Wilds of Eldraine Set Review - Enemy Colors & Wedges
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Enter the Wilds
Get ready for a, because we're going to be reviewing some sweet new cards from Wilds of Eldraine (WOE). For this review, we'll be discussing a lot of new tempting commanders and seeing if they're worth being the leaders of their own decks or if they're simply the icing on the 99. Let's get into it!
Wilds of Eldraine gives us a brand new commander who cares about Adventure cards. For five mana, you can mill seven cards and fill your hand with any Adventure cards among them and later be able to reduce the cost of their permanent half. The stronger half of this card is definitely Seek Thrills, especially if we can copy it with, , or . However, we end up milling the cards that aren't Adventures to our graveyard, and Temur usually doesn't care about graveyard strategies unless we add in some delve cards. , , and are all played in Commander to great effect. Plus, we have finishers, like , that benefit from a large graveyard.
Card draw and ramp in the command zone are good and all, but how does Beluna compare to? We exchange red for white and get a commander that copies the Adventure spells we cast. becomes a better , draws us two cards, and can turn into a if we also have out. Losing red means we won't have access to , , and the new , but in exchange, we get , , , and . The white Adventure spells have better reach in Commander and obviously get better when copied.
If we're enchanting our opponents' permanents with Auras, it's usually to hinder that creature, like tapping them down or making them obsolete with. also wants us to enchant our opponents' creatures with Auras because they'll get goaded at the end of the turn. One problem with Kaima is that if we want to enchant creatures with beneficial Auras, like , if Kaima gets removed, our opponents are free to swing at us, and they will. Does Eriette have a similar problem?
Eriette doesn't care if our opponents attack each other with the enchanted creatures, they just can't attack us. What's nice is that Eriette's second ability counts Auras attached to our creatures as well, so the first ability is just a way to stop our opponents from hitting us. One worry I do have is losing all our Auras due to a board wipe, but WOE has a new set of cards that care about enchantments going to the graveyard:will draw us cards, gives us a flyer, and could be a finisher in this deck in the event of a board wipe. Eriette could be built to use Auras to control the board and enchant our own creatures while slowly draining our opponents, or we can enchant everything onto Eriette and win through commander damage with Auras like and .
WOE gives us a new Boros Equipment/Auras commander that's anin the command zone. Later you can cast him for his creature half and pump up all your creatures by +1/+0 for each Equipment or Aura attached to Kellan. A great creature to run with Kellan is , who will attach all of your Equipment and Auras to Kellan for free.
Kellan combines Voltron with Go-Wide strategies in a way that allows you to focus all your resources onto Kellan without having to spread it around to other creatures. However, he might suffer from an imbalance between Equipment/Auras and creatures. While being able to pump up creatures will be good, it's probably best to focus more on the Voltron part of the plan. One way to take this would be to include the For Mirrodin! Equipment that makes a 2/2 Rebel token; then if you have Ardenn or a, you can attach Equipment to Kellan and pump up the Rebel tokens. This could be an effective build path if you're including enough free-to-equip spells.
With other popular Boros commanders, like, that give you card advantage and a way to cast Equipment for free, I don't think Kellan will stand out too much in an already saturated archetype.
Getting to make a copy of your commander can be very powerful, even if it's temporary. Four mana is within line for this effect, similar to. Since the tokens are temporary, it's probably only worth running in decks that run a variety of creatures with ETB or even death triggers. Or, simply creatures that are worth copying.
Now, what if we didn't have to sacrifice the Reflection tokens? If our Commander is, we can donate The Apprentice's Folly and not have to sacrifice any of our tokens when the trigger goes off. If you have other ways to sacrifice the enchantment, like with the new bargain cards, then you can keep the tokens. However, there aren't many commanders that can sacrifice enchantments with these colors.
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth release brought an influx of new and exciting tech that synergizes with Food tokens.and are the most-built-around commanders from the LOTR Commander precons and have increased the popularity of other Food commanders, like . Devouring Sugarmaw feeds into these strategies by providing a creature and a Food token for its Adventure side. On the creature half, we get a beefy 6/6 with menace and trample that comes with a not-so-bad downside of needing a sacrifice on our upkeep. In the right deck, we can sacrifice something that we want in the graveyard or to trigger an effect that sees artifacts or enchantments go to the graveyard like .
Devouring Sugarmaw will see a home in decks likeand that want to go wide with creature and Food tokens, and it becomes a four-mana 9/9 with menace and trample when we use Pippin's second ability.
Elusive Otter is an adorable one-mana creature that has a similar effect toexcept it only makes itself unblockable, and it even has prowess. Its Adventure half can distribute +1/+1 counters among any number of creatures when you draw this card in the late game.
While the prowess makes it seem like this will go in a Spellslinger deck, I think it'll prove to be more effective in +1/+1 counters decks and power-matters builds along the lines of . Decks that already have ways to power up their creatures will enjoy including a creature that will be unblockable the bigger it gets.
I like the design of, as it's removal and a sac outlet for Auras to trigger permanents that care about enchantments going to the graveyard, but Golgari Auras just isn't a thing. There isn't a commander with these colors that cares about Auras or could enchant Fraunsbane Troll to use that activated ability more than once.
Making a large flier from the command zone is already strong, but also generating a ton of artifact tokens gives us more to work with than just Voltron.
Simic Lifegain isn't an archetype, but we have plenty of artifact synergies to work with.can tap our Food tokens to draw cards, will gain us life, and turns all that lifegain into a big overrun.
We can also include cards that'll turn all our tokens into beaters:turns all our Food into permanent 4/4s, and does the same but can also give them flying.
We have similar cards in Commander, like, which can recur spells from your graveyard and , which is also a two-mana creature but is restricted to Jeskai.
However, I think Heartflame Duelist will fit well into Burn decks, like, since Heartflame Duelist has an Adventure half that is a burn effect. However, it'll probably just find a home as a second copy of Radiant Scrollwielder in those decks.
You can just keep castingas long you have the mana to cast it? This would be a great fit in decks that need consistent sac fodder. Over the course of the game, you can draw through Dread Whispers and sac the Dreadknight for value.
draws a card whenever they sacrifice a creature or a land, so Mosswood Dreadknight would be perfect fodder to sac. Unlike, which doesn't provide any additional value when you reanimate it, Mosswood Dreadknight will be a continuous source of card draw in the right deck.
Cheap and efficient. It's removal that can later be used to burn your opponents for casting their, but this is perfect in a deck, bolting each opponent every time they cast anything small.
I think it'll find a better home in formats that run cheaper spells on average like cEDH, though I'm not sure how wild players will be for this card. If it sticks around, it could help lower life totals and even punish anplayer or someone trying to win through , but I don't think it can put in the same amount of work that a can.
Uncommons & Commons
In a build that's consistently putting permanents into play,has the potential to get big fast. With doubling the counters on Ash and a few ways to give her keywords, like (which give her trample, indestructible), Ash could become a lethal threat.
But, as with any Voltron commander, she can easily be removed, so including protection spells, like, is perfect because it can also make her unblockable, and if we need to we can cast and fling her at opponents for extra damage. This along with could be how we steal games away.
As for how we trigger Ash, we should include cards that make token permanents each turn.is perfect, as it makes two Treasure tokens on attack. Additionally, we could use token-makers, like , to go wide with creature tokens. If anything, this could be our contingency plan if we lose Ash.
Greta's design bears resemblance to. She makes a Food token when she enters, and her two abilities sacrifice Food for value. While she doesn't seem powerful, that might work in her favorite. She'll provide incremental value and grow our creatures into big threats.
Two mana to draw one card isn't great, but it'll help refuel our hand when needed, and Greta works great withand the new that allow our Food tokens to tap for green. With Greta's ability, we can tap Food and use the mana to sacrifice them and grow our army, even tapping all our Food to make one big creature.
Johann is cheaper thanat four mana; however, he's significantly weaker. Not only do we lose the ability to copy our spells, we're limited to casting from the top of our library once per turn, and if we have a sorcery on top, then we can't even cast on an opponent's turn.
Even in consideration for pEDH, Melek recently got downshifted to uncommon. We also have, who's a well-known cEDH commander as well, but also just a strong commander anyway.
Here we have a way to bring back our enchantments that we want to sacrifice or ones that might get removed. One thought is to runto keep recurring our enchantments and creatures. However, it will reset the counters on Neva if you're concerned about that.
Cards we could run are ones with Constellation triggers. We have, , . is perfect, as it'll flicker our commander, and if we're focusing on getting her to be big, can make her nearly unblockable.
As for enchantments that we want to sacrifice, we have theand which can help control the board and other removal effects, like , which will go to our graveyard when our opponent sacrifices the permanent for mana. With all these enchantment sacrifice and graveyard cards, it might be time to give another look.
Simple two mana to draw two and discard two. Good to help fill up the graveyard in the early game or to trigger draw effects. It's also a good way to dig deeper in your library while also having access to a creature that can get bigger if you're in the right deck.
is a deck that wants to consistently cast spells with six-mana or more, plus if you cascade into more spells that are at least five mana, will still trigger since you are casting those spells.
As a commander, Troyan will help you cast big spells or X spells, but, without a payoff for running all those big spells, there's not a huge incentive to have him in the command zone.
Like, it'll fit into any deck that wants to cast big spells. Troyan will help cast big spells early, and it can even help cast Imoti since they're five mana. Being three mana, Troyan will fit right into decks that have as the companion.
In the 99 of those big spell decks, his looting ability can be very important, as it helps those decks dig deeper and prevent them from stalling out when they have too many big spells and not enough mana or vise versa.
Our Adventure Comes to an End
As we come toward the end of our set reviews, I'm excited for a lot of the new cards we've seen here. Plenty of new commanders to brew and fun new cards to test out in the 99.
I've heard some call Wilds of Eldraine the real Commander Masters, and I can see why. With the amazing reprints from the Enchanting Tales bonus sheet and solid new cards for Commander, I think we'll see many cards from WOE make a splash in the format. I didn't even talk about bargain, but that will definitely find homes in many existing decks.
Let me know your thoughts on the new set. Will any of the new Adventure cards find a home in your regular decks? Let me know down below, and I'll see you next time!