It’s been a while since I traveled for a Grand Prix. Do we still call them that? MagicFest? You know what I mean. This week I mean Vegas. Modern Horizons Limited is too much fun not to make the trek from the mountains to the desert.

Modern as a format seems a little less exciting, thanks to Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and friends. I won’t be playing in the Modern Grand Prix, but I do have a list of fun, powerful cards that should see more Modern play than they do. If you want to play Modern this weekend without caring about the top tables, this is the article for you.

List time! Seven cards that should see more play in Modern than they have in recent times. Why not break them out this weekend to practice for the impending metagame shift?

1. Arcbound Ravager

I know, I know. Hardened Scales finished in second place at the last Mythic Championship, but Arcbound Ravager is an absurdly powerful card. If I were playing the Modern main event on Friday, I would likely play good old Affinity with Cranial Plating—and that’s because the Ravager/Plating machine feels euphoric to play.

Numerous artifact decks have had success in recent years outside of the Affinity matrix: Lantern Control, Grixis Urza, Ironworks Combo etc. Most of them would probably be stronger with Arcbound Ravager in the mix. Hell, even Vintage Workshop decks got better when they incorporated the two-mana sacrifice outlet with legs. Give it a spin and feel the immense power of possibility!

Ravager is also a card that requires practice to master. Get some!

2. Become Immense

Speaking of vaguely tumescent metaphors, Become Immense is a good card. Best in Infect decks, but potentially useful in other Zoo-style rush decks, like Kiln Fiend, Nivmagus Elemental, or whatever the kids play these days. They never see it coming.

Sometimes they do see it coming… but who cares? Facing an opponent who is afraid to let you untap even when they have fifteen life—that’s a good place to be. I’ve also considered this card for the sideboard of Affinity in the past, as a way to end the game against Jund decks, using Inkmoth Nexus after a few Shatterstorms have moved all the artifacts to my graveyard.

3. Remand

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I guess that’s what happens when you ban Splinter Twin. Remand does two things very well: provide Time Walk-style tempo to fast blue decks, and protect your most essential spells from being countered. The first one is simple enough to understand, and goes well with cheap blue threats like Delver of Secrets, Pteramander, and Geist of Saint Traft.

Protecting big spells is where you Remand your own copy of Scapeshift, or whatever, returning it to your hand to cast again while drawing a card. If you remand a spell being targeted by Cryptic Command in counter-draw mode, they don’t even get to draw the card! This former Modern staple feels almost forgotten these days. Help us remember.

4. Jötun Grunt

Okay, maybe not. But hear me out: Jötun Grunt could be graveyard hate with a clock. Presumably too slow for actual Hogaak or Dredge interaction, but a two-mana 4/4 is not a bad card. In grindy matchups, the cumulative upkeep will be easy to pay later in the game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody cast this card, but I wish I would.

5. Pack Rat

Speaking of two-mana creatures that win games—were we already on that topic?—Pack Rat is good. Modern good? I don’t know, but somebody always wants to play Mono-Black. Smallpox, Diabolic Edict, Hymn to Tourach, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Liliana of the Veil, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, Griselbrand, Thoughtseize, etc. You get the idea.

Pack Rat can play in those decks, and it can also collapse entire archetypes into a Frank Karsten-style study deck full of Swamps and Pack Rats. Perhaps too weak for Modern, but not too weak to go 5-4 before you come back for the Limited main event on Saturday.

6. Atarka’s Command

People should explore playing this card outside Burn. “Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain reach until end of turn.” Sounds versatile with Young Pyromancer, right? You could even use it to block a Thundermaw Hellkite, or Inkmoth Nexus, which is realistically far more likely.

Playing an extra land rarely feels great (absent a cantrip), but each of these other modes feel worth a card in the right situation. Maindeck sideboard card, perhaps. Skullcrack is not the worst by itself, after all. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but now maybe they have.

7. Moorland Haunt

Adding more land to a deck often makes it better. Bitterblossom, this is not, but in a deck with Geist of Saint Traft or Pteramander, it could do some work. You probably want white mana for Path to Exile and Stony Silence anyway. Moorland Haunt may not be quite good enough, but it is an underrated utility land worth testing in Modern.

So, there you have it. Seven Samurai to assemble for Modern fun this weekend. Leave the Hogaak nonsense to the people who think they can win. All of these cost two mana or less, which is where you want to be in Modern anyway. Try something new. Try something old. Try it again, for the first time.

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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