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Throne of Eldraine Preview Stream Takeaways

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Hello everybody, I hope everyone had a good time watching all of the preview streams for Throne of Eldraine yesterday! I got to experience the set and the gameplay firsthand and wanted to report a little on what I played, what I saw, and what I think is coming to a (digital and non-digital) tabletop near you.

I'll take this deck by deck:


This deck was designed by Zvi Mowshowitz, and it was pretty sweet. While I am no Hall of Famer, and I kinda stumbled my way through bad plays, you could tell a few things were true:

My God, Oko Is Nuts

This card. Y'all. Oko, Thief of Crowns *plusses* and makes whatever they have that is bigger than a 3/3 null and void. Sure, it's a 3/3, but it's no longer a 7/6 that can re-buy itself (until it hits the bin, yadda yadda). Still, two plus abilities plus the exchange thing? Yeesh.

Also don't discount the ability to make a permanent that is an Artifact that can also gain you 3 life and interact with a ton of new cards. The synergy in this three-mana 'walker is immense.

Speaking of Nuts, Let Me Introduce You To Questing Beast

Mother of God this card is bananas. It just does everything. It's amazing on offense (with haste) and terrific on defense (with vigilance and deathtouch). It is crazy scary on turn three thanks to the Gilded Goose and can quickly take over the game.

You know the reason this thing is Legendary, despite it not really looking like it or having a name suited to Legendary status? Yeah, it's to keep you from playing two of these things. It's enormous, it's scary, it's aggressively costed, and it's going to see play. I hope you're ready for three very angry heads coming at you.

Castle Garenbrig is Probably The Best Castle

Not a giant shock, I think, that when it comes to lands Green wins out. The castles are all great, but the Green one lets you quickly pump out a Feasting Troll King on turn four and the 'drawback' of needing a Forest in play is just laughable. The fact that these are basically better than a basic land such a giant percentage of the time is amazing.

Once Upon A Time is Incredible

The sheer play in this card is impressive. This lets you get your 1-drop so incredibly consistently. The idea that I started a hand without Gilded Goose or with only two lands but I see a Once Upon A Time? Instant relief. This helped me hit Pelt Collector and Gilded Goose with incredible frequency. There is also a lot of play regarding whether you play this before your first land (so you can get the best starting land for the game) or if you hold it in a land-heavy hand (to find the best payoff for your mana flood) is super interesting. I'm sure I was playing this all kinds of incorrect, but that to me means it's a great card with a lot of skill-testing situations that will provide plenty of fodder for great games in the future. This card is awesome.

Just Get Your Four Fabled Passage Now

Yes, they went and made Evolving Wilds a rare. And it's incredible. Just as good as you'd imagine it being. This card will be a monster staple in the new Standard and I wouldn't be surprised if it saw play in older formats.

This is much like shocks or fetchlands - if you're a Magic player of any sort, invest in this real estate. You will never be unhappy having a playset or a few of these for your Commander decks. This card is just as good and as exciting as advertised.

So I got stomped by something like the following play:

Turn one: Gilded Goose

Turn two: make a Food token with Gilded Goose

Turn three: Giant Opportunity

Turn four: The Great Henge

Everything after that was irrelevant because I was just dead. Holy cow did I underestimate the power of Giant Opportunity. That card is amazing for a few reasons: Not only can it power out a surprise 7/7 on turn three(!) it can make exactly enough food to rebuy your Feasting Troll King who is the truth and other peeps can't handle it. Let me just give this guy his own section.

Feasting Troll King Is The Truth

Yes, yes he is. This card is one of the most surprising and impressive that I played. A few things that make this card amazing:

  1. It creates the very items that can re-buy it from the graveyard. It is its own recursive engine (sorta/kinda) in that way.
  2. It is powered out perfectly by Castle Garenbrig. Did I mention that was the best castle?
  3. A gigantic 7/6 trampler that also has Vigilance is crazy big game.

So yeah, don't let all of those Green mana symbols fool you. When you come for the King you best not miss.

Also The Great Henge is not remotely fair. Untapping with that card and doing almost anything with it is Good Game. Also note that between Giant Opportunity and Feasting Troll King you have your perfect power to make it as cheap as possible.

So let's talk Knights. I played a few Knights decks, and I feel this was the best one. I was in the middle of tuning this, so I wouldn't take this as "stock" or anything close. But I will tell you a few all-stars:

Fervent Champion is dope. Congrats to Javier Dominguez for a killer Invitational / World Champ card. This thing is awesome and great on turn one.

Oathsworn Knight really impressed me. I originally started with two but went up to four total. The idea that you can have something like Icon of Ancestry out (making it unkillable to damage after the last +1/+1 counter falls off) is dope. I had forgotten just how good "Phantom" creatures were and this was a nice reminder that they're still awesome.

Shocking to no one, Murderous Rider was great and will be your de facto removal spell for Standard. Enjoy losing that two life and regaining it back again.

Blacklance Paragon is terrific. Wow. It does it all - it gives you a great blocker who gains you life and kills whatever it blocks, or it allows you to give up your least important Knight to kill their best incoming attacker. All while it gives Lifelink to boot! It's good on offense and defense and I love it.

It's weird to see it underperform but I wasn't that impressed with Castle Locthwain. For what read like the best castle I have a feeling it might quietly be the worst. Time will tell!

Stormfist Crusader was...fine. Okay. It's great when you're ahead but...you're already ahead at that point. And if anything you're giving them the possible tools to come back and beat you. The life loss combined with Midnight Reaper (the real winner / card advantage engine you should be using) was nonzero and made for some games that I probably should've won into quick losses.

I wish I had a chance to draw or play with Steelclaw Lance, but alas.


This is essentially the br version but with worse spells and somewhat better creatures. Inspiring Veteran is obviously great, but you're missing the incredible 1-drops like Knight of the Ebon Legion which is the clear best 1-drop in Standard after Gilded Goose.

I didn't get to play with this one much so I don't have a lot to add other than it felt like an underpowered version of the Rakdos version.


Welcome to your new Tier 1 deck in Standard on Week 1. This deck is completely supercharged thanks to Brazen Borrower and Wildborn Preserver.

I mean, the idea that you flash in a Spectral Sailor and then pump everything you have into the Wildborn Preserver after they block is ridiculous. And my God, Brazen Borrower? It may look like the card is great but you gotta play with it to see it be absolutely game-changing.

Between bouncing whatever they want to block with (and putting a counter on Brineborn Cutthroat), then later getting a 3/1 that you can pump the rest of your mana into Wildborn Preserver...we are cooking with gasoline here. The Nutter Butters are stone cold and we got ourselves a hot one. Like, just swapping in Brazen Borrower for the previously used Unsummons was huge! Then you get the incredible Green 2-drop to boot.

This deck is nuts, almost completely survived rotation in-tact, and is the clear target for your testing of the new Standard. If you can't beat or have game against this deck, don't bother showing up.


Nice, straightforward, and an easy Tier 2 pillar of the new Standard. Getting out an early Improbable Alliance is crucial for creating the overwhelming board state to destroy your opponent. Also the fact that you can play/stack two Improbable Alliances is nuts and basically game over once you get to six mana.

And I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea to turn Tormenting Voice into Instant speed territory but...thanks? Because my lord, Thrill of Possibility is indeed quite thrilling. Also The Royal Scions is super real and very difficult to deal with. The high loyalty lets them use their abilities multiple times getting you all of the triggers you need for cards like Faerie Vandal which shouldn't feel as strong as it does, if that makes sense.

Also ole Irencrag Pyromancer previewed on this very site is also very strong, and I killed one person just by getting free Lightning Bolts from my pair of them. This card is very good and difficult to deal with. It may by itself bring back Lava Coil into the metagame.


This last deck is what some would call a 'meme' deck because I'm just jamming all of the Adventures to see what sticks.

And you know what? It was really fun! The card Lucky Clover is awesome on turn two when you fire off the Beanstalk Giant Adventure right after. And tempting my opponent into playing two 4 power creatures and getting two triggers when my Giant Killer went on its adventure? Chef's kiss

Now it's not very 'good' in terms of rocking Standard or anything, but I had a great time exploring and playing with the various cards that look for and play off Adventures. Getting twice the effects off the same creatures never feels bad.

Summation

Throne of Eldraine is a very exciting set. While I have my gripes with how far Wizards went with the fairy tales in the set (which is to say, not far enough for my liking), the raw power of these cards is very evident. And we're just scratching the surface! It will be an incredibly exciting time for Magic players as the power of cards like Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Fires of Invention make waves throughout the playerbase.

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast for the #sponsored stream goodness, and I can't wait to craft my four Gilded Goose the instant I get a chance!

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