The Top 10 Most Played Commander Cards from Modern Horizons 3

it that heralds the end header
(It That Heralds the End | Art by Alex Konstad)


I need kindling. You'll do nicely

Hey everyone! I know we're in the thick of Assassin's Creed spoilers, but how about Modern Horizons 3, eh? The straight-to-Modern love letter to Magic released just three weeks ago and has made a huge splash in eternal formats, so I'd love to look into the set's impact on Commander before we move on. Besides, how else are we to mark the passage of time and the release of new sets without reading new Most Played Commander Cards lists? Let this serve as a crucial reminder to check out my OTJ Top 10 list.

Importantly, MH3 released a bunch of reprints that will help get staples like allied fetchlands and Phyrexian Tower into more gamers' hands. It's a cool set, too, if you're into old borders and the nifty Borderless Profile treatments on legendary creatures. But here in my column, we're only interested in brand new, never-bef0re-seen cardboard. Read on and find out what are the most played Commander cards in MH3!


10. Springheart Nantuko

This Insect Monk will execute a game-winning combo if you look at it the wrong way. A quick look at Commander Spellbook will confirm that there are several infinite combos you can pull off with this Bestow card, including a few loops that only require green mana.

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Getting to copy the enchanted creature with every Landfall trigger can be a formidable value engine when paired with enters-the-battlefield effects. Even at its worst, when you're not playing it as an aura, it can generate a swarm of tokens. All in all, it's a sweet card that scales well with the game. It's currently seeing play in decks that can put a lot of lands into play and alongside cards like Scute Swarm, Thalia and The Gitrog Monster, and Lotus Cobra.

9. Fanatic of Rhonas

Speaking of combos, Fanatic features in a simple one alongside Sword of the Paruns. It's a two card combo, but you do need to control a creature with power 4 or more, whether you're buffing the Fanatic itself, you've Eternalized it, or you control a different burly creature. Tapping the powered up Fanatic and activating the Sword's ability with the mana leads to infinite green mana and eventually the ability to untap the rest of the board however many times you want. Of course, this means you've put Sword of the Paruns in your deck, which to put it lightly may not always be worth a slot. Even so, two-card combos can be powerful and this is a new one to watch out for.

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Fanatic also slots nicely into decks that are looking to build around the "4 or more power" theme with commanders like Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma. There's no need to stop at four though, with commanders like Ghalta, Primal Hunger and Xenagos, God of Revels happy to take advantage of the extra mana this 1/4 can generate. If you're looking for more ways to turn Ferocious on early, remember that creatures with Exalted can give attackers the temporary power boost you need to cast a big spell in your postcombat main phase.


8. Strix Serenade

Blue mages are always in the market for new and interesting counterspells and this Swan Song callback is no exception. Swan Song always has the potential to get you out of sticky combo situations. Serenade is obviously similar, but it also boasts the upside of being able to answer commanders on the stack for just one mana. It also protects you from the seemingly increasing number of creature-based combos entering the format, which seems timely seeing what Nadu, Winged Wisdom and Springheart Nantuko have been doing in other formats.

Song certainly gets the nod right now thanks to its longevity and ability to counter removal spells as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if Serenade slowly creeps up the list of most played Commander cards in time.


7. Marionette Apprentice

One of my favorite things about new sets is discovering which cards were seemingly seeded in to buff specific themes and archetypes across different formats. I can't be the only sacrifice enthusiast who rejoiced upon laying eyes on this card!

The relevant half of a Zulaport Cutthroat that also brings extra material to sacrifice adds up to a neat package that will see play alongside basically every card in my article on most played Rakdos cards in Commander. The 1/1 it can add to the board really is no joke; it gives you something to get the chain going with a Deadly Dispute or Skullclamp, it makes Blasphemous Act cheaper for no extra effort or cost, and it even has synergy with token cards like Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter.


I guess you could put a +1/+1 counter on it instead of making a token, if you wanted to, for some reason.


6. Warren Soultrader


Seeing play in slightly more decks than Apprentice is this powerful sacrifice enabler. Soultrader can generate material as long as your have enough life points, which shouldn't be a problem if you're running Cutthroat or Blood Artist. In fact, costing zero mana to activate turns on a bunch of combos, including one in mono-black with Artist and Gravecrawler. I missed it initially, but the Soultrader isn't just a Goblin; it's a Zombie too!

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Even when you're not generating infinite death triggers and ETBs, you can still go crazy with high synergy commanders like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, Vihaan, Goldwaker, and Kambal, Profiteering Mayor.

5. Six

Six is the type of card that doesn't exactly win a game by itself but will threaten to do so if left unchecked. When you've attacked a couple of times and cast a spell from your graveyard, it's going to remind you a lot of Wrenn and Six, the card it's calling back to. Unlike the Planeswalker, however, you can slot it into non-red decks, meaning it's currently seeing play in lists led by The Mycotyrant, The Wise Mothman, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, and more.

I also love how it interacts so favorably with Yuma, Proud Protector. Six can give you a steep discount on Yuma's casting cost and having them both in play can net you a bunch of 4/2 tokens if you build you manabase judiciously. And of course, we're always looking for ways to break Life from the Loam, aren't we?

4. Shifting Woodland

Woodland is a sweet utility land that is unsurprisingly one of the most played Commander cards from this set. Once again, thanks to Commander Spellbook, I know that there are a few combos you can pull off with this land, including a few with Lotus Cobra. Maybe you run this and Springheart Nantuko in the same deck, eh?

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Even when you're not going off, being able to copy the best permanent in your graveyard can be a big game, especially if that permanent boasts a powerful activated ability, static effect, or attack trigger. Being able to copy enchantments means you can do stuff like unexpectedly buff your board up with a Felidar Retreat or get a Sylvan Library trigger by activating it on your upkeep.

You don't need to do a ton to enable Woodland as you want to be playing a good mix of card types anyway, and it's pretty easy to make sure this enters untapped. Notably, Crop Rotation tutors this card up while also giving you two card types towards Delirium. Entomb is a card that many decks want to be playing anyway, and Woodland can fill in admirably for a reanimation spell.

All in all, it's a flexible, powerful, and tricky land that you can include in your deck without costing you.

3. Urza's Cave

Paying four mana to tutor up a land directly into play is an incredibly powerful ability, especially in decks that would really like to see a specific mana source like Gaea's Cradle, Cabal Coffers, or Urza's Saga. You can also get tricky with this tutor by fetching ETB lands like Bojuka Bog or Mystic Sanctuary. I suspect that this card will go on to see a lot more play as time passes, because this ability is just that valuable in a format where lands are among the most powerful effects on the board.

Heck, you'll even find me fetching a Simic Growth Chamber to pick up the Boseiju, Who Endures I begrudgingly had to play as a mana source on turn two!

2. It That Heralds the End and new Eldrazi Toys

Several Eldrazi from MH3 made the top 10 list according to EDHREC data, but it felt a little unfair to give each one its own entry when there are so many cool cards to write about. So, I've decided to lump all the eldritch abominations into one item and hope Emrakul doesn't drive me mad out of revenge.

Rather fittingly for a couple of reasons, It That Heralds the End is the headliner for this motley crew of appendages and fractals. Eldrazi as a theme have generally focused on gigantic monsters and ramp payoffs, so it's great to have a "lord" creature that not only makes finishers easier to cast but also gives Spawn and Scion tokens a little boost. It's important to remember that Harold, as I have chosen to call this thing, also makes spells cheaper, so you get access to important archetype cards like All Is Dust, Rise of the Eldrazi, and Darksteel Monolith a little earlier than normal.

Aside from Harold, MH3 has introduced such violent colorless delights as Echoes of Eternity, Null Elemental Blast, and Glaring Fleshraker.

Echoes and Fleshraker are excellent engines to round out an Eldrazi-matters deck. Blast, meanwhile is a flexible spell that deals with a huge swath of problems in the format. You can also run it outside of Eldrazi if you need to, as long you play enough colorless sources.

Of course, we have the titans themselves, of which Emrakul and Ulamog seem like a cut above Kozilek. All in all, MH3 delivered a huge haul of Eldrazi that will give deckbuilders something to chew on. Please don't eat the Eldrazi, though.

1. Sink into Stupor and other Spell-lands

If there is one thing more powerful and awe-inspiring in the Multiverse than Eldrazi, it's modal double-faced cards (MDFCs). At least that's what EDHREC users think, and who can blame them? Spells that can also be lands are completely ridiculous and wonderful for several reasons. They don't take up land slots (unless you play a lot of them), yet they reduce the number of non-games due to not having enough mana.

Also, effects like Future Sight that let you play the spell side will also allow you to play the land side. Of course, this isn't always the case, as some cards like Lurrus of the Dream Den will specify which types of cards you can play from different zones. And, unlike the non-mythic rare spell-lands from Zendikar Rising, most of the MDFCs from MH3 can be played untapped for three life. The very nature of these modal cards leads them to be great options in Commander, and that's before you consider how these boast staple effects like graveyard hate, removal, and card advantage.

You really can't go wrong including some of these in your EDH decks. That's why they're the most played Commander cards in Modern Horizons 3!


I call upon a power greater than myself

Which cards from MH3 do you think are underplayed right now? Personally, I think the five FlaresFlare of Denial[/ec] will start to see more play once people realize that while they're not Solitude and the gang, they're still free spells with relevant effects. I think this set has a lot to offer, and more and more sweet cards will see play.

Until next time, readers! And please, put MDFCs in your decks!

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