If you’re a fan of the Modern format in Magic: The Gathering, or you’ve just wanted the meta to be made more affordable and a little more interesting, then Modern Horizons 2 has a lot to look forward to. The upcoming Modern set is due to launch on June 18, and ahead of its release we’ve got a couple of real interesting cards to reveal.
Modern Horizons 2 has already unveiled a ton of cards set to have a massive impact on the current Modern format. The original Counterspell and Sanctum Prelate are 2 of the 42 cards that are being reprinted from the Legacy format, making them tournament legal in Modern. It’s not just Modern that will benefit from Modern Horizons 2, either. Commander players are likely to get a lot of utility from some of the reprints and new cards, too.
But today, we’ve got two new dragons to preview from Modern Horizons 2. Let’s start with the first.
The 0/0 Arcbound Whelp — which spawns as a 2/2 courtesy of its Modular trait — is a curious little beast. An uncommon 3R creature, the flying artifact dragon can be pumped by 1/0 for one red mana until the end of turn. It’s not the most groundbreaking dragon in Modern Horizons 2, unlike Timeless Dragon, a white 3WW dragon with flying, eternalise and plainscycling, and bigger stats at 5/5.
Arcbound Whelp is effectively a reprint of Furnace Whelp, and it’s a card that makes more sense in Commander decks than any other format. But if you’re going for a dragon or artifact themed deck, the Whelp can find a place. It’s certainly not as eye-catching as the “Hi, I’d like to spawn a free Black Lotus/Shivan Dragon/Terror/Regrowth” card that is Garth One-Eye, but it’ll be interesting to see how skilled deckbuilders make use of the Whelp‘s traits.
Our second Dragon we’ll be previewing today also hails from the land of Red, but this one is substantially more powerful.
At 3RR, the 4/4 flying Obsidian Charmaw presents an instant threat. It gets cheaper for every single land your opponent has that produces colourless mana, which can be especially potent against Traxos decks or Eldrazi decks. That’s more of a threat in Commander, mind you, but there’s also some decks that use Spire of Industry and/or Glimmervoid, and the Charmaw would get some extra utility against those. Another Modern-legal nonbasic land that’s especially powerful is Cavern of Souls, and the Charmaw could be immensely powerful against those tribal-based decks (think Elves, Goblins, or Slivers).
But even taking that out of the equation, Obsidian Charmaw has value as soon as it hits the board. If you can drop it unopposed, the dragon will immediately nuke one of your opponent’s nonbasic lands, which can be especially helpful given the amount of powerful nonbasic lands that are tournament-legal in Modern.
Even just being able to get out a 4/4 flyer while removing an opponent’s fetch land — of which there are quite a few in Modern Horizons 2 — is handy. So if you’re running a Modern Horizons 2 draft, the Obsidian Charmaw will always be a nice creature to have. It wouldn’t be the first card I’d pull in a draft, given this set has absurd bombs like Serra’s Emissary, the wonderfully handy Subtlety, cards that let you mill 14 cards from your opponents deck for three mana, or the ability to just spawn Black Lotus out of nowhere. Also, any card that turns Magic into coin-flipping madness is always entertaining, and Green has some crazy good potential with Squirrel Mob and Chatterfang that’s liable to cause chaos.
But solid, playable creatures are always a bonus to have in a draft. And it’ll be fun to see how wild Modern Horizons 2 matches get next month. Prerelease events will begin from June 11, with the set launching physically from June 18. If you just want to play with the cards digitally, they’ll be available through Magic Online (but not Magic Arena) from June 3.