Modern Horizons 2 brings back Squirrels, discard theme

Modern gets more tribal support.

Image via WotC

Modern Horizons 2 previews started today and revealed both tribal and discard themes within the set, including the return of Squirrels.

The upcoming Magic: The Gathering expansion prints card directly into Modern, Magic’s most popular eternal format. This allows Wizards of the Coast to print cards with more powerful and experimental designs that won’t fit in Standard.

The first Modern Horizons introduced Modern staples and Commander favorites like Urza, Lord High Artificer, Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, and Force of Negation. Today’s spoilers showcased the return of Squirrels as a major tribal theme in Modern Horizons 2 and early indications of a big discard theme.

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.

Chatterfang, Squirrel General

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  • Mana Value: 2G
  • Type: Legendary Creature Squirrel Warrior
  • Rarity: Mythic Rare
  • Stats: 3/3
  • Keyword: Forestwalk
  • First ability: If one or more tokens would be created under your control, those tokens plus that many 1/1 Green Squirrel Creature tokens are created instead.
  • Second ability: B, Sacrifice X Squirrels: Target Creature gets +x/-x until end of turn.

Squirrels are back in Modern Horizons 2. Chatterfang will be a centerpiece in Squirrel tribal decks in Constructed and Limited play.

A three-mana creature with Forestwalk is already solid as a body. The ability to double token generation by creating that many Squirrels is a way to create a powerful battlefield instantly. Chatterfang isn’t just useful in Squirrel tribal decks. Any token deck can take advantage of Chatterfang’s ability.

Squirrel Sanctuary 

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  • Mana Value: G
  • Type: Enchantment
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • First ability: When Squirrel Sanctuary enters the battlefield, create  1/1 Green Squirrel Creature token.
  • Second ability: Whenever a nontoken Creature you control dies, you may pay one mana. If you do, return Squirrel Sanctuary to its owner’s hand.

This is a valuable Enchantment for Squirrel-tribal builds in Limited and could see Constructed play. This is a repeatable one-mana token generation effect. The ability also synergizes with death effects prevalent in token strategies. For an uncommon effect, Squirrel Sanctuary isn’t going to take over a game, but could be a great utility card.

Ravenous Squirrel

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  • Mana Value: B/G
  • Type: Creature Squirrel
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Stats: 1/1
  • First ability: Whenever you sacrifice an Artifact or Creature, put a +1/+1 counter on Ravenous Squirrel.
  • Second ability: 1BG, Sacrifice an Artifact or Creature: You gain one life and draw a card.

Ravenous Squirrel is a great card. It is a Creature that can scale into the late game by growing with each Artifact or Creature that you sacrifice. Ravenous Squirrel is also a mana sink in the late game that generates incidental life gain and card draw. This is a key uncommon card to look out for in Modern Horizons 2 Limited.

Fractured Sanity

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  • Mana Value: UUU
  • Type: Sorcery
  • Rarity: Rare
  • First ability: Each opponent mills 14 cards.
  • Second ability: Cycling 1U
  • Third ability: When you cycle Fractured Sanity, each opponent mills four cards

Modern Horizons 2 will support a mill archetype and Fractured Sanity is an interesting card that plays well with mill and cycling strategies. This card’s different modes are more useful than a card like Maddening Cacophony. Fractured Sanity can be used for three or two mana, making it reasonable to use either mode for a given situation.

Three mana to mill 14 cards is big in Limited and Constructed. Cycling to mill only four cards doesn’t sound like a lot, but the decks that can take advantage of other cycling payoffs like Hollow One will love the additional value of milling some cards.

All images via Wizards of the Coast