Cardsphere Picks: Modern Horizons 3

Matt Bodensteiner • June 18, 2024

Welcome to another edition of the Cardsphere Picks article series, where members from the Cardsphere staff and community make their picks for some of the most exciting and interesting cards from new sets. This time around, Wizards of the Coast is dialing it up to eleven with a third installment into the Modern Horizons franchise. Being a set designed specifically for eternal formats like Modern, Legacy and, well, Commander, the power level gets pushed through the roof, and Modern Horizons 3 is no exception. The power level might be somewhere in the stratosphere at this point.

Bringing us these MH 3 picks are producer and host of the EDHRECast, Matt Morgan (X: @mathimus55), alongside Cardsphere Discord moderators Bodey (Discord: @bodey_) and Doug (Discord: @dougyfresh88), and community members Malcolm (X: @MalcolmCaf, CS: Stupidrock) and WetLettuce (CS: WetLettuce).

As always, the criteria for Cardsphere Picks can be anything, from format powerhouse to archetype role filler; whacky art to inspiring flavor; or tasteful callback to contentious new design. Nothing is off the table here. So with that, let's see what's over the horizon.


There are a TON of flashy mythics and rares that everyone is talking about already, many of which will change the landscape of multiple formats. While I’m also super selfishly excited for more old border fetches and other great reprints. there’s a good amount of cards not enough people are talking about right now.

Revitalizing Repast

In a format full of really good protection spells, this one is going to be one of the best. It has flexibility to be a land or protection spell plus a source of +1/+1 counters for decks that care about that; it’s going to be super hard to cut from decks. Collective Resistance is also a wildly flexible protection spell that give us twice the options we normally get in any set, and both of them are going to push something out of decks to make room.

Glimpse the Impossible

We already have a direct comparison for wanting this effect with Valakut Exploration, which is one of the best steady sources of card advantage in a while. People tend to sleep on being able to put the exiled cards into your graveyard if you’re not able to use them right away. Getting a bonus on top of not losing the cards forever is such a win. There are some decks that would even take the three mana for three blockers and use the card as a ritual of sorts for your next turn. Glimpse the Impossible has so much to like for a common that could have been a throwaway card.

Shifting Woodland

Ok, folks are talking about this card already, but I can’t not talk about it. This card has so many wild interactions and ways to abuse it that it could be the subject of its own article. If you need a powerful attack trigger, Shifting Woodland has you covered. Same for copying a high impact defensive card. And it isn’t limited to sorcery speed, meaning if you have four mana up, your opponents have to act as though you’re a blue player with two untapped Islands. Shifting Woodland might just be one of the most powerful lands in the set, and there are several great options here.

Arcbound Condor

This is going to be annoyingly powerful for Commander players. Being able to keep the board clear in a format that can easily make a boatload of artifacts might be some synergy I don’t know if enough people have read closely. The creature is an acceptable rate as far as its stats, but Doomwake Giant does largely the same effect for enchantment-focused decks and is the centerpiece of some decks. Arcbound Condor is going to be kill-on-sight for many of my decks.

Faithful Watchdog

The flavor text is the best. Good boi, 12 out of 10 stars.



When Nulldrifter was first previewed, I had recently finished brewing a Commander deck with Ellie and Alan, Paleontologists, and seeing this card was the epitome of windmill slam into that deck. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. It checked all the boxes for what that deck wants: a seven-mana value creature with a cheap alternate casting cost to get it into the graveyard, and it even has four power to trigger things like Garruk's Uprising and Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner. So it's a weird deck, but this homage to Mulldrifter is going to fit right in along with a whole bunch of other Eldrazi chaff.

Collective Resistance

This card is bonkers. Incredibly versatile and no combination of modes is going to be subpar or even below rate. I am salivating over all the two-for-ones and three-for-ones this card is going to create. Return to Dust is just in shambles at this point, if it wasn't already.

Cephalid Coliseum

Dredge has always been and always will be my pet deck in Modern, and Modern Horizons sets usually bring about something for the archetype (something, something, Hogaak...) but I wasn't expecting such a powerful reprint to be injected into the archetype. Cephalid Coliseum gives the deck a bit more oomph as early as turn two, which is what the deck really needs to get in under the graveyard hate. While I don't play Modern events anymore, I'll be anxious to see how the deck evolves with the Modern format's rotation new meta and pick up the new cards for the deck sitting on my shelf.


Amped Raptor

Amped Raptor is a Dino that I'm hoping finds a home in some low curve aggressive red decks. It reminds me a bit of Lurrus, the Dream-Den in that you have to build with some unique deck restrictions to make sure it works every time, but if you do you can consistently get a two-for-one spell with this. Having already seen a turn two Amped Raptor into Ajani, Nacatl Pariah, I think it might have the legs to get there.

Phelia, Exuberant Shepherd

This is a card that knows how to fetch my attention. Flash, blink shenanigans, and some of the most adorable artwork in a set combine to create one amazingly fun package of a card. Being able to hit tokens is just icing on the cake, and I fully expect Phelia to find its way into Cube, Commander, and constructed decks alike.

Psychic Frog

Growing up in the late '90s, most of my formative Magic decks were either awful precons (I was quite fond of Breakdown from Prophecy) or a mishmash of whatever I opened from the cheap Fallen Empires boosters the local bait and tackle shop sold for some reason. The closest taste I had of tournament Magic was playing against my older brother and his friend, who would always destroy me with Sneak Attack or Trix. This all changed once Odyssey dropped and I started going to actual tournaments with my U/G Madness deck. The final boss of those events inevitably seemed to be a Psychatog deck, and the card defined MTG for a short but memorable period of time. Psychic Frog brought all that nostalgia back for me.


Buried Alive

While I don’t think Buried Alive is going to make a huge impact on Modern, it does breathe a bit of life back into the fringe Arclight Phoenix strategies. Arclight Phoenix was once a bane of Modern and the first deck I found success with at local tournaments, but has seen little play with the banning of Faithless Looting. With the printing of Buried Alive, the deck has potential to get a whole party of Phoenixes back as early as turn three with the utilization of Manamorphose and Phyrexian mana spells. While this likely won’t be enough to be top tier, it is cool to see my once loved deck get some love.

Unstable Amulet

After first playing with Unstable Amulet over the prerelease weekend, I got super excited to play with the long forgotten energy mechanic in both Limited and Modern strategies. In Limited, Unstable Amulet provides an efficient way to turn extra energy produced over a game into extra cards while also dealing a small amount of chip damage to your opponent to help get across the finish line. Don’t sleep on this card, and make sure to draft it highly when drafting the energy archetype. While I expect to play with Unstable Amulet a ton in Limited, I'm much more excited to play the card in Modern where it has already found a home in a mono-red Storm deck. The deck seeks to cast Reckless Impulse-type cards in combination with rituals and cost reducers utilizing the ping clause on Unstable Amulet to win the game.

Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury

The Theros Elder Giant cycle has made a huge impact on the Modern format in years past, and the third card in the cycle, Phlage, is shaping up to do the same. It has the power to stabilize in the early game as an overcosted Lightning Helix that comes back as a potent threat later with the help of fetch lands and cheap spells filling the graveyard. Personally, I'm going to be playing Phlage in the four-color control decks as a way to offset the life loss of The One Ring and as a way to end games fast. It's super cool that they took a historically powerful Modern card in Lightning Helix that has since been power crept out of Modern and helped shape its design into a card that will see Modern play in many strategies.


Abstruse Appropriation

What a devious removal spell this is. Just like Fractured Identity, it'll elicit groans from your opponents when you remove their best threat and turn it right back against them. With so many powerful permanents printed these days, it would be difficult for this card to not swing the game in your favor. I just like stealing my opponents' things.

Primal Prayers

I think some of the most exciting things to come out of Modern Horizons 3 are potentially new takes on the creature toolbox/combo archetypes. Being an Aluren variant, Primal Prayers caught my eye early on in the preview season and I couldn't help but ponder how the rest of the MH3 cards would synergize with it. Will Aluren combo have a place in Modern? Perhaps Cephalid Breakfast combo with Nadu, Winged Wisdom will be the better creature deck? Maybe... both? I'm not a brewer myself, but I'm thrilled to see what others will come up with.

Snow-Covered Wastes

I love the new Snow-Covered basic frame introduced in Kaldheim, and was surprised to see the Wastes version printed in this set. It gave me hope to see a new wave of the other Snow-Covered basics... shame we can't have everything. Nonetheless, I will pick up as many as I can for my personal collection.

Where to Find Modern Horizons 3 on Cardsphere

Modern Horizons 3
Modern Horizons 3 Commander
Modern Horizons 3 Special Guests