20, May, 24

MH3 Leaks Spoil Powerful Utility Land Cycle!

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Even though Modern Horizons 3 spoiler season kicks off tomorrow, it feels like we’ve been in the recent spoiler season for months now. Massive leaks, the likes that are rarely seen within the MTG community, are the cause for this. Before the spoiler season for Modern Horizons 3 even kicks off, players may have seen half the set already.

While the leaks are unofficial, they still look legitimate. Some leaks, like Brainstorm coming to Modern, have been confirmed false by Wizards of the Coast. Others, like the existence of Flare of Denial, have been confirmed.

Recently, leaks have suggested that a series of Utility lands are coming to MTG. Each of these lands need a basic land type of their corresponding color to enter untapped, and each land has an interesting additional ability that provides buffs to your creatures. Not everything has been revealed yet, in leaks or officially, and there is no guarantee that these cards are authentic. That said, they certainly look real. Let’s take a look.

Arena of Glory

Arena of Glory is the most recently leaked of this questionably real utility land cycle. Arena of Glory creates red mana, so you need a Mountain land type in play for it to enter untapped. Some players are already anticipating this to be a powerful addition to aggressive brews.

The payoff to Arena of Glory is the potential to give a creature spell cast with it Haste. The downside is that your land will become Exerted, unable to untap for a turn. You do need an additional red mana to use this ability, but this is unlikely to be a big deal in a format like Modern.

There is some excitement to use this in aggressive brews that want to close the door as quickly as possible. That said, most aggressive cards in modern already have Haste or options that grant it Haste organically. Aggressive strategies, in general, have been subpar in Modern lately outside of Prowess, and that deck is only seeing some success because of the recent introduction of Slickshot Show-Off from Outlaws of Thunder Junction.

Arena of Glory is unlikely to create an aggressive archetype on its own, but with the help of some other Modern Horizons 3 cards, maybe a new deck could emerge.

Spymaster’s Vault

Spymaster’s Vault appears to be the black portion of this cycle, needing a swamp to enter untapped. The Vault is a lot more situational, only awarding you if a ton of creatures died this turn, and you somehow still have one to target. That said, the cost-to-reward ratio, especially if even a couple of creatures died, is fantastic.

For, essentially, two mana, Conniving two on a creature with a land is some absurd value. You can fix your hand and buff your board presence. Even Conniving one this way could be worthwhile. If the tapped clause of this card isn’t too much of an issue for Yawgmoth combo decks, this could easily see play there. If Yawgmoth players are trying to go off and struggling to find their win condition, Spymaster’s Vault could easily Connive a boatload, digging through the deck at rapid speeds.

While this card may be more situational than Arena of Glory, Spymaster’s Vault already has a plausible home in Modern and offers a much higher potential reward in certain scenarios.

Read More: Wizards Confirms Missing Fetch Lands Reprints!

Utility in Commander

Both of these cards could easily appear in mono-colored Commander decks that utilize the colors of concern. They are strictly better than basic lands and offer what a noncreature spell could do for these decks. Thanks to the extremely long nature of Commander games, the Exert downside of Arena of Glory means a lot less. You’ll have an excess amount of mana in many cases.

Mono Black decks should have a lot of ways to kill creatures, which makes Spymaster’s Vault a great way to fix flooding. All in all, the Vault certainly seems like the card with the higher ceiling, but Arena of Glory is much easier to utilize since it doesn’t require you to interact with your opponent to make it useful in most situations.

As far as other cards in this cycle go, whispers of the blue land have been seen around some parts, but the white and green lands are nowhere to be seen. This land cycle, at its absolute worst, seems great for mono-colored Commander decks that generally have a lot of room for utility lands anyway. There is almost no cost to running these over a basic land, and can grant players one more decision-making point in the late game. These are unlikely to break the bank, but there will definitely be some players interested in these cards.

A Promising Reprint!

As a quick final aside, it appears that Flusterstorm is getting a reprint in Modern Horizons 3! Considering that this is one of the best defenses against Cascade decks in the current Modern format, this counterspell reprint is most certainly welcome. Thanks to its Storm capabilities, it is very difficult to win a counterspell war against Flusterstorm. Even if you counter one copy of it, the other copies can still stop your initial spell.

Notably, Flusterstorm was used for the buy-a-box promo in Modern Horizons (the original), and appears to be returning as the promo for Modern Horizons 3. Of course, this could make its inclusion somewhat dubious. Like the other leaks, this has not been officially confirmed yet.

At the time of writing, Flusterstorm has a secondary market value of about $27 on the lower side of things, ensuring that this reprint will be a particularly valuable one for players after the spell.

Read More: The Official MTG Modern Horizons 3 Spoiler Season Kicks Off Tomorrow!

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