With every set release, Modern adapts to a new rhythm with the injection of fresh and exciting cards. Not only does Innistrad: Crimson Vow offer something for Commander players or those wanting to retain value with their cards — the gothic horror set also provides plenty for the Modern format. While it's unlikely that any new Modern archetypes will be born from the set, we can expect the cards to bolster existing ones. Innistrad: Crimson Vow boasts an impressive roster of reprints, with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mulch, and Abrade taking the charge to make these cards more accessible than ever before.
Modern commands a high bar for card inclusion — the tremendous impact of Modern Horizons 2 is a recent example — but a handful of Innistrad: Crimson Vow cards are beginning to make waves in Modern. While the set isn't as impactful in comparison to Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, we are beginning to see Crimson Vow cards feature in staple Modern archetypes. Let's break down some of the best cards for Modern with Innistrad: Crimson Vow's release.
Despite its expensive cleave cost, Wash Away has strong potential for Modern. For a one-mana counterspell, Wash Away has strong application with Crashing Footfalls, one of the top decks in the format. Crashing Footfalls uses the cascade mechanic, and this instant is a surefire way to quell any spells the strategy is hoping to cast for free.
The same was true for Mystical Dispute, which sees regular Modern competitive play, and Wash Away could follow the same trend. Going further, Wash Away is a fantastic budget option on Flusterstorm which is seeing a steep price thanks to the power of cascade in Modern. If you're looking to crack any Innistrad: Crimson Vow booster packs, be sure to keep a handful of Wash Away aside for your collection.
Mono-Red Prowess has largely fallen by the wayside, thanks to Izzet Murktide and Burn becoming better alternatives. However, the printing of Ancestral Anger could be enough to bring the hyper-aggressive strategy back to the fold. Why? It's simple — Crash Through was a staple for these styles of decks, and Ancestral Anger is a far better prowess enabler than its predecessor.
While Modern Horizons 2 looks to maintain a hold on the Modern format, Ancestral Anger could help push Mono-Red back to the playable tiers of Modern. Mono-Red Prowess could offer a decent starting point with this new powerful spell in mind, especially for those who are looking for a budget entry into the format.
A Sea Drake that cantrips may not seem too exciting for Modern, but Wandering Mind is making small waves in the format. It can look at the top six cards of your library, which is quite a lot when talking about constructed play. Since you can reveal a nonland or noncreature with the ability, it lends to playing spells such as Ephemerate to leverage the effect numerous times during a turn. As such, Wandering Reanimator is a lower-tier Modern deck that uses Wandering Mind to find cards like Persist, in order to then reanimate threats such as Archon of Cruelty ahead of schedule.
Wandering Mind is a Horror that ignores Awoken Horror's ability, meaning it can slot straight into these Izzet spell matter strategies. Considering Modern focuses on cheap yet powerful spells, cards like Wandering Mind only become more powerful as more spells enter the format.
This Kraken horror could become a viable reanimation target alongside Archon of Cruelty and Serra's Emissary. Given how Esper Reanimator packs cheap spells such as Counterspell and Ephemerate, you can take full advantage of Hullbreaker Horror's ability to clear the battlefield to victory.
voice of the blessed
In MTG, lifegain cards often come with a stigma that only looks to accommodate inexperienced players. Typically, newer players value lifegain higher because gaining life prolongs the game, perhaps with little inevitability. With that, lifegain cards are often overlooked regardless of their power, but Voice of the Blessed is an exception to the rule.
Voice of the Blessed functions similarly to Ajani's Pridemate. It slots into Modern Soul Sisters, complimenting the lifegain with a win condition rolled into one. Getting to ten counters will be effortless when you have Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant in play, which require premium removal to answer the creature fully. While Soul Sisters is a fringe Modern archetype, Voice of the Blessed is sure to reinvigorate the strategy, perhaps challenging some of the top decks in the format.
Innistrad offers plenty for those who care about tribes in MTG, and Humans are one of the more highly emphasized tribes this time around. What makes Hamlet Vanguard an attractive option for Modern Humans is its ward ability. Forcing your opponent to pay an extra two mana to remove the creature is key, especially when Prismatic Ending is the premier removal spell in the format at present. Even then, you have the chance of Hamlet Vanguard coming in as a 5/5 or 7/7 from an Aether Vial activation, depending on how the Humans list is built.
While Hamlet Vanguard is unlikely to fit in a traditional Modern Humans list, it could give birth to an aggressively slanted version instead. It's tricky, as Humans are already over-subscribed with powerful three mana value creatures with Mantis Rider and Reflector Mage being staples within the archetype. However, running the human warrior alongside cards such as Esper Sentinel instead could leverage Hamlet Vanguard's ability favorably. Either way, there is a lot of potential for the card to feature in Modern, and Human tribal is desperate for some innovation to remain relevant in the format.
Cemetery Gatekeeper is an interesting option for Mono-Red Aggro, since it offers an Ankh of Mishra effect to punish opponents for making land drops. Naturally, the effect is symmetrical, but if you're playing a red aggressive deck, the value often falls in your favor. Even then, the Vampire can comfortably block cheap creatures with its first strike. Admittedly, the one toughness does make it susceptible to Wrenn and Six's plus ability, along with any other removal spell in the format. Although fragile, the Gatekeeper can get out of hand if left unresolved or if there are multiple copies left on the battlefield.
It's likely Cemetery Gatekeeper will slot into players' sideboards as a means to punish strategies that are either land-heavy or light on removal. Modern is seeing a surge of big mana strategies with Amulet Titan making a return, so the introduction of Cemetery Gatekeeper could help curb that newfound dominance.
chandra, dressed to kill
Making her return on Innistrad, Chandra, Dressed to Kill looks to offer plenty for Mono-Red strategies in Modern. You get a flexible set of abilities at three mana, similar to Chandra, Torch of Defiance — easily one of the best red planeswalkers printed in recent times.
Expect to see the card feature in Obosh, the Preypiercer archetypes, since Chandra fits the companion criteria with her abilities supporting the overall game plan. Her first plus ability can enable spectacle for spells such as Light Up the Stage, and the second generates card value for the slower matchups. It's unlikely you'll ever need to use Chandra's ultimate, but the emblem could be enough to push through the last points of damage. Don't expect Chandra, Dressed to Kill to feature heavily in Modern, but know that it offers agency for dedicated Mono-Red archetypes in the format, especially coming out of the sideboard.
It may seem innocuous at first, but Blood Fountain opens up a wealth of options for artifact archetypes in Modern. Not only are you getting two artifacts for one mana, but one of those artifacts allows you to rummage away a card in exchange for a new one. Given the emphasis on the graveyard in the Modern format, this can turn into some incredible value.
What makes Blood Fountain so appealing is how the card synergizes with Urza's Saga and Urza, Lord High Artificer, especially when construct tokens enter the equation. The one-mana artifact allows you to grow an impressive board with these tokens in play, despite the card itself offering very little functionally. Affinity will be in the market for this card, since it creates discounts for payoffs such as Thought Monitor and Frogmite. For one black mana, Blood Fountain offers a lot and will see frequent play.
With the introduction of Crimson Vow, Amulet Titan is back on form. For a seven-mana creature in Modern, it needs to be powerful, and Cultivator Colossus certainly delivers.
Amulet Titan's high land count is the ideal home for Cultivator Colossus, which trades extra lands in your hands into additional cards. It also encourages those explosive, combo-esque starts that we commonly associate with Amulet Titan. As such, If you happen to have an Amulet of Vigor in play, you could easily generate enough mana to cast a Primeval Titan alongside it. With that, Cultivator Colossus looks to offer insurance against Solitude, since it's another huge threat to consider. While Cultivator Colossus originally looked ideal for Commander, it's given Amulet Titan life once again.