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Modern: 10 Legacy Cards that can enter the format with MH3

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In today's article, we separate ten Legacy cards that could enter Modern with MH3 and five cards whose insertion would make the format worse!

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NOTE: This article was written before the recent leaks of Modern Horizons 3 cards, which took place on April 25.

Modern Horizons 3link outside website is approaching, and along with several new and exclusive cards for Magic's eternal formats, the expansion may also bring some reprints or adapted versions of cards or abilities that are or have already been staples from Legacy or Vintage to Modern - for example, with the insertion of spells like Counterspell or Cursed Totem which came out in MH2, and have greatly affected the competitive Metagame.


While we still don't have much about its power level or what we can expect in terms of mechanics and abilities, we can only speculate about which cards present and relevant in other formats could enter Modern and make a difference.

In this article, we present ten Legacy cards that have the possibility or potential of appearing in Modern Horizons 3 to meet the demands of the current competitive scene, leverage strategies that aren't popular today or even enable new archetypes in the format!

5 Cards that Modern Doesn't Need

The debate surrounding cards that can enter Modern is quite controversial and has an extensive list of opinions about which additions would be beneficial or harmful to the Metagame.

Below are five cards that I consider the addition of would not bring good results for the format's balance or health.


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Wasteland is the biggest limiter of greedy mana bases in Legacy and basically a “fun check” for the format in the face of multicolored strategies, which manage to prevail in the current Metagame, but under heavy deckbuilding concessions.

Modern, today, has a wide array of archetypes with a high dependence on non-basic lands to function - Domain Zoo, Amulet Titan, Tron, Mono Black Coffers and the Indomitable Creativity decks are just some of the ones that would be most affected by Wasteland, and the mere existence of this land would trivialize the viability of several other cycles in the format and would motivate players to stick with modest mana bases.

Furthermore, the presence of Wasteland in the format would make Modern too close to Legacy, at the risk of losing its sense of identity due to having one of the main pillars of the older format.

Back to Basics

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Back to Basics is widely compared to Blood Moon and commonly treated as a blue variant of the non-basic land hate cycle, with distinct pros and cons from the red enchantment.

However, in addition to the presence of another card in the list of inclusions that already works with mana disruption, Back to Basics deprives players of their resources in a slightly more aggressive way than Blood Moon, and can "permanently lock" a Tron player, for example, who will not have the mana available to cast Oblivion Stone or another answer or popExpedition Map to search for Boseiju, Who Endures.

The greedier the deck, the more limiting Back to Basics becomes and Blood Moon, in addition to Magus of the Moon, already do an excellent job of disrupting greedy mana in the current Metagame.

Cabal Therapy

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Cabal Therapy seemed like such a viable option that Cabal Therapist was released in the first Modern Horizons, whose results were irrelevant in the competitive Metagame - further opening up the debate whether one of the game's best targeted discard spells might be enough for the format.

Today, due to the interaction between Grief with Not Dead After All or other effects that return it to the battlefield, this would turn Cabal Therapy into a huge disruption as soon as on the second turn, where we could reuse it alongside a Grief in play and another reanimation card to exert the opponent's resources several times.


The inclusion of Orcish Bowmasters also puts Cabal Therapy at a level above the standards of the current Metagame, given its ability to offer a body to sacrifice and replace it if the opponent draws a card with Preordain or another cantrip.

Price of Progress

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In times past, I was a big supporter of Price of Progress in Modern, but today, I believe that its inclusion would be almost as limiting as Wasteland given how much it would punish certain archetypes just for executing their game plan while offering easy access to it through the splash.

In Legacy, games tend to be faster and/or land counts tend to be lower due to Wasteland and the way decks are constructed, but in Modern, a matchup that extends against any multicolored deck can turn Price of Progress into a “free-win button” whose only practical solution are counterspells.

Sylvan Library

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Top filtering on green and card advantage are no longer new and have even become trademarks of this color lately. However, Sylvan Library is a bit too strong for Modern, a format where Ponder remains banned.

Sylvan Library also suffers from logistical problems akin to Sensei's Divining Top, which could make games last much longer than they should, in addition to providing an immeasurable source of value to its controller.

10 Cards that could enter Modern with MH3


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Karakas almost entered the format as the promo for Modern Horizons II, but was later replaced by Sanctum Prelate as it was considered too strong for the format - and perhaps, it still is.

However, Modern became a format where Karakas could make a difference in some specific archetypes, whether to return an opponent's reanimated Atraxa to their hand, or to protect Omnath, Locus of Creation or [Omnath, Locus of Creation and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer from a removal, or respond to the Undying trigger by returning Yawgmoth, Thran Physician to stop the combo, among a dozen other options where the card would make a difference.

While other interactions can and should be considered, the current benefits of having Karakas in the format and its interaction with strategies such as Golgari Yawgmoth seem to outweigh the possibilities of having recurring protection for Ragavan, in addition to helping some more specific hates like Lavinia, Azorius Renegade and even in the interaction with some cards that, today, have disappeared from the Metagame, like Aether Vial.

Parallax Wave

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Pseudo-sweeper, removal, or powerful Blink effect - Parallax Wave can offer a little of each to Modern while its mana value doesn't seem to break the acceptable speed symmetry and/or enable absurd combos that would put the Metagame in a dangerous situation.

Despite interacting absurdly well with the already known ETB effects, and having a copy of the enchantment in play could create situations where Solitude or Grief wreak havoc on the opponent's plans, four mana is a relatively high cost for some archetypes and there are relevant concessions including Parallax Wave as a removal, in addition to being unable to create such an impactful ETB/LTB loop.


Enchantress lists could certainly benefit from speeding up their turns with Utopia Sprawl and using Parallax Wave to “lock” the opponent for several turns, complete with the efficient recursion of Hall of Heliod's Generosity to keep the battlefield “clean”.


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Many years ago, there was an archetype in Legacy known as Landstill, where Standstill was combined with activated abilities from lands and other cards to create a situation where the opponent was forced to cast a spell and give it to the enchantment's controller the benefit of drawing three cards.

Over time, this strategy was improved with Planeswalkers to the point where the archetype became obsolete, but it still produces occasional results thanks to cards like Stoneforge Mystic and Urza’s Saga.

Modern, today, makes little use of any manland outside the recurring presence of Urza’s Saga in several archetypes, and none of them are really focused on a Control theme. Standstill could give reasons for new variants of Saga decks or even for Stoneblade lists to try to make new results, while its triggered ability, today, is put in check by cards like Orcish Bowmasters or Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.


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Stifle is one of the most controversial requests to insert Legacy staples into Modern, and one of the most debated cards on social media.

On the one hand, this spell brings a huge problem: interaction with Fetch Lands can create “anti-game” situations in the first turns and Modern is a format in which some archetypes require greater mana density and can fall far behind if they take an LD on the first turn - especially if it is accompanied by a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

On the other hand, Modern has so many important triggered abilities, which demand better answers to the point of turning Tishana's Tidebinder into a staple in Cascade Rhinos and making it, on its own, leverage Merfolks' presence in the Metagame for some time. - in other words, the demand for good Stifle effects exists, and it needs to be met.

Between Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Primeval Titan, Cascade, the trigger from Not Dead After All or Undying, Yawgmoth, among others, there is no shortage of situations where a cost-efficient interaction would make a difference in the format to deal with certain strategies, and the interaction with Fetch Lands and the format's need to adapt to Stifle in the same way that Legacy had to adapt to Orcish Bowmasters seems like a small price to pay.


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Doomsday features a powerful combo deck in Legacy that wins the game as early as the second turn through a combination of five cards that eventually lead to casting Thassa’s Oracle with an empty library.

Most of the archetype's consistency and speed, however, is tied to the Legacy card pool, with Dark Ritual, Brainstorm, Personal Tutor, Lotus Petal and an excellent free protection package that includes Daze and Force of Will, thus ensuring that the deck works even in the face of interaction and that it is fast enough to end the game before the opponent finds the right interactions and/or manages to play over counterspells.


In Modern, despite including a good portion of the setup pieces that allow the combo to work, its interaction is very different, and its mana requirements are much heavier, naturally forcing it to play in a theme similar to that of the now almost non-existent Ad Nauseam decks, or establish an efficient combo-control shell to take on the risks when you want to finish the match.

Variants with Shelldock Isle are also available in Modern and can be used to create a new Doomsday core in the format where, if we untap the land, we can use it to cast Thassa's Oracle, but this option requires more steps to work.

Muxus, Goblin Grandee

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Muxus, Goblin Grandee made an impact on Legacy and also became a Historic staple when JumpStart was released on Magic Arena. Today, it remains one of the pillars of the Goblins deck, where, in Legacy, it is run alongside ramp cards to be cast early.

Goblins decks in Modern today is still composed of an Aggro-Combo shell with the interaction between Conspicuous Snoop with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Sling-Gang Lieutenant to deal infinite damage. Muxus can collaborate with this game plan, but it can also work on a more aggressive core where you take advantage of Skirk Prospector and other ramp to cast it early.

Despite its high-power level, the type restrictions and deckbuilding concessions, coupled with the low-power level of Goblins in Modern, would probably only serve as a motivator to try new lists of the archetype and as a gentle nudge to get them into the Metagame radar, but it wouldn't be strong enough to break the format.

Basking Rootwalla

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With Madness returning in Modern Horizons 3, it is possible that Basking Rootwalla will join Blazing Rootwalla in Modern to bring new ways to enjoy Burning Inquiry, Hollow One and Vengevine in Modern - all cards whose presence in the format has disappeared since [Faithless Looting]] was banned.

Today, this archetype seems too fair by Modern standards, especially in a Metagame where players are casting a 4/3 with two Thoughtseizes for one mana and three cards, or a 4/4 with a keyword soups on the second turn, but like Muxus, the insertion of new payoffs and possible enablers would give good reasons for players to try new ideas with old archetypes.


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Terravore is much closer to a “fun card” than a competitive insert for Modern. With the abundance of Fetch Lands in the format, it could have good interactions with Ponza strategies, which, like other archetypes, have also been declining in recent years.

By not protecting itself on its own nor being immune to some of the format's major removals, Terravore would be a healthy but impractical addition by current Modern's power level standards, being just one of the pieces needed to make interaction with lands an important point for a pre-established archetype.

Cards like Life from the Loam with Cycling abilities could also create good interactions with this creature, but Countryside Crusher already performs similar interactions and has never had a place in the competitive Metagame.


Pyroblast & Hydroblast

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Pyroblast and Hydroblast are two timeless Legacy staples, where they serve as a cheap and efficient answer to a dozen spells in a format taken over by blue.

The current Modern has a dozen important red and blue cards in the format that the insertion of Pyroblast/Hydroblast would help keep in check and even serve as a universal answer to a dozen other future threats to the Metagame in a scenario where, today, they seem as necessary as Stifle.

The problem, of course, is that an archetype that spent too long in the format's best deck space is the one that benefits most from the inclusion of this duo - Izzet Murktide - and despite Orcish Bowmasters still doing an excellent job of maintaining it In check, including more and more cards in this color combination can quickly return it to the top.

Baleful Strix

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Baleful Strix was once considered strong enough to require a specific version for Modern Horizons with Ice-fang Coatl, and recently, it has been consolidated as one of the best cards in Legacy and a staple of Death's Shadow decks.

However, with the release of Orcish Bowmasters in Lord of the Rings, Baleful Strix lost its place in Legacy because it began to generate a negative value, where the Bowmasters' token grew while the Strix automatically received the damage from its triggered ability.

For that same reason, the Strix seems much safer to put into Modern today than it was when the first Horizons product came out, and unless Orcish Bowmasters becomes so prevalent that it gets banned from the format.


That's all for today!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!