Modern Horizons 2 EDH Set Review – Black

Mike Carrozza • June 8, 2021

Modern Horizons 2 EDH Set Review: Black

Hello everyone, welcome to the Commander’s Herald Modern Horizons 2 EDH set review! We’re continuing things with the black cards in the set. There’s some wacky cards in the Modern Horizons 2 EDH side of things, so let’s dive in!

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The set’s all here! It’s time to get buck and snag some new goodies for your Commander decks. I’ll tell you my thoughts on the new sweetness. Let’s party!


The Mythics


Archon of Cruelty

Oh, boy! Starting off with a strong Timmy target for reanimator decks. With the Bolas horns in the background, it’s hard not to see this as a nod to Cruel Ultimatum. On ETB and attack, you’re getting a lot. Mystic Reflection a bunch of tokens into this maybe? I can feel my horns growing in! Also, check out my column Am I The Bolas right here on Commander’s Herald and tell me if you feel like you’re ever the Bolas!

Grief

Lots of talk about this one (and the rest of its cycle) in Modern, which is totally normal. Ephemerate and the Evoke incarnations are spicy for Modern but how do they stack up in Commander? I won’t speak about the others in the cycle, but I’d have to say Grief seems underwhelming in Commander but in 1v1 or cEDH? Could be a wild one! Personally, I’m not hyped on it unless it’s in a Yarok, the Desecrated or Panharmonicon blink shell.

Tourach, Dread Cantor

Tourach! Cleric! Woo!

I should be stoked, but I’m uninspired by this card. As a discard player, when MaRo teased cards and it was quickly narrowed down to Tourach, I was thrilled. Would this be a double Necrogen Mists on a creature in the command zone? EEK!

Turns out, it seems really good in Modern and I’m not sure it’ll see much play outside of there or other 1v1 formats. A Cleric without much to add to the synergy of a tribe means this won’t go in my Cleric Tribal focused deck. Targeting one opponent likely means it won’t make it in my Discard Party For Everybody deck, but the Cantor does get beefy for every card opponents discard. Protection from white is solid. Maybe this is the new discard Voltron we didn’t know we needed!


The Rares!


Dauthi Voidwalker

It is absolutely bonkers what you can get with two black mana. How in the hell is this so cheap! It’s a Leyline of the Void(!) on a Rogue (!). Wait there’s more? You can tap and sacrifice this to play cards exiled with void counters. Okay, I guess with enough mana you can play a cool card. What’s that? Oh, you can play them without paying cost? Unbelievable. It’s play and not cast? So you can ramp? Okay nice. Cards exiled with this get a void counter on them so you can track them for every iteration of this card? That’s great.

EVERY BIT OF THIS CARD IS NUTS! This is a lightning rod for removal. I’m definitely jamming this in a ton of my decks, especially my Discard Party deck I mentioned earlier. Reanimator shells, mill decks, discard decks. Can’t think of a black deck that doesn’t want this! Pair with red for haste and oh god be ready to be so hated.

Magus of the Bridge

Okay, I have a bit of a bone to pick with this card. Let’s say this off the top though: the art on this card is absolutely incredible. I cannot wait to get a playmat with this art on it. Huge shout to Bryan Sola. Incredible work.

That aside, Magus of the Bridge is Open the Graves with the downside of Bridge from Below. It’s supposed to be the magus for Bridge obviously, but the part of Bridge from Below that made it special was that it was basically an enchantment from the graveyard. Magus needs to be in play, so why wouldn’t we get rid of the self-exile clause? Make this Magus of the Open Graves, I guess? It’s two mana less for the effect which is cool, but make sure you don’t have any Grave Pact effects since an opponent’s creature hitting the yard means Magus is OUTTA HERE! I don’t know, I’m a little bummed on this one, but I will be trying this out in my Lyzolda, the Blood Witch list.

Necrogoyf

New goyf! This one actually IS a Necrogen Mists on a creature! It’s got madness which my Discard Party deck with Anje Falkenrath will absolutely love. There’s a hefty discard theme in Modern Horizons 2 and I’m thrilled about it. This can definitely be a beater, but repeatable discard around a full table if this survives a turn cycle is still pretty fun, especially if you madness it out. It may not be the strongest, but I really like it!

Persist

Mechanic named card, here we go! Persist is a solid card. The nonlegendary condition and a -1/-1 counter are drawbacks, but there are plenty of solid targets in your deck, I’m sure. Although, Reanimate and Animate Dead are right there and will likely be first choice. They’re better cards and they can pick from any graveyard. Persist might be something in The Scorpion God or Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons? I don’t know. Decks that care that this is a sorcery may not have too many creatures in them anyway so I’m not sure about this.

Profane Tutor

Nah. This ain’t it. Suspending this makes you a target, even if you’re a group hugger. Cascading into this or As Foretold might be the best way to do this, but what if you don’t have those options. Either way, I’m already not high on tutors. That said, the Expertise cycle from Aether Revolt can play suspend cards like this at no cost and can be a surprise. That’s the way I’m thinking I’d play this. Maybe Electrodominance and Sunbird’s Invocation too?

Unmarked Grave

A nerfed Entomb. Sorcery speed hurts this, nonlegendary can hurt this in some strategies. But it’s 2 mana! Could be useful in a Kess, Dissident Mage deck. This can snag a bunch of haymaker creatures, but there’s Buried Alive for that. Hell, there’s another card in the set at 4 mana that I’ll talk about later that is more flexible on its target. But Unmarked Grave is 2 mana! Gravebreaker Lamia is a good time, too. Final Parting is a bit more bang for your buck. This can help with Flashback, Retrace, Reanimator strategies, sure, but personally, I’m not feeling it. You already know how I feel about tutors. This might make some lists, but I think this is the Entomb knockoff that they deemed acceptable in Modern.


Uncommons and Commons of interest


Break the Ice

Some great snow-hate but mostly notable for being mass land destruction in black. It’s interesting to see! Definitely meta-dependant.

Clattering Augur

I love cheap creatures that draw a card on ETB. Especially ones that can come back to your hand in a pinch. I’m a big aristocrats player (hmm Mike’s signature decks are discard, mill, and aristocrats? I wonder why he’s reviewing black cards!) so I like finding some utility like this. Sure, it costs 6 mana to re-proc, but Lyzolda, the Blood Witch is gonna try it out. I also think Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker and Nethroi, Apex of Death decks might like this lil dingus.

Feast of Sanity

Another discard card, of course. I like this for my discard deck. This isn’t another Glint-Horn Buccaneer type card. It can possibly be a closer, but I think more often than not, this will pluck off some problematic creatures. I’m not too high on this, but I’ll try it out.

Flay Essence

A 3-mana sorcery that exiles a creature or planeswalker could see play in some metas. Incidental lifegain is helpful. Sorcery is tough, but somebody might find some use for this.

Underworld Hermit

Hey look, it’s a colourshifted Evangel of Heliod or Reverent Hoplite! It’s great. I love this! Ayara, First of Locthwain is the first to jump to mind, but I know my Thalisse, Reverent Medium deck is going to give this big guy a hug.

Vile Entomber

If the Entomb hand in the background of this card’s art doesn’t give it away this is an Entomb on legs. Sidenote, what’s the deal with Warlocks? There’s a WB Warlock in this set I wanted to be a Cleric so badly and here’s another guy I have to shake my fist at?!?!?! That said, solid card.

Bone Shards

Bone Splinters was already edged out by Spark Harvest but this is a consideration over that. The choice to pitch a card to destroy a creature or planeswalker can be huge upside. Says the discard guy.

Echoing Return

Did somebody say Persistent Petitioners? Or Relentless Rats? Or Shadowborn Apostles? Shout out to this Darksteel throwback design!

Sinister Starfish

It might not seem like much, but I really like this little guy. Surveilling multiple times is fantastic! Card selection and dumping things into your graveyard? Araumi of the Dead Tide is a big fan!

ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM?

All in all, there are some neat cards and designs throughout Modern Horizons 2 with amazing reprints like Patriarch’s Bidding and Skirge Familiar. Black has a few stand outs, but as far as it’s concerned, I’d say WotC did a good job designing this for Modern. Let me know if there are some cards you think I did a disservice or if you found some dope interactions not mentioned here!

Party forever! Mayor of Fart City, out!



Mike Carrozza

Mike Carrozza

Mike Carrozza is a stand-up comedian from Montreal who’s done a lot of cool things like put out an album called Cherubic and worked with Tig Notaro, Kyle Kinane, and more people to brag about. He’s also been an avid EDH player who loves making silly stuff happen. @mikecarrozza on platforms