Is Assassin's Creed Just Modern Horizons 3.5?

Ben Fraley
July 09, 2024


Modern Horizons 3 released less than one month ago, but already a new direct-to-modern product is making waves in Magic’s most popular format. Assassin’s Creed is a small set of cards that are mostly meant for Commander and come sold in 7-card packs. Most cards are bad to unplayable, but a few cards warrant a bit of consideration, or in the case of Basim Ibn Ishaq are outright very powerful. 


Ezio Auditore da Firenze

Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin's Creed #25)

Ezio is very likely a completely unplayable card. However, there is one Assassin Spell that people love to cheat into play: Vein Ripper. A deck running a Combination of Ezio and Sorin can consistently put Vein Ripper into play turn three.

In the build I have been testing with this combination, Ezio is backed up by Basim, as another way to trigger Free-running, a card advantage engine, and a legendary for Mox Amber. Tamiyo also fits great into this shell as it is another card advantage engine and between Preordain, Bauble, and Basim it is very easy to flip turn two or three. Additionally, the density of Legendary creatures and Planeswalkers makes Mox Amber a consistent source of mana and ramp. I don’t imagine any Ezio build is hyper-competitive but it is very cool and fun to put Vein Ripper into play on turn 3!  


Evie Frye & Jacob Frye

Evie Frye (Assassin's Creed #19) Jacob Frye (Assassin's Creed #27)

Evie Frye and Jacob Frye are not incredibly good but the ability “Partner with” is very very good. On entering the battlefield they can search for the opposing card. So, even if they are removed you can repeatedly tutor the other in a Squadron Hawk-type situation. The Frye partners strike me as a pairing of cards that will be very good when the right deck comes along but will see very little play otherwise. These two are cards to just keep in the back of your mind.


Crystal Skull, Isu Spyglass

Crystal Skull, Isu Spyglass (Assassin's Creed #15)

Crystal Skull is an alternate Mystic Forge. It's legendary and taps for mana instead of tapping to exile a card from the library. It also casts legendaries and sagas, sagas are less relevant but Crystal Skull could be a very good card advantage engine in an artifact (and maybe legendaries) deck. The ability to tap for mana is especially relevant with Paradox Engine or in some sort of Kinnan Shell. 


Phantom Blade

Phantom Blade (Assassin's Creed #29)

Phantom Blade destroys a creature when entering the battlefield, but is pretty expensive. Thankfully, mana cost is irrelevant when being played with Stoneforge Mystic as it is being put into play via its tap ability. Phantom Blade would have been a very cool option a little bit ago for Stoneforge Mystic, but with the existence of Assimilation Aegis now, unless a destroy enters the battlefield trigger is more valuable than an Oblivion Ring type exile effect Phantom Blade will be a worse option. The other restriction is what colors the deck plays but that is a very flexible restriction given the prevalence of Fetch lands and triomes.


Arbaaz Mir

Arbaaz Mir (Assassin's Creed #46)

Arbaaz Mir drains and gains whenever a historic spell is cast. Arbaaz could be interesting in a historic aggro sort of deck with Flowering of the White Tree, Ragavan, Isamaru, Mox Amber, and other cards that care for Legendary and Historic cards. Arbaaz also is a kill condition for the Underworld Breach, Grinding Station, Mox Amber loop, however Unstable Amulet does the same thing and I believe is a better card. 


Senu, Keen-Eyed Protector

Senu, Keen-Eyed Protector (Assassin's Creed #8)

Senu is one of the few cards in this game that care about getting exiled or get value from exile. At its maximum value, Senu is pretty sick. You can exile it with Solitude, attack with Ragavan and put it onto the battlefield. The problem though is that Senu will not only exist at its best. There will be plenty of games where it will simply be a decent two-mana flier and a card like Ajani, Nacatl Pariah would be better or a myriad of other white cards would be far better. I don’t think Senu will be good because cards don’t exist solely in their best contexts. If they did broken combo decks would rule the format, and everyone would win the game on turn one cause they have the perfect 7.


Basim Ibn Ishaq

Basim Ibn Ishaq (Assassin's Creed #49)

Basim is great. Both of it’s abilities are incredibly relevant. Drawing when a historic spell is cast, even when it is only once a turn, is incredibly powerful because it rewards you for casting spells you already want to cast. Mishra’s Bauble is already good as a 0-mana draw effect but 0 mana draw 2 is literally “ PLAYING POT OF GREED WHICH ALLOWS ME TO DRAW TWO MORE CARDS.” Tamiyo draws a card, Mox Amber draws and so does The One Ring. AspiringSpike Top 8d a challenge with a Basim + Tamyo + Emry list this past weekend showcasing the cards strength. The second ability is great as well. Because it is so easy to trigger the first ability to draw and give unblockable, it is very easy to turn Basim into a massive threat as the game progresses. Overall Basim seems like a cool and powerful new modern card and I am excited to play it with some Bauble’s, Ezio’s and Vein Rippers!

Assassin’s Creed is a cool thing new set that has provided new options to modern players but will be nowhere near as impactful as most Modern Horizons sets. I think this was an overall good thing and I would like to see it again (not a lot but stuff like this is fun!).