Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer Seems Amazing

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer from Modern Horizons

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
  • Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
  • R
  • Legendary Creature – Monkey Pirate
  • Whenever Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer deals combat damage to a player, create a Treasure token and exile the top card of that player’s library. Until end of turn, you may cast that card.
  • Dash 1R
  • 2/1

So this card is probably the best red one drop in the set.

Probably not the best red one drop OF ALL TIME… But it’s in the running.

This card is like a one mana Ophidian. Or double Ophidian? One card is always a Lotus Petal and the other one has to get cast this turn; but we think this one will work well. Very well, in fact.

Like Robber of the Rich, Ragavan is going to be very commonly played as an aggro card on the merits… But it will also crush out of Control sideboards (e.g. Jeskai). Why would you still have Fatal Push in your deck, am I right?

Imagine this kind of a dream draw:

  1. Turn one – Mountain, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
  2. Their turn one – Hallowed Fountain (tapped of course)
  3. Turn two – Swing in with Ragavan; make a Treasure and chuckle at their top card. Fetch land, sacrifice your token Lotus Petal, make THEIR Teferi, Time Raveler. Smiling face emoji.

Dragon’s Rage Channeler from Modern Horizons

Dragon's Rage Channeler
  • Dragon’s Rage Channeler
  • R
  • Creature – Human Shaman
  • Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, survel 1 (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.)
    Delirium – As long as there are four or more card types among cards in your graveyard, Dragon’s Rage Channeler gets +2/+2, has flying, and attacks each combat if able.
  • 1/1

So Dragon’s Rage Channeler is not as good as Ragavan; but it’s still really impressive. Important to note: 1) Red doesn’t get a lot of Surveil… It’s more a Dimir ability. 2) You don’t have to get your Delirium online with the Surveil. Tossing a Lava Spike at the opponent’s face, flashing back a Lava Dart, and popping a Mishra’s Bauble are all going to help get you there (along with the Surveil, of course). And since those are all things you might want to do anyway, the rate on this card can be excellent.

Modern Horizons 2 is Lousy with Lethal One Drops

Ignoble Hierarch

You know how Noble Hierarch is widely played in like every format where it’s legal? Ignoble Hierarch might be even more popular.

The card is a very close parallel, down to Exalted. Mike does not approve on Exalted on a Jund card by the way. But there is something a little extra going on here.

Check out those types!

Ignoble Hierarch is going to do damage like every other one mana green accelerator. But on top of that, it will be played in Goblins Decks. Turn two Goblin Warchief anyone? Exalted is better than ever with haste.

There are all kinds of sweet Modern Horizons 2 cards that aren’t even one drops! We talk about lots of them in this episode. Check it out:

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Tainted Pact and More (and More!) This Week

Tainted Pact Rocks Historic… Wait a Second, New Headline

Tainted Pact

So Tainted Pact was recently reprinted in Strixhaven. The good thing (if you can say that) is that it spawned a new archetype. By last weekend the most popular strategy in Historic was a mostly singletons deck playing two copies of Tainted Pact and two copies of Thassa’a Oracle.

The simplest way of thinking about this deck is that — in a deck with almost no doubles — it was easy to remove your entire library and cast Thassa’s Oracle to win the game. You could also essentially “Demonic Tutor” for whatever card you needed [as the deck was full of cool tools].

We’d say more about this engine but before we went to the mics this week, they had already banned Thassa’s Oracle. So you can still use the engine to win with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. Which is slower than Thassa’s Oracle, but — if we learned anything from Inverter of Truth decks — still a serviceable combo kill spell.

We’ll call this a “developing story” and move on to Moder Horizons 2.

Grief from Modern Horizons 2 will Give a Lot of Grief

Bring on the Grief
  • Grief
  • 2BB
  • Creature – Elemental Incarnation
  • Menace
  • When Grief enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
  • Evoke – Exile a black card from your hand.
  • 3/2

Short story: Grief seems superior in most ways to Unmask. Unmask was a high Extended and Standard performer in years past, and remains a Vintage option even today. For full mana, Grief leaves you a 3/2 creature with Menace. That’s a heck of an upside.

It’s a Bridge from Below-triggering tool regardless, and (presumably in Modern) a nice combo with Ephemerate.

Think about the dream draw (turn one). You play a white-producing land and Evoke Grief. Before too late, you target it with Ephemerate. So yo get multiple triggers and keep the 3/2 instead of not ever seeing it.


Mondo combo Batman? You get a heck out of white mana on turn one, and there is even the Rebound coming next turn for even more card advantage!

Speaking of White Mana…

Timeless Dragon

For those of you who only know Mike as a Red Deck zombie… He’s probably cast more Eternal Dragons in formats past than any other mage. This Eternal Dragon update is his favorite of the Modern Horizons 2 reveals to date; though our hosts differ as to how much better it is than the seven mana version.

What do you think?

Let us know after you check out “Tainted Pact and More (and More!) This Week”:

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Breaking Clever Lumimancer in Modern

  • Clever Lumimancer
  • W
  • Creature – Human Wizard
  • Magecraft – Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell, Clever Lumimancer gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
  • 0/1

So many turn-two kills with Clever Lumimancer in Modern…

Start with a first-turn Clever Lumimancer.

Play your second land and a Manamorphose (2), and another Manamorphose (4). What are you going to do with all that mana? Certainly not cast Mutagenic Growth (6, then 8). An Assault Strobe will put your Human Wizard to 10, dealing 20!

There are lots of ways to get there with Ground Rift on turn two as well! The red-white build of this Storm-esque Red Deck in Modern has tons of “free” spells. In addition to Mutagenic Growth you get things like Gut Shot and the back side of Lava Dart as well.

Never has “the Lava Spike” deck needed Lava Spike less… To be so fast.

Don’t like white? The Blue Burn in Modern has something new for you, too!

Expressive Iteration

The blue-red version of Modern Burn is a bit less fast than red-white… But also has a ton of play. Expressive Iteration is a nice card to set up Lightning Bolts and land drops (or both at the same time!) Look for this card to be best buddies with Sprite Dragon and Vapor Snag.

Weirdly enough, Expressive Iteration seems less desirable in the legitimately “blue” blue-red decks. It’s not great with permission (and might be a liability for deck with more expensive curves or especially kill conditions). So, unlikely the returning Counterspell plays much with this one.

Monastery Swiftspear likes lots of these teammates, though. Patrick thinks maybe even Counterspell itself!

And More Modern Strixhaven

  • How to play Silverquill Silencer in Humans
  • Witherbloom Command in Golgari Midrange… One at least
  • The return of Temur Delver… Now with Expressive Iteration!
  • Why Sedgemoor Witch is a more exciting Modern card than Standard card

Intrigued? Listen up:

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Portable Hole, Prosperous Innkeeper & Modern Horizons II!

Prosperous Innkeeper, Power Word Kill, the villainous Tiamat… There are so many new — even newer — cards for Standard, the format is about to burst! But first? What’s on the horizon for Modern?

UU: Counter Target Spell

Remember way back when, when we did an episode about how Silumgar’s Scorn was a messed up Magic card?

I mean, on the back of that card — which was pretty restrictive on deck building cost (i.e. you had to have a Dragon in your hand or a Dragon on the battlefield to fully turn it on) Mike qualified for the Pro Tour after a ten-year hiatus!

But with Modern Horizons II… They’re just letting us have the original.

Don’t go too gaga on that spoiled image from our good friends in Renton, WA. Just because it says “Standard” under one version doesn’t mean that Counterspell will be Standard-legal. That’s just in reference to the art-type, not format legality.

Modern Horizons II *AND* Dungeons & Dragons?

We’re barely two weeks into the all-new Strixhaven Standard, and there are spoilers from not one — but two — new tournament legal sets! Modern will certainly get a facelift from Modern Horizons II… Counterspell alone is going to boost traditional Control decks; but also the reprinting of enemy fetchlands. This will be a great opportunity to pick up the Zenikar classics:

  • Arid Mesa
  • Marsh Flats
  • Misty Rainforest
  • Scalding Tarn
  • Verdant Catacombs

Wait a second… Did you say “Dungetons & Dragons”?

Yeah! What do you think about this one?

Portable Hole from Dungeons & Dragons

Portable Hole
Portable Hole
  • Portable Hole
  • W
  • Artifact
  • When Portable Hole enters the battlefield, exile target nonland permanent an opponent controls with mana value 2 or less until Portable Hole leaves the battlefield.

So is Portable Hole the white Fatal Push?

On the one hand, this card is sorcery speed instead of an instant. It can’t punch up and take out more expensive creatures [given the right circumstances]. Still, Portable Hole seems pretty exciting!

Not only is it a fast and great removal card (you can take out a first turn mana creature or a Death’s Shadow)… It can also deal with cheaper non-creature threats. For example: Mazemind Tome or upcoming equipment Vorpal Sword.

How about this one?

Just How Great is Prosperous Innkeeper?

Prosperous Innkeeper
Prosperous Innkeeper
  • Prosperous Innkeeper
  • 1G
  • Creature – Halfling Citizen
  • When Prosperous Innkeeper enters the battlefield, create a Treasure token. (It’s an artifact with T:, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana off any color.”)
    Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
  • 1/1

Our hosts agree… This one is awesome!

First off, it’s got a lot of Wily Goblin to it. In fact, Prosperous Innkeeper is easier to cast (1G rather than RR). That said, Halfling Citizen is a lot worse than Goblin Pirate… But regardless, Wily Goblin has been popular in multiple sets.

But it’s got even more text than Treasure-making! Prosperous Innkeeper is a slightly easier to land Wily Goblin but has a lot of Soul Warden to it as well.

We are confident this one will see play in multiple archetypes.

Seems like the new set fun this summer is just beginning. Check out now:

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Blade Historian is Just Incredible

The Rate on Blade Historian

Blade Historian
Blade Historian
  • Blade Historian
  • (r/w)(r/w)(r/w)(r/w)
  • Creature – Human Cleric
  • Attacking creatures you control have double strike
  • 2/3

This card is not out of the question when considered purely on rate. A 2/3 for four mana isn’t anything to write home about, but — even without wide-going teammates or buff spells — it is essentially a 4/3 on offense. And of course you only play Blade Historian with teammates.

This is a card that really makes our old pal Alpine Houndmaster look good. You were already in red and white, right? One Alpine Houndmaster gives you plenty of material to give double strike to, and this is a red-white card that can in fact magnify the power buffs on the Houndmaster or Igneous Cur.





Blade Historian is Basically a Seven Drop Human

Winota, Joiner of Forces
Winota, Joiner of Forces
is always looking for a good hit

The real gas for Blade Historian is in the old Agent of Treachery role. Play Winota on your fourth turn, swing with some Dogs, make the Strixhaven Human Cleric, and hit really really hard.

Again, all these cards are already in red and white; so unlike with Agent of Treachery, you don’t have to bend on colors or anything. In fact, you can just cast either four on four to set up a high impact attack.

To that end, you can also not cast one of your big four creatures on that critical turn. If the opponent is holding back a key removal spell, you might be better off showing them Showdown of the Skalds for a similarly powerful play that doesn’t play into a removal-heavy hand.

All That and a School full of Wizards

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