Throne of Eldraine - Set Review
Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Who the hell is reviewing Throne of Eldraine? Yes he is!
Throne of Eldraine is full of flavour. But it does not just bring nice images and fun flavor text, but also some sweet new cards. Let's take a look!
For commander options, I will first take a look at the new legendary uncommons, then the exciting new adventure cards, and finally some other neat options. After that I will examine the new commons from the set by color.
I am always happy when an interesting uncommon is also legendary, because it lets you bring your deck to normal EDH tables. There are six new legendary uncommons in this set, four of which could be quite interesting to brew around.
It's mono blue voltron. The tax on targeting her is not the same as hexproof, but it is still helpful. Since she has an etb herself, you might consider a flicker subtheme. Overall she might be a bit pricey for what she does, but she is fueled by you drawing cards, and who doesn't like drawing cards?
Finally red, gets some card advantage! I have dabbled with cards like Goblin Assassin and Guttersnipe in the past to give red cards some extra value. Syr Carah, however is as close as we have ever gotten to drawing actual cards. To top it off, she is a pinger herself to start the chain. I'm a fan.
Mono black has plenty of decent options for commanders, and this one might seem a bit generic on first glance. However, Syr Konrad synergizes with what black does best – destroying creatures. Mill and hand attack are also not unheard of. I think I might brew it myself, so stay tuned.
We have this effect in Selesnya colors already, and it proved to be quite strong. Red adds a little to the potential persist-combo, but also an aggro variant is very possible.
Syr Alin brings a nice body, but nothing we did not have before. Soltari Champion and Celestial Crusader are both nice anthems from the command zone.
Syr Faren doubles the effectiveness of your pump-spells, but not as effectively as double strikers like Viashino Slaughtermaster or Marisi's Twinclaws.
Now that legends are covered, it is time to address the questing elephant in the room:
Yes, if your commander has an adventure, you can play it from the command zone. The commander attribute is designated to all parts of a commander, which means that the adventure and creature share a commander tax.
Most of these are monocolored. They are certainly mechanically interesting, but not excessively strong. There is one adventure, though, that opens up two colors and synergizes with itself nicely:
While Selesnya tokens is nothing new, having a token spell as well as an anthem effect in the command zone is pretty neat. If you have the mana for it, you can cast Bring Back and instead of putting it into exile, let it go back to your command zone to be cast again. Go wide, then profit!
This one adds 4 devotion to Gary! And he recurs himself once each time you gain life each turn. Deathless Knight might be a sleeper, but it is hard to tell for now. Madness, draining and graveyard shenanigans all sound nice, but maybe there are better pieces for the Helm.
Another 4 devotion for Gary. Free Sac-outlets are always nice, 3 mana ones not so much. Still, there might be something here...
If you like beefy bois, this is your Turtle Hydra! I would suggest X spells, but there are very few playable ones. Still, a nice general for ramp stompy.
A cool concept for sure, but it might be a bit hard to pull off.
I want this to happen some day.
If food ever makes a comeback, I'll brew this for sure.
Orzhov Voltron is nothing that I have seen so far. It protects itself, but is very mana hungry
in doing so.
Green card advantage, nice. Another guy to go wide with plus the occasional trampler.
That is it for new commander options, but Throne of Eldraine also brings some nice cards for the 99 with it.
These two fill a similar role: A way to push damage through that also draws you a flier. Both of these seem decent in an aggressive deck. Note that Gift of the Fae is a sorcery, got me on multiple occasions.
A small buff with no extra keywords, but kind of a unique effect. I could see this in Belligerent Brontodon as well as in token decks.
Instant speed, one mana. Sure, you need creatures, and whatever you are targeting needs to be in combat, but for white removal, this is pretty neat.
Again, for aggressive and go-wide decks this is sweet. Since it is a permanent buff, you don't need to alpha strike right away, but with adamant you might as well do so.
Basically an Arrest for one less mana. It will be up for time to decide how important it is that you can not hit flyers with this.
I remember when I started to include Forsake the Worldly in more and more decks, because you could cycle it for a card if there was no important target. Now you just get the card on top. Or you could just run both.
A 1/4 for 2 is alright as a blocker, but in the right deck I can sense a lot of shenanigans. From another activation of your Nettle Drone to Overgrowth on an artifact land. It is a small effect, but with the efficient body I can see it find a home.
She will give you some time. Even if she dies blocking, she will have tapped creatures for a total of 3 turns.
This is a nice tempo effect, especially in multiplayer. With the right deck, though, you will gladly target your own ETB creature.
Three cards for five is already alright, but with adamant active, this becomes super Serum Visions. Blue might have enough card draw, but Scry 3 is nothing to scoff at.
Again, imagine playing Serum Visions, but you can tutor it with Trinket Mage, and it always draws you an Inspiration. I'm sold!
Yum! Black has plenty of removal, but its effects usually cost some life. It is nice to get the option of healing back up.
The fruit you might get with your draw is nice, but the option of targeting an opponent on 2 life or an ally with an empty hand is just another cherry on top.
We had this effect before with Footbottom Feast, Bone Harvest and Gravepurge. They might all be instant speed, but this is only two mana! In a deck that wants to make sure not to run out of gas, Forever Young might be the better option.
An interesting combat trick. It only buffs one creature, but the trample spreads across the board. This includes your Two Headed Giant partner, should you have one.
Usually defender creatures with this kind of activated ability just block alright. The one power, together with reach, makes sure you can use this siege weapon both in offence and in defence.
There are not many equipments that give haste. Red might have plenty of spells to do it, but an accessible option on the board is always nice to have.
This repeatable rummage has certainly caught my eye. You might need some mana to get multiple activations, but in return you can activate madness or just fill your graveyard. I am not quite certain in which Vale this Merchant belongs, but it is out there.
For when you need to deal with the blocker, but want to hit the face as well. It feels a bit expensive for that kind of deck, but might just be versatile enough.
I think this could have been a 2/3 without buffs and would have been fine. Seven copies will not be enough to draw multiple copies consistently, but if you want to live the dream, there is always Dwarven Recruiter.
An instant speed Tormenting Voice. Very nice for triggering madness.
This is just a very efficient Creature with upside.
While four mana is hefty for a fight effect, the adamant bonus is quite nice to swing after resolution. The added counter helps of course.
While we do have mana dorks for one and two mana, this one is exceptional at fixing. And for the increased cost you get a body that can block decently.
This card makes me mad. It makes me mad because I want one for each and every one of my Pauper EDH decks. You will be fine in paper if you decide it is not worth the cost, but for online decks there is no reason not to run it.
Quite an interesting effect, but with somewhat confusing stats. What kind of decks want both a 0/4 wall and haste across the board? Voltron decks might have a use for this.
It is just a 1/1, sure. But that evasion is real.
It's your typical egg, but when you don't need fixing you can get some life instead. Decks that just want the fixing can probably afford the extra mana you pay for the versatility.
I really like the design on these. In a mono colored deck, there is basically no drawback to running one. Mystic Sanctuary and Witch's Cottage are so good that I would consider them in two colors as well. Since you need basics of the same type, it might be hard to get them to work with more than two colors.
Also, since these have the basic land types, you can do everything with them that you can do with shocklands in EDH. But remember that they need to enter the battlefield untapped for you to get the effect.