MTG 10 Best Modern Cards!

Since Modern Horizons 3 is about to be released, the Modern format will receive a lot of attention. Historically, these Horizon series influenced the modern format so heavily that they underwent a pseudo-“spin”. Basically, the format looks completely different at its most competitive levels post-launch.

So we thought it would be fun to take a look at the best Modern cards ahead of Modern Horizons 3's release. Of course, we'll be sure to update this list appropriately once things change.

While some of these cards will serve as guideposts for building various archetypes in Modern, the absolute best cards in the format will be determined by purpose and use alone. So as we move up the list, these choices may seem strange, but according to MTGtop8, these are simply the most commonly used cards in the format right now.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best cards in the MTG Modern format!

#10 | Raghavan, the agile thief

Raghavan, the agile thiefRaghavan, the agile thief

Oh, what a powerful fall. Before the release of The Lord of the Rings: Legends of Middle-earth, Ragavin was definitely a contender for the best card in modern times. Orc Archer then quickly took over the format, essentially rendering the card useless.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer are still popular choices in modern times. Based on MTGTop8's usage percentage, Raghavan should be higher on this list, but Orc Archer remains popular in two of the format's most popular decks, leaving Raghavan's status in jeopardy.

That said, if you're faced with a matchup where you can't deal with Ragavan early on, you're absolutely going to run away with card and mana advantage. There are quite a few decks like Tron, Life's End, Titan Amulet, and others that give Raghavan an uncomfortable amount of time to accumulate advantage. While Raghavan was the best card in Modern for a while, now it's either feast or famine, hosting matchups or becoming food for the Orc Archers.

#9 | Urza’s Saga

Urza's LegendUrza's Legend

To some, this may seem like an odd choice. Urza's Legend is one of the strongest cards in the modern format, as proven by its usage in Traditional, Vintage, and Commander. That said, many of the archetypes enabled by Legends aren't very popular right now, so Urza's Legend isn't a big player in the current metagame.

This card is great in Talisman Titan. able to find Vitality Amulet, Urza’s Legend adds a ton of consistency to ultra-fast combo decks. This card also works wonders in decks like Hammertime, Izzet, etc. grinding station, hardened scales, and the old-school Jund. Unfortunately for Urza's Legend, all of these decks are marginal choices right now.

Modern Horizons 3 has a lot of artifacts and Affinity support. Urza's Legend will likely gain a lot of support thanks to this series. If you're thinking of trying out some artifact synergy, or even the absolutely ridiculous-looking Ugin card, I'd pick these up early.

#8 | Yawgmoth, Doctor Thran

Yawgmoth, Doctor ThoranYawgmoth, Doctor Thoran

Yawgmoth is far less popular throughout the Modern format than the other cards on this list, but this card is the namesake of one of the biggest decks in the format. Without Thran Physician Yawgmoth, Golgari Yawgmoth would not exist. This deck is a strong contender for the best deck in the entire format right now.

This deck is quite complex, utilizing Yawgmoth's animate ability combined with the synergy of Immortal to create infinite combos. Just get two immortal creatures into the game with effects like Blood Artist and you win the game. This combined with the fast mana in Nerd Form and tutoring effects like Summoning Chord creates a toolbox creature combo deck that has never been seen before.

#7 | Force Cycles

Free spells are very powerful in Modern Horizons, and the “Force” cycle includes all free spells in the original Modern Horizons series. Although there is a complete cycle of these cards, only two of them are actually used, and those are Power of Negation and Power of Vitality.

Similar to Summoning Elementals, you can cast these cards for free by exiling another card of the same color from your hand. That is, you can only use free costs during your opponent's turn. Otherwise, you can cast these cards for free.

Power of Negation counters noncreature spells and banishes them, while Power of Vitality destroys two artifacts or enchantments. the power of negation Modern formats have more plays than older formats due to willpower, but Vitality, on the other hand, does a lot of gaming in the old format. This card can still be played in the sideboard in Modern, but artifacts and enchantments are currently less popular. That said, this is still a strong sideboard card against decks like Talisman Titan.

#6 | Evoking Elements

Rather than listing all five evocative elements individually, we decided to group them all into one category. When Modern Horizons 2 released, these five cards revolutionized the Modern format. There was a very strong argument to put these higher on the list, but we decided to go with a percentage usage rate for nominations above that.

The usage of each element in this loop is varied. Sadness is the most popular, appearing in approximately 33% of winning Modern decks. In games like Scam, Living End, Goryo's Vengeance, and more, Sorrow ranges from a simple free mind-seizing effect to a card that rips through your hand and provides threat. This card is very dangerous in a variety of different decks.

Loneliness is probably the second-best evocative element still legitimate in modern times. You'll typically find this card in various slower builds, using it as a free Plowshare Sword as well as a win condition. This card is very powerful in both modes.

Before “Violent Outbreak” was banned, “Subtlety” was banned because it was a powerful card in “Shattering Steps” and “Life's End Cascade” shells. Living End still sees play, but Subtlety has a hard time seeing play beyond that and some of the control decks in the current Modern format.

Endurance is still seeing healthy play, but only as a sideboard option. Exiling the graveyard isn't always a relevant ability, which may make it underwhelming in the main deck in some matchups.

Finally, Fury is arguably the best Evoke element in the modern format. At least that's what Wizards of the Coast thinks, since the card has been banned since Modern. Whether this was the right decision is honestly a huge question mark, as the format seemed to get worse after this decision was made.

#5 | One Ring

one ringone ring

From now on, the list is less about defining cards for various archetypes and more about usage percentages in modern formats.

Alongside our fourth card, The Lord of the Rings is one of two cards from the recently released Lord of the Rings: Stories from Middle-earth set that completely rocked the modern format. Generally speaking, playing a four-mana artifact that doesn't have any direct impact is too slow for Modern, but “One Circle” solves this problem by giving the caster protection from everything the turn into the game. . This effect is so desirable that players use “One Ring” as many times as the first effect as the second effect.

In addition to providing all-in-one protection for a turn, “One Ring” can draw an absolutely staggering amount of cards. Of course, you lose lives when this happens, but you can easily find another ring, replace your current ring, and erase all life loss. You can easily buy yourself tons of cards and time that you can't get in The One Ring.

#4 | Orc Archer

Orc ArcherOrc Archer

Orc Archers, while better in Traditional mode, are still very powerful in Modern mode. Its presence is so pervasive that the viability of anything with a sense of resilience is called into question. Only Ragavan is considered moderately viable, and even the former Overlord's viability in modern times has been questioned in a format where archer representation is heavier.

It was one of two cards in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth that shook up the modern format, and “The Lord of the Rings” was another card that caused a lot of metagame shifts.

While Archer's dominance over tiny creatures is certainly strong, this card is even better at shutting down draw effects. Orc Archer is one of the best foils for this plan considering the card likes to draw a lot of cards. Between various cantrip effects, riding away from the end of life, and more, Orc Archer has enough card draw opportunities to punish many opponents for their antics.

Currently, Orc Archer is dominated by the Golgari Yawgmoth and Rakdos Trick archetypes, but according to MTGtop8, that representation is enough to include it in about 33% of winning deck lists. According to MTGgoldfish at the time of writing, these are the two most popular archetypes in the metagame.

#3 | Acquire Land

MTG Arena acquires landMTG Arena acquires land

There's no denying that Land Fetch is one of the identity-creating cards in the modern format. Fetch Lands allows you to perfectly repair your mana while streamlining your deck, and allows for some incredibly greedy mana bases in the modern format. The recently innovative four-color Living End is a good example. While primarily Bant, some variations of this deck run black mana, allowing you to hard-cast various black spells that you would otherwise cheat through various methods.

The downside, if any, is that using Acquire Land in the modern format can result in a high total life cost for you. Losing one life here, and two in Shock Land, can put you in danger sooner than you think. Honestly, the reward far outweighs the risk, making Landfetch the third-best card in the Modern format right now.

#2 | Lightning


Lightning Bolt originated from Alpha and is one of the most classic Magic cards in existence. Three damage to any target for one mana is a deal that can't be ignored, and most decks that can run this effect will run some amount of damage. Lightning Bolt is just too flexible between kills and removals, and can easily create a mana advantage depending on what's being removed.

Lightning Bolt and our first pick often compete for the most played cards in Modern, depending on which two-week snapshot you look at. Even if the lightning isn't at the top, it's always near the top. No matter what the modern metagame looks like, you can expect to see this classic Magic spell somewhere.

#1 | Fragrant trees, patient ones

Fangshengshu is one of the five legendary waterway places in “Kamikawa: Neon Dynasty”. These channel lands are one of the biggest new additions to Magic in quite some time, and are a staple of every MTG format today. Boseiju is the most popular of these areas, but Soaring City's Otawara is also quite popular and can even be seen playing in Legacy.

Boseiju can destroy artifacts or enchantments for just two mana, doing a great job of giving players a basically free removal spell. If you need to use it as a forest, go ahead. Otherwise, you have an extra removal spell on what might otherwise be a land.

Why is Boseiju the best card in modern times? According to MTGTop8, this is the most commonly used card in the entire format. Of course, any green deck will want to run a copy of this card, so there's definitely some bias there since this card is so easy to play. However, the fact that this card beats Land Fetch and even Lightning in terms of use really proves how powerful “Boseiju, Who Endures” really is.

How will “Modern Horizon 3” change the status quo?

It's no exaggeration to say that Modern Horizons' setting often changes the face of the Modern Horizons metagame. Called “forced rotation” by the community, Modern Horizons 3 could completely change the metagame. Older decks that weren't considered competitive could rise from the ashes, while new archetypes we've never seen before could completely take over the metagame. Wizards of the Coast went to great lengths to try and make this set less metagame-changing than previous Modern Horizons sets, but the cards that came out of this set looked a little ridiculous.

Here's a quick look back at this top ten, because things could look a lot different after Modern Horizons 3 joins the fray and shakes things up.

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