Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar
18, Apr, 24

Major Modern Horizons 3 Leak Spoils Four Iconic Planeswalkers!

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Now that Outlaws of Thunder Junction has pretty much been released, many MTG players are already looking ahead to the future. With Assassin’s Creed and Bloomburrow on the horizon, 2024 undeniably has a lot of exciting content up its sleeves. Before we get to those highly anticipated releases, however, we have a set that many MTG players fear first; Modern Horizons 3.

As the latest, and potentially greatest, Modern Horizons set, Modern Horizons 3 has the potential to massively warp Modern. Given the set includes another worrying free spell cycle, this prospect seems almost guaranteed. While many MTG players are already concerned, Modern Horizons 3 is still a little ways away.

Launching on the 14th of June, the spoiler season for Modern Horizons 3 is still over a month away. Despite this, MTG players are now getting another taste of the set earlier than expected thanks to a new leak! Debuting the set’s remaining double-faced Planeswalker cards, this leak is hugely exciting, to say the least.

As exciting as it may be, for better or worse, this leak is, by definition, a leak. Due to this, there’s a non-zero chance that this leak is just a cleverly concocted fake. Thanks to AI art existing nowadays, this possibility is arguably a lot more possible than ever before. Currently, while Wizards isn’t going to outright confirm the authenticity of these leaks, the leaked cards do look genuine.

Grist, Voracious Larva

LEAKED | Grist, Voracious Larva

Following on from their debut in Modern Horizons 2, Grist is back in Modern Horizons 3! Kicking off the trend, Grist, Voracious Larva appears to be… Balanced? Sure, they might effectively be a two mana Planeswalker, but they’re far from broken. Considering the past trend of two mana Modern Horizons Planeswalkers, this is a real treat!

While Grist, Voracious Larva can technically be played for two mana, this cost does come with a catch. To flip them, either Grist or another one of your creatures must enter the battlefield from your graveyard. After that, all you have to do is pay the extra one green mana and you get Grist, the Plague Swarm.

From the outset, Grist, the Plague Swarm can either create an Insect token or destroy an Artifact or Enchantment. Should you choose the first option you’ll also mill two cards and may even get a Deathtouch counter for your troubles. If you get lucky and mill a black card, this Deathtouch counter will be undoubtedly useful, as it’ll provide amazing protection for Grist.

With enough protection and turns to ramp up, Grist, the Plague Swarm’s ultimate can be incredibly powerful. Provided you have enough creatures in your graveyard, Grist can completely flood the board with 1/1 tokens. In a deck like Yawgmoth combo, creating a copy of your graveyard with Grist’s Ultimate will almost certainly end the game.

Ultimately, thanks to Yawgmoth combo and the history of Dredge and Reanimator decks in Modern, it’s entirely possible that Grist could see play. That being said, the main home for Grist, Voracious Larva appears to be Commander. Here, they’ll work wonders creating hordes of tokens en masse alongside staples like Doubling Season.

Ral, Monsoon Mage

LEAKED | Ral, Monsoon Mage

Up next in this batch of incredibly blurry leaks, we have Ral, Monsoon Mage who seems like tons of fun. From the get-go, Ral, Monsoon Mage reduces the cost of your Instant and Sorcery spells, which is a great on-rate ability. Unfortunately, Ral does come with a slight catch to mitigate this utility. Should you fail a coin flip upon casting a spell, Ral, Monsoon Mage will deal damage to you.

Thankfully, if you win the coin flip, you do get the upside of flipping Ral into Ral, Leyline Prodigy. From here, Ral can reduce costs, deal damage and draw cards, or give you eight potentially free spells. Costing eight loyalty, sadly this exciting ultimate ability doesn’t come cheap, however, Ral can circumvent this cost.

Depending on how many Instant and Sorcery spells you cast before flipping them, Ral gets additional Loyalty counters. In theory, if the faux-Storm count is at six, you can use Ral’s ultimate as soon as you flip them. Ideally, this should guarantee you the win, as up to eight free Instant and Sorcery spells will further boost the Storm count.

Sadly, as much as Ral does have some potential, Storm is hardly the most popular archetype in Modern anymore. That said, thanks to Case of the Ransacked Lab from Murders at Karlov Manor, the deck does seem to be seeing a smaller resurgence. Since Storm lists need to run creatures that reduce the mana costs of their instants and sorceries anyway, so Ral could easily slot in there.

Overall, as with Grist, Voracious Larva, however, this new version of Ral could be better suited to Commander. Here, not only can Ral take their time getting going, but you can also hit much bigger spells. Ultimately, while they may not be the best card around, Ral, Monsoon Mage nonetheless looks incredibly fun.

Sorin of House Markov

LEAKED | Sorin of House Markov

If you like sucking blood and draining your opponents’ life, Sorin of House Markov is absolutely the card for you. Featuring Extort, this Sorin allows you to pay a little bit extra on top of each opponent to nuisance them. Should you do this enough to gain three life in one turn, you get to flip this otherwise defensive Sorin into a real threat.

Once flipped into Sorin, Ravenous Neonate this punt-able quite literally has fangs. Similarly featuring Extort as a passive, Sorin can keep draining your opponents no matter what. On top of this, their +2 ability allows you to create a Food Token, so you should have no shortage of life gain options. This life-gain isn’t just to keep you safe, as their -1 turns it into a potentially rather potent removal spell!

To top it all off, Sorin, Ravenous Neonate can also steal your opponent’s creatures and potentially give them Lifelink. In Modern, this could come in handy in a pinch, however, theft is hardly the go-to strategy for Orzhov decks. Despite this, Sorin’s -1 removal ability could prove useful time and time again, especially if Vampire decks remain in the format.

Ultimately, it seems that Sorin of House Markov is geared a lot more toward Commander rather than Modern. Not only does creature stealing work wonders in this format, but Extort will also flip Sorin significantly more easily. Hopefully, considering Modern Horizons 3 is meant to be Modern-focused, Sorin of House Markov will see some Modern play. Whether or not this will happen, however, remains to be seen.

Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student

LEAKED | Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student

Last but not least for this latest MTG leak, we have Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student. Featuring the artwork that was initially spoiled in the first look, this card makes the entire leak seem genuine. That being said, this would also be the easiest card to fake, since the art can be plugged in without any creativity required.

Authenticity aside, Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student can technically be a one mana Planeswalker, provided you’ve done enough setup beforehand. Requiring you to draw three cards in one turn to flip them, this setup does require a little work, but it’s not impossible. Thankfully, their ability to Investigate whenever they attack should help achieve this goal.

Once flipped, Tamiyo turns into Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar, who can draw you half of the cards in your entire library. Before getting to this point, thankfully Tamiyo still has a fair few useful abilities. The first of these allows Tamiyo to protect themselves somewhat by giving any creature that attacks them -1/-0. While this debuff may not be huge, it should help to deter attacks consistently.

Beyond protecting themselves, Tamiyo can also bring back an Instant or Sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand. While this ability can be incredibly useful, due to the -3 loyalty cost it’s somewhat difficult to justify. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for Tamiyo’s ultimate ability which draws half your deck and removes hand size restrictions.

Despite arguably not having a perfect trio of complimentary abilities Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student still has Modern potential. Thanks to cards like [tootips]Brainstorm[/tooltips], flipping Tamiyo should be a real breeze. If this happens early enough, you could be drawing half your deck by turn four.

Like Ral, Monsoon Mage, this Tamiyo is also a Wizard, opening up synergy with Flame of Anor. Potentially, these cards combined could propel Modern’s Wizards deck to new heights, although that remains to be seen. Right now, it’s unclear if Tamiyo will be fast enough to be worthwhile, but it certainly seems they have some enticing potential.

Ajani, the Not So Leaked

Ajani, Nactal Pariah

Last but not least, since we’re talking about Planeswalkers, we’d be remiss not to mention Ajani, Nacatl Pariah again. Unlike the other cards in this leak, we already know about this Ajani card officially, so there’s questioning its authenticity. While genuine, sadly Ajani, Nacatl Pariah won’t be too exciting for Modern players, as this card certainly seems Commander-focused.

Supporting the beloved Cat Typal archetype with a unique Boros color identity, Ajani, Nacatl Pariah offers multiple compelling abilities. Capable of creating cats, buffing your cats, providing cat-based removal, and almost wiping the board, Ajani does it all. In Commander, Ajani, Nacatl Pariah appears to be a stellar low-cost Commander, however, they’re certainly no Modern staple, at least in the current state of the format. Sure, there’s a chance that Zoo-esque decks incorporate it, but we have our doubts.

All in all, while each of the new leaked cards may not be destined for Modern play, they’re undeniably exciting and do have some Modern potential. We can only hope we’ll be saying the same about the rest of Modern Horizons 3’s cards once the spoiler season starts. According to Mark Rosewater, this Horizons set hopefully shouldn’t be as bad as before, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.

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