31, Aug, 23

The Best Wilds of Eldraine Commander Cards

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Article at a Glance

Wilds of Eldraine pre-release is nearly upon us! We’ve seen the spoilers and the set has a lot of fun looking themes along with many complementary cards. However, some cards rise above the rest. Here are the top one or two cards in each color that will likely see the most play in the most Commander decks. Some of the cards are obvious but some of the best Wilds of Eldraine Commander cards may require taking a second look to see just how good they will be at your local table.

White Craterhoof

Coming as no surprise to anyone, Moonshaker Cavalry is going to be a finisher in a lot of decks. We all know that Craterhoof Behemoth has been ending games since 2012, but that’s a green card! White has been gaining powerful cards at a faster rate than every other color in recent memory and it’s time for a big mana, super buffing creature.

Since it’s quite easy to generate piles of tokens in the color, Moonshaker Cavalry will threaten to kill one or more players every time it hits the battlefield. Furthermore, white has the best options to flicker a creature, and getting additional ETB triggers will quickly make your hard to block flying army massive.

Speaking of additional ETB triggers, remember Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines? At a lot of medium powered tables, you’re going to see a one two punch of MoM > 2x Cavalry triggers eliminate players left and right.

Too Many Awesome Cards in Blue

Asinine Antics is a next level board wipe in blue. Why? Because instead of sending creatures to the graveyard where they can be recurred by spells like Living Death or Eerie Ultimatum, they are instead stuck in play as 1/1 creatures. With 40 life in Commander, it takes an army of 1/1s to truly threaten you. Your own creatures, however, are completely unaffected and probably stomp 1/1s for breakfast. In a kingdom of 1/1s, even your 2/2s are king. Furthermore, keeping someone’s commander in play as a 1/1 stops them from just recasting it. On top of all that, if you yourself are making lots of tokens you’re never at risk of being overwhelmed.

Additionally, this card has a political angle. You can get on someone else’s good side by turning their 1/1 Elves into, well, 1/1 Elves with a Cursed Role attached. That’s right, you might think that this is a liability of the spell, but all I see is upside as it allows you to pick and choose who is going to suffer when you cast it. With a little diplomacy, you can dictate a combat step to your advantage because, for two mana, you have the option to cast it at instant speed! Table talk is always a valuable and likely underused resource. State how you think blocks should go and then turn the tables on the table! This also allows you to send things to the graveyard that you do want to die.

Last but not least this card works very well with effects like Propaganda so that they cannot attack you with their horde of 1/1s without paying a ton of mana. This card will see play in “pillow fort” decks and the value is absolutely bonkers with cards like Sphere of Safety.

Yes, it requires some lateral thinking and good diplomacy skills, but in many situations Antics will prove far better than say Day of Judgement. With the growing number of Indestructible creatures and protection effects, simple board wipes are not nearly as reliable as they used to be. Antics gives you strong flexibility to solve difficult situations while also having amazing synergy with a variety of different strategies.

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Another Incredible Mana Rock

The next blue card I’d like to highlight is Misleading Signpost. For a moment, you look at the effect and think “Gee that’s neat, there are so many ways to abuse this card!” but then you look again and realize it’s a mana rock! Wow, just wow. Sometimes you may look at a player and think “Why are they not attacking, there is a free attack!” But now, with Signpost, not attacking is a legitimate tactic every time three mana is open. This card can go into any deck because it’s a mana rock with flash. At three mana most rocks are not desirable but this one has a game altering effect while also giving you long term value. Even if there’s nothing going on, you can just Flash in your rock at EoT. A mana rock that is effectively free sometimes is worth considering. But one that can make a different player than you die in the face of a huge alpha strike? Definitely worth playing!

Finally, in terms of generic power, it’s hard to not at least mention Virtue of Knowledge. The card gives you a mini-boost in value for only two mana doubling your best triggered or activated ability. Then it lets you get a second bite at the apple with a long term doubling effect for a very standard rate of five mana. While it’s not Mother of Machines level, it’s still an excellent value proposition in many decks, and I would wager many decks will run both. Copying a Dockside Extortionist trigger is going to be a game winning move practically every time.

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Mirror Mirror, Fairest or most OP?

What are the lowest mana tutors? Well, there are cards like Vampiric Tutor for one mana, but there are a couple of hoops. It costs life and doesn’t put the card into your hand, so there is interaction that can stymie you. An excellent card, but it does have a couple of minor flaws.

What about a zero mana tutor? Pact of Summoning will get you a green creature card for the low price of zero! Of course, you may end up losing if you can’t pay the Pact next turn.

By and large, Demonic Tutor is incredibly good because it puts any card into your hand for the lowest cost in the game. While no other tutor has reached its level, Beseech is awfully close.

You can Beseech with Bargain for Cabal Ritual with Threshold. This turns four mana into five mana. This makes Beseech a mana positive tutor; a weird ramp spell in some cases, something that few tutors can claim. The fact that you can Bargain away a tapped mana rock to effectively get even more mana from it is brutally efficient and with cards like Dark Ritual black has always been about a little sacrifice to get ahead.

There’s no doubt that this card will see huge play in competitive decks. A unique feature of Beseech is the ability to go get a card without a mana cost like Lotus Bloom and then cast it. So yes, with Bargain you can basically tutor up and cast Black Lotus in Commander.

Now, that’s not so good on its own because paying four mana and sacrificing something to get back three isn’t a good rate. But you can cast some crazy powerful spells like Restore Balance, Gaea’s Will or Inevitable Betrayal.

So in short, if you’re casting anything that costs two mana with Bargain, you’re effectively casting Demonic Tutor and that card. If, however, the card costs three or four, you’ve gained one or two additional mana which is better than Demonic Tutor.

If a deck wanted to win and it could run two copies of Demonic Tutor, it would. Beseech is only just barely short of a second copy of Demonic Tutor. The only things standing in its way are cards like Drannith Magistrate or Boromir Warden of the Tower and, even in those cases, at least you can choose to simply put the card in your hand and not pay the Bargain cost. That does turn it into Diabolic Tutor which is a playable card, although, not as powerful as many other tutors. The floor is not bad and the ceiling is above Demonic Tutor.

What’s Luck got to do with it?

At first it may seem a little crazy to consider Flick a Coin as one of the more intriguing cards in Wilds, but it does everything. When you need a card that kills Orcish Bowmasters, Esper Sentinel and Birds of Paradise but also need that card to do more, here is your answer.

Spellslinger-style decks are always looking for these types of cards. Flick a Coin combines exceptionally well with Storm-Kiln Artist, Birgi, God of Storytelling, Ruby Medallion or Goblin Electromancer. These cards all help make it a mana neutral card that also deals a damage to anything and draws you a card. Cards that are a free top deck always deserve consideration and any deck abusing this type of card wants to draw it every game. Many primarily red decks need as many Treasure generators as possible and the ability to clear one annoying permanent while also drawing a card is worth the extra mana. Just imagine how fun this card is with spell copy effects, and red has plenty of them.

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Green for Drawing

Very few cards make you the Monarch for three mana or less. Green has a new opener of turn one Elf, turn two Court of Garenbrig, you’re the Monarch. That’s a heck of an opener and it’s likely to get you two or three free draws. But, even if you get attacked immediately, you get free +1/+1 counters whether you’re the monarch or not! This card seems unbelievably busted.

Granted, it’s probably three mana, draw a single card end of turn for Monarch, then someone steals Monarch from you. Sure. But then it’s accruing you value every turn until you do seize the Monarch for a turn and then double all your +1/+1 counters and win the game. Three mana is an excellent deal for that potential value and green decks tend to run lots of creatures so keeping the Monarch can be easy.

Up the Beanstalk

My pick for sleeper of the set, though, is Up The Beanstalk. First it’s at worst a cantrip that replaces itself for two mana. Not terrible. Is that the kind of card that should be in every Commander deck, though? Probably not. This is a serviceable card whether you’re in an Enchantress deck or simply a big monsters style deck. There is also some potentially shocking and powerful synergy that is not immediately obvious.

Force of Will for no mana with a Beanstalk in play draws a card. What about Evoke? Even if you Evoke a Mulldrifter Beanstalk does not care about the cost you paid, it only cares about the mana value written on the card and here it’s five! Did your bomb get countered? No problem, you still draw a card when you cast it. All of this shows Beanstalk has serious applications in a variety of decks and at the worst it can be Bargained away for additional value.

Up The Beanstalk could also have some competitive applications. We looked at those here.

Another Awesome Rock

This is an interesting design choice and a good look for Wizards. A two mana rock is always worth considering. Because it is Legendary, The Irencrag can have other applications. It also turns into an Equipment if you need it and that is a shoe-in for a large number of decks.

Thought Vessel and Mindstone are some universally good colorless rocks that are slightly better than The Irencrag, but it’s very close behind. Equipment decks are going to slot this card universally because it simply adds both a rock and an equipment at the same time which is too good for decks that care about equipment.

Outside of this specific case, though, will the Crag see play? It makes a lot of sense to consider it. You lose practically nothing, considering that you’re slotting mana rocks anyways, and a sometimes bonus of +3/+3 is enough to kill someone off via commander damage a turn early. Including a different way to win at virtually no cost in deck space means that this card could sneak into many decks.

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Multicolor but Really, Rakdos

While there are a ton of new multicolored identity Adventures that are excellent, Rowan, Scion of War is on another level. Red and black easily lose life and the fact that a card like Night’s Whisper can be effectively mana neutral is mind blowing. Merely playing a fetch land into a shock land is three damage, so that turns into a free ritual effect with Rowan.

Both red and black do have multiple different fast mana cards, but Rowan operates on a different paradigm to open up entirely new options for deck design. The fact that you can pay life to say Necropotence which then also reduces the cost of everything black/red colored by a huge amount turns Rowan into Channel. That card is banned for a reason!

Some huge red finishers like Worldfire and Dragonstorm become very easy to cast. Imagine casting Soulfire Eruption for only three red mana, and then casting a ton of stuff off of it, all reduced by Rowan. Black has cards like Army of the Damned and In Garruk’s Wake that care crazy powerful if they only cost two or three mana.

It remains to be seen if the Rowan deck will be red black storm/spell slinger or some sort of crazy ramp deck. Either way, this card has by far the most potential to innovate an entirely new and terrifying archetype.

It’s Wild out There

There are many decent cards coming out in Wilds alongside interesting new cycles like the Courts, creature lands, and Virtues. There are quite a few obviously powerful cards that are going to impact the Commander meta game at all tables. But there are even more interesting and fun cards that will make their way into preexisting archetypes without raising an eyebrow. All in all, it’s a good set where Commander is concerned and adds a healthy mix of cards at every level of play.

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