23, May, 24

New CEDH Staple Spotted in MTG Modern Horizons 3 Spoilers!

Article at a Glance

Even though a large portion of Modern Horizons 3 appears to have been leaked by unofficial sources, there are still some powerful cards that have gone completely unseen until this moment.

As we already know with past spoilers, there are a ton of Modern Horizons 3 cards that reference back to powerful cards from Magic’s past. Chthonian Nightmare is an obvious reference to the Reserved List card Recurring Nightmare, for example. Similarly, Volatile Stormdrake is another obvious reference to Gilded Drake, a cEDH all-star.

Another cEDH-playable card, that may also see play in constructed formats has just been spoiled, and it is yet another obvious callback. Unlike the previous two examples, however, this card isn’t necessarily weaker than the original card. Instead, it is just different, which is by no means a bad thing.

Strix Serenade

Strix Serenade has a lot of parallels with Swan Song. As an upside, Swan Song is able to hard counter a variety of different spells for just one mana, which is way above rate. Generally, spells this cheap will have more restrictions, whether that involves countering cards with more specific characteristics, or allowing your opponent to pay a certain amount of mana to ignore the effect.

The downside to Swan’s Song, aside from it not being able to counter everything, is that your opponent gets a 2/2 Bird for their troubles. In a format like cEDH, this is easily worth the exchange since life is abundant and spells become incredibly powerful very quickly. Swan Song even sees some occasional constructed play alongside decks that specifically want your opponents to have creatures. The Metamorphic Alteration deck that abuses Archfiend of the Dross is a great example.

Strix Serenade is a new twist on Swan Song. For better or worse, both these cards are incredibly similar to one another. The only thing that’s different is the types of spells that this card counters. While Swan Song covers enchantments, instants, and sorcery spells, Strix Serenade counters creatures, Planeswalkers, and artifacts. Basically, between these two cards, you cover all of the major counterable spell types in Magic.

Like Swan Song, Strix Serenade costs one mana and offers the countered owner of the card a Bird for their troubles. This should see ample play in EDH and cEDH, and could easily see play in Modern depending on how the metagame develops. That said, a 2/2 flying Bird token is much more dangerous in two-player constructed formats than Commander.

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Emperor of Bones

Emperor of Bones offers an interesting reanimation ability. This card can easily turn a fallen Atraxa, Grand Unifier into a nasty threat for just a few mana. All you need to do is exile it with the Emperor’s triggered ability and get a +1/+1 counter on the Emperor to bring it back. The card does come with an Adapt option, but there are quicker ways to trigger it.

This could add an interesting piece of redundancy to the Collector’s Cage decks floating around the Modern format at the moment. Right now, that deck utilizes Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as the threat of choice, which will not work well with Emperor of Bones. That said, you could easily swap to one of the new Eldrazi Titans or to a threat that doesn’t cause a graveyard shuffle, like Emrakul, the World Anew. In the same vein, this card could act as a second Goryo’s Vengeance effect in that archetype. All in all, Emperor of Bones has some interesting applications.

The Necrobloom

Dredge has been one of the most broken mechanics in Magic’s history. From Golgari Grave Troll to Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, Dredge has caused problems again and again in various formats. The mechanic is so powerful that it continues to exist in Vintage thanks to Bazaar of Baghdad.

The Necrobloom reintroduces Vintage into the world of Modern once again, but it doesn’t seem egregious at first glance. Granting all of your Lands Dredge 2, there are stronger Dredge alternatives that are still legal within the format.

Where things get a bit more interesting is with The Necrobloom’s other abilities. The Necrobloom provides a 0/1 Plant on landfall but, like Field of the Dead, will start producing 2/2 Zombies if you meet the requirements of having seven lands with different names.

Granting your lands Dredge 2 ensures you can always get what you need back in order to maximize The Necrobloom itself. Otherwise, recurring lands like Wasteland in Legacy can be disgustingly powerful. Sadly, four mana is a lot of mana for that format.

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Absurd Format Shifts

Cephalid Coliseum

There are some absolutely incredible cards becoming Modern legal for the first time. Sure, you have a few Commanders coming to Modern like Kaalia, the Vast that may not move the needle much, but some of these lands are much more powerful than they seem.

Cephalid Coliseum, in particular, is a scary reprint for Dredge. You can suddenly fill your grave with Dredge effects and draw cards without fear of your ability getting countered by things like Counterspell. Of course, you do need Threshold to pull this off, but Dredge decks are literally built to enable effects like this.

Barbarian Ring could be an interesting upgrade for aggressive decks. Burn could trigger Threshold in the late game, turning the Ring into a better alternative to a land like Ramunap Ruins.

This is far from the only reprints that are new to Modern. Ruby Storm could be a real deck in the format now thanks to Ruby Medallion coming to the format. Whether you’re excited to try out some new cards from Modern Horizons 3, or some old cards coming to Modern for the first time, this is going to be a crazy set.

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