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Modern Horizons is a groundbreaking new set for Magic: The Gathering for two reasons. Primarily, it’s the first set to add cards to the game’s popular Modern format without first going through Standard. This will shake up the Modern format more quickly than relying on weaker on average cards to filter through Standard.

Secondly, Modern Horizons has been described as a love letter to the Time Spiral block. Released in 2007, the three sets that made up this block were full of old mechanics, callbacks, and homages to Magic lore. It proved far too complex for new players and was a sales flop. However, Modern Horizons, with its audience of more advanced players, is the perfect place for such a set.

[irp posts=”24098″ name=”MTG Modern Horizons Day 2 Roundup | All spoilers for May 20″]

This brings us to the latest Modern Horizons spoiler, “Lightning Skelemental” (translation unofficial).

Lightning Skelemental

Lightning Skelemental, Modern Horizons Spoilers


  • Lightning Skelemental (Rare)
  • BRR
  • Creature-Elemental Skeleton
  • Trample, Haste
  • Whenever Lightning Skelemental deals combat damage to a player, that player discards two cards.
  • At the begging of the end step, sacrifice Lightning Skelemental.

Paying homage

This card serves as a reference to both Ball Lightning and Blightning.

Blightning was a beloved card in the Jund decks of the Alara Standard format, where players often cast it for free using the Cascade ability on Bloodbraid Elf. This gave decks tons of value, providing players with a creature that could attack right away, some extra damage, and additional card advantage.

Blightning, Shards of Alara Spoilers Bloodbraid Elf, Alara Reborn Spoilers

Lightning Skelemental takes the Blightning effect of making the opponent discard and dealing them damage and combines it with Ball Lightning. Ball Lightning is a card from 1994’s The Dark. Though it is a creature, its temporary status and massive damage output made it act a lot like a direct damage spell. That makes it a perfect pairing for the Blightning effect.

Ball Lightning went on to become an iconic design that inspired several variations, such as Groundbreaker and Blistering Firecat.

Ball Lightning

Like both of its inspirations, Lightning Skelemental costs only 3 mana, which means Bloodbraid Elf can also cast it for free. A key difference is 6 power of trample will often do more damage to an opponent than Blightning did. The large power will give enemies a hard choice between taking 6 damage and losing two cards, or giving up a creature or two. The opponent will discard if they take any damage, while trample means they will often have to trade away multiple creatures or a single large one to save their hand.

Stay Tuned!

Daily Esports is here to keep you up to date on Modern Horizons spoilers, so keep an eye on our Magic: The Gathering news page! If you missed the past couple days of spoiler season, check out our full roundups from Day 1 and Day 2.