Spoiler season not only gives us opportunities to try new cards, it also can breathe new life into old ones. Sometimes, the rich get richer. Cards like Aether Vial and Cavern of Souls continuously get better every time they print tribal cards. However, there are still plenty of cards that are not currently all-stars that got a large boost. Here are five cheap cards that are poised to make a bigger splash in Modern post Horizons. All of these cards are under $5 at the time of writing this, but perhaps not for long.
Slivers is an archetype that is incredibly hard to balance. When one Sliver has an ability, it applies to all Slivers. The Sliver deck has a tribal synergy that is unmatched anywhere else. Sliver decks have shown up in Modern on very rare occasions throughout its history. Modern Horizons has already given Slivers two new friends in Cloudshredder Sliver and Dregscape Sliver. Cloudshredder combines Galerider Sliver and Blur Sliver into one for only two mana. Dregscape will give all your Slivers unearth which helps the deck grind incredibly well. The best part about Dregscape’s ability is that it only requires colorless mana. This is incredibly important for the poor mana base of the Slivers deck. Slivers is very close to being in a good spot. It may be playable now, but another Sliver lord could put it over the top. Sinew Sliver is going to be an auto-include in every Sliver deck so if you are interested in Slivers at all, now is probably the time to pick some copies up; it is already a $4 common.
Goblin Chainwhirler was a force to be reckoned with in Standard. It does see some fringe play in Modern, but generally is not quite there. Modern Horizons boosted Goblin Chainwhirler in two big ways. The first is that Wizards of the Coast seems to be adding more archetype support for Goblins in Modern. The second is that Goblin Matron is exactly the type of support that Chainwhirler wants. Goblin Matron gives Goblins more of a toolbox gameplan to work with. Even if Chainwhirler is not a four of in that deck, it will likely still be a one of silver bullet. Before Horizons, 8 Whack was the premiere Goblin archetype in the format. Chainwhirler does not fit this gameplan at all. I am not sure if we have enough good Goblins currently to build the toolbox version of the deck, but I am confident that it will flesh out into an archetype over time. Auntie’s Hovel has already been bought out in anticipation so the interest is there.
Death & Taxes was named because only three things are certain in life. Death, taxes, and mono white decks never go away. While D&T in Modern has seen play, it has generally been relegated to the lower tiers. Giver of Runes boosts D&T strategies in a massive way. While it cannot protect itself like Mother of Runes, Giver of Runes is still likely to be very good in Modern. Flickerwisp is a great way to protect your Giver of Runes. Additionally, Flickerwisp has insane synergy with the Death & Taxes decks already. It is a fast, evasive clock. It can kill tokens or remove a problem permanent for a turn. It can virtually cost two mana if you target a land. Flickerwisp is an amazing card in white blink-based archetypes. Ranger-Captain of Eos is another new card that should see play as it appreciates being blinked and can tutor up Giver of Runes. If these decks really want to go down the blinking rabbit hole they also gained Ephemerate. The concern is that Ranger-Captain does not appreciate Cat Jesus. So we may see a build more focused on blinking than taxing and Flickerwisp would be a shoe-in.
Skred Red is already a deck that exists in Modern. It is playable but could use an update. Modern Horizons looks to be a massive step forward for snow based decks. Dead of Winter gives the deck access to an incredibly potent three mana boardwipe. The fact that it is -X/-X instead of three damage from something like Anger of the Gods is huge. Dead of Winter is able to kill larger creatures, indestructible creatures, and creatures with protection. I am confident that Skred decks will adopt this card because it is so powerful. I think the result will be a very different Rakdos Control deck, dropping cards like Koth. Another card that I am less sold on but still might be good is Marit Lage’s Slumber. This enchantment gives snow decks a new win condition that provides value over the course of the game. I am not sure if the Skred decks are going to want to transition from Mono-Red to Grixis, but it is possible. Either way, snow based decks are rejoicing everywhere for the printing of Dead of Winter.
Delver of Secrets
Delver of Secrets was an incredibly viable card in the early days of Modern. While it still sees fringe play, I would argue that it is not currently a format staple. Modern Horizons is going to give the deck a lot of help. The biggest boon for Delver is the addition of Nimble Mongoose in Modern. Having access to another cheap, efficient one drop will help to make tempo decks far more viable in Modern. I can see a Temur Delver shell being very solid. Force of Negation and Flusterstorm both are big boosts against combo decks as well. Tempo decks generally want to play an early threat, protect it, and let it close the game out. Force of Negation can protect a threat without needing to have open mana which is incredibly nice for that gameplan. Flusterstorm is incredibly good in counter magic wars. Having a one mana card that gives a hard “No” is incredibly nice for the tempo deck to have. Card selection and deck manipulation in Modern are still miles away from where they are in Legacy and Pauper. Delver is still going to struggle with this, but Horizons has given Delver lots of new friends in Modern.
While everyone is excited about the new cards in Modern Horizons, sometimes it is good to reflect on what we already have. There are tons of cool cards in Modern that have not quite seen their full potential in the format yet. I am excited to see how Modern Horizons shakes things up and am hoping that one of these new or underpowered archetypes get enough of a boost to be viable. What cards are you motivated to finally pull out of the binder? Come share your ideas in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back on Monday with the Modern Snapshot for June. Until then my friends.