Flavor Hits and Misses from Modern Horizons

As I write this, 188 cards have been previewed. If you are like me and use Mythic Spoilers to follow these, the last card to be previewed as of this writing is Soulherder.

But we are not here right now to talk about the powerlevel or usability of the cards, except when it affects how a card feels. I’m here to talk about how the cards evoke memories of old cards or themes.

Let’s start with…

Misses

The Ninjas and the Changelings. So, if you look at sets like the Core Sets or even Commander sets, each card is set on a specific plane. It might not always be obvious and some cards fit many planes, but still, they work to have these cards be linked to something specific.

Now, historically, we have only had ninjas in one world: Kamigawa. We didn’t see any Vedalken or Zombies on Kamigawa, but here we have a Zombie Ninja and a Vedalken Ninja. This just feels like “oh, this could be cool”, instead of thinking these through. Maybe these will pay off someday, but as of right now, they just don’t feel linked to any particular world. They are just there, because someone felt they could do this.

Same with Changelings. They used to be only in Lorwyn / Shadowmoor, but now Impostor of the Sixth Pride is probably on Alara, Universal Automaton is on Dominaria, Webweaver Changeling seems to be on Zendikar, Venomous Changeling is probably on Amonkhet and I don’t know where Unsettled Mariner is on, but not on Lorwyn, since it’s posing as a human and there are none there. These are also obviously Lorwyn Changelings as they all have a similar effect of liquid of some sort hanging around them.

The biggest miss for me is Ravenous Giant. The problem? it’s supposed to remind us of Juzam Djinn, which it does, but in a very bad way.

The Djinn was a very strong creature back in the day. As a fan of black from day 1 of my MtG history, it was something I sought in my early days, although never found one (as I was living in a small town in Finland in those days, which is still true, but a different town and now the Internet has changed things radically).

The Giant just reminds us that the Djinn is now just very much out-classed. The glorious Djinn is now just a run-of-the-mill card. If they really wanted to pay homage to it, they should have done something in it’s vein in Mythic, because Djinn is actually one of the early true iconic cards. It might not have been quite at the same level as Black Lotus, but the cheapest one available at Cardmarket.eu is 630 euros and it’s condition is not very good.

I don’t know what would have made this better, but this is a huge miss in my eyes.

Hits

There are more hits here, so that’s good.

Scale Up is probably quite a strong card, which reminds us nicely of the very iconic Craw Wurm, the must-have common of the early days of Magic.

Tribute Mage is part of a weird cycle of mages – Trinket Mage, Treasure Mage, Trophy Mage, but that’s not the only win here. She’s brandishing Sword of the Meek, the card most she’s most likely used to find, if she sees play.

The First Sliver is a little clumsy from rules point of view (as the other Slivers it cascades into won’t have Cascade at that point), but the idea that endless other Slivers come forth from this original one is nice.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain represents her role as the one responsible for keeping the ragtag crew of the Weatherlight together. They are of all colors, so it stands to reason that for her to do anything, she needs all of them to work together.

They found a great way for the Coward creature type to actually matter with Pyrophobia and all the Changelings.

There will probably be more of each class as the last sixty or so cards are previewed, but here we are as of now.

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