Glasspool Mimic | Zendikar Rising | Art by Johan Grenier
23, May, 24

New MH3 MDFC Lands Will Mix Up Multiple Formats!

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Now that the official Modern Horizons 3 previews valve has been opened, new cards are spilling out thick and fast. Just yesterday, a full cycle of ten MDFC dual lands was spoiled for MH3. As many MTG players will know, almost every cycle of dual lands in Magic has some kind of impact. This is especially true for these new MH3 lands, which have the potential to seriously disrupt multiple formats.

Anyone who was playing during Zendikar Rising should attest to the power of these new cards. The MDFC land concept made its debut here, and the majority of them saw some kind of play, even if just in Commander. The ability to include a spell, even a weak spell, in what is effectively a land slot is much more powerful than it looks at first glance. Given these new MH3 cards do the same, they’re almost guaranteed to see play. Especially since some of these look pretty darn powerful in the first place.

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The New MH3 MDFC Dual Lands Cycle

MH3-MDFC-Lands-Example

As mentioned above, all ten of the MDFC dual lands from Modern Horizons 3 were previewed simultaneously. Being a cycle, they all work the same way at a base level. Each is a two-color spell on the front face, making use of hybrid mana in its cost. On the back face, each is a simple ‘enters the battlefield tapped’ land that taps for either of the two colors represented on the front face spell.

Immediately, the fact that the back face lands on these cards can tap for two colors makes them a huge improvement over the majority of the Zendikar Rising MDFC lands. In general, these cards were single-color lands that entered tapped, or spells on the other side. You don’t see two-color tap lands in Modern very often, even in slower decks, but the sheer flexibility of these cards could change that.

Before we get into the specific cards, it’s worth noting that a second cycle of MDFC lands has also been confirmed for Modern Horizons 3. These are mono-colored, and the land sides can enter tapped in exchange for three life, just like the Mythic Rare MDFC lands from Zendikar Rising.

This cycle is currently incomplete, with only Witch Enchanter and Disciple of Freyalise spoiled so far. Once it’s fully revealed we will be talking about it in-depth. The untapped MDFC lands have potential that far exceeds their tapped counterparts.

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Modern Playables

So which of these new MDFC dual lands have what it takes to break into Modern? The most obvious answer to this question, given the format’s speed, is ‘the cheapest ones.’ Some of the low-cost members of the cycle certainly do seem playable.

Revitalizing Repast is a surprisingly efficient protection spell for both green and black lists. Decks like Rakdos Scam and Yawgmoth could possibly find a slot or two for it, as a means of protecting creatures like Orcish Bowmasters. Rush of Inspiration is a very decent draw spell in an Energy deck, and may even be acceptable outside of one. Discarding a card at random can be painful, mind.

In a similar mana cost vein, Strength of the Harvest is a stellar addition to Enchantress or Light-Paws decks. It’s actually one of the more interesting scaling Auras we’ve seen, since it works with creatures too. Decks like this aren’t really meta players, but it’s still worth mentioning.

Waterlogged Teachings is in a similar boat. It doesn’t really slot into any existing decks, but it’s hard to ignore an instant-speed tutor with extra upside. Keep a close eye on this one, especially if you’re a Control fan.

Interestingly, Drowner of Truth, despite costing seven mana, may be one of the best of these cards for Modern. Being a card you can pitch to Ugin’s Labyrinth early while not being stuck in your hand if you don’t draw it is a valuable combination. You’ll probably never cast it, but that’s the beauty of MDFC lands: you don’t need to.

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Commander Impact

Modern may be a mixed bag, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that all 10 of the MH3 MDFC lands will see extensive play in Commander. This proved to be the case for every MDFC land from Zendikar Rising, even duds like Akoum Warrior. Since it’s a slower format, playing a tapped dual land isn’t a big deal. Having said land serve another function, even if it’s not super relevant to your strategy, is even better.

That said, some of these are clearly better than others for the format. Drowner of Truth, once again, is one of the best options, for different reasons this time. Rather than exiling this for Ugin’s Labyrinth, a lot of Commander decks will simply want to cast it. Ramping into it is fairly easy, and it helps ramp you further, which is ideal for most green/blue decks.

Waterlogged Teachings is also great in Commander, owing largely to the power of tutors in singleton formats in general. Suppression Ray is an interesting, if expensive, tool that can be used both offensively and defensively. That being said, it likely won’t see much play outside of dedicated Energy shells.

These are the highlights but basically, if your Commander deck is playing both of its colors, you should be including the MDFC land from this cycle. Even without any strong synergy, the opportunity cost is so low that you really might as well.

This sets a bit of a worrying precedent for future design, as too many of these cards will result in extremely flexible, samey decks. For now though they’re a gift, for both Modern and Commander players.

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