This week, we’re going to pick up my Modern Horizons 2 Legacy Set Review where we left off with my last article. With the Challenge results from the first weekend of Modern Horizons 2 legality, we certainly have a decent idea of what the breakout cards were, but it’s still too early to make any deterministic claims. That being said, this week I have to finish up the green, multicolor, artifact and land cards from Modern Horizons 2 and there are still a fair amount of great cards to go over (some of which did put up some excellent results).
So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
It’s a bit odd to review this here, as this card has been a part of Legacy since Strixhaven, but I figured I’d briefly touch on this now.
I don’t think we’ve come close to fully seeing the potential of this card. It’s a bizarre tapped land/cantrip into a spell hybrid which is exactly the kind of versatility that is poised to make waves in Legacy. Anuraag Das has been exploring this card extensively since its release and it seems like he has only really scratched the surface, so expect this card to show up as a mainstay in Legacy going forward.
This is a massive Empty the Warrens that goes taller instead of wider. Green mana isn’t exactly perfect for most storm decks and this is more expensive than Empty overall, but the fact that this enables storm to threaten a win with smaller storm numbers is a pretty big deal. It’s neat that it can be tutored off of Summoner’s Pact and Living Wish, so that might be an interaction to pay attention to, as well.
The perfect follow-up to Aeve, this is a smaller Empty the Warrens. Being two mana is an upside, for sure, but the output on this is a bit too low to replace Empty completely. This might be a solid Burning Wish target, but overall I think its impact is a bit too low.
This is a great addition to Legacy. It’s a less high variance Leyline of the Void effect in green decks that can also be cast fairly to attack and block (most notably blocking Delver of Secrets). We have already seen this show up in large numbers out of the control decks that utilize green mana (e.g. Miracles) because it is a split Doomsday/Delver/Dredge hate card and I expect this to be a mainstay of that archetype in the future. It definitely has further uses in decks like Elves and Hogaak and I think we’ll be seeing this card show up in rather large numbers going forward. Free spells are scary, but this type of effect, which largely helps keep unfair strategies in check, as well as help keep Delver in line, is always welcome in my eyes.
Yawgmoth’s Will is banned in Legacy for a good reason and while this is certainly more difficult to utilize, Gaea’s Will has some serious broken potential. More than any of the other cards in this cycle, this is a worthwhile payoff to build your deck around and I fully expect to play against a Gaea’s Will deck sometime in the future.
This is an awesome card. This is exactly the kind of card Jund needed, which is already an archetype that has shown up from time to time since Deathrite Shaman’s ban. Being a Goblin is relevant too, and Goblin experts such as Eli Goings has already been working on Food Chain variants using this card. In addition, having eight Heirarchs is a big game, so I could imagine a green-based midrange deck taking advantage of the full suite to cast cards like Leovold ahead of schedule very consistently.
This is likely too fragile for Enchantress to play, but it certainly produces a lot of mana. That deck already plays Green Sun’s Zenith, so it is relatively low cost to include a single copy of this and it likely has a significant upside.
If Hogaak has taught us anything, it’s that huge creatures with cost reduction built in cannot be treated lightly. This does require quite a bit more work than Hogaak, but Legacy is full of cheap and free spells that can enable this to be cast early and often.
This card is pretty interesting. It’s rather effective at locking out the board and has a reasonable body to attack and block with. Casting it is a bit of a challenge, but there are plenty of cards, like Street Wraith, that enable this (as well as Aether Vial for zero). I’m not sure she’ll be taking the format by storm, but it’s a really interesting card to think about.
This design is pretty cool. At two mana, this can start generating some incidental value (or remove a creature in a pinch). If it sticks around, it threatens to answer future creatures which can have a pretty high impact on a game of Legacy. However, the fact that the loyalty throttles up pretty quickly as the game progresses has a lot of upside, and if you can get to the point where this is ultimating, you can potentially do some powerful things. This might work well in a deck with Karn, the Great Creator and help you cheat pretty potent artifacts into play. On its face, this is probably a bit short of being a player in the format, but I don’t think it is that far away.
Cost reduction is starting to feel like a mini theme in this set. If you can consistently cast this for two mana, this is a pretty absurd rate. The question is whether or not that’s a reasonable expectation.
In the average game of Legacy, I would think something closer to four or five might be more likely, at which point this is a reasonable, but not busted, card. There certainly are a lot of decks that can produce a ton of artifacts rather quickly, so I might be wrong on that. However, you can’t expect opponents not to interact with you in some manner. In addition, if your deck consists entirely of cards like Mox Opal to enable this, the cascade effect does get quite a bit worse.
The first place my mind goes to here is a deck like Humans, but I don’t know if there are enough multicolored Humans to enable this to go off. On the other hand, there certainly are a fair amount of cards like Manamorphose to let this go off after you untap with it and the hexproof clause does a reasonable job of keeping this alive. I don’t know if that will be consistent enough to close games out, but it’s a very powerful effect so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this show up.
This isn’t necessarily a weak planeswalker, but I don’t think it’s up to snuff in Legacy. If Jace, the Mind Sculptor is struggling to see play, I’m having difficulty believing this will have a home.
In the last Modern Horizons set, Goblins picked up a ton of new tools. This time around, it looks like this is the only card that might make an impact on the deck. It’s a pretty effective card (have you heard of cost reduction before?), but being green is a pretty substantial downside as it would require splashing an additional color. However, the curve of turn two Anarchomancer into turn three Goblin Ringleader does sound pretty great, so I do expect some variants of Goblins to adopt this.
I think it’s beyond the scope of this set review to address all of the possibilities with this card, but wow, this card is amazing. On its surface, it’s a planeswalker that can’t be countered by Force of Negation, can be tutored with Green Sun’s Zenith, can be Reanimated, and can be put into play with Aether Vial (as well as off of opposing Show and Tells). When it’s in play, it defends itself pretty effectively and threatens to potentially kill any creature or planeswalker your opponent might play. Any fair deck with Green Sun’s Zenith will probably play this in some quantity, Maverick likely being one of the primary places this card will show up. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this card is capable off, as the possibilities seem pretty substantial.
This is essentially an extra copy of Squee, Goblin Nabob in the colors that would naturally want this type of effect. If there’s a deck that takes advantage of that, now they’ll have access to more copies of this effect.
This is definitely a powerful card, but the costs are quite a bit too high in Legacy.
This isn’t as resilient as Argothian Enchantress, but it’s very cheap and if it sticks around it can provide a serious life total buffer against aggressive decks. Despite being vulnerable to removal, I could see this showing up in somewhat larger numbers in Enchantress.
This is another copy of Tarmogoyf in decks that are willing to play more than three colors. It has some additional upside at the cost of deck building requirements, but it will be a nice tool for decks that are looking for another large two-drop.
This is a potentially powerful effect on a relatively fragile body. Of course, if you do choose to play this there’s variance associated with this and I’m not sure what the optimal to pick is. If I ever got a chance to attack with this I would probably default to choosing five the first time, as even drawing one or two cards and taking six damage is pretty effective. It does die to everything (and even gets bounced by Karakas), though so I don’t know how popular of a choice this will be.
This is the kind of card that can enable some unbelievable turns, especially in conjunction with a card like Urza, Lord High Artificer. I don’t know if this is the kind of thing that can survive in Legacy, especially since this card is pretty fragile, but its potential is certainly there.
While this is obviously not even close to the power of Brainstorm, in a deck that cares about having cheap artifacts, this could be a really solid enabler and card advantage piece, especially when combined with cards like Urza and Emry, Lurker of the Loch.
Turning this into a Griselbrand is a great way to win a game. It takes quite a bit more work than either Show and Tell or Entomb and Reanimate, but it remains a powerful effect. I’m sure there are more creative things to do with this, but on its face this looks like a relatively strong combo enabler.
This is not Lion’s Eye Diamond and I don’t think there are many decks that both want that effect and also want a 2/2 body.
While this is a really powerful Equipment to cheat into play with Stoneforge Mystic, Batterskull is generally a bit more resilient. The combination of lifelink and being bounced really helps those decks grind a bit more as the game develops. Seven is also a lot of mana to reequip if the Germ gets bounced. However, Kaldra Compleat still hits really hard, so it shouldn’t be ignored, and it lets any deck with Stoneforge Mystic take an extremely aggressive stance. Furthermore, I have seen people talk about using this with Godo, Bandit Warlord in mono-red prison strategies and that sounds really powerful to me.
Not hitting lands makes this a lot worse than Liquimetal Coating when you tutor it from your board, but tapping for mana makes it more interesting as a potential mana ramp card in those decks.
Casting this for two mana is pretty strong, but in a format with Wasteland, it might be a tough ask. If you have access to other colors (which you would have to if you’re casting this), there’s likely a better choice than this.
I don’t think this is a particularly strong option for Stoneforge Mystic to search up, but the fact that it blinks the Stoneforge is pretty interesting. Still, it’s another option if the protection ends up mattering and it’s never a bad thing to have more options.
If Asmor ends up seeing play, this will as well. Otherwise, it really isn’t the kind of card that will see play.
While this will be absurd in Vintage, in Legacy this doesn’t quite have the same punch. There are some decks where having this will be a K.O., like Karn Forge, but most decks with Ancient Tomb tend to have lands that tap for a color so Void Mirror won’t really lock them out. Stopping Force of Will and Daze is also somewhat interesting, but this is really not the way to do it.
This cycle is certainly powerful but they do come with a high cost. We’ve already seen some affinity decks adopt these cards, though, as being immune to Wasteland is a pretty big deal.
This is a bizarre, yet extremely powerful, card and just like Grist, it might be beyond the scope of this review to discuss everything it can enable.
Just to demonstrate the potential range for Urza’s Saga, players like Peter van der Ham have been trying this card out in Delver to some amount of success, which is certainly not the first place I would have imagined this card showing up. We’ve seen Affinity show up and really take advantage of this card, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Lands decks have been playing it as a recursive engine that can really grind opponents down and search up some key cards (Retrofitter Foundry has been key among them). It’s very clear at this stage that this is one of the most powerful cards in the set and it will be really exciting to see the future potential this has in Legacy.
This is an excellent addition to the format. In decks like Eldrazi it will help cast cards like Once Upon a Time, in Elves it allows Quirion Ranger to pick up Gaea’s Cradles, and in Lands Yavimaya will let Maze of Ith and Dark Depths cast Life from the Loam. This will be a staple for years to come and it’s an awesome printing for Legacy.
And that’s it! There were so many cards in this set that could have an impact in Legacy (or already have) and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding that at the moment. I really want to see where the format ends up in a few months, as I think we’ve only seen a glimpse of what this set’s impact will be going forward. Delver has gotten a lot of press lately (rightfully so), but it’s pretty clear to me that a lot of decks are going to be sufficiently buffed so the development of the metagame will not be easy to predict.