Wilds of Eldraine Set Review - Enemy Colors & Wedges

(Yenna, Redtooth Regent by Justyna Dura)

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied Colors & Shards | Enemy Colors & Wedges | cEDH | Reprints

Enter the Wilds

Get ready for a Sugar Rush, 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!


Beluna Grandsquall

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 Lucky Clover, Double Vision, or Pyromancer's Goggles. 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. Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and Temporal Trespass are all played in Commander to great effect. Plus, we have finishers, like Candlekeep Inspiration, that benefit from a large graveyard.

Card draw and ramp in the command zone are good and all, but how does Beluna compare to Gorion, Wise Mentor? We exchange red for white and get a commander that copies the Adventure spells we cast. Beanstalk Giant becomes a better Cultivate, Young Blue Dragon draws us two cards, and Rosethorn Acolyte can turn into a Dark Ritual if we also have Lucky Clover out. Losing red means we won't have access to Bonecrusher Giant, Two-Handed Axe, and the new Virtue of Courage, but in exchange, we get Giant Killer, Guardian Naga, Horn of Valhalla, and Crystal Dragon. The white Adventure spells have better reach in Commander and obviously get better when copied.

Eriette of the Charmed Apple

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 Darksteel Mutation. Kaima, the Fractured Calm 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 Ancestral Mask, 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: Ashiok's Reaper will draw us cards, Knight of Doves gives us a flyer, and Wicked Visitor 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 Spirit Mantle and All That Glitters.

Kellan, the Fae-Blooded

WOE gives us a new Boros Equipment/Auras commander that's an Open the Armory in 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 Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist, 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 Puresteel Paladin, 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 Nahiri, Forged in Fury, 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.


The Apprentice's Folly

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 Irenicus's Vile Duplication. 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 Zedruu the Greathearted, 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.

Devouring Sugarmaw

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth release brought an influx of new and exciting tech that synergizes with Food tokens. Frodo, Adventurous Hobbit and Sam, Loyal Attendant are the most-built-around commanders from the LOTR Commander precons and have increased the popularity of other Food commanders, like Gyome, Master Chef. 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 Marionette Master.

Devouring Sugarmaw will see a home in decks like Merry, Warden of Isengard and Pippin, Warden of Isengard 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

Elusive Otter is an adorable one-mana creature that has a similar effect to Champion of Lambholt except 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 Ezuri, Claw of Progress. Decks that already have ways to power up their creatures will enjoy including a creature that will be unblockable the bigger it gets.

Faunsbane Troll

I like the design of Faunsbane Troll, 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.

The Goose Mother

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. Shimmer Dragon can tap our Food tokens to draw cards, Teething Wurmlet will gain us life, and Blossoming Bogbeast turns all that lifegain into a big overrun.

We can also include cards that'll turn all our tokens into beaters: Rise and Shine turns all our Food into permanent 4/4s, and Cyberdrive Awakener does the same but can also give them flying.

Heartflame Duelist

We have similar cards in Commander, like Radiant Scrollwielder, which can recur spells from your graveyard and Soulfire Grand Master, which is also a two-mana creature but is restricted to Jeskai.

However, I think Heartflame Duelist will fit well into Burn decks, like Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer, 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.

Mosswood Dreadknight

You can just keep casting Mosswood Dreadknight as 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.

Thalia and The Gitrog Monster draws a card whenever they sacrifice a creature or a land, so Mosswood Dreadknight would be perfect fodder to sac. Unlike, Reassembling Skeleton 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.

Scalding Viper

Cheap and efficient. It's removal that can later be used to burn your opponents for casting their Arcane Signet, but this is perfect in a Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph 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 an Ad Nauseam player or someone trying to win through Brain Freeze, but I don't think it can put in the same amount of work that a Mayhem Devil can.

Uncommons & Commons

Ash, Party Crasher

In a build that's consistently putting permanents into play, Ash, Party Crasher has the potential to get big fast. With Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion doubling the counters on Ash and a few ways to give her keywords, like Angelfire Ignition (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 Gods Willing, is perfect because it can also make her unblockable, and if we need to we can cast Kazuul's Fury and fling her at opponents for extra damage. This along with Chandra's Ignition could be how we steal games away.

As for how we trigger Ash, we should include cards that make token permanents each turn. Guild Artisan is perfect, as it makes two Treasure tokens on attack. Additionally, we could use token-makers, like Riders of Rohan, to go wide with creature tokens. If anything, this could be our contingency plan if we lose Ash.

Greta, Sweettooth Scourge

Greta's design bears resemblance to Kalain, Reclusive Painter. 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 with Jaheira, Friend of the Forest and the new Night of the Sweets' Revenge 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, Apprentice Sorcerer

Johann is cheaper than Melek, Izzet Paragon at 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 Elsha of the Infinite, who's a well-known cEDH commander as well, but also just a strong commander anyway.

Neva, Stalked by Nightmares

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 run Teleportation Circle to 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 Doomwake Giant, Grim Guardian, Agent of Erebos. Skybind is perfect, as it'll flicker our commander, and if we're focusing on getting her to be big, Dreadbringer Lampads can make her nearly unblockable.

As for enchantments that we want to sacrifice, we have the Seal of Cleansing and Soul Snare which can help control the board and other removal effects, like Minimus Containment, 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 Ghen, Arcanum Weaver another look.

Tempest Hart

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.

Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty 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, Tempest Hart will still trigger since you are casting those spells.

Troyan, Gutsy Explorer

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 Tempest Hart, 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 Keruga, the Macrosage 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!

Josh is a creative writer that started playing Magic when Throne of Eldraine was released. He loves entering combat and pressuring life totals, and to him, commander damage is always relevant. Outside of brewing many commander decks, he can be found prepping his D&D campaigns with a cat purring in his lap.

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