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This Modern Horizons 3 Preview Card Makes A LOT Of Mana!


Mana is the core of Magic: The Gathering, which is a large reason why cards that make extra mana have always been staples of the game.

Birds of Paradise
Llanowar Elves
Delighted Halfling

From the original gangsters Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves in Alpha, all the way to more modern adaptations like Delighted Halfling, mana dorks have always been a fundamental piece of Magic and a defining characteristic of Green as a color.

However, most playable mana dorks only tap for 1 mana.

Bloom Tender
Sanctum Weaver

This is because tapping for two or more mana is obviously extremely powerful, giving a player a massive mana edge in the early game. Most two-drop mana dorks that can make more than 1 mana also come with heavy restrictions or deck-building requirements like Bloom Tender or Sanctum Weaver. Put simply, if you want that much of a mana edge, you usually need to work for it.

Well, we've got a new contender on the way!

Fanatic of Rhonas is our newest entry into Magic's storied history of mana dorks, and it's a pretty crazy one too! As a 2-drop mana creature, Fanatic of Rhonas has to go above and beyond your usual 1-drop mana dork, which it does in many ways.

While it always taps for Green, an excellent failsafe, the big draw is that second line:

Ferocious - Tap to add GGGG. Activate only if you control a creature with power 4 or greater.

That is a lot of Green mana!

It is very possible to play Fanatic of Rhonas on turn two, and then follow up with something like an Old-Growth Troll on turn three, followed by immediately tapping Fanatic of Rhonas for 4 mana to cast something like Karn, the Great Creator. This of course brings a deck like Mono-Green Devotion to mind, previously a terror in Pioneer until the banning of Karn.

Old-Growth Troll
Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner
Utopia Sprawl

Mono-Green Devotion has always been a fringe archetype in Modern, but the power and potential are there with all the Pioneer staples like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner (which also is amazing untapping Fanatic of Rhonas) as well as some powerful Modern-legal additions like Utopia Sprawl. Karn is a very powerful tool in Modern and this could be a sweet way to take a big mana deck into the format.

However, there's even more to admire about Fanatic of Rhonas.

Eternalize 2GG (2GG, Exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that's a copy of it, except it's a 4/4 black Zombie Snake Druid with no mana cost. Eternalize only as a sorcery.)

Have you ever heard the phrase "bolt the Bird?" Well Fanatic of Rhonas is ready to come back with a vengeance! 4 mana to flash back Fanatic of Rhonas is awesome, and in doing so it will meet its own ferocious requirement and immediately tap for gggg on demand. This gives Fanatic of Rhonas a lot of additional utility in the grindy matchups where your opponent has a lot of removal, usually a spot where mana dorks tend to get exposed for not doing enough.

But wait, there's more!

The last, and perhaps even most exciting, factor about Fanatic of Rhonas is that butt.

When it comes down to it, you ain't boltin' this bird!

4 toughness isn't "mana dork" toughness, it's "solid early blocker" toughness, making Fanatic of Rhonas far more durable than any mana creature in recent memory. It's also a great blocker for an early Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and other cheap attackers, giving it even further utility. Playing a high-upside-but-two-mana mana dork is a risk in a format as powerful as Modern, but 4 toughness is quite the insurance policy on your investment.

Lightning Bolt
Fire // Ice
Wrenn and Six
Orcish Bowmasters
Lava Dart
Unholy Heat

There's a ton of cards in Modern that toast most mana dorks in the format, which gives Fanatic of Rhonas a very nice edge and a unique competitive advantage.

Intruder Alarm
Witch's Web
Jeskai Ascendancy

And lastly, there has to be some combo potential here as well. gggg is a lot of mana, and while the caveat of needing a four-power creature is certainly one that needs to be worked with, it's not that difficult to achieve. If you're able to get a few untaps in you're looking at a very large amount of mana that could be used many different ways.

I'll leave that one for folks smarter than me!

But the long and short of it is that Fanatic of Rhonas is a very exciting new mana dork with a bunch of applications.

Whether you're playing it in Modern, Commander, Draft, or even Cube, gggg is a lot of mana any way you slice it!

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