During today’s previews for Magic: the Gathering‘s new set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, many incredible cards were revealed. One of which is a creature card that looks to be Wizards of the Coast’s 2nd attempt at bringing a powerful effect from Magic’s past into the modern era. Will it be a smash hit, or will it fall flat?
What Is Old, Is New
Wizards likes to try and be creative in printing older, or reserved list substitutes into new age magic sets. Prime examples of this range from near functional reprints like Diamond Lion (for Lion’s Eye Diamond, to some more unique designs in Garth One-Eye. In Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Wizards takes another stab at reprinting the effect of [tooltip]Gaea’s Cradle[/tooltips].
The first attempt at a reprint of this card was back in Ixalan block, where flip cards were reintroduced, with Growing Rites of Itlimoc / Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun.
This Legendary Enchantment required you to meet some conditions before it’d transform into the slightly upgraded Cradle. While this card saw little constructed play, it was a boon for Commander players, as Gaea’s Cradles are incredibly expensive, currently priced at over $1,000. At the end of the day, this took too much set up to achieve the goal of a Cradle, and it fell short in Constructed. My guess was that this reprint was one that was focused on the commander crowd and less for competitive Standard or Modern play.
The new card that we are presented with today is Circle of Dreams Druid. This 3 mana 2/1 Elf Druid simply sports the effect of Gaea’s Cradle and nothing more. Immediately, this is an upgrade over Growing Rites. It’s mana cost is cheaper, and takes far less hoops to jump through to get going. But where can we utilize this new creature?
The first place that I’d start with would be Historic Elves. This deck is one that already has a bit of a foothold in historic as a tier 3 deck and can definitely take games out of nowhere. The list above is playing a core set of Elves, and has some wiggle room to fit in the Druid. The changes I’d make to the list are as follows
- – 2 Forest
- – 1 Vivien, Arkbow Ranger
- +3 Circle of Dreams Druid
This is the obvious home, and I think one of the few homes, for this card in constructed for a few reasons. Since this is only a 2/1 body, it can get killed by removal very very easily, but since it’s an elf, we have the ability to buff it up, preventing it from being burned out. Additionally, Elves plays a bunch of very cheap creatures that can be spammed to the board, increasing the Druid’s effectiveness. It’s also able to be selected with Collected Company as it only costs 3 mana. Finally, we have a reliable outlet for the mana this makes to help us close out the game, in Finale of Devastation to go find a Craterhoof Behemoth.
This new Gaea’s Cradle replacement creature looks pretty strong, but only time will tell if it makes a splash in constructed of whether or not this is just another “for commander” reprint. Where do you think that this card could fit in constructed? Let us know in the comments
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is set to release on July 23rd on tabletop, and 2 weeks before on Magic Online and Magic Arena. Preview season is set to begin this week, and you can find all the new spoilers in our Spoiler Gallery. You can also preorder Adventures in the Forgotten Realms products now!