Magic The Gathering's Head of Design, Mark Rosewater has dropped tantalizing hints for the upcoming Modern Horizons 2 set. But as is custom at this point, those hints are presented like the assembled remains of a long lost manuscript with brittle pages and faded ink..
As found on Mark Rosewater's blog, the post started out with some innocuous teases. The list includes:
• A character that first appeared in a Magic novel finally becomes a legendary creature
• A legendary character best known for having his name on a powerful card (that’s been banned) finally gets a legendary creature.
• A fan favorite animal character finally becomes a legendary creature
• A Future Sight mechanic reused for first time
* A planeswalker from the past that has previously only had a legendary creature card
• A white enchantment with a trigger that investigates
Some of these teases are not completely out of the realm of possibilities. New Magic sets usually bring back or revise older cards, and new characters are interested all the time through novels and supplementary material. The best educated best for the legendary creature associated with a banned card could be the head of the Order of the Ebon Hand, Tourach. This is because there is a Black spell that is currently banned is known as the "Hymn to Tourach." Other ones that might fit are either associated with a female character, or fairly recent, seeming to rule them out. As for the idea of a White enchantment that triggers investigate, that can be a massive help since White decks usually struggle with being able to draw cards.
But as to be expected with Mark Rosewater, the post goes into the weeds quickly with snippets of rules text from new cards in the set. These include the following:
• “Choose a number between 1 and 5. Flip that many coins.”
• “Protection from permanents with corruption counters on them”
• “Trample over planeswalkers”
• “Instead create one of each.”
• “This ability costs 1 less to activate for each +1/+1 counter on creatures you control.”
If you're wondering for the context of those Magic cards, take your best guess. Protection implies the defensive nature of White but corruption is associated with the decay and entropic nature of Black spells. This is to say nothing of multicolor enchantments and instants, or even colorless artifacts. And an ability that gets cheaper the more counters you have on creatures sounds like a recipe for pain.
Then there are the creature descriptions. Buckle up, this stuff gets wacky:
• Artifact Creature – Assembly-Worker
• Creature – Skeleton Shaman
• Tribal Artifact – Lhurgoyf
• Artifact Creature – Clue Myr
• Legendary Creature – Squirrel Warrior
Where to even begin? There's something satirical about an artifact creature made just for assembly work and skeleton shamans are fun to see in fantasy sets. But Tribal Artifact is fascinating since Tribal has been retired for a while, but they seem to be revisiting it here a little bit, although it doesn't seem likely to be something they do more often. By that same token Clue Myr is interesting since its ability revolves around Clue artifacts, which all have 2, Sacrifice: Draw a card. This seems likely to be meaning that Clue will be joining Food as a recurring artifact type that is defined in the rules, as it will function like Gingerbrute. Then there is the title of Legendary Squirrel Warrior. That is the second legendary Squirrel for normal Magic The Gathering, and comes not long after the creature type returned to the black border, making it perfect as a commander. Now the real question is will be a multicolor cost or pure Green....
Finally, Rosewater ended the post by revealing that 59 non-evergreen mechanics would be used in the set. Rosewater even listed them out based on how many letters were in the terms. These range from four mechanics with four letters to five mechanics with eleven letters, and then one at each of 12 and 15 letters.
Take a look back at the Strixhaven teasers as a clue for deciphering these, as knowing how he thinks might help you some.
If these descriptions have you interested, full previews of the set will start rolling out May 20 at DailyMTG.com. Here's to your best guesses being correct.