There's no doubt that Modern Horizons was one of the biggest things to happen to Modern since the format's inception. A new set that was meant to skip Standard and go straight to older formats was something that had never had been done before, and despite a few missteps (hello Hogaak!) has largely been a boon to the Modern format.
Being able to add new cards that would be too much for Standard but offer fun new options in Modern is awesome, and we've seen this with everything from Seasoned Pyromancer to Force of Negation. Some cards are just new, but being able to "fix" older versions of cards to make them more enjoyable is also awesome.
However, the real fun part of Modern Horizons is being able to add Magic cards not currently legal in Modern to the format via reprint. Cards like Eladamri's Call, Lava Dart, and Carrion Feeder provide new options for already established decks while bringing back pieces of Magic's historic.
Well now it's time to do it all again!
I hope Wizards of the Coast has learned from their mistakes with Modern Horizons 1, as if you remove the four problematic cards (Hogaak, Arcum's Astrolabe, Wrenn and Six, and Plague Engineer) it's a phenomenal and impactful set.
That being said, while it's hard to speculate about new printings, we can certainly put together a wishlist of reprints we'd love to see!
When Modern Horizons 1 was announced, I put together a huge list of 50 potential reprints and rated them all, and Rishadan was not only my number one card but I also predicted that it would be the box topper.
Yes, I was wrong.
But my point still stands: I think Rishadan Port would be an awesome, flashy, and exciting addition to the Modern format. Something like Wasteland is far too much, but Rishadan Port has both prestige and power while not being a freeroll. Putting Rishadan Port into your deck is not trivial, but at the same time it provides a level of interaction that can slow games down and put decks off balance. One of the biggest complaints against Modern is that games can end on turn three or four and Rishadan Port helps to slow that down. It's great against the oft-maligned big mana strategies, but not so much against decks with lower mana curves.
Rishadan Port would see a good amount of play, but it would be in decks looking to maximize it rather than just going in everything. Sign me up!
One of the most important things when discussing potential reprints for Modern is understanding that there are some things that are off limits. A card like Brainstorm, Wasteland, or Force of Will would completely alter the landscape of the format in irreversible ways, while also lessening the range of cards that are playable. This is why we see things like Force of Negation and Giver of Runes, which are fixed versions of cards that would be oppressive as printed.
Well let's meet in the middle with Gerrard's Verdict, a simple but fun discard spell from Apocalypse. Considering cards like Wrench Mind have seen play at various points in Modern's history, Gerrard's Verdict hits that two for one discard effect for only two-mana with upside, without being as brutal as Hymn to Tourach. It's just a nice, fun, and playable piece of disruption.
If you've ever seen my Cube draft on my stream or YouTube, you know that my favorite card in any Cube is Tangle Wire. For those who haven't played with the card, it looks very odd. It doesn't actually directly interact with anything or provide you any cards, and is technically card disadvantage. However, Tangle Wire is the definition of "tempo."
Playing a Tangle Wire when ahead is an absolutely backbreaking play in a similar vein to something like Armageddon, but without the finality of giving your opponent no chance of coming back. It provides a disruptive element to aggressive decks that may lack such effect, which is hugely important a format as powerful as Modern. It's not quite good enough for Legacy, but has a storied and powerful historic.
There's nothing like watching your opponent writhe while locked down by Tangle Wire!
Speaking of really fun cards that are just not good enough for Legacy, Goblin Bombardment is a super fun build-around card that is a phenomenal tool for sacrifice decks. Like Carrion Feeder before it in Modern Horizons 1, cards like Goblin Bombardment feel like absolute home runs in Modern.
Adding cards that are just universally good (like Counterspell, Canopy lands) is fine but has the risk of boxing out other similar but slightly weaker cards. You can bet the stock of other two mana counterspells like Mana Leak and Remand will be dropping hard, and that's to say nothing of Logic Knot, now that Counterspell is back. This is the unfortunate result of cards that are universally powerful.
But with something like Goblin Bombardment, a card that cares about specific things, you're actually increasing the range of playable cards because now things like Bloodghast and Lingering Souls start to look good again. This is something I'm all about.
Okay fine, there have to be some cards that are just "good" too, and Vindicate is a great one!
Another issue in Modern is the difficult of having the "right" answer. Because of this one of the maxims of the format forever has just been "forget your opponent, do your own thing better/faster" which leads to the "two ships passing in the night" nature the format can have at times. This has gotten a lot better over the years and that is because of cards like Vindicate.
Vindicate is a non-starter in most other formats because of how taboo three-mana land destruction is, but giving a non-Ponza color a three-mana Stone Rain with major upside is awesome. Lots of Silverquill love here!
Sterling Grove is another awesome relic from Magic's past.
Enchantress or enchantment-based decks have been a part of Magic's history for a very long time, and Sterling Grove is a really cool enabler for such a deck. It has utility, while also being a tutor effect for a card type that is fairly relevant in the Modern format.
Would it revolutionize the entire format? Probably not, but I's another awesome synergy card that could to help breed new archetypes, even if they aren't tier one. That's a lot of what makes Modern awesome, is that it's the format where you can do so many different things. Supporting those things, even if they aren't going to win every tournament, is important.
Not every reprint is about playability, as simply getting more copies of cards into circulation is a good thing. Did you know Overmaster was a $25 card? That's insane! Realistically though, it's a pretty simple and sweet card that plays right into what the format's Prowess decks are all about.
Furthermore, with the impending return of Counterspell, having simple and easy to cast effects like this is a very good thing. This is about (or maybe a bit under) the power level of what an anti-counterspell card should look like, not the outlandishness of Veil of Summer.
Not every reprint needs to be earth shattering and Overmaster checks a lot of the good boxes.
A long time ago there was a format called Extended, which was the precursor to Modern, and in it there was a deck called Next Level Blue. This was essentially just a multicolored Blue deck with all the best control cards and four copies of Tarmogoyf, but also contained a number of wizards: Vendillion Clique, Venser, Shaper Savant, and sometimes even Spellstutter Sprite. And despite all the Islands the deck would play to make sure Vedalken Shackles was awesome, it always had room for an awesome utility land or two.
That land was often Riptide Laboratory, which is just such a cool card.
Early in the game it's a colorless land which is rough, but as the game goes on being able to re-buy valuable Wizards like Snapcaster Mage and Venser, Shaper Savant is amazing. It's simple, it's fun, it only gets better as new wizards are printed, and it's got a level of nostalgia as well. Riptide Laboratory is a super nice one!
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
Not every potential reprint needs to come from Magic's past. As we've seen from Flusterstorm and Kess, Dissident Mage, cards from various Commander releases (which are only legal in Vintage and Legacy) are also prime targets for Modern Horizons sets as they can be given new places to shine.
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast is a surprise hit in Cube drafts and a very fun planeswalker design that really cares about certain things. Daretti is the polar opposite of a card like Teferi, Time Raveler, as it is a cheap and powerful planeswalker that is directly related to synergy. If you put Daretti in your deck, you do it because you care about sacrificing creatures or artifacts for a low cost. Daretti is also cheap enough that it could find a home in Modern.
Bring the first Goblin planeswalker to Modern!
Speaking of Goblins, our last card is an all-time favorite.
Patriarch's Bidding was an absolute fixture when it was legal in both Standard and Block Constructed, usually returning a whole swath of Goblins to the battlefield but also finding more amusing fringe uses as well. There was a Beast Bidding deck that would cycle a bunch of beast cards and then return them, as well as a Zombie deck that uses Noxious Ghoul and Patriarch's Bidding to great effect.
Once again (you may sense a pattern here) we've got a card with enough of a Constructed pedigree to at least make some sort of an impact, but likely to do so in a fun way that could spawn new archetypes. It's got nostalgia going for it too and would be an awesome addition to the format.
What I Don't Want
Perhaps the biggest thing that Modern Horizons 2 can do is learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. The power knob doesn't need to go to 11 and the format doesn't need to be completely upended. It's also important that Modern maintains its identity.
It's awesome that formats have their defining features. One of the things I've enjoyed most about Historic on MTG Arena is watching it deviate from the other formats in unique and unexpected ways - getting to see Brainstorm without fetchlands or Memory Lapse in a format where it's not only playable but one of the best two-mana counterspells. This gives it a certain flavor that no other format has, which is a very important thing to preserve.
One of the goals of Modern Horizons 2 should be not to upset the things that make Modern, well Modern, too much. The new cards should add to the format in new and exciting ways, not attempt to rewrite history. With how the last few sets have played out it looks like Wizards of the Coast has learned their lessons from the last few years design mistakes, which gives me high hopes that Modern Horizons 2 is going to knock it out of the park.
And I mean, worst case scenario we at least get awesome old border fetchlands, right?