We’re just a few days into the two-week Modern Horizons spoiler season, and it’s already safe to say that this will be a hallmark set in Magic history. Continuing this pattern, Portuguese YouTube channel InvoKando revealed another new card earlier today. Aggro-combo fans everywhere should be pretty excited about this one. In the right deck, the new Scale Up (translation courtesy of MTGGoldfish) should prove to be one of the most efficient pump spells ever designed.
[irp posts=”24309″ name=”MTG Modern Horizons Day 4 Roundup | All spoilers for May 22″]
It’s not quite Berserk, but its probably the best we’re going to get in Modern for a 1 mana pump spell. Let’s dig into it.
Scale Up Breakdown
There are a couple of key things to note from the wording of the card:
- Your creature retains all of its original creature types and keywords when Scale Up resolves (Infect, Unblockable, Double Strike, Trample, etc)
- Modifying the base power and toughness (P/T) of a creature has no effect on other P/T modifiers
Consequently, the smaller the creature you target with Scale Up, the more efficient this spell is. Additionally, if you cast another pump spell first (Groundswell, Might of Old Krosa, Mutagenic Growth, Become Immense), the creature retains the +x/+x modifiers and becomes a 6/4 with +x/+x. Maybe you can start to see where this is going.
Impact on Modern
Both of these decks want to attack with efficient creatures, then win out of nowhere with multiple pump spells on one turn. Become Immense has been their biggest payoff in the past, but it can be very hard to pay the Delve cost. It’s also usually worthless on turn 2 because of that restriction.
Let’s focus on Infect, as I think it has the most to gain from Scale Up. The following sequence is lethal on turn 2:
- Turn one: Glistener Elf
- Turn two: Scale Up, Might of Old Krosa, attack.
That’s a clean 10 infect damage on turn two. With 6-8 1 mana pump spells capable of giving +4/+4 alongside Scale Up in the deck, it’s not even an uncommon hand to keep either.
Fitting Scale Up in the deck is easy as well. Like Become Immense, it’s bad in multiples, so we don’t want to play more than three. My personal configuration of pump spells to start out would be:
- 2x Become Immense
- 2x Scale Up
- 4x Might of Old Krosa
- 2x Groundswell
- 4x Blossoming Defense
- 3x Vines of Vastwood
- 4x Mutagenic Growth
Give us your thoughts on Scale Up and all of the other big Modern Horizons reveals of the day in the comments below!