24, May, 24

One of the Best Modern Horizons 3 Cards is an Uncommon!

Article at a Glance

In powerful sets like Modern Horizons ones, rare and mythic cards aren’t the only ones players need to watch. Even weaker rarity cards can pack a serious punch, delivering some unexpected strategies to various formats.

Pauper is a great example of this. Thanks to recently revealed information, we know that something in Modern Horizons 3 is going to be emergency banned in the Pauper format. That means there is one seriously juiced-up common in the set, at least in Pauper’s terms. Many players in the community already have a suspect for what that card is.

If commons from Modern Horizons 3 are powerful enough to be emergency banned, what about the uncommons? Some of the revealed uncommon cards are so powerful that some Modern content creators have them as the most impactful cards revealed for the set so far. Let’s take a look at a pair of red uncommon cards that could be surprisingly strong!

Amped Raptor

It’s a pretty uncontested opinion that Aspiringspike is the biggest Modern content creator on the internet. Providing endless amounts of brews that commonly become somewhat serious strategies in the Modern format, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a player who knows the Modern format better than this guy.

In a recent tweet, Aspiringspike uploaded a tier list of cards that he thinks are the strongest in the new set revealed so far. Seeing members of the new free spell cycle, as well as a new Sol Land in the S tier column shouldn’t surprise many. What may surprise you instead is that there is an uncommon in the S tier section!

Amped Raptor definitely has a lot of players excited. This two mana uncommon is absurdly scary! in Aspiringspike’s opinion, this “will be the best two-mana creature ever printed in Modern.” As he explains, in the right deck, Amped Raptor will be a two mana 2/1 First Striker that always casts another card in your deck.

Amped Velociraptor in Modern

Lightning Bolt

Whether you’re finding a Thoughtseize, a Dragon’s Rage Channeler, Amped Raptor should always yield double value. Depending on how you build your deck, you could even find card advantage pieces of Murktide or a Cascade Spell like Crashing Footfalls.

Magical fairy Christmas land for this card probably involves cards like the various Cascade spells and cards that benefit from being cast from exile. While getting to cast Satoru, the Infiltrator or See the Truth is exciting, raw value isn’t the only important detail. What ends up being more important is simply making sure that your Amped Raptor whiffs as little as possible.

Murktide-esque strategies and Burn are some places where Amped Raptor could easily see play. Removing the few spells above two mana in Burn like Rift Bolt should allow your Raptor to potentially push damage while finding one of your various Bolt effects like Lava Spike.

As Spike suggests, your worst-case scenario with this card may be finding another Amped Raptor with it since the card only triggers when being cast from your hand. Even then, two 2/1 First Striking creatures for two mana is still an absurd amount of value, especially for an uncommon. Hell, Amped Raptor could even hit a Tarmogoyf! There is the downside of this card dying to Orcish Bowmasters on impact, but the value provided is still incredibly impressive.

Aspringspike also mentions that utilizing some spells that gain you extra Energy could be a way to fit Amped Raptor into decks that want to cast some bigger spells. Attune with Aether and the new Tune the Narrative could ramp you up to four Energy on turn two, allowing your Raptor to hit something like Omnath, Locus of Creation and cheat it out early. This is game-ending, but is rather unlikely.

All in all, this uncommon Dino looks absurdly strong, and the deckbuilding restrictions it offers in exchange for mega value are not too difficult to follow. This could easily be one of the best cards in the Modern Horizons 3 set, but only time will tell.

Reckless Pyrosurfer

This card is much less exciting than Amped Raptor, but Lava Rider could have some niche applications in the Modern format. A 2/2 with Haste and Battle Cry is no joke. As long as you manage your land drops right, getting Battle Cry when you need it shouldn’t be too hard.

This card could have a very niche application with 8-Whack strategies. The deck wins by creating large boards with effects like Gleeful Demolition and pairing them with Goblin Bushwhacker. Lava Rider can do a fantastic Bushwhacker impression while doubling as a 2/2 creature with Haste. Sadly, Lava Rider does give the rest of your board Haste, which may hold it back. Either way, this card certainly has some potential.

8-Whack is not a very competitive deck, but it is a great budget option for players who want to play Modern without breaking the bank.

All in all, it’s great to see that one of the potentially best cards in Modern Horizons 3 is an uncommon. Amped Raptor allows players to access cheap upgrades to existing strategies like Modern Burn. As a plus, this card went undiscovered through the leaks so players got to experience it in spoiler season as intended. Hopefully, this isn’t the last of the interesting cards coming out in Modern Horizons 3.

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