The Lost Caverns of Ixalan looks like an incredibly powerful Standard set. There are a ton of exciting cards that resemble powerhouses from days prior. Some players are likening Smuggler’s Copter to Subterranean Schooner (name unconfirmed), and a new Explore card has created a new infinite combo primed for Collected Company toolbox decks. Heck, a fixed version of one of MTG’s most broken mechanics is a coming to Standard via Discover.
A recent spoiler revealed a new powerful piece of Rakdos removal that looks like a strict upgrade to an iconic card for the MTG color combo. Dreadbore is getting a strict upgrade which, while potentially Modern playable, will definitely see Commander and Pioneer representation.
Molten Collapse is a new two mana Sorcery that can do two different things: destroy a creature or Planeswalker and destroy a noncreature, nonland permanent with mana value one or less. If you manage to Descend, you can do both things.
Regardless of whether you Descended or not, Molten Collapse is strictly better than Dreadbore, a Pioneer Rakdos staple that is almost the exact same as Molten Collapse. The only difference is that Dreadbore does not have the option to Destroy small noncreature nonland things and, therefore, cannot do both at the same time. As a result, this is an easy upgrade for Rakdos Pioneer decks. Even though the second mode of Molten Collapse may seem redundant, it can be incredibly relevant. Two-for-ones are a powerful thing.
Otherwise, Molten Collapse could see some Modern play. Modern already has a strict upgrade to Dreadbore in Terminate, but Descending is an incredibly easy feat to achieve in the Modern format.
Just like how enabling Revolt with Fatal Push in Modern is rather trivial, satisfying the Descend trigger on Molten Collapse is really easy. This is thanks to the presence of Fetch Lands in the Modern format. Perhaps the biggest difference between Modern and Pioneer, Fetch Lands supercharge manabases, allowing you to, basically, find any color of mana you like.
In order to use a Fetch Land, much like Evolving Wilds, you need to sacrifice it to search for a land within the parameters of the Fetch Land. Since your Fetch Land is putting a permanent into your graveyard, using a Fetch Land clears the Descend check on Molten Collapse, allowing you to utilize both modes. If both modes are relevant consistently in the Modern format, Molten Collapse could see some play. That said, Sorcery speed removal is not ideal in the Modern format.
Tokens Do Not Descend
In Pioneer, enabling Descend will be a bit tougher. For reference, unlike Revolt, removing a Treasure Token created by your Goblin Shaman token isn’t going to be good enough. Even though Tokens do exist for a short period of time in the graveyard, they are not considered ‘permanent cards’ and therefore do not enable the Descend requirement.
One deck in Pioneer that may be able to utilize the Descend condition consistently, however, is Rakdos Sacrifice. It is unclear whether Rakdos Sacrifice is interested in a card like this (Dreadbore is not very popular in Rakdos Sacrifice. It can be found much more commonly in Rakdos Midrange), but Descend is easily triggered by the various sacrificial interactions that the deck possesses. Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven enable Descend on any turn you choose. Otherwise, using Deadly Dispute on something like Unlucky Witness can also enable Descend when needed.
Is The Second Mode Relevant?
Molten Fury being a direct upgrade to Dreadbore is undeniable. You can literally just do more with this card then you can with Dreadbore. That said, the extra function of this card’s relevancy is a fair question. The second mode of Molten Fury is incredibly narrow, only allowing you to take out specific cards that will not be around every matchup. Having a primary mode that is very general does, however, alleviate the deckbuilding cost of playing such a narrow effect, and that in itself makes this card a lot better.
In order to help distinguish just how relevant the second ability of Molten Fury is, here is a list of cards that Molten Fury hits that are relevant in Modern, Pioneer and Commander. Do note that this won’t be everything.
- Amulet of Vigor
- Sigarda’s Aid
- Colossus Hammer
- Relic of Progenitus/other small graveyard hate pieces
- Chalice of the Void
- Alpine Moon
- Engineered Explosives
- Pithing Needle
- Hardened Scales
- The Ozolith
- Mishra’s Bauble (not really relevant)
- Other small noncreature cards found off Urza’s Saga
- Other Tokens (as an added bonus to using the first mode)
- Witch’s Oven
- Pithing Needle
- Tormod’s Crypt
- Deafening Silence (rather rare, but sees some play)
- Legion’s Landing
- Artifact tokens in Boros Convoke that would be used for Gleeful Demolition (not sure how good of an idea this is)
- Portable Hole
- Sol Ring
- Mana Crypt
- Mystic Remora
- Utopia Sprawl
- Mana Vault
- Hardened Scales
- Land Tax
- Carpet of Flowers
- Phyrexian Reclamation
- Mox Opal
- Expedition Map
- Deafening Silence
- Wild Growth
- Lion Eye’s Diamond
It’s tough to say whether the second mode of Molten Collapse will be super relevant or not, but the first mode does make the card incredibly effective. In Modern, there is a world where, if your deck cares about Chalice of the Void, you can take that out and a scammed Fury, which is rather powerful.
Since Dreadbore already saw play in Pioneer, Molten Collapse is a slam dunk in Pioneer. The card also seems fantastic for Explorer and Standard since Dreadbore is not on MTG Arena yet. Modern is the format where the second mode of Molten Collapse could give it percentage points over Terminate, which sees a moderate amount of play. Each card, however, has their own plusses.
Molten Collapse Will Replace Dreadbore
As long as Dreadbore would see play, so will Molten Collapse. If Dreadbore effects do begin to become less effective, Molten Collapse may go with it. Molten Collapse’s second ability does not seem too powerful in Pioneer, so this should function somewhat similarly to Dreadbore. That said, in the situations where this does hit two cards, Molten Collapse will be backbreaking.
At Sorcery speed, it’s tough to know whether Molten Collapse will be good enough for Modern. Terminate does see play, however, and there are some powerful targets for Molten Collapse’s second ability. The potential is there.
Commander is in a similar spot. Flexible removal is a big plus in the format, and Descend shouldn’t be too difficult to enable, making it a slam dunk at casual tables. Either way, Rakdos players should be excited about their new toy.