The curse of the Wicked Slumber roils through the fairy tale lands of Eldraine, and while Wil and Rowan do their best to save their kingdom and perhaps their plane, we’ll be taking a look at how the new monocolored cards seem poised to shake up formats with the upcoming release.
Archon of the Wild Rose
Marcy: If you’ve got a deck based around Auras, then this card seems like an amazing way to end a game if you can get it off. I’ve seen a few decks use this in Standard to some effect, because the amount of auras in Standard and introduced by WOE makes this a pretty scary bomb. What’s really important is to realize the effect. It doesn’t give them +4/+4, it makes their BASE power and toughness 4/4, which is an important distinction when it comes to certain buffs and other card effects. In a commander deck looking for auras, this is probably still good, but maybe not as potentially game ending.
FromTheShire: It’s not BAD in an Aura based commander deck, tacking flying and a potential power boost on to each one is okay, more often than not though you will be looking to suit up one or two big Voltron pieces and have other forms of evasion that don’t rely on a creature sticking around.
BPhillipYork: If you’ve got some kind of deck built around the role tokens and also token creatures, could be incredibly impactful. I’m not quite sure how you’d go about building that, but with some anthems and stuff could be neat. Other than that this seems kind of weak for 4 mana. The break even point is probably something like at least 3 1/1s getting buffed by this consistently for a real payoff, since particularly in Commander just whaling away for 16 damage a turn still wouldn’t end the game for 9 turns.
A Tale for the Ages
Marcy: If you weren’t sure, enchantments are a big deal in the WOE block. This card is basically Intangible Virtue on steroids, but only for enchanted creatures; that said, it is, again, really easy to get enchantments on your own things through the Role abilities and other currently existing enchantments.
BPhillipYork: If there were more…. okay I find this card frustrating. It really seems like it should be Enchanted Creatures and Enchantment Creatures maybe. Then suddenly it’s more of a card. A conditional anthem, that conditional, even for 2 mana is really not likely to pay off. I guess they’re just leaning in to the theme of auras matter. That being said if they come out with some convenient way to aura a lot of creatures, like a solid activatable commander (for a low amount of mana) suddenly it’s a different thing.
Expel the Interlopers
Marcy: Standard white has so many sweepers, and the extremely long time till rotation means that I can’t quite figure out what this card is meant to do. Sunfall is far better at the 5 mana spot, unless you are looking to specifically use this to surgically remove threats and leave your own board behind, but most decks running board wipes in White right now barely play any creatures anyway.
BPhillipYork: Really solid for things like token creatures decks where you could easily use this as an asymmetrical board clear.
BPhillipYork: Enables a fun gain life deal damage deck and is more fodder to support Firesong and Sunspeaker, enough that a deck built around lifegain sorceries starts to gain traction. Also means you can just blow out the board with Earthquake, kill your own utility creatures, but since you are gaining life from your spells you can win that way.
Marcy: This card has had some talk for ending up in a ‘must haves’ list for a few different formats, and I can see it. The Boros splash of the adventure side is enticing, and the idea of giving your spells Lifelink from the creature side is a decent little ability. Boros has a lot of lifegain burn anyway, but there are some places where this might just be the little bit of extra to get over the top you need. I haven’t seen any shells use this in Standard yet to great effect, but I can see one forming eventually; Boros has been trying to break into the meta for a bit.
Lady of Laughter
BPhillipYork: If you’re generating tons of treasure consistently, I guess, but for 5 mana there’s better card draw available – even for white.
Marcy: This certainly seems like a commander card more than anything else, and even then I’m not sure. Maybe in like a white tokens deck, you can try and use it to generate card advantage off the token creation, but otherwise I don’t know if this wins games.
BPhillipYork: Okay so this is a white Craterhoof Behemoth, which is a neat new thing, especially since white weenie is so much of a thing. It’s 8 mana though, and white can’t tutor for creatures very well (virtually at all), so you’d most likely see it in Selesnya wherein.. you’d tutor for the better green creatures but that’s okay.
Marcy: Kind of funny because compared to the other card above it, this card is potentially a game ender in a go-wide white weenie deck. Suddenly having a ton of 1/1 Soldiers or Humans or whatever become absolutely massive and evasive is pretty scary. At 6/6 this is only going to die to instant removal, too, so if it has any sort of protection the turn it comes down on a wide board, that’s likely game over.
FromTheShire: Banger of a game ender. Giving flying is only slightly less useful than giving trample when you’re set up to slam this and win, though not granting haste is a notable downside.
BPhillipYork: Very solid utility card for Green/White weenie decks, which is definitely an archetype at this point.
Marcy: Unlike a lot of the other adventures, I like that this is in complimentary colors for the type of deck that wants to try and run this. I’d like to try and run this in a deck that uses Jinnie Fay and/or Jetmir, to see if it provides the slight bit of low-end gas that token decks are kind of lacking lately. There are just so many board wipes in Standard currently that it may still not matter, though.
BPhillipYork: Haha it’s a bunnicorn. Get it. It’s like a unicorn, but even stupider. Do you get it? Do you get it? Potentially could get very large big, in token centric decks, but with no protection or evasion it just seems like a removal target if and when it actually becomes threatening.
Marcy: It’s white, budget Tarmogoyf, and I kind of wonder if this card has some mileage in other formats. There are a lot of decks in which this thing could hit the table and be extremely beefy, but it dies to a LOT of removal (even Fatal Push), so… Not sure, really.
BPhillipYork: Solid utility support for aura matters decks which are being pushed.
Marcy: This card has done some bonkers work in Standard and Limited decks that push heavily into the Role and Aura mechanic. The fact that it will allow you to constant generate the role for 1 is extremely valuable, even if you have to wait for your next upkeep to get the first trigger. Still, in decks looking to abuse auras and enchantments, this is a must have.
Stroke of Midnight
BPhillipYork: Another Generous Gift for white is really nice to see. Expensive but an all around removal card at instant speed that is somewhat affordable. Just really solid interaction, which it’s nice to see.
Marcy: I think this card has some solid value in that it is a limited removal spell in White, so that works great, but also, it does make for a decent replacement for the Rare classified Fateful Absence, but since that card still has an entire year in Standard, I’m not really sure if this is a better option, except that it destroys a permanent, not just a creature. If at least not a 4 of, it could be useful in smaller amounts.
FromTheShire: Hits any nonland permanent at instant speed, and gives them an even smaller token than usual. Excellent.
Three Blind Mice
BPhillipYork: The copy ability is potentially powerful, really powerful if it can help your deck go off by copying a creature you need 2 of to win (say Storm-Kiln Artist) or another combo piece like that. Otherwise for white weenie it’s potentially going to make you some tokens and then buff them for a turn which is… fine.
Marcy: The art on this card is so weird, I love it. Anyway, I like the ability to copy a token, which is probably the best part of this card, but otherwise not particularly spectacular.
Virtue of Loyalty
BPhillipYork: This seems like an attempt to remake Cathars’ Crusade but less annoying, the end step trigger is pretty nice for hitting on the same turn you drop it, though not in time for combat. And this more or less a clock, if you keep dropping out weenies and they keep getting bigger and bigger.
Marcy: The Virtue cards are all situationally strong, and on a counters deck, I could see this as a constantly ramping threat looming in the distance. You get a pretty solid 2/2 body off it at instant speed as well, which is really nice for flashing in a blocker or body at the end of your opponent’s turn, and the constant +1/+1 and untapping is really nice.
FromTheShire: I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it a hundred more, Door of Destinies is bad and you should feel bad playing it. This likely ticks over into being okay since it places a counter so when it eats a Krosan Grip all is not lost, and gaining vigilance is always sneaky good.
BPhillipYork: This is an okay bodyguard type creature, though we’ve come a long way since Veteran Bodyguard, there’s plenty of ways this could turn into a loop, if you are exiling a card that returns a creature from your yard. It’s also just a solid way to protect a commander.
Marcy: This card has the possibility to be very strong. Unlike Brutal Cathar, it allows you to target one other non-Fox creature (which is not very restrictive, really), meaning you can even target your own things if you wish to save them. Unfortunately, the downsides of this card is the typing makes it so it doesn’t fit into Soldiers, Humans, or other archetypes.
BPhillipYork: Potentially a sort of board clear, also generates a ton of enchantments that are also auras, which is potentially going to let you combo off or something like that, if you have one of the enchantresses that is enters play instead of cast this could potentially draw you a huge number of cards, and there’s where it seems the most impactful, if you are leveraging its ability to turn things into 1/1s with generating a ton of value for yourself.
Marcy: I like the semi-flash in theory, except that you need 6 mana, and I feel like if you are at the point in which you need 6 mana to stop the board from killing you, it might be too late. I think this is too slow for most formats other than Commander.
BPhillipYork: This is a fun card, the ability to put 1/1 counters where you want is really solid, there’s plenty of things that care about how much power they have, Elves that tap for more mana for example. The otter with prowess that has near skulk is pretty solid as a beater, maybe for decks that trigger off of dealing combat damage (Curiosity and or Coastal Piracy).
Marcy: Blue really likes evasive threats, and this particular Otter might be a very good threat indeed. Blue tempo doesn’t play a lot of threats in Standard at the moment (most don’t bother with Delver, who is better than this card), but in Blue aggro decks, especially those that splash Simic, this might have some legs.
BPhillipYork: There’s a lot of moving pieces to this card, decent temporary removal, but they’ll get recast from exile, but you’ll get to draw, all of that is nice. This is also essentially an “adventures matter” card since every adventure that is a creatures you can adventure then cast from exile, and this will also function off blinks and other things. So I think that this card will just show up, even just as a flexible value piece.
Marcy: I like this in theory as a board wipe, or board control, of some sort. I am unsure I like it enough to say that this card is a game changer when March of Swirling Mists usually does what this does and wins you the game the turn you do it. This could perhaps work in decks where you might want your stuff also exiled, for ETB triggers, and also cleaning up threats and delaying your opponent, though.
Faerie Slumber Party
BPhillipYork: This costs so much but it’s kind of funny at least, getting 6 1/1s is nice enough, and sort of board returning is funny, but it seems like this has the potential to just be another card that stalls out the game.
Marcy: Did someone at WOTC R&D decide that MTG requires a lot of board wipes suddenly? Also coming in at 6 mana, this one might turn the tide on token and go wide decks, but most of those, if they already have a board presence, probably won the game before you had 6 mana up to cast this at sorcery speed.
BPhillipYork: This to me isn’t consistent enough for a 1 of 100 card deck, the odds your piece will be in the top 8 isn’t high enough, it’s nice that it’s an instant and treasures should be easy enough to have to sac, but digging 8 deep just isn’t enough.
Marcy: Frankly, Beseech the Mirror is just way better than this card is by a mile, except this is Blue, and it isn’t. If you are stuck in Blue or can’t splash Black, then… I guess this is sort of like Memory Deluge, but I think I like Deluge a little bit more overall.
BPhillipYork: It’s fine as a sort of draw beater if you have some way to get giving it +1/+1 counters so it turns into consistent card draw, something auto-proliferating every turn, but other than that it doesn’t seem like it’s likely to be that impactful.
Marcy: I really like this card in theory as a sort of ‘bomb’ in Blue that can also be evasive and go under the radar. The ability to draw and tick-down the +1/+1 even means that there’s a world where attacking with this card isn’t what you use it for, or that counter shenanigans decks use this as a draw engine.
BPhillipYork: I just don’t see it really having any impact on commander. A 3/3 flier for 1 with ward 2 just doesn’t really move the dial.
Marcy: You might be aware of this card by now, because it is part of the Day 1 Infinite Mana Combo that currently exists in Standard. This card is quite good on it’s own, frankly, but the fact that it is now responsible for an infinite combo means that you’re also liable to see this card spike either in price or appearances. In decks where you get 1 of them, probably not great. In other formats? Beware this card.
BPhillipYork: Solid for Faerie decks, obviously can pump himself which is nice, sort of a ramping beater that also offer card selection, but mostly just going to show up Faerie tribal decks.
Marcy: A loot effect that also pumps the team, this is a really interesting variation of the Connive mechanic, in the sense that you don’t have to put it on the Messenger itself; a Connive engine, really, that has some great synergy. I’ve lost to this card a few times already on the Standard Ladder; it’s scarier than it looks.
BPhillipYork: Very solid for like Azorious blink decks and other than that not much. It’s really just a flicker that has the creature upside on the backend, and everyone is going to mispronounce the name (twine-ing, not twinning). This seems like one of those cards that might’ve done something more interesting up till the end of playtesting and got nerfed at the last moment.
Marcy: I think this is… fine? I dunno. Decent 4/4 body with a lot of evasion. The instant side is nice if you’re doing U/W, but I don’t think this is a particularly great Faerie in the set or in general.
Virtue of Knowledge
Marcy: How many times are we going to reinvent Panharmonicon? This one comes with an Instant attached to it that you can use for mini-nonsense, but the real value is that this is just… Panharmonicon, but Enchantment, and Blue.
Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator
BPhillipYork: So this is a way to potentially just exile your deck and then win from having an empty library, which is nice, since winning is good. Nice interaction with K’rrik, Son of Yawmoth to give the deck a better chance to go off though you risk exiling something you really need in that sort of scenario, Ashiok’s weird abilities are always.. weird Nightmare exiling things but they don’t seem that impactful aside from Ashiok’s static, so if you’re playing this card it should be with the intent to profit from exiling out your deck.
Marcy: Ashiok always has weird exile effects attached, and this version is no different. I’ve seen this version show up in a few of the Dimir mill decks that exist in Standard, but there are a few problems in which Ashiok doesn’t really mix with those. There are also not a ton of ways to pay life in Black right now, aside from dual lands, so I’m not sure exactly where Ashiok fits. There is a new Golgari shell using Ashiok, but even then the card is a bit of a backseat or finisher to an already strong deck playing Sheoldred and other staples like Underdog and now Agatha’s Soul Cauldron. Which is kind of a bummer, because Ashiok’s the only Planeswalker in the entire set, and kind of a big deal, and yet seems just… okay.
Beseech the Mirror
BPhillipYork: It’s another extremely strong tutor for black, that lets you instacast a 4 or less for 4 mana, which is really rather strong. There’s not really a lot to say about his card, it’s great, and it’s obvious what it does. Play it.
Marcy: This card is absolutely bonkers. The price shot up immediately for good reason and seems to be staying high, because hey, guess what card you can play with this? That’s right, The One Ring. Yay! Anyway, you can use it for other things, which thankfully people are doing, but as a good rule of thumb: Tutors are good cards, and you want them.
FromTheShire: Do you want a one card Legacy combo? Because this is it.
BPhillipYork: This thing is gonna get really big in commander. Which is awesome, a super size Tarmogoyf is hilarious for Dimir mill to have a really threatening mill creature that also does mill himself.
Marcy: A compelling addition to the Dimir mill shells in Standard for sure, and a potentially big threat in other formats where large graveyards filled with bodies can suddenly give you quite a beefy body for 2 mana.
BPhillipYork: Well it’s a downside big fattie for black that generate it’s own tokens up front to keep it untapped. Like Lord of the Pit but a donut. Donut of the pit.
sMarcy: “Cheap” downside creatures that give you big bodies isn’t new in Black, but frankly I just don’t think this card replaces cards like Shakedown Heavy or Archfiend of the Dross, both of whom are just better in this space.
BPhillipYork: Just not really strong enough to do anything that big. Like sure, adventure for a food to use to gain life, but in commander giving a creature -3/-3 may not cut it. If your deck is gaining lots of life and maybe flickering creatures somehow, but that’s a lot of moving parts to kill creatures off.
Marcy: So the set up here is that you use some form of lifegain to then nuke a creature of your opponent’s, and there’s something kind of interesting about the fact that this is a Black creature and not an Orzov card. Still, in Limited, this might make for fairly good removal and sustainability, but I don’t know if there’s much else there of note.
BPhillipYork: This is fun, sacrifice treasures or whatever to return a bunch of big fatties you’ve buried there, and potentially a way to return a game winning set of combo pieces. 5 mana is a lot, but the fact that it lets you return creatures of any size which is somewhat unusual in reanimation.
Marcy: Self-sacrifice in Black is often strong, and there’s a lot of ways this card might be really valuable, such as if paired with the sacrifice engine Balrog. I’m not sure what other uses or places this might fit, but as a sort of mass reanimator spell, perhaps it has some legs in decks that can make use of tossing that many secondary objects into the yard.
Lord Skitter’s Blessing
BPhillipYork: It’s a fun Rat card for Rat decks, and pretty solid as a payoff for aura matters.
Marcy: A conditional Phyrexian Arena that you can play faster, this card has some actual potential to do work. The biggest problem is that you need enchanted creatures, and this enchantment has no way to generate more of them if your first creature dies, which is very likely. If not, the 1 life for 1 card payoff is very Black flavoring, and combined with Phyrexian Arena, you could potentially net yourself 3 cards a turn if you don’t mind losing 2 life in the process, and let’s be honest, slamming a Sheoldred on turn 4 would solve that problem anyway.
Lord Skitter, Sewer King
BPhillipYork: Another Rat commander, so, fun, support card for Rat decks, just actually pretty solid card too, but really you know, for Rats matter.
Marcy: Lord Skitter does quite a lot of work. Even if you aren’t playing a Rat deck, he generates his own, which allows you an easy way to hate on graveyards as a bonus to a 3/3 body. That said, it is very obvious that he really wants to be in a Rat deck, and while there are a few options, B or B/R Rats really doesn’t seem to be that strong at the moment.
BPhillipYork: If this wasn’t so expensive it would be really strong, as is it could be potentially a reanimate target if you have lots of junk you’re planning to want to mulch. Plays nicely with some of black’s risky cards like Demonic Pact.
Marcy: Not a bad way to refill your hand after dropping a late-game bomb, if you have the fuel through which to sacrifice things to do so with. Otherwise, kind of just a big body. In a sacrifice fueled deck, though, this might have more legs to helping turn in whatever sacrifice engine you’re using or abusing.
BPhillipYork: This is really strong for black control and scaled up for commander.
Marcy: I heard Crim refer to this card as Rankles Prankles and I can’t read the card as anything else, so anyway, Rankle’s Prankles is an interesting card. I’ve used it a few times in my Dimir mill deck, and it’s a great way to get my Terisian Mindbreakers in the yard while also depriving my opponent of board presence and card advantage. I haven’t had a lot of success using the loss of life part, but 4 mana for 2 cards and 2 creatures is a good bargain.
Specter of Mortality
BPhillipYork: 5 mana is a lot for a board clear but this will go through indestructible and protection. Potentially this could be a sort of utility card you bury in your yard then reanimate if needed, kind of strange to see a Specter that has nothing to do with discarding or exiling cards from your opponents, since that has been very consistent for a long time.
Marcy: Somewhat similar to a variable board wipe like The Meathook Massacre or Massacre Girl, this card probably only sees use in decks with lots of creatures and volume, so something like a Commander deck would probably get better value than a Standard or other 60 card deck style deck.
BPhillipYork: Well if you really only care about the aura or enchantment then this guy is fine at generating one, there’s various ways that could pay off and obviously, you can just curse him, kind of strange but that’s how magic goes.
Marcy: This card might seem odd at first, because at 1 mana you are likely going to have to attach the cursed role to the Hexmage himself. However, in an Orzov Aristocrats shell that cares about roles and creates them easily, he can become a very useful and quite effective card in numerous ways.
BPhillipYork: Kind of fun to have an attacker your opponents probably won’t want to kill, and in Rakdos you could potentially clear out the board with something like an Earthquake to generate a ton of rats.
Marcy: I love that there are so many Rat cards to try and make work, but I also just kind of sadly find them all underwhelming. There’s a good chance you just get 2 Rats off of this, who then probably die very easily, and also can’t block. Rats seem like an archetype that really wanted to benefit from Toxic, but don’t, and it feels like the thing that prevents them from being scary.
BPhillipYork: For commander this just won’t cut it.
Marcy: This is a great card, even at 4 mana, and an amazing card at 2 mana. Early in a game you can simply remove a threat that you don’t want to deal with, and late in a game it might be the thing that keeps you alive as you prevent your opponent’s biggest threat from being effective, and then rob them of the chance to ever use it again.
Virtue of Persistence
BPhillipYork: The virtues are all pretty strong, the adventure is unfortunately at sorcery speed but pretty hilarious if actually land a 7 cost enchantment and start reanimating things each turn. Sadly if you compare this to the original Sheoldred, Whispering One it’s uh, not really even as good as that, because of the opponent sacrifices effect. It is sort of hilarious you can reanimate out of your opponents graveyards, but if your opponents have better creatures in their yards than you you should run better cards.
Marcy: Really solid little removal and recursion package. 2 mana to kill most creatures under 4 mana is great even at Sorcery speed, and the recursive reanimator is cheaper than Portal to Phyrexia but also doesn’t have the board wipe power.
BPhillipYork: A decent cantrip type deal, but for commander if you can’t keep the scoundrel coming out over and over again it’s not worth it.
Marcy: Possibly one of the best new cards in Mono Red and even potentially in Temur or Izzit. 2 mana that can pay for itself with a treasure token or do a few other fun things and a haste body makes this card very attractive and easy to slot into most red decks.
BPhillipYork: This is extremely solid for a Dragon, which have come a long way in terms of value for mana. The adventure exile effect is annoying and decent to grab you a couple of cards, hopefully after an opponent tutors to the top of their deck, and then you get a 4/4 beater that creatures treasure.
Marcy: Siphon Insight but more expensive and no flashback, the few times I’ve seen this used against me, the Adventure side was more useful than the dragon itself, sadly. An interesting card, though, but not a particularly powerful one.
BPhillipYork: Seems like a fun card, sadly for commander since it’s really difficult (but not impossible) to get a lot of copies you’d have to almost deliberately build around it. Izzet copy that gets some of reds stranger power enchantments could be really fun, but then you’d also need have a source of artifacts (which likely would be treasures). Sadly there’s probably not enough support to make this work.
Marcy: Sure, having multiple copies of this would make it really dangerous–doing 4 damage for sacrificing things like Food Tokens and the like–but frankly, even at 1 copy, this gives you a ping on a stick if you have the ability to generate free and cheap artifacts.
Goddric, Cloaked Reveler
BPhillipYork: Well he buffs all Dragons for R, which is an interesting twist, but I just don’t see the payoff being there to make this really pop, and to get his trigger to go off you’re probably going to have to pay mana, which is what you’d want to hold to buff all your Dragons.
Marcy: Fighting with Squee in the 3 drop spot in mono-red at the moment, Goddric has a lot of promise for the future of Standard red aggro. I like him a bit better than Squee in terms of being 3/3, and the celebration trigger is good, but honestly, I think he and Squee together make great threats in aggro red ‘late game,’ which is turns 3-5, generally. Goddric turn 3, Squee turn 4 is a really nice way to get the Celebration trigger going.
Imodane, the Pyrohammer
BPhillipYork: This is an extremely strong card if you’re willing to rely on it, building around it as a commander would really let you just keep blowing up your opponents creatures to kill them, which is awesome. Would’ve been really nice if it came with ward of some sort, since it’s a prime target for your opponents to get rid of in turn.
Marcy: This is an interesting concept of a card. There are actually a lot of ‘X damage to creatures’ spells, that do quite high damage, such as Nahiri’s Warcrafting or other similar cards. I don’t know if that makes this card playable, but I bet a fun gimmick deck could make this interesting to play around with. As a commander, this feels like a great deck to just blast your opponent’s manadorks with and then also kill them.
Kellan, the Fae-Blooded
BPhillipYork: I think this is just an extremely solid piece of additional support for Boros equipment, or to use as a commander, either way it is fairly clear what it’s for and what it does. What’s particularly useful is double strike I would say, not just for getting more value out of your equipment, but also because a lot of decent equipment triggers on combat damage, so you’ll automatically get 2 triggers a turn.
Marcy: Kellan has some real potential as a Boros commander or also a Boros deck staple. Boros has tried really hard to fit into Standard somewhere lately, and Kellan provides a real first attempt at perhaps giving those decks the thing they need to work. His Adventure is a great tutor for either Aura OR Equipment, and just remember, Ossification is an Aura, meaning if you really have to get rid of a threat, you can use that to fish it up at worst case. His own ability is interesting because while it does not self-equip him, it buffs other creatures you control.
BPhillipYork: Well it’s Rakdos Rat support, which I’m very on board for.
Marcy: This is kind of what I mean about Rats as an archetype. There are some decent cards, but nothing that really pushes Rats as a deck type over the top. Would I want to run this card in a Rat deck? Probably not. The ability is great, but it’s also 6 mana, so unless I am using this to give myself the +2 bonus when he hits the field, I don’t really know if this card does anything.
Raging Battle Mouse
BPhillipYork: I think the cost reduction here is pretty solid a deck that wants to cast spells on opponents turns is really leveraging the fact there are 3 additional turns you could potentially take advantage of in commander, if you built out right. A lot of these cards like Mischievous Chimera lie in Izzet colors.
Marcy: I really think this card MIGHT have some power to it, but I haven’t really found a shell I like to use it in. I like the idea that you can get some cheap, discounted Red spells out of this Mouse if you can get it on the field and stick it, but it doesn’t have haste and probably doesn’t do quite a lot of attacking since it dies so easily too.
BPhillipYork: I think the real danger of this card is some sort of infinite combo, there’s plenty of ways to keep exiling and returning a creature and generate more treasures, or other tokens. Other than that it’s still a pretty solid Dragon, though not a great value, but with a built in control mechanism.
Marcy: Right now, all this card really gets used for is the activated ability as part of the infinite combo in standard, but if you like big Timmy Dragon style cards, this is a pretty good one to run; the Bargain ability is really nice, also, frankly.
BPhillipYork: More Rakdos Rat support, which is very nice.
Marcy: You thought this card would have synergies with Goblins, but no, it’s Rats! And… It’s… fine…? Not really. An expensive red card with no fast abilities and takes a turn to get going. Might have legs in Commander, maybe? But probably not.
BPhillipYork: More food puns. Still, decent card, just get it out and then generate some value later by sacrificing it. On the other hand, pretty slow, weak evasion.
Marcy: I love that they invented a token just for the joke of this card. Anyway, there’s some Bomat Courier energy in this, but not quite as strong as that card was. The menace is a nice touch, so getting it down early and then perhaps getting one or two hits in before cashing in might be a great way to lock in some decent value for your investment.
BPhillipYork: Really really solid, nice return option if and when you need it and then just a really decent group slug trigger.
Marcy: I think this is a really solid card, even if you only use half of it (either half), or run a deck that can use both. Punishing your opponent for playing spells from the 0-3 range quite nice. I’m debating running a few red shells that take advantage of this to see if it can force unfavorable trades in the life game.
Song of Totentanz
BPhillipYork: Yes, more Rats.
Marcy: If you are new to Magic, you might not know, but you can just cast this for R and give every single creature on your board haste. Making a ton of Rats is nice, but just think of this as a card that, for 1 mana, gives every creature you have haste.
Virtue of Courage
BPhillipYork: This is a really crazy card, for Prosper, Tome-Bound it’s potentially game winning as he’ll keep generating treasures as you deal damage, and it lets you rely on direct damage to win out. Also just lets you actually go face in commander, which is really nice.
Marcy: Red card advantage is nice if you have the ability to get this down quickly, and there are some ways you can potentially do that in the current standard. Not sure this card wins you games, but it might help you win a game you may have lost, so there is that way of looking at it.
BPhillipYork: Well land creatures matter is now a thing too, so that’s interesting, and starting to get more support. This mill and return is decent enough, really pretty strong if you’re running fetch lands, but at 4 mana it’s pretty pricy for what is a kind of durdley effect for commander.
Marcy: There’s a good deal of land creatures in standard, and more out of standard, but this turtle can give you some interesting options in things. Pairing it with the latest Wrenn variant, for example, seems quite scary.
BPhillipYork: If you tutor to the top this is a way to essentially reanimate in green, and you can get a Craterhoof Behemoth or something else there to win the game, I really like that early game it’s a mana dork which you can later return to cast the adventure, that’s really solid.
Marcy: You do get something out of your mill for free, but this certainly is a card that you want to play in a deck that can ramp to 7 rather than try to cast this honestly and quickly. The ability to pick it up to use the Adventure side is quite nice, though, or even just to protect it, if need be.
BPhillipYork: Well a 2 cost enchantress limited to once per turn is decent, I thought Elves like hated artifacts, but I guess not.
Marcy: This is Teething Wurmlet but slightly stronger, and also slightly weaker. You get added benefit in a deck that runs enchantments and artifacts, but really the likely place you’ll get value from this is using it in a deck like Cookie aggro.
FromTheShire: Another enchantress is great to have, even if it only triggers once per turn.
BPhillipYork: Look at 5, get a creature, then you can cast it, then you get a “bite” where a creature you control (not necessarily the one you exiled) deals damage equal to its power to one target creature. All around pretty solid, though you’d need a lot of mana available to cast even a mid-size creature.
Marcy: This card is a weirdly complicated fight spell. The first part lets you exile a creature card so you can cast it, and then resolving the card allows you to fight another player’s creature. It doesn’t even have to be the one that you cast, it can be any creature you have on the board, so there’s some neat ways to use this as filter and then removal.
BPhillipYork: This seems like a card with kind of dumb potential. Like if you Clone it, then you’d have 4 token copies and 2 nontoken, etc.. So just general Simic dumbness similar to fractal, which is what Simic is kind of about. If you want to focus on these Satyr Warriors that seems like a funny deck to me.
Marcy: 6 mana gets you 3 3/3 creatures, and if one of those dies, you get to put at least 3 +1/+1 counters on another Gruff Triplet, and then more and more as you lose more of them. It’s important to note that these aren’t legendary, so if you can get more of them on the field after the first one, this can be a pretty annoying and slowly growing big body to worry about.
BPhillipYork: This is just an all around solid card. Fits best in some kind of green black aristocrats where you want to sacrifice things over and over. A bit costly if it gets killed too fast, but all around recursive cards are often quite dangerous and lead into infinite combos.
Marcy: A card talked about during pre-release, this just has a lot of great utility and the way it can allow you to play the sorcery side twice (or still get use out of it after using the creature side) is what seems to have made the card something people are talking about. It is quite a solid card, and good in limited, for sure.
FromTheShire: Great recursive piece for Golgari decks where you likely have ways to sacrifice this and synergies for doing so.
BPhillipYork: For commander this card doesn’t seem that good, but for 4-of formats really dangerous, potentially.
Marcy: A really scary card, frankly. The Adventure side does a lot of work, being an instant speed version of Wrenn’s Resolve, but the creature side is something that in a Temur shell or similar shells can suddenly grow into being a huge threat very quickly.
Sentinel of Lost Lore
BPhillipYork: Mostly a utility control card about adventures, there’s probably some loop you could set up with this and that’s always dangerous. For commander unless your playgroup is deep on adventures I don’t see this being that useful unless you really want to get an adventure back or something like that.
Marcy: For 3 mana, you get a lot of work out of this Elf. He doesn’t really play super well with other Elf style decks, but what he does do is give you a few ways to either return a card to your hand, get rid of an opponent’s Adventure card, or just nuke a graveyard. That’s pretty good, and frankly, there really aren’t a lot of cards that mess with the in-exile aspect of Adventure card threats.
The Huntsman’s Redemption
BPhillipYork: It’s a delayed tutor but generates its own fodder, so that isn’t bad, if you’re dropping this on turn 2 off a ramp and then using it to get really impactful creature that makes perfect sense, and can enable your deck.
Marcy: Hey look, it’s Garruk! Who? Anyway, this is mostly an involved tutor, that gives you the fuel to use if you have nothing else to tutor a creature up with. That works great, because you can sacrifice anything you want, and at 3 mana in green, that can be something you do very early and very quickly, to pull up a threat your opponent may not be able to deal with yet.
BPhillipYork: Well 8 mana to dig 20 and cast 2 things again probably won’t cut it in a 1 of 100 card meta, unless your deck is just full of fatties (which is kind of a bad deck tbh).
Marcy: I think it’s always important to remember that 8 mana is not expensive in Green, especially in this current Standard meta. There is a really good chance you can get this card out well ahead of 8 mana on the board, and just drop 2 giant threats onto the board that your opponent can’t deal with. Stuff like Etali or Titan of Industry just flopping onto the board early is probably game over, and there are a lot of options to pull from; if you get no good hits out of 20 cards in your library, then something’s wrong with your deck.
FromTheShire: Interesting in Mayael the Anima style decks, but not good enough for just your average Commander deck.
Virtue of Strength
BPhillipYork: Mana doublers and triplers are funny but generally not that great, but if you want to generate insane amounts of mana stuff like this is the way. Appreciate that it does something early game, even if it’s just grab back a fetch land for you, so you’re more likely to get to that hefty 7 mana.
Marcy: Remember what I just said? It’s really not hard to get a lot of mana in Green fast in Standard, and there’s no reason this card couldn’t find it’s way into mono-green stompy decks, and suddenly have your lands producing gross amounts of mana very quickly.
FromTheShire: There are few things more fun and powerful in Commander than a couple of ramp spells into something like a Mana Reflection, Nyxbloom Ancient, or Zendikar Resurgent, and I am extremely here for this card. It’s somewhat tempered by only counting basic lands, but between likely being one to three colors and having all of your Cultivate effects, this should have no problem generating heinous amounts of mana. Very, very happy to get another version of this effect.
BPhillipYork: Given how easy it to make a ton of tokens, this is a pretty dangerous living anthem. You’d have to protect it, but if you’re generating tons of token creatures say, this is a way for mono green weenie or green white weenie to get dangerous big creatures en masse, fairly quickly.
Marcy: Eldraine has a lot of token synergies, so one last thing before we go: all of the Role enchantments that Eldraine invented are tokens, and there are also food tokens, treasure tokens, powerstone tokens, blood tokens… you get the gist. This isn’t necessarily just for token aggro, but would also obviously work really well in those types of decks too.
FromTheShire: Mildly contingent on how threatening / what kind of evasion the thing you’re pointing the buff at is, but this can absolutely end games if left undisturbed.
Next Time: Colorless Cards
That wraps up our look at the set’s monocolor cards. Join us next time as we review the set’s colorless cards, picking out our favorites, and talking about the future build-arounds. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.