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Magic The Gathering: What Is Modified?

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  • What Is Modified?
  • How To Use Modified
  • What Colour Is Modified?

In Kamigawa, augmentations are everywhere. Magic The Gathering's cyberpunk plane is choc-full of robots, cyborgs, and equipment that push a creature beyond their limit, and nobody bats an eyelid at a robo-ninja like Kaito Shizuki running about the place.

For Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, these augmentations are all reflected in the set's new mechanic, Modified. Whether you go the technological route of cyber augmentation or invoke the Kami to enchant your creatures, there's a lot of payoffs to modifying them. Here is everything you need to know about Magic's Modified mechanic.

What Is Modified?

Modified is 'batching' mechanic that refers to things that have been placed onto creatures. This means that Modified isn't technically its own mechanic, it's a family of mechanics grouped together and given some sort of collective benefit. The last time we saw a batching mechanic like this was in Dominaria, where artifacts, sagas, and Legendary spells were all considered "Historic".

For a creature to be considered Modified, it needs to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • It has a counter of some sort on it. This doesn't just mean +1/+1 counters; the keyword counters like trample or flying counters count, as do the massive list of other, rarely used counters such as feather, paralyzation, omen, prey, void, ghostform or ice. If it's any kind of counter on a creature, it applies.
  • Is enchanted by an aura enchantment you control. You must be in control of both the creature and the aura for it to apply – so your creature enchanted by your Careful Cultivation would be Modified, but if someone else has enchanted your creature with their Intercessor's Arrest, it would not.
  • Has an equipment artifact attached to it. Unlike aura enchantments, this doesn't care about who controls either the equipment or the creature, because there are fewer equipments you use to punish another player in the same way you'd enchant a creature with a Darksteel Mutation or Pacifism.

A creature only has to have one of these things to be considered Modified. However, a creature can lose its Modified status if they lose the thing that made them Modified – destroy the enchantment or unattach the equipment, and they're no longer Modified.

As mentioned, being Modified doesn't inherently give your creature anything extra. Instead, you'll need cards that care about Modifications, like Invigorating Hot Spring, which gives all Modified creatures haste.

As a very minor point of confusion, this Modified – which is the mechanic that will be used going forward – isn't technically the first Modified in the game. The Mystery Booster playtest card Louvaq, the Aberrant had a different version of Modified that applied to any creature whose power or toughness was different from what was printed on the card. Playtest cards like Louvaq are not legal in any format outside of Mystery Booster draft, and this version of Modified has nothing to do with the real version introduced in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.

How To Use Modified

Because Modified applies to three different kinds of cards, it can work in a lot of different decks.

The most obvious application of Modified is in +1/+1 counters decks, as it's the easiest way to make a creature Modified and is more difficult for your opponent to remove than an artifact or enchantment.

Plenty of cards trigger whenever a Modified creature does something, meaning going wide with +1/+1 counters can give you a ridiculous amount of value. For example, Kodama of the West Tree lets you search your library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield tapped whenever a Modifed creature deals combat damage to a player – hit with five creatures, you get five lands.

Enchantress decks and Voltron (equipment) decks would also care about Modified, but not quite as much. The problem is Enchantress tends to care more about casting enchantments to win rather than hitting with a big, enchanted-to-the-gills creature. Voltron, meanwhile, often only has a handful of creatures, which doesn't scale as well with the payoffs of Modified.

Unless you're willing to go all-in and commit an entire deck to Modified, you're likely only going to be using it as a small, added morsel of value. It isn't a game-winner on its own.

What Colour Is Modified?

As Modified cares about three mechanics with decades worth of cards behind them, we're only going to count cards that use the word "Modified" specifically.

There are a total of 18 cards that care about Modified, with most of them appearing in the Gruul colours of red and green. There are zero white cards, one blue, two black, four green, and seven red cards. There are also two multicolour (both Gruul), and two colourless Modified cards.

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