Modern Horizons has been outdoing itself all throughout this spoiler season. From the first appearance of major story characters like Urza and Serra to the reemergence of Slivers, Modern Horizons has impressed many players. With this latest spoiler from JiRock on Twitch, the parade of flavorful and powerful card marches forward. Say hello to massive new Snow permanent, Frostwalk Bastion.
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Frostwalk Bastion is a Snow Land, so it taps for colorless snow mana. It also has an activated ability that allows it to become a 2/3 Construct artifact creature for one generic and one snow mana. This is an effect shared by a type of lands known colloquially as ‘manlands’.
Manlands (also known as creature lands) are lands with an inherent ability to become creatures. The original manland, Mishra’s Factory, appeared first in Antiquities. However, some of the most well-known cards of this type were the dual-colored manlands in the Worldwake set. Frostwalk Bastion is one of the few lands of this type that comes into play untapped.
Frostwalk Bastion is also unique in that it is the only manland with an effect that persists past the turn it is activated. Damage done by the animated land has a Take into Custody effect. The card states that when it deals combat damage to a creature, tap that creature and it doesn’t untap for a turn. This essentially allows you to control your opponent’s board for combat using this land as a blocker or attacker.
With the reveal of this card, along with the spoilers of the full-art snow lands, it appears Wizards is really putting emphasis on the Snow super-type in Modern Horizons.
How to utilize Frostwalk Bastion
Frostwalk Bastion creates a lot of really interesting opportunities if used appropriately. Due to the land being specifically a Snow land, you can use its mana to pay for any spells or abilities with Snow mana in its cost. It will also grant extra usefulness to other cards that require Snow permanents to be on the battlefield.
The real power in Frostwalk Bastion, though, is its ability to become a creature and tap down other creatures. An important note about when this land becomes a creature is that it also comes with the “Artifact” typing. This allows it to receive buffs from cards like Chief of the Foundry, and buff other cards, like Deadeye Plunderers.
Improving the bastion’s blocking ability also increases its overall effectiveness. Granting the land reach or flying as well as allowing it to block multiple creatures provides an advantage when you are on defense. If you want to go on the attack, forcing creatures to block Frostwalk Bastion with Alluring Scent will give your other creatures pseudo-unblockable and let you tap down some of your opponent’s creatures.
Overall, Frostwalk Bastion is a very strong card with a good amount of flexibility. While it may not see play in a lot of decks in the format, it might boost up some weaker Snow permanent decks. Don’t be surprised to see this card in a couple of artifact decks as well.