5, Jun, 24

MTG Best Modern Horizons 3 Cards for Commander!

Article at a Glance

Modern Horizons 3 isn’t just about the Modern format. A massive Commander release accompanies Magic’s biggest release of 2024. Since we’re getting four Commander decks to explore, there’s a lot of appeal for Commander players everywhere! Even outside of the Commander exclusive cards, a ton of powerful cards from Modern Horizons 3 also threaten to spice up Commander.

Now, without any further ado let’s take a look at the ten best Modern Horizons 3 cards for Commander! This will include both the main set and the Commander decks. Notably, we will only be looking at mechanically unique cards being introduced in the Modern Horizons 3, as the new-to-Modern reprints are already Commander legal.

Honorable Mention | Fell the Profane

If you just need a land, Fell Mire comes in clutch, as it can come into play untapped. While this will cost you three life, in Commander, this is hardly the end of the world. Alternatively, if you’ve got all the land you’d need, Fell the Profane is a compelling piece of removal.

Costing four mana, Fell the Profane is hardly the best removal spell in all of MTG. That being said, since this card can be played as a land, it doesn’t really take up an important slot within the 99. This makes it a welcome bonus addition that can provide some added value at best while being a simple land at worst.

While Fell the Profane isn’t the only Modal Double Faced Card in Modern Horizons 3, it’s likely to be the most ubiquitous in Commander. Alongside this card, players can also expect to see Boggart Trawler, Sink into Stupor, and Waterlogged Teachings among many others. Ultimately, since each of these cards can be played as lands, they’re likely to pop up in countless Commander decks. Ultimately, thanks to adding more versatility to any Commander deck at a small cost, MDFC lands are always going to see some play in the Commander format.

10 | Abtruse Appropriation

Abtruse Appropriation is a better Utter End in every way. Unless the card being Devoid is a dealbreaker, there is absolutely no reason not to play Abstruse Appropriation over existing spells that achieve similar things.

Not only does Abtruse Appropriation get rid of a nasty permanent, but you also get to cast it with any color of mana! This isn’t a free cast, but being able to remove an opposing permanent and turn it into your own is an incredibly powerful effect. As MTG players know, removal stapled to card advantage is consistently one of the best things you can do in any format. Combine that with versatile removal for a reasonable price, and this card knocks it out of the park. Expect Abstruse Appropriation to see play in any Orzhov Commander deck.

9 | Exterminator Magmarch

Exterminator Magmarch can create silly amounts of value alongside single-target instant or sorcery cards. So long as your single-target spell had other options, Exterminator Magmarch copies your spell onto another chosen permanent. Put bluntly, having Exterminator Magmarch in play doubles the effectiveness of your single target removal.

While you don’t have to exclusively use removal alongside Exterminator Magmarch, it’s undoubtedly a great effect to double. Even if you only manage to do this one, Exterminator Magmarch still pays for itself since it’s not too expensive. Should it stick around on your board, however, the value it provides will only increase.

As if this innate ability wasn’t good enough, Exterminator Magmarch also has a decent layer of protection. Thanks to a low-cost Regenerate ability, getting rid of this card is a lot easier said than done. Through this ability, you should be able to keep getting value out of Exterminator Magmarch turn after turn.

8 | Final Act

Final Act looks eerily familiar to an already unpopular Commander staple. There’s no question that Farewell is a better card than this one is, but Final Act can wipe out a bunch of bizarre permanent types that Farewell does not address. As Battles become more popular, Final Act is only going to become stronger.

While somewhat strange, Final Act usually acts as a boardwipe that occasionally hits some other stuff and exiles graveyards when necessary. This can be an absolute bomb depending on the metagame, especially if Experience Counters or Energy gains popularity as a result of Modern Horizons 3. While this card will occasionally be little more than a generic board wipe, the types of cards that Final Act covers are very difficult to interact with otherwise. This, alone, has many Commander players excited for Final Act as both a board wipe and a utility tool to deal with unique strategies.

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7 | Talon Gates of Madara

Aside from being an absolutely insane upgrade to Gate decks, Talon Gates of Madara doubles as both a land and a Phasing effect. Thanks to the ability to play this card at instant speed, Talon Gates of Madara also kind of reads as a four mana Phase Out a creature spell. This can save your own Commanders, or can Phase Out a problematic blocker in order to connect with your stuff. On top of all this, Talon Gates of Madara remains a land, meaning it’s not going to take up any building room. Even when played as a normal land, you can still Phase something out.

This kind of utility is what made the Channel Lands from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty so popular. You can either utilize them as a land in an emergency or use them as a spell. This helps cut down on flooding and grants the user more options throughout the game.

6 | Strix Serenade

Strix Serenade may look somewhat unimpressive at first glance, but this card is absolutely absurd in cEDH. Between countering artifacts and creatures, Strix Serenade is an underpriced counterspell that hits a ton of gigantic threats. While this cheap counterspell does come with a downside, the 2/2 bird is not a big deal in Commander thanks to higher life totals.

Boasting a similar name, ability, and art to Swan Song, Strix Serenade is an obvious callback. Rather than being a nerfed version of this classic card, however, Strix Serenade simply counters different card types. Between these two cards, you can counter every spell type in MTG, apart from Battles, for just one mana.

Outside of cEDH, Strix Serenade remains a one mana spell that counters a majority of Commanders. Between hitting Planeswalkers and creatures, only the most bizarre Commanders will evade Strix Serenade. Combine that with some devastating artifact threats like Bolas’s Citadel, and Strix Serenade will likely perform much better in your games of Commander than you give it credit for.

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5 | Shifting Woodland

Utility lands have always been powerful in Commander, and Shifting Woodland takes things up to an 11. These cards are typically quite strong because they take up what would otherwise be a land slot, and provide even more choices in a game of Commander. Shifting Woodland, however, can act as a straight win condition as long as you have Delirium active.

This card may be more exciting in constructed formats in Commander, but being able to suddenly become a copy of a massive threat in your grave is undeniably very powerful. In extreme circumstances, Shifting Woodland can copy Dark Depths and immediately unleash Marit Lage.

For better or worse, this isn’t a land that goes in any EDH deck. You need to consistently hit Delirium and you need to reliably have powerful permanents in the grave to copy. That said, this card does act as a potential win condition in the land slot. The massive impact for no cost allows Shifting Woodland to climb close to the top of this list.

4 | Ripples of Undeath

Sylvan Library is rarely a card that players will be upset casting in a game of Commander. Offering card advantage, card selection, and deck manipulation for just two mana, Sylvan Library pulls ahead on cards quickly and makes sure you constantly hit the most valuable card in your top three cards.

Ripples of Undeath isn’t quite as good as Sylvan Library… at least on a blank sheet of paper. In certain strategies, players may prefer the black enchantment over the green powerhouse. If your plan involves milling cards, Ripples of Undeath is tough to beat. Not only will you be fueling your primary game plan, but Ripples of Undeath also functions as recurring card advantage. Sadly, you will need to pay mana and life for this, but that is, frankly, a rather small price to pay for the amount of advantage that Ripples of Undeath provides.

Even outside of milling strategies, black decks may want to consider this piece of card advantage. That said, if you synergize with this card whatsoever, you should seriously consider playing Ripples of Undeath in your 99.

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3 | Volatile Stormdrake

Volatile Stormdrake is a nerfed version of Gilded Drake, one of the more powerful Commander cards out there. Even with the nerf, Volatile Stormdrake is more than enough in most Commander decks. This can easily steal a majority of the popular Commanders in the format. Because of how Commander tax works, stealing a Commander is one of the best ways to ensure that a player does not have access to that Commander for an extended period of time.

Even if you don’t have enough Energy to steal an opposing Commander or massive threat, Volatile Stormdrake can act as removal in the form of card disadvantage, sacrificing the card. This can be used to deal with indestructible threats but doesn’t quite get around Hexproof since you need to target the opposing creature.

Volatile Stormdrake should easily see play in both cEDH and Commander alike. The creature portion of this card is rather underwhelming in Commander context but is a bit stronger than the original. All in all, we expect this to be among the best new cards for Commander, if not the best one overall.

2 | Ugin’s Binding

Ugin’s Binding only goes in a certain type of deck, but anything that essentially functions as an uncounterable Cyclonic Rift[/tootips] for no mana is something that Commander players are going to keep an eye on.

Sure, you need a colorless spell with mana value seven or greater in order to use Ugin’s Binding, but these are easy to put into any Commander deck, and the payoff for doing so is immaculate. Returning all of your opponent’s nonland permanents is one of the most devastating moves in Commander, and you can now do that while placing another massive threat on board in a way that cannot be countered by most effects. Ugin’s Binding also only works from your graveyard, making this pure card advantage.

The only way to really stop this card from resolving, outside of playing Stifle effects which is unusual outside of cEDH, is to remove it from the grave before it goes off. While this is possible, Ugin’s Binding is nonetheless easily one of the best cards in Commander in Modern Horizons 3. I would go as far as to say that this card will cause powerful enablers of it to rise in price.

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1 | The Flare Cycle

Modern Horizons 3 Flare Cycle

Free spells are ultimately a step above the rest, and these Flares are no exception. Thanks to their somewhat prohibitive free cost, these Flares won’t appear in every deck. You will actively need a decent amount of creatures in order to make these cards worth your while.

That said, even if you do not use their free abilities, some of these Flares can still put in quite a lot of work. Many different decks wouldn’t mind an extra copy of Cultivate, and Flare of Cultivation can occasionally be used as fast mana. Flare of Malice is also decently powerful whether used as a free spell or not. Flare of Fortitude is decent boardwipe protection, and Flare of Duplication can easily catch someone off guard.

Ironically, Flare of Denial is the only card in this cycle that may be underwhelming if you cannot consistently pull off the free spell cost. That said, if you can cast this card for free, Flare of Denial arguably becomes the best card of the bunch.

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