Lately, there has been a ton of talk in the Modern community regarding Modern Horizons and the top 5-10 cards that people really want to see reprinted in it. For those out of the loop, Modern Horizons is a new Magic: The Gathering set that is being released straight into Modern, completely skipping Standard. In the announcement, Wizards of the Coast stated that every single card in Modern Horizons will be new to Modern and that some will even be reprinted from Legacy.
Players in the community have already begun listing what cards they want to see introduced. There are a few that everyone talks about (whether positively or negatively); Back to Basics, Wasteland, True-Name Nemesis, Force of Will, Daze, and so on. Today, I would like to focus on cards that aren’t very big in Legacy but could be staples in Modern. Here we go!
One of the biggest points of contention in the Modern Horizons discussions circulates around Force of Will. One side thinks that Force of Will would be too strong in Modern. That having a “free” counterspell even if you have no mana available would be broken and impossible to balance. The other side says that Force of Will is needed to counteract the aggressive all-in decks that race to win the game, like Izzet Phoenix or Dredge.
Enter Misdirection. This card is essentially half of a Force of Will in that it protects you and your permanents about as well as Force does. However, it can’t usually counter essential parts of your opponent’s game plans. Despite this, the list of spells this interacts with is insanely deep. To name a few:
It won’t stop early Phoenix or Dredge openers, but it can redirect their removal to slow them down later on. It’s not nearly as powerful as Force of Will, but it does offer an incredible number of ways to interact with your opponent’s spells, which is something that Modern is arguably lacking right now. Being able to redirect an opponent’s burn spell, removal spell, discard spell, or counterspell can be absolutely game-changing.
On the surface, this Modern Horizons candidate seems very lackluster. However, it’s a decent removal spell at one mana that can empower black-oriented control (which we don’t see hardly at all) or token decks like White-Black Tokens that would have plenty of 1/1 token fodder to negate the downside of Innocent Blood. It could make life a little hard for decks that want to go tall with one big threat like Death’s Shadow or Bogles, but mainly it’s just a symmetrical, interactive card with a competitive cost.
Aura Flux and its sister card, Energy Flux, would serve to function in Modern as solid sideboard tech in blue. They would fall in line beside Blood Moon and Trinisphere as (albeit weaker) 3 mana cards that fluctuate in popularity depending on the Modern meta. If Bogles or another enchantment deck pushes its way to become top-tier, then Aura Flux can act as a safety valve, just like Energy Flux could be for Affinity or Lantern Control. This would also allow Wizards to be a little more generous when it comes to printing artifacts and enchantments into Modern. Although, I want to clarify that I’m not saying Affinity, Bogles, or Lantern are problems that need to be solved. Format safety valves are a good thing, and these two cards represent what Modern Horizons could bring in that regard.
We already have a tweaked version of Wild Growth in Modern in Utopia Sprawl. Wild Growth would add to the format by giving big mana decks like Ponza, Mono Green Control, Tooth-and-Nail, or decks that utilize Nexus Reclamation better consistency. These decks all run Utopia Sprawl, but only having four copies of the card makes them very inconsistent. Having Wild Growth would allow these decks to have strong openings on a more regular basis so that we may see them become a more regular part of the metagame. Additionally, if these strategies prove to be too strong, Aura Flux could help negate the effectiveness of enchantment ramp.
This Modern Horizons reprint may be a stretch, but honestly, it seems fine for Modern. It’s too slow to slot into the super fast decks of the format like Phoenix or Dredge, but it could be used to buy midrange decks time against those fast decks. It’s a solid attacker, blocker, and its ETB effect can be used to stabilize a board, push tempo, or just be combined with another burn spell to remove a big threat. Kavu is the versatile kind of card I want to see in Modern Horizons.
You may notice that there are no white cards on this list. That’s mainly because the big white cards we could see are pretty hot topics (namely Swords to Plowshares and Containment Priest). I wanted to focus on cards that don’t see tons of Legacy decks. While we all speculate, let’s remember that everyone wants different things from Modern Horizons and we need to respect that. Some people want Legacy Lite. Others want a more balanced form of the current Modern. Some would rather leave things as they are. And that’s all okay. But it’s fun to speculate, so thank you all for reading!
I’m Brent, working in association with Daily Esports to cover Magic the Gathering and gaming news.