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Wizards of the Coast pre-bans 18 Modern Horizons 3 cards

Since the announcement that Modern Horizons 3 will be available on MTG Arena, questions have arisen regarding its implantation. Given the format-warping power of many of these cards, their legality in Historic has been a constant concern. If banned too much, this set can frustrate players, but not banning enough could result in a forced rotation.

Due to Modern Horizon 3’s power level, Wizards of the Coast is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to pre-bans. Unfortunately, this situation was not even alleviated by the release of Timeless, as the formats are problematically similar. Fortunately, despite this difficult position, Wizards of the Coast made up their minds.

In the latest Arena announcement post, Wizards of the Coast has confirmed that 18 Modern Horizon 3 cards are being hit with pre-bans.

No history of eruptions

Modern Horizons 3 Flare CycleModern Horizons 3 Flare Cycle

From the moment they were first revealed, the entire cycle of Flare cards looked like easy targets for pre-bans. As the free spell cycle in Modern Horizons 3, these cards offered immense value for minimal potential cost. As long as you have a non-token creature of the correct color to sacrifice, these cards are always an option.

Like the free spells in Modern Horizons 2, which we’ll get to later, Flares in Modern Horizons 3 have format-warping potential. This is especially true for Flare of Denial which is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Providing a counterspell that’s a threat even when you’re blasted, this spell is an absolute nightmare.

Aside from Flare of Denial, every Flare simply provides excellent value at virtually no cost. Outside kinda meh Flare of Cultivation each of which can be played at instant speed and offers incredible utility. Whether you want protection, copy effect, or sacrificial removal, these Flares have you covered.

As you might expect, in the latest Arena Announcements article, the Wizards explained why they made this obvious decision before the ban. Finally, wizards simply think that “cards that can be distributed for free with alternate payouts” are too fast for Historic. Given the format-warping power of Modern Horizons 2’s Evoke Elementals, this seems like a fair assessment.

Although the five-card Flare cycle in Modern Horizons 3 won’t be history-legal, you can still play them in Timeless.

Summoned Elementals are pre-banned

MH2 Summon ElementalsMH2 Summon Elementals

As we alluded to earlier, Flares aren’t the only free spell cycle to be hit with pre-bans on the MTG Arena. Making their debut as special guests, the Evoke Elementals cycle from Modern Horizons 2 is also pre-banned! Considering how these cards have affected formats since release, this is hardly a surprise.

Of all the Elementals Summoned, Anger it is undoubtedly the most dangerous. Able to spread four damage, optionally split between multiple targets, Fury would be decent removal when played in lane. However, if you basically cast this card for free, it turns it into an absolute monster.

As with the Flare cycle, the Evoke Elements each offer incredible utility at an exceptionally low cost. Whether you play these cards in the first turn or later in the game, it always feels like a steal. As if that wasn’t good enough, Evoke Elementals have another trick up their sleeve that makes them even more powerful.

Because they are creatures, Summon Elementals can be reanimated once they reach the graveyard. Currently, effects like He’s not dead after all are used to great effect side by side mourning in Modern. When you play in tandem, you not only get free The size of the thought but you also get a 3/2 threat on turn one!

Finally, Evoke Elementals were banned for the same reason Flare cycle was banned. Since these cards are free discards, they are far too fast for Historic in its current state. Potentially, this could change in the future, but hopefully this won’t happen for a long time.

The last eight bans

MH3 pre-banned cardsMH3 pre-banned cards

Outside of the two free card cycles that were unsurprisingly pre-banded, seven other cards are kept out of history. Although not a cycle, two of these cards follow the same theme of messing with terrain. Due to concerns about games slowing down too much, Stax-y Winter month and Herald of the seas both are pre-banned.

In addition to these select cards, Wizards of the Coast has also confirmed that the five enemy Fetch Lands are pre-banned in Historic. To say that these books are pre-banned, however, might be a bit of a misnomer, as they are actually already banned. This happened after the release of Khans of Tarkir on MTG Arena in late 2023.

Despite the fact that nothing has technically changed, it’s still nice to get confirmation on the legality of these cards. Because they are reprinted, it was possible for these lands to be legalized historically due to the changing power level. Since that doesn’t happen, hopefully Historic should retain much of its current feel.

Last but not least, Wizards also confirmed that a Modern Horizons 3 is pre-banned in Brawl. This card is Disruptive Flute, which seems like a very fair call. Since this card can completely shut down a Commander, playing against it would be truly horrible. Ultimately, this means that Disruptor Flute should be banned for fun, just like Drannith Magistrate was.

Are these bans enough?

Labyrinth of UginUgin's Labyrinth

Finally, Modern Horizons 3 cards that get hit with pre-bans in Historic feel very safe. For better or worse, it seems only the worst of the worst books are banned. Considering that many MTG Arena players want to enjoy these cards, this restraint from Wizards is not entirely surprising. That said, it might not be a good thing.

Given the level of power seen in Modern Horizons 3, Historic could still succumb to a forced rotation. Ideally, that rotation it will simply introduce new packages instead of removing old ones, but that remains to be seen. In the end, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Fortunately, if Wizards of the Coast wasn’t banned enough, they can fix this problem pretty quickly. As announced in May, the next bans are scheduled to take place on June 24. This should hopefully give time for the dust to settle and for any new cards worth the money to appear in Historic.

Every pre-banned Modern Horizons 3 card

When Modern Horizons 3 launches on MTG Arena, the following 16 cards will be pre-banned in Historic.

  • Herald of the seas
  • Winter month
  • Resistance
  • Anger
  • mourning
  • Subtlety
  • Loneliness
  • Flare of Fortitude
  • Flare of Denial
  • The flame of malice
  • Flare of Duplication
  • Flare of Cultivation
  • Bloodstained mud
  • Strand flooded
  • The polluted delta
  • Windy Heath
  • Wooded foothills

In addition to story-focused pre-bans, one Modern Horizons 3 card is pre-banned in Brawl.

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