WIlds of Eldraine spoilers are finally coming to a close, but before we bid farewell to MTG’s latest spoiler season and start waiting for the set’s prerelease, we instead get one last treat: the contents of Wilds of Eldraine’s preconstructed Commander decks. Today, a few content creators have been tasked with revealing everything there is to know about these decks.
The first of the two decks being revealed, Virtue and Valor, is an aura-based deck in Selesnya that utilizes the new Role mechanic. Previewed by MTG Muddstah, we now know what all the contents of this preconstructed Commander deck look like. Here’s what to expect with Virtue and Valor!
With each new Commander preconstructed deck are a small selection of new cards tailored to provide a boost to the strategies that said deck employs.
Ellivere of the Wild Court
This is not our first time seeing Ellivere as they were spoiled previously, but it makes little sense to talk about a new preconstructed Commander deck without talking about the intended Commander first. Ellivere has a unique Role mechanic that does not pop up in the main set. If you want a refresher on what the Role mechanic is, you can read more about it here.
As a quick refresher, Roles granted to creatures basically enchant token aura enchantments to them that provide different buffs or debuffs. The Virtuous Role that Ellivere provides is basically a token version of All That Glitters. That card has been proven to be no joke, and this particular Role is definitely the most powerful of them all. Since this deck cares about auras and enchanting creatures, the Virtuous Role can get out of hand rather quickly.
As an added bonus, should an enchanted creature you control connect to an opponent’s face, you get to draw a card. With Ellivere handing out Virtuous Role’s like Opera, its not tough to see why this ability might be a strong draw engine.
Gylwain, Casting Director
Gylwain is the alternate Commander included in the Virtue and Valor Commander deck that offers to attach any other creatures entering the battlefield with one of three different Role tokens. Do keep in mind that Role tokens granted from one player do not stack, so this does have a bit of anti synergy since you cannot have a Virtuous Role and a different one.
Regardless, with enough creatures to enchant, both of these Commanders can enact their gameplan together and create a crazy amount of buffs. Personally, the face Commander seems much more interesting than this one since it provides both larger buffs and card draw.
The first new card that we have not seen before MTG Muddstah’s preview is Giant Inheritance. This five mana aura enchants a creature, giving it +5/+5. The enchanted creature also gains the ability to grant Monster Role tokens to attacking creatures whenever it attacks (one per attack). This Role gives +1/+1 and Trample to the equipped creature. Notably, the Monster Role can be applied to the creature equipped with Giant Inheritance, giving it +6/+6 and Trample overall.
Finally, to prevent you from getting two-for-one’d when your enchanted creature dies, Giant Inheritance returns to your hand when the enchantment is put into the graveyard to the battlefield. While this is the least flashy part of the card’s effect, it is the most important one, making this aura a constant threat even after the creatures it enchants dies. Overall, this card seems fine in aura and Voltron decks, but that’s about it.
Knickknack Ouphe is an incredibly powerful card as long as you’re running an aura theme in your Commander deck. In addition to offering a scaling body as the game progresses, which is just fine, Knickknack Ouphe’s real payoff looks at the top X cards of your library and puts every single aura from among those cards directly onto the battlefield, provided their mana value is X or less. The Ouphe doesn’t even declare where these auras need to be enchanted, which allows you to put them on any creatures, or players, you want!
While black is not in the base deck for this card, players interested in running an aura deck utilizing auras that also debuff your opponent’s creatures will also be very interested in Knickknack Ouphe. Even massive aura curse spells that enchant players like Cruel Reality and Overwhelming Splendor can be cheated into play off the top of your deck with this card later on in the game. A ton of potential can be had here.
Liberated Livestock offers an army in a can sort of effect that can do well in any deck trying to go wide, but truly excels in an aura-based deck. The creature itself is, frankly, below rate, but once it dies, Liberated Livestock creates three creature tokens. All of these tokens can also take an aura from your graveyard to enchant themselves with. For six mana, this effect can be rather powerful when built around properly, but the floor is rather mundane, and takes a lot of work to make worth six mana. This, honestly, doesn’t seem too impressive.
Unlike many of the other new cards introduced so far, Loamcrafter Faun doesn’t need to be in an aura based deck to show off its power. Loamcrafter Faun offers a consistency boost, discarding any unneeded lands in your hand, allowing you to return an equivalent amount of nonland permaments to your hand. This can be a big help in any green decks that run a higher risk of flooding – provided that you have a lot of permanents to recur from your graveyard.
This doesn’t seem like the be-all end-all of any strategies, but can be a nice pick up to smooth out your draws over the course of a longer game, especially if it doesn’t end up having a high secondary market price.
What Ox Drover lacks in power is heavily made up in flavor. Ox Drover isn’t really anything to write home about unless you’re metagaming against your friend’s annoying Oxen or Changeling deck. That said, this Ox Drover is an interesting political source of card draw, offering opponents Oxen and you cards.
Songbirds’ Blessing is another incredibly powerful aura payoff that cares about its enchanted creature attacking. When it does, you reveal auras from the top of your deck until you hit an aura. That card can either be put directly onto the battlefield, or into your hand. Considering that this card can, once again, be used to cheat out incredibly powerful aura curses, or other cards like Eldrazi Conscription, which also happens to be appearing on The List for Wilds of Eldraine, the ceiling on Songbirds’ Blessing is high.
Your opponents will probably be able to figure this out too, so enchanting this onto a creature that can attack that turn, preferably with some form of protection, might be something you want to consider before the creature gets removed.
Timber Paladin is a great target for your many auras to enchant. Getting up to three auras probably isn’t too difficult for a focused synergy, which rewards you with a 10/10 Vigilance Trample creature for two mana. Not a bad trade.
Unfinished Business is another card that needs to be featured in a specific deck to pay off. Should you have enough auras and equipment to attach to your chosen reanimated creature, Unfinished Business could be an interesting addition to your deck.
Resurrecting a creature for five mana is easily achieved with a variety of other spells, however, so if you’re more interested in the reanimation clause of this card, and not-so-interested in attaching fallen auras and equipment to it, there may be a better option.
Most Expensive Reprints
Now that we’ve looked at all the new Rare Wilds of Eldraine cards coming in the deck (there are a few uncommon ones that originally appeared in the discontinued Jumpstart product. You can read about that here), let’s take a quick look at the most expensive reprints coming with the Virtue and Valor Commander deck!
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity
The most financially valuable reprint as of the day this Commander deck was previewed is Hall of Heliod’s Generosity. This land allows you to recur your deadliest enchantments consistently, placing enchantments from your graveyard on top your your library for two mana. This sees extensive Commander play, and does make a rare appearance in competitive formats. You can expect to find copies of this card for a little over $11.
Bear Umbra comes in second on the most valuable reprint list at $5ish, and seems like a slam dunk inclusion in an aura deck. Able to untap all your lands whenever an creature enchanted with it attacks, Bear Umbra allows for you to cast a ton of resources over the course of a turn. The card has been reprinted a lot, however.
Unlike Bear Umbra, Umbra Mystic only has one printing prior to this one from Rise of the Eldrazi. The card does offer a powerful ability, allowing auras to gain Totem Armor and protect your creatures. With auras that can recur themselves like Giant Inheritance, Umbra Mystic can be very difficult to get rid of. You can find copies of this card for about $7.
Retether is a card that reanimates all of your aura cards – as long as they can attach to creatures. Like Umbra Mystic, this card only had one prior printing, this time from the Planar Chaos set. Retether ironically saw a bit of a price increase prior to its announcement as a reprint in the Virtue and Valor deck, but was generally selling for about $5. We knew that this was an aura-based deck for some time now, so this could have been a speculation.
Mantle of the Ancients
Mantle of the Ancients is a newer aura that has a similar effect to Retether, granting the player the ability to attach all of their fallen equipment and auras to the enchanted creature. Considering that this card was previously only available in Adventures of the Forgotten Realms Commander (meaning it did not have a big printing), its not surprising to see this card worth $6, and selling for more.
There are some other $5+ reprints available in the decklist like Daybreak Coronet, Utopia Sprawl and Shalai, Voice of Plenty. If you want to check out the full decklist, you can find it here.
Is Virtue of Valor Worth it?
Making the assumption that Virtue of Valor is priced at the normal $40 for a preconstructed Commander deck and not at the Commander Masters reprint prices, this seems like an ok buy financially. TCGplayer puts the reprint value of this decklist at about $85, while Cardkingdom puts the value at a little over $100. Keep in mind that this is the price of the reprints as they were announced, so there is almost a guarantee that they will lose some value after this announcement reaches more players.
We also do not know what the secondary market value of the new cards introduced in Virtue and Valor are yet, so keep in mind that these numbers do not include those cards.
Its nice to see a return to normalcy after the disgusting asking prices of Commander Masters. While those prices can become justifiable, more needed to be offered to the buyer to make them justified.
Notably, the reprints for the new Faerie EDH deck do look more interesting than Virtue and Valor. If you’re interested in checking that out, we will have it available soon.