Welcome back, players! This blog is hot off the heels of the announcement from Wizards about their new modern product, “Modern Horizons”. I wanted to take a little time to gloss over what is expected as well as some thoughts and criticisms about this new box set. With the two new spoilers of ‘Cabal Therapy’-on-a-stick and the oh-so-sought-after ‘Serra’ planeswalker, a few things have immediately jumped in my mind.
First, for those who haven’t heard, Wizards has officially announced a direct-to-modern box full of modern reprints and brand new cards themed after some extra powerful cards from pre-8th edition. This box seems to mimic a traditional standard-type printing, with 254 cards, buy-a-box promo and pre-release support. Essentially, this will be a new magic product that simply avoids standard. No cards in this set will be legal in standard (unless otherwise printed in a standard-legal set) and this set can potentially be drafted just like any standard release.
My initial feelings upon release was, ‘Oh wow! Serra is a planeswalker!’ A good friend of mine has been waiting his entire magic career to see Serra in all her glory. She doesn’t disappoint, but when I saw the second card called ‘Cabal Therapist’ my heart sank. This is ‘Cabal Therapy’ tied to a creature. This sets a -very- dangerous precedent for other cards in this set. Cabal Therapy is a -very- powerful card that all seasoned Legacy players know to be wary of. With the announcement that they will be printing modern versions of ‘Pre-8th edition’ cards, my mind began to run with possibilities… If they’re willing to give this treatment to Cabal Therapy, what’s stopping them from doing it to cards like ‘Survival of the Fittest’ or ‘Ponder’? Can you imagine a creature with Ponder tied to it to trigger every attack? What about ‘Swords to Plowshares’? ‘Force of Will’? Where is the line in the sand with what they’re willing to reprint?
Another point for this was made very poignantly by another good friend of mine. When Wizards started printing direct-to-EDH cards with their commander products, it upset a portion of balance within the game. Cards began doing things without having to even be cast, or cards that shouldn’t affect all players suddenly had printings that did. Now with all printings of standard cards, Wizards has to be careful about wording things to affect singular opponents or multiple. Printing cards directly into modern has the possibility of just completely upsetting the format. If they wind up printing a card for modern akin to ‘Edgar Markov’ for EDH, then the entire format will be turned on it’s head. New archetypes will completely decimate old ones and previously viable decks will crumble into nothingness. The format is essentially threatened to be warped into something completely different.
This also runs the risk of printing cards that are beautiful in theory, but wind up offering very little to already established decks. If there aren’t built-in archetypes within the set, we could very well see a commercial flop within a singular set. Wizards is known for varying the power levels of their sets, and finding a proper balance for Modern is going to be tricky. What do they print? Do they ban before printing? After? Will they miss something in playtesting and accidentally print a ‘Saheeli-Cat’ debacle into Modern?
These are the thoughts that are running through my head. What about yours, fair players? With the announcement of this set and the two cards they’ve decided to show us, what thoughts do you have? Will this set succeed, or will it fall into obscurity? Feel free to write us a response, or come in store to discuss! We love hearing from our following! Until next time, dear players!