With the release of Modern Horizons 2, Wizards of the Coast continues to experiment with card designs with unique planeswalkers, Insect Artifacts, and Black Lotus—kind of.
The second iteration of the Modern Horizons series is bringing more direct-to-Modern cards that allows Wizards to reference older cards, bring back mechanics, and shape some of Magic’s most popular eternal formats in Modern and Commander.
Today’s spoilers continue to expand on the set’s Insect theme and brings a new five-color creature that directly references Alpha cards.
Modern Horizons 2 is set for release on June 18. Here are some of the best cards revealed during the first day of Modern Horizons 2 spoilers season.
- Mana Value: WUBRG
- Type: Legendary Creature Human Wizard
- Rarity: Mythic Rare
- Stats: 5/5
- First ability: Tap: Choose a card name that hasn’t been chosen from among Disenchant, Braingeyser, Terror, Shivan Dragon, Regrowth, and Black Lotus. Create a copy of the card with the chosen name. You may cast the copy.
Garth One-Eye is representative of the experimental designs Wizards brings to Modern Horizons 2. In an article by Senior Game Designer Ethan Fleischer, the original templating for Garth allowed the player to look at the top card of their library and put a land or nonland permanent that was printed in Alpha or Beta onto the battlefield.
As the design evolved, Wizards ended up landing on this final version of Garth. This is a powerful card that will take some time to find optimal combos. Braingeyser, Terror, Shivan Dragon, Disenchant, Regrowth, and Black Lotus were all originally printed in Alpha.
Garth should play well with a combination of untap and blink effects. Look for players to try and generate near-infinite Black Lotus and Shivan Dragon copies to win the game.
Grist, the Hunger Tide
- Mana Value: 1BG
- Type: Legendary Planeswalker Grist
- Rarity: Mythic Rare
- Starting Loyalty: Three
- Static ability: As long as Grist, the Hunger Tide isn’t on the battlefield, it’s a 1/1 Insect creature in addition to its other types
- First ability: +1: Create a 1/1 Black and Green Insect creature token, then mill a card. If an Insect card was milled this way, put a loyalty counter on Grist and repeat the process.
- Second ability: -2: You may sacrifice a creature. When you do, destroy target creature or planeswalker.
- Third ability: -5: Each opponent loses life equal to the number of creature cards in your graveyard.
Planeswalkers aren’t always useful in creature-based decks. Grist has a unique static ability that opens up plenty of options. Grist, the Hunger Tide is a creature when it isn’t on the battlefield. This means Grist can be hit by Collected Company or efficient creature reanimation spells.
Once Grist is on the battlefield its loyalty abilities contribute to a token-based aristocrats strategy. Grist wants to be used in Insect tribal, but can find use in other decks. The -2 ability is a solid source of removal. The ultimate ability is a game-ender if you can dump creatures in your graveyard.
Grist can be your commander.
Priest of Fell Rites
- Mana Value: WB
- Type: Creature Human Warlock
- Rarity: Rare
- Stats: 2/2
- First ability: Tap, pay three life, sacrifice Priest of Fell Rites: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate only as a sorcery.
- Second ability: Unearth 3WB
Reanimation spells usually cost four or five mana. Priest of Fell Rites is a two-mana creature that can reanimate a creature on turn three, if it dodges removal. That’s a good spell that trades the ability to be hit with a removal spell for reanimation a turn earlier than the normal rate.
There is also a running theme that Priest of Fell Rites continues with adding life to the cost of abilities. Three life isn’t much for a reanimation effect. Unearth allows this card to find repeatable value.
Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp
- Mana Value: One mana
- Type: Legendary Artifact Creature Insect
- Rarity: Rare
- Static ability: Modular 1
- First ability: If a Modular triggered ability would put one or more +1/+1 counters on a creature you control, that many plus one +1/+1 counters are put on it instead.
- Second ability: R: Destroy target artifact you control.
- Third ability: W: Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp gains Flying until end of turn.
Modular is a keyword introduced in Darksteel back in 2004. Here is the official reminder text for Modular for players that are unfamiliar with the mechanic.
“This enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target Artifact creature.”
Zabaz doubles up on Modular triggers and has two solid activated abilities. Giving Zabaz Flying for one White mana can make it an effective attacker. The ability to destroy an Artifact you control is interesting. It can act as a combat trick. You can destroy an artifact with Modular and move the counters onto the attacking creature for extra damage.