Innistrad: Crimson Vow previews are done and dusted it’s providing some decent value for the Modern format. Unlike Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, this set focuses on Vampires instead of Werewolves. So expect plenty of tribal support for Vampires, Humans, Spirits, and Zombies.
If you missed out on the recent previews, we have a dedicated spoiler gallery to get you up to speed! With that, let’s look at some of the best cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow for Modern.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Admittedly a reprint, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a staple in Modern in Humans and Death & Taxes. However, if you are looking to pick up the Legendary Human Soldier for Modern, when Crimson Vow drops will be the best time to acquire these.
As such, expect to see the card see plenty of play in Standard and Pioneer. Although Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is one of the best ‘Tax’ effects in Modern, so having a set of these is a good baseline to enter into Modern.
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Chandra, Dressed to Kill
Crashing into Innistrad, Chandra, Dressed to Kill looks to offer plenty for Mono-Red strategies in Modern. At three mana, you get a flexible set of abilities similar to Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
Expect to see the Planeswalker feature in Obosh Red strategies since Chandra is at an odd mana value, and her first plus ability can enable spectacle for spells such as Light Up the Stage. Plus, you have the ability to cast cards from the top of your library which is ideal against the slower matchups. Don’t expect Chandra, Dressed to Kill to feature heavily in Modern, but expect it to offer support for dedicated Mono-Red archetypes in the format.
Often in MTG sets, we see counterspells printed that support particular tribes and Geistlight Snare is one of those. For Spirits, this card offers discount if you control a Spirit creature and/or an enchantment.
Alongside Mana Leak, Geistlight Snare can counter any spell unless your opponent pays three mana to cast it. Expect to see the spell crop up in Azorius and Bant Spirits since the discount is easy to achieve, and in post-board matches, you can meet the enchantment criteria with cards like Rest In Peace. If you looking to play Spirits in Modern, Geistlight Snare is one to add to your deck.
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Pushing effects are common and Cemetery Gatekeeper is another fantastic effect for Red. Although the effect is enter the battlefield only, you can slowly punish people for playing card such as fetch and shock lands. As such, they become better in multiples.
Even then, 2/1 with First Strike is a good rate for Modern. Expect to see it out of Red-heavy sideboards in Modern, especially the land-heavy money piles in the format. There’s probably not enough for a Vampire tribal strategy in Modern, but cards such as Cemetery Gatekeeper offer potential down the line.
Not only did we see Vampiress in Crimson Vow, but there are a bunch of Zombies in the set too. Out of the bunch, but Headless Rider offers the most potential in Modern.
It can easily slide into Zombies in Modern as you are able to replace your creatures with 2/2 Zombie tokens. This is particularly ideal if you anticipate a board wipe, and can flash Headless Rider off an Aether Vial activation. It can die to a Lava Dart or a Lightning Bolt, but could be what Zombies need in Modern to become a competitive strategy.
Sometimes with MTG sets, you see Uncommons become pushed that could see eternal play, and Wandering Mind is one of these. It may seem fairly unimpressive, but the ability to look at the top six cards of your library and reveal a non-creature or non-land card is too good to pass up.
Coupled with [tootlips]Ephemerate[/tooltips], you have the option to dig through so much of your library to find the spells you need. It could lend to a Jesaki Ephmerate build using Wandering Mind to play a bunch of spells. Once again, it’s relatively fringe but could find a home in some fun FNM-style or lower-tier strategies in the format.
Shattered Sanctum, Dreamroot Cascade, Stormcarved Coast, Sundown Pass, and Deathcap Glade
Continuing from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, these will see play in Modern in slower strategies such as Midrange, Control, or any strategy that can afford to have lands come in tapped early on.
Dubbed as the ‘Last Lands’, these lands come in untapped if you control two or more lands that aren’t limited to Basic lands. It’s likely Azorius Control and Gruul Midrange will be after some of these, however, they aren’t fetchable. But, this could be a nice budget option in place of shock lands until you can replace them. Going further, these are a nice budget option on the Battlebond lands for Commander, since they play similarly. These are a great pick-up for a myriad of formats, but if you are looking to play Modern on a budget, then these lands are a safe investment.
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Like Headless Rider, Graf Reaver is another contention for Zombies in Modern.
When entering the battlefield, the Zombie Warrior can exploit a creature and if it does, you can destroy target creature or Planeswalker. Given that Zombie strategies lean on Geralf’s Messenger for life loss, this makes for an excellent exploit target. Even better, this can act as an instant removal spell if you have an Aether Vial too. The incremental life loss could be an issue later on, but there’s nothing wrong with throwing Zombies into combat to stem the loss further.
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Dollhouse of HorrorsGod-Phaorah’s Gift saw play in Standard, and Dollhouse of Horrors looks to offer a similar playstyle. In terms of Modern, there could be options with Urza, Lord High Artificier since there is an emphasis on 0/0 Construct tokens.
Similarly, there could be a fun FNM-style combination with Necrotic Ooze using cards such as Devoted Druid and Channeler Intiate to generate infinite mana. This artifact is one to keep an eye on, as it takes one card to break it further and Modern is capable of that potential.
Lastly, Cemetery Illuminator looks to offer a different axis of attack for Azorius and Bant Spirits in Modern. Granted, the strategy has fallen out of favor over the years but could see a resurgence thanks to Crimson Vow.
For three mana, you get a Spirit that can exile cards from the graveyard on attack or when entering play. Then, you can cast cards from the top of your library that shares the same card type. It offers the ability to look at the top of your library too, which allows you to prepare for future turns. Overall, the card does a lot, and can get into combat with ease. It’s unlikely that you’ll need the whole playset for Modern Spirits, but a couple could offer some diversity in your lists.
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