M20 Cards That Could Make Their Way into Modern
- Hans Davidson
A new set? Already? Wizards of the Coast have been cranking new sets out at a lightning pace, and with those new sets comes new toys for Modern players to use. Hans picks four cards from M20 that he thinks will find homes in Modern decks!
Thankfully, the new cards from Core Set 2020 won’t have to live under the shadow of Hogaak Bridgevine ruling over Modern. Hogaak had pushed out many of the fringe and linear strategies out of the format due to its speed and resiliency, which boded ill for any new cards as they had a harder time being tested in a metagame that was so hostile to so many archetypes. While you can read more about the analysis of the ban on my colleague Andreas Reling’s Insight article this week, I want to talk about some of the cards to hit Modern from Core 2020.
Core Set 2020 is a core set, meaning that it's a product aimed towards newcomers and reprints that Wizards of the Coast thinks is necessary for the health of Standard. Because of this, core sets have historically been of a lower power level than other sets in Standard, but M20 seems to be bucking the trend. Why there aren't any cards that stand out the way that the planeswalkers of War of the Sparks did, there are several interesting cards that look to join Modern's ranks. Without further ado, let's take a look at the four cards that I think will end up seeing play in Modern!
Fry follows in the footsteps of its forefather, Rending Volley, a color-hate card from Dragons of Tarkir. While some of you may be wondering why I'm bringing up a card that doesn't see any current Modern play, Rending Volley actually was a card that saw heavy play in R/G Tron's sideboard back when Splinter Twin was legal. Fry, though, is different in that it costs one more mana, hits planeswalkers, and Splinter Twin and R/G Tron are no longer a part of Modern (for different reasons). What does this mean? Well, Fry gives a way for red-based midrange decks to deal with the bevy of U/x control's most troublesome permanents. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Narset, Parter of Veils are all game-warping planeswalkers that traditional removal has lined up poorly against. Flinging Lightning Bolts at planeswalkers only usually serves as roadbumps, whereas Fry can cleanly kill every aforementioned planeswalker the turn they enter the battlefield.
Fry's restrictions make it so that it won't see any mainboard play, but as a sideboard card, it's a great tool for red decks like Ponza and Scapeshift to fight back against blue-based control decks' weapons.
Goblins have been a fringe archetype during the entire history of Modern, and the deck has largely been built around a mono-red mana base utilizing the sheer power of Goblin Grenade. With the introduction of Munitions Expert and Goblin Matron from Modern Horizons, there's an incentive for the archetype to slow down a bit towards a value-oriented direction and change the mana base to a Rakdos one. Goblin Ringleader fits this directional shift perfectly, as it serves as a way for the Goblin deck to fill up its hand even if it does cost four mana. Ringleader, in short, is kind of like Bloodbraid Elf for the Goblins archetype, and if there's anything we know about Bloodbraid Elf is that it is one, powerful Magic card. I expect Ringleader to provide Goblins the shot in the arm it needs to climb up the tier ladder.
With the banning of Bridge from Below, Dredge is primed to retake the crown of being the most powerful graveyard deck in Modern. It's possible that Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis even slots right into Dredge, albeit with some retooling to play more creatures such as Cryptbreaker. With this prospect on the horizon, it's important to deal with the menace that is recurring Bloodghasts, and Legion's End is the perfect answer.
I also expect Shadow decks to make a comeback, as well, with the new take on the archetype Mardu Shadows becoming more and more popular as time goes on due to the new cards from MH1 such as Ranger-Captain of Eos and Giver of Runes. Unearth gives redundancy to these decks running lower-mana creatures, which further makes exiling effects that much valuable in these matchups. Being able to hit the one- or two-mana creatures that are being sandbagged in an opponent's hand or sitting in the graveyard waiting to be reanimated makes Legion's End a great sideboard card in these situations as well.
I fully expect black decks that don't have access to Path to Exile to play at least a copy of this card in their sideboards, and that number may rise if decks like Humans makes a triumphant return, as well.
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord
Through the Breach, Show and Tell, Sneak Attack - Magic's history is full of cards that have seen play due to being able to cheat a card into play without paying their mana costs. While Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord has a restriction regarding the card it can put into play - namely, a Vampire creature card - that doesn't change how powerful the card can be in a vacuum. For example, here's a list from popular streamer CalebD that incorporates Sorin into a Vampires and Slivers deck.
Rakdos Vampires and Slivers by Caleb Durward
|2Arid Mesa||3Cloudshredder Sliver||4Goryo's Vengeance|
|4Blackcleave Cliffs||4Dregscape Sliver||1Collective Brutality|
|2Blood Crypt||4Homing Sliver||4Faithless Looting|
|4Bloodstained Mire||4Insolent Neonate||2Thoughtseize|
|2Marsh Flats||4Morophon, the Boundless||4Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord|
|1Sacred Foundry||2Sliver Legion|
|3Swamp||2The First Sliver|
|2Anger of the Gods||2Blood Moon||2Collective Brutality|
|4Leyline of the Void||1Lightning Axe||2Thoughtseize|
|2Wear // Tear|
The synergy between the slivers among themselves is further strengthened by the ability of Sorin to put a Morophon, the Boundless into play, which in turn allows for the player to put the five-mana slivers into play without paying their mana costs. Morophon is obviously the most interesting card in the deck, as it is both a pay-off card of Sorin's ability as well as an enabler for the deck's most powerful plays. It's very possible that, as more powerful vampires and WUBRG-cost cards are printed in the future, the deck will coalesce into something more than a fun tribal deck. However, the future does seem bright, and it wouldn't surprise me if we see more and more of Sorin down the line.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.
Check out our Core 2020 page if you're interested in picking up any of these new cards!