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Wilds of Eldraine Flavor Gems


Welcome back, Lore Seekers! Today we're looking at Flavor Gems for Wilds of Eldraine, which did something unique this time around. There are numerous mini-arcs throughout the set of mixed up fairy tales each set in a color pair, so I'm going to talk about those today as well as some one-offs I enjoyed.

I'm not going to include every card that falls into this mini-stories, as that's a bit too onerous, but I'll be highlighting the key ones. A lot of these fairy tale inspirations had one-off cards in the original Eldraine, but these are largely new takes on those same fairy tales. With that out of the way, let's dive in.

Curse of the Werefox (Green-White)

Besotted Knight by Andreia Ugrai

The first story is a riff on Beauty and the Beast. The Curse of the Werefox is about Redtooth Keep, a castle full of elves who were cursed to change into werefoxes by night. We learn about the curse itself from Archon of the Wild Rose and Ferocious Werefox:

Each night, the elves of Redtooth Keep transform into feral, monstrous beasts.

The curse of Redtooth Keep could only be broken by a mystical rose that blooms in moonlight.

The bonus sheet versions of Defense of the Heart and Parallel Lives give this story the name Curse of the Werefox, so that's what we're calling it too. From those flavor texts, we can glean a little more information:

"Brave Syr Armont mused: Was the elves' true nature that of day's civility or night's savagery? Could such bestial rage be bestowed by curse alone?"

"And as the rose began to bloom, the curse of Redtooth Keep began, at last, to wither."

From this we learn that Syr Armont, the Redeemer is essentially this story's Belle, while Yenna, Redtooth Regent is the Beast (or one of them, at least). The implication given by the flavor text is that Armont broke the curse, probably by means vaguely similar to what we know from Beauty and the Beast.

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

  • Besotted Knight gives us a classic take on Beauty and the Beast, a knight who sees through the beasts exterior.
  • Werefox Bodyguard shows us that many beasts acted in a noble fashion.

Assault on Delverhaugh (Red-White)

Ash, Party Crasher by Jason Rainville

The White-Red mini-arc is a variation on the Cinderella story. The Assault on Delverhaugh is named in the bonus sheet cards Shared Animosity and Raid Bombardment:

"The feud between dwarves and redcaps had raged for so long that no one could quite recall how it started. Few would believe it was sparked by a long-ago dispute over a spoon."

"For slaying dozens of redcaps using only fruit and cakes, the dwarven survivors were dubbed the Gluttoneers."

The rest of the associated cards feature Cinderella tropes like a ball, mice, charmed outfits, etc. We begin with Ash, Party Crasher, who has a magic helmet of some sort - Bespoke Battlegarb. It's not clear why this works, perhaps it's merely that she's crashing the party, or more likely she's pretending to be a knight, but we do know that at the Stroke of Midnight, her deception is revealed:

The assembled partygoers fell silent and stared. As the helmet came to a clattering stop, the only sound was Ash's distant footsteps.

At some point during the ball, a bunch of redcaps attack. Food Fight shows the battle, which is fought with food implements (leading to another repeated trope in these colors:

With no time to gather weapons, the dwarves fought the redcaps with anything within reach.

Now, Goddric, Cloaked Reveler is the Prince Charming of this story. We know that in Cut In, Ash jumps in to protect him. And we know that eventually, Goddric reveals a secret of his own in Expel the Interlopers, namely that Goddric seems to be a dragon in disguise:

When a redcap raid threatened the Grand Ball at Delverhaugh, Goddric had no choice but to reveal his true identity and douse the invaders in dragonfire.

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

The Apprentice's Folly (Blue-Red)

The Blue-Red min-arc is all about Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer, in an adaptation of the Sorcerer's Apprentice made famous by Disney's Fantasia. This version is titled The Apprentice's Folly, and we get some perspective from Johann himself:

"Okay. First I'll calm the elementals. Then I'll put out the fire. Then I'll unflood the basement. Then I'll do the chores myself."

Basically, the story follows a wizards' apprentice as he tries to get out of his chores by using magic, but messes it up big time. Johann's Stopgap represents him trying to fix the problem. We get more from Frantic Firebolt, where it's clear that by fixing one problem, he's creating a worse problem:

Johann's conjecture about draconic fire dispelling rainwater elementals proved to be correct. Now he just needed a way to dispel draconic fire.

Finally, Johann has to escape the tower when Torch the Tower happens, via Water Wings, leaving behind Restless Spire:

Luckily for the plummeting Johann, the hydroloft spell was one he had actually mastered.

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

The Wicked Slumber (White-Black)

The White-Black story arc is part of the main story, and while I won't be getting into a full recap, I will talk a little about the Sleeping Beauty aspects. Neva, Stalked by Nightmares is our Sleeping Beauty analogue. She's put in a Glass Casket, which is a reprint from the first Eldraine set.

Eriette of the Charmed Apple is obviously our evil queen analogue, although we also see Conceited Witch as a similar role. Eriette's Tempting Apple is reminiscent of the evil queen's poisoned apple, as well. Eriette's Whisper shows her taking advantage of those under the Wicked Slumber. Her hideout is even Restless Fortress, also known as the ruins of Castle Ardenvale.

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

Witch of Winter (White-Blue)

Farsight Ritual by Randy Gallegos

Hylda of the Icy Crown is our White-Blue Ice Queen (you know, like in Frozen), and those colors are all about her ice kingdom. Basically, Hylda showed up and did magic to Plunge into Winter and create a Solitary Sanctuary:

When Hylda froze Loch Larent to create her palace, some merfolk dove deep enough underwater to escape the chill. Others weren't so lucky.

Sharae of Numbing Depths is presumably one of those merfolk. The chill invited Rimefur Reindeer to come live nearby. Bitter Chill represents Hylda's icy heart, which is thawed by Kellan. She keeps an eye on who is coming with her Farsight Ritual, which I should note we actually see Will, Scion of Peace doing the same thing early in The Wildered Quest. Given that she's Will's aunt, and has a similar power set, it makes sense.

Welcome to Sweettooth (Black-Green)

Greta, Sweettooth Scourge by Steve Prescott

Welcome to Sweettooth is our Black-Green mini-story. Sweettooth is a village overrun by horrific enchanted sweets, although Mintstrosity makes it clear its origin is a mystery.

If the sugary abominations of Sweettooth Village were ever under someone's control, that time is long past.

We can, however, infer that it is an adaptation of the Hansel and Greta fairy tale. Hence, Greta, Sweettooth Scourge, who like Ash (or CINDERella) is not a particularly big departure from Gretel. We see that witches still use the area for their own ends, from Gumdrop Poisoner to Sweettooth Witch. Back for Seconds seems to represent Greta returning after surviving to help others, and becoming the Sweettooth Scourge.

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

The Song of Totentanz (Black-Red)

Song of Totentanz by Randy Gallegos

Our Black-Red mini-arc is a riff on the Pied Piper story, but in reverse. Rather than luring away the rats infesting Edgewall, Totentanz, Swarm Piper is instead empowering them. Gifted a magic flute by Lord Skitter, Sewer King in Lord Skitter's Blessing, the Song of Totentanz summons the rats of the city to cause havoc:

Townsfolk tapped their feet and hummed along, unwittingly amplifying the tune that would summon their doom.

We get more of the story in Voracious Vermin, Edgewall Pack, and Gnawing Crescendo, where it's clear Lord Skitter has been planning this for a while. Although we don't get a resolution, it's a fun story.

Lord Skitter promised the starving rats of Edgewall that they would never go hungry again.

The mayor sent hounds to root out Lord Skitter, but their loyalty was easily bought with a handful of bones.

Totentanz's song had no lyrics, but the rats understood it nonetheless. "You own this land," it said. "You deserve to feast."

Other Cards from this Mini-Arc

Ruby (Red-Green)

The Red-Green arc is a much smaller one, focused on Ruby, Daring Tracker, our Little Red Riding hood analogue. She's part of the main story so I'm not going to get much into it here, but, we see more of her in Brave the Wilds and an encounter with the Big Bad Wolf(stalker) in Feral Encounter. And her brother is the Huntsman analogue, Agatha's Champion.

Up the Beanstalk (Blue-Green)

Our Jack and the Beanstalk analogue in Blue-Green is Troyan, Gutsy Explorer, who is also our first interplanar Legend in the Omenpath era! This set introduces sky giants who live in Stormkeld in the sky, which is ruled by Beluna Grandsquall. Beluna 'liberated' a number of important artifacts from the ground, like The Magic Mirror, and now aggressively fights off invaders. Stormkeld Vanguard also shows one of these giants coming after the Giant Killer from Throne of Eldraine. We also have The Goose Mother, which is both a play on Mother Goose and the Golden Goose (and we see Troyan stealing an egg).

Faeries and Stuff (Blue-Black)

Blue-Black instroduces us to the High Fae, the fourth kind of faerie on Eldraine we hadn't encountered before. There isn't much of a story here otherwise, and Talion, the Kindly Lord features heavily into the main story, so I'm not going to go into it here.

The Tanglespan

The Tanglespan is a mass of bridges over a chasm caused during the Phyrexian invasion. It is plagued by trolls, and so we have 'Billy Goat' satyrs that protect it, as in Graceful Takedown:

The fauns of the Tanglespan are adept at using the precarious environment against larger opponents.

This is one big reference to the story of the Billy Goats Gruff, which was referenced in Clackbridge Troll in the original Eldraine.


The Princess Takes Flight seems to be an adaptation of Rapunzel, with the eponymous princess with incredibly long hair escaping a tower via magical means, in this case a flying unicorn. The art style here makes me think this is, diegetically (or in-universe) meant to be a tapestry or embroidery.

Three Blind Mice is more nursery rhyme than fairy tale, but interestingly we see each of the blind mice stealing an eyeball in this stone relief.

Gadwick's First Duel is carved into a lectern of some sort, below an open book. It shows Gadwick, who is the 'Merlin' of Eldraine and nominal leader of Castle Vantress among a number of animals, and having a duel of some sort with a giant chicken. I have no idea of the relevance of this and don't know the King Arthur myth well enough to know if this is a reference to anything in particular.

The Witch's Vanity is a clear reference to the Snow White fairy tale (down to the apple), and to the Conceited Witch and Beseech the Mirror from this very set. It features a broken pair of Magic Mirrors that appear to be built into a small statue and adorning a wall.

Korvold and the Noble Thief looks like a classic fairy tale illustration. The thief stealing from a dragon is a common enough trope that I don't have a specific reference for this, but it's cute to get Korvold referenced again.

The Huntsman's Redemption is our final saga, referencing Garruk's story from Throne of Eldraine, where he's cured of the curse of The Chain Veil by The Cauldron of Eternity. We see a little overgrown shrine to him here with elements of the story.

Flavor Gems

It's time for a Lightning Round or lore!

The End

That's all for today folks! I'm taking a short break until the return of Ixalan in Lost Caverns of Ixalan!

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