Magic: The Gathering's Modern format will never be the same once Modern Horizons 2, Wizards of the Coast's highly anticipated straight-to-Modern set, comes out June 18.
The set, which comes out for both traditional paper Magic and Magic Online (sorry MTG Arena players), brings with it a plethora of brand new cards as well as generous variety of reprints that are new to Modern, such as Counterspell, Cabal Coffers, Chainer, Nightmare Adept, Squirrel Mob, and Zuran Orb.
Michael Majors, who co-led development in MH2's set design, calls the set WotC's "love letter to Magic players."
"It's an opportunity to celebrate our enfranchised players," he says. "You'll see lots of references to old characters (both in Modern Horizons 1 and Modern Horizons 2), some nostalgic themes, a smörgåsbord of mechanics and mashups, so a lot of complexity, some nostalgia... it's kind of our love letter to Magic players and Magic players who have been involved in the game for a long time."
Majors points out that the set called for a unique way of design and development.
"We called in a bunch of contractors, some professional Magic players: Sam Black, Brian Braun-Duin, and Brad Nelson," he explains.
The combination of in-house and external input helped shape what Modern Horizons 2 would ultimately become, though not everything came easy for the folks involved. In fact, the set's reanimator sub-theme would prove quite troublesome.
"A big goal of doing something like this isn't just to inject raw power into the format," specifies Majors. "We want to give people dynamic choices, we want to expand the card pool...so reanimator was a specific target for that.
"Notably, it was a goal from day one that if we want to push a reanimator deck we would have it target specifically non-legendary creatures," he adds. "Because, if it didn't, people would just automatically put Griselbrand in their graveyard and animate that and it's just solved immediately."
But as for exactly whom Modern Horizons 2 is for, Majors points out that it isn't limited to just one target audience.
"It's not just for Modern players, it's not just for Commander players," he says. "This is a really unique celebration of everything Magic has to offer."
You can watch the entire interview with Michael Majors in the video below:
Modern Horizons 2's prerelease is scheduled to take place the weekend of June 11 with the set's ultimate release taking place the following Friday, June 18.
Don't forget to pre-order your Modern Horizons 2 box so you can be some of the first Magic players in your area to have the cards when the set launches.