Hello folks! I hope your day is going well and that you are having many fun End-of-Summer celebrations.
The announcement for Thone of Eldraine that's coming up next, as well as it's "Camelot Meets Grimm Fairy Tales" has hit my Abe-dar as something that could be really resonant. As someone who has played since 1994 and has played with the game deeply since The Dark, I can see a lot of great cards and mechanics down through the years that would be great fits for Throne of Eldraine.
I think reprints matter more than you expect. There are tons of great cards out there you can tap into, and many that have relevance for this set that you can recast here. I also think various mechanics from blocks as varied as Zendikar and Innistrad could make the cut.
What do I want to see get reprinted?
In most cases I want to tap into the cool aspects of flavor more than others. You aren't going to see Swords to Plowshares on my list. It's not even close to seeing print in Standard, it's not on theme, and it would make no sense.
For my list, flavor trumps power. There may be cards here that nail the flavor out of the park, but aren't making a Standard Powerhouse Decklist. And that's fine!
So let's kick this thang off!
Honorable Mention #1 - Black Knight / White Knight
Now that Core Set 2020 has shown a willingness for a light amount of protection from colors at the uncommon spot, returning these would be awesome. Knights are clearly going to be a supported tribe in Throne. Note that both are Modern legal and have been in Standard as recently as Magic 2011 without any major hiccups. You could also do Silver Knight and Blood Knight as well.
Honorable Mention #2 - Knight Exemplar
Speaking of Magic 2011, we should get back this lord o' Knights. It's only been printed in a single set, and the once more in one of the earliest Duel Decks series. It's long since time that we had some more Exemplar's leading the battle, right? Right! (Plus it's pricey on the secondary market, and we could use some more to drive down the cots as well!)
10. Lost in the Woods
Strong flavor meets a modern mechanic. It's also been a while since the first Innistrad Block, so this thing is due for a reprint. One of the key things that happens in a lot of fairy tales is getting lost in some dense, thick woods, and then arriving at some magical place where a witch or something lurks. Now what? You have to find your way out. And Lost in the Woods hits that trope hard on the nose!
Speaking of getting lost and running into Witches....
9. Bogbrew Witch / Festering Newt / Bubbling Cauldron
Duh. Take a look at the pictures for the Cauldron and such. Look at that art! You don't even have to change the art for these to feel right at home! Now the one thing here is that they were recently reprinted in Iconic Masters so while they are an absolute flavor home run, they aren't some cool card from Magic 2014 that ain't on anyone's radar anymore. Fun awaits!
9b - Witch Buddies and Powers
8. Warden of the Wall
I feel like a few Gargoyle cards would feel pretty fun in this set as a fun way of pushing the castles, Camelot, and high fantasy tropes. Gargoyles are cool ways to show that off, and Warden of the Wall is suitable as a fun defender of your castle as well as a mana rock. It's also an interesting tension, as it's only active on other turns, and you cannot swing with it, and plus, if you tapped it for mana, you cannot block with it either, but that opens up to some mass sorcery speed sweepers that you can run as well, which is cool. I wouldn't be surprised to see a defender matters theme either.
7. Storming the Castle
We'll see some cards that represent taking and defending a castle. I can definitely see a theme of cards where they show the ongoing battles between sieges. If you had the defender theme I mentioned above, then cards like Siege Dragon or maybe Clear a Path would be useful places to look. We have artillery options like Catapult Squad and Heavy Ballista, as well as Goblin Tunneler who can send a smaller dork under the walls to punch a foe's face and then return via the same tunnel. (Re-art Undermine to display undermining the fortifications!) Instants like Fortify or auras like Siegecraft can be art-ed and flavor-ized to work, and you could run something like Catapult Master and Squad to shoot stuff down. I don't think that the set will mix its Soldier and Knight times, and will lean more heavily into the latter, but cards like Attended Knight could help pull it off if it did.
6. Quest for the Holy Relic
In a Camelot meets Fairy Tales setting, bringing back the Quests from Zendikar feels pretty on point. In particular? This bad boy which already sets up a Holy Grail style search for something. I think you could reprint this without any other Quest cards, as there is nothing here that strikes me as a keyword beyond a single re-upping. But if you are, then you might as well do more, and you could make some new Quests and bring back a few key ones, like the Quest for the Holy Relic!
While some of the Quests from this block may be very specific to Zendikar, there are a few out there with a sufficiently generic name and feel that some new art would make the ripe for the reprint bus.
6b. Curse of Death's Hold / Witchbane Orb
You could make a strong argument for the return of Curses from Innistrad Block as well. Now most of these Curses are very horror themed, like Curse of the Bloody Tome or Curse of the Nightly Hunt. But you could dip into many new Curses as well as Witchbane Orb which nails the flavor from many angles.
5. Righteous Confluence
Of the various Confluences, this one is likely the best for a Standard set. It's also not so powerful that it'd dominate. A trio of 2/2 dorks with vigilance for five mana? Exiling some enchantments? Gaining life? Doing any number of those? To be fair, the most powerful thing this spell may have going for it, in addition to some fun flexibility, is the 15 life gainer, as that could act proactively as more than one Fog against many foes. Also, in addition to making some cool Knights, they are also very Righteous, which is a typically Knight trope.
4. Sword of the Chosen
If you don't think we are getting a "Sword in the Stone" style of card, then I have no idea who you are. This fits. It's never been reprinted since Stronghold but it's not Reserved. It's a legendary card for sets and cards that care right now. It's got the flavor down. The only issue is that it's not a modern equipment that you wield, but has the older typing. Is that enough to keep it on the sidelines? Probably, but dreamers dream dreams after all.
3. Orcish Lumberjack
We KNOW that there is likely to be a Woodsman. Too many nursery rhymes have one not to add one here. We'll probably have a piece of equipment with a name like "Woodsman's Axe" or something similar. In a Standard with a duel Forest/Mountain, this may to be too fast, but it would be a fun reprint. We could have another version of this card, maybe a 2/1 for or something.
2. Scryb Sprites
Come on! It's been too long a wandering. Time to bring it home. It's not Modern legal, which is so sad. You could add in some Green sprites and such for a fun Faerie set of cards! Let's bring our good Sprites home!
Now a super sad face to the Reserve List for preventing you from getting Willow Priestess. This would be an amazing home for it, but ah well. Look how awesome that'd be!
I mentioned this before, but I sort of feel like this set could be Homelands meets Lorwyn. Homelands has that classic feel with castles, towns, a supported Faerie tribe, and more! And yet, there's a dark side to the plane too that feels Grimm's, like Baron Sengir. They feel like the suit each other lovely.
1. Uncle Istvan
Wizards, if you did this? I would be in love with you forever and ever! This feels to me like a perfect Hansel and Gretel or a nursery rhyme gone dark. Forget Witches and such. You wander into Uncle Istvan! That's awesomely resonant!
There we are!
I was trying to uncover a strong option for a Merlin style card, but was unable to do so, they probably need to just make something brand new.
Anything in here you'd love to see to? Anything I missed? Thanks for reading, and have a great day!