Modern Horizons 3 Commander Precon Highlights

Modern Horizons 3 Commander Precon Highlights

Kristen GregoryCommander

Modern Horizons 3 brings something new to the table: four Commander precons. But what if you’re just looking for upgrades to existing decks? Kristen has her pick of the highlights from the precons.

With some very distinct mechanical themes – Eldrazi, Energy, Lhurgoyfs and Lands – the majority of the new cards in the precons are very specifically geared toward certain themes. As such, it’s hard to recommend those more niche cards for a wider collection. If you’re that into one of the themes, just grab the precon. Otherwise? Let’s have a look.


I want to like Hourglass of the Lost, but it’s really hard to. I think there are decks out there that would like this tech, such as Lurru- yeah no nevermind, Lurrus decks can’t even play it in the first place. This is the kinda rock that’s going to please that one guy at the LGS who comes up with weird-ass decks that never win but look really cool. 

White’s three energy cards are hard to recommend if you’re not doing energy or proliferating, except for the fact that of all the energy cards in this expansion, they’re arguably the strongest ones. Salvation Colossus is probably playable in an artifacts based deck even ignoring the bonus energy flavor text.

Now we’re talking – Silverquill Lecturer is a very strong card, and amusingly also joins Ondu Spiritdancer in the new club of “Kor that cost five mana that double things.” I look on this new club with great interest. The very real downside is running EtB effects that will quite frequently bite you in the ass, but remember that the ass-bite isn’t a sure thing, because Demonstrate is a “may” ability. 

Maybe my favorite card in the precons, but also telling on what kind of decks I like to play. What’s sweet about Angelic Aberration is that it’s essentially removing the setup and heavy lifting that sequencing requires to run Divine Visitation and just saying “don’t worry, just curve out. I got this.”

What’s more, it’s on EtB, making white’s sub-theme of flicker a really viable option. I always run Ephemerate anyways. 


This is a nice simple does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kinda card. It simply copies a land, except it’s also an enchantment. I love cards like this, mainly because they’re fun, but look at this as a wildcard land in your deck that has you pay three mana to put it into play (which effectively ramps in mono-blue!) and can be a second copy of your best lands – or someone else’s. They played UrborgCoffers? You get a Coffers

March from Velis Vel is a reward for having a greedy manabase, and one that plays a lot of a certain type of land. Most commonly, it’ll be one of:

  • Cave.
  • Desert.
  • Gate.
  • Lair.
  • Locus.
  • Sphere.
  • Urza’s.

So, if you’re in blue and run a bunch of these? It’s time to get cooking. Otherwise, it feels very tied to the everything counters generated by Omo.

I love the art on this one, and it’s a reward, instead, for going heavy on MDFC lands. It’s basically a repeatable Trade Routes on a creature, and is a valuable early game blocker in today’s aggressive meta.

The Eldrazi deck features a bunch of devoid spells of varying color costs, and of course for Commander, their casting cost denotes their color identity and thus their legality. Benthic Anomaly is a sweet blue card that can potentially ratchet up a massive evasive clone if your opponents are going tall and evasive. This costs seven because in plenty of games, it’ll have the ability to end a player.


Most of the Lhurgoyfs are fairly tied to the Lhurgoyf deck, but some are decent enough to see play outside of it. I’d like to borrow this goyf, for instance, because the combat damage trigger is just… really good? It slots right into Felix Five-Boots, too, if you built that one. Deathtouch and lifelink is also a hell of a keyword combination that’ll keep you alive a little longer.

Final Act is more than a nod to Farewell, with similar templating and an ensemble pictured in the artwork. I think the similarities kind of end there, because it’s not as universally good as Farewell. A lot of black decks don’t want to exile their own yard, and this doesn’t answer artifacts and enchantments, which is a pretty big departure. 

Still, plenty of white decks run Farewell despite it being bad on some modes for them, and while Final Act is a bit meme-y in hitting Battles and removing counters, certain control-oriented builds in Grixis and Dimir especially would be happy to play this.

Black’s Devoid entry is a creature that gets in pretty easily and lets you pay life to cast an opponent’s spell, not from the top of their library, but by cascading down to it. That’s honestly pretty good for decks that want to accelerate toward the end game asap. 


I’ll be honest, the other three red energy cards are pretty medium even in an energy deck, and probably cards I’d consider cutting. Blaster Hulk, meanwhile, offers a pretty cheap casting cost in the average energy deck, and a pretty decent payoff. It also looks like a Chaos Spacemarine got lost on Ixalan, which is kinda rad (as in radical, not rad counters). 

We had Terror of the Peaks, and Terror of the Peeks, but get ready for… GOYFSTORM SURGE. 

Yeah it doesn’t fit quite so well, but I’ll take it. To the face. Again? What about Sandra? She’s popping off with her Eldrazi deck. That’s how much? Another SIX?!

Pretty good for four mana.

Sawhorn Nemesis is going to cause arguments. Dinosaur decks are already way stronger than Dinosaur players are happy to admit. “It’s just my Dinosaur theme deck uWu”. 

Nah, I’m not having any of it. Pantlaza, Gishath, Zacama. They’re all disgusting. And dropping this before you curve into fatties? It’s going to rile up whoever you choose. So be prepared to be the heel at the table.

Outside of a dinos deck, I’m gonna be much more amenable to seeing this – and thankfully it’s just a solid aggressive card. 

Siege-Gang Lieutenant brings back one of my favorite abilities, lieutenant. It’s kind of a proto-background, right? This thing will find homes in a broad number of decks, from Neyali, to Alesha, to Winota, and the swathes of tokens and goblin builds that exist in Mardu colors too. It’s just solid. 

Tempt with Mayhem isn’t the kind of card I’m usually super high on, because it’s very chaotic. I’m not every Commander player though, and Tempt is the perfect level of “fun” for all kinds of decks, from Aikido to Group Slug to pure Chaos. It’s a good thing it can’t copy Descent into Avernus, really. 

Hideous Taskmaster is something you don’t want to call Greg Davies unless you want to score zero points. It scores points with me, though, because it’s basically Molten Primordial but that grants Trample and Annihilator 1 as well. That’s pretty spicy.


Why was this card not in the OTJ Deserts deck?! It’s perfect for that and all 573 people playing Hazezon Tamar.

Wow, I like this card quite a bit. I think it’s a shoe-in for +1/+1 counters decks and other decks that can buff it pre-another player being knocked out. Don’t be scared of self-mill, just run more recursion.

Sage of the Maze is pretty niche in that it’s a Gates-matter kind of card, but on the other hand, it’s also a card that’ll slot into many decks, because Gates-matters fits in so many decks too. As we’ve seen from Nine-Fingers, you don’t even have to be in five colors to make it work. 

In an enchantress deck I actually think this card is quite good. A total of three mana to make a sizable token each turn is better than it looks. 


Ah, an energy card that can be used elsewhere! Lifegain payoffs seem to be settling firmly into Bant with many Azorious payoffs recently like Will from Wilds of Eldraine. I’m most excited to slot this into Shanna, Purifying Blade, but it can honestly fit in a myriad of builds. 

This is a sweet little card for Rakdos and Grixis spellslinger decks. There’s not much more to say other than it’s a really neat card to have in play. Regenerative blocker too? Damn. 

Infested Thrinax is the companion piece to Poison-Tip Archer, in some ways. While Archer does the pinging on the way out, Thrinax can create a bunch of tokens to trigger EtB drains and/or provide fodder to sacrifice to drain an opponent out. It’s not so much board wipe protection as board wipe insurance. 

Aggressive Biomancy is pretty nice in that it functions as removal in the right deck. Simic has a number of utility creatures with deathtouch, some mana dorks included, and having the opportunity to turn deathtouch into removal makes me want to run Skullwinder again. 

Gluttonous Hellkite devours everything, which makes for a mechanically satisfying card. It helps that it’s a strong effect too. I’m all for playing this in my Jund decks.

Eldrazi Confluence is sweet for mono-color decks that run enough non-basics and mana rocks to successfully cast it. Not all mono-color decks want this, though. I think it’s best in Blue and Red. 

Eldritch Immunity gives decks other than white decks the ability to give their board mass protection. It’s a little better in some ways because it gives protection from each color, and the overload isn’t the worst, but it’s a little worse in that Brave the Elements is a lot cheaper. Again, a good pickup for mono-green and mono-red, and mono-black. Blue has counterspells. 

Inversion Behemoth is a cute answer to treefolk decks running rampant in your meta. It also lets you run some chonky blockers without going all in on “big butts”. It’s fine I guess, though it will probably underperform. You could cast a different four drop. 

Selective Obliteration is super interesting. It gives mono-color decks a great boardwipe that punishes multicolor decks. While the majority of permanents in multicolor decks tend to be monocolor aside from in specific color combinations and strategies, this is still functionally a Ravnica at War that sometimes does a bit more, which is cool. 

Horizon of Progress is Reflecting Confluence, but also a Canopy, but also a Terrain Generator. All of these rolled into one card? I’m into it. 

Finally, we wrap up with Talon Gates of Madara. I really like this one – it reminds me of Galadriel’s Dismissal. Modally, it can basically remove a blocker, protect your guy from a wrath you’re about to play, or at instant speed, become a combat trick that also ramps you. Damn, I’m excited to play with it.


The Modern Horizons 3 precons have some really sweet cards in. Though a lot of them are confined to the archetypes they bring to the table, many can be used elsewhere. What are you looking forward to playing with?