14, Jun, 24

Modern Horizons 3 Card is the Most Powerful Limited Common in a Decade!

Article at a Glance

There are… a lot of questionably powerful cards coming out of Modern Horizons 3. Nadu, Winged Wisdom is stirring up a panic in the Modern format, and is even making a splash in Legacy. Necrodominance, meanwhile, offers Legacy players protected turn-one combos, even when mulliganing to low hand counts.

Modern and Legacy are still sorting out their new additions to the format, but Modern Horizons 3 Limited also has a powerful menace that is very difficult to deal with. For four mana, Writhing Chrysalis is a common offering players the win rate of a rare bomb, and that’s according to statistics.

A Common that Does Everything

For four mana, Writhing Chrysalis does everything that an Eldrazi deck could ever want. Thanks to all the ramp in this format, it’s not uncommon for this common bomb to drop on turn three. Writhing Chrysalis offers multiple bodies, ramp, and a threat that can grow absurdly fast. It even has Reach, which prevents faster players from punching above this monstrosity. Ultimately, when Writing Chrysalis gets played, you need to deal with it.

The 2/3 stats for four mana is incredibly misleading. Writhing Chrysalis is technically a 4/5 Reach that can generate two additional mana. If you’re willing to wait, you can use the Spawn to ramp into even bigger threats, but that’s not their only use case. So long as you have some in reserve, Writhing Chrysalis turns each of your Spawn tokens into a potentially devastating combat trick.

Creating Eldrazi Spawn in this set is incredibly easy. Commons like Glimpse the Impossible, Malevolent Rumble, and Unfathomable Truths all create Eldrazi Spawn while generating a ton of value. This allows Writhing Chrysalis to easily grow past the stats it creates for itself.

As a reminder, there are cards in this set that allow you to use Spawns for more than just ramp and blocking. An Overloaded Fangs of Kalonia can turn your meager Spawns into a win condition.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

If you’re doubting the power of the Chrysalis, all you need to do is check the stats. According to 17Lands, Writhing Chrysalis has a 66.1% win rate when it appears in your hand! This is the third-highest rate in the entire set! For reference, this beats Breach the Multiverse’s win rate from March of the Machine and is only 0.9% behind Sunfall.

Only the rare Guide of Souls and the mythic rare Ocelot Pride beat this win-in-hand statistic. Writhing Chrysalis, a common, is literally better than every other card in the set according to this statistic. This is unheard of.

Read More: Modern Horizons 3 Causes Land Destruction Combo To Spike By 1500%!

Just How Strange is This?

It’s not super unusual for a bomb uncommon to appear in a limited set. Recent examples of this are Zenith Flare from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Nishoba Brawler from Dominaria United, Outcaster Greenblade from Outlaws of Thunder Junction. For better or worse, there is no shortage of cards that have their winrate seriously outclass their rarity.

That said, in all these cases, there is a pile of rare and mythic cards that outperform them in terms of win rate. These are still seriously powerful cards that players should pick over the bulk of the rares that appear in those sets. As good as they are, however, they aren’t in the top three for win rates across the set. They also aren’t common cards.

Traditionally, only three uncommon cards will each Draftable MTG pack. This means that there’s a decent chance you’ll find one of the many uncommon bombs, but it’s not guaranteed. Commons, however, are significantly more plentiful in Play Boosters. Thanks to this, you can often find multiple copies of Writhing Chrysalis, provided no one picks them first.

This could seriously warp a limited format, making green and red way better than the other three colors. Thanks to an abundance of fixing in Modern Horizons 3, Writhing Chrysalis should be a common that many players can splash for, especially if it’s in one of their core colors. While this could help fix things, it’s tough to tell so early in the format.

For better or worse, Modern Horizons 3 is not the first format to be dominated by overpowered common and uncommon cards. Streets of New Capenna, back in 2022, had a serious problem with Selesnya and Bant decks. Thanks to cards like Civil Servant and Inspiring Overseer, beating these color combinations was incredibly difficult, to say the least.

Ultimately, the fact that the two cards that stand above Writhing Chrysalis in terms of win rate are white is a good sign. This means that other colors are continuing to succeed despite this card’s crushing power. That said, any decks that include this busted common are likely to be more powerful than decks that fail to find it.

How Do You Adapt?

Obviously, passing this card is likely a mistake. Unless you’re deep into your colors and cannot splash for a Writhing Chrysalis, you should probably be taking it. Past that point, make an effort to play this card in your deck and benefit from what it does. Whether you want multiple bodies or ramp, using the Chrysalis for its full effect is a winning strategy.

Hopefully, the world’s best drafters at the upcoming Pro Tour show off some synergies that potentially tone down the win rate of Writhing Chrysalis. For now, though, this is the best Limited common we’ve seen in a decade, sporting a win rate that rivals rare bombs from past sets.

Read More: The Most Expensive Modern Horizons 3 Cards

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