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Modern Horizons 3 Ten New Brews Part Two: 5 Modern Brews!

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Warning!

The decks you are about to see are mostly untested first drafts! They were played last Friday on the early access Streamer Event on Magic Online and are my first stabs at the new Modern Horizons 3 Modern format. Most are brews jam packed with Modern Horizons 3 cards, while there are also a few updates to previously established archetypes, but it's important to note that these are the first steps and not finished products! Use them as stepping stones for your own deck brewing process, but play them card for card at your own risk!

The first five brews were Timeless and Historic on MTG Arena, and those were showcased in last week's article!

We did the MTG Arena formats last week, but of course Timeless and Historic have no paper counterparts as they both feature digital-only cards that don't exist in paper. Today we tackle the paper format that's name is literally in the title of the set, Modern!

Nadu, Winged Wisdom
Ugin's Labyrinth
Ruby Medallion

While it may have Commander decks and bonus sheets that are new to the MTG Arena formats, make no mistake that Modern Horizons 3 is designed specifically for Modern. Aside from a bunch of new cards that are sure to be very powerful and impactful, there's also a bevy of fun reprints of cards that are new to Modern and sure to bring a dose of nostalgia as well as some power too.

Today we are going to go over the five Modern decks I played as part of my Ten New Brews on YouTube and stream, briefly going over each list and my thoughts on how it was, giving it a letter grade, and talking about what kind of potential it has going forward. I played three matches with each deck so the deck's record will also be included, but do note that these matches were played during the Early Access event not on in open leagues. My opponents were all other content creators also trying out all sorts of fun Modern Horizons 3 stuff.

With that being said, let's roll!


Deck's Record: 1-2

Deck's Grade: B-

Deck Potential: High If Built Correctly

Standout Card: Ruby Medallion

Storm is back!

Once an absolute terror of Modern that has gotten cards like Ponder, Rite of Flame, Seething Song, and more banned, Storm has mostly fallen out of favor in recent years. The rest of the format got much better while Storm never really got anything new.

No longer!

Ruby Medallion
Ral, Monsoon Mage // Ral, Leyline Prodigy

Something old, something new is the recipe for Storm to jump back into the limelight; The medallion cycle from Tempest has been a Storm enabler before, but it was usually Sapphire Medallion alongside untap effects like Cloud of Faeries and Frantic Search. The reality is though that turning all of your Desperate Rituals into Dark Rituals is quite powerful, and the amount of mana that a Ruby Medallion can generate is astronomical. And when you shelve your Goblin Electromancers for Ral, Monsoon Mage // Leyline Prodigy, you're also getting quite the boost in power. With enough spells cast Ral can flip and immediately ultimate, while also having other utility.

Wrenn's Resolve
Reckless Impulse

The issue with this list was that the draw-two effects in Wrenn's Resolve and Reckless Impulse weren't really big enough to get the job done. While the deck could go off as early as turn three, it just didn't see enough cards to be consistent.

However, when the correct build is worked out, this one is likely to be a monster.


Deck's Record: 2-1

Deck's Grade: B+

Deck Potential: Scary High

Standout Card: Nadu, Winged Wisdom

What in the world were they thinking?

Nadu, Winged Wisdom
Shuko

Nadu, Winged Wisdom feels a lot like Skullclamp. When you read it on the preview card list or whatever, it looks interesting. However, once you actually see it in play and what it can do? Then all bets are off.

Nadu is preposterous.

There's pretty much no safety valve on this thing, as the "twice a turn" rider text only applies to each creature; this means the fail state is often "draw 4-6 cards," and the upper range is simply "draw your deck and win the game." The combo here of course is with Shuko, a simple little equipment from 20 years ago that features the all important "0" cost. Pass this little guy around to your heart's content and go wild drawing cards, putting extra lands into play untapped, and eventually finding Thassa's Oracle and winning!

Stoneforge Mystic
Delighted Halfling
Teferi, Time Raveler

The supporting cast here is incredible as well. Stoneforge Mystic is one of the two obvious choices for finding Shuko (with the other being Urza's Saga), while also having a ton of other utility. Delighted Halfing ramping and making Nadu uncounterable is obviously excellent, and Teferi, Time Raveler is an amazing card that removes your opponent's ability to interact and looks very nice as an uncounterable turn two play.

There's a ton of ways to go with this one, but there's no doubt that Nadu is perhaps the strongest card in the set and I would be surprised if it was still legal in Modern this time next year.

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Deck's Record: 1-2

Deck's Grade: C+

Deck Potential: Medium

Standout Card: Sowing Mycospawn

The years haven't been super kind to Chalice of the Void.

Chalice of the Void

Turn one Chalice of the Void was one of the major factors that got Simian Spirit Guide banned in the first place, while also being an absolute terror in Legacy off of turn one Ancient Tomb, but Modern has somewhat grown beyond a bunch of decks that are rife with one-mana spells. Between pitch spells, Leyline Binding, Prismatic Ending, and a lesser reliance on cantrips, Chalice of the Void is far more hit or miss than it used to be.

Ugin's Labyrinth
Eldrazi Temple

So, while the new Ugin's Labyrinth was pretty good and Eldrazi Temple is obviously very good, trying to play an Eldrazi Stompy deck with no one mana plays and only a handful of two and three-mana plays is a risky proposition.

Sowing Mycospawn
Ugin's Binding
Nulldrifter

That's not to say that some of the new Eldrazi cards aren't sweet. Sowing Mycospawn was very nice to be able to accrue more Eldrazi Temples for your larger threats, as well as potentially attack your opponent's mana base. Ugin's Binding also overperformed, as the synergy between it and evoking Nulldrifter was unexpected and powerful.

Thought-Knot Seer is still a fairly powerful card, but on turn one or two, not turn three or four. There's probably a successful Eldrazi build possible, but it will probably need to either involve one-drops or going very big.


Deck's Record: 3-0

Deck's Grade: B?

Deck Potential: Surprising

Standout Card: Sink into Stupor // Soporific Springs

Nothing like registering 10 Islands in your Modern deck! While not exactly and extremely new or novel deck, Merfolk did gain a pair of pretty powerful new cards in Modern Horizons 3.

Harbinger of the Seas

Harbinger of the Seas is a big one, as a Blood Moon that's actually on plan with your deck is pretty wild, as you obviously want your opponent to have Islands with all of your islandwalk effects. There's some pretty high variance with how good Harbinger will be, hence the 2/2 split between maindeck and sideboard, but it was quite good.

Flare of Denial

On the other side of things was Flare of Denial, which didn't play particularly well. The deck doesn't have a huge mass of one-mana plays, nor does it have a large stable of disposable creatures. Even sacrificing a Silvergill Adept that has already drawn a card is still a pretty big drain on your board presence, and I found myself really wanting to counter something and just not having the creature in play in a spot where Force of Negation would have been much better.

However, even with that all being said, we still went 3-0 with the deck!

[Svyelun of Sea and Sky] [Sink Into Stupor]

Svyelun of Sea and Sky
Sink into Stupor // Soporific Springs

There's no doubting that Svyelun of Sea and Sky is an unbelievable card, and backing up some disruption with a pretty fast clock was still reasonably effective. Sink into Stupor // Soporific Springs was also surprisingly excellent, giving a deck somewhat light on interaction and also lacking in slots for non-Merfolk a low opportunity cost way to interact.


Deck's Record: 0-3

Deck's Grade: D+

Deck Potential: Low

Standout Card: Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury

Okay look, sometimes I just want to have a little fun.

Isochron Scepter
Orim's Chant

Decades ago, there was a big Extended deck that played Isochron Scepter alongside Orim's Chant for a soft lockout. You would cast and kick Orim's Chant every upkeep so your opponent was incapable of playing spells or attacking, while defending it with counterspells. However, this was 20 years ago, and Magic cards have improved quite a bit.

Teferi, Time Raveler
Boseiju, Who Endures
Otawara, Soaring City

Adding Teferi, Time Raveler actually makes a hard lock... if it wasn't for the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty channel lands, which are unfortunately widely played.

Obviously the control shell has some merits, but sadly I think the days of trying to put anything on an Isochron Scepter are probably just a relic of Magic's past.

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury

That being said, Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury was at least very good!

Pro Tour Amsterdam Is Going To Be Crazy

While some of these ideas worked and some didn't, one thing is for sure - Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3 is going to be an insane event.

There's just so much to unpack and explore and our decklists are due in less than two weeks! It's going to be awesome to see all the big teams taking a crack at the format and seeing if someone can break it.

I hope it's us!

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