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Weekly MTG Talks Modern Horizons 2 with Sam Black and Brad Nelson

Weekly show plays host to SCG’s own to discuss testing Modern Horizons 2.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer illustrated by Simon Dominic

Blake Rasmussen was joined by Sam Black and Brad Nelson, who worked on Modern Horizons 2, to talk about the new set on today’s episode of Weekly MTG.

Rasmussen spent the hour asking the two players about their process working on the set and fielding questions from the chat. A lot of time was spent breaking down many of the cards that got tweaked or removed from the set. For example, Karakas was axed entirely along with an Island Crab that functioned similarly to Dryad Arbor, but was a 3/4 defender.

Cards that got tinkered with were:

  • Grief (moving to four mana so Unearth couldn’t rebuy it)
  • Territorial Kavu (had a third ability that was removed to keep it balanced)
  • General Ferrous Rokiric (had protection from multicolor that was changed to hexproof from multicolor so it didn’t stop monocolored decks immediately)
  • Many of the squirrel cards needed nerfed as the deck was beating top tier Modern decks on Turn 4
  • Blue suspend card that ended up being Inevitable Betrayal started as a Tinker effect before turning into a Bribery effect

When asked about what archetypes got the biggest boost from Modern Horizons 2, Black and Nelson listed Merfolk, Reanimator, Enchantress, Hardened Scales, and Domain Zoo were the biggest winners.

Nelson’s favorite card from the set is Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer after playing with and against Kari Zev, Skyship Raider so much in Standard. The character getting its own card with dash was a great concept. Black’s favorite was The Underworld Cookbook as another great build-around artifact.

Other interesting facts to come from the conversation with Nelson and Black were that the evoke creatures were tested with Ephemerate and deemed not worrisome, even though when things work perfectly they are quite good; Asmor originally had madness but they had to find a workaround for allowing her to be cast from the Command Zone so the card was switched to the current version; the number of colorless hosers added to the file was because of the overperformance of Eldrazi Tron on Magic Online despite the deck often not getting taken seriously; and their jobs were primarily to make sure nothing in the set broke Modern.