Modern Horizons Top 5 Pick-Ups for Oathbreaker

“I Told You I Had an Oathbreaker!”

Modern Horizons pre-release is this weekend, and can’t let you go in unprepared. You’ve already read the spoilers. Your high on the hype. We couldn’t be more excited for all the new Oathbreaker tech being suspended for us in the new set. But what exactly should we be trying to cycle or pick up to evolve our decks?

When trying to figure out what manifested as ‘pick worthy’, I struggled to choose only a few cards, because the set is snow well constructed, it’s likely to echo and rebound across multiple formats. Let’s scry to delve into the new cards that will make us cascade into an overload of brewing. We’ll retrace the best time to exploit  price fluctuations and flashbacks to devour the most value.

Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself…


I never have felt so called out by a mana rock.

 Unlike EDH, our format is less centered around battlecrusier magic. In general, we don’t allocate much room for ramp. That said, these little tributes are something you’re deck is gonna need. At 2 mana, a rock that comes into play untapped and can tap for colored mana is exactly the kind of get up and go we want. If you’re planning on building a lot of Oathbreaker decks like I am, pick up as many as you can.

Buy In

A lot of these are pre-ordering at sub $.50 or even sub $.25. If you’ve watched or are familiar with the price trajectory of the original Talismans before being reprinted, you’ll note that a lot of them (especially the ones in non green colors) went up to a $1.00 or more. Talismans are a snap pick-up for me, whether as throw-ins in trades or just pulling them out of bulk bins at your LGS. Foils are also something I’d grab as soon as possible with these, simply because of how many EDH decks and Oathbreaker decks are going to want these.

Generous Gift

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got there I’ll never know”-Groucho Marx

This card pacaderms so much utility that I’m nearly trunk with power and its flexibility is not irrelephant. Puns aside, this is a colorshifted Beast Within [], which falls into an interesting power level place in various formats. In most 60 card eternal formats like Legacy and Modern, Generous Gift is too slow at 3 mana and the drawback of giving your opponent a 3/3 body is a real. In multiplayer formats, like Oathbreaker the versatility and inherent politics of the format make the downside of the card almost non-existent. The equity of being able to answer any threat from any of your three opponents is far too powerful to ignore.

Buy In

Generous Gift is shaping up to become a staple of both Oathbreaker and EDH and, at less than a $1.00 for pre-order, it really does feel like a generous gift. Given how much white can struggle with permanent removal beyond Oblivion Ring [], I expect this card to see a lot of play. I’m fine trading or buying two playsets worth for general future use. Foils as always are a good choice on cards that are likely to be EDH and Oathbreaker staples. I fully expect movement, not unlike Beast Within (before it was reprinted).

Winds of Abandon

Mmmmm Delicious!

Winds of Abandon is the secret love child of Cyclonic Rift and Path to Exile. Much like Cyclonic Rift, it has the utility of being used as spot removal or as one sided board wipe.  Unlike Rift, which has the downside of simply ‘resetting’ an opponent by bouncing everything to their hand, Winds permanently cashes in their creatures for tapped basic lands. In Oathbreaker, permanently exiling all of your opponents’ creatures is well worth the cost of admission. This sounds like pure magical love gravy, right? So where’s the downside? In this case, Magic R&D decided to make this a sorcery, instead of granting it Path’s instant speed. Even so, I expect to find Winds in most, if not all, white Oathbreaker decks. It’s great early game, and insane late game.

Buy In

Pre-ordering at about $2.00, I don’t feel uncomfortable trading for it. While I do stand by the possibility of it becoming both an EDH and Oathbreaker staple, I don’t think this is a card is one to go deep on. It will definitely be showing up in a lot of casual multiplayer formats, but I don’t expect it to warrant a massive price spike.

Buy the ones you’ll use immediately, but there’s no real sense of urgency behind picking these up. Foils are a different story. While the set is NOT a limited print run, it is also NOT print-to-demand, which is an important distinction. I’m not going out of my way to pick up foils, but if the opportunity to get one presents itself, I’d be hard pressed to say no.

Sword of Sinew and Steel/Sword of Truth and Justice

When you grasp one, Raining Blood By Slayer plays. When you grasp the other, you hear Ben Stein reading tax bylaws

Of all the cards that are poised to be uniquely good in this format, these two really slice into the competition.  In more competitive formats, like Modern and Legacy, these two swords will have absolutely no impact. Even in EDH, the patron format of jank cards, these swords come up short.  So what makes these uniquely better in Oathbreaker than EDH?

Sword of Truth and Justice

Sword of Truth and Justice benefits from being able to consistently gain value from it’s proliferate trigger. In EDH, you would have to run a counters-matter deck for the full value to proliferate. If only there were a format where an integral part of the format’s strategy had a target that could be proliferated… for value… if only such a format existed…

Truly, the only format that will take advantage of this sword and do it justice is Oathbreaker.


Sword of Truth and Justice is pre-ordering for $14-16, and I expect this to correct downward. This will see some EDH play, but it’s real home is Oathbreaker. Buy or trade for whatever play copies you want to use immediately and wait a bit for it to bottom out. There is very little hype behind this sword, so I see no reason to go heavy on this just yet.

Sword of Sinew and Steel

Similarly, the Sword of Sinew and Steel comes up short in EDH, but is a beast for Oathbreaker. In EDH, the ability to destroy an artifact and a Planeswalker everytime you connect in combat seems strong, but is actually way more niche than you’d expect. Protection from red and black is a strong combination. Stapling a bear to your creature is no joke. But, for the mana investment, the Sword still seems barely on the sword’s edge of EDH.

What makes it so good in Oathbreaker? Much like Truth and Justice, Sinew and Steel interacts with a key component of our format. We will often have a target Planeswalker to destroy, and even when we don’t, it acts as a rattlesnake; de-incentivizing people from casting their Oathbreakers until the sword is gone.

If one Modern Horizons card is poised to become a staple of Oathbreaker, this is it. I can think of only one or two decks where I wouldn’t unsheathe this sword. Even in a control heavy build, I could see myself strapping this onto a Snapcaster [] and swinging in at an opponent to reap the reward of the sword. The power of this sword feels almost limitless.

Buy In:

This card is pre-ordering at $14 and some change. At this price, I’d be comfortable buying any copies I’d play immediately, but not more. The reason being that, despite this being a soon-to-be Oathbreaker staple, this will see almost no play in any other formats. It will show up in EDH on the merit of it being a Sword, but even then, a lot of player’s aren’t going to be excited to see it.  If you’re looking to get a lot to sit on for future decks, consider waiting a week or two for the market to flood. I don’t expect much growth from this card aside from foils. Foils, appealing to your inner-raccoon….well, I’d get whenever feels good for you. Long term foil swords are just below lands on what I consider fine cards to buy.

Like most good Oathbreaker cards that don’t show up in other formats, I highly recommend against buying in on these to make money. It’s just not happening…yet.

It’s almost like Wizards knew…

Oathbreaker is such a phenomenal format that Wizards of the Coast preemptively designed their two newest swords specifically for a format they hadn’t even considered! It’s an amazing time to be an Oathbreaker! While the set may say “Modern Horizons,” the swords say “Oathbreaker!”

Wrapping Up

Remember, while I make these suggestions, the most important thing is for you to buy the cards you want, build the decks you want, and most importantly have fun.  Leave a comment and tell me what you are most excited about with Modern Horizons or any crazy pre-release stories you have. As always, have fun, roll safe and make sure to Break Oaths and not your bank.