Sakura-Tribe Elder
26, Jun, 24

First Ever MTG Stat-less Promo Revealed!

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Do you enjoy playing events at your local game store? Are you a fan of Modern Horizons 3? Well, then you may be in luck to receive a sweet new promo of a beloved MTG card. 

As part of the Love Your Local Game Store promotion, players can get their hands on an iconic card in a neat textless frame. While it may not be the priciest card in the world, the artwork looks fantastic. On top of that, as we will see, this card’s design is actually quite unique.

Textless Sakura-Tribe Elder

Sakura-Tribe Elder Promo

Back in the summer of 2021, Wizards of the Coast gave players the opportunity to collect some awesome retro-frame cards. These were available as part of the Love Your Local Game Store program. By playing in various events, attendees could earn copies of Goblin Guide, Scavenging Ooze, and more for their efforts. 

Now, at a similar time of year, the Love Your Local Game Store series is back. This time around, the Love Your Local Game Store promo is Sakura-Tribe Elder. Sakura-Tribe Elder, known famously as “Steve,” is a popular Commander card and a solid inclusion in ramp decks. 

Years ago, this creature was also an integral part of Modern Scapeshift decks. The goal for this strategy was simple: ramp your way up to seven or eight lands, and survive long enough to cast a game-winning Scapeshift, finding a bunch of Mountains and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Sakura-Tribe Elder not only functions as a Rampant Growth that gets you closer to the requisite land threshold, but it also gets to chump block on its way out, buying you extra time.

From a price standpoint, Sakura-Tribe Elder isn’t too exciting. It has been reprinted numerous times, and currently sits at about 70 cents in its cheapest traditional form, according to TCGPlayer. Still, as an iconic card with new art, there’s sure to be demand for it.

How to Get Your Promos

Flare of Cultivation

In order to obtain your full-art Sakura-Tribe Elder, you need to do one of two things at your local game store starting July 5. First, you can participate in a Modern Horizons 3 Draft. If you don’t have time to sit down and Draft, however, there’s no need to fear. Thankfully there’s a second way to get your hands on this interesting MTG promo. To do this, all you have to do is simply purchase three Modern Horizons 3 Play Boosters. Notably, you do need to buy or pick up the cards in the store to receive your reward, but this shouldn’t be much of a concern.

Each customer is limited to one promo per day. That being said, you can absolutely get a hold of more copies by playing in Drafts or purchasing more packs on other days. It’s unclear exactly how many promos will be in circulation for each local game store. As such, make sure to take advantage while supplies last and communicate with store staff members to make sure there are promos in stock.

Unusual Design

Omnath, Locus of Creation Promo

Overall, the design of the promo as well as the card choice are generally well-received. Some players were a bit disappointed that this Love Your Local Game Store promo didn’t fit the usual retro frame template like others in the past. Regardless, it’s clear that most players approve of how this version of Sakura-Tribe Elder looks. 

Interestingly, though, one aspect of the card is quite controversial. This is far from the first time we’ve seen an MTG promo showcased without rules text. In fact, this card has a very similar frame and feel to the Store Championship promo version of Omnath, Locus of Creation. This is the first time, however, that a textless creature has not featured its power and toughness somewhere on the card. 

To some players, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal. For creatures whose stats are either memorable or less meaningful to the card’s purpose, not highlighting the power or toughness doesn’t seem too problematic. Many players were quick to point out that the common play pattern of blocking with Sakura-Tribe Elder and sacrificing it means that the card’s stats rarely come up anyway. Assuming you can avoid any confusion, the symmetrical nature of this promo’s design is rather appealing to some players.

On the flip side, though, MTG players did mention that even if this promo not having power and toughness shown isn’t a big deal, this new trend could cause some issues in the future. Textless cards that naturally have a lot of abilities to remember, such as Omnath, can already be a bit awkward as game pieces. By not highlighting power and toughness on textless creatures, it becomes significantly more likely that players will make poor attacks or blocks during events.

At least this area of concern is minimized in Sakura-Tribe Elder’s case. For players who are looking to add some flare to their Commander decks, this new promo delivers. Make sure to head down to your local game store starting July 5 for your chance to add the card to your collection.

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