September 9, 2019

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Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine #3 – Garruk and Friends

Welcome all to a new week here on the Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine. Previews of the new cards are starting to pile up and I’m looking forward to what the new set has in store. Toady I’ll be talking about the return of a planeswalker that we haven’t seen in a long time, Garruk! Everyone’s favourite big bad man with an axe is back to wield his weapon across the land. As you’ll see, he is enlisting the help of a few animal friends to help fuel his adventures. This isn’t the only creature that can summon some animals to help them along the way.

First off, I want to talk about a creature that can make some of everyone’s favourite creatures, Rats! Here is Piper of the Swarm.

Piper of the Swarm

There are two ways to look at this card: By itself or bunched in with other Standard cards. Let’s start of by looking at it by itself. This is a little Rat engine that could work both on attacking and blocking. You can have a go wide strategy by making 1/1 Rats every turn, then eventually overwhelming your opponent. Defensively you can use them to provide a chump blocker every turn to prevent large amounts of damage against you on the ground. This creature is great in a stalemate situation as you can eventually use these 1/1 Rats to take control of their best creature. Outside of what’s to come in Throne of Eldraine, there currently aren’t too many other Rat creatures in post-rotation Standard. There is only one, Burglar Rat. Your dreams of building a Standard Rat deck might not come to fruition.

Now that we some pesky Rats to keep us busy, let’s talk about the main attraction, Garruk. Here is the brand new Garruk, Cursed Huntsman.

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman

This is an odd looking planeswalker with the fact that it is six mana to cast. But, it has less starting loyalty than its casting cost and has zero abilities that can directly increase its loyalty. It’s a good thing it has some sweet abilities. Let’s break down the abilities of this planeswalker.

[0]: Create two 2/2 black and green Wolf creature tokens with “When this creature dies, put a loyalty counter on each Garruk you control.” – This is the first planeswalker ever made that creates two creatures that you don’t have to sacrifice at the end of your turn or combat. Being able to add 4 power onto the battlefield each turn is very powerful. As a bonus, each one fuels Garruk, Cursed Huntsman with more loyalty counters when they die. This means that if the two Wolf tokens die before your next turn, you can activate its ultimate right away. Combining this ability with some other cards in Standard could be deadly. If you already have Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves on the battlefield, you will gain 6 life and be able to fight for 4 damage against your opponents’ creatures. With Nightpack Ambusher on the battlefield, these Wolves become 3/3 instead of 2/2 creatures.

[-3]: Destroy target creature. Draw a card. – Both parts of this ability by themselves are solid abilities, together they are great. It’s a little rough if the only use of this card is one activation of this ability. This ability of Garruk, Cursed Huntsman will be better suited against decks that have one large threat instead of a go-wide strategy. It’ll also work if you happen to have a few creatures already on the battlefield. They’ll help protect Garruk when he goes down to 2 loyalty after turn one. Unless pressured by a threat you can’t deal with, I’d probably hold off on using this ability and go with making two 2/2 Wolf Creatures if I can.

[-6]: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control get +3/+3 and have trample.” – This is a medium to strong ultimate ability that can put all your creatures out of reach and allow you to have an alpha attack to win the game. One thing to note is that unlike similar emblems like the one from Vivien Reid, your creatures will not have indestructible and are still vulnerable to removal. Most times when you have the Emblem on the battlefield you’ll win games, as all your creatures will outclass your opponent’s.

As you can see, Throne of Eldraine has plenty of tokens other than just Food Tokens. It’s also nice to have some cards to help gain value our of these creature tokens as well. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Throne of Eldraine. Join me again tomorrow to what shows up next on our adventure!