What I Want to and Don’t Want to See in Modern Horizons

It’s a weird time to be a MtG player. A lot of information is being withheld and a lot of information is being thrown at us. Then there’s the Arena, which has brought the game to whole new audiences, but we don’t really know what that means in the long run.

Than we have Modern Horizons, a set that won’t release until after another set, but which is still producing more press, because of the possibilities it presents, both positive and negative.

For me personally, I’ve been struggling to find Modern decks that I find interesting. I have a tendency to get bored with decks and Modern decks are extremely expensive, so I don’t really get into the format that much. When I do, I tend to play monocolored decks or rely on the fetches and duals I already have, which often means staying away from certain colors and color combinations.

But I still do have a sort of wish list. However, I’m going to approach this by looking at cards I don’t want to see and what I would want instead.

1. Counterspell

In many ways this is a shoe-in, but here’s the thing: I like that there’s various counters for various situations. Mana Leak, Logic Knot and Remand all have their places. Sometimes you might even want Disdainful Stroke, Jace’s Defeat, Delay or Negate, but if you have Counterspell in the format, all that design is gone. You just play Counterspell. No insight into the format needed.

Instead, maybe Arcane Denial or Memory Lapse? Flusterstorm, anyone? Even Rites of Refusal might be an interesting addition, because of the way it enables certain decks. Although I’m not sure we actually want those decks enabled.

2. Swords to Plowshares

SToP is extremely strong. You pay one mana to get rid of almost any creature with only a very minor downside of giving your opponent a resource they don’t necessarily even have a use for. Especially, if you are playing control. Do we really want that? Path to Exile has an actual downside and actually has additional benefit of keeping the format healthy by encouraging playing basics (which in turn mitigates Blood Moon).

Part of black’s identity is to be the best removal color. If white already has Path and red has Lightning Bolt, black doesn’t seem that strong in this regard even with Fatal Push. Also, how the spell works just fits black so much better anyhow.

3. Wirewood Symbiote

Again, this is a color identity issue. When was the last time green did anything like this? I wouldn’t mind seeing this card, but preferably in blue. Sure, it shouldn’t refer to elves, if this change happens, and I don’t know how this effect would be used if it was merfolk or vedalken instead, but I would much rather see things possibly enabling new decks than artificially making certain decks stronger.

Elves is already a solitaire deck, with not much interaction. We don’t need more of those decks in the format. Please do your goldfishing at home.

4. Hymn to Tourach

I have been known to play 8-Rack in the past and probably will again in the future, so part of me wouldn’t mind this card, but it just leads to too many games that are not fun. I mean 8-Rack isn’t fun to play against as it is and this would just make it worse.

I, however, wouldn’t mind something between Wrench MInd and Hymn to Tourach. Maybe lose the artifact part of Wrench and be done with it. At two mana, it would still be very strong in many match-ups, but wouldn’t do much in others.

5. Speaking of 8-Rack…

Okay, this is in the camp of actually asking for something, but I wouldn’t mind a cleaner version of The Rack. It just doesn’t sit well with the way cards are currently templated and I wouldn’t mind being able to deal damage to opposing planeswalkers like it used to.

I guess they won’t do this. Just cleaning up certain cards would be nice though.

6. More Graveyard Enablers

Players have been maindecking gravehate for quite a while now, if they can get away with it. Cranial Extraction just doesn’t slot that well into all decks and also it doesn’t even seem to that helpful as there are still so many tier 1 decks that fully rely on the graveyard.

What would be great is a card that makes using the graveyard awkward, but at the same time doesn’t have a big deckbuilding cost. Or perhaps does this incidentally, like Anafenza, the Foremost, which included the exile cause as basically flavor text, which just happened to be very important in certain match-ups.

Or perhaps go even so far as to make the graveyards a liability, if there are too many cards in there. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper sort of goes into this direction.

Actually, this is easily my top wish and I do feel that if something isn’t done about the graveyard decks, I don’t really know what’s the point of the set, because this is where the biggest problems with the format seem to lie. Well, that and the lack of interaction, as many players only want to goldfish.

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