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Origins Shakes up Modern

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Origins is clearly one of the better core sets in the last six or so years. From the Mythics all the way down to the Commons there are cards that offer a boost to current Modern lists. I’m going to run down my top 10 choices of cards that will impact Modern going forward and where they might fit in.

10 – Hallowed Moonlight

Starting off we have a card that’s been compared to Shadow of Doubt in a lot of ways. They both cantrip, they both cost two mana, they both are instants, and they both mess with a particular strategy. Depending on how popular my personal favorite Raisin Brand deck gets or how popular token strategies become this could very much be a two or three of in sideboards. What makes this and Shadow of Doubt so good is they’re cantrips. Therefore, if you need to burn through one to hit your land drop or find a threat you can. This is certainly a card you need to keep an eye out for if you’re playing a strategy that’s weak to it.

9 – Jace’s Sanctum

It’s no secret that Pyromancer Ascension storm has fallen out of favor in Modern. It’s quite possible that Jace’s Sanctum might be the last piece this deck needed to be successful again. There are certainly pros and cons to Jace’s Sanctum. The main con is that the mana cost is kind of steep at four. The benefit of that however is that it gets around Abrupt Decay. This card also provides an effect very similar to Goblin Electromancer. The most important part I think however is the benefit of scry 1. Whatever you’re looking for to “go off” will often be found very quickly and provides the safety of knowing your chances of fizzling drop drastically. Look for this card to be either in the main deck or sideboard to fight against grindy decks like Jund.

8 – Bonded Construct

As an Affinity aficionado I could see this guy having a home. Thinking over all the potential builds where this would shine the most I’ve come to the conclusion that a Tempered Steel build might be where this fits best. Having access to Ornithopter, Memite and Mox Opal to cast other one drops means you’re more likely to be able to attack on turn two with Bonded Construct. When you add in Court Homunculus and already mainstays Vault Skirge and Signal Pest there’s no reason why a more hyper aggressive version of Affinity can’t be made while curving out to a lethal Tempered Steel.

7 – Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy

The consensus is in, and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy is the current front runner for best “Planeswalker” coming out of Origins. I don’t know if there’s a best existing deck for Jace currently, but the ability to act as a Snapcaster Mage has to garner some respect. Since filling up the graveyard is what Grixis Delver does best I could imagine some quantity of Jace making its home there, but if nothing else then perhaps in the sideboard of Grixis Control or even the main deck of Dredgevine.

6 – Dark Petition

I think it’s clear to everyone at this point that Dark Petition is more than likely going to have an impact on Legacy storm decks. What is a little more unclear is what impact it’s going to have in Modern. The easiest existing deck to adopt Dark Petition would be in the Ad Nauseam, Lightning Storm deck. This deck relies solely on Ad Nauseam game one to “go off” and from there wins immediately. Having access to Dark Petition allows the deck to find it with relative ease. I suspect we’ll be seeing many Dark Petitions in the future and might finally push this deck in to mainstream popularity.

5 – Shaman of the Pack/Dwynen’s Elite/Sylvan Messenger

I grouped these three together because they all fit in the same deck. Michael Malone took down Grand Prix Charlotte with Elves. All three of these cards offer something that an Elves deck is looking for. Shaman of the Pack can be an added finisher and offers an instant kill. If you have ever played against Elves you know how fast multiple Elvish Archdruid can win a game. In the event you need to wait a turn to attack, Shaman of the Pack offers a way to finish them on the spot. Dwynen’s Elite just offers a sweet little deal of two elves for two mana. This is really powerful when combined with Heritage Druid. Then finally there’s Sylvan Messenger. It’s hard to say for sure if this is better or worse than playing Collected Company. I feel this at least is worth mentioning and testing. I could see it going either way in theory, and only testing will provide a true answer.

4 – Vryn Wingmare

This little Pegasus has garnered some attention on the spoilers but hasn’t been spoken a lot about since. Besides its obvious applications in a white weenie Standard deck and a Legacy taxes deck this can also be a lynch pin for a Modern version of taxes. In Modern taxes has been historically not quite there in terms of power. It often even has to splash a second color to simply fill out the curve and get enough hate bears in the deck. Not being Legendary like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben means this guy stacks very well with itself and the first Thalia. Another great thing about this card is the evasion since often time’s taxes has trouble pushing through damage. I suspect a lot of taxes deck coming out of the wood work thanks to Vryn Wingmare.

3 – Goblin Piledriver

The hype train is real. With tribal decks like Elves and Merfolk taking down recent Grand Prix’s it could be time for Goblins to do the same. Goblin Piledriver shoots life in to a currently defunct archetype and could be just what it needs to start seeing some serious play. There’s two different ways a Modern Goblin deck could be built and I’m interested to see which does well first. Option A would be to take a slower, AEther Vial approach similar to Legacy Goblins and maybe even add in Collective Company to act as Goblin Ringleader. Option B would be to take a hyper aggressive role with the curve stopping at 3 for Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Rabblemaster. It’s hard to say if this would be better or worse than just playing Burn, but if there’s a will there’s a way.

2 – Day’s Undoing

It’s safe to assume anytime WOTC prints a “fixed” power 9 card it’s going to receive attention. Timetwister with the caveat of immediately ending your turn to stop abuse is still quite powerful. By now everyone knows the gimmicks you can pull with Quicken or how to build a deck to abuse Day’s Undoing such as dumping your hand as quickly as possible to rebuild it thanks to Day’s Undoing. Its applications don’t just end there however. Earlier I was talking about how Storm decks may come back thanks to Jace’s Sanctum. Well Day’s Undoing is another terrific sideboard card for that deck as well. It really helps fight disruptive cards like Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek and it’s possible that we could see it do well there as well.

1 – Harbinger of the Tides

I just ordered my playset from Legit and if you haven’t already I suggest you do the same. This card fits in all three of the major formats in Legacy, Modern, and Standard. In Standard this certainly has breathed life back in to Blue Devotion for one more shot at glory. It also works insanely well with Ojutai’s Command. In Legacy it’s an auto include in Merfolk. But what about Modern you say? It’s also an auto include in Merfolk there as well. A couple weeks ago I spoke about how Merfolk was one of my top three choices in Modern. One of the decks main weaknesses is that it had to boast main deck Tidebinder Mage which can often times be a blank. Well I can gladly say not anymore. Harbinger of the Tides is simply powerful alone and borderline busted with AEther Vial or Merrow Reejery. One of Merfolk’s main weaknesses is Splinter Twin. Harbinger of the Tides really helps a lot by giving you another interactive spell to fight Splinter Twin and also alleviate pressure from cards like Tarmogoyf or a Cranial Plated creature. This just showcases just how powerful this card truly is. As a bonus I went ahead and updated my Merfolk list from a couple weeks ago.

Well those are my top 10 most likely to have an impact cards from Origins. Do you agree? Did I miss something you think should have been there? Chime in down on the comments below and let me know what you think!

John Cuvelier
Gosu. on MTGO
@JCuvelier on Twitter

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