Hey Everyone! Welcome to another Modern Musings! M19 Spoilers are abound and oh my gosh are they insane. There are so many cards that are Modern playable I almost don’t know where to begin. Since we have the full spoiler a couple weeks early this time, that means we get a full picture of what this set will do for Modern. Let the spoiler analysis commence!
It has certainly been a while since we last had some hate for hexproof, and this is certainly one of the more powerful things they could have printed. Not only does it allow you to target your opponents creatures that have hexproof, but it allows you to target your opponent that has hexproof as well. This hate card is most obviously aimed towards Bogles, but happens to hit Infect as well (yes, that deck still exists). However, it is important to note that while this does stop Blossoming Defense
Desecrated Tomb is one of the more interesting cards spoiled since it can act both as a proactive and reactive card in certain decks. In Dredge for example, if they try to exile you graveyard slowly with something like Relic of Progenitus, then you get a token for each time they do so. Sadly if they exile your whole graveyard then you only get a single Bat token. I do like though that your Bloodghasts and Narcomebas also trigger this as well. It’s also nice against cards like Scavenging Ooze. This card is even playable in Hollow One with all their Bloodghasts and Flamewake Phoenixes. The drawback of this card is that it is three mana, so it’s a little slow. I’m definitely excited to try this card.
I think that this card is probably the best sideboard card of the set. It’s actually insane how many matchups this is good in. It’s good against burn because of the Thalia, Guardian of Thraben-like effect it has on them. It also stops Storm and Scapeshift, though in the case of Scapeshift, it might not matter if they have enough mana. It also gives non-black decks a way to efficiently neuter token strategies. This is a super powerful card and I expect to be playing with and against it for a long time.
This card is definitely meant to be a hoser, but is a little late for Standard energy decks and really niche for Modern. Still, he does kill Walking Ballista and Arcbound Ravager (or its modular counters after it has been sacrificed). Probably his most relevant ability in Modern though is stopping Devoted Druid. This works because Devoted Druid‘s untap ability is actually a cost, and since Suncleanser makes it so you can’t pay the cost, you can’t activate the ability. Admittedly, this is a pretty niche case and a removal spell would probably be just as good. Still, this guy is pretty interesting.
This guy is a considerably better hate card than the previous entry as many more decks rely on their graveyard for synergies. In addition, this guy slots right into the Bant Spirits deck and possibly Counters Company as well. Pretty much any deck that runs Chord of Calling or Collected Company will be looking at including this card in their 75.
Isolate is a very strange card that hits a few cards. While this is probably better in Legacy than Modern, I can see it having some potential sideboard uses, albeit very niche ones. It’s worth being aware of the card though.
To finish off the white cards, we have a kind of weird Obstinate Baloth. This is kind of nice against Liliana of the Veil decks and like Baloth. You get value out of it if you play it as well, albeit a more delayed value.
Merfolk gets another cool hate piece that might even be worth running in other blue decks as well. This not only stops Collected Company, but also Goryo’s Vengeance, Through the Breach, Bloodghast, and Flamewake Phoenix. The only question is whether this card is good enough to run main deck or not. Cursecatcher sets a pretty high bar, so it’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out.
Besides being really cool engine all in himself, Sai, Master Thopterist could be a great addition to Krark-Clan Ironworks combo decks. I’m no master of the deck, but I know that Mishra’s Self-Replicator has been popping up in decks as an alternate win-con. This seems pretty similar, and though it doesn’t go exponential like the Replicator, it does let you draw cards, which can be pretty important.
Black gets a very powerful, though very narrow removal spell in Infernal Reckoning. It’s pretty clear this is meant to be sideboard tech for Eldrazi, just in case they get out of hand again. Both the flavor text and art even depict an Eldrazi getting crushed by some very large demon. As a bonus, this also gives Jund an efficient sideboard option against Wurmcoil Engine if it needs it.
First up we get access to yet another land hoser for red. This time it’s just a single red mana to play. Because this one just effects the opponents, it is an all-star in mirror matches where lands matter, like Tron for instance. Tron is a bit of a rules-heavy interaction, but it does work. The reason why is because the none of the other Tron lands actually check for name, they actually check the land type of the card. This makes Alpine Moon a fine 1-mana answer to Tron.
As a rule, I never ignore a three-mana planeswalker. In this case Sarkhan doesn’t look to be that powerful, but the ability to loot every turn is not nothing, and I could see it being good in R/G Land Destruction where they would frequently be able to play him on turn 2. Some of those lists even run Stormbreath Dragon to take advantage of his second ability. It’s also pretty sweet to cascade into him off of Bloodbraid Elf. This is probably where I’ll test him first.
This is the first of two decent Elves that were printed in this set. I can see this guy as a potential sideboard card in the more spot-removal heavy matchups. Unfortunately, he still dies to sweepers, so no luck there, but he can make things possibly a little trickier. Still, its difficult to see swapping any of the current Elves for this guy.
The second of the two Elves is considerably more powerful. As Merfolk has taught us, you should never underestimate the power of two-mana lords, though admittedly, this one is not as powerful as many of the other lords Elves has access to. As it stands, I think that all the existing Elves in the current versions of the deck are more powerful than this. In addition, I don’t think that this necessarily speeds up the clock much as Elves tends to overkill anyway.
This is the spicy meatball I’ve been waiting to get to. I’m pretty sure that this card is exactly what I’ve been wanting for my Heartless Summoning Eldrazi deck. It has long been a pet deck of mine, and this looks like it fits into it perfectly. If you’re unfamiliar with the deck, you can see it here. Obviously, I’m more interested in the first ability, but the second ability goes perfectly with the rest of the deck, giving our other large Eldrazi trample, while negating the effects of Heartless Summoning.
Anywho that’s all for this week. Let me know if you think I missed anything in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!