Wilds of Eldraine has had a surprising impact on older MTG formats. Standard legal sets don’t always stir older formats up because of a difference in power level. This makes sense, since introducing cards intended for Modern to a weaker format can be problematic. When this does happen, something similar to Alchemy’s state before The One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters were nerfed occurs. Two cards that may have been intended to shake up Modern, when put in a much weaker card pool, can cause problems and dominate an entire format.
That’s what makes Wilds of Eldraine so interesting. There are a ton of new cards that impacted the Modern format heavily but, while making their mark in Standard, have not even come close to destroying it.
Up to this point, the biggest contributor to this assessment has been Up the Beanstalk. While utilized as a value engine in earlier stages of WOE Modern, players have now discovered its utterly terrifying potential, creating shells dedicated to getting this card out and profiting as much as possible.
Now, another new Wilds of Eldraine card may have saved one of Modern’s favored, but dying archetypes. Izzet Murktide, while very popular before Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, has been falling behind thanks to the Universes Beyond set’s new introductions. That deck may have found an unlikely savior, and players are going crazy trying to secure copies of it.
The Rise of Questing Druid
Questing Druid immediately grabbed some attention during the Wilds of Eldraine spoiler season, much like Up the Beanstalk did. Cheap creatures that can potentially deliver a ton of value, like Ledger Shredder, Ragavan and more, have always been Modern favorites. Questing Druid fits that role like a glove.
Doubling as both card advantage and a win condition, Questing Druid allows Murktide players to dig deeper for answers or board development. Otherwise, while the Druid is not as deadly of a threat as the namesake Murktide Regent is, it still does the job, and for a much cheaper cost deck construction-wise considering it can also offer two Impulse draws.
While Questing Druid could ideally replace the namesake card as a core threat, that’s not where this card has fallen. Occasionally, the Druids will cause players to trim on some copies of Murktide, but most players incorporating the Druid seem to be cutting on a little of everything, with an emphasis on Ledger Shredder.
MTG professional Andrea Mengucci is the main MTG personality popularizing this new approach to the Murktide strategy. After finishing 21st in a major Modern tournament that occurred in Sofia last weekend, Magic players have been going absolutely nuts trying to acquire Questing Druid playsets for themselves.
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It’s Not Just Murktide
Some players are finding that, while Questing Druid is unquestionably an upgrade to the Murktide strategy, the Druid appears to want to be a bit more proactive. Murktide strategies need to find a balance between pushing forward to shut the door and stopping your opponent’s plan by holding up interaction. This means that, in certain situations, Murktide strategies need to hold back to stop an opponent’s problematic spells from resolving. This aspect of Murktide makes the deck very difficult to pilot optimally as a lot of game knowledge is required.
Having Questing Druid’s Impulse draw effect be an instant speed one is helpful in this regard. Seeking the Beast in the opponent’s end step will give you one full turn to deploy your new resources while, simultaneously, allowing you to keep mana open to alternatively stop an opponent’s plan when needed during their turn.
For players who want to try and play Questing Druid more proactively, a very proactive and powerful strategy already exists in the Modern format: Rakdos Scam. As discussed multiple times previously, these ‘Scam’ decks aim to have some truly busted starts. Evoking an Elemental like Grief or Fury and using an Undying effect like Feign Death or Not Dead After All to keep the Evoked body of the elemental and repeat the manaless ETB trigger, it is quite common to have two cards stripped away from your hand, or face a 4/4 Double Striker as early as turn one in the Modern format.
Aside from fueling these powerful starts, Rakdos Evoke wants to play the midrange-esque value game that Rakdos has been known for across formats. That said, Rakdos Evoke is more aggressive than a true midrange deck, pushing damage quickly so decks that want to go into the lategame cannot stabilize properly.
That aspect allows Questing Druid to fill both roles nicely. It’s not uncommon for the Rakdos Scam player to be quite low on gas after a Scam start, and Questing Druid can help provide an extra kick in card advantage when needed. Otherwise, Questing Druid is also a threat that grows when any other spell in the deck is cast, allowing for a threat that can both help close the door and provide card advantage.
Do note, however, that while this new idea is rather interesting, the finishes that the deck has experienced are not super noteworthy yet. Players are only beginning to experiment with Questing Druid in Rakdos Scam and Murktide. Many Murktide enthusiasts are singing the praises of Questing Druid already, but time will tell just how well this card performs in the long run.
This week has been quite the turning point for Questing Druid. Many players are seeing quite prominent MTG competitors speak well of the card, and there appears to be a rush to acquire Questing Druids across all of Modern.
As a result, the race to collect Questing Druids has had a massive impact on the card’s price this past week. Only worth a little under $3 before last weekend, Questing Druid is now selling for, on average, around $10 apiece. As recent sales suggest, however, copies of this card are selling for as much as $15, a more than 400% increase to this card’s previous price. Since this spike is so fresh, astute buyers can find this card for a cheaper price.
Spikes for Questing Druid are even more severe on Magic Online, the main online platform players use to compete in older MTG formats. On here, a regular copy of Questing Druid has spiked from just a dollar to $18 over the course of a few days.
Should You Consider Buying Questing Druid?
While a lot of competitive personalities are singing the praises of Questing Druid, the card likely has its price somewhat inflated right now thanks to all the sudden demand. Eventually, after competitive players who want to try the card immediately get their copies of it, demand for the Druid may stall out, allowing Questing Druid to drop a bit and find its new price.
I doubt that Questing Druid will be as cheap as it was previously, especially if the card performs as well as players are claiming it should. If it is that good, however, Questing Druid’s prices may continue to rise and settle past where they are right now. My recommendation would be to try Questing Druid for yourself and see if it lives up to the hype. Past that point, make the decision for yourself.