Modern Horizons 3 Set Review - Artifacts & Lands

MH3 Set Review - Artifacts and Lands

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What Is Past The Horizon?

It is time for every Commander player's favorite time of year. That's right; it's the third installment of Commander Horizons! Whoops, I meant to say it's time for the Artifact and Land review for Modern Horizons 3. My name is Nick, let's go!


Disruptor Flute

The first card of the main set is Pithing Needle's overachieving cousin. This flute will play a tune that will be one player's favorite song, two players' guilty pleasure, and one player's version of nails on a chalkboard. This card having flash also means that even when you don't know what to name before a player casts a spell, you still have a card that can stop what they're doing. This card will have a better chance of showing up and performing well when you know what you're up against. This will work in the defined Friday Night Magic meta amongst you and your friends, and this card will get even better the closer you get to a cEDH power level.

Winter Moon

Throwback, reference, or retrain. No matter what you call it, this set has them, and this card is no exception. Reminiscent of Winter Orb, but this time, it got flung into space. The fewer colors your deck has or the more basics you are willing to run, the better this card is.

In a world where utility and nonbasic lands are getting better and easier to find, outside of highly competitive pods, I don't know how many players will be getting Imprisoned in the Moon.

Conversion Apparatus

Three CMC mana rocks often get a lot of hate. For many rocks at this point in the curve, it's usually better to look at what they can do for you outside of just making mana. With Conversion Apparatus, the best thing you can do is resource management. If you have too much or not enough of either energy or mana, this card can help you out. This card is also very good at helping with high-cost energy requirements on cards like Dr. Madison Li or required payments for Liberty Prime, Recharged.

Stone Idol Generator

This card would be too strong if you could activate it outside of sorcery speed. But even with a restriction, some cool things can be done with this card. This card is in the right deck one of the best ways to gain massive amounts of energy. Decks using Whirler Virtuoso and going wide will gain tons of energy. Any deck that wants artifact creatures/tokens/Golems could also find use for this. A 6/12 Golem with trample is nothing to turn your nose up at! One commander that might want this would be Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer. If you can't stop a single 6/12, what would you do against an entire board of them with haste?


  • Idol of False Gods
    • This card isn't the best at making tokens. But this card might be one of the cheapest and biggest Eldrazi. You always sacrifice Spawn tokens in an Eldrazi deck, so the eight counters on this will be easy. Any Eldrazi decks love annihilator of any number.
  • Solar Transformer
    • If this card didn't come in tapped, it would be wild. We'll take a slight downside for two mana on a versatile mana rock. It's great in an energy deck, but I believe in any deck that wants cheap mana rocks, getting three uses of making any color will be an acceptable reason to run this card.
  • Vexing Bauble
    • This card should be there if you have a flex spot in your deck. However, make sure you read it and then reread it a few more times. This card is symmetrical and does not care about the actual mana value of the card, just if you paid any mana to cast it. So every time you hit a card coming off of Cascade, a free Evoke cost, or anything played off of Omniscience, say thank you to me under your breath.



Ugin's Labyrinth

Remember the feeling you get when you look at your opening seven, and you realize you can go land drop, Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, pass the turn? What if, for the low price of having something like Bronze Horse, you could now also play a Shadowspear and Aether Vial? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

The power level of this card is bonkers. Karn, the Great Creator now has a real way in Commander to utilize grabbing something out of exile. This card can protect a higher CMC card you're not ready to use. While you wait for the right time to use the exiled card, you have an Ancient Tomb that deals you no damage. In decks that synergize with artifacts, this card is especially good when the two most played cards that fit the Labyrinth's imprint criteria are Meteor Golem and Myr Battlesphere.

Finally, at higher power levels, this card does one of the most important things to help you win the game: Go faster than your opponents. Fast mana is the name of the game, and this can be one of the fastest ways to generate mana off a single land.


  • Shifting Woodland
    • The best of what I'm calling "Pal Lands" is one step below the "Buddy Lands" like Glacial Fortress. Delirium is very easy to get online for this card's copy ability to be active, and when it is, the things you can do with this land are endless. Without hesitation, this could be considered the most powerful card in the set. It can also become almost any card in the set.
  • Arena of Glory
    • There is one neat trick that can be pulled with this card, and that is giving two of your creatures haste with the mana generated. Deliberately using only one red mana, this card generates off of being exerted per creature, allowing two of the creatures you next cast to come in with haste. Your days might be numbered, Hall of the Bandit Lord.
  • Archway of Innovation
    • Improvise is nothing special, but this land is the third strongest in my opinion and worth highlighting. Cheating the mana cost on your spells is never bad, and having that ability on a land counteracts the downside of having to pay a mana and tap this land to use the ability.
  • Spymaster's Vault
    • This might be the best land in the set for filling a graveyard quickly. Since you only get to Connive based on how many creatures died this turn, you need expendable creatures, such as tokens, or you need to cast a lot of wraths that leave you with one creature. Black decks can do both of these, so this will find a home in a deck here and there.
  • Monumental Henge
    • An expensive activation cost that, unlike its green counterpart The Great Henge, could get you nothing after paying for it. The Henge might have a chance of finding a home in a Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, a deck wanting to maximize historic spells and finding them as often as it can.

Omo, Queen of Vesuva

One of my favorite new cards from the set comes from the Tricky Terrain commander deck. Omo, Queen of Vesuva takes a new twist on Lands-matter decks. Instead of how many lands you have or explicitly what kind of land you have, Omo wants you to have a little bit of everything. So much so that the following rare lands are from the Tricky Terrain Commander deck!

Horizon of Progress

Have you ever wanted land that can ramp you up with more land? Good news. This card is a "Frankenstein's Monster" mashup of Mana Confluence, Horizon Canopy, and Terrain Generator. If this land denotes progress on the horizon, we might be moving too fast. There truly is nothing that this land cannot do, and that is why it is so strong. It can be color fixing in any deck. Ramp in decks that do not have green in their color identity. And as a last resort, it can draw you a card. As long as you have a way to not die to the life lost, this land will have to fight a way out of your decklist.

Lazotep Quarry

If you told me they would stick The Scarab God and Phyrexian Altar on land, I would call you crazy. But here we both are. Unlike our Scarab overlord, you need a desert to throw away and a fair bit of mana to get the creature you want. While this will not be a card in every deck out in the wild, decks like Ghired, Mirror of the Wilds, Chatterfang, Squirrel General, and more classic reanimation decks like Old Stickfingers might want this, and another desert or two added to their lists.

Planar Nexus

It's the proper black-bordered version of Nearby Planet. If you're not playing Omo, Queen of Vesuva, there are some cycles of lands that love specificity. Planar Nexus can be used as a missing piece in these strategies. This works with cards looking for a large amount of a specific land type, Maze's End. Cards like Hour of Promise also get a bit better when you have enough deserts on the battlefield. But there are two sets of lands that Planar Nexus excels next to on the battlefield.

Firstly, the classic triumvirate of:

Known to many as Urza's Tron, or more simply Tron.

The next is a lesser-known pair of lands from Mirrodin:

Planar Nexus adding to the mana generation and lifegain of these Locus or Tron lands in big colorless decks like Kozilek, the Great Distortion adds juice that is certainly worth the squeeze.

Sunken Palace

This is a very slow and "expensive" copy effect. The significant upside to the card is the flexibility to copy something like Gyruda, Doom of Depths while it's on the stack. Or the ability of Lithoform Engine targeting your Gyruda, Doom of Depths, while on the stack. This card's fun moments will be why you'll likely see it in decks across different power levels.

Talon Gates of Madara

Combat tricks like this have been rarely seen since the days of Maze of Ith. It's the ultimate rattlesnake card because you would never expect something like this from a land. If someone can consistently return this card to their hand with cards like Meloku the Clouded Mirror, they may never take damage again.


Do not let your opponents have Locus. As I mentioned above, Glimmerpost and Cloudpost are Locus lands from way back in Mirrodin. Trenchpost now adds a third to the previous pair, which might be the second-best of the bunch. Like the others, this post gets better the more Locus lands you have on the battlefield. While not taking the top spot from Cloud, being able to mill a player like yourself is often more beneficial than gaining life. Plus, this land comes in untapped.

As a format, we are also seeing an uptick in the inclusion of lands that become other lands like Vesuva and Thespian's Stage as more and more powerful non-basic lands are printed. So, having a critical mass of Locus lands gets easier by the set. I hope I play against someone brave enough to build a colorless mill deck trying to win with this card.


Urza's Cave

Three mana for an activation looks expensive. I assure you, the cost is worth it. This is the only candidate outside of Shifting Woodland that could be considered the strongest card in the set. There is no restriction on what land you can get. And without restrictions, this card looks closer to Demonic Tutor every second for a land based strategy.

Your favorite land ✔. A bounce land ✔. A Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, to win the game ✔ ✔ ✔. If you play this land multiple times with a Crucible of Worlds or get multiple elementals off of Titania, Protector of Argoth, it's great. Like other lands that "fetch" another land out of the deck Omnath, Locus of Creation would appreciate two Landfall triggers while also grabbing your Ghost Town for future turns.

I hope that this card will be something all players can get their hands on by being uncommon. Sure to be a staple of the format, I cannot wait to see what people get up to with this card.


New Panoramas

Whether you call them Tricycle Lands or Panoramas, the main set has one for every three color combination. The original Shards of Alara panorama lands were solid budget pieces, and while these are more restrictive to the decks they can be in, adding cycling to a card always ups the power level. Ten of these new lands will mostly be found in Draft and Sealed, but do not be surprised when one shows up across from you in a pod.

Fetch Lands

An important set of five lands are back in the main set. The allied color fetches. First appearing in Onslaught, fetch lands redefined all formats they are legal in. Fetch lands have gotten better as time passes, and every time they're reprinted, their value should lower enough to make them more accessible for more players.

Shades of Grey

Modern Horizons 3 is full of many things for many players. It had my brewing juices pumping before I saw all the cards. Unsurprisingly, I think this set will do wonders for the format, and all four Commander precon decks will have players saying, "They made this just for me." I am excited about this set and can't wait to get these cards.

Be sure to see what others are saying about all the cards from the main set and the commander decks here at EDHREC and Commander's Herald.

Player and lover of all Magic the Gathering formats. Forged in the fires of Oath of the Gatewatch expeditions. Always down to jam games with anyone and everyone. When not playing Magic I am doing something else equally, if not more nerdy.

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