Nethergoyf – Modern Horizons III

Date Reviewed:  June 10, 2024

Constructed: 4.63
Casual: 4.50
Limited: 3.88
Multiplayer: 3.25
Commander [EDH]: 3.63

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


Magic’s unique creature types and styles, like lhurgoyfs, need to be celebrated more than they have been – the mainline Standard sets in particular have been remiss about things like this. But the recent reference in Dominaria United was very welcome, and I hope there’ll be more in the future. Of course, a Modern Horizons set has opportunities for all its cards to do some seriously crazy things, and Nethergoyf is no exception. As a one-mana creature, it doesn’t quite fit with the fetchland-Thoughtseize opening in the same way its famous ancestor did – though of course we have Grief now, which might make for a different type of uncommon but devastating dream hand than we’re used to seeing with that latter card. It also seems quite possible that a lot of the card’s appeal will be less in exact sequences like that, and more in the way it can resurrect itself. Four card types doesn’t always have to mean four cards, thanks to the miracle of multi-typing; four card types doesn’t even always mean the Nethergoyf will come back smaller, thanks to surveil and self-mill. Like its famous ancestor, this card gets stronger naturally as the game progresses, but unlike its famous ancestor, it gets even stronger if you build with it in mind (planeswalkers turned out to be good, but kindred/tribal cards were not common or strong enough to force them into decks). 

Constructed: 4.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 3.5

 James H. 


Lhurgoyfs take their rightful and deserved spot in another set, and Nethergoyf is one that’s a very interesting spin on a classic. Nethergoyf is the first one-mana member of the tribe, and its trade-off relative to Tarmogoyf is that it only tracks one graveyard (yours). While part of the charm and strength of everyone’s favorite lhurgoyf was that it would just get stronger through the game being played, Nethergoyf grows a bit slower but in exchange for a cheaper mana cost. I’d say that this comes out slightly better as a result, though there are definitely times where Tarmogoyf would do more for you.

That said, Nethergoyf does have another trick: resurrection, via its escape ability. Nethergoyf can be surprisingly hard to get gone for good because of that, though the wording is certainly fun. Instead of a fixed card count, you need to get to four or more card types among cards you exile, which can be as low as two and as high as…well, ideally four, but you can theoretically exile more. That’s not usually going to be too valuable, but it is a thing you can do. The main value is getting Nethergoyf back, and while it’s potentially smaller, most decks will hit four card types without effort (land, sorcery, creature, instant), and so you can pay it at least once or twice.

I do think one important consideration is that Nethergoyf’s escape and being back might make it fit in a slightly different deck profile; it can still go in decks like Jund and other black-focused aggro, but you can also go with decks like dredge and reanimator combo as a fallback. Because, while it’s unlikely to get there, the ceiling on this is a one-mana 9/10, and even a one-mana 3/4 is enough to create chaos and make for fun.

Constructed: 4.75 (not quite Tarmogoyf 2.0, but it’s as close as we’re likely to see while also having its own unique strengths)
Casual: 5 (omg lhurgoyf)
Limited: 3.75 (definitely not going to run rampant, but it can be a good late-game insurance policy of sorts)
Multiplayer: 3 (only tracking one graveyard is definitely an issue)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75 (being able to come back means it’s more than just a big, unsubtle creature, but it’s rarely more than just a big, unsubtle creature)

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