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18, May, 24

MTG MH3 Leaks Showcase New Boros Escape Titan!

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Over the past couple weeks, tons of Modern Horizons 3 leaks have been coming out of the woodworks. While there are going to be a lot of Modern Horizons 3 cards being officially previewed next week, that hasn’t stopped us from seeing a bunch of leaks in advance. From a unique cycle of “free” Flare spells to a Land capable of tapping for two colorless mana on turn one, there are some powerful cards in this set.

Recently, two new strong mythic rare cards were leaked. One of them is a Boros Escape Creature that shares a lot in common with Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger. The other is a neat Eldrazi haymaker that should be a perfect fit for Commander.

Of note, before we go into more detail about these cards, we should reiterate that these are still leaks. As such, either one could turn out to be fake, though we will be covering them under the assumption that they are real. If you’d like to wait for an official preview, consider this your spoiler warning. Let’s start by taking a look at the intriguing Boros Titan.

Phlage vs Uro vs Kroxa

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury

First up, we have Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury. This card is extremely similar in templating to both Uro and Kroxa. For those who have played against Uro, you know how devastating it can be when the opponent has access to a massive threat that can be cast repeatedly out of the graveyard. However, while Uro and Kroxa are similar in design, there is a pretty big power disparity between them. Uro is banned in Modern (for good reason), while Kroxa struggles to show up beyond a one-of in Rakdos Scam decklists.

Part of the reason Uro is so much stronger than Kroxa is that Uro’s triggered ability is pretty powerful by itself. Paying three mana straight up to gain three life and build your own Growth Spiral is perfectly reasonable. On the flip side, paying two mana to get Kroxa in the graveyard and force the opponent to discard a card simply isn’t that impressive, especially since they take no damage if they discard a non-Land card. Overall, Phlage seems much closer to Kroxa’s power level than Uro at first glance.

The first time you cast Phlage, you’re just getting an over costed Lightning Helix at Sorcery speed. For fast decks like Modern Burn, the upside of having a late game bomb likely isn’t worth the downside of having a burn spell that is so much more inefficient than other options. This isn’t to say there aren’t potential shells where Phlage can thrive, but instead that the card requires a bit of work to maximize.

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Ways to Use Phlage

The One Ring

One of the archetypes in Modern where Phlage seems like it could slot into is Boros midrange. Primarily a mono-white deck splashing red for potent sideboard options, the main goal is to grind your opponent into dust. Abiding Grace can keep returning Martyr of Sands to play, keeping your life total high. From there, you can use The One Ring to bury the opponent in card advantage.

As good as this deck is, it lacks a way to quickly close the game. Phlage could help fill this role. The fact that you both gain life and deal damage with Phlage means that in addition to keeping you alive, it will end the game pretty quickly once you Escape it. Phlage’s presence lets you lean more heavily on cards like Wrath of God, since you know you have a huge monster ready to dominate the game all rolled up.

On top of that, when all else fails, you can always pitch Phlage to Solitude. Having this option in games where you feel like you don’t have the luxury of setting up Phlage or the opponent has graveyard hate lined up is rather important.

As of right now, there aren’t many other Boros-colored Modern decks to choose from. It’s possible Phlage will show up in four-color Omnath, Locus of Creation piles, though competition for slots in those decks is certainly steep. Still, with ample Fetchlands available and Delighted Halfling to help power out Phlage ahead of schedule, there’s certainly potential there. If Phlage proves to be even stronger than we expected, perhaps a more tuned Boros list with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker arises. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Kozilek, The Broken Reality

Kozilek, the Broken Reality

The second mythic rare bomb leaked is none other than Kozilek, the Broken Reality. Kozilek isn’t the most threatening Eldrazi out there, but for nine mana you get a ton of value. Assuming you and an opponent each have two or more cards still in hand when Kozilek is cast, you end up getting a pretty big advantage. Your opponent has two 2/2s in play, but you draw four cards and end up with a 9/9 and two 2/2s that each get +3/+2. Notably, if you do not want to allow your opponent to Manifest cards, you can only choose one target.

In Modern, it’s unlikely this card will get consideration outside of Tron decks. Even in Tron, the competition for cards is quite high, and this card likely doesn’t beat out Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Still, Kozilek has some nice applications.

Getting to draw a bunch of cards when you cast it is nice, and you end up with multiple threats in play. In some cases, forcing your opponent to Manifest two cards from their hand can be a huge downside for them. For instance, if your opponent is low on resources and is banking on using Solitude to answer your haymaker, Kozilek’s cast trigger can make your opponent put the Solitude into play face-down. It’s unclear if Kozilek will end up earning a slot in Modern Tron decks, but seeing it featured as a one-of to grab off of Sanctum of Ugin seems perfectly reasonable.

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Maximizing Kozilek in Commander

Ugin's Mastery

Where Kozilek should garner the most attention, though, is in Commander. Kozilek is a solid addition to any Eldrazi-themed Commander deck, and there are some nice synergies to build around.

One aspect of Kozilek that can be quite powerful is its ability to pump all of your small colorless Creatures. Clearly, this works well with Manifesting cards, even from sources like Ugin’s Mastery. Kozilek’s buff also makes any excess Eldrazi Scions or Spawns into beefy attackers. As such, cards like Awakening Zone become a lot scarier with Kozilek in the mix.

Another cool thing to do with Kozilek is to Manifest huge monsters from your hand with the intention of turning them face-up. Ugin’s Mastery synergizes well with this plan once again. You can work on setting up a turn where you cast Kozilek, put in something huge face-down, then attack and turn that big monster face-up.

Beyond Ugin’s Mastery, cards like Conjurer’s Closet and Argosy seem like perfect inclusions in a Kozilek Commander deck. After all, blinking your Manifested Creatures is a solid way to have them come back face-up.

At the end of the day, neither Phlage nor Kozilek seem quite as backbreaking as we might have expected from mythic rares in a Modern Horizons set. At the same time, they are strong enough to warrant consideration in a number of shells. With this in mind, don’t sleep on these large Titans, because they mean business.

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