I’ve got to say that Throne of Eldraine has me more excited for a Standard set than I have been in a long time.
The flavour and the all-around cool card designs pouring out of this set are outstanding, and I can’t wait to brew new Standard decks. This week, I’d like to talk about some of the specific cards that I think will make an immediate impact on this new Standard format:
First, Food, glorious food!
Food is one of the new mechanics in this set and let me say, that it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, Food is the thing that I think has the potential to be the most powerful in this set. Let’s get things started with goose that is not loose.
Exit: Llanowar Elves
Enter: Gilded Goose
While Llanowar Elves may be a bit more powerful as a mana excelerator, Gilded Goose has a lot to offer, possibly even more then it’s elf counterpart. On the surface Gilded Goose ramps you once for free, but also has the potential to gain you a bit of life and allow you store mana for bigger turns going late. However, there are a ton of ways to make more food and being able to sacrifice food for free can be quite useful! I think curving this little guy into Oko, Thief of Crowns will prove to be a defining sequence in this new Standard environment Standard.
Oko is a food generating, elk(ephant) making, creature swapping bad boy from the streets of Eldraine. Oko is insane for a three mana planeswalker! It effectively starts on six loyalty and has the ability to defend itself on the following turn by turning food into 3/3s. You can also immediately downgrade an opposing creature which is a unique effect we don’t see often in Standard. After Oko makes a Food, you can even trade that Food for an opposing pesky creature — with power three or less of course. I am a big fan of Oko and I suspect it to be quite the powerhouse for its time in Standard.
Wicked Wolf is a great way to get use out of having a lot of food in play and requires the opponent to exile it to get rid of it. That being said, both Oko and Teferi deal with it pretty nicely by either making it lose all abilities or bouncing it respectively. So I can easily see a world where Wicked Wolf doesn’t cut it.
This may be one of the best ways to sacrifice Food. It is a very good chump blocker that gains you incidental life. If you have a way to sacrifice creatures, this can become a fast clock as well. I think this might be a sideboard card depending on how the format shakes out, but I certainly think that it is a card to be keeping an eye on.
Call me Hansel because I’m all about those crumbs. Seriously, I think this card is busted. With all these planeswalkers in the format, playing all permanents in your deck is hardly a cost which means this card is always hitting. Trail of Crumbs is the exact card I was looking for when I first saw Food as a mechanic and I think that it will be the glue the holds the archetype together.
Okay, I’m stuffed. Moving on.
This card is sweet. A sweeper that doubles as a big creature that can kill the opponent. As with all Adventure creatures, you can bounce it with Teferi to recast the Adventure side which is very powerful. The fact that there are some constructed playable Giants — like Bonecrusher Giant — is going to hurt this card a little bit. That said, I think this could see a bit of play in decks that don’t have access to Kaya’s Wrath or could see play alongside it.
Speaking of the Bonecrusher, have you seen this card?! I’m not a huge red mage, but this card gets me excited. It curves nicely, killing a creature and then dropping a huge body that punishes the opponent for interacting with it. Red is certainly going to take a hit with this rotation, but Bonecrusher Giant could put it back on the map.
Speaking of powerful red cards, this one doesn’t disappoint either. It has the potential of having an immediate impact when you cast it pre-combat, which is always a bonus for aggressive cards. Adding two damage to all red sources is an incredibly powerful effect, and being a 2/4 for four is a pretty sturdy red creature.
So I think this card is broken. Not sure what the goals on this card were, but I’m not a huge fan of it design-wise. It’s extremely flavourful which I like. However, it is going to influence Modern significantly and also will likely see a bit of play Standard as it increases your likelihood to cast Gilded Goose on turn one. Get your play-sets while it lasts, this is a hot ticket.
This card is great and exactly the type of card a Knight’s deck is looking for. It has a very relevant body and is great against any deck with damage-based removal. Depending on how the format shakes out, this could be one of the best threats in the format for certain decks like Mono-Red or control decks leaning on red removal.
It’s been a while since we’ve had Hero’s Downfall in Standard, and I am happy to have it back! This is a bit worse on rate, being that you have to pay the two life. But it more than makes up for it with having the castable Lifelink body attached. I’m a bit concerned about the play patterns with this and Teferi, Time Raveler, but the mana isn’t that great now and it’s a huge mana investment. It might not happen right away, but if the mana improves those these two cards in combination will allow control players to secure a vice grip on the game.
This is one of the cards from the Brawl Decks and I think it, alongside some other cards, definitely have the ability to see play in Standard. This card plays very well with food and also there are a fair amount of playable coloured artifacts in this set as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shimmer Dragon was the control finisher of choice for many decks that can support it.
We just got the five rare cycle of lands for this set and while that means no Temples for now, these lands are pretty sweet. I think this land is likely the best of the bunch. Late game being able to draw a card and pay minimal life is going to be very powerful for a lot of black decks in this format. I suspect this card to see a fair amount of play in any deck playing black.
That’s going to wrap this up for this week. Be sure to catch me talking about this more on my podcast with Dylan Donegan and Jonathan Rosum, Tapped Out Podcast. It can be found on Soundcloud, Itunes, Stitcher and Spotify. Until next time, get to brewing!