Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons spoilers have been hitting home run after home run this season. With the spoiler of Morophon, the Boundless and Etchings of the Chosen, Wizards shows that they fully intend to boost almost every tribe. The Izzet MTG News spoiler of Unsettled Mariner, Modern Horizons pushes all the tribes even further.
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Unsettled Mariner is a 2/2 shapeshifter champion for one blue and one white mana. With typical bear stats, this shapeshifter already gives major benefits to many decks. What really pushes Unsettled Mariner over the edge is the second ability. This ability triggers whenever your opponents target you or a permanent you control. This includes Unsettled Mariner. The ability states that the spell or ability that is targeting you or your permanent is countered unless its controller pays one generic mana. If you control multiple Unsettled Mariners, the opponent would have to pay one extra for each.
The changeling keyword is extremely important for the card as well. This keyword allows the mariner to fit in almost any tribal deck that would like some added protection. The card will trigger or boost any effects that check for the number of creatures of a certain type. Unsettled Mariner also receives any static buffs from lords like Death Baron and Drogskol Captain.
How to utilize Unsettled Mariner
Unsettled Mariner fits well into almost any tribal deck that sits in the blue/white color pie. Due to its protective ability, some weaker tribes like humans gain some staying power on the board. Slivers will also enjoy this creature as it will gain all Sliver effects while making your creatures harder to remove.
The tribe that this will most likely see the most play in though is spirits. Spirit decks normally are blue/white decks with some splashing black for some extra benefits. Unsettled Mariner settles into this deck by being a low-cost creature that gives large advantages to an already evasive and powerful deck. Decks should run at least two of this card to give spirits semi-hexproof until Drogskol Captain enters.
Unsettled Mariner is by far one of the strongest tribal cards to come out of Modern Horizons spoilers. Its flexibility in creature type as well as its protection advantage make it a force to be reckoned with. The card will almost certainly see play in Modern spirit decks as well as some other tribal decks like Slivers. Picking up a play set of this creature will be a top priority when the set drops.