Throne of Eldraine has nearly arrived, and all the riches and spoils of the set belong to us. There appears to be an immense number of powerful cards in this set, and while most will impact Standard in a large way (especially with this being a set that rotates others out) I suspect quite a few of these cards will also have an impact on other formats. Let’s dive in.
1. Emry, Lurker of the Loch
After just coming off of Mega Modern Weekends, I’m weathered with how strong of a deck Whirza is. This card will no doubt make the cut, as it is an enabler that also finds pieces to the combo, while also providing protection for it. Before this card, Force of Vigor was a solid answer for the deck. Now, no one is safe. Actually looking into it, there are only three cards in Modern that exile all artifacts, Consulate Crackdown, Furnace Dragon, and Merciless Eviction. None of which are fast enough for Whirza, let alone Modern playable.
I think Whirza is absolutely beatable in the current Modern format, however I think with the addition of Emry, the deck is going to be heavily pushed.
2. Once Upon a Time
For Eldrazi Tron, Once Upon a Time is just a better Sylvan Scrying. Not only can this find a Trong piece early for free, it can also find your hard hitters like Reality Smasher and Wurmcoil Engine later. This feels very much like the love child of Ancient Stirrings and Sylvan Scrying.
I’ve heard talk of Amulet Titan also utilizing this very powerful spell. I can fully support this, as it find a bounce land you may need, or Tolaria West, or Azusa, or Primeval Titan. Very solid include in my opinion.
3. Brazen Borrower
Ah, finally, a fair card that has a chance of being impactful! With how degenerate Modern as a format may or may not become, this opinion is liable to change, however Brazen Borrower feels absurd. Being able to have a huge tempo swing by bouncing any nonland permanent at instant speed before swooping in for an alpha strike.
What feels great, is after you cast the adventure side, the creature side will be visible to your opponent, so you can pass the turn with the mana to cast this and have the added effect of mind games as to whether or not you may have something else to do. On top of this, it is not Legendary like a certain Vendilion Clique is. I believe this card is comparable to Vendilion Clique not just from stats and costs, but pure power level as well.
4. Kenrith, the Returned King
Kenrith I feel is going to be the new go-to five color Commander. He feels very much like a Staff of Domination on a Commander, but heavily rewards a creature eccentric deck in a fair way. This really feels like a good step, as it’s a non-degenerate way to play a five color creature deck (I’m looking at you, Najeela.).
The only interest I have in a five color Commander deck is a Child of Alara Maze’s End deck (original, I know) but with this coming to the table, I may have to rethink my priorities.
5. Charming Prince
Well if it isn’t this set’s pushed Human. If there are still ways to improve humans, Wizards of the Coast will be sure to make them. On turn two, this will filter your draws or pad your life total if you happen to be playing against an aggressive deck. Later on, this card will flicker a Thalia’s Lieutenant, a Ranger-Captain of Eos, or a Militia Bugler. Worse case scenario, you can vial in this thing in response to a removal spell to save a creature. No doubt in my mind will this card make the cut in Humans.
6. Deafening Silence
I would like to think that this was printed to help hate on Whirza, but in reality the only deck that I can imagine playing this is Death and Taxes. Restricting players to one noncreature spell a turn by turn one is absurd and will hurt most decks in the format. Death and Taxes hasn’t really been around for a while, but I believe we will see a resurgence for it because of this card.
White creature decks such as Humans may end up playing a couple of pieces in the side, outside of that however this will be a very oppressive player for a long time.
Now this is a hate card. Again, I think Death and Taxes will be able to utilize this better than any other deck, but this is a hate piece that a lot of other decks can utilize due to it interacting with combo decks in a much different way. This stops Sword of the Meek, Thought-Knot Seer, Wurmcoil Engine, Stoneforge Mystic, and Primeval Titan just to name a few. This is going to be a strong player in Sideboards soon enough.
Throne of Eldraine seems to have a lot of pushed white cards. I don’t know why they decided to print so many good hate pieces, but they did, and naturally white will benefit the most from it. If I could work my will, I would like to have a good green card printed that is impactful while not being unfair. Something as simple as 1GGG for an Instant that exiles all artifacts would be good enough for me.
I’ve never been so conflicted as to whether or not I am excited for a set as this one, so here’s hoping I’m wrong on a few of my speculations.