It’s time to muster your tribal decks, polish your reading spectacles, and don your favourite Thinking Cap, as Modern Horizons 2 is only a few moons away, bringing a raft of jank, flavour, and exciting new mechanics to spice up your trusty casual decks. 

Cassie Rees

by Cassie Rees 26/05/2021

While us Aussies are preparing for chilly mornings and rainy days, our pals in America are gearing up for what I like to call “Hot Mage Summer”, with Wizards of the Coast releasing an impressive lineup of bangers throughout their Summer of Legends series, starting with Modern Horizons 2 on June 18

If you’re the kind of Magic player who errs on the side of low-powered decks, but you’re drawn to the dazzling art and mystery of jacked, bomb cards, you’re my kind of Magic player! Modern Horizons 2 is the perfect opportunity for you to start exploring new mechanics and colours, experiment with unfamiliar creature types, and empower synergy in your current decks.

Scalding Tarn 

 

Find Your New Favourite Playstyle!

When players got their hands on the first Modern Horizons back in 2019, they feasted on frosty snow-covered lands, fun reprints of old, whacky cards, and the return of past Magic mechanics. Modern Horizons 2 is set to offer players even more retro mechanics, new flavour to experiment with, and most importantly, a slog of products to suit a variety of play-styles.

Let’s start with shiny, pretty, Set and Collector Booster boxes.

If you’re like me and you’re all about the art, flavour, and fun world-building of Magic, Modern Horizons 2 Set Boosters and Collector Boosters will be your winter jams. These beauties give us paper-core players the satisfaction of cracking into booster packs to be delighted with all kinds of shiny treasure to add to our growing collections, including art cards, foil-stamped art cards, twinkling foil cards, retro reprints, and of course, those coveted rares.

Oh, you prefer alternative, unique card treatments? More of a borderless-card-collector kinda player, huh? Modern Horizons 2 Set has you covered. The design team at Wizards have truly kept us flavour-fiends in mind here, releasing stunning borderless alternatives, throwback-framed rares, and one-of-a-kind, showcase sketch cards.

 

Seriously—just look at these!



For those who are keen to get more of their friends into Magic, keep your eye on Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster boxes.  

I know what it can be like to introduce Magic to your mates: by the time you’re done explaining the mechanics of something like Menace, their minds have wandered off the Plane. Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster sets may be able to help you break through that apprehensive barrier, offering fun characters to meet, funky mechanics, and vibrant art to get your friends into the game. 




As much as I love an afternoon of booster opening and drafting, I also can’t go past those enticing Magic Bundles, and with the eye-catching, vibrant design of Modern Horizons 2, I may need to add a few more shelves to my Magic display nook.

Along with fun Booster packs, handy boxes & dividers, and gorgeous new dice to play with, casual players like myself will love the gentle introduction to Modern Horizons 2 provided by Prerelease Packs and Bundles. With fewer cards to digest, casual players and newcomers to the game will enjoy a smaller window into Modern Horizons 2, and what it means to level up their decks.

 

Modern Horizons Madness 

The initial release of Modern Horizons back in 2019 reinvigorated decks all over the world with some serious jank. We’re talking game shake-ups like Winds of Abandon, creature pumps like Sword of Truth and Justice, and rare Legendaries such as The First Sliver.

Modern Horizons 2 is set to bring players more mechanical madness, so let’s explore a few of these baddies to see how they can revitalise your casual decks, and introduce fun new elements to your playstyle.

Let’s start with themed decks.







I’ve selected Timeless Dragon and Thrasta, Tempest’s Roar here, because who doesn’t want to create an almighty army of dragons and dinosaurs? You can build a Brawl deck like no other, jam-packed with mana-producing Talismans and Geodes, cheap interaction and creature spells, and of course, air-dominating dragons and beastly dinosaurs

If Brawl isn’t your style, consider adding these terrifying creatures to your casual decks to give them a power upgrade, or create a whole new casual deck where you’ll rule the skies and command the land. Players looking to increase their mental mechanic encyclopedia will also be intrigued with Timeless Dragon’s Eternalise mechanic—a blast from the past that allows players to bring this trusty dragon back from the dead as a zombie copy of itself, which is not only handy, but also appropriately creepy. 

Search through your current collection or the classic Dollar Rare box at your local Good Games for those themed, synergistic cards, and you’ll have yourself a deck not to be messed with.

 

Moving onto some serious spice...






Grief and Flametongue Yearling are the kind of cards that cause a wee bit of chaos, and both cards are equally irritating for your opponent. Grief is our ominously titled “Elemental Incarnation” that gives players major power when drawn early—4 mana for a 3/2 creature with Menace is already a pretty good deal. Adding the bonus of seeing your opponent’s hand and selecting something to discard is almost insane. 

And if you don’t have the mana to cast it? No worries. Grief’s Evoke mechanic allows you to exile a black card from your hand to pay for it instead, so you can pry into your opponent’s hand and flick something into the graveyard before sacrificing the card. 

With Flametongue Yearling, you can quietly build up your mana to take full advantage of the Kavu’s Multikicker mechanic—another older mechanic introduced to players 10 years ago in Worldwake that uses mana to turn this seemingly innocent-looking 2/1 into a giant monster that could take out a major Creature threat on the table. 

Having this Kavu early in the game is handy too as you can get rid of an opponent’s creature and empower your side of the board from the get-go. However, when you start to consider unique synergy with this card, things may get out of control. Think about Proliferate or a cheap buff spell like Reckless Charge for that extra muscle, or add Blink cards like Thassa, Deep-Dwelling to trigger Flametongue Yearling’s powerful ETB twice in one turn.

 

Now, let’s take a drive over to Jank City...




Take a moment here to read through the text on these cards—or maybe you need a few moments. I wouldn’t blame you. Traditionally, these are the kind of cards that make me go “Yikes!”, before casting them aside to hunt for spells that are easier to digest. I even used to have a rule where I wouldn’t bother with cards featuring over three lines of text, however I couldn’t stay in that low-powered, limited comfort zone for too long, and these cards from Modern Horizons 2 are perfect examples why.

Profane Tutor is not your average Tutor. Instead of paying a bunch of mana and searching for a specific card, you instead pay a small amount of mana with an additional time tax of two turns. This means this card is powerful on turn two, as your opponent can’t interact with or counter it, and you’ll find out quickly what kind of card you need to search for. Maybe you need a classic removal spell to weed out the board, the perfect card to synergise with a creature, or simply a threatening creature to add to your infantry. 

Then we have Urza’s Saga—because “Urza’s Enchantment Land Saga” was too clunky of a name.

Urza’s Saga is an Artifact deck’s dream: it’s a land that immediately activates its enchantment abilities by allowing you to tap for colourless mana. On your next turn, you can create a Construct artifact creature token that’s as big as the amount of artifacts you control. Again—I’d like to remind you this card is a land, and therefore costs nothing to come into play. 

On its third and final Lore counter, you search your library for a 0 or 1 mana artifact that goes directly onto the battlefield. Think Bonded Construct for additional creature presence, or the classic Sol Ring to prepare for the mid game. 

If all of these newer or retro mechanics are making you feel like this…

Then there’s no need to be intimidated. Remember that Magic is allowed to be a slower game for you to refocus your mind on something fun and challenging. Unless you’re playing in a strict, competitive setting, you have permission to take your time to brainstorm how you can get the most out of these rediscovered mechanics. 

 

Cracking Your Colour Comfort Zone

It’s easy for us casual players to get locked into one or two colours and become weary to traverse through unfamiliar-coloured waters. Whether you’re a die-hard red rager mage or prefer the control and sky presence of a white and blue deck, it’s easy to see why new-comers and casual players prefer to stick with what they know. 

Modern Horizons 2 is a fantastic way to break through this colour rut and try something completely new. Take something like Yusri, Fortune’s Flame.

This legendary Efreet is already a nice 2/3 flyer for 3 mana, and once it starts attacking, someone needs to grab their old piggy bank, as more chance elements get introduced to your game through a coin flip. The stakes are pretty high too—get cocky with Lady Luck and you may end up with 10 damage to your life total. But if luck is on your side and you manage to win five flips, you may cast any number of spells from your hand without paying their mana costs. It’s quite bonkers when you think about it, even though the chances of you actually winning five flips in a row are pretty low… But they’re not that low!

Yusri is just one example of why unfamiliar colours and long texts are actually your friends! More text means more opportunity to create powerful combos for your decks, and delving into uncharted colours will not only get your deck-building brain ticking, but it will also make you a better Magic player as you learn the ins and outs of various guilds and colours.

 

Crafting Unique Decks 

Adding new mechanics or creating new themed decks through alien colours can be a lot to take in, so don’t forget to speak with your local Magic experts at Good Games to hear their recommendations. Chat with a Good Games team member or a Magic mage from your area, and you’ll soon end up learning about exciting mechanics to introduce to your decks.  

You can also bring your favourite decks into Good Games to find areas for improvement, and enjoy digging through the Dollar Rare Boxes to uncover synergistic cards and inspiration from past Modern Horizons bombs. When you’re ready to take your deck-building to the next level, the online Good Games singles page awaits, so you can order specific, rare additions for your decks

Whether you’re keen to try Commander or Brawl on for size, or you’re simply excited about finding rare, alternative artwork, Modern Horizons 2 is geared up to deliver, and if these few Modern Horizons 2 cards have got you all in a deck-building tizzy, you’re not alone. Luckily, you’ll soon be able to satisfy that booster-cracking craving while adding all kinds of flavour to your current decks. 

While we wait for June 18, head into your local Good Games to preorder your preferred Modern Horizons 2 package, and start thinking about what kind of wacky, spicy cards you’ll get to play with to warm you up throughout the colder months! 

 

Cassie Rees is a casual MTG player who loves nothing more than playing a friendly game of Magic with a big cuppa tea while streaming “Miscellaneous Battle Music”. You’ll catch Cassie pouring over the $1 Rare Box at her local Good Games, hunting for unique beauties to slot in her heavily theme-based decks. When she’s not playing Magic, you’ll find her hunting monsters and planting watermelons over at twitch.tv/cassiusaway

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