September 17, 2019

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The Most Powerful Throne of Eldraine Cards From Week 1

Hi guys, it’s spoiler season again. Today I’m going to talk about Jack and the Beanstalk, a new black burn spell, a 6-drop planeswalker (no prizes for guessing who), and the second coming of Temur Battle Rage, Llanowar Elves, and Ancient Stirrings.

This one may come as a surprise to some of you, but considering that Law-Rune Enforcer is a strong card that has seen play, I’d be willing to bet that this card will see play in any prominently white midrange or aggro deck. It does cost more to tap a creature, but there’s no restriction on what this can tap. Even if it doesn’t make it as good as Enforcer, still gives it uses. Second of all, Chop Down isn’t a terrible card – sure it isn’t standard playable on its own, but the fact that you can have a turn one value-packed creature, or a bad removal spell followed by a 1-drop, just screams versatility to me. It’s also a great draw late game in any creature matchup – a rare feature for a 1-drop.

This might not be the number 1 most powerful card in the set. Although given what I’ve seen so far, its easily on my top 3 “Most Likely to See Play” list. Swift End is the next Vraska’s Contempt, the losing life rather than gaining the life is almost worth the one less mana. The exiling only matters against cards like Arclight Phoenix, since the God-Eternals aren’t affected by exiling (I’m not sure who’s idea that was).

The creature half of the card isn’t super exciting. It is able to gain back the life you lost with the first half of the card. And while a 2/3 lifelink might not be great, murder + a decent creature in a single card is. The card is just so versatile: it roadblocks aggro, kills planeswalkers against control, and does both against midrange. Oh, and did I mention it’s a knight, making it playable in whatever knight tribal deck pops up? I just can’t stress enough how good this card is. You can even deck your opponent with it Teferi, Hero of Dominaria-style if you have a sacrifice outlet. And there’s also this cute little synergy with Teferi, Time Raveler that lets you pick the Rider up, letting you destroy something else with it.

I guarantee some of you are scratching your head right now but hear me through on this one. The only reason a Knights deck wouldn’t play a full 4 of a card that does as much damage as Curry Favor (Curry Flavour) is for fear of it being a dead card. Now that it’s a creature as well you don’t have that problem and can Banefire your opponent in peace. C’mon, tell me I’m wrong.

Claim the Firstborn? Crap, that’s me. In all seriousness though, this card seems strong. The ability to take the creature that’s brickwalling your board and throw it at your opponent is an upside. This could be the difference in you dying because you never got your opponent’s life total low enough and an easy win. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a 3-of or 4-of across the 75 of any Mono-Red deck.

This seems decent in a Mono-Red deck. Temur Battle Rage has always been a strong card, and I can see this being a cornerstone of the new Mono-Red decks since it packs such a solid punch. Luckily there are two types of Mono-Red decks: ones that go wide, and one that just pack as many burn spells as possible. The ones that just play burn spells don’t have too many creatures to make this cheaper, so that’s good. The ones that go wide are just full of 1/1s so doublestrike doesn’t do much…

Chandra’s Spitfire

Never mind.

“STOP GIVING MONO-RED CARD ADVANTAGE!!!” This will almost always snag a card when it attacks since mono-red decks are great at dumping their hand. And if it dies and doesn’t do combat damage, it doesn’t even matter, the card will just sit there until you attack with a Goblin Instigator, Tin Street Dodger, or Robber of the Rich. The main weakness of Mono-Red is that if your opponent gets to the late game, they normally outclass you with better cards. Well, we already have Chandra, Fire Artisan and Experimental Frenzy for card draw, and now you can take your opponent’s strong late game cards as well. This card isn’t busted, but it will certainly see play in Mono-Red. Oh yeah, and Robin Hood is a Mythic just for good measure. Isn’t Mono-Red supposed to be a budget deck that anybody can play? More like Robber of the Poor.

A lot of people have been comparing this card to Llanowar Elves, and while I don’t think it’s that good, I do think it will see a lot of play. It isn’t going to be able to produce mana as often as Elves because it only makes one food. Unless you want to fill your deck with food producers,  you’ll end up pouring 2 mana into this guy every turn or two. It also can’t attack for bird beats. It does have a few advantages though. For one, it makes mana of any colour. It can be way more important than making mana every turn in many decks. It also fuels Food synergies which could conceivably be a thing and is a good late game draw.

Card selection has always been powerful. Commune with Dinosaurs saw play, and this hits anything, though it is 1 more mana. Adventurous Impulse also saw some play when it first came out, so I’d say it’s a fairly safe bet that this will too. Now imagine that it’s free a good chunk of the time; the efficiency is over the top. Being able to get your best creature or find another land and play Gilded Goose on the same turn is pretty good, to say the least.

Finally, the card everybody has been losing their minds about. I’m going to start by saying I don’t think this card is actually that good. I think it is one of the most powerful cards in the set, but I don’t think it’s format warping. It clogs up the board pretty quickly while also being able to remove creatures and then pump your entire board. While these are all extremely powerful abilities, they all only work in a midrange deck. Garruk is powerful and I’m sure it will be the finisher of any Golgari midrange deck. All the other 6-mana planeswalkers are a few colours and can be played in midrange and control. This has more powerful abilities than a lot of them, but it can be countered or killed by a friendly Murderous Rider at any time. Honestly, Garruk is not that absurd.

Thanks for reading. Did I miss any cards? What do you think the new format will look like? Let me know in the comments.