Magic: The Gathering’s Modern Horizons spoiler season officially started today, and we’re kicking off the next two weeks of spoilers with four commons that had only seen play in pre-Modern formats, until now.
After the Standard portion of the first semi-finals match in today’s Magic Online Championship Series, 12 Commons were revealed live on Magic‘s Twitch channel. We’ve already covered the eight new Commons revealed earlier today. Now, let’s take a look at the four awesome new reprints: Choking Tethers, Elvish Fury, Prohibit, and Lava Dart.
Originally printed in Onslaught, and reprinted as recently as Masters 25, Choking Tethers will be reprinted with new art for the first time in Modern Horizons.
Essentially an over-costed – if slightly upgraded Downpour, with the option to be an uncounterable Depose. This card doesn’t strike me as a strong choice for Modern. However, both of these effects have historically seen a lot of play in their respective Limited and Standard environments. The ability to choose between cycling early to tap a potential attacker and draw into something more appropriate, or cast it for the full 4 mana on a pivotal turn, is very strong in formats with limited removal or sweeper effects.
Our next card is a reprint from Onslaught.
This is another card that seems to be targeted towards Limited players rather than being in contention for slots in a Modern deck. +2/+2 for G is a decent rate, but its ability to be a repeatable combat trick, or an increased clock when paired with an evasive creature for 4G, is what separates Elvish Fury from the host of other ‘pump spells’ available.
The third reprint from today’s Modern Horizons spoilers comes to us from Invasion and is the only common card revealed today that retains its original art.
If you’re starting to see a bit of a pattern, no one would blame you. There’s a significant theme of ‘modularity’ in many of the cards revealed today, and any experienced Magic player will tell you that makes for an excellent set. Prohibit has seen limited play in Pauper, where it functions as a powerful counterspell that is good at all stages of the game, as most spells in competitive environments cost less than 4.
This is the first reprint from today that strikes me as Modern playable. It competes for slots with Mana Leak, Negate, Logic Knot, and Disdainful Stroke, but it bridges the gap between them in unique ways. It’s generically stronger in the early game than Logic Knot while maintaining more relevance in the late game than Mana Leak. Unlike Negate, Prohibit can hit the early creature and non-creature spells while still hitting 4 mana spells like Disdainful Stroke, though the additional cost is certainly relevant.
Prohibit will definitely see significant play in Modern Horizons Limited formats, and I’m curious to see whether it sees sideboard play in Modern as a sort of catch-all answer to the many threats the format can throw at a player.
The last reprinted card spoiled today has only seen one printing in the history of Magic and comes to MH1 with new art. Originally printed in Judgement, Lava Dart seems like just the type of card that could see considerable Modern play.
1 damage for R is alright, but the ability to flash it back at instant speed while tapped out is what sets Lava Dart apart from similar effects in Gut Shot and Flame Jab. Lava Dart will likely see sideboard play in a lot of decks featuring Mountains, but it seems strongest to me in Mono-Red Phoenix. Here, one can turn Mountains drawn in the late game into an extra spell. This is especially strong when paired with Arclight Phoenix, and a deck full of creatures featuring the Prowess keyword.
Modern Horizons (MH1) is a supplemental set, and as such will not be Standard legal. However, it marks the first ‘straight-to-modern’ set; all of the cards in MH1 will be playable in Modern come June 14th, 2019.
If you’re looking for more breakdowns of the 17 Modern Horizons cards spoiled today, we will have all of the new cards covered! We’ll also continue to provide coverage of all Modern Horizons spoilers to be revealed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Noah is a freelance writer, currently working for Esports Daily as a Magic: The Gathering content contributor.