Hello, and welcome back to my Modern Horizons 2 Set Review! We're going to finish off our deep dive into every single rare and mythic in the set today, covering some straight-up gems like Ignoble Hierarch and the new suspend cycle. If you've missed either of the other two parts of my Modern Horizons Set Review, where I share my thoughts on cards like the fetch lands, Solitude, and Damn, check them out:
I have a lot to say about Modern Horizons 2, but we have a lot to cover today and I don't want to distract from the reason we're all here. If you want to hear my big picture thoughts on the set's overall expected value, Collector Boosters, variants, box prices, and everything else, check back in next week for my Modern Horizons 2 Buyer's Guide. For now, let's get right into the card-by-card analysis with the last (and most underrated) member of the mythic evoke cycle:
"Why doesn't Fury have flash?" is the big knock against this card, and it's true that this Elemental would be so much better if it did. Pyrokinesis is an instant after all, and it's frustrating that red (usually stuck with the "bad" versions of cards in these cycles) appears to get hosed again here.
That said, the fact that the community is super down on Fury makes me intrigued. You're not getting a bargain on Grief or Solitude right now, but Fury is pre-selling for just $14. What if it ends up becoming one of the most-played cards in the cycle? Does that honestly seem far-fetched to you? It doesn't to me.
Pyrokinesis is an unbelievably powerful sideboard card in Legacy, albeit an incredibly situational one. It wasn't powered down all that much for its Modern incarnation, and Fury straight-up wins the game against certain decks if you evoke it early and wipe out two or three of their creatures. You probably can't risk running Fury in your maindeck, at least not unless the metagame changes a lot over the coming weeks, but we're talking about a format where Lava Dart is very good, so its time might come.
Fury could absolutely see enough play to justify a $20-$30 price tag. If you play red in Modern, snag a copy or two at $14. There's bargain potential here that very few cards in this set seem to have.
Geyadrone Dihada is a super cool planewalker, but I have no interest in buying in anywhere close to her $25 current retail. She's way too slow for Modern Grixis Control, and the four-mana slot is super busy there anyway. She's better in Commander, but in that "oh, this is kind of a neat addition to my deck" kind of way as opposed to the kind of card you either have to play or really want to brew around. My guess is that Geyadrone Dihada will end up being closer to a $10-$12 planeswalker.
…until WotC prints another cool card or two that uses corruption counters, as I assume will happen when we head back to New Phyrexia. At that point, Geyadrone Dihada will spike to $30+ regardless of how well it actually plays with those cards. I'm not buying in now, but it'll be an amazing speculative snag once Modern Horizons 2 reaches the bottom of its demand curve.
Grist, the Hunger Tide is the only planeswalker in Modern Horizons 2 with a shot at becoming the next Wrenn and Six. It does all of the fun weird things that Jund loves to do, and I don't want to sleep on any planeswalker that can come down for three mana, immediately destroy another creature or planeswalker, and stick around to fight another day.
There is a shot that Grist, the Hunger Tide will end up being incredibly good and incredibly expensive. Regardless of how expensive, you're going to be happy whenever you open Grist in a booster pack.
That said, look at this chart:
Grist, the Hunger Tide price was kicking around the $40 range, then it dipped down toward $30 on June 3rd, then no copies sold for a few days, then a copy or two sold for $90(!) on June 6th. I'm writing this on June 7th, and there are currently no copies listed on TCGplayer for less than $90. A few copies are available on eBay in the $50 range, but nobody has bought those, either. It seems like some folks are trying to push the idea that Grist is going to be super expensive, but nobody is biting yet.
So, yeah. It's possible that Grist, the Hunger Tide is going to end up being a $90+ card, but I'm incredibly skeptical that anyone wants to pay more than $30-$40 for this Golgari planeswalker. It's a solid Jund card, but it's merely okay in Commander, and it lacks a lot of the exceptional qualities that made Wrenn and Six pop.
I'm staying away for now, and I'm sure we'll get more clarity once more dealers start listing their copies of Grist, the Hunger Tide for sale on the TCGplayer marketplace.
Kaldra Compleat might see some play in Modern Stoneforge Mystic decks, but it's going to be worse than Batterskull in most situations. I prefer it as a wishboard piece in some Tron brews, but even then we're talking about a one-of here and there. It's not going to be worth a ton because of competitive demand.
Kaldra Compleat is a bit better in Commander, where it's a must-play in any deck that has ways to cheat equipment costs. Fourteen mana to both play and equip is still a lot in Commander, so you really need some Cheatyface way to make this happen if you want it to actually impact your game. It's a fun card that could end up being worth $20-$30 over the long term, but I don't get why it's currently selling for almost $40. It might be an artifact, but it's not the kind of card that's going to see play in hundreds of different-looking Commander decks. I'm staying far away during the pre-order period.
Scion of Draco will see some Commander play, fitting in nicely with Tiamat and The Ur-Dragon. Is it good, though? I'm not sure. You really have to have four different basic land types in play before Scion of Draco gets good, and you need a lot of multicolored creatures on your side of the battlefield. Once you do though, it's incredibly good.
Much like Kaldra Compleat, then, we're talking about a Commander-centric artifact card that won't actually see a broad amount of play. Its current retail price of about $12 reflects that. My guess is that Scion of Draco will end up being a $5-$10 card, though I have seen rumblings of a Domain deck kicking around Modern in the early testing phase. If that ends up being good instead of silly fun, Scion of Draco could spike in a hurry.
I've seen some social media grumblings about Sword of Hearth and Home feeling underpowered, but this is legitimately one of the most powerful swords in Commander. The Commander subreddit is currently ranking it just below Sword of Feast and Famine ($60) and Sword of Fire and Ice ($50 after a recent reprint). Sword of Hearth and Home might also see a little bit of Modern play, where it is definitely in the top half of swords for that format as well.
In comparison, then, Sword of Hearth and Home feels fairly priced at $45. Some cards in Modern Horizons 2 will keep most or all of their current price, and this is going to be one of them. I'm definitely snagging a copy or two on release weekend, when the price is likely to drop below $40 for a couple of days. I recommend not waiting too long on this one, and it's one of the safer pickups in the set.
When I was doing research for this article, I was excited to see so many different subreddits and forums with long discussion threads about Garth One-Eye. It certainly didn't look Modern playable to me, but there were hundreds of comments on Garth in the Modern subreddit, so I was ready to be proven wrong.
Nope! Nearly every thread about Garth One-Eye is full of folks ranting about Black Lotus and the Reserved list and other tangential gripes that have nothing to do with this incredibly sweet new commander. Ah well.
I stand by my statement that Garth One-Eye is not playable in Modern, though I dearly wish it was. I personally can't wait to build a Commander deck with Garth, but I have to admit my Old School biases there. In the wider community, Garth One-Eye is only the fifth most-popular new Commander in the set, clocking in after Chatterfang, Squirrel General, Lonis, Cryptozoologist, Yusri, Fortune's Flame, and Sythis, Harvest's Hand.
Considering the narrow range of decks you can play Garth One-Eye in as utility card, I'm not convinced it'll hold onto its current $35 price tag. It might sneak back up there in the long term, but right now Garth is being overrated because it has the words "Black" and "Lotus" on it. I'm not buying in yet.
If you take a look at the price chart for Mirari's Wake, you can see that the Modern Horizons 2 reprint temporarily dropped its value from $26 down to $14 before it quickly rebounded:
It would be interesting if this pattern held, but reprints rarely bottom out during the pre-order period. My guess is that a bunch of folks decided to buy in "now that the reprint has lowered the price," but they did so before the set actually hit shelves. That cleared out all the copies from sellers that discounted the price in anticipation of Modern Horizons 2, but that's a pretty small number compared to the deluge of copies about to hit the market.
My guess is that Mirari's Wake will be available for $10-$15 on release day, and I recommend picking it up then if you're in the market.
Imperial Recruiter was finally on the rebound after its Double Masters reprint, rising from $20 to almost $40 over the first half of 2020. This latest reprint will take care of that. Imperial Recruiter is already back down to $30, and I expect the price to keep dropping. You should be able to find this card for $15-$20 in a month, and it's not a safe long-term spec as long as WotC keeps reprinting it this often. Snag a copy at the bottom of the market if you need one, but you can safely ignore it otherwise.
At first glance, Murktide Regent looks absurd. A blue mythic delve card? Sign me up!
The more I think about it, though, the more bearish I am on Murktide Regent. For one thing, it's just… big. That's it. Even if you manage to cast it early, it is never going to be anything more than a very big creature. That gives it more in common with Tombstalker or Gurmag Angler than Ethereal Forager, a card good enough for Legacy. That also means that it won't see much play in Commander, where cards have to be more than just big to make the cut.
Might Murktide Regent end up being a finisher in some sort of Modern Prowess brew? Perhaps. The fact that it's blue gives it more game than the aforementioned Tombstalker. That card is still the best point of comparison, though, and it is currently selling for about twenty cents per copy. Murktide Regent is selling for $34.
I'm not touching this card until I see it actually show up in a winning decklist. Otherwise, I suspect it'll end up being a bulk mythic.
Finally seeing this dude after two decades of being destroyed by Hymn to Tourach is pretty sweet, but I don't know how good Tourach, Dread Cantor actually is. It wouldn't be remotely playable without its kicker cost, and I'm not sure how good discard actually is on turn four or five when you actually have 1BBB to cast this. It's definitely not good in traditional 8-rack or Jund, nor does it have the madness cost that would help it in Rakdos. Tourach a very cool rogue card, but I don't see it making a big impact in the competitive metagame.
Tourach, Dread Cantor should see a little bit of play in Commander, but mostly for flavor reasons. Targeted discard doesn't play well in that format, and this card isn't particularly good outside of 1v1 settings. At the current retail price of $20, I'm staying away. This is probably going to be a sub-$10 mythic unless I'm missing some sweet new Modern application or something.
I love Resurgent Belief. Most of the other cards printed in the Living End mold have ranged between playable and excellent, and I see no reason why Resurgent Belief will break that cycle. Replenish is a super powerful effect, and I'm definitely playing this in all of my "enchantments matter" Commander decks. It's also probably good enough for Modern, especially with Modern Horizons 2 giving us a bunch of new Enchantress pieces.
Current retail for Resurgent Belief is $14, which is about what I would have guessed after looking at this card on the Mythic Spoiler website. It'll hit $25 if it does end up making a splash in Modern, but it'll drop to $6 if it doesn't. Either way, Commander demand should help Resurgent Belief's price tag over the long haul. It's definitely on my list for potential buys on release weekend, and I have no issue with anyone picking them up now if you're super stoked to play it.
Bribery is amazing, but waiting three turns is a lot. This is especially true in multiplayer Commander, where Inevitable Betrayal is going to look a lot scarier than it is and will paint a big ol' target on your back. It'll still see play in that format, but three full turns of "they're going to steal the best creature in my deck!!!" is incredibly bad in playgroups with lots of table-talk and politics.
As for Modern, Inevitable Betrayal might end up being a solid sideboard card against decks like Tron. That's not going to hold much value, though, and none of this paints a picture of a card that will maintain its current $19 price tag. I'm interested in owning a few copies for my collection, but I think I'll be able to snag them for $5-$8 if I'm patient.
On the one hand, Gaea's Will has the same problem as Inevitable Betrayal. It has suspend 4, which basically ensures that it will be sitting on the battlefield telegraphing your big turn for, like, a third of your multiplayer Commander game. In competitive Constructed, it's a horrible topdeck in the same way Ancestral Vision was always a horrible topdeck.
On the other hand, this is Yawgmoth's Will, one of the most busted cards in the history of Magic. The last time they printed a Yawgmoth's Will variant, we ended up with Underworld Dreams, another one of the most busted cards in the history of Magic. It isn't hard to imagine Gaea's Will catching on as either a value engine or a combo card with cascade or some other way to cheat the suspend cost.
At $13 current retail, there's $40+ upside here. If you're a Gaea's Will believer, consider taking that gamble. It's a risk, but it's one I like more than most cards in this set.
Glimpse of Tomorrow is one of the few cards in the set that could qualify as a sleeper pick. Warp World biggest problems were its high cost and the fact that it also warped your opponent's board. Glimpse of Tomorrow could definitely work as a combo enabler in Modern, somewhat akin to Mass Polymorph but far more explosive.
It's a long shot, and the deck is not likely to light the metagame on fire or anything, but we're talking about a $2.50 card in a set with $8-$10 booster packs. If you're going to take a penny stock gamble in Modern Horizons 2, this is a pretty solid play.
"Do this only once each turn" sinks Nykthos Paragon, and I can't see this card becoming a staple anywhere. It's far too slow and underpowered for Modern, and Commander players have many better options. It might see a little play in that format, but we're still looking at a future bulk rare.
Magus of the Bridge seems quite bad. Bridge from Below worked because you could essentially always play it for free, but the Magus costs BBB and is still exiled once a creature is placed into an opponent's graveyard. Dredge decks won't mess around with the Magus, and I don't know who else even wants to try. It's not great in Commander, either. Future bulk rare.
You really have to warp your deck around Bloodbraid Marauder to make it work. Most of the cards that enable delirium are poor cascade targets, and the fact that this is a two-mana cascade card that basically cannot ever trigger cascade on turn two or three makes me less than stoked to play it. Perhaps it's good enough as a 3/1 that occasionally provides value?
The $3 buy-in certainly intrigues me, and you should definitely grab a set if you're a believer, but the odds are high that this will be a future bulk rare—especially since it has no Commander value whatsoever.
I don't really know who Search the Premises is for. Modern players definitely don't want it, and I haven't found a single Commander player who is excited to play it, either. You have to spend six mana and get attacked before you can draw even a single card, which is obviously not a very good rate. It would certainly see play as a two-mana card, or maybe even a three-mana card, but there are just so many other, better options in that format right now. Future $1-$2 rare.
Chitterspitter is a must-play in Squirrel Tribal, but it's not enough of an engine to exist on its own, either in Commander or Modern. You're either playing this with a bunch of other Squirrels, or you're not playing it at all.
Chitterspitter current price tag is between $3-$4, which seems fine for a narrow rare like this, especially during the pre-order period. You might be able to pick it up for $2 in a few weeks, and it'll eventually end up kicking around in the $5-$7 range. Snag your copies on opening weekend if you want them, and feel free to ignore it if you don't care about Squirrels.
Nobody's playing Necrogoyf for 3BB unless something has gone horribly wrong, so you're basically only looking at this card in Rakdos or 8-Rack decks. It might see a little bit of play there, but it's not going to redefine Modern or see…well, any play in Commander. Current buy-in is around $4, which is fine as a gamble, but it'll have to actually see some Modern play to be worth that. I'm not willing to make that bet myself.
I'm not even sure what kind of deck wants Dress Down. It's won't let you blow out your opponent in combat most of the time, though I suppose it could be good utility against Hexproof or protection in certain instances. That gives it incredibly niche value in Modern, but there are so many better options there. In Commander, it's the kind of card that I'm always going to cut from my deck toward the end of brewing because it's so limited and reactive. Future bulk rare.
So far, the Enchantress's Presence reprint seems to be driving the price up a little. Take a look:
This card's future is going to depend a lot on whether or not Enchantress decks actually have legs in Modern. If so, I could see Enchantress's Presence stabilize in the $7-$10 range. If not, the reprint should drop the price toward $3-$4, at least temporarily. Unlike many other cards in this set, this is a gamble that I think has a shot of paying off. WotC is really pushing this deck, and I know a lot of people are willing to try it. It's very possible that this card will spike before it falls, and it's totally reasonable to buy in now if you want to try it out.
Obsidian Charmaw isn't quite as good as Fulminator Mage in most cases, but it's comparable enough to that card to give me pause. Land destruction is always better than you think, and this is an absurd play in certain situations. It's definitely a sideboard card in Ponza, and it might end up being a curve-topper in some red-based brew at some point. I can definitely see a world where Obsidian Charmaw sees play in Modern.
That said, I don't want to spend $9 on a card that might see play in Modern and definitely won't see play in Commander. Obsidian Charmaw has bulk rare downside, and it lacks much upside beyond its current retail price. I'm staying away.
Who was expecting a Noble Hierarch in Jund colors? Certainly not me. Noble Hierarch is one of my favorite cards ever printed, though, so I'm all about this amazing little Goblin Shaman. It is one of the best, safest bets in the set. It will see play all over Modern and Commander no matter what. I'll always be hoping to open one of these in my booster pack.
That said, current retail of $60 still seems a tad high to me. It's more than twice the cost of Noble Hierarch, though I suppose Jund colors are more useful in Modern and there will only be one printing of Ignoble Hierarch for a while. My guess? This card stays above $40, perhaps even above $50, until it is inevitably reprinted two or three times over the next five or six years. Snag your copies on release weekend if you want to play with this card in 2021 or 2022, but my guess is that WotC will reprint this card a bunch—just like its Noble cousin.
Persist has an interesting price chart in the early going. Take a look:
What's going on here? Reanimator hype is my best guess. While most of the best reanimation targets are legendary, any two-mana reanimation spell is going to be worth taking a look at. The cost is absolutely right, and this is going to be a staple in Modern Reanimator (if that deck ends up taking off) as well as in Commander. It seems pretty clear to me that demand is on the upswing, and I have no problems buying in at current retail if this is a card you want to mess around with.
I love that red is getting "passionate chefs and storytellers" as part of its flavor pie these days. As a Vorthos, it makes me really happy. Unfortunately, I don't think Chef's Kiss will see much play. The randomness inherent in the card is a no-go for competitive formats, and Commander has a lot of effects like this that already don't see much play. Cool card, but future bulk rare.
Out of Time does one thing better than almost every other mass removal spell in the game: trap Commanders. Unlike spells that kill, exile, or even tuck them, Out of Time simply phases them away for a while. If the board is well established when you play this, then you might have 10-12 turns without having to face down opposing commanders. That's absurdly good.
Of course, any enchantment removal at all undoes Out of Time. It'll be great in Commander groups that don't run a lot of enchantment removal, and poor in groups that do. Regardless, people are treating Out of Time as a mediocre mass removal spell when in fact it is a solid Commander playable. My guess is that it will be a future $5-$8 card at least.
Patriarch's Bidding has fallen hard after news of the reprinting hit. It was up to almost $50 before Modern Horizons 2 previews began, and it's just a $20 card now. My prediction is that this ends up in the $10-$15 range, since it was expensive primarily due to scarcity. It's a solid Commander card, and I'd be tickled if it was playable in Modern, but I doubt it.
Sylvan Anthem is probably too slow for competitive Constructed play, but it's an excellent Commander card. Any go-wide mono-green deck is going to want Sylvan Anthem, and the card selection is just as valuable as the power and toughness boost. Seriously, this is an all-time great mono-green aggro card.
Unfortunately, the verdict appears to be in on Sylvan Anthem. The price has already climbed from $3 to almost $8, which makes it a less attractive pre-order for me. I would have been all-in at that lower price, but now we're going to have to wait and be patient. I think you'll be able to snap these up for $3-$4 at some point, and I'd do it if you can. Sylvan Anthem should hold its value well going forward.
Goblin Bombardment is a lovely card, and I'm happy to have it in Modern. It enables a bunch of reasonably fair decks to actually win the game in the end, and I dearly hope it finds a home in the meta. I don't expect it will do all that much, but I can hope.
As for the card's value, the reprint has brought its price down from $9 to $6.50 so far. There doesn't seem to be a surge of new Modern demand, so I expect its price tag will keep dropping. In the end, it might be a $2-$3 card for a few years. I'd be patient unless you really think it'll pop off in Modern.
Verdant Command seems pretty unexciting at face value, but it's still a two-mana instant with four potential modes. You're pretty much always going to make the tokens, and the life gain isn't going to matter all that much most of the time, so its playability will live and die based on how situationally useful its second and third ability tend to be. If they're even a little bit good, then Verdant Command will see play in pretty much any deck where a situational Raise the Alarm would be even somewhat welcomed.
So, yeah, okay, I had to stretch a bit to say something optimistic about Verdant Command. It is probably not going to see much play. Its price has already dropped from $6 to $4.50 since first being previewed, and demand has remained soft. I'm definitely not going to buy in yet. There is upside here, though, so don't be surprised if this card ends up seeing some play down the line. If you can buy in for a buck or less, I'd do it.
Chance Encounter is not the kind of card that will weather a reprint well. It's not going to see any play in Modern, and it was expensive primarily because it hadn't been printed since Odyssey. Its price tag has dropped from $16 down to $4, and it will keep dropping. In fact, it should be easy to buy in the $1-$2 range before long.
Storm has to be the ability that WotC is the most cognizant of and careful about, right? Surely they know that even a slightly good storm card will see an absurd amount of play? I think that's why Aeve, Progenitor Ooze is pretty hard to combo with. Not only is it in green, but it costs five mana. Those aren't exactly qualities that are conducive to an Empty the Warrens or Tendrils of Agony situation.
That said, Aeve, Progenitor Ooze is a fun-looking card. It'll see a little bit of Commander play, especially in dedicated Ooze decks. Its current retail price of $3.50 seems fine if you want a copy or two. It should remain above bulk range no matter what, and there's some tiny chance that it's broken in half and we just don't see it yet, but it's probably just going to live on as a fun little curiosity.
Sythis, Harvest's Hand is Modern's first two-mana Enchantress. Argothian Enchantress is the card that really makes the Legacy deck work, and this is the closest that WotC is willing to give us for Modern. Will it be enough? I'm honestly not sure. The lack of shroud or hexproof hurts a lot, but if there's going to be an enchantress deck, it has to run at least a few copies of Sythis, right?
As for Commander, Sythis, Harvest's Hand is a must-play in any Selesnya-based "enchantments matter" deck. It's an okay general, and some people are using it that way, but it's an incredibly crucial part of the 99 whichever way you slice it. With all of this demand, it makes sense that Sythis is pre-selling for around $8. It's definitely worth the price of a booster pack, and you've got the green light to buy a copy or three if you want. I don't think it has a ton of upside, but it is definitely fairly valued right now.
Chainer, Nightmare Adept is a reprint from Commander 2019. You can pick up those copies for under a buck right now, which tells you how much demand there is for this card in Magic's most popular format. While it's possible that people are sleeping on Chainer in Modern, I haven't seen much hype yet. Odds are, this is a current and future bulk rare.
Shardless Agent may or may not actually make a splash in Modern, but people sure are excited for it either way. Take a look at this chart from the start of 2021 through today:
That's a pretty big price jump, from right around $1 to just over $7. The first spike happened in early April, when several cards from Modern Horizons 2 leaked on social media, and the second jump happened as soon as those leaks were confirmed and Shardless Agent was previewed. That's a 700% increase based solely on expected Modern play.
Is Shardless Agent going to make a splash in Modern? I'm not sure. My social media is pretty divided on it, though I'm definitely on the more bullish side. It's a very good card, and just because it isn't all that great in Legacy right now doesn't mean it won't prove incredibly powerful in Modern. $7 seems like a decent gamble for a potential Modern staple, though you can already see what the downside is going to be. Commander demand won't save you here, so only buy in if you want to play the card in Modern and you're okay taking the risk.
Fire // Ice
Fire // Ice might see a bunch of Modern play, and it might not. It's pretty much irrelevant for our purposes. This card has been printed enough at uncommon that it will be tough for Fire // Ice to break the $1 mark. It has jumped from $0.10 to $0.40 since being reprinted, but I don't see it going much higher than that. You can safely ignore it from a financial perspective.
Vindicate is just powerful enough to become a future Modern staple without breaking the format or changing much of anything. In fact, I'm a little bit surprised it hasn't been given a Modern-legal reprint before. Vindicate has been a $10 card for a few months now, and so far there has been enough additional demand to counteract the folks hoping to sell out ahead of the reprint. The price should drop off a bit once Modern Horizons 2 actually hits shelves, but I don't expect it to fall far due to all the additional demand. $8-$10 seems right.
It's shocking that Sterling Grove hasn't been reprinted once since Invasion. It's an excellent Commander card, and it is going to be key to whatever Modern Enchantress deck ends up emerging in the new metagame. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if it buoys a couple of existing archetypes too. It's an incredibly good card, and demand should remain high for quite some time.
That said, Sterling Grove is still a card that has never been reprinted before. Its price has already fallen from $18 to $11, and that might not be the end of it. I do think Sterling Grove is good enough to maintain a price tag above $6-$7 regardless, and the fact that it used to be an uncommon mitigates some of the issues that I usually have with buying a first-time reprint, but I'm still going to wait for this one to bottom out before I actually pull the trigger.
I'm not a fan of Moderation. (Sorry, I just wanted to say that.) For real, though, only getting to play one spell per turn is a tremendous downside that I can't imagine anyone wanting to mess with, even for card draw. In competitive Azorius decks, the ability to win fights with instants is far too important. "Whenever you cast a spell, draw a card" is an absurd line of text, but I'm just not going to gamble on this one.
Future bulk rare. Remind me of this review when Moderation is banned in Modern for being too good.
I haven't seen much buzz around Master of Death, but any card that lets you return it to your hand every time it ends up in your graveyard (once per turn, granted) is worth a second look. It definitely has utility in decks that need discard fodder, and I know that Varina, Lich Queen and The Scarab God brewers in Commander are excited about Master of Death. It's probably a future $2-$3 rare, but there's some upside here if it ends up doing something in Modern. It's at least going to stay on my radar for the foreseeable future.
Could Zoo be back on the menu in 2021? Between Territorial Kavu and Scion of Draco, it could be time to shuffle up those Wild Nacatl again. I have no idea if it's actually good, but this price chart is somewhat promising:
As with Grist, the Hunger Tide, however, the lack of demand at Territorial Kavu's new price point tells me that it's likely to drop off again once Modern Horizons 2 actually hits shelves. This is definitely not a Commander card, either, so it's Modern or bust. I honestly think Territorial Kavu might be good enough to make it work, and it could end up in the $15-20 range if Domain Zoo really takes off over the next few weeks (take another look at Scion of Draco if so!). I'm not interested in making this gamble at $10, though, so I'm staying away for now.
Piru, the Volatile will see some play in Commander. It's solid in any sort of "Legendary Creatures Matter" deck, and I'm definitely slotting it right into Kaalia of the Vast. There won't be much demand beyond that, though, which is why I suspect it'll end up as a future bulk rare regardless.
Lonis, Cryptozoologist is probably a touch slow for Modern (it would have been incredible in Standard), but it's currently the #2 most-popular new Commander in the set after Chatterfang, Squirrel General. Simic is already a beloved color combination in Magic's most popular format, and Lonis is an incredibly cool new way to build a deck in that color combination.
The rares and mythics that combo best with Lonis, Cryptozoologist are Tireless Tracker, Deadeye Navigator, Tamiyo's Journal, and Panharmonicon. Most of these cards already see a lot of Commander play, but Tamiyo's Journal is a new one. I've already seen the card start to creep up in price, though I don't think it'll ever break the $3-$4 mark.
As for Lonis, Cryptozoologist, buy a premium copy of this card if you're going to pick it up. Those versions will hold their value more because its primary use is as a commander. Otherwise, I think the card is currently a touch overpriced and I'm not terribly interested in buying up a bunch of them. The folks who love this card really love it, but demand shouldn't be that broad outside folks who want to brew Lonis decks.
General Ferrous Rokiric is a fantastic card, and people are sleeping on it a bit because it has the look of a generic Boros aggro card, which are usually pretty mediocre. General Ferrous Rokiric is far from mediocre, though. Its protection ability means that loads of fair decks can't really hope to beat it, and it makes tokens in an awful hurry. It could see play in Modern Humans, Modern Feather, and as the new Boros Aggro commander of choice. That's a lot of playability!
Financially, General Ferrous Rokiric is still selling for less than $5. That seems low to me. If it does catch on in Multiple Modern decks and Commander, this could be an $10 card with long-term upside beyond that. If you play Boros at all, either in Commander or Modern, I'd snag a copy or four on release weekend.
As excited as I am to learn how to both spell and pronounce Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar so that I can write Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar name every time Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar wins a tournament in a deck called "Chef Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar Ramsay" or whatever, I'm not sure where this sees play. I've seen some buzz about using it in Modern Humans alongside Aether Vial, but as good as that upside is, I don't think the deck can afford to play either discard outlets or four cards that are dead if they're not in your opening hand.
It's possible that Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar will revitalize Cat Oven Combo in Modern, and that could lead to something of a price spike, but that's about it. Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar shouldn't make much of an impact in Commander because there simply aren't enough good Food interactions in print yet. Expect the price to drop pretty hard, and expect Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar to see a buyout spike in a couple of years when WotC returns to the "food matters" well.
I don't think this card is good enough for Modern, but you're going to want to play Carth the Lion in pretty much every "Superfriends" Commander deck from now on. The tutoring ability is terrific, and the +1 to all loyalty abilities is also great. (And just to clarify, this ability gives you more loyalty or reduces loyalty cost. It's an upside ability. I've seen some people discussing this card as if it were a tax, but that's not how planeswalkers work.)
Financially, this is another card that should remain a great long-term buy. Since most Commander players will be using it as a utility card instead of a general, demand is going to be slow and steady. Buy in on release weekend and don't look back.
Priest of Fell Rites is probably a tad too slow for Modern's top tier. Playing a creature and waiting a turn before you can do anything with it is rarely where you want to be, especially in a combo deck like Reanimator. It should see some play in lower tier decks, though, and there's a shot it'll be good enough as Reanimator's second option.
The buy-in cost is low—less than $5 right now—so there's not much risk in snagging a set now if you want to use it. I don't think it'll end up becoming a future format staple, but it is an extremely cool card.
I'm surprised at how much people seem to dislike Sol Talisman. I've seen a lot of unfavorable comparisons to Mox Tantalite, which makes sense, but that is a $12 card right now. Granted, it's a mythic rare as well as a Mox, but Mox Tantalite has its uses, as does Sol Talisman.
The only reason I think Sol Talisman might be a tad underrated is that very few mana rocks actually produce more than one mana. Heck, Worn Powerstone sees a decent amount of play, and Sol Talisman is at least comparable to that one on some level. It's definitely not an auto-include like Sol Ring, but it'll find an audience in Commander. I'm not buying in at current retail of $7.50, but I'll get intrigued once it drops toward $3-$4.
Wow. Academy Manufactor is a sweet Commander card that I haven't seen much hype for yet. A lot of cards make Treasure tokens, though—Dockside Extortionist, come on down—and turning each of your token activations into three(!) token activations is the exact kind of nonsense that a lot of us are here for in Commander.
As with Sol Talisman, this is another long-term casual sleeper. It only gets better with each Food, Clue, or Treasure token maker that WotC prints, and I can easily imagine this one ending up in the $10+ range a few years down a line. I'm targeting Academy Manufactor in a big way once the set reaches peak supply.
Wowzers, we're really going to end on a high note here.
We know that Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth is going to be good because Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is good. It'll definitely see play in green-based Urzatron decks, and it's a fantastic play in any multicolored Commander deck that runs green. There are also some corner case cards that might improve with Yavimaya in the format: Arbor Elf, Vernal Bloom, Gaea's Liege, etc. Point being: it will see play. You probably want a copy already.
Financially, I'm not sure it can sustain a short-term price tag of $35. There are a lot of good cards in Modern Horizons 2, and this isn't a mythic rare. It's also never going to be as good as Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, since there's no Cabal Coffers in green but there are a lot of other ways to fix your mana. My hope is that you'll be able to snag copies in the $15 range, though that might be a tad optimistic. Regardless, this is another card I'll be looking to pick up at peak supply.
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