Published on 06/07/2021

2 Moderns 2 Horizons

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New cards! Yay!
Word on the street is that Wizards has graced us with another Modern Horizons, cleverly titled Modern Horizons 2. Magic's hottest set has everything: Squirrels, free spells, callbacks to previous sets, Storm, 1996 comic books, and the longest name-without-spaces ever printed on a Magic card.

I'm sure this will be fine. As we all remember from the first Modern Horizons, absolutely nothing can go wrong!

As a friendly reminder, if you'd like the CI team to answer your question, please send it to us via email at or tweet it to us @CranialTweet. We answer every question we get, and your question could show up in a future article.

Q: Can Grist, the Hunger Tide be my commander?

A: It can! Its ability that makes it a 1/1 Insect creature functions while we're figuring out "can this thing be my commander"? Thanks to its ability, it's a Legendary Planeswalker Creature - Grist Insect, which means it's a legendary creature and a legal commander.

Q: If I control two Esper Sentinels, what happens when my opponent casts their first noncreature spell?

A: Each Esper Sentinel will trigger separately, and your opponent will have to pay for each separately if they don't want you drawing cards. For instance, If both your Sentinels are 1/1, your opponent will have to pay twice to keep you from drawing any cards.

Q: I control Opalescence and cast Out of Time. What happens? Did I break the game?

A: It's been a while since we've had a good old-fashioned Opalescence question!

Basically, Out of Time will phase out all creatures when its enter the battlefield ability resolves. However, since it's a creature right now thanks to Opalescence, it phases itself out, too. Since phasing out isn't "leaving the battlefield," everything that was phased out this way will remain phased out indefinitely.

Note that Out of Time is phased out before you would put any time counters on it. This means that, even if you find some way to make it phase back in, its Vanishing ability won't do anything.

Q: My opponent cast Path to Exile targeting my Phantasmal Dreadmaw. Do I get to search for a land?

A: You're dreaming, friend. When your Dreadmaw is targeted, its triggered ability goes on the stack above Path to Exile. You have to sacrifice your imaginary dinosaur friend, and then Path won't resolve because its only target is gone.

I'd imagine everybody involved is rather upset about the whole situation (especially your dinosaur friend).

You can only play her as your commander if
you can pronounce her name.
Q: I'm using Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar as my commander. Let's say I've already cast her once from the command zone. The next time I cast her from there, can I just pay ?

A: Unfortunately, no. Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar has a clever alternate cost, but it is still a casting cost. Since you're casting her, you have to do the cooking by the book — the normal commander tax rules apply. If you cast her once before, the next time will cost .

Q: I cast Damn for its overload cost, but my opponent is insisting he can counter it with Spell Snare! Is that true?

A: Bad news for you, friend. Even though you paid an alternate cost to cast it, Damn's mana value is still based on what's printed at the top of the card. Its mana value is 2, which means Spell Snare can snare your spell just fine. Darn!

Q: My opponent casts Doom Blade targeting my Grizzly Bears, which is the only creature in play. I target Doom Blade with Chef's Kiss. What happens?

A: Your Bears are still cooked, I'm afraid.

Chef's Kiss doesn't make you and your permanents illegal targets. Instead, what it means is "when you're selecting new targets at random for the spell and copy, don't include you or your permanents in the set of possibilities."

Since there isn't any other target for the Doom Blade or its copy, both targets will remain unchanged, and your Bears will end up very, very dead.

Q: I cast three other spells this turn, and then I cast Aeve, Progenitor Ooze. Do all my Aeves enter with 3 +1/+1 counters?

A: Nope. The storm copies will create your Aeves one by one, not all at once. Let's assume you don't control any other Oozes to begin with. The first Aeve copy enters with no counters. Then, the second Aeve copy enters with one +1/+1 counter, because it sees the first Aeve copy. The third copy enters with three counters, the fourth enters with four, and so on. Your "real" Aeve will be the largest of the Oozes.

Q: Why does the "real" Aeve, the largest Ooze, not simply eat the other ones?

A: Perhaps they are saving that for Modern Horizons 3.

Q: How does Chatterfang, Squirrel General work with Doubling Season? Let's say I'm making a single Squirrel with Chatterstorm. How many tokens do I end up with?

A: You'll end up with four squirrels, and it doesn't matter if you apply Doubling Season's or Chatterfang's replacement effect first.

If we apply Doubling Season first, then "create a squirrel" becomes "create two squirrels." Then we apply Chatterfang, making it "create two squirrels and two squirrels."

On the other hand, if we apply Chatterfang first, "create a squirrel" becomes "create a squirrel and create a squirrel." Then we apply Doubling Season, making our end result "create two squirrels and two squirrels."

In either case, once both replacement effects have been applied, we have to stop. Replacement effects don't apply over and over again to the same event. That would get nutty.

Q: While we're talking about Chatterfang, how do those tokens work with something like Leonin Warleader?

A: Chatterfang only replaces the actual tokens you create, but it doesn't change other instructions you might have about those tokens. In this example, you'd create two 1/1 Cats and two 1/1 Squirrels, and they'd all be tapped and attacking.

Q: I don't get Carth the Lion. What does that second ability mean?

A: The number next to a planeswalker's ability is the cost to activate that loyalty ability. For Dakkon, Shadow Slayer, for instance, his first ability normally costs +1 loyalty, and his second one normally costs -3 loyalty.

Carth just does some quick math and says "Actually, that first ability now costs +2 loyalty, and the second one now costs -2 loyalty instead."

Q: Whoa, Dakkon, Shadow Slayer looks awesome! What happens if he and some lands enter the battlefield at the same time somehow?

A: Unfortunately, the lands entering at the same time as Dakkon won't give him any loyalty counters. Dakkon has to look at the battlefield at the moment right before he enters to see how many lands you control.

Beep beep!
I'm a reanimated corpse!
Q: I exiled an Avizoa with my Dermotaxi. Can I hold priority and activate Dermotaxi's ability several times, and activate the Avizoa ability in between each resolution of the Dermotaxi's ability?

A: You can! Each time Dermotaxi becomes a new copy, it has a new instance of the ability. Even if you activated an identical ability just a moment ago, the one you have right now hasn't been activated yet. Neat! And weird.

Q: I've read Garth One-Eye half a dozen times and... what? Is Braingeyser legal in Modern now? Are they reprinting Black Lotus? Should I call a lawyer?

A: There's no need for all of that!

First, none of the cards Garth names are made legal in any format just because he names them. Black Lotus is still very, very not legal in Modern.

Garth lets you create a copy of the cards he mentions. You can cast the copy if you'd like to (you probably would!). If you cast Shivan Dragon or Black Lotus, the spell resolves into a token copy of that permanent. Note that you aren't "creating" tokens when you do this, so you can't do anything tricky with Doubling Season.

And, I know Garth's reminder text says so, but just to reiterate: you do have to pay the mana costs of these spells.

Q: When my Piru, the Volatile dies and deals damage to a bunch of creatures, will I gain any life?

A: You sure will! When Piru was last on the battlefield she had lifelink, so the trigger will "remember" that. You'll gain 7 life for each creature the trigger deals damage to.

Q: What does "Activate only as an instant" on Diamond Lion mean? I thought mana abilities were faster than instant speed?

A: Normally, you can activate mana abilities during the process of casting a spell. However, with Diamond Lion (like its predecessor Lion's Eye Diamond), you can't do that. You have to have priority to activate its ability, and nobody ever gets priority in the middle of casting a spell.

Basically, what this does is prevent you from starting to cast a spell and sacrificing the Lion for mana to pay for that same spell.

Or, let's say your opponent has a Ghostly Prison. You aren't able to sacrifice the Diamond Lion for mana to pay to attack. You don't get priority in the declare attackers step until after you've already declared attackers (and paid for Ghostly Prison's costs), and if you sacrifice the Lion in any earlier step the mana wouldn't be in your mana pool anymore.

Q: When my Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp dies, does its effect apply to the counter from its own modular trigger?

A: No, it doesn't. Zabaz has to be on the battlefield when the modular trigger resolves for its effect to apply. Since Zabaz is very, very dead, it won't increase the number of counters the modular trigger applies.

Q: What happens if I have an Urza's Saga and someone plays a Blood Moon?

A: Urza's Saga becomes a Mountain, making it lose all its other rules text (including Saga chapter abilities) and getting the intrinsic ability ": Add ."

However, it's still a Saga, and a Saga with no chapter abilities has a final chapter number of 0. This necessarily means that the Saga has a number of lore counters on it greater than or equal to its final chapter number. You'll have to sacrifice your Saga the next time state-based actions are checked.

I think that's all for this week! Go forth, explore new horizons, and brew some fun new Modern decks.

- Andrew

About the Author:
Andrew is a Level 2 judge from Dallas, TX who spends too much time on his computer.


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