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MH3 Spoiler Highlight: Harbinger of the Seas on Modern & Timeless

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Harbinger of the Seas has the right body, colors, and abilities to be even more impactful than Blood Moon in Modern and Timeless! In this article, we evaluate its potential in both formats and present lists for some of the decks most interested in the new creature!

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переведено Romeu

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рассмотрено Tabata Marques

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Blood Moon is probably one of the most odious and, at the same time, necessary effects in eternal formats due to the notorious addition of utility lands, combos or the ease of access to colors provided by combining Fetch Lands with Triomes, becoming a staple in several archetypes.

In Modern, for example, enchantment is a common piece in the sideboards of decks with red and usually shares slots with Magus of the Moon to force players to diversify their answers and/or guarantee that a specific card will not deal with all problems - and now, with the release of Harbinger of the Seas, the means of answering them gets even smaller!


Harbinger of the Seas - Review

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It's unlikely that a blue Magus of the Moon was in most players' bets when we were thinking about cards that Modern Horizons 3 would bring. After all, effects of this type tend to be unfun and negatively affect the players' experience, and as the set will be in Magic Arena, it is common to imagine that more “anti-game” stances would be avoided.

However, not only do we have a blue Magus, but it is also one of the main types of creatures with kindred synergies in eternal formats, helping to boost Merfolks while also being a guaranteed staple of several blue decks that lacks a greedy manabase.

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Direct comparisons with other similar effects and even with Back to Basics are obvious, Harbinger of the Seas has some notable differences in the way decks can respond to it, starting with the number of archetypes that run blue in Modern and Timeless.

Magus of the Moon still allows the opponent to use Lightning Bolt or other red removal to deal with it while the new Merfolk forces the opponent to have that answer the moment it comes into play, or forces the use colorless removals like Dismember to deal with it and regain access to all the colors or lands you need to win the game.

Harbinger of the Seas on Modern

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In Modern, for example, the rate of strategies that run red or that can bypass Magus of the Moon through access to red is much higher than those that can bypass Harbinger of the Seas: Domain Zoo, Rakdos Evoke, Four-Color Creativity and Four-Color Omnath can, to a certain extent, play even if all their lands turn into Mountains and/or if they are locked out in a timely play, as they can hunt for red removals to deal with Magus of the Moon.

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Among the archetypes that work well with islands, we have Esper Reanimator, Izzet Murktide, Temur Prowess, Esper/Azorius Control, Dimir Mill and, to a certain extent, Affinity - all have a sufficiently relevant blue card base and/or have no difficulties in using fetch lands in the first turns to search for a basic land of other colors.

What should change, however, is the importance of Dismember in Modern to deal with Harbinger of the Seas, potentially turning it into a Sideboard or even maindeck staple outside the main archetypes already known for using it in a certain amount, like Amulet Titan or Eldrazi Tron,

As for the strategies that will run it, the most famous and most obvious one will probably be Izzet Murktide, which already tends to diversify the number of land drops and can use Harbinger more easily than Magus of the Moon while guaranteeing Magic Symbol UMagic Symbol U for Counterspell or cantrips.


And, obviously, we can't forget Merfolks.

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The problem is that Merfolks is already pretty full of creatures with a mana value three on its list, and neither Tishana's Tidebinder or Svyelun of Sea and Sky deserve to leave the list to fit Harbinger of the Seas, leaving the deck even more dependent on more reactive interactions in the first turns and creating the ideal setup to cast our bombs and have ways to protect them with Force of Negation or protect ourselves from combos and/or creatures with Subtlety.

Harbinger of the Seas on Timeless

Harbinger of the Seas is in a very privileged position in Timeless today due to the way that the format's main decks are usually archetypes with three or more colors, but it also has a serious challenge in “disabling” players' mana in an environment where Deathrite Shaman is legal, mana dorks are more common and where the prevalence of blue lists is higher.

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Still, it is very likely that its presence in the format will create some changes in how some archetypes can be built and/or establish new archetypes alongside other cards revealed in MH3, such as MH2's Evokers, which can also favor lists with less than three colors to add consistency.

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As in Modern, Merfolks also benefits from the new creature in Timeless, this time with more space in the maindeck and the use of Flare of Denial to improve the number of free interactions on the list, as we run more creatures with immediate effects instead of permanent abilities that require them to stay in play.

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It might also fit on the sideboard of two-colored Tempo decks to disrupt Titan Field or other greedy archetypes, and we also cannot forget that Harbinger of the Tides is a Wizard and, therefore, also interacts with cards from Izzet Wizards, in addition to enabling a proposal that, in the past, was famous in Modern - the Blue Moon.

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Harbinger of the Seas is probably one of the most powerful cards in Modern Horizons 3 for eternal formats. Its potential as blue mana disruption helps complement certain strategies while making it significantly more challenging to respond to than Magus of the Moon.

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

Thanks for reading!