– Modern Horizons
March 4, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
They must have used up basically all of their eye-catching design points (that’s a thing, right?) for the year here. Cabal Therapy is a (pre-emptive) defensive card; the Therapist itself is practically a combo card. Don’t believe me? Consider Reveillark. Interactions like that could be a little slow for Modern, but there are more straightforward ones – Lingering Souls comes to mind – and plenty of decks that can’t stand up to repeated uses of Cabal Therapy.
Modern Horizons may be far away on the horizon, but we’ve gotten two previews from the set already, with Cabal Therapist being one of them. A 1/1 with menace is hardly menacing, but the real lure of the card is its triggered ability: Cabal Therapy on a stick.
Cabal Therapy has been a Legacy staple for a while, and the ease of casting it (both normally and through flashback) is part of why…as well as the ability to potentially rip four cards out of hand as a result. Flashback is actually part of what makes it good, since you can use the information you have from your first go to make the second one stick.
Cabal Therapist is not as good as Cabal Therapy is in most cases. It’s slower by 1 turn, which is not irrelevant! Modern also sometimes has more deck variety, and a blind Cabal Therapist has a chance to whiff. But there are ways where this can shine…like in conjunction with Bitterblossom, actually. Since Cabal Therapist triggers at the start of your first main phase, you can sacrifice the Faerie to start probing your opponent’s hand. There are other recursive creatures that can make this work, but that’s one that comes to mind.
I don’t know how good Cabal Therapist will be, exactly, but it’s definitely a promising card in Modern and maybe Legacy. I’m interested to see what it does when it gets released in June.
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