Wilds of Eldraine has been around for a few weeks now and in that time I've opened packs, played in some sealed events and won a Store Championship draft of the set. I feel uniquely qualified to talk about the set and bring you my personal picks for the top 5 cards and a few honourable mentions.
Released on 8th September, we are taken back to the wondrous fairytale plane of Eldraine only a few years after the very first visit. With some returning characters, a few new ones and some incredible reprints, Wilds of Eldraine is definitely a set to check out.
I play various formats of Magic and so my list is something that, I consider, is usable in all formats. The set has so much value and has something for everyone. So without more delay, I bring you my list for the top 5 cards from Wilds of Eldraine.
Number 5: Up The Beanstalk
First on my Wilds of Eldraine list is a simple uncommon with a huge amount of potential. For 1G you get an enchantment that draws you a card on entry and whenever you cast a spell with CMC 5 or more. Sounds kind of basic at first but when you delve into it more, then you realise how good it really is.
First of all, it replaces itself, 1G to draw a card is not a bad exchange. Secondly, in formats like commander where a lot of spells cost more then 5 mana, you are getting more than just a little bit of value. Dragons, Simic Ramp, Stompy, 5 Color Good Stuff and Spellslinging Decks can all make use of this 2 mana enchantment. It will be going in my Ydris storm deck and my Ur-Dragon deck.
Number 4: Rowan, Scion Of War
Next up is Rowan, a 3 mana powerhouse of a commander and, quite possibly, new legacy and modern staple. For 1BR, you get a 4/2 menace creature, not bad already, but there's more. You also get a tap ability, when you tap Rowan spells you cast that are Black or Red cost X less to cast where X is the amount of life you've lost this turn.
Lets talk commander first, Insane value in the command zone or in the 99.
Think about the life you lose in a game of commander. Was it a lot? Now imagine using it to your advantage, fetch and shock in a shock land and that's already 3 mana off a spell without anything else.
The use of X spells in commander is another thing you can do with Rowan with even more value. 3 mana off so far. Play a Vault Skirge for 1 mana and 2 life. There's 5 mana off a Torment of Hailfire right there, an already devastating card to play against.
X spells not your thing, what about Blood for the Blood God? A very expensive Wilds of Eldraine card at 11 mana that costs 1 less for each creature that died this turn. What if not enough creatures died? Well now you can add on 'or life lost' when combined with Rowan.
If you're not a commander player, first off, why? It's a fun format that gives you so much variety in play styles and endless amounts of fun and adds a while new dynamic to Magic. Second, let's talk about Rowan in 60 card formats.
Standard - Plenty of options to use and abuse. I'm thinking of a deck that has things like, Hoarding Broodlord, City on Fire, Explosive Singularity and Shadow of Mortality. Since Phyrexian mana and pain lands are still legal in standard this could easily take off as a pretty explosive deck.
Modern - More versatility since you have Phyrexian Mana, fetch lands and shock lands. I imagine this deck to be a Rakdos midrange/control deck that can take advantage of Griselbrand and play a bunch of big threats for very cheap. Possibly a new variant on Deafhs’ Shadow? Add in some cheap removal and interaction and there's your deck.
Legacy - Same deal as Modern but this time quicker. Let's add in some fast mana and do the same thing but quicker.
I'll have a few decklists linked at the bottom of this list if you're still not convinced about Rowan or if you need inspiration.
Number 3: Stroke Of Midnight
This Wilds of Eldraine card is nice and simple, 2W destroy target nonland permanent, its controller gets a 1/1. Its instant speed removal and pretty much an upgrade to Generous Gift. Sure it can't hit lands, but it's a significant upgrade as its the same cost as Gift but they don't get a 3/3 but a 1/1. That can be the difference between life and death. Oh and its uncommon. Yes that's correct, uncommon.
I won't go into much detail on this one as there's not much to say, however I'll probably be running it alongside Generous Gift just in case I need to destroy a land. Needless to say its a welcomed piece of removal for standard and other formats.
Number 2: Agatha's Soul Cauldron
Number 2 and number 1 I am constantly changing my mind on as they both exceed in all formats. At the time of writing, the top spot belongs to another card, but if you ask me in a few days you might get a different answer.
Agatha's Soul Cauldron is a 2 mana Legendary Artifact that has 3 layers of text.
Layer 1, You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to activate abilities of creatures you control - OK this seems really good on its own, especially in Kenrith decks that like activating abilities. Fixes your mana for them, overall rating so far 6/10.
Layer 2, Creatures you control with +1/+1 counters on them have all activated abilities of all creature cards exiled with Agatha’s Soul Cauldron - this sounds odd without knowing layer 3, but trust me it's so good. In a +1/+1 counters strategy it is extremely powerful as well as in a graveyard strategy deck. Even without these synergies it's still powerfull due to layer 3. So let's take a look at it. 8/10 so far.
Layer 3, (tap): Exile target card from a graveyard. When a creature card is exiled this way, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control - OK, what? Not only do you exile a card from a graveyard, doesn't even have to be yours, but you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control that now has the activated abilities of the creature you exiled with the Cauldron and you can use any mana to use it. This is insane on so many levels without building around it, let alone actually building for it. There is so much to this 2 mana Artifact that it's hard not to include it in pretty much all my decks. I have already put 3 copies in my Yawgmoth Modern deck.
Number 1: Beseech The Mirror
The only other contender for the top spot. This tutor costs 4 mana 1BBB and searches for a card that you exile face down. Doesn't sound too good so far, until you read bargain. Bargain is a new keyword that let's you sacrifice a token, enchantment or Artifact to gain an effect. In this case, bargain means that you can cast it without paying its mana cost. Provided the spell is 4 or less mana. What this means is you pay 4 mana, sacrifice one of the previous requirements for bargain and search for a card with CMC 4 or less and cast it for free. Value. Absolute value.
This is just great for any deck that's running black. One of the things everyone is talking about is searching for the One Ring and casting it for free which is great value, this is all about the value, but I think we can search for some more interesting and fun cards; Questing Beast, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Sublime Archangel, Gonti Lord of luxury, Kalitas Traitor of Ghet, Restoration Angel, Bloodbraid Elf, Atraxa Praetors' Voice, Omnath Locus of Creation and of course Siege Rhino. Just name a few.
Basically the card is insane and is absolutely deserving of the top spot even if I'm still questioning whether it should be Agatha's Soul Cauldron. But then again, you can cast it off of Beseech the Mirror so you know, apples and oranges and all that.
No list is complete without a few honourable mentions so I have a few in case you're not completely satisfied.
Decadent dragon - First off is the new dragon/adventure card. The adventure is 2B exile the top 2 cards of your opponent's library face down and you can play them for as long as they remain exiled. The dragon part is 2RR for a 4/4 dragon with flying and haste and whenever it attacks you create a treasure token. Both are very good and will probably be going in my Dragon Deck.
Moonshaker Calvary - Known as the white Craterhoof Behemoth but instead of giving trample, it gives flying. It's extremely good and I'm sure will see a lot of use in white weenie, soldiers, tokens and possibly human decks.
Asinine Antics - 2UU for a Sorcery, or 4UU if you want to cast it at instant speed, create a cursed role token attached to each creature your opponents control. This is really good and very similar to other cards we've seen in the past like Overwhelming Splendour except they keep their abilities. This can be a devastating effect on your opponents and can steal games the same turn you cast it. 4 or 6 mana, all your opponents creatures are now 1/1s. Pretty good.
There are plenty of cards that are incredible in Wilds of Eldraine and are 100% playable, but just didn't quite make the cut. I'm having a lot of fun drafting and coming up with deck ideas from this set and may do another list of commanders, however I believe you will all know the top spot for that list.
Hope you enjoyed my take on the best cards from the set, let us know what you think are the best cards or even just your favourites. Thank you for reading and as promised, here are the decklists for Rowan.