Spoiler season for Magic’s newest set has just ended, but thanks to how overwhelming the deluge of cards can feel on the internet, its really easy to miss something. In order to make sure you don’t miss what the biggest cards to look for are during your prerelease, we put together a collection of what we think are the best cards coming out in the main set!
This list won’t be focusing on any particular format, but instead on the latent potential of individual cards to impact MTG overall. Do note that we will only be including cards releasing in the main set, but don’t forget that there are some really powerful Commander exclusive cards coming out alongside Wilds of Eldraine.
Without further ado, here’s the top 10 MTG best Wilds of Eldraine cards that you should have on your radar.
Honorable Mention: Not Dead After All
Some may be confused why a draft chaff common is appearing on this list at all. Unfortunately for Modern players, this card just so happens to be a direct upgrade to the best deck in the format. That said, because the application of this card is so narrow, it did end up as an honorable mention.
Rakdos Scam thrives off of Evoking elementals as early as turn one, hitting their bodies with a reborn effect like this one before they die, and reanimating them to get a body and two ETB triggers for zero mana. Because this card offers the reanimated creature a Wicked Role, it ends up being better than the other options Rakdos Scam currently employs. We talked about this upgrade in much deeper detail here.
Honorable Mention: Up the Beanstalk
There is currently a little hype surrounding Up the Beanstalk being the sleeper pick of the set. In Modern, this could make some sense. Besides replacing itself, Up the Beanstalk can turn your Solitudes into cantrips that still do everything else that the card does. The card stacks as well, turning your larger spells into draw engines.
This is, at worst, going to be of interest to Commander players who want to cast expensive spells, and there is a lot those players. This card genuinely seems strong in that format, and should see play in some specific strategies.
Personally, I’m not convinced that this is going to be the sleeper that everyone thinks it is, but the card already saw a significant financial spike in preorder season, so interest is definitely there. I would feel remiss if I did not at least mention the card, but I will keep it as an honorable mention for now.
16 – Feral Encounter
Feral Encounter isn’t the flashiest card you’ve ever seen, but it is a removal spell that replaces itself for two mana, which is rather powerful. When cast, Feral Encounter offers the player to exile a creature from the top five cards on top of their library. That card can be cast until the end of your turn.
When you go to combat, Feral Encounter triggers, offering a Rabid Bite for one of your creatures – including the one you potentially cast with Feral Encounter’s first ability. This generally isn’t a card best played on turn two unless you really need to remove something with your one-drop, but casting this with two or three mana leftover could make it a great card for creature-based decks across formats.
15 – Rowan, Scion of War
The ceiling on Rowan, Scion of War is incredibly high, but the floor is incredibly lackluster. For that reason, its difficult to know just how much Rowan, Scion of War will do. The card is really easy to enable considering that Shock and Fetch lands can deal a surprising amount of damage to yourself. Combine this with a card like Bolas’s Citadel, and it would not be too surprising to potentially cast your entire deck – as long as its heavily Rakdos-oriented. The card will definitely see some Commander play, but time will tell whether it does much else.
14 – Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator
Since we’re on the topic of Bolas’s Citadel, Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator is all kinds of busted with it. This combination essentially allows you to cast cards from the top of your library for free. Just be careful that you don’t exile your library in the process.
Ashiok’s static ability really is the best part about this card. The abilities on Ashiok for a five-mana Planeswalker are underwhelming. That said, Ashiok does enable a variety of silly deckout scenarios that should make it quite capable in Commander.
13 – Decadent Dragon
On-curve Adventures have proven to be quite powerful thanks to cards like Bonecrusher Giant and Brazen Borrower. These appear a lot less in the new Wilds of Eldraine set, but Decadent Dragon is an on-curve threat that offers a lot of resources.
For three mana at instant speed, you can send Decadent Dragon on an adventure and steal the top two cards of your opponent’s library face down. You can play those cards as long as they remain exiled, but unlike other effects like this, you need to spend the correct colors of mana to cast spells.
Decadent Dragon’s creature side helps with this, threatening to create Treasure Tokens when it attacks. The card is also quite evasive, making it a decent shout for midrange decks. Limited players will likely fear this, Commander players should love it, and its probably going to show up in Standard. It could even show up in Pioneer. While it ended up 13th on this list, I personally believe that this card has more potential than some of the cards above it.
Read More: 10 Best Planeswalkers In Commander
12 – Mosswood Dreadknight
This is going to be an annoying card for Standard players to deal with. Mosswood Dreadknight does everything Standard cares about at the moment – provide card advantage and a consistent threat. It’s a tad bit expensive to keep recasting, but Mosswood Dreadknight offers a consistent stream of card advantage while being a pesky body in the meantime. It doesn’t do much else than that, but what else does it need to do?
11 – Questing Druid
Questing Druid’s Adventure spell is rather exciting. Impulse draw effects like this one already have a home in Pioneer and Explorer thanks to the Boros Pia Nalaar deck. Its tough to say for sure if this Instant speed iteration of the effect is preferable over the sorcery speed ones like Reckless Impulse since those cards allow you to play the exiled cards until the end of your next turn. Since the deck is interested in triggering Prowess abilities, it may be the case that the sorcery speed spells are better.
That said, Questing Druid does have a ton of potential to see play thanks to being a relevant body and a way to generate card advantage.
10 – Talion, the Kindly Lord
This card is so close to being incredibly powerful. Talion, the Kindly Lord needs the right environment to show its teeth, but if you’re expecting an opponent to play a ton of cards of a certain mana value, Talion, the Kindly Lord will draw you a ton of cards. Flicker effects can help repurpose Talion if you guessed wrong but, more often than not, you probably should not be playing this card competitively if guessing wrong is a problem. Commander is a different ballpark in this sense.
My biggest issue with this card is that Sheoldred, the Apocalypse is just better, and slots into the same role for a lot of decks. Even if you’re taxing your opponent properly, Sheoldred has a bigger body, and nullifies a lot of the value that this card can provide. Why play this when Sheoldred is better? At three mana, Talion would be a completely different discussion.
9 – Agatha’s Soul Cauldron
Agatha’s Soul Cauldron represents yet another difficult card to assess. In focused Commander strategies, this Cauldron can do a lot of damage, but it also has some potential constructed interest thanks to Yawgmoth combo in Modern. Basically, exiling a dead Yawgmoth will allow your Undead creatures to perform the deck’s combo without its namesake. You can read more about that here.
8 – The Restless Manlands
These are another category of cards that are difficult to assess – primarily because they enter tapped. That said, these manlands are incredibly unique in both what they do and the amount of mana they take to activate.
All of these cards seem viable in Standard, so instead of having them take up multiple slots, we included them in one big mention.
Potential is definitely high here. These are very likely to see Standard play at minimum, but may not go past that point. We discussed these cards in much more detail in another article.
7 – Virtue of Courage
I am very high on Virtue of Courage’s potential to see both competitive and Commander play. Its role in Commander is obvious – turning any noncombat damage you deal to an opponent into card advantage. This is absolutely ridiculous with a card like Purphoros, God of the Forge. With these two cards in play, any creature that enters the battlefield under your control Impulse draws six cards.
This card could also function as the top-end of a more aggressive strategy in formats like Standard. Virtue of Courage functions as a Shock in the early game, which prevents a lot of the clunkiness of running a five mana enchantment in an aggressive deck. If the game ends up going long, you can run this out to turn any of your Play With Fires into an effect that Scrys one, deals two damage to a player, AND Impulse draws two cards. The card might be a bit too slow for other formats, but it is among the best cards in the entire set for Commander and could see some 1v1 play.
6 – Moonshaker Calvary
Moonshaker Calvary offers white a game-ending effect in the Commander format. Baring an obvious resemblance to the Commander super-staple Craterhoof Behemoth, this turns any mediocre board into something that will end the game outright – as long as its wide enough.
Effects like this one have seen play in competitive formats. Craterhoof Behemoth notably pops up in Elf decks that can ramp it out and in aggressive go-wide token decks that can use effects like Transmogrify to end the game in short order. That said, neither of those strategies are popular at the moment. Moonshaker Calvary may not make a huge mark in 1v1 play, but it’s going to be absolutely everywhere in Commander.
5 – Virtue of Knowledge
Virtue of Knowledge is everything a Commander player wants wrapped up into one card. We all know just how much love Panharmonicon effects like this one get in the format, but the Vantress Visions instant may actually be where this card shines.
This is mono-blue ramp. Any activated ability includes those of lands like Flooded Strand and Evolving Wilds, allowing you to find two lands instead of one. Should you have other copying effects on-board that care about adventure spells like Lucky Clover or Gorion, Wise Mentor, you can find even more lands. If you can copy Vantress Visions twice, you can create an infinite combo by copying a copy ability over and over. That should be a sure upgrade to our Gorion EDH deck guide.
Otherwise, this card could see competitive play, but Virtue of Knowledge really is tuned for the Commander format first and foremost. It depends on just how good Vantress Visions is outside of Commander.
4 – Blossoming Tortoise
Mono Green Devotion in Pioneer gets yet another contender to fill out its flex slots. Blossoming Tortoise adds two devotion to your primary gameplan, ramps via mill, which can help dump a Storm the Festival, and, perhaps most notably, reduces the cost of activating Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Having two of these in play means that the land can add mana equal to your devotion for no cost.
Of course, Blossoming Tortoise is also fine in Commander, especially if you care about milling cards, and could see play in specific land-oriented strategies that care about the card’s various abilities. The reason why Blossoming Tortoise is so high on this list, however, is that it’s likely to appear in Pioneer extensively – at least for a period of time.
3 – Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender
Besides being perhaps the funniest card of the entire set, Syr Ginger has a lot of practical applications in various formats at the moment. Planeswalkers are rather frequent in Pioneer thanks to Nykthos Ramp and Wrenn and Six, as well as Teferi, Time Raveler are popular choices in Modern. As long as an opponent controls a Planeswalker, Syr Ginger becomes an immediate threat that is very difficult to interact with.
This card fits best in decks that can utilize Syr Ginger’s secondary ability, allowing the Food Knight to grow bigger and fix your draws. Since Syr Ginger isn’t limited by any sort of once per turn clause, this card is a good fit in Commander decks that constantly have artifacts dying as well.
All-in-all, Syr Ginger seems like a strong option as long as the right deck appears that can utilize it. At worst, the card should appear in some artifact Commander decks who can grow it.
Read More: Top 13 MTG Best Pioneer Decks!
2 – Elusive Otter
Elusive Otter is both cute and deadly. This may not see much Commander play outside of dedicated Otter, Prowess or +1/+1 counter decks, but this is an incredibly powerful one-drop that could see play in Standard, Modern and Pioneer.
Prowess decks are already a known strategy in Modern, and they’ve always been on the edge of viability in Pioneer. Elusive Otter offers the archetype another Prowess one-drop alongside Monastery Swiftspear and Soul-Scar Mage to round out the deck’s aggressive presence. Elusive Otter being unblockable by creatures with less power than it is also a very relevant ability, allowing the deck to push damage quite heavily. Even if you don’t utilize the otter’s Adventure spell too much, it can still be used to trigger your other Prowess creatures in a pinch. This is quite easy to splash for in a format like Modern. All-in-all, I am quite high on this card’s potential to pop up somewhere.
1 – Beseech the Mirror
The crown for best card in Wilds of Eldraine, at least in prerelease season, is not a difficult one to give away. Beseech the Mirror already has Legacy and Vintage players brewing up ridiculous combos that kill on turn one with this card. Even past that, though, Beseech the Mirror has a real chance of seeing play in every MTG format it’s legal in.
If you don’t pay the Bargain cost on Beseech the Mirror, its a rather underwhelming mythic. We can already search our libraries with cards like Demonic Tutor for half of Beseech the Mirror’s mana value, so to make this card worth playing, you need to pay the Bargain cost.
When you do, as long as the searched spell has a mana value of four or less, Beseech the Mirror allows you to cast it for free. In Standard, this can be equivalent to extra copies of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse or can help find a combo piece in a new deck.
In older formats, Beseech the Mirror can be used similar to Cascade strategies in the Modern format. This casting ability can get around cards’ absence of a mana value, allowing the player access to cards like Gaea’s Will. Yawgmoth’s Will is banned in Legacy for a reason.
We talk a lot more about the card here, but long story short, everyone is freaking out about this card right now.