22, Aug, 23

MTG Set's Namesake Appears Years Later as EDH Card!

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Article at a Glance

A ton of new details were revealed in regards to Wilds of Eldraine in this week’s Daily MTG show. We’ve seen plenty of cards from the main set thanks to official spoilers and some unofficial leaks, but we haven’t seen any cards from outside the main set, and there are a lot of them.

Including new Jumpstart cards that are being released even though Wilds of Eldraine Jumpstart has been discontinued, to more Enchanted Tales reveals, Wizards of the Coast showed off a new cycle of cards appearing in Wilds of Eldraine Set Booster packs. These cards are intended for Commander, meaning they will only be legal in Commander, Legacy, Commander and Vintage. Of course, these cards can also appear in Collector Booster packs.

Wilds of Eldraine has, to some extent, obviously been a callback to the old Throne of Eldraine set. Revealed at the very end of the Daily MTG is the literal namesake card for the past set. It captures something core to the MTG set’s Limited experience, and genuinely looks like a strong Commander option that supports an echelon of decks that really need it.

Before that, though, another Throne of Eldraine callback showcases an insanely powerful character who took over multiple formats by storm. While his new variant doesn’t look quite(nearly) as good as the old variant, its still quite powerful when set up. Let’s take a look at the new Korvold.

Korvold, Gleeful Glutton

The original iteration of Korvold, Fae-Cursed King haunted multiple MTG formats while it was still legal. Korvold completely took over Standard and has remained as a potential cEDH Commander since its printing. The card even appeared in Pioneer occasionally, but is now too slow for the format.

This Korvold is not as powerful as the original one, but it can be a beating with some setup. This is definitely intended as a build-around Commander, and seems to interact well with both sacrifice and Delirium mechanics. The old Korvold, as quoted from Daily MTG, “draws cards if you sneeze on it”, and while this card is very capable of creating a massive swing and drawing a ton of cards, its much more difficult to connect the dots with it. Overall, this is a very cool experience for EDH players, but do not expect it to be nearly as powerful as its older counterpart.

Throne of Eldraine

Years after Throne of Eldraine released, players can finally play with the namesake item of the set: the Throne of Eldraine.

Throne of Eldraine captures one of the core Limited mechanics available in that set: Adamant. This mechanic, alongside a series of prohibitive mana values that require three or more instances of a single color, highlight the importance of mono-colored decks as part of Throne of Eldraine’s Limited identity. Each color represented a different kingdom, allowing players an opportunity to, essentially, play as the forces of each kingdom.

Throne of Eldraine capitalizes on this detail beautifully, tapping for four mana of a chosen color that can only cast monocolored spells of said color. If you don’t need the extra boost in mana, Throne of Eldraine can draw cards instead, but mana spent to activate the ability needs to be of the chosen color.

This obviously excels in monocolored decks, but could also be used in two-colored ones to smaller effect, especially if the deck heavily leans towards one color. Throne of Eldraine isn’t effective outside of that, but will see Commander play in monocolored decks.

Honestly, the Commander format needs stronger incentives to play monocolored strategies since the card pool is so restrictive, so seeing some decent payoffs for monocolored decks in the format is great, and hopefully indicates that more will come.

Read More: Top 10 Best MTG Adventure Cards for Commander

A New Court Cycle

Featured in Daily MTG’s Wilds of Eldraine Set Booster preview cards is the return of the Monarch mechanic. Intended as a Commander mechanic, Monarch crowns one player as the Monarch. That player can draw a card on each of their endsteps, and otherwise can gain additional benefits from cards that care about The Monarch. Other players, upon dealing combat damage to The Monarch, steal the crown for themselves and gain all the benefits and detriments alongside it.

This was intended for Commander, and Commander-intended mechanics can be somewhat problematic in legal two-player formats like Legacy and Pauper. To help balance this, Wizards of the Coast did call in some Legacy experts to make sure these would not be too overbearing, but potentially interesting.

A similar style of Courts also appeared in the Commander Legends set and proved to be quite powerful in Commander. The stronger Courts in this new cycle look to compete with those. Expect to see some of these at your future Commander tables.

Court of Ardenvale

The Court of Ardenvale helps establish many of the similarities in this cycle of MTG Monarch enchantments. One Court matching the corresponding kingdom name from Eldraine’s Lore is available for each color. Four of the five Courts cost four mana, and all of the Courts require two colored mana of their color.

Court-style cards generally allow their owners to become the Monarch, and offer an additional payoff that occurs on each of that player’s upkeeps. If you happen to be the Monarch at the beginning of your turn, your payoff scales to reward the fact that the crown hasn’t been taken from you.

Court of Ardenvale works well with any deck that will consistently have targets for it. Offering to return a permanent with mana value three or less to the hand or the battlefield depending on if you’re the Monarch, Court of Ardenvale could find a home in any deck that runs even Evolving Wilds. There’s no indication that the chosen permanent needs to be a nonland.

While returning small creatures or artifacts may be more powerful, this makes the value-based effect of this court incredibly easy to access. As long as you have enough targets to make this worthwhile a majority of the time, it could be something to consider. Expect to see this card popping up in decks in the near future.

Read More: Wilds of Eldraine List Update Adds Huge $40 Reprints!

Court of Vantress

Creating copies and duplicating triggers is a fan-favorite thing to do in the Commander format, and Court of Vantress is exceptional at doing that. While, ideally, you’ll have built-in payoff targets for this to copy and create copies of, Court of Vantress can target any other artifact or enchantment on the board, including your opponent’s.

Becoming the Monarch means that this card will replace itself, and even if the crown is stolen away from you before your upkeep, you can simply turn your Court of Vantress into the desired target. This seems like an absolute homerun at casual Commander tables. The card is too slow for cEDH, but the amount of value this card can provide has an easy-to-meet floor and a very high ceiling.

Court of Locthwain

Court of Locthwain is another card that almost any black EDH deck could have an interest in. Exiling cards off of opponent’s libraries for you to cast, Court of Locthwain provides a surprising amount of card advantage. Should you keep the Monarch, you can cast any spell exiled with the Court for free, even if it was exiled in a previous turn. This seems quite powerful in many casual black Commander decks with little reason not to play it.

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Court of Embereth

Unlike the black and blue Courts, not every red deck is going to want the Court of Embereth. Instead of offering card advantage or becoming a massive threat, Court of Embereth simply creates a 3/1 red Knight with no keywords. If you can enable the Monarch upgrade to the upkeep trigger and want to go wide with creature tokens, this can become a powerful win condition. If you’re not interested in trying to overwhelm your opponent with creatures, Court of Embereth may not be for you.

Court of Garenbrig

In R&D’s designing of this card, the Court of Garenbrig just didn’t compare to the payoffs that the other Courts in the cycle provided. Instead of trying to power up the card a bit, a decision was made to lower the mana value of this card to three instead of four, as it seemed like a powerful ability for that mana value.

Like the Court of Embereth, not every green deck is going to want this card. If you’re interested in +1/+1 counters, however, this card is an absolute slam dunk to your strategy. The Monarch mechanic works great for these decks since you tend to have a huge board presence. This makes it difficult for the Monarch to be stolen and easy for it to be reclaimed. If you are not the Monarch when your upkeep rolls around, Court of Garenbrig only grants you two +1/+1 counters to put among your creatures as you choose. In a dedicated theme, its not difficult for this to have a much larger impact when combined with cards like Hardened Scales and Ozolith, the Shattered Spire.

Should you have the Monarch on your upkeep, and its likely you will once you get your gameplan going, Court of Garenbrig suddenly doubles all +1/+1 counters on your creatures! Its rather easy to start threatening players’ lives once this occurs.

Wilds of Eldraine Set Booster Additions Look Great!

All of these cards look pretty playable in the Commander format. The new Korvold definitely needs some setup to work, but Throne of Eldraine adds some fantastic support to a rather underpowered archetype of Commander decks. The new Courts look excellent as well, and should all see play in some way, shape or form.

Since Legacy consultants were addressed during the Courts’ creation, there shouldn’t be any major oversights like White Plume Adventurer. That said, while I personally do not think these will make a jump scare appearance in a two-player format, the potential could be there.

Read More: Wilds of Eldraine Spoilers Showcase Tons of Faerie Typal Support!

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