as the Magic version of “The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell and plummeted 16 feet through an announcer’s table.” 

Chatterfang, Squirrel General
Rating: Commander
Here’s the black-bordered Squirrel commander you’ve been waiting for! Chatterfang shores up the weaknesses of the Squirrel tribe by adding Squirrels as a parallel process to the other token generations you have. This is important, because there are currently fewer than 30 Squirrels and Squirrel-related cards available in Commander, including Modern Horizons 2 cards, as of this writing. The addition of black isn’t really important for adding Squirrel cards, but it does help with token generation and finding ways to sacrifice them for gain.

Chatterstorm
Rating: Role Player
Mono-green storm has gotten a shot in the arm with Aeve, and of course I expect to see this alongside cards like Chatter of the Squirrel and Acorn Harvest in Squirrel decks, especially since Chatterfang will double them up as well.

Chitterspitter
Rating: Build-Around
Chatterfang provides a realistic way to play a Squirrel deck, but Chitterspitter provides a reason. Sac tokens, stack up counters, grow your Squirrels. Outside of a Squirrel deck, you could play this in miscellaneous token decks, but it’s unlikely to make as big of an impact quite as quickly.

Endurance
Rating: Tech Card
A Loaming Shaman with reach and flash is a serious upgrade, though 1GG is a different cost from 2G and should be considered as you build two or three color decks.

Fae Offering
Rating: Build-Around
You’ll have to “build around” this in so much as you’ll need to make sure you have enough cheap creatures and/or noncreatures to make this trigger, but when you do hit, you’re getting a good amount of value if and only if you can really do something with the tokens. Doing this much work for these three tokens once every couple of turns isn’t worth it unless you can turn them into greater value, though Academy Manufactor makes this effect look really good. It’s also good value if you can actually trigger this on opponents’ turns, though that’s quite hard to do consistently.

Foundation Breaker
Rating: Tech Card
This is a solid Naturalize option for Elemental decks or decks focused on ETB triggers.

Gaea’s Will
Rating: Powerhouse
Oh dear. Well, at least it has suspend 4, right? Social players have long tired of cards like Praetor’s Counsel in mono-green, and this is pretty close to that. As with all of these costless suspend spells, cascading into them allows for the greatest consistency but is quite hard to do in Commander. 

Herd Baloth
Rating: Build-Around
If you have consistent ways to add counters every turn, like Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter or Simic Ascendancy, it’s easy to go crazy with this in a hurry. Throw a Master Biomancer in to add to the fun, and yes, of course you can go wild with Cathars’ Crusade – luckily you can stop the infinite loop by choosing not to make a Beast, eventually.

Ignoble Hierarch
Rating: Role Player
It’s always nice to have another one-mana accelerator around, though you do have to be in Jund colors or greater. 

Jade Avenger
Rating: Niche Inclusion
Once I figure out how to build a Chrono Trigger deck, this is going right in. I’ll never get Frog’s Theme out of my head ever again, but you know what? That’s fine.

Sanctum Weaver
Rating: Role Player
The payoff is a little less exciting once you have a critical mass of enchantments, but as a two-mana accelerant that gets better as you continue to play, this is a solid inclusion in any enchantress-style deck that needs lots of mana to offset the long series card draws.

Scurry Oak
Rating: Role Player
If I don’t mention cards that go infinite with Cathars’ Crusade, I’m sure someone will tweet at me, and that’s not how we like to generate engagement on social media, is it? I wouldn’t be sad if all of the copies of Cathars’ Crusade just disappeared one day, but until then, I’ll continue to avoid casting it myself.

Squirrel Sanctuary
Rating: Niche Inclusion
This isn’t just for Squirrel decks – it’s an interesting way for sacrifice decks to turn the death of noncreature tokens into more creatures. That said, we already have cards like Pawn of Ulamog in surprising numbers, so this is probably not high on the list. 

Squirrel Sovereign
Rating: Role Player
This is just for Squirrel decks or the occasional changelings and lords deck. It’s always nice to give Morophon “Tribal Tribal” decks a new friend.

Sylvan Anthem
Rating: Role Player
A mono-green tokens list will welcome this, as scrying in bulk gets close to drawing cards quite quickly. Elves lists may also be interested, especially if they’re fairly close to being mono-green.

Terramorph
Rating: Niche Inclusion
It won’t ordinarily have an upside over Migration Path or Explosive Vegetation, but if you need more of those effects or you’re excited about the rebound because you’re trying to storm off, search more, or something else weird, have at it.

Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar
Rating: Commander/Powerhouse
I wrote about this in my CFB Xtra Newsletter column, but I’ll summarize – this is a solid top-end threat as long as you can cast a spell or two in advance, but it’s an even better Commander as you will always have a payoff for mono-green “storm” that you can even sacrifice to something like Greater Good or Life’s Legacy to keep your hand full. Thrasta and Aeve belong in the same deck lists, most likely.

Timeless Witness
Rating: Powerhouse
This card gets serious in a hurry. From the name to the art, you know what this is going to be, and the text box does not disappoint. Eternal Witness at 2GG is a palatable card, and with eternalize 5GG, you’re able to cash in again in the late game for a second card. This is a lot of cards all in one, and since it comes in as a 4/4 off the eternalize, it can brawl. Not only that, since it comes in as a token, there are shenanigans to be found with cards like Rhys the Redeemed and Parallel Lives! Wow. Just wow.

Tireless Provisioner
Rating: Build-Around
Hey, it’s yet another powerful landfall card! It may not draw you cards, but with Treasure as a fantastic default reward and Food available as an option for fans of Gyome or other commanders that can make use of it, it’s hard to imagine this not showing up in green decks around the world. I should just build a deck full of green Commander “staples” so I can just leave them all together in one deck and disinvite them from the rest of my lists.

Verdant Command
Rating: Niche Inclusion
This has some cute little bits of upside as a tech card, but I assume it’ll be making two Squirrels and exiling a card or gaining three life a lot, and that’s not amazing.

 

Header - Multicolor/Gold

Arcbound Shikari
Rating: Role Player
It’s interesting to see this in a color combination with fewer counter synergies, but I expect this is partially a Limited plant and partially a nod toward token-based artifact strategies. Alibou decks will want this as they load up on Servos and Thopters.

Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar
Rating: Commander
I don’t think this card is good in 60-card Constructed, but I hope people play it because then I’ll get to see what they write on their deck lists. Honestly, if you wrote “Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz,” I would just assume you meant this card. That said, this one’s a little weird because part of the value in this card is grabbing The Underworld Cookbook, which will usually only happen once per game. As of this writing, there are only six other cards that make Food in this color combination. Only two of them are repeatable Food engines, and only one of them is what I would call good – Witch’s Oven. That said, if you’re playing this card, you’re going hard on theme, and that means you want it in the command zone.

Carth the Lion
Rating: Commander
I know it’s hard to imagine me falling in love with a planeswalker-related commander, but Carth explores some really cool design space. All of your ‘walkers get much more resilient, and many get to their ultimates faster – Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury is an interesting option. Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter can send out a counter each turn for free, and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman can go up in loyalty on demand!

Combine Chrysalis
Rating: Role Player
You can only use this at sorcery speed and (without assistance) once per turn cycle, but if you’re making a bunch of noncreature tokens, this is a great way to turn them into relevant threats, and a lot of cards in this set make Food, Clues and Treasures for you to dump into this engine.

Dakkon, Shadow Slayer
Rating: Role Player
You could play this in a four or five-color deck and make sure to include green, but it might be even easier just to wait until the midgame and drop a seven or more loyalty Dakkon straight away to cheat something out for three mana. As planeswalkers tend to draw hate in multiplayer games, you’ll have to put some serious resources into growing or defending Dakkor or risk him being a glorified sorcery. That said, if a three-mana sorcery let me cheat out an eight or more mana artifact, I wouldn’t complain.

Drey Keeper
Rating: Niche Inclusion
Squirrel decks only, but the menace is really nice if you’re chittering away in Squirrel-land.

Ethersworn Sphinx
Rating: Role Player
Anything with affinity catches my eye pretty fast, and with sufficient Thopters, you get to spin the wheel quite early. That said, the bigger the mana value on a cascade card, the more inconsistent it is, so I’m not expecting this to show up in most lists.

Garth One-Eye
Rating: Commander
This won’t break Commander or even come close, but people sure do get heated up on Twitter when a card has “Black Lotus” written on it, don’t they? That said, this is a great throwback to the Arena novel that lets you do some fun and flavorful stuff, and I’ll likely pick up an old-border copy and build an old-frame-only deck with Garth.

General Ferrous Rokiric
Rating: Commander
I think it’s interesting to see Boros go in new directions, and with re-castable multicolor cards like Waves of Aggression as well as engines like Plargg, Dean of Chaos and Velomachus Lorehold, it’s not too hard to see how Ferrous triggers could happen turn after turn.

Geyadrone Dihada
Rating: Niche Inclusion
In most sets, this would be the second hardest card name to say out loud, but this is Modern Horizons 2. That said, outside of decks that can really add a lot of counters to this or multi-activate it, I don’t see much of a future for this card, as it really can’t defend itself very well.

Goblin Anarchomancer
Rating: Role Player
Cost reducers make it easier to play multiple spells per turn, and Gruul decks that want to push an advantage in the early-to-midgame will be interested in this, as will decks in both colors that want to storm off using red rituals and some of the green payoffs. Mostly I see this being used for the former case, though.

Graceful Restoration
Rating: Build-Around
Another reanimation spell for Orzhov decks that has a special Reveillark mode? That’s interesting, and I’m sure there are some evil things we can do with it. Karmic Guide exists, for one, and so does the very Priest of Fell Rites, so you can really get a lot of value for your mana with that second mode. There’s enough here in this second mode that I’m comfortable putting this in the Build-Around category.

Grist, the Hunger Tide
Rating: Commander
Yes, this card can be your commander, and as such, why wouldn’t you want it to be? Fun fact: a grist mill is a mill for grinding grain, and Grist mills you. Clever, right? You’ll want some other self-mill to really make the Grist mill turn, since the -5 is likely to be a big part of your game plan. That said, you could also go full-on Insect tribal and just hope we continue to return to Zendikar every few years.

Lazotep Chancellor
Rating: Niche Inclusion
This is a strange payoff for discarding, and I’m not sure making one big Army token very slowly is going to give most decks what they want, but I’m interested in what Varina, Lich Queen decks specifically might do with this one.

Lonis, Cryptozoologist
Rating: Commander
It’s easy to power out a lot of small cantripping creatures in Simic, and with existing Clue synergies like Ulvenwald Mysteries and Tireless Tracker, it’s not hard to imagine building up a serious Clue stash. It’s good Lonis is low on the mana value scale, because I assume there will be a lot of removal spells heading towards any Lonis deck.

Moderation
Rating: Build-Around
One card a turn? You had better make every card in your deck good, and you should also make sure to have interaction to play on other players’ turns. Build your deck to play on every player’s turn and you’ll be able to get the most value out of this, but remember that it’s just one card in your deck. 

Piru, the Volatile
Rating: Commander
You can’t talk about this format without talking about Elder Dragons, and while Piru is very costly, starting off at a painful eight mana with a three-mana upkeep, she has great flavor and some exciting attributes. Three hits from Piru will take out a player, and the dies trigger points to a Mardu legends build with cards like Arvad the Cursed and Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth.

Priest of Fell Rites
Rating: Powerhouse
Over time, this reanimates two creatures. That’s pretty wild in the first place, and if you combine it with Graceful Restoration and other effects that bring back low-power creatures, you can really get some nasty stuff going even before you unearth it. Remember that when you unearth this, it has haste, meaning that even though this activates only as a sorcery, you can return it and then, once it resolves, activate it before anyone gets priority.

Ravenous Squirrel
Rating: Role Player
You don’t need to be a Squirrel deck to get value from this monstrosity. As your Carrion Feeder grows, so grows your Ravenous Squirrel, and any Golgari or Jund-flavored sacrifice deck could use a copy of this as a secondary threat. With no evasion, it isn’t going to win you every game, but for just one mana, this is a great card.

Sythis, Harvest’s Hand
Rating: Commander
The most straightforward Selesnya enchantress commander of all time. Gain life and draw cards when you cast enchantments. What more can I say? I imagine this will be a great home for cards that all of you old time Legacy players just can’t bear to bring to a tournament anymore (if you can even find a Legacy event these days. Sad face emoji).

Terminal Agony
Rating: Niche Inclusion
This is a solid choice for both madness decks and anyone with a Thraximundar deck built out of cards that sound like metal band names.

Wavesifter
Rating: Role Player
Two Clue tokens for two mana isn’t a terrible deal as long as they’re part of your theme, and while this isn’t exactly Mulldrifter when you cast it, I’m interested in how this might play out in a multicolor Clue-Food-Treasure special. I’d absolutely run this in a Lonis deck, and I’d try it out in Temur Elementals. 

Yusri, Fortune’s Flame
Rating: Commander
I wrote a whole article about Yusri. Have fun flipping coins!

 

Header - Artifact

Academy Manufactor
Rating: Build-Around
These three types of tokens all have enough juice for a subtheme but fall a little short of a main theme. Academy Manufactor ties them together into a larger “noncreature token” theme, and since the Manufactor is colorless, it can play in any color combination, which is good since these three token types have different homes. That said, since they all sacrifice themselves, I see the best home for this card somewhere in the Jund shard, whether it be two of the colors or all three.

Altar of the Goyf
Rating: Niche Inclusion
I see this showing up as a flavor choice in Lhurgoyf tribal decks, though an exalted-style deck might want it. It could also work in mill decks focused on attacking with their Commander, such as Szadek, Lord of Secrets.

Bottle Golems
Rating: Niche Inclusion
A life gain deck that can put counters on this can get its investment back and benefit from a trampler in the meantime, but unless you’re in love with the flavor here, I’m not sure you want this card in your deck.

Brainstone
Rating: Niche Inclusion
In an artifact-focused deck that can recur this or grab it for free with cards like Urza’s Saga, Auriok Salvagers or Salvaging Station, I can see some interest in this card, but otherwise, I’d put my mind to something else.

Dermotaxi
Rating: Role Player
First of all, eww. Second of all, though, this card is really interesting because it can harness the power of a large attacker or a creature with a powerful attack trigger. The fact that you can grab a creature from an opponent’s graveyard is nice, but you’ll want to make sure this card has solid targets in your deck before you play it yourself, and that means some interesting tension between big creatures and ones that you want to tap to “crew” this.

Diamond Lion
Rating: Niche Inclusion
With this not costing zero like its namesake, it’s definitely lower in power level, but it still makes more mana than it costs. That said, the summoning sickness is a big downer. I’m sure someone will break this, but they probably play at a different power level than I do, so that’s fine.

Kaldra Compleat
Rating: Powerhouse
This card is a solid seven-mana play since it snaps onto a Germ right away, and the indestructibility that also applies to the equipped creature makes it pretty terrifying. Sure, if you ever have to re-equip it, it’s a huge cost, but it’s a cost worth paying if you want a way to reliably end a game that’s gone on too long.

Liquimetal Torque
Rating: Role Player
People who want to turn things into artifacts are never doing anything friendly, but frankly, for two mana, anything that ramps you and does something else that matters is going to be strong somewhere. It’s good that this can’t target lands, because that means you can’t use it with artifact animation effects to cast Stone Rain every turn, though that would be a lot more damaging in Modern itself.

Nettlecyst
Rating: Role Player
I expect this to show up more in artifact decks, since enchantment decks want to be playing enchantments. It’s nice that you get a body for it right away, but you’ll probably want to strap this to something with flying or trample fairly quickly.

Scion of Draco
Rating: Build-Around
You’ll need to make sure you have domain and have a lot of powerful multicolor creatures to really leverage the strength of this wild throwback… or you could just go off with Erratic Explosion-style cards. Your call.

Sol Talisman
Rating: Niche Inclusion
Sure, we all know what Ogsir can do once this gets into the graveyard, but you have to first get it into the graveyard, and then you have to cast Ogsir and then get around to tapping him. When casting this via normal suspend means, you are waiting quite a while for a fairly minor payoff compared to some of the other suspend cards in this set.

Sword of Hearth and Home
Rating: Powerhouse
As with most Swords in Commander, this is quite strong. The equipped creature has to connect to get the land and the blink, but there are so many great synergies for both landfall and blink effects that I imagine this card will be very, very popular upon the release of this set and for a long time afterwards.

The Underworld Cookbook
Rating: Niche Inclusion
If you’re playing Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, you’ll play this. I can also see this as a solid option in Gyome or other decks that care a lot about Food, but those are few and far between.

Void Mirror
Rating: Tech Card
If you have players playing a lot of free spells, this can shut that down. If you use this to wreck your local Eldrazi Tribal player, you might not be doing something awesome with this.

Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp
Rating: Commander
It’s strange to think a 0/0 Insect might be a good commander, especially one with the ability “R: Destroy target artifact you control.” That said, with enough modular cards, you can certainly do something interesting, and what you probably want to do is stack up a bunch of counters on Zabaz and attack for lots of commander damage. Sting and move!

 

Header - Lands

Artifact Duals
Rating: Niche Inclusion
Indestructible lands obviously play well with Armageddons, though that’s not usually what I’m about unless you can immediately win the game. These are mostly interesting as search targets with cards like Trinket Mage, though Urza’s Saga can’t access these.

Power Depot
Rating: Niche Inclusion
Modular 1 on a land is interesting if you can sacrifice it for something, and it’s even better if you can proliferate it, but the mana of any color for artifact casts/activations has some level of use as well. That said, it enters tapped, and the restrictive nature of the whole package means this won’t break the top 99 in most lists.

Urza’s Saga
Rating: Build-Around
I think Urza’s Saga will be an important part of toolboxy artifact strategies, especially one that can play around with the number of counters on this card at instant speed. I wrote a whole newsletter about this one, so make sure to subscribe to CFB Xtra so you don’t miss things like that in the future!

Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
Rating: Role Player
Enjoy “Greenborg”, since according to Aaron Forsythe, we won’t be getting more lands like this any time soon – and for good reason. That said, what does this card really do? First off, please remember that Life and Limb, despite its alleged reprinting in Time Spiral Remastered, is not a real card. There’s no green Cabal Coffers, but cards that untap Forests or return them to your hand, like Arbor Elf and Quirion Ranger, can certainly work with this. 

 

I’m sure you have different takes, complaints, and so on, so please tweet at @RagingLevine with your thoughts! For now, I’ll see you next time when I build something sweet with one of the Modern Horizons 2 commanders!

 

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