Having started just over a week ago, MTG spoilers for Wilds of Eldraine have finally drawn to a close. As usual, this happened in spectacular fashion, with two Commander decks being revealed in their entirety. Debuting new game-ending threats and potential staples, these decks definitely had plenty to enjoy.
While we do love some Commander spoilers, they weren’t the only MTG cards revealed yesterday. To end Wilds of Eldraine spoilers with a bang, a few powerful main set MTG cards were also revealed. This includes perhaps the most blatant example of power creep that has been seen in an awfully long time.
Within MTG, or any game for that matter, power creep gets a very bad rap. This is entirely unsurprising, considering it means old cards aren’t as valuable or useful anymore compared to new options. In a game like Magic, where cards and decks cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and entire formats have been created in part to give as many cards a home as possible, power creep is obviously problematic.
Saying that, however, the latest, most blatant, example of power creep in MTG isn’t as bad as you might think. As astute MTG players may have realized already, Quick Study is incredibly similar to another existing card. In fact, it’s almost identical to Divination. The only difference between Quick Study is an Instant.
More so than most other MTG card comparisons, this makes Quick Study a direct upgrade over Divination. Thankfully, however, it’s unlikely this push in power is going to completely upend competitive MTG. This is thanks to, Divination seeing practically no play at all. According to MTGdecks.net, only one Pauper deck currently uses this card.
While competitive Magic may be safe from Divination 2.0, it’s nevertheless obviously power creep. Thankfully, while an obvious improvement, according to MTG’s Lead Designer, this isn’t a major cause for concern. Addressing the new card on Blogatog, Mark Rosewater went so far as to call it a positive change.
“Magic is a fluid game, and things change over time. I see it as a positive thing.”Mark Rosewater
Ultimately, while Quick Study may be a strictly better Divination, it’s hardly the best draw card in MTG. That honor, instead, still goes to Ancestral Recall. Even excluding this card, Expressive Iteration is a significantly better draw card. Another recently released card that’s an upgrade to Quick Draw is the more recently printed Sauron’s Ransom. That said, Quick Draw could see some Standard play since this card’s upgrade over Divination is absolutely massive.
Thankfully, while Quick Study may have ignited many discussions about power creep, not every card is an automatic upgrade. Instead, many of the new spoilers are just interestingly powerful, yet not overly so. This is definitely the case for the pair of new Adventure enchantment cards.
Like all Adventure cards, this is thanks to them essentially being two cards in one. Should either half of an Adventure card be playable, the other half is practically free value. For better or worse, not every Adventure card falls into this category of excellent. The Virtue cycle or mythic enchantment cards, however, certainly do. Well… Mostly, at least.
Now that Wilds of Eldraine spoilers have finally finished, we now have the last two MTG cards in this cycle. The first of these is the somewhat meh Virtue of Strength. To start off with the good, a one mana Regrowth effect is always nice to have. This, however, doesn’t make the card automatically playable.
Unfortunately, the main effect offered by Virtue of Strength isn’t much better. On one hand, it does offer some amazing ramp for your basic lands. On the other hand, however, it costs seven mana, so you’ve likely ramped enough already. Thanks to this, outside of the greediest Commander deck around, this virtue may be regarded as the cycle’s worst.
Thankfully, while Virtue of Strength isn’t amazing, Virtue of Courage is definitely better. At first, this new Adventure offers an overpriced Shock before later providing a steady stream of impulse draw. In Commander, where this card will see the majority of its play, this should be incredibly useful. Especially when combined alongside consistent damage engines like Burning Earth and Purphoros, God of the Forge.
Ending With a Bang
Thankfully, while the new Virtue cards may be far from perfect, there are some new adventures to get excited about. Twining Twins for instance, offers an always useful Flicker effect alongside a surprisingly large Faerie body! With this card added into the mix, the surely emergent Faerie Standard or Brawl deck is looking rather scary!
As if that wasn’t enough for your fancy, MTG players have also been delighted by Elusive Otter. Beyond being completely adorable, this card is also surprisingly deadly with its chump blocker prevention and, Prowess, and attached pump spell! While this is obviously a deadly combination, the Elusive Otter’s cuteness is definitely the biggest factor in its playability.
At the end of the day, as was seen in Throne of Eldraine, the new Adventure cards look seriously strong. Thanks to this, expect these cards to pop up all over the place, especially in Commander.