Wilds of Eldraine is a super neat-looking set so far. From fairy tale Sagas to Enchanting Tales anime cards, this set has a lot to offer. It’s also an incredibly flavorful set, taking a great deal of inspiration from Throne of Eldraine.
As many players may remember, though, Throne of Eldraine was an extremely powerful set. Cards like Embercleave, Bonecrusher Giant, and the infamous Oko, Thief of Crowns, to name just a few, showcase how strong the set truly was. This set not only dominated Standard, but it got multiple cards banned in Modern too! It’s safe to say that some of these overwhelmingly powerful cards, paired with the design mistakes of Oko, are more memorable than the charm of the set as a whole.
While Wilds of Eldraine may not be quite in the same class as Throne of Eldraine, there are still plenty of very strong cards for players to utilize. From Standard all the way down to Vintage, there are cards getting hyped up a bunch. Today, we’ll be looking at some of the elite contenders for various Constructed formats, and where the cards best seem to fit in. Let’s begin with the elephant in the room, and perhaps the card most likely to appear in a future banned and restricted announcement.
Beseech the Mirror
Beseech the Mirror is truly an outrageous card, and a very strange one at that. The card is rather inefficient unless you are able to pay the Bargain cost of sacrificing an Artifact, Enchantment, or token as you cast it. You get to search your library for a card and exile it face down, but if you paid the Bargain cost, you then get to cast the card for free if it has mana value four or less. While this is a bit restrictive on what you can tutor for, given that Beseech only costs four mana itself, you don’t end up spending any extra mana if you search for a four-mana card.
Even Demonic Tutor, a card banned in Legacy, forces you to pay two mana up front. In this sense, Beseech the Mirror is absurdly efficient and helps add redundancy to decks built around a specific card. For formats like Standard and Pioneer, having extra virtual copies of powerful options like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse so long as you have a Blood token or Treasure token to sacrifice can be a big deal. That being said, there’s plenty of additional shenanigans to be had in Eternal formats involving this card that may put it over the top.
One of the things Beseech the Mirror can do, unlike Demonic Tutor, is search for and cast a suspend card with a mana cost of zero. Yawgmoth’s Will may be banned in Legacy but Beseech opens up a very similar play pattern when paired with Gaea’s Will. This deck is designed to cast a couple Rituals, an Artifact for Beseech’s Bargain cost, and Beseech for Gaea’s Will, letting you cast the Rituals, Artifacts, and Beseech again for Tendrils of Agony.
The fact that Beseech the Mirror doesn’t exile itself when you cast it makes the full combo quite simple. In Vintage, Yawgmoth’s Will is restricted, so Beseech the Mirror can help add a ton of redundancy to Storm decks there too. As long as you can reliably pay the Bargain cost, Beseech is an unbelievable card, and might just be a multi-format all-star.
Blossoming Tortoise is a decent card on its own, but it has the potential to be a strong flex-slot option for mono-green Devotion in Pioneer. At minimum, the card will dig three cards deep for a Land, including Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. This ability also triggers whenever it attacks, pressuring your opponent to kill it on sight even after you got some value out of it. Additionally, the card reduces the activation cost of Nykthos, and this ability stacks for each copy of Blossoming Tortoise you have in play.
This card also works fairly well with Lair of the Hydra, both reducing the activation cost of turning it into a Creature by one and pumping its power and toughness by one. Flex slots are obviously limited in the Devotion archetype, so competing with cards like Polukranos Reborn and Cityscape Leveler may not be easy. Still, this card helps dig fairly well for Nykthos, and given how much better this deck can be when Nykthos is online, it definitely has a shot to earn a spot in the deck.
Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender
While this card is certainly very flavorful, it actually has a lot of potential in multiple Constructed formats. Right off the bat, you get access to a two-mana three-power Creature. However, this card also has two extremely promising abilities. First up, if your opponent controls a Planeswalker, this card gains Trample, Haste, and Hexproof! This makes it quite strong against cards like Wrenn and Six and Teferi, Time Raveler in Modern. This card can also attack down a Karn, the Great Creator that ticked down to three, which can be very relevant in Pioneer and Modern alike.
That’s not where the fun ends, though. Every time an Artifact you control goes to the graveyard, Syr Ginger grows and lets you Scry. This works very well with disposable Artifacts like Blood and Treasure tokens, but the real payoff is alongside Arcbound Ravager in Modern. Paired with a bunch of Artifacts and Ravager, Syr Ginger can grow extremely large and take out your opponent potentially in one swing.
Pair this duo with Hardened Scales and you’re in business. If the opponent happens to control a Planeswalker at the same time, Syr Ginger can attack the turn it comes down, is immune to removal, and can’t be successfully chump blocked! The floor on this card isn’t too bad, but the ceiling is super high when built around.
Agatha’s Soul Cauldron
Another card with Modern potential is Agatha’s Soul Cauldron. On the surface, Agatha’s Soul Cauldron may seem a little slow. It also requires a steady flow of cards in the graveyard to get the engine going. That is, unless you have a way to abuse it, and one Modern deck in particular can do just that.
One of the more successful combo decks in Modern revolves around Yawgmoth, Thran Physician. When combined with two Undying Creatures, such as Young Wolf, and Zulaport Cutthroat, you can continuously drain your opponent of life by taking the following steps:
- First, sacrifice a Young Wolf with Yawgmoth’s activated ability. Do not target any of your creatures with the -1/-1 counter. The Young Wolf will come back with a +1/+1 counter thanks to Undying. This will trigger Zulaport Cutthroat, draining your opponent for one.
- Second, sacrifice your Young Wolf that does not have a counter, targeting the Young Wolf that does have a counter. Your counters will cancel out. Your other Young Wolf will come back with a +1/+1 counter thanks to Undying. This, once again, will trigger Zulaport Cutthroat.
- You can repeat step two over and over, sacrificing the Young Wolf without a counter, targeting the one that does have a counter, thanks to -1/-1 counters and +1/+1 counters canceling one another out.
With Cauldron in the picture, you can actually combo with the same set of cards, but with Yawgmoth in your graveyard instead of play. If you exile Yawgmoth with Cauldron, you can put a counter on one of the copies of Young Wolf. Then, you can sacrifice the Young Wolf that does not have a counter, targeting the Young Wolf that does have a counter, and execute the loop the same way.
Obviously, this combo requires having a copy of Yawgmoth in the graveyard to work, and flex slots are few and far between, so playing Cauldron may not end up being a slam dunk. Still, the combo potential with Cauldron certainly puts it under consideration. Each of these cards help give a snippet of just how powerful this set is as a whole.
Even though Wilds of Eldraine is just a Standard set, there are plenty of cards with potential beyond the Standard format, and it will be interesting to see the extent to which these cards shake up various formats.