Modern Horizons 3: Timeless Top 10
May 29, 2024
By tyrant

As with every new set, I’m here with my Top 10 new cards for Timeless, and boy- I don’t think I have to say this – but Modern Horizons 3 is the single most powerful single set ever added to Magic Arena. If I covered every card that might be playable from Modern Horizons 3, you would be reading this for over an hour, so I’ll try to keep the list organized and group cards together when possible. Let’s jump right in with a reprint from Modern Horizons 2.

10. Prismatic Ending

Prismatic Ending isn’t an exciting card on its face, but it’s a major addition to the slower multicolored decks of the format, like Four-Color Omnath or various UWx Control Decks. Trading even on mana against any permanent type in the game gives another answer similar to but situationally worse than Leyline Binding.


9. Recruiter of the Guard

Oh, now this is a sweet addition to not only Timeless, but Modern. Recruiter is the type of card that will make me obsessed with white-based Ephermerate piles just for the insane value and options they will provide. If there is anything that Magic players love doing, it is moving game pieces in between zones.

This printing is powerful in conjunction with some cards on the rest of the Modern Horizons 3 cards (namely, Solitude and Grief) and other notable existing cards like Orcish Bowmasters, Juggernaut Peddler and Sigardian Evangel. Those focused on Timeless will notice that Evangel is a bit out of place as far as Timeless playables go, but the next two cards on the list will shine a light on that entry.


8. Primal Prayer And Guide of Souls

Adding to the list of cards that I will undoubtedly become obsessed with, let me introduce you to the combo cards of the set. Guide of Souls is just the most recent take on a Soul Sister type of card, and now it adds energy every time a creature enters under your control. When this is combined with Primal Prayer, it allows for Sigardian Evangel to conjure extra copies for Infinite 3/1s. With 2/3s of the combo being tutorable with Recruiter of the Guard, this combo is sure to be one of the newest decks being added to the Timeless metagame with Modern Horizons 3, and I have a lot of hope in it.

7. Dismember

One of the top decks already in Timeless (Death’s Shadow) gets another good add to this set in this reprint of Dismember. While this is only a small addition, it makes two-color versions more viable. The other decks that may play it include colorless decks and other color pairings that don’t have access to good removal, like Simic.


6. Flare of Denial  and Harbinger of the Seas

Speaking of a Simic deck that just might have to use some copies of Dismember in the sideboard: Merfolk. And it looks like Merfolk got some love in Modern Horizons 3.


The most straightforward addition to Merfolk is Harbinger of the Seas. For most cases, this effect is better than Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon since blue has almost no removal when compared to red. This is going to be really noticeable against Zoo a good amount of the time with Leyline being their only out. Of course, with Master of the Pearl Trident, Harbinger gives all of your Merfolk unblockable against most decks.

Flare of Denial is a way more interesting card, even if I’m a known free-counterspell-hater. Merfolk is the best home for this – within an already tempo-oriented shell that runs blue creatures. I’m not sure if this will be better in the main deck or side, but either way, being able to be proactive with your counterspell or tap out for a Svyelun with interaction against combo decks is going to be gas.

The other deck that might play Flare is the Dredgeless Dredge deck in BO1, with the ability to sac Narcomeba, Prized Amalgam, and another new addition, Sneaky Snacker, to counter graveyard hate for free, but that might be a bit too inconsistent.

5. Ugin’s Labyrinth

So let’s just get this out of the way: Sol Lands(Lands that tap for two mana) are powerful, but I’m not sure if the homes it would have in Timeless are powerful enough yet. Both Eldrazi and Affinity have a shot at being good in the next meta, but a large part of each depends on how good Chalice of the Void on turn one will be. This is due to us missing the cheap artifacts and Eldrazi Temple that Modern has to have more consistency.



4. MFDC Lands

While this is the least exciting addition for most people, Charbelecher is getting much better mana, and some of these will be playable as pitch fodder for three elementals.

Quick note: Drowner of Truth is another 7-drop that can imprint on Ugin’s Labyrinth.


3. Grist, Voracious Larva

Grist will be great in Yawgmoth as a Chord target and will be great in post-board games when flipped before hate can be played. The 1/2 Deathtouch body can also be a great asset when you need to block any-sized threat. I can also imagine Grist in the quickly-rising Jund Deathshadow with both Lurrus and the four maindeck Jet Collectors having the ability flip it easily.


2. Shifting Woodland

Outside of Show and Tell, this card is just a pile of question marks. It is one of the most powerful effects I have seen on a land since Boseiju and is arguably even more powerful.
Granted, this effect and usability are much more niche. Show and Tell will use it to copy Omnisience in the more grindy matchups, and I can see it in Titan Field to copy Titans and Field of the Deads that have ended up in the graveyard. I am looking forward to trying it in various green midrange decks to copy value pieces and maybe a The One Ring or two.


1. Elementals

Now let’s jump into the real reason everyone is here, and the cards that will cause the biggest shake-up to date in Timeless. I’ll go over these individually in ascending order of expected impact on the format – as each one has different homes, but each is more than powerful enough to mess with the format on a base level.


This one is this low on the list mostly through no fault of its own, and is more a consequence of Lurrus of the Dream Den being legal. At the current moment, I expect the premier control deck of the format, Dimir Control, will likely not drop the companion to play any of the elementals, and that hurts Subtlety the most. It will still see play in Sultai Midrange decks and other blue-based control decks, but it is not going to reach the levels of play of the other four.

Endurance is the most fairly castable of the elementals, but it is a huge switch-up for the format and meta decks. Endurance is the first free, instant mass way to hate on graveyards, and just that switches up the way you have to play around hate when jamming those styles of deck.
Another important aspect of Endurance is that it represents an easy hate card against mill strategies that is much more playable than our current options, like Gaea’s Blessing. Most green decks will play some number of copies sideboard, but Yawg and grindy midrange decks can afford to play it main deck, if the meta dictates it.

I struggled for awhile on the order of Solitude and Fury on this list, but I ended up with the opinion that even with the addition of Recruiter of the Guard, it lags a little bit behind on Fury’s impact. Solitude will give the meta more of a reason to play white-based control decks and help Fury invalidate a lot of the creatures in the format, such as the creatures in Zoo. I would not be surprised if some UW Control variants are playable post-Modern Horizons III based purely on the addition of the elementals and how well they work with Mana Drain.

Now, we get to the only one of the five that has been banned in Modern (and for good reasons). This elemental generates positive or even trades on cards almost every time it hits the board – even when pitch cast. Fury will be a large reason that creature-based aggro decks mostly die in Timeless going forward. I also expect Jund Midrange will play more threats like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to play with and against Fury.

Love or hate it, no one can argue that Grief isn’t aptly named. Combine Grief with the printing of reanimate from the OTJ Special Guests, and we now have the Legacy version of “Scam”. As much as I’m looking forward to the high rolling of the turn-one double discarding my opponents’ hands, this will add an unfun play pattern, similar to the current turn-one Necropotence hands in Mono-Black Necro. Even more so, this will force players to play way more high-impact cards. This major shift of deck building rules means synergy-based decks will take a backseat to generically good piles, with the top-tier synergy decks excepting.

Honorable mentions 

These are just a few of the cards that fell off by just a little, but in any average set would easily make it to the Top 10 cards. I guess there is a reason this set doesn’t go into Standard.

That’s all folks! Thank you for staying and reading through my normally scheduled rants, and If you have any questions about any of the cards on this list or feel like I missed one, feel free to comment and ask why I didn’t include them.

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