Magic: the Gathering


Modern Set Review - Universes Beyond: Assassin's Creed

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The new set in the Universes Beyond series brings Assassin's Creed to Magic: The Gathering, with 100 cards that will be Modern-legal. In today's article, we evaluate the main new features of the mini-set for the format!

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Modern Horizons 3link outside website has just come out, the first week of the format has unfolded and has already shown results on how much the new cards affected the Modern Metagame, with several decks emerging and some welcome additions appearing as players adapt their lists.

But Wizards offers no rest: with MH still hot on store shelves, the new expansion of the Universes Beyond series has just ended its preview season - Assassin's Creed is a mini-set with 100 cards, which will be legal in Modern, Legacy and Commander, bringing Ubisoft's famous franchise to Magic: The Gathering.


In this article, we evaluate the main cards from Universes Beyond: Assassin’s Creed for Modern!


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The Capitoline Triad can have some useful interactions in artifact-heavy lists that naturally want to get those permanents into their graveyard quickly to reuse with Emry, Lurker of the Loch, but most of these archetypes have little interest in having creatures in play, so it seems unlikely that the Isu will see play in Modern.


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Haystack serves as another enabler for Phyrexian Dreadnought in Legacy and seems much less relevant in Modern, where the best target for the card today is Nulldrifter and its cost is too high for a card that does very little outside the “combo”.

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Senu, Keen-Eyed Protector has a decent body for its cost, has evasion, and its activated ability offers lifegain and filtering.

Its second ability is where the true value lies: Senu can return to the battlefield and be activated again every turn with legendary creatures, especially those with evasion like Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student or even with a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer with Dash or Omnath, Locus of Creation.

It shouldn't become a staple, but it can have good interactions in the format and should be one of the most playable cards in Assassin's Creed.

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As its name implies, Tax Collector has an ETB that taxes the cost of your opponent's spells or prevents creatures from attacking and activating abilities. With Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd or Ephemerate, we can create stacks of additional costs for our opponent or just punish them for playing with too greedy a mana curve.

It is probably the best new card in the set for eternal formats.


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A Whelming Wave that returns everything that isn't Historic (i.e., artifacts) at Instant-Speed ​​doesn't seem like an instant staple in any format, but it deserves an honorable mention as a possible Sideboard card in more specific decks.

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Propaganda arrived in Modern, and although Ghostly Prison no longer has space in the Metagame, the blue variant of the card opens up much more space for blue archetypes to include it in their Sideboards against possible go wide decks. However, Modern's individual power level is so high that, even against decks like Domain Zoo, giving the opponent the option to attack with a creature by paying mana for it is still giving too many options.

Sideboard option for Izzet lists, but probably won't see much play.


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Phantom Blade is a removal with ETB in the form of equipment, which can give it some space in Stoneforge Mystic lists if it finds variants with Magic Symbol B in the format. It doesn't seem very impactful, but it could be worth the space of a one-of that grants removal and evasion in a single slot.

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Black Market Connections requires many things to work, with a significant amount of life and good turn rotation being the main ones that make them a Commander staple.


In Modern, this enchantment is competing with both The One Ring and Necrodominance in the value engine category, and even in decks like Mono Black Evoke or Mono Black Coffers, these two cards seem like better options.


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The Spear of Leonidas does a lot in one piece of equipment, but its mana and equip costs seem restrictive in terms of which lists can run it, especially when we compare it to the famous sword cycle, especially with Sword of Fire and Ice.


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Just like Phantom Blade, Hunter’s Bow is an interaction in equipment where, instead of offering evasion, it grants additional protection to the equipped creature. Its ETB is less functional than Phantom Blade, which can make it lose its one-of space in a Stoneforge Mystic toolbox.


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Shay Cormac removes all types of protection from the opponent's permanents, making them vulnerable against interaction.

It shouldn't see play in the current format, but it's a decent option for specific Metagames, especially in archetypes like Humans.


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The choice to give Shroud with Smoke Bomb seems made not to make it a way to protect creature-based combos like Golgari Yawgmoth, but these decks already have answers like Heroic Intervention and Veil of Summer to protect themselves from removal.

Mechanically speaking, the Smoke Bomb concept seems spot on, but for Modern, the restriction with Shroud hurts its viability more than it helps.


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Abstergo Entertainment may deserve a one-of slot in some Tron lists for its mix of mana filtering, graveyard hate, and key piece recursion like Karn, the Great Creator, or even to reuse an artifact like Oblivion Stone or The One Ring that has been countered or discarded.

Its interaction with Amulet of Vigor and The One Ring can also give it a one-of slot on Amulet Titan.


Assassin’s Creed seems like a good move for Wizards to prevent a mini-being similar to March of the Machine: The Aftermath and a product from the Universes Beyond series from affecting competitive formats too much to the point of harming players with the scarcity of a hard-to-reprint set.

No card in the expansion seems like an instant staple and most of the highlights sound very conditional and ideal for specific situations that are not part of the current Modern Metagame - but with a few cards that can cause small changes and/or be worth some testing.

Thanks for reading!