The highly anticipated supplemental set, Modern Horizons 2, is scheduled for release on June 18th, 2021—almost two years to the day from the release of Modern Horizons 1. The prerelease event with kits for MH2 will occur from June 11-17th, 2021. Product offerings for MH2 are drastically different from MH1 with Draft Boosters, Set Boosters, Bundles, and Collector Boosters.
MH2 booster boxes are estimated to cost more than MH1. Current pre-order information for Draft and Set Booster boxes shows retail prices above $200. Collector Booster boxes should sell for over $300. So far, we haven't heard much about the differences in card inclusions between Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters, but Wizards of the Coast gave us a few clues for sealed product contents in the Summer of Legend announcement.
MH2 booster packs have a particular card slot dedicated to 42 new-to-Modern reprints, some of which will have borderless alternative artwork, extended-art variants, and retro frames. We can only assume Set boosters will contain cards from The List, along with Collector Boosters offering extended-art variants and retro frames.
A massive inclusion for MH2 is the cycle of enemy-colored fetch lands at rare. Modern Masters 2015 was the last supplemental set to include these lands. WotC recently showcased images of enemy-colored fetch lands in retro frames and extended-art variants, but it's still unclear which sealed product will contain the alternative versions of cards. Adding all five fetch lands to MH2 will help bolster the set's estimated value.
One of the more exciting announcements was Counterspell reprinted in MH2. It may not shock some players since it's a Strixhaven Mystical Archive card. Many players once considered Counterspell too powerful for Modern, but based on the recent history of WotC pushing the power level of cards in Standard and Historic, I believe adding Counterspell to Modern is a safe move at this time.
MH2's Buy-a-Box promotional card is none other than Sanctum Prelate. Initially printed in Conspiracy: Take the Crown, Sanctum Prelate is a Legacy staple in Death & Taxes. It'll slide nicely into Modern Humans and Death & Taxes decks as a Human creature type. I have no doubt Sanctum Prelate will see immediate play after MH2's release.
Abundant Harvest, a new card found in MH2, was spoiled as a Mythical Archive inclusion for Strixhaven: School of Mages. You may have played Abundant Harvest in a Magic: The Gathering Arena Draft or opened it in a Strixhaven booster pack. The rarity and artwork for the MH2 version of Abundant Harvest aren't confirmed yet, but we know the card is a potent green spell that should get played in Modern.
WotC's Summer of Legend Twitch event on May 6th, 2021, revealed three new MH2 cards. Two artifacts spoiled are interesting twists of classic MTG cards. Diamond Lion is a two-mana, 2/2 Cat artifact creature with the ability of Lion's Eye Diamond stapled to it. Brainstone is a one-mana artifact you can pay two mana to sacrifice for a Brainstorm effect. Both cards look perfect for Limited.
Of the three new cards, Urza's Saga is the most intriguing to me. Urza's Saga is both an enchantment and land that gets sacrificed after receiving a third lore counter. When Urza's Saga enters the battlefield, you can immediately tap it for one colorless. Chapter three appears impactful as you can put a Mishra's Bauble, Relic of Progenitus, Grafdigger's Cage, Pithing Needle, or another inexpensive artifact directly onto the battlefield from your library. Lastly, I love that WotC is including sketches and finalized MTG original artwork on cards. If you are interested in learning more about original MTG art, check out my article How to Buy Original MTG Art.
Popular Magic: The Gathering-related subreddits have had various discussions on card rumors for MH2, covering everything from reprints to a potential cycle of new cards. Counterspell and Sanctum Prelate were two rumored cards that have panned out to be true. While I don't want to spread unconfirmed information about MH2, I believe one rumored card is worth discussing.
The last supplemental set to include Shardless Agent was Mystery Booster. Shardless Agent is a Legacy mainstay in BUG decks. Not too long ago, WotC removed Bloodbraid Elf from the Modern banned list. Also, the Suspend mechanic may return in MH2. It is not unfathomable that Shardless Agent could make another appearance soon.
The announcement of MH2 signaled that MH1 was a successful product for WotC. An enjoyable Limited experience, along with dominant new cards, helped drive sales for MH1. Some MH1 cards were so commanding they received bans across multiple constructed formats.
"Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis
Cards like Arcum's Astrolabe and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis dramatically impacted constructed formats to the point they were banned. My previous article, Selling Sealed: Modern Horizons, highlights the MH1 cards banned across constructed formats. WotC may not have foreseen the severe format warping caused by MH1, but they probably knew the set would transform the metagame.
I believe WotC will once again push the boundaries by including powerful and potentially ban-worthy cards in MH2. The foreshadowing of Abundant Harvest supports the theory of more pushed cards appearing in 2021. I predict at least one MH2 card will get banned in a constructed format within six months from the set's release.
MH1 is considered by many as a tremendous Limited experience. Anyone I know who plays Limited as their primary format gushed about how much fun they had with MH1. Whether your Limited choice is Sealed or Draft, MH1 delivered on mechanics, complexity, and flavor.
Regarding mechanics, cycling is a fan favorite among Limited players found in MH1. Cycling allows you the option to play a card or dig for something else. Players can pitch a card to potentially find a bomb or removal spell. Also, cycling helps mitigate mana flood or mana screw—two things that lead to negative experiences in Limited.
Beyond cycling, MH1 featured over 40 mechanics found on cards. The sheer amount of mechanics added complexity to the game, especially for players who'd never seen a particular mechanic before. Players that enjoy experiencing old mechanics had a chance to relive many of those moments with MH1. WotC did an excellent job blending many mechanics to create synergistic archetypes and combos.
It would make sense for MH2 to follow the same path as MH1 by offering a plethora of mechanics on cards. Based on the rumors for MH2, we could see suspend and cascade along with evergreen mechanics. WotC will probably include a few different mechanics not found in MH1. I wouldn't be surprised if WotC adds mechanics found in newer sets such as double-faced cards or modal spells. Mixing older and newer mechanics could provide a unique experience for players.
The First Sliver"
Slivers are one of the headliner creature types in MH1—ne of the Limited archetypes in MH1 included Slivers. Some players love running Slivers in Legacy, Modern, and Commander. The recent buzz with Slivers returning in Time Spiral Remastered goes to show the popularity of the tribe. Including well-loved tribes as a Limited archetype can only add flavor and excitement to the experience.
As for tribal themes in MH2, WotC may focus on different tribes than those highlighted in MH1. Angels and Elves would be fine choices to complement their inclusions in recent Standard sets. We could see new tools for Spirits or Merfolk to support competitive Modern tribal decks. The opportunity to build Limited tribal decks similar to their Modern counterparts might be a fantastic addition. No matter which tribes WotC decides to include in MH2, I am confident they'll surprise us with new and exciting tribal cards.
"Altar of Dementia
MH1's main set consisted of 254 cards plus a Buy-a-Box promotional card (Flusterstorm) There are 209 new cards in MH1, representing 82% of the set. The remaining 45 cards were either Snow basic lands or reprints not previously legal in Modern. Upon MH1's release, both new and reprinted cards saw immediate play across MTG formats.
MH2's makeup of cards will look different than MH1's. We already know fetch lands are legal in Modern and included in Modern Horizons 2. The inclusion of 42 new-to-Modern reprints in MH2 is slightly different from MH1. According to the card number found on Counterspell, MH2's main set consists of 303 cards, 19% larger than MH1's main set. The total number of cards in MH2 will vastly surpass MH1 after accounting for extended-art variants, borderless cards, and retro frames.
Beyond fetch land reprints and alternative versions of cards, MH2 will have many new cards. WotC already spoiled four new cards for MH2 (including Abundant Harvest). Brainstone and Diamond Lion could see play in Modern. Urza's Saga is a unique card since it's an entirely new card type. I'm sure we'll see other reimagined and innovative cards in MH2.
Players may be wondering if MH2 will contain cards from MH1. Even though many of us would like to see a reprint for Force of Negation, I believe WotC will refrain from reprinting MH1 cards in MH2. Reprinting MH1 cards may lessen the uniqueness, creativity, and experience of MH2. However, I could see WotC selling a Secret Lair containing MH1 cards around MH2's release. If WotC hasn't thought of this idea yet, then maybe I just gave them some free advice for a money-printing opportunity.
Between new cards, reprints, prerelease kits, and Collector Boosters, there's much to look forward to for MH2's release. When MH2 spoiler season begins later in May, we'll see how the set will impact Modern and other MTG formats. MH1 was an overall success, and I can only imagine MH2 will be a hit as well.