Modern Horizons 2 brings a ton of new cards to the Modern format. In this article, I’ll look at the top 10 best Modern Horizons 2 cards for Modern. Before we start, some quick clarifications.
Impact on Modern
While many Modern Horizons 2 cards are strong in Commander, in this article we will be examining cards specifically for their strength in the Modern format. Cards like Garth One-Eye might be fun but don’t quite make the cut for Modern.
There are lots of cards in Modern Horizons 2, most of which are great in Modern, so if a card you like doesn’t make the cut, let us know in the comments.
Cards reprinted from Modern Horizons 1 weren’t included in the top 10. However, new to Modern reprints will.
With that being said, here are some honorable mentions for cards in Modern Horizons 2 that barely miss the cut for the top 10.
Rishadan Dockhand, Svyelun of Sea and Sky, and Tide Shaper are all great options for Modern Merfolk. While its no doubt that these cards will upgrade the deck, they don’t seem as strong as the other cards in our top 10.
Dragon’s Rage Chaneller
Dragon’s Rage Chaneller is a potentially strong one drop for red aggro decks. While it’s Delirium ability may be hard to trigger in a traditional mono Red prowess deck, it could be triggered more easily in Rakdos prowess playing Mishra’s Bauble.
Additionally, it’s Surveil ability prevents flooding out in a longer game.
The Underworld Restaurant
Blazing Rootwalla, Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar and The Underworld Cookbook slot nicely into a Hollow One and Vengevine deck. While this style of the deck hasn’t been around since the banning of Faithless Looting, the staff members of the Underworld Restaurant could cook some life into the archetype again.
Now let’s take a look at the top 10 Modern cards in Modern Horizons 2!
An iconic card from Magic’s long history has entered Modern.
Counterspell is a clear addition to control decks, upgrading their suite of counter magic. However, it is unlikely that Counterspell will be format warping, as control decks have already had access to strong 2 mana counter magic such as Mana Leak. Additionally, Modern has many strong counters in the format such as Force of Negation, Cryptic Command and Archmage’s Charm.
That’s not to say that Counterspell won’t affect Modern, it absolutely will and deserves a place in the top 10. However, I believe that the effect it has won’t be as large as some people think.
#9 Persist and Unmarked Grave
These reanimator cards are waiting for someone to break them.
Persist is clearly a powerful card in the right deck, but finding the right shell for it will be a challenge. There are a wide range of non Legendary creatures to reanimate in Modern. Some of the better options include:
These cards have immediate impacts on the game and can be devastating if they stick around.
One possible shell for a Persist and Unmarked Grave deck is Dimir Control, using Archon of Cruelty as a finisher. This shell has been popularized by Magic Online user Aspiringspike.
No matter what form a Persist and Unmarked Grave deck takes it is sure to be a very powerful deck, different from anything Modern has seen before.
#8 Imperial Recruiter
A flexible tutor for both fair and unfair strategies, Imperial Recruiter is sure to fit into many creature decks in Modern.
Imperial Recruiter could possibly fit into a fair aggro deck like Humans. However, the true home of this card lies in combo decks. Recruiter slots naturally into Felidar Guardian combo decks, as well as Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo decks, being able to tutor for a Kiki-Jiki as well as a Deceiver Exarch.
A toolbox shell with the Kiki-Jiki and Exarch combo would utilize Imperial Recruiter to its fullest potential. Depending on the situation, a silver bullet such as Magus of the Moon, or one of the missing combo pieces could be recruited to the battlefield.
#7 Dauthi Voidwalker
A powerful, versatile, piece of graveyard hate on the body of an efficient creature? What’s not to love!
One of the advantages of Dauthi Voidwalker over other forms of graveyard hate is it’s flexibility. Not only does it shut down graveyard decks such as Dredge, but it also lets you play any card that was put into your opponent’s graveyard. This ability may be less relevant against decks like Dredge but is hugely powerful against the wider Modern metagame.
It also makes Dauthi Voidwalker a main deck inclusion in black hand disruption decks. After discarding your opponent’s most powerful card, you can play it for yourself for no mana by sacrificing the Voidwalker.
The best place to play Dauthi Voidwalker is in Lurrus of the Dream-Den decks. After ripping apart your opponent’s hand, you can play their best card for no mana. You can then return Dauthi Voidwalker from your graveyard to the battlefield later in the game and repeat this process.
#6 Shardless Agent
This old Legacy staple provides a powerful two for one for only three mana.
Shardless Agent is an incredibly versatile card that slots into all kinds of decks. Providing a 2/2 body for three mana isn’t great for Modern, but when the body comes with a Cascade ability stapled onto it, it becomes extremely powerful.
Agent can potentially provide 5 mana worth of cards for the cost of only 3 mana and has the potential to Cascade into a powerful spell such as Thoughtseize, while also granting you a creature on the board.
Shardless Agent’s 2 for 1 ability means that it can slot into a wide range of decks and have a huge impact on the Modern format.
#5 Ignoble Hierarch
One of the coolest designs in this set is undoubtedly Ignoble Hierarch.
The green one drop mirrors the design of Noble Hierarch, but taps for Jund colors (Red, Black, and Green).
Ignoble Hierarch slots nicely into Golgari Yawgmoth, Goblins, Ponza, and Jund Midrange, just to name a few decks. In the past, the only suitable mana dork for these decks has been Birds of Paradise, due to a lack of dorks which can tap for Black and Red mana. Ignoble Hierarch not only taps for Black and Red mana, but also has the Exalted ability, meaning that it will be a huge upgrade to Golgari, Gruul, and Jund decks.
#4 Sanctum Prelate
Sanctum Prelate is a great inclusion in Death and Taxes and Humans decks.
This small creature fits perfectly into both strategies, providing a disruptive effect on a body. Not only does Sanctum Prelate choosing one shut down prowess decks, traditionally a harder matchup for humans and death and taxes, but it also has the potential to be a one card win against combo decks like Ad Nauseam.
Sanctum Prelate is a card that rewards knowledge of the Modern format. Knowing which mana value to choose can depend – both on the deck that you are playing against and the situation which you find yourself in. In the hands of an experienced player, this is an incredibly powerful disruptive card and one of the best Modern Horizons 2 cards for Modern.
#3 Flame Rift
Flame Rift is a clear upgrade and inclusion in aggressive decks such as Burn and Death’s Shadow aggro.
The ability to deal four damage for one card and two mana is a hugely powerful effect, as seen on similar cards such as Boros Charm. Flame Rift dealing four damage to each player is mostly irrelevant for a deck like Burn or Blue-Red Prowess, whose opponent’s life total is almost always going to be lower than theirs.
Additionally, Death’s Shadow aggro decks can use Flame Rift as a way to deal damage to their opponents and grow their Death’s Shadows and Scourge of the Skyclaves at the same time, meaning that the four damage being dealt to both players can be an upside.
#2 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
Say hello to the best red one drop in Modern.
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is everything a red deck could ask for. As a 2/1 for one mana, it may not grow as big as a Monastery Swiftspear. However, this little monkey gives red decks mana acceleration and card advantage, helping them to have a stronger late-game presence and a more explosive early game. After all, who doesn’t love a turn 3 Blood Moon!
Ragavan’s home may not even be in aggressively built Blue-Red prowess decks. This card slots well into midrange decks such as Gruul, Jund, and Rakdos midrange, as well as Obosh, the preypiercer aggro, and Rakdos Lurrus of the Dream-Den prowess decks.
The Dash ability of Ragavan is also relevant. If Ragavan is top decked in the late game it can dash into action, gaining card advantage and mana straight away.
#1 Evoke Creature Cycle
It is no surprise that the Evoke cycle is at the top of the list. These cards are grouped together because otherwise, they would take up 5 slots out of the top 10 best Modern Horizons 2 Cards for Modern!
Each card in the cycle has its individual strengths and weaknesses, but the fact that they are all free spells with powerful effects makes them incredibly strong for Modern. In addition to this, all cards in the Evoke cycle can also be cast as creatures later into the game. This means that this cycle grants two options:
- Trading card advantage for tempo early in the game if you Evoke them.
- Being a powerful 2 for 1 later in the game if you cast them for their mana cost.
This incredible strength and versatility make the evoke cycle the strongest cards in the set. However, if I had to rank the 5 cards in this cycle for their strength I would say:
As a set built for Modern, there are tons of powerful cards in Modern Horizons 2. We’ve listed what we think are the most powerful, but you might disagree with us. If there are any strong cards you think we missed, let us know in the comments!
If you are looking to acquire some of the new Modern Horizons 2 cards, you can find get them on Amazon. The best option if you just want to crack packs, are probably Set Boosters.
If you’re looking for more MH” cards, you can find full MH2 spoiler list here.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck in the new Modern format!