In this article, I’m going to highlight some spoilers that I think are going to be important cards for the sauciest of brews in Modern. While new sets have really obvious cards that might be good in Standard, it takes a unique kind of card to make an impact on Modern. Oftentimes, a really strong creature or a “pushed” spell just isn’t going to have the necessary impact in older formats. So what I did was I tried to look for overarching unique spells and start thinking of applications for them.
The first of the “breakable” cards that I want to discuss is Shadow of the Grave. Do you all remember that deck from a couple years ago, involving Waste Not and Dark Deal, and in Modern cards like Burning Inquiry to supplement it. Well, that deck was only ok at the time and clearly wasn’t good enough for Modern. However, Shadow of the Grave makes Waste Not very close to a complete engine. Because Shadow of the Grave can be cast whenever, even one land being discarded from Waste Not gives the ability to recur effects in this deck, which is going to make it a lot better.
Turn 2 Waste Not, Turn 3 Burning Inquiry + Shadow of the Grave + recursion isn’t a hard engine to imagine, and at least in my head it seems very powerful. You can even play some high value cycling spells for value. Shadow of the Grave seems like there may just be something extremely powerful going on with it. This unique spell is certainly going to have powerful applications at some point in Modern, even if it’s not immediately.
Wow, there is so much going on with this card. Firstly, this effect is extremely powerful in many regards. It could be used in combination with Hive Mind so that the opponent loses the game first. However, I have failed to see the real change between this and the series of Pacts that that deck would play anyway. I don’t think that Glorious End is different enough to bring Hive Mind back into the fold. However, what I do see are the applications with Glorious End, the Pacts, and Sundial of the Infinite.
With the ability to end the turn at any time with almost no cost, Sundial of the Infinite is going to allow the serious abuse of these cards. The problem will always be that Sundial is going to be too much of the centerfold of the deck to really carry it into the realm of actually being a Tier 1 deck. I do think that someone who really wants to innovate the archetype could certainly find a build of that deck that is powerful, due to the fact that the effects win you the game.
Combat Celebrant is going to be a new tool for Chord of Calling toolbox decks that can now combo with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror-Breaker without having to play white in the deck. People claim that in Modern the third color has close-to-no cost, however with a format so fast and powerful, the cut down to two colors could potentially allow Chord of Calling decks to dominate the format once again.
This is fantastic because it adds another element to Chord decks in that Combat Celebrant also helps the backup beatdown gameplay as well making it an extremely flexible threat for those toolboxes. Celebrant could slot in as a 1-of into old Chord list, but I think that the card has enough legs in Modern that it could warrant its own new build of the deck. Only time will tell, however. But I would be surprised to not see Combat Celebrant see play in the near future.
This one doesn’t even count, because everyone knows how big of an impact this card is going to have on Modern, but let me just say this: There are going to be a lot of different ways that this card can be abused. Sure, it slots into traditional Abzan Company lists because it is undoubtedly a fantastic combo piece. However, Devoted Druid and other cards that interact with -1/-1 counters can also play a big role in making this card a potential star in Modern. The world is this card’s oyster, and we’ll just have to wait and see what direction it goes in the format.
See you next week!