3, Jun, 24

MH3 is Chock Full of Low-Cost Limited Bombs!

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For those who have drafted consistently over the last two years, you know how fast-paced games of Limited can be. Many modern-day sets are filled to the brim with cheap plays that heavily impact the board. Even if you have an elite bomb in hand, if you’re on the draw and don’t have a relevant two-drop to play, you risk getting run over in short order.

Sets like Phyrexia: All Will be One took this feeling to new heights. While Outlaws of Thunder Junction provided a little more breathing room on average, developing your battlefield remained a priority. Well, Modern Horizons 3 is just around the corner, and despite having an emphasis on big Eldrazi and flashy plays, many of the best cards for Limited are extremely efficient.

Without a doubt, cards like Solitude and Fury in the Special Guest slot will be among the best possible cards to open. That said, it’s amazing just how many of the strongest Limited cards in the set cost three mana or less. Today, we’re going to focus on these cheap haymakers and discuss what makes them so good. These cards can easily swing a game in your favor, so make sure to be on the lookout for them at your Prerelease!

Guide of Souls

Guide of Souls

Kicking things off, we have a one-drop that demands an early answer, or it can singlehandedly take over a game. At first glance, Guide of Souls may just look like a glorified Soul Warden that doesn’t even trigger off opposing Creatures entering the battlefield. Where most of the power lies, however, is in its second ability.

Any time you attack, including with Guide of Souls, you get to pay three Energy to significantly buff an attacker and permanently give it Flying. Even the smallest of Creatures become enormous threats with Guide of Souls out. A huge part of the reason why Guide of Souls is so scary is that there are ample ways to generate Energy in the set.

In white alone, Inspired Inventor and Hexgold Slith appear at common. Branching into Azorius, you get even more help thanks to Riddle Gate Gargoyle, Emissary of Soulfire, and Roil Cartographer. If not killed on sight, Guide of Souls will start distributing counters across your whole board quicker than you think.

Once you manage to buff a single Creature other than Guide of Souls, your opponent is now in a bind. Do they use their lone removal spell on the evasive threat you’ve made, or do they kill Guide of Souls before things get too far out of hand? At just one mana, Guide of Souls asks very little of you. Meanwhile, the payoff is huge. Even if you draw it later in the game, if you have Energy saved up, you can start pumping your other Creatures right away. This card is truly amazing, and we’re just getting started.

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Ajani, Nacatl Pariah

Ajani, Nactal Pariah

At two mana, we have yet another elite white bomb. It’s simply impossible to go wrong with Ajani, Nacatl Pariah. Right off the bat, you get three power and three toughness spread across two bodies. This alone is powerful on rate, but we’re far from done.

Once your 2/1 token dies, if Ajani is still alive, you get to Transform it into a rather brutal Planeswalker. Given how threatening the Planeswalker itself is, your opponent may be forced to try to keep your 2/1 token alive. After all, all you have to do is chump block with the 2/1 and you get your reward.

From there, you get to spit out more 2/1 Cats every turn at minimum. In a Boros deck, Ajani gets even scarier, as you now get to start sending damage anywhere each time you use his 0 ability.

Similar to Guide of Souls, the opponent likely needs to spend removal on Ajani, or they’ll be in a world of trouble. In Ajani’s case, even if they kill it right away, you’re still left with a 2/1 token out of the deal. Getting all this upside on a two-drop is just incredible.

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Springheart Nantuko

Springheart Nantuko is yet another two-drop with immense upside. Early in the game, you will likely just want to play Nantuko as a Creature, follow up with a Land, and get your Insect token. If the opponent kills Nantuko, you get a 1/1 out of the deal. If they don’t, you’ll start flooding the board in no time.

When you draw Nantuko later in the game, it’s not difficult to set up a window where you Bestow it on a big fatty, play a Land, and add a bunch of power to the board. There really is no way to go wrong with this card, hence why it’s so problematic if not dealt with.

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Laelia, the Blade Reforged

Laelia, the Blade Reforged

Laelia is a three-drop that follows a similar trend. Assuming the opponent doesn’t have a three-power Creature to serve as a roadblock, you can attack with Laelia the turn you play it to grow it to a 3/3. Even though you likely won’t be able to get extra value by playing the exiled card that same turn, you do hit the opponent for three immediately.

Now, the opponent needs to either kill Laelia or present a huge blocker. Otherwise, Laelia will continue to grow and generate card advantage at the same time. Ultimately, because Laelia is only at its best if you’re ahead on board or at parity, it’s a little less threatening. That being said, it does a great job of breaking the game wide open if unchecked.

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Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Lastly, we have a gold card that is simply astonishing on rate. In Constructed, players are excited about how well Nadu pairs with Shuko. While there are less synergies to be had in Limited, that doesn’t mean Nadu isn’t a great card.

At only three mana, Nadu hits hard. This much pressure in the air will almost certainly promote a response from the opponent, which in turn will let you generate card advantage. The fact that Nadu also triggers off any of your Creatures getting targeted, including by your own spells, makes it just an absurd card.

Cards like Signature Slam get even better alongside Nadu. Similarly, Creatures with Bestow go up in value with Nadu in the mix.

All of these Creatures are efficient and can produce an advantage the turn you play them. If unanswered, they can then take over the game. These cards symbolize the importance of playing to the board early and using your removal spells wisely. Good luck to everyone participating in a local Prerelease this weekend, and hopefully, you see some of these bombs in your pool!

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