Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd | Modern Horizons 3
15, May, 24

Modern Horizons 3 May Be the Last of Its Kind

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From the moment it was announced, there’s been a lot of talk about Modern Horizons 3. Following on from its predecessors, this set was expected the force another problematic rotation for multiple formats. Despite this implicit problem, there has never been any doubt that Modern Horizons 3 would sell insanely well.

Much like Modern Horizons 2, MH3 is practically guaranteed to be too good to ignore. As a result, MTG players will have little choice but to buy packs and singles if they want to keep up. In theory, this makes Modern Horizons sets a slam dunk, especially if they contain dedicated Commander cards too.

Despite having a proven track record and being a no-brainer success, Modern Horizons 3 may be the last of its kind. According to MTG’s Lead Designer, the future of the entire product line is now uncertain, which is downright baffling.

The Last Modern Horizons Set?!

Modern Horizons 3 | Key Art
Modern Horizons 3 | Key Art

Just a few months ago, there was practically no doubt that Modern Horizons 4 would eventually be released. There was even some quiet speculation and fears that a Pioneer Horizons set could become a real thing before too long! Despite how well both of these products would surely sell, now it appears they both may be in jeopardy.

Raising this concern, Tumblr user Izzipurrito recently took to Blogatog to ask about the franchise’s future. Stating “I get the impression that Modern Horizons 4 isn’t going to be a thing,” Izzipurrito highlighted the rise of Universes Beyond sets. While The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth was incredibly popular, warranting repeats, this fear isn’t an unfounded one.

Back in February, Hasbro CEO, Chris Cocks, announced that from 2025 onward, two Universes Beyond sets would release each year. In theory, unless the MTG release calendar gets even more compact, this would push out every non-premier set. This would mean no more Un-Sets, no more Commander Legends, no more Masters sets, and no Modern Horizons 4.

Thankfully, while the increase in Universes Beyond sets could cause this dramatic domino effect, it’s unlikely these sets will disappear. As we’re seeing this year, with a little wiggling, Wizards can easily make room in the calendar for something else. Alternatively, Wizards could ditch the nostalgia and simply get rid of the January Remastered sets after 2025.

In theory, this should mean that MTG’s Modern, Commander, and reprint-themed sets should be all fine and dandy. That was the expectation, at least, by players not wanting to give into Universes Beyond-based fears. Unfortunately, this optimism may have been misplaced, as the future is surprisingly uncertain.

Yet to Be Decided

Ajani, Nacatl Avenger Art
Ajani, Nacatl Avenger | Modern Horizons 3

Responding to Izzipurrito’s post on Blogatog, MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, revealed “The future of Modern Horizons sets has yet to be decided.” Considering these sets have been some of the best money-makers in MTG’s history, this is wild. At the same time, this may not be entirely unwelcome.

As we mentioned earlier, Modern Horizons sets have a long history of being controversially overpowered. This has essentially forced a rotation to formats like Modern, which is rather problematic. While it can be nice getting to play with new decks, having to drop $1000 to do so isn’t fun.

While Wizards could halt Modern Horizons sets due to this concern, the existence of Modern Horizons 3 makes this unlikely. Not only does this set exist, but Wizards seemingly isn’t holding back. Despite claims this set has learned its lesson and wouldn’t be so powerful, we’ve already seen multiple format warping soon-to-be staples

Ultimately, the only thing that has changed is the increase in Universes Beyond sets to two a year. Due to this, you may think it’s a foregone conclusion that Modern Horizons 4 won’t exist in any form. For better or worse, this presumption may be premature.

Depending on which route Wizards wanted to take, Universes Beyond sets could simply replace Modern Horizons sets. By being Modern legal and pushing the format’s power, these sets could theoretically keep giving Modern decks new tools. Considering Universes Beyond isn’t universally loved, this could be a problem in its own right.

Alternatively, the safer option would be to just release more sets. Should Wizards want to, more space can easily be found in the yearly release calendar for more sets. While this would exacerbate concerns about Magic’s endless spoiler season, at least nothing would be sacrificed.

What Will Happen?

Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar
Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar | Modern Horizons 3

Ultimately, we don’t know what the future is going to hold. While we technically know the MTG release calendar for 2025 already, we don’t know everything. Given the unusually large space in the 2024 calendar, there’s a chance there could be a surprise announcement coming soon. Even if this doesn’t happen, it nonetheless shows there’s space that could be used.

At the end of the day, as Rosewater stated, the future “has yet to be decided.” Thanks to this, we’re just going to have to wait and see what comes next. For now, it’s probably a bit too early to panic, as while Modern Horizons sets could disappear, that seems incredibly unlikely.

Read More: MTG Players Frustrated By Failed Format Update

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