Tag: wilds-of-eldraine

Mike Carrozza - September 11, 2023

A Seat at the Table – Rowan, Scion of War!

Hello and welcome to A Seat at the Table, the column where I pick a commander and talk about what I’d include in the 99. Wilds of Eldraine is out and making waves. With a few legends standing out, it was tough to narrow down which to touch on, so I asked around and survey says: let’s talk about Rowan, Scion of War!

Rowan is very powerful and has had a few whispers around her in cEDH even though not everybody agrees. Some people say “wait, she’s basically a mana dork” and others say “she’s like having multiple Jet and Ruby Medallions on your turn”. I say, “she’s Rakdos and that rules.”

Rowan, Scion of War is a 4/2 Legendary Human Wizard with Menace for 1BR whose textbox is pretty spicy:


T: Spells you cast this turn are black and/or red cost X less to cast, where X is the amount of life you lost this turn. Activate only as a sorcery.”  

Here are a few things to remember:

  1. Rowan, despite being in red, does not have haste. This means that you’ll need to make sure that she survives the first go around before you get anything done.
  2. Speaking of protecting Rowan, she’s got two toughness. The combination of a tap ability and low toughness tells me that you’re likely not going to be attacking with your commander. Unless you can give her vigilance or have a clean attack and nothing to do, you’ll be using Rowan to discount your spells.
  3. Your black and red cards won’t be double discounted. That’s what “and/or” means here.
  4. This won’t reduce the cost of your artifacts, nor does it reduce the coloured mana for your spells.
  5. You can only activate Rowan at sorcery speed, so only on your turn when the stack is clear.

With all that in mind, let’s pick a few cards.

  1. Mana

With a deck like this, you want to turn everything you have into something that will forward your plan. I’m talking even your mana generation. Yes, even your lands. This is the kind of deck where I’d advocate for using all the fetch lands available to you like Polluted Delta or Marsh Flats for example. Tapping for mana can hurt so good when you’re running Sulfurous Springs, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, Mount Doom, and Tarnished Citadel. Not only do they fix your colours, but if you’ve got a few out all at once, you can pay four mana, ping yourself for four damage and tap Rowan, suddenly your red and/or black spells cost four less for the turn. Beautiful. Tarnished Citadel is the real MVP tapping for any colour but dealing three damage to you. Gorgeous.

Treasonous Ogre allows you to trade three life for one red mana over and over while K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth turns all your black pips into Phyrexian mana. While they are lesser versions of this, Defiler of Instinct and Defiler of Flesh do this for a single pip per spell of each of their respective colours.

  1. Draw

Let’s be real: some of black’s best card draw comes at the expense of some life. Ad Nauseam is a real combo game ender in this deck if you’ve got the means to protect your play. Peer into the Abyss loses you half your life and draws half your library meaning you’re probably going to draw into your finisher and end the game soon. Pay two life to Surveil 2 with Doom Whisperer to set up your next draw. Necropotence is the OG and trades you a card per life paid. If you’ve got Vilis, Broker of Blood in play, turn that into two cards. Just don’t play Peer into the Abyss while you control Vilis though. You’ll round up and kill yourself.

Night’s Whisper and Sign in Blood both are lower impact versions of the same concept but a little goes a long way. Playing a Night’s Whisper and tapping Rowan to follow up essentially pays for itself.

  1. Protection (Lightning Greaves / Swiftfoot Boots / Malakir Rebirth / Deflecting Swat)

Rowan is a bit of a lightning rod. Protect her using the classics: Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots. If you just need haste, Thousand-Year Elixir will make sure you get to use Rowan the turn she arrives and let you double dip. Keep your opponents from targeting your commander and give her haste. If she does die, Malakir Rebirth effects are a good thing to have in your back pocket. Deflecting Swat was recently reprinted and cheaper than it’s ever been  – is probably your best tool to defend against targeted removal.

  1. Bolas’s Citadel / Reanimate / Toxic Deluge

There are other ways to lower your life total to make Rowan discount your cards further. Reanimating a fatty like Razaketh, the Foulblooded or Vilis, Broker of Blood will take eight off your life for the low cost of one black mana. This should set you up for some gnarly plays. While Rowan is fragile, if you sequence a Toxic Deluge just right and bring Rowan into play right after then suit her up with haste, you can pop off pretty well. Otherwise, Deluge is just a premier board wipe and that’s the low end of it…which is bonkers!

A well timed Bolas’s Citadel with a string of playable cards from your top deck should net you a massive discount for that finisher. Speaking of which…

  1. Finishers (Crackle with Power, Exsanguinate, Torment of Hailfire)

When it’s time to end a game, look no further than some all-star X spells that will be reduced to their double pips and still slam for X = 20 easily if you need to. A Torment of Hailfire where X is 5 can break a game in half very minimal. Desperation numbers.

Crackle with Power is the hardest to achieve this with but even an X = 5 Crackle with Power can spell the end of the game for your opponents when it’s late enough. Exsanguinate is my favourite of the bunch. You can cast it as a finisher or you can cast it to  restabilize your life total. After losing so much life, you can get it back threefold and try again. Then all you need is Thousand-Year Elixir or Magewright’s Stone to do it again.

Honorable Mention (Gray Merchant of Asphodel + Sheoldred, the Apocolypse + Exquisite Blood)

You’re going to be losing a lot of life, make sure you gain some too so you can keep the fun going.

That does it for the latest A Seat at the Table. I’ll catch you soon with another WOE legend. If  there’s one you’d like covered, let me know!

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Mike Carrozza - September 8, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Fae Dominion!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine Commander where I’ll be going over all the new cards in each of the Commander preconstructed decks, as well as touching on what cool reprints are in the decks!

Fae Dominion is Faerie creature deck that people have been begging for. Yes, we had Alela, Artful Provocateur’s Brawl deck which had a few Faeries and Alela herself – but that was artifact and enchantment themed and not so Faerie-focused. This deck and a creature typal deck and supports it big time. Let’s talk about all the new goodies we get in this deck and some important old goodies, too. Since a lot of these are Faerie cards, a lot of commentary will be a little redundant.

  1. Tegwyll, Duke of Splendor

This is the face commander and it’s just very solid. A Faerie anthem and a Faerie version of Midnight Reaper in the command zone is just peachy for a Faerie typal deck. Tegwyll costs three mana which is a great rate for what you get. Straight up, nothing else to say about it. It’s solid as hell.

  1. Alela, Cunning Conqueror

Alela, Artful Provocateur has become Alela, Cunning Conqueror. As much as I want to say that all she lost was white, Alela is so different in this iteration that you’ll need a whole new shell.

Artifacts and Enchantments are no longer your means of creating Faerie tokens, but rather instants and flash spells during your opponents’ turns. On top of that, getting to goad up to three creatures a combat can be pretty brutal and keep in line with the play style of control and draw-go.

I appreciate this design but it is not my kind of style of play. That said, I’d love to try a well-built version of this deck.

  1. Archmage of Echoes

Mama mia! Is it time to break out Inalla, Archmage Ritualist again?

Archmage of Echoes is a Reflections of Littjara for Wizards and Faeries that also attacks as a 4/4 and has Ward 2.

What more can you ask for in a deck that is focused on either Faerie or Wizard creatures types or both? Getting a double cast on your creatures is gorgeous. I can’t say much when something is this clean and good. Great job!

  1. Blightwing Bandit

An extra little treat for draw-go decks that favour playing on your opponents’ turns. Instants and flash cards can now be a cantrip from your opponents’ decks.

This card is a clear seed for the secondary precon commander Alela, Cunning Conqueror. Nymris, Oona’s Trickster decks get a good extra bit of fun. Grixis decks like Kess, Dissident Mage can probably make use of this.

That said, I’m not personally attracted to this card as a deck builder. A flying deathtoucher is a great rattlesnake to dissuade attacks on you and plays really well into the play style. Great for those players who love this kind of deck!

  1. Faerie Bladecrafter

In this precon, Faerie Bladecrafter is the Faerie you’re hoping to get a few copies of. It pumps itself gradually and when it dies, you drain the table equal to its power. That’s pretty great! On a good turn, you can take the Bladecrafter from 2/2 to 5/5 and it’s a threat to make your opponents lose five at any moment? Yowza! Plus the face commander of this deck has a Faerie anthem on it.

This is a Faerie card but it is also a Rogue. If you can get in with it a few times, the Bladecrafter is still something to keep your eye on, but unless you’ve got a few Faerie Rogues in your Rogue deck, I probably wouldn’t consider it too hard.

  1. Malleable Impostor

A four mana Clone with Flash was originally just Stunt Double and that card was good.

Malleable Impostor is a Stunt Double that remains a Faerie Shapeshifter and keeps flying, but – and it’s a big but – it cannot become a copy of your own creatures.

This isn’t so bad when you’re copying your opponent’s Dockside Extortionist for example, but if you were hoping to have a copy of a Faerie in your Faerie deck that’s doing a lot of work for you, like Archmage of Echoes for example, you’d better hope someone else has one in play.

Stunt Double is probably the better call for flexibility. The word Malleable being on a card that has a restriction is very funny to me.

  1. Misleading Signpost

When Portal Mage was first previewed in 2017, I was in awe of how cool the effect seemed. I played it a few times in the Wizard precon and it was great when I did get to cast it and copy it.

But then I still died because you’re only moving one attacking creature.

The upside in having an impact on combat like this with Portal Mage was that you also have a blocker.

Misleading Signpost is Portal Mage on an Artifact that taps for blue mana. As much as people are making a meme of Misleading Signpost and some folks are actually considering it for their decks, we have enough data from Portal Mage to suggest that it’s extremely unlikely that this card will be making an impact.

  1. Nettling Nuisance

Nettling Nuisance is a Faerie card in that it can force three of your opponents to create the 4/2 goaded Pirate at its top end only if you have three Faeries get in for combat damage…

However! Nettling Nuisance counts itself and a 3/1 flying little guy that can get in and force a 4/2 goaded creature on your opponents that also cannot block, that’s pretty solid in the right decks. Thantis, the Warweaver forced combat decks or Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant decks are another great home for Nettling Nuisance.

All of this before even touching on the fact that Nettling Nuisance is a Rogue as well! Anowon, the Ruin Thief decks are bound to have room for an evasive Rogue that forces more damage around the table.

A small concern is the creation of Pirates, specifically. Pirate decks are about to be popular again with our return to Ixalan and some decks are Pirate themed decks that key off of them entering the battlefield like Coercive Recruiter. Here’s a solution to that problem – don’t attack that player! Or even maybe don’t play the Nuisance when it could be detrimental. It can stay in your hand!

  1. Shadow Puppeteers

Shadow Puppeteers is a hell of a finisher in the flying deck. Whether it’s in a monoblue deck like Donal, Herald of Wings or a Thopter focused Breya, Etherium Shaper (I’m sure somebody out there has built this), Shadow Puppeteers at the top. End means that the turn it enters, your 1/1 flyers are now unexpectedly 4/4s. This isn’t Craterhoof Behemoth levels of surprise damage, but it’s still a boost in a colour that isn’t known to have that in its back pocket.

Not to mention, Tegwyll, the precon’s face commander buffs by another +1/+1, so that turns your puny 1/1s into 5/5s. You’re telling me if your friend’s bird deck that slammed a Flurry of Wings during another opponent’s big swing isn’t going to be the scariest at the table when they throw down the Puppeteers? Ain’t no way. Shadow Puppeteers is Overrun for flyers. Alela, Artful Provocateur should be enough of an example to show you just how crazy a deck can get out of hand.

  1. Tegwyll’s Scouring

The final card we review is a board wipe with some flexibility. Similarly to Rout and cards like it, Tegwyll’s Scouring has modal element to it wherein you can pay an additional cost to cast it at instant speed.

Will Tegwyll’s Scouring see play outside of this precon? I doubt it because it is a six mana wrath effect, but I will say it is absolutely perfect for its namesake. If you’ve got a board of Faeries and Tegwyll, Duke of Splendor out but an opponent is about to slam a Craterhoof Behemoth, playing the Scouring with Hoof is on the stack is great especially because Tegwyll’s about to give you a bunch of cards too. Solid in the precon, but unless you’re going hard on flying theme in a deck with black, this isn’t going anywhere else.

Important Reprints

Excellent Faeries and some solid spells get a new look and printing in this deck.

Brazen Borrower, Glen Elendra Archamage, Halo Forager, Hullbreaker Horror, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Puppeteer Clique, Rankle, Master of Pranks, Scion of Oona, Sower of Temptation, Kindred Dominance, Dig Through Time, Arcane Denial, Consider, Keep Watch, Theoretical Duplication, Thrilling Encore, Arcane Signet, Sol Ring, Dimir Signet, Fellwar Stone, Midnight Clock, Talisman of Dominance, Reflections of Littjara, Bojuka Bog, and Secluded Glen.

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Mike Carrozza - September 7, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Virtue and Valor!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine Commander where I’ll be going over all the new cards in each of the Commander preconstructed decks, as well as touching on what cool reprints are in the decks!

Vitue and Valor is an Aura Enchantress. We did just get an Enchantress precon with the Commander Masters Anikthea, Hand of Erebos deck, but that one specifically excluded Auras while this one is all about them. Let’s take a look at the new cards from this deck and some spicy reprints.

  1. Ellivere of the Wild Court

The face commander of this precon is probably the best Aura commander in these colours. A Coastal Piracy for enchanted creatures you control is already really spicy, but the fact that you can probably even play this commander without really packing the deck with too many Auras and still be an Aura commander is really cool.

Much like Titans, Ellivere’s first trigger is on ETB and on attack, and the Virtuous Role is impressive. It’s basically Helm of the Gods but on an Aura token. They can’t stack as per the Role rules, but that’s fine, just keep making them and you can trigger your Femeref Enchantress if you need to!

This is a precon I might just get and have fun with. I think Ellivere seems like a really good time.

  1. Gylwain, Casting Director

Gylwain is also interesting as an Aura commander who doesn’t quite need to be packing so many Auras in the 99. At three mana, you’ll probably play him and give him a Royal Role for protection and then nontoken creatures ETB and you can give them Ward 1, trample, or scry 1 on attack. Of course, every Role comes with a +1/+1 buff.

I think as far as the precon goes, Ellivere might still be the one to keep in the command zone for the card advantage, but Gylwain seems like a really fun commander in his own right. And in the 99 of this deck, he guarantees that each nontoken creature is enchanted so Ellivere will draw from it. I’m really liking this precon so far!

  1. Giant Inheritance

I like this Aura a lot. It gives you a bunch of Auras from just attacking, triggers Constellation, and comes back to your hand when it “dies”.

This is an Aura I would consider putting in my non-Aura specific Enchantress decks. This can be cast a few times, puts some stats onto the battlefield and keeps a train going. This card is really cool!

  1. Knickknack Ouphe

Knickknack Ouphe is an excellent place to spend all your big mana in an Aura deck for a turn. Just make sure to have a Crashing Drawbridge or a haste enabler out. I see this in this precon or in Chishiro, the Shattered Blade builds as a good way to pump a ton of mana into a card and get like 10 cards’ worth and then some out in one go.

Once again, it’s an Aura card only, so you’ll only see it in Aura decks, that’s for sure.

  1. Liberated Livestock

This card is just plain old fun. Similar to Reef Worm in that you want this card to die to get value out of it. Liberated Livestock lets you fetch Auras from your graveyard or put them into play from your hand attached to tokens it makes upon death. That flexibility is pretty key. Have Teysa Karlov in an Aura deck and you’ll end up with a bunch of modified tokens and 8/12 on the board.

  1. Loamcrafter Faun

Lots of people will look at this like a worse Eternal Witness and in some cases they’re correct. I think it’s great for when you have a bunch of heaters in your hand that you need in your graveyard and a bunch of stuff you’d like to use again hanging out in there.

I don’t know where I’d put this card, personally, but I know that Satyr Druid is a fun creature type that we don’t see much and feels like a hint of something to come.

  1. Ox Drover

Ox Drover is a fun example of what WotC’s been doing with White’s card draw. It’s a group hug card and it’s sneaky good. This card is built like a Titan which is exciting because it’s also four mana instead of six! The downside is you give away 2/4 creatures to your opponents. But you get to draw a card. If you’ve got ways to deter attacks, you’ll be alright, but what about ways to goad? Now that’s a fun direction for this!

Ox Drover is another example of White being just fine! It’s got draw in flavourful ways that are fun and functional. I genuinely think White is no longer the worst colour in Commander these days! It’s got so much going on.

  1. Songbirds’ Blessing

Songbirds’ Blessing is a fantastic Aura for Aura decks that don’t care where the Auras end up. Eriette of the Charmed Apple is my favourite commander of this set and putting this on an opponents’ creature and forcing them to attack means that you’ll get a free Aura every combat. This is a great Aura to copy too.

Whether this is in a Voltron Aura deck or a Curses deck, Songbirds’ Blessing is a fantastic inclusion. That said, out of an Aura deck, this is just not worth a look.

  1. Timber Paladin

Two mana for an artifact creature that gets better for each Aura is pretty great. That said, this  card is basically just going to be in Aura decks. There’s literally nothing else to say about this card. It’s a Knight in non-Knight colours. It’s an artifact creature in green. It’s just not worth including in non-Aura decks.

  1. Unfinished Business

A reanimate spell in white since Late to Dinner has costed four mana to reanimate a creature from your graveyard without restriction. Unfinished Business is five mana to bring back a creature and two Auras and/or Equipments which of course can be huge in an Aura deck or Equipment deck or a Voltron deck. Is this going to be in a ton of decks that don’t have Auras/Equipment? Not when Late to Dinner is around.

Important Reprints

Destiny Spinner, Eidolon of Blossoms, Kor Spiritdancer, Sanctum Weaver, Setessan Champion, Shalai, Voice of Plenty, Sun Titan, Umbra Mystic, Austere Command, Retether, Rishkar’s Expertise, Arcane Signet, Sol Ring, Angelic Destiny, Bear Umbra, Daybreak Coronet, Enchantress’s Presence, Ethereal Armor, Mantle of the Ancients, Timely Ward, Utopia Sprawl, and Hall of Heliod’s Generosity.

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Mike Carrozza - September 6, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Enemy Gold!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Enemy Gold cards and the rest of ‘em!

  1. Eriette of the Charmed Apple

This is my favourite commander in the set, hands down.

Eriette of the Charmed Apple takes a space that hasn’t been very explored beyond the Silverquill of Strixhaven with Killian, Ink Duelist in Auras.

However, while Eriette does hint at playing creature Auras, she hints at playing creature Auras on your opponents’ creatures to keep them from swinging into you. Moreover, she rewards a critical mass of Auras because at each of your end steps, you drain the table for the number of Auras you control.

But that last ability doesn’t care if they’re on creatures. Land Auras, Artifact Auras, Creature Auras, Player Auras.

That’s right, this is a Curse commander. This is a land Auras commander. What a legend. I am so excited to get my hands on her and play this deck!

  1. Greta, Sweettooth Scourge

If you had any doubt that this set would give us a commander that does more with Food, I present you with Greta, Sweettooth Scourge.

Being able to pump creatures with Food is great on theme and the cost is nice. Being able to pay two mana for card draw instead of life gain is a game changer.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Food usually sits around as a bonus to all the stuff you’re making already thanks to Academy Manufactor and being part of decks that want to make a lot of tokens or artifact tokens regardless. Greta turns those trinkets into cards or power and that’s really good. A 3/3 for three that ETBs with a Food and can do more with them – that’s a great deal on a rare.

Wait, this is uncommon? Fantastic.

  1. Korvold, Gleeful Glutton

He’s back.

One of the banes of Commander, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, is back in a new form. This time, he seems a little less busted but it’s not impossible to make him worth your time.

Compared to old Korvold, this one doesn’t help you sacrifice anything but rewards you for doing so. When he deals combat damage, he only gets bigger just as your hand does. What are the permanent types anyway?

Land, creature, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker.

Lands – cyclers like Barren Moor get into your graveyard easy. Crystal Vein does double duty sacrificing itself to reduce the cost effectively being like a colourless Jeweled Lotus for Korvold and guaranteeing that you’re at least drawing one card when you hit.

CreaturesSakura-Tribe Elder! Come on, next!

ArtifactsExecutioner’s Capsule or Expedition Map kind of cards are perfect here.

EnchantmentsSeal of Doom, baby! Think about it!

Planeswalkers – Down tick ‘em til they’re gone!

But wait! What if I mill myself? That’s cool. But how about taking a page out of Baba Lysaga, Night Witch’s book and start playing artifact lands or enchantment creatures.

  1. Brenard, Ginger Sculptor

A Bant commander that wants your creatures to die so it can bring them back as artifact tokens? Golems no less? What in the hell is going on! This is aristocrats shenanigans. Somebody call Myrkul, Lord of Bones!

Turning the cards into Foods and Golems means that you can take advantage of Food cards like Night of the Sweets’ Revenge and Precursor Golem.

“Oh wow, Rite of Replication kicked on my Golem token version of Craterhoof Behemoth. Oh, but wait, Precursor Golem is out and I’ve got a Crashing Drawbridge.” – Views from Magical Christmasland. Doesn’t that sounds nice?

  1. Elusive Otter

Short and sweet, this goes in your GUx decks that love their noncreature spells. Maybe Unbound Flourishing decks want this too, but an Otter that gets absolutely huge and can’t be blocked seems like an easy include for literally just one mana. This might have Edric, Spymaster of Trest vibes to it even.

Honorable Mentions

  • Ash, Party Crasher – Honestly, a solid aggro commander that basically says make tokens swing with commander. Straight forward.
  • Faunsbane Troll – This is definitely seeded for limited and Standard. I don’t see real EDH applications.
  • The Goose MotherHydroid Krasis, this is not. But it’s in your command zone and can be massive and it draws you cards on attack. What’s not to like? Magus Lucea Kane decks are eating good this set.
  • Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer – There are better legends that do something like this. If you’re into this character and this card calls to you, I look forward to your build.
  • Neva, Stalked by Nightmares – Similarly to Johann, I don’t see this being a commander, but I see more utility to her than others in the set. Enchantments “dying” is getting lots of support this set and I am thrilled about it. Not to mention she Regrowths a creature or enchantment on ETB and has built-in evasion. Not bad!
  • Troyan, Gutsy Explorer – The restriction is fine if you’re built around it, but if you’ve got low cost stuff or no X spells, this feels bad. That said, looting is always great.
  • Beluna Grandsquall – A truly underwhelming offering for a new Adventure commander. It’s great that she reduces the cost of permanents with Adventures whether they’re on Adventures or not, that’s nice. But the Adventure itself means that you’ll basically only be able to play Adventure cards in the deck and that means it builds itself, which isn’t super fun.
  • Devouring Sugarmaw – Not a bad beater that needs to be fed like an old school Demon from Magic’s early days.
  • Frolicking Familiar – Look at this cute little guy!
  • Gingerbread Hunter – The art on this is hilarious, but the card itself isn’t incredible.
  • Heartflame DuelistFiresong and Sunspeaker get a little redundancy. Maybe a Brash Taunters damage wipe deck could use this!
  • Imodane’s Recruiter – Board-wide haste on ETB is pretty sweet. The adventure is less so.
  • Kellan, the Fae-Blooded – I’m not a fan of tutors but being able to do it from the command zone means that an Aura or Equipment can basically be your secret commander which I simply must stan.
  • Mosswood Dreadknight – While it’s one of the coolest designed cards in the set, this is mainly going to be in Standard decks.
  • Scalding Viper – I enjoy punisher mechanics, but don’t know how far this guy will go in our format.
  • Tempest Hart – Double loot at instant speed and eventually you curve from the Hart with counters. It’s not amazing, but it fits the archetype well.

That does it for part Gold, check back in soon for the rest of the Commander precon’s new cards!

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Mike Carrozza - September 5, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Allied Gold!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Allied Gold cards!

  1. Rowan, Scion of War

Stop the presses, the Rakdos guy picked a Rakdos legend as one of his top allied coloured cards of the set.

The desparked Rowan is kind of a mana dork in some ways. She can’t tap at instant speed and she reduces only black and red cards’ costs. That said, there is an embarrassing amount of ways to lose life and take damage in black and red. Just a Phyrexian Arena hitting you for 1 life means that Rowan can tap and say “red and black spells cost one less to cast this turn”.

Necropotence is a card in the format! Paying life is something you do in Commander all the time without even thinking about it. Then you can squeeze out a two mana Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire where X = 15 without even trying.

There are some rumblings about Rowan, Scion of War being a cEDH card, but the lack of haste relegates it to lower tiers.

  1. Talion, the Kindly Lord

Since Talion has been previewed in the First Looks, people online have been going off about what the ideal number to choose for them. The Command Zone dedicated a whole episode to determining it. It’s 2 or 3, but also can be 1. That said, I’m a fan of Irenicus’s Vile Duplication and Helm of the Host and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces and Sakashima the Imposter and Spark Double and Storm of Saruman.

You can pick all the numbers if you want to. Or you can choose the same ones and make a Sakura-Tribe Elder cost your opponents an extra six life and draw you three cards.

Talion is going into a few decks to try them out for sure, but I think this Dimir legend might have to lead a deck in my roster soon.

  1. Decadent Dragon

The Prosper, Tome-Bound player in me simply must mention the card that snags cards from your opponent’s library into exile for you to cast later and an adventure that already finds a way for you to play the Dragon from exile.

This is a great curve on its own too. While the Dragon doesn’t have haste, it still gets to swing hard and give you Treasure which means any token doublers appreciate this too.

  1. Yenna, Redtooth Regent

The text on Yenna was restricted for a good reason – you shouldn’t get to copy Smothering Tithe over and over.

Yenna rewards you for leaning into Auras which is great considering the precon that comes out with this set. Get an Umbra Mystic and start copying Bear Umbra and Eldrazi Conscription. You can scry and untap if you’ve got the mana and if you target an Aura which means as long as you’ve got the mana and eligible targets, you can keep the train rolling.

Does this go in all Constellation decks? Yeah! Definitely. Make a copy of Eidolon of Blossoms. Make a copy of your Grasp of Fate and make way for your enchanted creatures to smack face.

  1. Likeness Looter

This card is sick. I love Lazav, the Multifarious. And while Lazav can turn into a creature in your graveyard while retaining his name at instant speed, he doesn’t feed the graveyard for targets but that one time off of Surveil and that’s not guaranteed.

Enter Likeness Looter. The Looter requires you to activate at sorcery speed but gains flying and a much more important ability – Looting.

Being able to draw a card and discard a card means that you can turn this into whatever you want. While you can’t do something that full surprises like tossing Phage the Untouchable into the bin and turning Looter into her to kill an opponent, you can definitely turn it into something scary like a Junji, the Midnight Sky.

“Mike, you’ve got to pay X, why not play the creature?” Smart, yes. Sometimes you need to loot before you can cast the creature and you’ll be sad to see something go but no fear, you’ll have the Looter to impersonate them later. Or whatever cards with difficult mana costs like the Nephilim – sure is easier to pay four generic than having the exact colours.

Honorable Mentions

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Mike Carrozza - September 1, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Colourless!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Artifact/Lands/Colourless cards!

  1. Hylda’s Crown of Winter

The vertical cycle of the evil sisters’ items is incredible. Uncommon, Rare, and Mythic items that belong to each of the evil sisters and each does something thematically in line with their associated character while also having applications beyond them.

Hylda, as we’ll see in the gold review, is all about tapping down your opponents’ creatures. The first ability on the Crown here shows that. But what a cool ability that second one is. Three mana – no tapping required – to sacrifice and draw a card for each tapped creature an opponent controls. This can come down and be sacrificed in one fell sweep for six mana and net you a surprise grip of something silly like 10 cards, which is honestly the low end! If you’re up against a player who’s got mana dorks, or a token player who just swung their army, or maybe you’re playing a goad deck, Hylda’s Crown of Winter is a banger. It might dissuade attacks altogether. Maybe you played Blind Obedience and Living Death! Who knows! This card is very strong in a lot of situations. Great rare.

  1. Restless Cottage

The Restless land cycle is enemy pairings on creature-lands. They all enter tapped, tap for mana in their respective enemy colour pair (Boros, Golgari, Izzet, Orzhov, Simic), have an activated ability to become a creature, and finally each one has an attack trigger.

The best of the bunch in my opinion is the Restless Cottage. It was definitely a toss up against the Vinestalk. But the Cottage is black-green land that becomes a 4/4 black-green Horror creature for 2BG until end of turn. The attack trigger creates a Food token and lets you exile up to one target card from a graveyard. This could have been either Food or exile and I’d have been happy with it. A 4/4 that gets both of those on attack is amazing!

  1. Throne of Eldraine

I love to see more monocolour support. This card is named after a full set, which I always appreciate as we’ve seen in recent times with Urza’s Saga and Rise of the Eldrazi. With these cards named after sets, there’s a call back to the set itself and in this one, we get a shout out to Adamant, the ability that rewards you for using the three of the same colour to cast certain spells.

Throne of Eldraine makes you commit to a colour, which is easy if you’re playing it in a monocoloured deck, for sure. You can only tap this for the colour you choose and it MUST be spent on a monocoloured SPELL of that chosen colour. This won’t pay for activated abilities.

The three mana draw two ability gives you a repeatable instant speed Divination (aka Quick Study) in any colour and you can crack Treasures to make sure you’re hitting the colour requirement.

I expect this in monocoloured decks that aren’t artifact heavy and maybe in two colour decks that skew towards one colour more. I appreciate this design, it’s neat.

  1. Collector’s Vault

I don’t have much to say besides this just seems pretty good. A loot for two mana and get a Treasure so it’s a little fixing – not bad. Zirda, the Dawnwaker decks will eat this up for sure.

I think reanimator decks, decks with three or more colours, decks that aren’t crazy competitive – all of them can probably use this pretty sweet little artifact.

  1. Agatha’s Soul Cauldron

Agatha’s Soul Cauldron is the card getting a bunch of folks excited about silly brews and I love that.

Being able to colour fix your creatures’ activated abilities for two mana is pretty good. Cromat might not be en vogue, but Kenrith, the Returned King still is. All versions of General Tazri can use this.

The piece de resistance is that this gives your creatures with +1/+1 counters on them the activated abilities of cards exiled with the Soul Cauldron. This reminds me of Mairsil, the Pretender – a commander that can be absolutely busted.

This is also amazing graveyard hate. You can target any card in any graveyard so you can not only build around your graveyard but your opponents’. Then you get to pop a +1/+1 counter onto a creature you control giving it all the abilities. I love the idea of having a Horseshoe Crab, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and a Sauron, the Lidless Eye as a build-an-infinite-combo finisher.

Honorable Mentions

  • Candy Trail – One mana to scry two and then two mana to get both Food and Clue abilities? That’s half price baby!
  • Eriette’s Tempting Apple – I really love this even if Act of Treason effects are normally three mana. This is on an artifact’s ETB which can be Panharmoniconed. Artifacts can be copied and returned from the graveyard and bounced and all kinds of stuff. I like this one a lot! Especially for non-red decks!
  • The Irencrag – I don’t know what to do with this. Two mana rock that can become an Equipment that Equips for 3 mana just for a permanent Giant Growth? I don’t care enough about it. Disappointed!
  • Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender – Lots of people who build this will be annoyingly cute about it and that’s nice, let them have it.
  • Three Bowls of Porridge – This is a beautiful flavour win!
  • Restless Bivouac – Boros Restless Land that puts +1/+1 counters on creatures you control when it attacks. Not bad!
  • Restless Fortress – I like that this is clearly a control finisher for Standard, but I want to include it in my Orzhov decks because who cares, it’s so sick.
  • Restless Spire – Probably the most aggro of the bunch. Izzet 2/1 first striker for two mana that scries one on attack. It’s pretty neat but again, it’s seeded for Standard for sure.
  • Restless Vinestalk – Of course the Simic one is a big boy and can buff another creature.

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Mike Carrozza - August 31, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Green!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Green cards!

  1. Blossoming Tortoise

This is one of the coolest designs in the set. I recognize that a lot of people are disappointed this isn’t legendary. I get that and agree, it’d be cool if this were legendary.

ETB and attack mill three and ramp to play is so sweet. Somebody in design has a Gitrog Monster deck for sure.

The cost reduction on land abilities also does something we never see which is reduce the activated abilities by one even it brings the cost down to 0. Deserted Temple is a standout all star with this card. Let’s not forget that Ashaya, Soul of the Wild turns your nontoken creatures into lands which means they get pumped by the Tortoise and their abilities are discounted! That’s pretty friggin’ sweet.

  1. Night of the Sweets’ Revenge

Speaking of sweet…

Yes, I recognize that Jaheira, Friend of the Forest is a card, but that’s a unique effect and having this on an enchantment is pretty dope. Giving your Food tokens a mana ability gives them utility when you’re sitting on them wondering if it’s worth cracking them for life. In the right deck, this comes down and your Food tokens pay for a few spells or pay to crack this enchantment for the big pump ability.

Being on an enchantment is also great because enchantments can’t be goaded into combat. Enchantments can’t be pinged with some random damage. Blasphemous Act doesn’t hit Night of the Sweets’ Revenge. Wrath of God doesn’t. Farewell can, but boo, Farewell! Boo!

I’ll be running this in my Will the Wise and Mike, the Dungeon Master deck and I assume it’ll go in the Food and Fellowship precon upgrades from here on out.

  1. Up the Beanstalk

Two mana to draw a card is the going rate for cycling away a Blasted Landscape. The rest is gravy here. Five mana value isn’t too hard to reach. Casting a five mana spell is as easy as casting a Mulldrifter for 2U with Evoke. See what I’m getting at?

This card could be huge in Modern what with Evoke elementals. Force of Will triggers this. Cost reduction is plentiful. You can make your X spells big enough to cantrip pretty easily, especially in something like Zaxara, the Exemplary or Magus Lucea Kane.

Just look at an Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty list. Vial Smasher the Fierce when partnered with a green partner might have some cool tech that’ll trigger this too.

Up the Beanstalk is going to be a popular uncommon!

  1. Elvish Archivist

Once a turn for each of these abilities is still solid considering in this set there are ways to basically accidentally have artifacts and enchantments enter the battlefield. This is a limited Setessan Champion and it’s still very much worth considering for your enchantress decks, primarily.

Artifact decks? Sure. If you need a gradual beater, pop this in your green artifact deck (Mike and Will maybe).

But while enchantress decks have gotten a lot in recent time to support the archetype, it’s hard to turn down a two drop that rewards you for doing what you want the deck to do and that wears Auras well too.

  1. Tough Cookie

I am still enamoured by this design. For two mana, you get so much.

ETB create a Food token. No matter how many times it enters, Tough Cookie is giving you a Food token. Not to mention that stuff like Night of the Sweets’ Revenge or Sweettooth Witch counts Tough Cookie because it is a Food!

As it that wasn’t enough, Tough Cookie can turn noncreature artifacts you control into 4/4  artifact creatures without needing to tap it! For three mana! Volrath, the Shapestealer is the first that comes to mind for this. I haven’t gotten all my brew brain wrapped around this, but at the very least, this can turn those Food tokens into pretty strong creatures for three mana at instant  speed. That’s pretty spicy.

Honorable Mentions

That does it for green, check back in soon for artifacts/lands/colourless!

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Mike Carrozza - August 30, 2023

Best of Wilds of Eldraine – Red!

Hello! Welcome to my set review of Wilds of Eldraine, where I will pick cards of each colour and discuss my five favourite cards from them. Yes, there will be and artifact and lands review as well as a multicoloured review.

Given that the set also comes out with a set of preconstructed Commander decks, I’ll also be covering my favourite new cards from there in another article. The set booster and Jumpstart exclusive cards from this set will be in their respective colour reviews.

Without further ado, here are my favourite Red cards!

  1. Imodane, the Pyrohammer

This is one of the coolest burn commanders since… well, actually since last Eldraine when we got Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. Imodane is very cool and different and gives home too all of those instants and sorceries that do a lot of damage to just creatures and turns them into a burn on your opponents’ life totals.

Remember, the instant or sorcery needs to only target a single creature. If you copy that spell and it’s got a single target too, that also still works! Play stuff like Explosive Singularity and Into the Maw of Hell. Pack the deck with Stuffy Doll and Brash Taunter. Really go off!

Don’t forget to pack your Forbidden Orchards and Akroan Horse!

  1. Virtue of Courage

I am a Prosper, Tome-Bound player on the verge of also becoming an Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin player. Suffice it to say, if you know me, you’re aware that I love 1. Rakdos 2. Graveyard strategies, and 3. Prosper exile matters decks.

When your deck is Reckless Fireweaver, Impact Tremors, and Ingenious Artillerist and you get three cards per trigger, it’s really hard to not look at this card like the all-star that it is. Five mana isn’t a huge cost when you’ve got so much to go with. Be careful pairing this with Valakut Exploration, though, you’ll just lose three cards if you let anything hit the bin.

With each of the Virtues, being able to tuck it into exile with the Adventure mode means that it likely won’t get wheeled away. But in this case, in a Prosper or Faldorn deck, that’s added upside! You get an exile cast and boom! Gravy!

  1. Ogre Chitterlord

At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked this card. It’s red Grave Titan lite. Hmm.

But then you realize that Grave Titan is pretty great and this is so red even its tokens are all about attacking.

Being able to stack a few triggers means you’ll have some pretty big Rats going in for a bite. Pop this in your Jaxis, the Troublemaker decks and your Rionya, Fire Dancer decks and watch your opponents scramble about what to do.

I really, really love that we’re seeing more Titan designs. A reminder of Magic’s old top end and yet they remain iconic and strong. Primeval Titan is a house in older formats. Sun Titan gets reprinted with such regularity it was the old Zetalpa, Primal Dawn. Titans are fun designs! And that’s why I love the Chitterlord.

  1. Flick a Coin

This is the closest thing we’re getting to How to Keep an Izzet Mage Busy when it comes to card names. It’s just a game to them. Flick a Coin is a red card, but make no mistake, it’s an Izzet card because it’s only going in decks with blue in it too. I dare you to tell me I’m wrong.

Flick a Coin should be the top end of your Thousand-Year Storm so you can refill your hand, get mana, and whittle down your opponents’ life totals or defences. It’s just fine when you cast it on its own. But when you’ve got cost reductions and ways to “storm” this card, it’s scary… for your opponents.

  1. Charming Scoundrel

Charming Prince, Callous Bloodmage, Aether Channeler, and now Charming Scoundrel.

I love Charms on creatures. We saw Lord Skitter’s Butcher in blacks cards in this set and I liked that. I also really like Charming Scoundrel. ETB for a rummage is great especially when you’re in a Madness deck. ETB create a Treasure is also great. ETB get an Aura token that pings all opponents when it goes to the graveyard has many applications – triggers constellation, Altar of the Brood, Kodama of the East Tree, etc.

When you’ve got a way to flicker or copy this (like in your Jaxis, the Troublemaker or Rionya, Fire Dancer decks) or get this in and out of your graveyard, you’ll be getting a lot out of your two mana creature.

Honorable Mentions

That does it for red, check back in soon for green!

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