Modern Horizons II cEDH set review

Magic: the Gathering

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Modern Horizons II cEDH set review

This article presents some new cards from Modern Horizons II and how they may impact competitive Commander.

By Kaylani, 06/04/21, translated by Humberto

With the spoilers finished, let's look at Modern Horizons 2's most interesting cards from cEDH's point of view. I've selected 10 cards in no particular order for us to comment on, but first, let's get to the honorable mentions.
Honorable Mentions
As MH2 came up with many viable cards for the format and nobody likes long lists, let's leave the cards that can be grouped or briefly explained here and take the cards that are most likely to show up at the next tables for us to look at in the list.

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Note that this does not mean that the honorable mentions are worse than the cards on the list, it just means that they are groupable, like the Suspend cycle, or easily commented on, like

Ignoble Hierarch

.
The Evoke cycle came with strong cards in all colors. Some better than others. We'll probably look at

Fury

as a new way to

Godo, Bandit Warlord

resolve

Opposition Agent

and

Collector Ouphe

.

Subtlety

came with a soft counter instead of a hard counter, so I hope to find this card in lists with a few colors and a little more

fringe

(I'll definitely test it on my

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

), however in lists with many colors, the high quality of existing cards will be a difficult barrier to overcome for blue Evoke.

Grief

follows the same pattern, there aren't many decks relevant in the hand disruption format. And

Endurance

deserves a spot on the list.
In this cycle Wizards have weighed their hand on some cards.

Profane Tutor

has its Top 10 spot, while

Glimpse of Tomorrow

and

Resurgent Belief

can find a spot on more fringe lists.

Gaea's Will

removes the explosive potential of

Yawgmoth's Will

.

Inevitable Betrayal

is probably my favorite card in the set and may appear on lists with

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

that still use cards with Suspend and CMC 0, but unfortunately, it shouldn't be enough to restore the status of meta deck for Yidris.
Speedrun.

Sanctum Weaver

is another line with

Freed from the Real

for decks that still use it, but it shouldn't be enough for a resurgence of the strategy for those players who left Freed in the past.

Ignoble Hierarch

will go into as many lists as it fits, probably directly replacing a dork that generates green and not replacing

Elves of the Deep Shadow

. More mana fixing is good.

Unmarked Grave

will see play on decks that do not seek to reanimate

Razaketh, the Foulblooded

.

Tavern Scoundrel

is a mana engine for

Krark, the Thumbless

and

Sakashima of a Thousand Faces

, but technical analysis of its impact on the deck is beyond my comprehension.

Step Through

giving 2 targets and searching for

Spellseeker

should be enough for

Orvar, the All-Form

.

Urza's Saga

is interesting for decks with very few colors, appropriately perhaps in

Urza, Lord High Artificer

. Finally,

Sanctifier en-Vec

is a good piece for

Heliod, the Sun-Crowned

, but WW can be hard to justify on lists like Tymna/Tana.
In the spirit of recycling iconic cards into new designs we gained

Diamond Lion

, whose needs to tap to activate makes me disappointed, and

Sol Talisman

. Two cards that probably shouldn't replace existing cards on the most popular lists.
Top 10
Keep in mind there is no specific order on this list.
At first glance the new tutor is just a worse

Demonic Tutor

. However, just as

Lion's Eye Diamond

enables strategies where

Black Lotus

would not work,

Profane Tutor

and its "drawback" from Suspend have already spawned a new cEDH deck. Tutors for Naus is a

Turbo Naus

deck that uses

Codie, Vociferous Codex

as an

Ad Nauseam

in the command zone and the interaction is simple:

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Codie's ability causes any spell cast with CMC 1 to "cascade" up to an

Instant or Sorcery

costing 0. The deck now runs Profane Tutor to tutor Ad Nauseam. It's important to mention that Codie's ability doesn't give "cascade" on permanents with mana cost 0, so there's no restriction on not being able to run mana rocks such as

Mana Crypt

. The deck is extremely consistent and fast, although recent, as strategies with Ad Nauseam were already a commonplace in the format. The 5-color goodstuff pile, in addition to the new tutor and maximizing cards with CMC 1, needs some rituals to sacrifice Codie, since it's quite complicated to storm without being able to cast permanents.
The truth is that

Dauthi Voidwalker

is a piece of hate that

asymmetrically

affects multiple decks in the format, while generating value in a deck with

Tymna, the Weaver

and preparing for a big payoff with his ability. Shadow could simply be unblockable because another creature with Shadow on the board will be another Dauthi Voidwalker, and it wouldn't be used to block under any circumstances.
I can't think of a farm deck that won't fit

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

. A monkey with CMC 1 that creates treasure, generates card advantage, and has Dash to screw with

Imperial Seal

? It's the type of card that needs a reason not to enter the deck, especially for decks without green that just got a red

Birds of Paradise

.

Humility

with Flash that cantrips? Count me in! Being an enchantment helps in dodging responses like

Dispel

and

Flusterstorm

, but it is vulnerable to enchantment removals like

Nature's Claim

and

Abrupt Decay

. But let's be honest, when you try to combo with

Thassa's Oracle

, do you feel protected with a

Miscast

or with

Wear // Tear

?

Esper Sentinel

probably already has his place reserved in

Heliod, the Sun-Crowned

, where his power can grow thanks to the commander.
The only complaint here is that for every new stax piece with the potential to impact the format, we get 3 or 4 tools to combat stax and speed up the format. Either way,

Void Mirror

counters free spells and makes explosive turns difficult with cards like

Ancient Tomb

,

Arcane Signet

,

Sol Ring

. The new artifact covers many staples of the format and, despite its symmetry, should become quite popular.
I dedicated a space in the list to

Endurance

due to the obvious interaction with

Thassa's Oracle

. Here the discussion is between when to use a specific answer, like Endurance, and when to use a generic answer, like

Counterspell

. In a vacuum the decision is simple, and we should prioritize generic responses, as they can handle varied and even unanticipated cases when creating a deck, as well as the ability to protect our combos. However, Endurance presents itself as a free answer in a format where we are already using all other free answers and which can interact well with the most popular combos in the format. Endurance has the bonus of not only preventing Thoracle's trigger from winning the game, but the new Elemental also leaves the opponent with the deck exiled. Endurance also interacts very well with

Underworld Breach

lines and leaves a 3/4 on the board for Tymna players. These questions are being explored to see if Endurance has its place in the most popular lists.

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The CMC 3 of

Out of Time

will be the main deterrent to the viability of this card. Especially with current decks generating obscene amounts of mana, the ability to remove commanders using phasing is strong, as it prevents them from being sent to the command zone. Yes, removing the enchantment brings back all creatures, but its controller must weigh if returning his 3 opponents' creatures is an acceptable price to pay. Again, Vanishing counting the number of exiled creatures makes this removal almost permanent for 3 or more removed creatures. I'm looking forward to seeing if Out of Time will be used as a sweeper to clear the way for a quick victory, or if the countdown for the creatures to return to the battlefield will slow the pod down.
In the current meta,

Suspend

could simply be "Exile target creature.". Going back 2 turns later when decks are as fast as possible currently will not be a drawback enough to prevent the use of this removal, especially to remove problematic stax permanents for turbo decks.
It's impossible not to compare

Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth

with

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

. While Urborg offers a bit of fixing to cast

Necropotence

's BBB, Yavimaya doesn't do much to cast cards that were difficult to cast before. But the cost of using it is minimal, this should be enough to make the new land appear on some tables. Also,

Arbor Elf

untapping

Gaea's Cradle

seems like a good way to generate an absurd amount of mana.

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Conclusion
Modern Horizons 2 brought a new deck to the format and several cards with power to swing the metagame. Its impact didn't raise immediate questions about bannings as we saw in Theros Beyond Death, but certainly cEDH players have gained a backlog of new cards that must be tested.

Grade

0

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Kaylani

Kaylani Bochie iniciou no Magic em Mirrodin, no final de 2003. Foi iniciado no cEDH em 2016, pelo interesse natural em otimizar estratégias no Commander. Busca decks control em todos os formatos e está sempre à procura do “2-por-1” perfeito.

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