26, Aug, 23

Powerful Wilds of Eldraine Uncommon is Incredibly Underrated

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Article at a Glance

Wilds of Eldraine spoilers have finally finished being revealed, and there are some noticeably powerful cards for players to explore. While Beseech the Mirror may steal a lot of the spotlight, it’s certainly not the only card worth talking about. In fact, one of the cards receiving a decent amount of hype for multiple formats is an uncommon that’s capable of drawing you a big chunk of cards. It may seem strange for an uncommon to receive more hype than a lot of the flashy rares or mythics from the set, but in some cases, it’s well-deserved.

Think back to Aether Revolt spoiler season, for example. Sure, players were excited to play with interesting mythics like Heart of Kiran, but the card that arguably had the most people talking was Fatal Push. Fast forward to today, and Fatal Push is one of the best removal spells in Pioneer and Modern alike. Well, one Wilds of Eldraine uncommon with a lot of potential is none other than Up the Beanstalk.

At minimum, Up the Beanstalk replaces itself for two mana. Obviously, this alone is not strong enough for the card to see play. However, Up the Beanstalk also lets you draw cards whenever you play spells with mana value five or greater. Even though paying two mana and not directly impacting the board is a big price to pay, if you can consistently draw multiple cards off of the Enchantment, its inclusion is certainly worth consideration. The question is, what decks can reliably cast multiple cards that cost five or more mana?

A Natural Fit

Leyline Binding

In Pioneer, there aren’t a ton of decks in the market for the effect that Up the Beanstalk provides. However, there is one deck where the card seems like a slam dunk inclusion, and that deck is none other than five-color Engimatic Incarnation. On its base, Up the Beanstalk is an Enchantment that draws a card and can later be converted into a three-drop Creature thanks to Enigmatic Incarnation. Considering that this deck already plays Bitter Reunion and Omen of the Sea, it’s clear that this strategy is in the market for cheap Enchantments that dig for Incarnation and Fires of Invention.

However, Up the Beanstalk has significantly higher upside than Bitter Reunion or Omen of the Sea. This deck already plays four copies of Leyline Binding which, despite often costing only one or two mana, will still trigger Up the Beanstalk. Up the Beanstalk also works quite well with Yorion, Sky Nomad, allowing you to draw a card both when casting Yorion and when Yorion blinks Up the Beanstalk. This deck is also fully capable of casting some of the top-end Incarnation targets, such as Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, which will trigger Up the Beanstalk too.

What makes Up the Beanstalk so strong in this deck is that it already has a very high floor as an Enchantment that cantrips and sticks around for Incarnation, but it has the upside of providing a flow of card advantage throughout the game. All you have to do is draw a single extra card from the Enchantment and it will already have pulled its weight in comparison to Bitter Reunion. Thanks to Leyline Binding, this is quite easy to set up.

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Mana Value Vs. Mana Spent

In the context of Modern, you definitely need a bit more bang for your buck. The card advantage available in the format is top-notch, especially since the addition of The One Ring. Even with Leyline Binding, it’ll take something special for Up the Beanstalk to provide a consistent flow of cards and be worth the two-mana investment. Luckily, both Solitude and Fury help a lot in this department.

As strong as Solitude and Fury are, they are naturally card disadvantage when cast for zero mana. This is part of the reason that four-color Omnath, Locus of Creation decks often don’t play more than four or five of the Evoke Elementals in the maindeck. Well, Up the Beanstalk helps solve this problem. Every time you cast Fury or Solitude, even for free, you get to draw a card. Up the Beanstalk also stacks, meaning if you have multiple copies of the Enchantment in play, you can draw multiple cards.

Obviously, there’s a lot of competition for slots in this archetype. Cards like Wrenn and Six and Teferi, Time Raveler are very strong, but there’s a good chance players try to find room for the powerful Enchantment. If Up the Beanstalk does begin to take off, it’s possible some players lean even more into the Elemental package and add Risen Reef and Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines into the mix. It’s unclear exactly what direction players will take, but what is clear is that Up the Beanstalk’s synergy with Solitude, Fury, and Leyline Binding is undeniable.

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Potential in Other Formats

Force of Will

In a similar sense, Up the Beanstalk also works quite well alongside Force of Will, helping to negate the card disadvantage that comes with the powerful Counterspell. Still, the bar that a card needs to clear to see Legacy play is quite high. If any deck is going to play this card, it would likely be the Simic-based Green Sun’s Zenith deck that utilizes Yorion or some value-centric form of the archetype. Still, I’m a lot more skeptical here than in Pioneer or Modern.

The last format to talk about is none other than Standard, and there is another decent home for the card here. One of the stronger archetypes in the format is four-color ramp, which makes use of Invasion of Zendikar and Topiary Stomper to help set up its mana and cast powerful top-end spells, such as Atraxa, Grand Unifier or Herd Migration. In order to stave off the opponent’s offensive, this deck also plays Leyline Binding and Sunfall.

Not only are these cards great for the archetype, but they along with the deck’s top-end spells all trigger Up the Beanstalk. Of course, there are some matchups like mono-red aggro where it may be a bit difficult to take the time to deploy the Enchantment. However, the consistent flow of card advantage Up the Beanstalk can provide against any Midrange deck is impressive.

Up the Beanstalk definitely needs the right shell to show off its potential, and Pioneer Enigmatic Incarnation is likely the best place to start. Still, the card has a reasonable floor and a very high ceiling in the right deck, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the breakout cards of the set.

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