Ixalan wasn't a factor at MKM Series Hamburg 2017, as the set wasn't even released yet. But it was of course one of the most discussed topics among players. We asked a number of notable players whether they had seen any cards in the upcoming expansion which might have potential in Modern …
Julian Knab, Legacy champion 2017 SuperFinals: “Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun certainly has potential, even though I'm not convinced it's actually gonna catch on. People are suggesting it for Elves, but I think Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, while not ideal, is still the better card for the deck. Settle the Wreckage … maybe. It's kinda cool that it exiles instead of destroying, so sticky creatures like Voice of Resurgence and Kitchen Finks don't leave anything behind. Not sure if it's really better than Supreme Verdict though, but we'll see. The thing is, I really look down on any actual attempts to play proper control decks in Modern, so I'm not even sure if there's a viable archetype for a card like Settle the Wreckage in the first place.
“Field of Ruin will certainly see play. People are correct to point out that it often won't stop natural Tron on turn three, but I don't even think that's the primary use of the card. It doesn't compete for slots with Ghost Quarter, but rather with Tectonic Edge as a tactical tool in midrange/control decks. Opt I can totally see being played. Viable cantrips are always in high demand in Modern, even though Opt is probably the very low end of what can actually be classified as ‘viable.'
“Ashes of the Abhorrent has potential, but it's got strong competition in Grafdigger's Cage and Rest in Peace. Unclaimed Territory will probably see play as the poor man's Cavern of Souls. Treasure Map / Treasure Cove provides an insane amount of value. I really hope it catches on, but I'm skeptical. Modern right now is a super brutal and cutthroat format with little room for cute and long-term value engines.
“I just realized that most of the cards I hope will catch on in Modern are cards that I secretly/subconsciously wish were Legacy-playable. In a way, labeling them as potentially Modern-playable is my excuse to still bring them up.”
Rodrigo Togores, three-time MKM Series champion: “Search for Azcanta / Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin is a great card to grind out slow decks. Getting some card advantage every turn can be really powerful. Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun is a Gaea's Cradle that does something before giving all the mana boost. Not so explosive but better in multiples. Opt will be played in Modern for sure, it's a great cantrip in combo decks with counters and in control decks that don't want to tap out. Primal Amulet / Primal Wellspring is a noncreature version of Goblin Electromancer or Baral, could be used in Storm when you have to grind out and your oppnent overloads on creature removal. Just to copy a Manamorphose is awesome already. It's like a Pyromancer Ascension that doesn't depend on the graveyard.”
Marius Hausmann, Legacy champion MKMS Milan 2017: “Chart a Course caught my immediate attention. It looks highly playable across all formats. Even without attacking the card is still reasonable after all. In Modern I could easily see it find a place in a blue-red Delver deck, especially since most of the good cantrips are banned. Of course, Death's Shadow would have to be banned first, so that more fair creature decks stand a chance again.”
Justin Hayo, back-to-back MKMS Modern Top 8er : “In Modern, the Opt reprint will likely replace Sleight of Hand in Grixis Death's Shadow and Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun could appear in some tribal decks like Elves. Unclaimed Territory is certainly going to find a home in Sliver or Ally.”
Andreas Reling, semifinalist GP Stockholm 2016: “Sorcerous Spyglass will presumably make the Lantern Control maindeck. And Unclaimed Territory is obviously a confirmed four-of in the Sliver Collected Company deck, haha. Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun sounds fantastic in an Elves deck with Collected Company and/or Chord of Calling.”
Thoralf “Toffel” Severin, Standard semifinalist MKMS Prague 2017: “Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun in Elves, Opt in combo and Death's Shadow, Unclaimed Territory in Sliver/Human tribal et cetera, and then there's Field of Ruin—non-basic hate that doesnt cost a land, probably interesting for White-Blue Control.”