I’m not sure if this will become a regular part of this column, but I once made a post about a “Mail Day” of mine and explained the rationale behind that. It’s been a while since I made an order of singles, I only bought packs of the last set, War of the Spark. Since Modern Horizons’ release, I took a deeper look at the set and found that there weren’t actually that many cards I really wanted. It also turns out that Modern Horzions is priced more like a Masters set, so box and pack prices are a bit prohibitive and there are only a couple of money cards that would justify one of those purchases. As such, I tallied up how much it would cost me to pick up nearly every card in the set that was desirable to me, and it turned out to only be about $40 so I pulled the trigger. The cards arrived earlier this week, and now on my days off I was finally able to slot them into the decks I chose them for. I figured at this point I can show you the cards I picked up and where they are going (and why).
My Estrid build is centered around the Stax archetype, so I picked up some cards that were related. Gwafa Hazid is the only non-Modern Horizons card that I picked up, his most recent reprint being in last year’s Battlebond. He can easily lock down pesky creatures, and that’s perfect for this control-style brew. Squirrel Nest was already a card I had in my list (this deck is still under construction), and it’s a potential win-con in itself. Hall of Heliod’s Generosity is a great little recursion tool for my enchantments (and this is an enchantment heavy deck). Lastly, Unsettled Mariner is another nice control piece, making this deck that much more annoying to play against. Looking forward to getting the finishing touches for this one.
Another one of my decks that is still under construction, ninjas as a tribe received some great support with Modern Horizons. Here are a selection of ninjas that I felt were great for the deck, replacing some of the non-ninja creatures and making the tribe feel whole. It’s still not a 100% ninjas only deck, but cards that have Changeling like the Outcast above still count as ninjas, and I’ve still got the important enchantments in the deck that will allow non-ninjas to still be ninjas. Speaking of enchantments, I added two more to the deck. Cunning Evasion is new and it’s great for ninjas, allowing those that get blocked to bounce back to your hand (allowing you to use ninjitsu again if they have the keyword) so they won’t die. Future Sight is a reprint, but with the top-deck-matters nature of this commander, I thought it was fitting to help utilize Yuriko’s ability. Another deck I can’t wait to finish up.
Tawnos is actually in a playable state right now, it’s just not as good as it can get. I still need a handful of somewhat pricey cards in order to make it go off, but this spicy tech will add to it. One of those enchantments that allows you to pick from two modes, this can help beef up a token army rather quickly, or is a win-con in itself. I really like the Phyrexian option, particularly if you already have a bunch of artifacts in the graveyard, you can potentially wipe out the last opponents within a couple of turns.
My Edgar Markov deck has never really performed the way I want it to. Each new set for the past couple of years since his release has come with some cool new vampire toys, so it has seen a number of changes and yet still feels like it doesn’t work that well. This addition will further help me to lower the curve. I need to playtest it some more, along with making adjustments because it’s supposed to be an amazing deck and never really feels that way.
On the contrary, I love my zombie deck, and it’s seen sweeping changes since I first created it. Starting with the Dimir commander Gisa & Geralf, it later became a Scarab God deck, and I’ve finally settled on Varina. I feel it’s the most competitive version it’s ever been, and these couple of additions should help. I already have several aristocrats style cards in the deck, and Undead Augur is another that will help me drain life from my opponents, just for sacrificing my own zombie tokens and whatnot. Cycling through this deck should happen rather quickly. Endling is a new version of the shapeshifter cards that have been around for a while — a creature that has several abilities and you can choose which to use as needed. It can be a threat on its own due to evasion and the ability to pump it up.
Krenko has been in a good spot for a long time. I recently added the newest version of Krenko from War of the Spark to the deck, and now we have another new legendary goblin to add to the mix — Pashalik Mons. He’s got some text that allows him to ping targets every time a goblin dies, and is a sac outlet himself. It’s a bit expensive to pay four mana and sacrifice a goblin to create two goblins, but with the right set up it can go infinite. In conjunction with the two Krenkos, this can go off quickly.
This was the best sword added to the game with this set. Since Shu-Yun is my Voltron commander, it was a no-brainer to pick this up. Proliferate actually doesn’t do much in this deck, but since it provides counters itself that’s not terrible. The protection from white and blue is what’s really nice, and I already have most of the swords in the deck so why not?
People are saying that this version of Sisay is actually better than Tazri at doing what Tazri does. I’m not really interested in that style of deck though, so instead I’m going to put her where she makes the most sense — Jodah. She’s cheap to cast, so an early drop, and I’m already rushing to get to WUBRG anyway, so her ability will be usable quickly. She can tutor up most of the 18 or so legendaries I have in the deck including the Eldrazi Titans. She is also a late game threat herself given enough legendary creatures on the board.
I haven’t really even begun to work on my Karador build, but I picked up an extra copy of Altar of Dementia and it turns out I had it on this list (and already in another deck). It’s a great card when you can use it effectively.
Not Yet Placed:
Otherwise I picked up the new Talisman cycle, a few Tribute Mages to spread around, Pondering Mage, Llanowar Tribe and Astral Drift. I’m not sure where I’m going to put these cards but I know they will get used, the rocks especially. Tribute Mage works well in Inalla or an Artifact deck where I need an extra tutor. The Tribe will go in either a mono-green or Elf heavy deck eventually. Pondering Mage is going into Inalla as well, because otherwise it’s not very good, but getting the effect twice for 6 mana is decent. Astral Drift is a card that interests me, and I think I may build a cycling deck at some point so it’s there for when I do.
Overall the set was pretty good, and there are a couple other cards I would like but I’m going to wait until they come down in price. Core Set 2020 comes out soon as well so I’ll probably do the same thing with it and pick up whatever is decent that I can use.