Modern Horizons is all about celebrating Magic’s history. It’s packed with exciting mechanics and references to old cards that the player community remembers fondly. Here are the ten references that the Card Kingdom community is most excited about.
The Force Cycle
Force of Virtue, Force of Negation, Force of Despair, Force of Rage, and Force of Vigor form a cycle that references the classic counterspell Force of Will. Like the original, they have double-colored casting costs and allow you to exile a card of the same color from your hand as an alternate cost. Force of Negation also evokes another classic counterspell, Pact of Negation.
Giver of Runes
The Runes family is expanding! Giver of Runes has the same ability as Mother of Runes, except it also protects your creatures from colorless. Since Giver of Runes is from Zendikar, a plane known for its colorless monsters, this seems like a useful ability for a Kor Cleric to have.
The Canopy Lands
Future Sight included five nonbasic lands with very different abilities, hinting at nonbasic land cycles to come. Modern Horizons has brought us one of those cycles: the enemy-colored lands based on Horizon Canopy.
I’ve got a soft spot for Llanowar Elves; it’s on my shortlist for Favorite Magic Cards of All Time. So I’m very excited about Llanowar Tribe, a.k.a. “Three Llanowar Elves in a Trenchcoat.” I can’t wait to ramp into big creatures using both Elf Druids.
Marit Lage’s Slumber
As much as I have loved Llanowar Elves, I have been equally in awe of the eldritch horror Marit Lage, who slept beneath the sea during Dominaria’s ice age. Winning a game with a 20/20 indestructible flyer is on many players’ Magic bucket lists; now you can awaken Marit Lage by collecting snow permanents in Modern Horizons draft.
Mirrodin Besieged is another in the long line of Magic cards that share their names with Magic sets, including Visions, Time Spiral, and Hour of Devastation. This one refers to the set Mirrodin Besieged, which told the story of the Phyrexian invasion of Mirrodin. It’s also a callback to the Sieges from Fate Reforged: a cycle of enchantments that required players to choose between two factions.
Ranger-Captain of Eos
Ranger-Captain of Eos is like Ranger of Eos, but older and wiser. A lot of the time, Magic focuses on the lives and adventures of planeswalkers and only shows us snapshots of the planes’ citizens. I love getting the chance to return to a plane like this and see how its inhabitants are living their lives.
Savage Swipe is the latest in a series of fight spells that show things getting punched. On Savage Punch, Sarkhan Vol punches a bear. On Epic Confrontation, he punches a dragon instead, since the dragons have eaten all the bears. And in Unstable, Really Epic Punch shows the bear punching the dragon. Now the bear has gone off on its own to pick another fight.
And Many More
Modern Horizons has so many exciting references to Magic’s history that it was hard to narrow down this list. Tweet at us and let us know what your favorite callback cards are, especially ones that didn’t make the list.
Mara is an Azorius bureaucrat who dreams of joining the Selesnya Conclave. Her favorite color of mana is green, and she loves brewing for Commander variants.