The set is named Modern Horizons to emphasize the fact that these cards are Modern Constructed-legal (which is admittedly a new look for a non-Standard release), but the set should really be called Magic Horizons since it will impact everything, from Eternal, to Modern, to Community formats, and especially the kitchen table.

Or maybe the set should be named Future Sight 2. The original final installment of the Time Spiral Block Saga is possibly the most pushed set in the Modern era (and, in the discussion for all time pushed sets alongside Urza’s Saga). As a longtime player, I love the return to nostalgia, iconic locations and types, as well as the overload on weird mechanics from yore.

The set is jam-packed with everything I want to see: Awesome nostalgia throwbacks and redesigns, fantastic flavor and fan favorites, and powerful cards that people want to play with. It’s a slam dunk because it’s the release players have always wanted, brought to life. Modern Horizons is that level of awesome, which makes sense since it doesn’t need to worry about negatively impacting Standard. I love and welcome the return to the old mechanics, flavor, and design of the past.

While the concept of Modern Horizons has floated about for months, I’ve been lukewarm on the set up until recently. In large part, my skepticism was informed by what has come before: Modern Masters, Eternal Masters, Battlebond, Commander decks, and other non-Standard releases that have established the formula: about 85% reprints to help ease the secondary market prices on singles, downshifting cards for Pauper, and a few obvious new playables tossed into the mix. These are all good things in general, but it’s not a product line that excites me.

Modern Horizons, on the other hand, has taken that old formula, tossed it out, and appears to completely rewrite the book on what a non-Standard release “can be.” I may have been skeptical at first, but now I’m a believer and already rooting for Horizons 2!

WHAT IS BATTLE BOX / DANGER ROOM?

If you’re not familiar with “Battle Box,” it’s worth trying out. It’s kind of like a Cube that you don’t need to draft (but you certainly can!) that doesn’t include lands. Instead, players start with 10 lands in Exile:

PlainsIslandSwampMountainForestUrborg VolcanoSalt MarshShivan OasisElfhame SanctuaryCoastal Tower - Foil

One of each basic and one of each allied tapped dual land. Each player may play one land from exile as their land drop per turn. Essentially, both players are playing Magic from a deck of pre-selected creatures, artifacts, and spells and have access to equal and balanced mana production each turn.

“The Danger Room” is my personal Battle Box stack that I update with each release and is the first and oldest Battle Box in the world. Today’s article is about the cards I’m most excited to play in the format and how I’m changing my stack to make room for Modern Horizons.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

I aim to create a distinct feel with my Danger Room list. I want the games to play out like really, really powerful draft decks, but I don’t like individual cards that feel “too good” and take over the game if unanswered. I don’t have a strict definition of what this means, but I play games and if people complain that cards are obnoxious, I cut them.

I have a few other “loose” rules that inform my card selection and stack construction. While these are the basic tenets that guide the types of games I’m trying to facilitate, lots of people enjoy a different type of game and take their stacks in a different direction. I encourage people to try out new things and play what they enjoy, as that is the whole point of playing a sweet community format such as Battle Cox.

I don’t include land destruction or mana acceleration because I want mana to be equal. I don’t allow library manipulation or tutoring in the library. There’s no mana flood or screw, since lands are fixed, so it’s not really necessary. Libraries are off-limits.

I don’t use “free spells.” Mana equality is a defining characteristic of the format and free spells break that dynamic in half since mana is the resource most constrained.

I don’t invent special rules to make neat cards “work.” A lot of players will include cards like Path to Exile and allow players to put a basic land from exile into play. My perspective is that either a card works in my stack or it doesn’t, but deciding what to include and where to draw the line is part of the fun of a community format like Battle Box or Cube.

With that said, there are a few “types” of cards in Horizons that I decided not to include because they don’t work in my stack…

NO FREE LUNCH

Force of NegationForce of VigorForce of RageForce of VirtueForce of Despair

Some of the more powerful Battle Box stacks are going to love these new pitch spells, but they would be obnoxious in mine. One of the cool things about designing your own format is that you get to dictate what it is or isn’t about! I’m old-school and believe games are more fun when players actually have to pay for their spells. As the other Constructed formats lean more and more into doing things for free, I enjoy that fact that in this format you have to pay mana to do stuff.

WINTER IS NOT COMING

Abominable TreefolkIce-Fang Coatl

There are a bunch of sweet “Snow” cards in Modern Horizons, but I’ve decided to steer clear.

Frost MarshHighland WealdTresserhorn SinksBoreal ShelfArctic Flats

While I do have a “Snow Set” of Battle Box lands that I commonly use, I didn’t want to convert all the other lands to Snow Lands in order to include a handful of admittedly cool designs. I faced a similar dilemma with the basic land Wastes. As much as I like Abominable Treefolk, I’m not going to change the rules of my format to make him fit, but I wouldn’t fault other Boxers for going in that direction! It’s as easy as saying “all lands count as snow,” but I’m firm on my no special rules to make cards work for my stack.

DANGER ROOM METRICS

For the most consistent gameplay experience, I limited the size of my stack, which is currently set at 586 cards. I also include an equal number of spells of each color and combination of colors:

586 Total Cards

30 Artifacts

75 /each Mono Color (375 total)

15 /each Guild (150 total)

03 /each Shard / Wedge (30 total)

01 WUBRG

In order to make room for new cards, I cut old ones. Typically, I try to cut cards from the extremes: too good or too bad, in order to get the most consistently balanced power level for my entire stack. This time around, due to popular demand, I’ll return to specifying which cards I’m removing as well as which I’m adding.

Danger Room Updates with Modern Horizons

ARTIFACT (30)

I considered Lesser Masticore for the stack, but concluded that I don’t have enough graveyard synergy to offset the “pitch a card” drawback.

Basilisk Collar
Bloodforged Battle-Axe
Conqueror’s Flail
Crystal Shard
Duplicant
Engineered Explosives
Etched Oracle
Filigree Familiar
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Fountain of Renewal
Hangarback Walker
Icy Manipulator
Lightning Greaves
Loxodon Warhammer
Mask of Memory
Nihil Spellbomb
Peace Strider
Perilous Vault
Pierce Strider
Power Matrix
Runechanter’s Pike
Scrapheap Scrounger
Serrated Arrows
Smuggler’s Copter
Spellskite
Sphinx of the Guildpact
Trip Noose
Triskelion
Walking Ballista
Sylvok Lifestaff

Mono-Color Spells (375)

I currently have 75 of each mono-colored spell.

WHITE (75)

IN:

One of the things I’ve been trying to smooth out in my stack is to ensure there is a high enough density of cheap creatures and spells. Nothing makes for a worse game than not having plays early in the game against an opponent who curves out.

Giver of Runes

I already play Mother of Runes, which makes this variant an easy include. A slightly worse Mother of Runes is still an elite one-drop in my stack and a nice addition.

Vesperlark

I think this is a pretty cool two-drop and its value has improved in my stack. A 2/1 flier for 1W is already decent and the bonus ability really puts it over the top. I’ve tried Reveillark before and it was a little too busted, so it’s cool to have a baby lark in there for flavor.

OUT:

Topple the StatueAerial Responder

These simply felt like the bottom of the barrel for three-drops. Neat, fun cards for sure, but they have felt a little underwhelming lately.

Adanto Vanguard
Adorned Pouncer
Akroma’s Vengeance
Angel of Finality
Angel of Sanctions
Austere Command
Azorius Herald
Belfry Spirit
Blade Splicer
Cleansing Nova
Cloudgoat Ranger
Collective Effort
Commander Eesha
Dauntless Bodyguard
Dawn Charm
Day of Judgment
Declaration in Stone
Dragon Hunter
End Hostilities
Exalted Angel
Final Judgment
Flickerwisp
Fumigate
Geist-Honored Monk
Giver of Runes
Glorious Anthem
Glory-Bound Initiate
Hallow
Hallowed Burial
Hero of Precinct One
Hidden Dragonslayer
Imposing Sovereign
Inspiring Cleric
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Karmic Guide
Kinjalli’s Sunwing
Kirtar’s Wrath
Knight of Dawn
Lingering Souls
Mardu Woe-Reaper
Martyr of Dusk
Ministrant of Obligation
Moment of Triumph
Momentary Blink
Mother of Runes
Phyrexian Rebirth
Reciprocate
Regal Caracal
Remorseful Cleric
Restoration Angel
Revitalize
Righteous Confluence
Rout
Scout’s Warning
Selfless Spirit
Selfless Squire
Shrieking Grotesque
Skymarcher Aspirant
Soldier of the Pantheon
Soulfire Grand Master
Spear of Heliod
Spectral Lynx
Sunscape Battlemage
Suture Priest
Swords to Plowshares
Terminus
The Wanderer
Thraben Inspector
Tithe Taker
Trueheart Duelist
Valorous Stance
Venerated Loxodon
Vesperlark
Wall of Omens
Wing Shards
Wrath of God

BLUE (75)

IN:

Rain of Revelation

I cut Sift a while back because it was just too clunky, but adding “instant” to the spell makes it much easier to find a nice spot to hold it up and fire it off. I was already thinking of adding Hieroglyphic Illuminations, but I decided to try this one instead.

OUT:

One With the Wind

As much as I wanted Auras to play a bigger part in the stack, this wasn’t the right card. It played poorly, and with so much removal in my stack it was basically begging to get 2-for-1’d.

Fact or FictionExclude

Most of the sweet blue cards from the set are actually already in the Danger Room and have been since day one!

Aeon Chronicler
Allied Strategies
Ancestral Vision
Angler Drake
Aven Eternal
Blue Elemental Blast
Braingeyser
Careful Consideration
Censor
Cephalid Sage
Champion of Wits
Chart a Course
Circular Logic
Commence the Endgame
Complicate
Concentrate
Control Magic
Counterspell
Deep Analysis
Delver of Secrets
Disallow
Dispel
Dismiss
Dream Eater
Dungeon Geists
Envelop
Evasive Action
Exclude
Fact or Fiction
False Summoning
Flashfreeze
Harbinger of the Tides
Hydroblast
Jace’s Phantasm
Jilt
Jolting Merfolk
Looter il-Kor
Lu Xun, Scholar General
Man-o’-war
Merfolk Looter
Miscalculation
Mulldrifter
Mystic Archaeologist
Narset’s Reversal
Negate
Nimble Obstructionist
Neutralizing Blast
Opportunity
Persuasion
Phantasmal Image
Power Sink
Probe
Quench
Rain of Revelation
Remand
Remove Soul
Repulse
Riddlemaster Sphinx
Secrets of the Golden City
Serendib Efreet
Snapcaster Mage
Steal Artifact
Stolen Identity
Stratus Dancer
Sun Ce, Young Conquerer
Syncopate
Talrand’s Invocation
Tidings
Unsubstantiate
Unsummon
Vesuvan Shapeshifter
Warkite Marauder
Whirler Rogue
Willbender
Wonder

BLACK (75)

IN:

Black is the color I regret the most in Horizons because there are so many sweet cards that just don’t work in my stack, either because of Snow synergies like Dead of Winter or simply being too game dominating like Yawgmoth, Thran Physician. I did find a really nice card on the spoiler that’s not too cold (snow), or too hot (Yawgmoth) that I think will fit just right:

Sling-Gang Lieutenant

Sling-Gang is a nice value four-drop that spreads around multiple bodies and can do some cool things in racing situations. There are quite a few Goblin token synergies in my stack already and so Sling Gang feels like an awesome fit in my stack.

Ransack the Lab

My love for Strategic Planning is deep, nostalgic and sentimental. I love the flavor. It’s also kind of cool that while blue and black accomplish the same task with these cards, that the flavor of “how” is very different: one through Strategic Planning and the other through Ransacking the Laboratory!

I also considered Endling for my stack, but there wasn’t a single card that I thought it was an improvement over. So, it’s certainly a cool card that is in the range I like, but ultimately fell just short.

OUT:

Massacre GirlPestilent Spirit

When I wrote my War of the Spark review, I was excited about this, but after getting a chance to play with it, it was a little bit too broken for my tastes. It was almost always just a 4/4 menace that Wrath’d away the rest of the board and was a little too easy to loop and rebuy with Raise Dead and Gravedigger abilities. I’d really like to see a 5-drop 4/4 that gives -2/-2 at some point, which was more how I incorrectly imagined this creature would play out.

Pestilent Spirit falls into the “3-drop Abyss” where even though it’s a stacked 3, it just isn’t a card anybody ever wants to draw or play. Easy cut.

Bane of the Living
Big Game Hunter
Bloodsoaked Champion
Bone Shredder
Cast Down
Chainer’s Edict
Coffin Queen
Collective Brutality
Consuming Vapors
Crypt Angel
Dakmor Lancer
Damnation
Dance of the Dead
Dark Hatchling
Despise
Dismember
Doom Blade
Doomfall
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Dread Wanderer
Duress
Dusk Legion Zealot
Entomber Exarch
Eternal Taskmaster
Expunge
Fatal Push
Flesh Carver
Ghastly Demise
Go for the Throat
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Gutterbones
Hero’s Downfall
Inner Demon
Inquisition of Kozilek
Keening Banshee
Knight of Infamy
Knight of Malice
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Lay Bare the Heart
Lifebane Zombie
Midnight Reaper
Moment of Craving
Murderous Cut
Nekrataal
Never // Return
Noxious Gearhulk
Night’s Whisper
Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty
Ophiomancer
Orzhov Enforcer
Ostracize
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Rager
Plague Mare
Ransack the Lab
Ravenous Chupacabra
Rend Flesh
Ritual of the Machine
Sever the Bloodline
Shriekmaw
Skeletal Vampire
Skinrender
Sling-Gang Lieutenant
Ransack the Lab
Smother
Sudden Death
The Eldest Reborn
Thoughtseize
Tragic Slip
Transgress the Mind
Unburial Rites
Undying Evil
Unearth
Vampire Nighthawk
Withered Wretch
Wretched Confluence

RED (75)

IN:

The two red cards that I ultimately selected for my stack basically upgraded spells at the same mana cost in my stack.

Goblin War Party

Goblin War Party has a lot of “charm.” I love the way it does two completely different things (or, both if you can entwine later in the game. I’ve tended to be careful about “Overrun” cards, since they are fairly powerful, but this one only gives +1/+1. It’s true that entwining does potentially create some swingy situations, but the cards feels worth a try.

Seasoned Pyromancer

Seasoned Pyromancer may end up being one of the all-around “best” three-drops in the stack because it’s easy to get value from its ETB ability. There are no lands in the deck, which means it will always generate tokens. Three-drops have been getting a bit of a boost lately, which has meant replacing a lot of older, weaker cards.

OUT:

Ahn-Crop CrasherHound of Griselbrand

Crasher was a little boring, since it tended to only be “good” when a player was already ahead in a race and it was pretty bad whenever you were behind. Hound is a sweet one, but it’s gotten to a point where I expect a little bit more from a four-drop creature.

Abbot of Keral Keep
Abrade
Anger
Arc Lightning
Barbed Lightning
Beetleback Chief
Brute Force
Burst Lightning
Carbonize
Chain Lightning
Collective Defiance
Conquering Manticore
Cunning Sparkmage
Deem Worthy
Desolation Giant
Dire Fleet Daredevil
Disintegrate
Dualcaster Mage
Earthshaker Khenra
Faithless Looting
Feldon of the Third Path
Fiery Confluence
Fight with Fire
Fire Imp
Fireball
Firebolt
Flames of the Firebrand
Flame Slash
Flametongue Kavu
Fledgling Dragon
Forked Bolt
Frenzied Fugue
Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Goblin War Party
Grim Lavamancer
Hordeling Outburst
Hungry Flames
Incendiary Flow
Incinerate
Kird Ape
Krenko, Mob Boss
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
Lava Coil
Legion Warboss
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Strike
Mindclaw Shaman
Pardic Arsonist
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Pia Nalaar
Pillar of Flame
Punishing Fire
Pyroblast
Rampaging Ferocidon
Red Elemental Blast
Resounding Thunder
Roast
Rix Maadi Reveler
Searing Spear
Seasoned Pyromancer
Shock
Shower of Coals
Siege-Gang Commander
Skewer the Critics
Slice and Dice
Starstorm
Smoldering Werewolf
Temur Battle Rage
Thunderbreak Regent
Thunderscape Battlemage
Tribal Flames
Vulshok Sorcerer
Warfire Javelineer
Young Pyromancer
Zurgo Bellstriker

GREEN (75)

IN:

Green was far and away the best color, in my opinion, for Battle Box cards and featured several cards I was excited to add. So, let’s roll through the list!

Deep Forest Hermit

I’ve always been a big fan of Deranged Hermit, but the echo was asking too much in the Danger Room. Vanishing 3 is a huge improvement that makes this good in my stack and well worth the five-mana investment.

Hexdrinker

Hexdrinker might be the best Savannah Lions variant of all time. I’ve been looking for more cheap drops and this one is quite good no matter when you draw it, which has been a problem with other one-drops that tend to feel bad when you draw them later in the game. Hexdrinker should fit right in!

Mother Bear

While it’s not exciting on two, it’s certainly better than not having a play. Mother Bear can do “bear stuff” early in the game and then flashes back for some value later. It’s a very cool design that provides nice value in an elegant way.

Elvish Fury

A cute combat trick with buyback. I like that if it’s one of the last cards in your hand at the end of the game that you can actually do a lot of work with it, whereas a lot of other cheap combat tricks tend to feel kind of useless in the later stages of the game or in a topdeck war.

Weather the Storm

Another big life gain spell, similar to Gnaw to the Bone. Games in my stack tend to be pretty aggressive (and look to become even more so with an emphasis on getting leaner on CMC) and a card that can gain a lot of life likely improves in value. Plus, I think this one will be fun to use since it’s an instant with storm!

OUT:

Genesis HydraHatchery SpiderTendershoot DryadJungleborn PioneerVivien's Arkbow

The first three cards I decided to cut because the more I played with them the more they felt like bombs that just ended games by generating a huge turn late in the game. It’s gotten to the point where there are more than enough great cards in the 1-6 drop range that I don’t need so many expensive monsters to fill in the gaps. Shaving some of the expensive bombs also makes it less likely to draw a hand full of expensive spells.

Tendershoot Dryad was a feel-bad. It either got Jungleborn Pioneer (in which case you were sad that your five-drop got shocked) or opponent couldn’t kill it and it won the game outright (in which case it was frustrating for the opponent). The new Deranged Hermit seems like a much more fun five-drop to play with and against.

Jungleborn Pioneer is another example of the worst three-drops feeling significantly outclassed by more powerful cards.

Vivian’s Arkbow was as good as I thought it would be and then some, and so I cut it. If an opponent couldn’t deal with it, the card simply took over and won the game on its own.

Ana Battlemage
Arborback Stomper
Autumn’s Veil
Avoid Fate
Basking Rootwalla
Benefactor’s Draught
Berserk
Biogenic Ooze
Blastoderm
Blossoming Defense
Briarhorn
Call of the Herd
Caller of the Claw
Deathmist Raptor
Deathgorge Scavenger
Deep Forest Hermit
Den Protector
Earl of Squirrel
Elvish Fury
Elvish Visionary
Eternal Witness
Flinthoof Boar
Forgotten Ancient
Gaea’s Might
Giant Growth
Harmonize
Hexdrinker
Hooded Hydra
Imperious Perfect
Kessig Prowler
Kraul Harpooner
Loaming Shaman
Manglehorn
Master of the Wild Hunt
Mitotic Slime
Mother Bear
Mouth // Feed
Noose Constrictor
Obstinate Baloth
Ohran Viper
Patagia Viper
Pelakka Wurm
Pelt Collector
Phantom Centaur
Polukranos, World Eater
Predator’s Strike
Qasali Slingers
Rancor
Ranger’s Guile
Reclamation Sage
Regrowth
Resilient Khenra
Ridgescale Tusker
Ripjaw Raptor
River Boa
Scavenging Ooze
Skyshroud Elite
Skyshroud War Beast
Somberwald Stag
Spider Spawning
Stingerfling Spider
Sunblade Elf
Thorn Lieutenant
Thornscape Apprentice
Thornscape Battlemage
Thragtusk
Thrashing Brontodon
Vengevine
Wall of Blossoms
Weather the Storm
Wild Mongrel
Wild Nacatl
Withstand Death
Wolfir Avenger

MULTICOLOR 2-COLOR GUILD SPELLS – 150

AZORIUS (U/W – 15)

Soulherder

A “fixed” Mistmeadow Witch (which was a card I had to cut because it was too dominant). The fact that it can’t protect itself (and other creatures) at instant speed makes this a powerful but balanced card for the Danger Room.

OUT:

Time Wipe

I’m pretty heavy on Wraths and so I won’t really miss this one. I’d rather make room for a unique card like Soulherder than play the “second Azorius Supreme Verdict.”

Absorb
Cloudblazer
Deputy of Detention
Dovin’s Acuity
Dovin’s Veto
Elite Guardmage
Hindering Light
Ojutai’s Command
Ordered Migration
Reflector Mage
Senate Guildmage
Soulherder
Sphinx’s Insight
Supreme Verdict
Wall of Denial

BOROS (R/W – 15)

No changes.

Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
Basandra, Battle Seraph
Boros Charm
Boros Guildmage
Boros Reckoner
Deafening Clarion
Feather, the Redeemed
Foundry Champion
Heroic Reinforcements
Integrity // Intervention
Justice Strike
Lightning Helix
Nahiri, Storm of Stone
Tajic, Legion’s Edge
Warleader’s Helix

DIMIR (U/B – 15)

No changes.

Baleful Strix
Connive // Concoct
Countersquall
Dragonlord Silumgar
Enter the God-Eternals
Far // Away
Hostage Taker
Psychatog
Psychic Symbiont
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Soul Diviner
Soul Manipulation
Spite // Malice
Thief of Sanity
Thought Erasure

GOLGARI (G/B – 15)

No changes.

Abrupt Decay
Baloth Null
Consume Strength
Find // Finality
Gleancrawler
Golgari Findbroker
Golgari Guildmage
Izoni, Thousand-Eyed
Lotleth Troll
Maelstrom Pulse
Pernicious Deed
Putrefy
Slimefoot, the Stowaway
Status // Statue
Storrev, Devkarin Lich

GRUUL (R/G – 15 )

Reap the Past

Finally! A great red-green card that doesn’t feel like a Gruul spell! I totally understand that Gruul has a particular flavor, but the cards tend to blend together and lack individuality…. trample and haste, I get it…

Nobody can say that about Reap the Past because it’s from left field. It feels like a more balanced Braingeyser that is also vulnerable to instant-speed graveyard hate. I’m excited to see this one in action!

OUT:

Cindervines - Foil

Cutting a Disenchant makes sense, since there’s already a lot of that built in. Gruul has really rounded out nicely this year. It’s historically tended to be one of the weaker guilds, but it’s now got some depth!

Assault // Battery
Bloodbraid Elf
Collision // Colossus
Dragonlair Spider
Fires of Yavimaya
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Ground Assault
Gruul Spellbreaker
Huntmaster of the Fells
Raging Regisaur
Reap the Past
Rhythm of the Wild
Thrash // Threat
Wort, the Raidmother
Zhur-Taa Goblin

IZZET (U/R – 15)

NO CHANGES.

Adeliz, the Cinder Wind
Beacon Bolt
Counterflux
Crackling Drake
Dack’s Duplicate
Electrolyze
Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
Fire // Ice
Ionize
Izzet Charm
Prophetic Prism
Ral’s Outburst
Storm Fleet Sprinter
Swerve
Turn // Burn

ORZHOV (B/W – 15 )

Kaya's Guile

Kaya’s Guile is my kind of card: “Lots of modes and potential for even more modes!” I love the fact that the spell has graveyard hate built into an already reasonable instant. I don’t want to give people a free pass to “go off” from the yard, but I also don’t want to liter my stack with a bunch of situational Tormod’s Crypts. Kaya’s Guile is going to be a great one for Battle Box fans!

OUT:

Oath of Kaya

There’s nothing wrong with Oath of Kaya, but I felt like it was the least exciting Orzhov card I could cut. I cut some of the new ‘walkers I added with War of the Spark which makes it feel a little more out of place.

Basilica Bell-Haunt
Blind Hunter
Castigate
Consecrate // Consume
Cruel Celebrant
Death Grasp
Elenda, The Dusk Rose
Ghost Council of Orzhova
Imperious Oligarch
Karlov of the Ghost Council
Kaya’s Guile
Mortify
Orzhov Pontiff
Sin Collector
Zealous Persecution

RAKDOS (R/B – 15)

Lightning SkelementalMunitions Expert

Rakdos got a couple of nice new toys, which is nice because it’s one of the weaker two-color guilds in the Danger Room. Munitions Expert plays nicely with the Goblin theme I’ve been building up in my stack. While it’s difficult to “make tribal work” in Battle Box, it is a subtheme where some minor synergies can be found.

Lightning Skelemental is a solid card, and I love the name and flavor. We’ve come a long way since the days when Ball Lightning was considered a powerful creature!

OUT:

Widespread BrutalityAngrath, Captain of Chaos

Neither of these Rakdos cards from War of the Spark played as nicely as I’d hoped. Four is too much for a Pyroclasm effect and Angrath, Captain of Chaos was only good when a player was already running away with the game.

Bedevil
Bituminous Blast
Blightning
Carnival // Carnage
Claim // Fame
Cut // Ribbons
Dreadbore
Judith, the Scourge Diva
Kolaghan’s Command
Lightning Skelemental
Munitions Expert
Murderous Redcap
Olivia, Mobilized for War
Terminate
Unlicensed Disintegration

SELESNYA (W/G – 15)

No changes.

Advent of the Wurm
Assure // Assemble
Dromoka’s Command
Elderwood Scion
Enlisted Wurm
Kitchen Finks
Knight of Autumn
Loxodon Hierarch
Loxodon Smiter
Mystic Enforcer
Pledge of Unity
Selesnya Charm
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
Trostani Discordant
Voice of Resurgence

SIMIC (U/G – 15)

No changes.

Aether Mutation
Ethereal Ambush
Frilled Mystic
Horizon Chimera
Icefeather Aven
Incubation // Incongruity
Jungle Barrier
Merfolk Skydiver
Mystic Snake
Plaxcaster Frogling
River Hoopoe
Roalesk, Apex Hybrid
Shardless Agent
Simic Charm
Zegana, Utopian Speaker

MULTICOLOR, SHARDS, WEDGES, and 5-COLOR – 31

Abzan (G/W/B) – 3

Abzan Charm
Anafenza, the Foremost
Doran, the Siege Tower

Bant (W/U/G) – 3

Arcades, the Strategist
Bant Charm
Rubinia Soulsinger

Esper (U/W/B) – 3

Dromar’s Charm
Punish Ignorance
Trial // Error

Grixis (U/R/B) – 3

Dark Intimations
Gwendlyn Di Corci
Slave of Bolas

Jeskai (U/W/R) – 3

Lightning Angel
Mantis Rider
Sage of the Inward Eye

Jund (R/B/G) – 3

Darigaaz’s Charm
Jund Charm
Sprouting Thrinax

Mardu (B/W/R) – 3

Crackling Doom
Mardu Charm
Ponyback Brigade

Naya (R/W/G) – 3

Fiery Justice
Marath, Will of the Wild
Woolly Thoctar

Sultai (B/U/G) – 3

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
Sultai Charm
The Mimeoplasm

Temur (R/U/G) – 3

Savage Knuckleblade
Temur Ascendancy
Temur Charm

FIVE-COLOR – 1

IN:

The First Sliver

The First Sliver is too cool not to try out! I’m aware it’s pretty insane, but the single WUBRG card should be, right? We’ll see. I’m going to give it a try and see how it plays.

OUT:

Fusion Elemental

I won’t be trading away my foil Fusion Elemental anytime soon. I’m considering just playing both in the future, but I’m not 100% that The First Sliver will be around come next release.

Conclusion

Modern Horizons is one of the most powerful Magic releases of all time and its impact will be felt from the pro scene to the kitchen table. I believe Horizons will be among the most significant Battle Box releases ever, which is saying something considering the low number of gold cards (which tend to be the easiest cards to make the cut).

I love the return to nostalgic design and flavor and appreciate how fun these cards look to play with. I cannot wait to get my hands on these new cards and giving them a try!