Casual Encounters – Top 10 Casual Cards from Eldritch Moon
Oh boy, oh boy! It’s Christmas in July! Ok, maybe not, but it has been a very fun spoiler season for Eldritch Moon. From the return of Emrakul, awesome Planeswalkers, the final Oath, a pile of neat, new flip cards and even Meld, this set is shaping up to be loads of fun and something that is going to leave us all with something to talk about. Who needs Core Sets in the summer when you get things like this?! It’s been a blast and today I’m going through my top 10 cards from Eldritch Moon with an eye towards what Casual players are going to enjoy. Here we go:
10. Mind’s Dilation: I’m not sure how truly good this is going to be, but the effect is very unique and seems very fun. The idea of casting the spells off my opponent’s deck for free is extremely appealing and could make for a totally fun and unpredictable card. Maybe you get a board wipe? A card draw spell? A Fireball (which would actually suck)? Something else that I haven’t conceived of yet?! This gets even more fun in a multiplayer format where you will get multiple triggers as each player takes a turn making this something really spicy. This sounds like it has SO much potential and is going to be loads of fun around the kitchen table.
9. Prey Upon: This isn’t that spicy a card, but the new art is so cool. The original Innistrad gave us Prey Upon and the art had a Werewolf attacking a soldier. Well, in this iteration the tables have turned and now the Werewolf is being hunted by an Eldrazi Horror Werewolf. It is just such a great new art that harkens back to our first visit to Innistrad and I’m excited to see it. It is call backs to things like this that make me love this block so much.
8. Emrakul, The Promised End: If the titular bad guy of the set doesn’t make this list I’m probably doing something wrong. So many people have passed judgement on this card that one more opinion by little old me is not going to matter, but here is what I know: she is going to be the lasting image of this set. If you remember nothing else about this set you are absolutely going to remember the set where Emrakul reappears. Beyond just the sheer iconic imagery of the final titan arriving on Innistrad, her ability to Mindslaver your opponent remains to be something that I yearn to do. I managed to cast Worst Fears in Theros block and that was cool, but that doesn’t come with a 13/13 spaghetti monster with it. This sounds MUCH better and I can’t wait.
7. Spirit of the Hunt: This is for all the Werewolf Tribal players out there. Tribal Werewolf decks now have another way to save all their guys as a combat trick by flashing this guy pumping all your dudes with a little more toughness to fight off that pesky Languish or other potent sweeper. It isn’t super special, but it is on theme and is vastly preferable to Ulrich because Spirit of the Hunt matters to all your other wolves and werewolves. I know my tribal deck will be looking to pick up one or two of these guys and I suspect I am not alone in that regard.
6. Eldritch Evolution: This card just feels broken. It kind of feels like it is way to try and fix Birthing Pod. I still think this is too good for Constructed because it just allows you to tutor up whatever answer you need at that time. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely going to get abused in Constructed, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this gets banned fairly readily. However, it will be yet another fine addition to degenerate Kitchen Table Magic games everywhere. The possibilities are endless and the choices are ridiculous. I just can’t believe they are printing this card.
5. Docent of Perfection: The ultimate evolution of Delver of Secrets! I am very interested in seeing this card in action because we have now traced the development of this card through three iterations and each one has been super sweet. This final version is pretty wild because the Prowess trigger makes dudes, the dudes get pumped, and it makes yet MORE dudes. Who needs Thing in the Ice? This is flavourful, fun, and makes Tribal Wizard totally a thing.
4. Shreds of Sanity: This feels super powerful because there are lots of powerful Instants and Sorceries out there in Kitchen Table land and the ability to get them all back seems totally busted. Sure, you have to discard one, but with Madness still being a thing, is that even really a problem? I might be totally off my rocker here, but could there be a chance that a Storm deck is looking for one more spell to cast to buy back something, maybe as a form of insurance, to help them go off? I’m not sure, but I read this and could only conclude that this was extremely powerful.
3. Bruna, the Fading Light: Of the two Angels that make up Brisela, Voice of Nightmares, this is the one I expect to make a big splash casually. Gisela, the Broken Blade is a mini Baneslayer Angel and will get lots of play in Constructed. However, Bruna and her ability to buy back a creature and put it directly into play is insane. Think of all the really powerful reanimation targets? Angel of Serenity, Craterhoof Behemoth, Griselbrand (although I’m not sure where you’re playing these two together exactly), Prime Speaker Zegana, and on and on and on. Now, someone is going to say that she is pretty expensive at 7 mana. You’re right. However, this ability is usually very expensive. Defy Death, from Avacyn Restored was a 5 mana Sorcery for a similar ability. Emeria Shepherd is also an expensive creature and requires an 8th land to even get an effect. You’re getting your Defy Death plus a 5/7 flier for 7 mana…I’m not about to complain. She’s going to be an awesome Kitchen Table card that is just going to make your opponents weep…or have Nightmares…whatever.
2. Tree of Perdition: Is anyone surprised? This one is ridiculous because in formats that have more than 20 life you’re tapping this to deal a whole pile of scary damage. People have pointed out correctly that in Commander that tapping this essentially deals 27 points of damage. Assault Formation or Doran, the Siege Tower makes this a hilarious card that is just going to be abused. Oh, and I’m just going to say Triskaidekaphobia. The end.
1. Harmless Offering: Much like the tree, this is just waiting to be abused much the same way Donate was abused. Demonic Pact is the most obvious place to start, but I bet there are loads of other fun ideas. I’ll leave the particulars of that up to you. On top of the fun little combo, that cute little kitten is worth her weight in gold, but don’t look too closely at her tail and see that tendril sneaking around. Once again, a complete and utter flavour win and the card that I am most excited about in Eldritch Moon.
Ok, ok…I know. No Liliana. No Tamiyo. No Gisela. These are all awesome cards, but there is no doubt in my mind that these will all see extensive constructed play because they are among the most powerful cards for their casting cost in the format. However, the cards I’ve highlighted today are the sorts of things that people around the kitchen table dream about playing and using to maximum effect. That’s why I selected a number of cards that are a little off the beaten path. They might be cards you overlooked, discounted, or forgot about but will get good mileage around a kitchen table some Saturday night with your buddies. Give them a try and see for yourself.
Did I miss something? Is there something else that you have your eye on? Let me know by leaving a comment down below or finding me on Twitter. Good luck to all of you at your Prereleases and be sure to stop by next time for another Casual Encounter.
Bruce Gray – @bgray8791