September 5, 2019

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Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine #1 – Grab a fork, it’s time to eat

Welcome all to the start of the Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine. Each day until release, I’ll be talking about and showing you some of the exciting new cards from Throne of Eldraine, releasing on October 4th! To start off talking about the new set, I’m going to go straight into one of the new mechanics, and that mechanic is Food. That’s right, Food. Food tokens to be more precise. In Ixalan, we saw Treasure Tokens being produced everywhere to help you gain mana of any colour. In Shadows over Innistrad, we saw Clue Token being used to help players draw cards. Next, is of course the token that Mono Red players will hate, the Food Token.

If you are talking about just the Food Token by itself, it’s interesting. The past two tokens I mentioned above gave you extra mana (sometimes of a colour you needed) and card advantage. Some would saw that these are more valuable than gaining 3 life, and they could be right. Being able to gain 3 life though, even once can mean the difference in winning and losing some games, especially against Aggro decks. Getting mana or extra cards won’t save you against those types of decks. You also must look at what cards that are already in Standard will benefit from these artifact tokens that gain life. There are creatures like Ajani’s Pridemate and Bloodthirsty Aerialist that will grow when you gain life. How about using Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge to kill your opponent thanks to all the artifact Food Tokens you have on the battlefield.

The big thing about Food Tokens though is that they do more than just help you gain some life. There are cards that produce and use them to gain an ability. Let’s have a look at the new Birds of Paradise, Food Edition. Here is Gilded Goose.

This 1-mana mana producing Bird is the card I’ve been waiting for in Standard. With the removal of Llanowar Elves after rotation, Standard needed a way to go from 1 to 3 mana on turn two. Most of the time, I would be okay with only using the ability once to gain mana, but even if you have no other spells that create Food Tokens, Gilded Goose itself can make them. This will allow you to ramp some more in later turns. Or you can start gaining 3 life if you have five mana each turn to play with. The more cards that produce these yummy tokens, the better this card will end up being.

Finally, I want to talk about a brand-new planeswalker that not only produces Food Tokens, but also has some neat abilities to use them with as well. Here is Oko, Thief of Crowns.

Before I talk about the abilities of this planeswalker, please note that it is only three mana to cast. Oko could end the turn you cast it with a crazy 6 loyalty counters. Let’s break down the abilities of this planeswalker:

[+2]: Create a Food token. – Creating permanents with such a high +2 loyalty ability seems powerful. We have seen with cards like Gilded Goose that there will be some powerful cards that will need this constant fuel of Food Tokens to keep them happy. Even if you don’t have something that wants to eat the food, Oko’s next two abilities should have fun with these tokens.

[+1]: Target artifact or creature loses all abilities and becomes a green Elk creature token with base power and toughness 3/3. – This ability intrigues me very much. There are some many angles and uses for this ability. To start off it can shutdown a very large powerful creature like Cavalier of Thorns. It can take a non-creature artifact and turn it into a 3/3 threat on the battlefield, like Food Tokens for example. Any artifact or creature with an ETB ability, but weak power and toughness, could benefit from a little increase in stats.

Some of the best targets for this could be:
Arboreal Grazer – Turn this 0/3 Beast into a 3/3 elk on turn two.
Augur of Bolas – Sometimes you are unhappy to be left with a 1/3 once its on the battlefield. +2 power for you!
Fblthp, the Lost – This can help you draw a card and then become a 3/3 threat.

[-5]: Exchange control of target artifact or creature you control and target creature an opponent controls with power 3 or less. – This powerful ability can be used as early as turn two thanks to its large starting loyalty. I don’t think you would mind switching a Food Token for a creature or powerful artifact.

What a scrumptious start to the preview season for Throne of Eldraine. As mentioned, the key to any new mechanic is how many cards will be able to interact with it. The more cards that use Food Tokens, the more valuable they will be in the Standard metagame. Thanks for starting off the brand-new season of the Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine. Join me again tomorrow as I investigate some wild adventures!