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New Engines in Throne of Eldraine Standard


New Standard is here!

Throne of Eldraine has burst onto the scene in the last few weeks, making its debut in various online tournaments like Fandom Legends and the eLeague Gauntlet, and tomorrow we get to finally see it in action in paper at SCG Tour Philadelphia. We're already starting to see the format shape up in these early events, which leaves us with a smattering of early decklists to start to pick apart what makes these decks tick.

We already know what themes were successful in Standard before Throne of Eldraine, but it's our job to find the new engines that will define Throne of Eldraine Standard. Finding the engine is important because even if the exact deck is different, Standard decks typically get run by pairs or trios of cards that work together to form an engine you build around.

Let's see what's new!

The Adventure Engine

Edgewall Innkeeper
Faerie Guidemother
Giant Killer

While it feels like a draft mechanic, Edgewall Innkeeper is a very powerful effect to have access to on a one-mana creature. Aggressive decks based around 1-drops often have the trouble of running out of gas, so having a permanent Glimpse of Nature in play is incredible. Cards like Faerie Guidemother and Giant Killer are actually quite solid in and of themselves, as basically every adventure card is much better than it looks at first glance.

We're seeing this adventure package being played in a number of new decks, like this one that Reid Duke played in the MPL Split and I took to yesterday's Fandom Legends tournament:

Merging together the previously successful Selesnya Tokens shell with the new adventure shell makes a lot of sense; both decks want a ton of early creatures, so not only are your cheap adventure creatures doing their thing with Edgewall Innkeeper but their also helping out Venerated Loxodon and March of the Multitudes. This deck draws cards and puts a lot of power in play at once, which is a nice place to be in week one Standard. It's also got great sideboard jukes like Questing Beast and Gideon Blackblade for when your opponent has sweepers.

Lucky Clover

You can also go further down the adventure rabbit hole with Lucky Clover, like CrokeyZ did yesterday in Fandom Legends:

You could also dip into Red as Bonecrusher Giant is one of the best cards in the set as well, but make no mistake- adventure synergies aren't just for limited!

The Fires Of Invention Engine

Fires of Invention
Drawn from Dreams
Cavalier of Flame

There's no doubt that Fires of Invention is an exceedingly powerful Magic card.

Casting things for free has been and will always be something you want to be doing, but it also comes with odd deck-building constraints. You can't play too much cheap card draw because you're limited to two spells a turn, but you also need to survive the early game. Furthermore, you need to find something to do with your mana once you start going off with Fires of Invention otherwise your lands just sit there not doing anything.

Mana sinks like Castle Vantress and Cavalier of Flame are a good start, and even weird Buy-A-Box promo Kenrith, the Returned King has been seeing some play as well. The point is that just using Fires of Invention is easy. Being able to maximize the engine is the hard part and is something we will see players trying to do over the coming weeks.

This is currently the peak of Fires of Invention technology.

There are some Jeskai versions based around planeswalkers rather than Cavaliers, as well as some Grixis versions, but this is the current baseline model. We've seen a lot of these cards before, from Teferi, Time Raveler to Deafening Clarion, and there's no doubt that the "Jeskai Control" part of the deck has a very solid pedigree. Deafening Clarion has extra utility in a deck with so many Cavaliers, as the lifelink mode starts to look very real.

Kill creatures, draw cards, play spells for free... what more could you want?

The Doom Foretold Engine

Doom Foretold
Dance of the Manse

The early winner in the first few Fandom Legends events, Esper Stax is an exciting take on an established archetype with an entirely new engine - Doom Foretold and Dance of the Manse.

Doom Foretold is a very unique enchantment that can pick off creatures and planeswalkers alike, that also plays extremely well with Kaya's Wrath. You get to play your normal control game while putting your opponent under the ringer with Doom Foretold, slowing eating away at their board until it blows up. Meanwhile on your side of the board you have cogs like Guild Globe, Wishclaw Talisman, Oath of Kaya, and even Teferi, Time Raveler to sacrifice after they have done their job. If that was it though, that wouldn't be much of an engine.

Dance of the Manse is the other half of the story here, allowing you to re-buy both Doom Foretold as well as all of the value artifacts and enchantments you sacrificed. A Dance of the Manse with X equaling 4 can get back a Doom Foretold, an Oath of Kaya, a Golden Egg, and a Guild Globe, allowing you to draw two cards, Lightning Helix something, and put Doom Foretold into play. Dance of the Manse only gets better as the game goes on, scaling up and eventually making a bunch of 4/4s to kill your opponent with.

I played this deck in a video earlier this week right here on CoolStuffInc.com and like Jeskai Fires it has taken up the shell of the previous Esper Control cards and put them to a new and powerful use. Kaya's Wrath seems very well positioned in the new format, further adding to the power level of the deck.

It's also hard to go wrong playing Thought Erasure and Teferi, Time Raveler.

The Holdovers

Field of the Dead
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Of course, we aren't playing Throne of Eldraine block constructed.

Field of the Dead is still one of the most omnipresent strategies in the format, usually in conjunction with Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. Field of the Dead is the ultimate endgame in the format and you must have a good plan for it if you want to succeed in Standard right now. There's also no shame in sleeving it up yourself! Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Hydroid Krasis also haven't gone anywhere and need to be addressed, and have gained a new friend in Oko, Thief of Crowns.

Whether you go for something old or something new, there's a lot of excitement in Standard right now. Which you choose to do is totally up to your personality. Choosing something safe and explored is the more conservative option, leaving you with less risk to crash and burn but lacks upside because everyone will be prepared for what you're doing. Playing something new and under the radar runs the risk of total failure, but has a high ceiling if you really have broken it with the hot new deck.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck out there!

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