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Flavor Gems from Modern Horizons 3


Welcome back, Lore Seekers! Today we're here to talk about Modern Horizons 3, a set dripping with fun callbacks! There's far too much here for me to cover everything, but let's start with the planeswalkers and see how far we get! With that out of the way, let's dive in!


Ajani, Nacatl Pariah by Chris Rallis

One of the big draws for Modern Horizons 3 are new 'flipwalkers', a cycle of five cards representing planeswalkers before and after their planeswalker spark ignites. There's also a cycle of Sagas representing an important event in each planeswalker's life.

Ajani, Nacatl Pariah and Ajani, Nacatl Avenger represent the moment in Shards of Alara when Jazal Goldmane is killed and Ajani becomes Ajani Vengeant. Ajani Fells the Godsire takes place before this, when Ajani manages to take down a massive Godsire right before the feast where his brother is killed.

Tamiyo, Inquisitive Student and Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar are a new sparking story, implied by Tune the Narrative to be Tamiyo discovering how much exists outside her world and being overwhelmed by the knowledge. Tamiyo Meets the Story Circle represents the informal group Tamiyo formed with Ajani, Narset, and Elspeth. Genku, Future Shaper is Tamiyo's husband, and the card depicts their two biological children Hiroku and Rumiyo, as well as adopted son Nashi and a new kitsune that might be a war orphan.

Sorin of House Markov] and Sorin, Ravenous Neonate depict the moments before and after Blood Tribute when Sorin is turned into a vampire. Edgar Markov, Sorin's grandfather, used alchemy created by Shilgengar, Sire of Famine to turn himself and his closest allies into vampires who would go on to be heads of houses. Speaking of creation, The Creation of Avacyn represents Sorin's creation of Avacyn, Angel of Hope and the Helvault.

Ral, Monsoon Mage and Ral, Leyline Prodigy is from another sparking story we already have, where he goes from down-on-his-luck rain mage watering rich provincial Orzhov's mansions to learning artifice on another plane. Ral's ability evokes the betrayal and wearing away by degrees he experienced while working for Nicol Bolas. Ral and the Implicit Maze is a reference to his first story appearance in Return to Ravnica.

We don't really have any information on Grist, Voracious Larva and Grist, the Plague Swarm, and The Hunger Tide Rises doesn't add any.

Selected Legends

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury by Lucas Graciano

Herigast, Erupting Nullkite is a new Legend, he's clearly a Moonveil dragon from Innistrad, turned by Emrakul.

Pearl-Ear, Imperial Advisor was a major figure in the original Kamigawa novels. She was Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker's tutor, basically raised her, and helps her as she investigates the origin of the Kami War and as when she turns against her father Konda, Lord of Eiganjo. She is one of the few POV characters in the novel.

Ashling, Flame Dancer was a main character from the original Lorwyn story, who gets embroiled in Colfenor, the Last Yew's plans to defeat Oona, Queen of the Fae. She is forcible merged with a greater fire elemental, and when The Great Aurora happens she becomes Ashling, the Extinguisher and wreaks havoc on Shadowmoor. Eventually she regains control of herself and helps put an end to Oona.

Eladamri, Korvecdal was a major figure from the original Phyrexian Invasion. The leader of Rath's Skyshroud elves, he helps the Weatherlight Crew escape from Rath before leading a revolt against Phyrexia. His daughter is turned into the Phyrexian Belbe, Corrupted Overseer and he finishes her off before escaping through Belbe's Portal to Dominaria. There he helps lead the defense against Phyrexia before perishing in Yawgmoth's final attack.

Six used to be partnered with the dryad planeswalker Wrenn from Wrenn and Six, but was left behind in Kessig when their time together came to a close.

Arna Kennerud, Skycaptain was an Ice Age era flavor text character who appeared on almost 20 cards.

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury is one of the four titans Klothys had imprisoned in the Underworld, including Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Each represents one of humanity's primal fears. The final Titan, Skotha, Titan of Eternal Dark, was named in the Theros D&D book with Phlage, but hasn't gotten a card yet.

Rosheen, Roaring Prophet is a minor character from the original Lorwyn story. She has prophetic dreams, which the heroes need in order to figure out what's going on.

Disa the Restless is an Ice Age era expeditionary and the adoptive mother of Kaysa, with her husband Kolbjorn. Disa explored farther and more than anyone else during the Ice Age, and her card shows her with the iconic creature of the Ice Age, the Lhurgoyf.

Creature Type Changes

Two new creature type changes to be aware of from this set. The first is Pinnacle Monk, which historically would have been an Efreet but is now a Djinn. I'm assuming this change is due to the returns to Tarkir and Arcavios (Strixhaven) coming up, as both planes had both creature types. Thriving Skyclaw also changes the Kaladeshi dragons into cats, to match their look.

Flavor Gems

Okay, here's the deal. I've got about a quarter of my word count left to cover everything else, so I really am just picking flavor gems today instead of like, everything mildly interesting.

Kozilek's Command, Null Elemental Blast, and Wastescape Battlemage are all colorless entries in existing cycles: the Command casts, Red and Blue Elemental Blast, and the planeshift Battlemages. Urza's Cave is a cute nod to both the Urza's lands and the new Cave subtype.

Copy Land is the latest in the Copy Artifact and Copy Enchantment line of cards. Eviscerators Insight shows someone cracking open a Solemn Simulacrum. Necrodominance depicts Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Wither and Bloom is a Witherbloom spell in the Strixhaven D&D guide.

Aether Revolt is another entry in the 'We said the thing' line of cards, cards that evoke set titles and vibes from the past. Glimpse the Impossible is Gisela, the Broken Blade as she succumbs to Emrakul. Sarpadian Simulacrum references the Fallen Empires' Goblin Grenade. This time, it has become the grenade. Skoa, Embermage is a reference to Fireblast.

Signature Slam is the armored from Gutteral Response doing the people's elbow on an allosaurus. This leads me to believe it's Dominaria, as Yavimaya has both large intelligent gorillas and allosaurus. Invert Polarity shows us Skreeg, Ral's goblin assistant from Return to Ravnica for the first time.

Card References

Faithful Watchdog by Sam Perin

Here are some of the references and 'color-shifted' cards of the set, and what they reference:

That's all for this time! I'll see you for Assassin's Creed, which I had the pleasure of being a writer on the card set!

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