Commander Set Review – Modern Horizons (Multicolored)

Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 by KingRamz
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Posted in mtg, serious business

All right, here we are! It’s time to get down to business. This is the section where our bread gets buttered with delicious golden goodness. I’m not going to keep you waiting any longer.

You can find the previous reviews here:

White Blue Black Red Green

I talked all about the rationale behind my reviews in the White review, so if you missed that, just go back and read that one. I’m not going to waste your time repeating myself. Except for the previous two sentences. And the last one.



Cloudshredder Sliver

This is what I’m talking about! Forget clouds; plop one of these in play and your Sliver horde is going to be shredding faces. This is exactly what you want when you’re dumping a bunch of Slivers into play. I also love the callback to the original Skynight Legionnaire, both in art and flavor text.

Collected Conjuring

If you like this card, you’re in good company. I’m a sucker for random value cards like this. Most decks aren’t going to want it; you have to be very dedicated to sorceries to make it good. But I’ve had a Temur sorceries deck idea in my backlog, so I’ve no doubt I will try at some point. Unless this card somehow ends up $10 or more, in which case, the hell with that.

Etchings of the Chosen

If you play this card in your B/W tribal deck, you have chosen well. I mean, most likely, anyway. Sac outlets are good. Making your commander hard to kill is good. Having an anthem effect in a go-wide deck, which most tribal decks tend to be, is good. Three mana is reasonable. Run it!

Fallen Shinobi

This creature just looks fantastic. It’s got two relevant tribes, it’s got a potentially powerful damage trigger, the ninjutsu is only four mana and it’s got a sizeable body. Fallen Shinobi will put in some work in a lot of decks – you don’t have to care about Ninjas to want it.

The First Sliver

Finally, Slivers get their first five-color commander! I do love cascade, and cascading Sliver into Sliver into Sliver sounds like a blast. This is my favorite of all the WUBRG sliver lords. It’s pretty explosive, too. Sliver Legion is more explosive, but that’s like a hundred-dollar card now, apparently. If you make this your Sliver commander, you should pay a bit closer attention to your curve than you might otherwise. You might want to leave Striking Sliver out so that your two-drop Slivers always hit Galerider Sliver, for example.

Good-Fortune Unicorn

At first glance I liked this card a lot, but on further reflection I think it’ll be lucky to see play. It reminds me a lot of Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit. Anafenza’s just an anthem on a stick unless you’re comboing with persist, and the same is true for the Unicorn. If that’s what you’re doing and you want more redundancy, this unicorn’s for you. If not, play Anafenza first. I know she doesn’t trigger for tokens, but who the hell wants to put counters on tokens?

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis

As a commander:
Nope. I don’t think I would want this to be my commander even if I could spend mana to cast it. On the board it’s just a big dumb trampler. Add the restriction that you can’t spend mana, and it’s going to get prohibitive to try to cast this with a commander tax. You can just let it go to your graveyard, and that’s what you should do when it dies, but you’re not going to be able to count on it always staying there.

In the 99:
At least you don’t have to worry about commander tax here, but I’m still off it. It’s just a big trampler. It can recur itself, but you have to have tons of creatures or you have to start eating your graveyard. In my experience, BG decks that are good at filling the graveyard want to use the cards that are in there, not delve them away for a big beater.

Ice-Fang Coatl

I’m not going to sugarcoatl this one – I don’t think there’s much to say about this card. Obviously if you’re snow-themed, it’s one of the best snow cards in your deck. If you’re exactly UG (which doesn’t have great spot removal) or you’re Snake tribal, put it in. Just make sure you swap out your basics for snow basics first.

Ingenious Infiltrator

Yes. This is exactly what I want out of a Ninja. This vedalken didn’t just infiltrate the palace; he also infiltrated my heart. If you’re playing ninjas and don’t run this, you are wrong.

Kaya’s Guile

Most of the time, you’re picking the first two modes. That’s a playable card; you need to have some way to toast peoples’ graveyards and it’s nice that it doesn’t hit your own. It’s also nice that your graveyard hate gets some incidental board value. I’m not excited about the opportunity to pay six to also make a dork and gain four life, but you know, more options are good.

Lavabelly Sliver

I think Lavabelly Sliver is interesting for the potential to kill outside of the combat step when you do something like Patriarch’s Bidding or Kindred Summons. Even if you don’t kill people outright, incidental lifegain really helps to keep you from randomly dying when someone finds themselves with 15 power on the board while all your creatures are tapped or dead. Probably better if Sliver Queen is your commander, since it’s way easier to dump out a mass of Sliver tokens than Sliver cards.

Lightning Skelemental

If you’re black-red and you were running Ball Lightning, you just got an upgrade. If you’re black-red and you were running Ball Lightning, why?

Munitions Expert

I’ve never run Goblin tribal, so I’m no expert, but this card seems fine in that deck. Terminate or Dreadbore are going to be better most of the time, so make sure you’re really committed to your theme or have a lot of tribal synergies. If neither of those things is true, look elsewhere for your kaboom.

Morophon, the Boundless

As a commander:
I like this card. It enables any tribal deck you could ever want. You can build goofy tribes like Boars, Drones or Rhinos. You can build an Angel deck that can run Maelstrom Archangel, or an Eldrazi deck that can run all the devoid stuff. Jund Werewolves. Sultai Faeries. Wet Mardu Vampires. Five-color Elves. You get the idea. The point is, with this card, you can have Morophon with tribal decks.

That said, it’s seven mana. That is a shitload of mana. So you’re going to want to make sure you have some ramp, because otherwise you’re going to be playing 50% of your games without your commander. Also, you ideally will want to get some use out of Morophon as soon as they hit the board. That means going wide so you can get a good attack in and/or running a bunch of C one-drops and CD two-drops, so you can follow up your 7-drop with some free dorks, maybe even go off with cards like Glimpse of Nature, Vanquisher’s Banner or Beast Whisperer. Elves seem like the best tribe for this, since they’re the most stocked with one-drops that you actively want to cast on turn one in Commander. Druids have a lot of overlap there, too, and also get you Noble Hierarch. Or, you know, get creative – the possibilities are boundless.

In the 99:
It’s hard for me to imagine running this in the 99 unless you’re planning to do something busted. Like, for example, make all your spells free with Jodah, Archmage Eternal. An anthem plus a cost reduction isn’t worth seven mana. So if you’re not doing broken stuff, just leave this guy on the bench and run The Immortal Sun instead.

Nature’s Chant

Aesthetically I’m glad they printed this card. I think that it’s kinda silly that by the rules of the format, this card is narrower in application than Disenchant or Naturalize, but so it goes. It doesn’t mean much for the format either way; there are better ways to get this effect in both colors.

Reap the Past

Another X-spell to double with Unbound Flourishing! Woohoo! I’m not sure this card is actually good, though if you’ve got a way to get rid of the duds it gets significantly better. One thing to note with this card is that you technically aren’t supposed to just shuffle your graveyard in this format; there are older cards that care about what order graveyards are in. If you’re not playing with those, your playgroup will probably be fine with you just ignoring that, but it’s just something to keep in mind.

Sisay, Weatherlight Captain

As a commander:
Is this the best five-color Superfriends commander now? I think she is. Note that her ability puts the card directly onto the battlefield. That’s pretty powerful, and there’s probably something unfair you can do with her in the same vein as General Tazri (though notably, Tazri only needs five mana on one turn to tutor, and Sisay needs eight). That said, she’s pretty narrow, so she’s probably not worth picking up if you just want a 5c goodstuff commander. If that’s the ship you’re planning to sail, choose another captain.

In the 99:
I’m not sure what kind of deck you’re running that you want Sisay but you’d rather always have access to some other five-color commander. Maybe you’re building legendary-matters Child of Alara and you want to have Sisay tutor for indestructible Gods and other legends or something? But that’s just worse than running Sisay and tutoring for Child. I dunno, feels like a stretch to me, but if that’s what you’re into, go right ahead.

Rotwidow Pack

It’s that last little bit, the “each opponent loses 1 life” thing, that makes me pay attention to this card. Four mana for a 2/4 reach is bad and the activation is expensive, but it does potentially add up to a lot of damage quickly. Spider tribal wants this.

Ruination Rioter

If you’re good at loading up your yard with lands (for example, by casting Ruination), you could end up having this thing go to someone’s face for 20. That’s a big enough effect that I think it’s worth considering this guy.


This is the ghost that lives in the Conjurer’s Closet. It’s slightly different from the closet because it returns the card to its owner’s control, which is relevant if you stole it. Knocking two mana off the Closet’s cost seems worth the tradeoff of making it more vulnerable, though if you’re UW and running Closet you probably just want both cards.

Thundering Djinn

Back in the red review I may have mentioned I love killing people by drawing cards. Yeah, that hasn’t changed. Five mana’s a lot, though. For one more, you get The Locust God. The Djinn does hit any target, so if you’re not drawing enough cards to kill someone outright, you can still kill their dudes.

Unsettled Mariner

This card is interesting. The trigger is relevant in almost any deck, regardless of tribal synergies. I’m not sure if it’s good enough in our format, though – how often is someone tapping out to target your stuff? Maybe it’s fine as a deterrent, kind of like Propaganda – Susan decides not to ping your token because she’d have to pay, so she pings Ellen’s token instead, that kind of thing. Doesn’t feel like quite enough to me; I think you need to have some tribal synergies going on to want this.

Wrenn and Six

A value engine I can drop on turn two? Sign me up! If you just recur a couple lands with this, you’ve gotten your mana’s worth. Watch out for lands that kill lands – if you play one of those, the table is going to come wreck Wrenn’s shit. Or maybe you can defend your planeswalker and will just Strip Mine every turn. You make me Six.

Top 3:
3. The First Sliver
2. Fallen Shinobi
1. Morophon, the Boundless

The top two were easy for me here, but the third pick was hard – I really wanted to pick Ingenious Infiltrator because I love Ninjas, but I didn’t feel like I could justify that. The First Sliver is a neat take on the classic 5c Sliver commander. You could even consider it as a generic 5c goodstuff commander; a 5-mana 7/7 with cascade is probably better than Cromat. Sisay’s pretty close here too; 5c superfriends isn’t exactly a new archetype but I like seeing more support for the general legendary-matters theme. On a different day, I could imagine her beating out the Sliver for me.

Fallen Shinobi, meanwhile, gets second because it’s powerful enough that it’s playable outside of Ninja decks while still being variable enough to provide a new and different play experience each time you get it out. But top spot has to go to Morophon, the card that enables approximately one million new and different archetypes. If you like tribal decks, you’re gonna want one of these. I don’t think it’s the best card in the set for Commander, but it’s pretty darn close.