About Wilds of Eldraine
The new set, Wilds of Eldraine (WOE), brings new mechanics and even some old mechanics for the Standard format, with the promise of impacting the metagame, but will this impact be strong enough to cause a significant change?
The set counts with three main mechanics, one of them being Adventure, which we are already familiar with since the last Eldraine set. Adventures, just like in the past, are cards which can impact both early turns and more advanced turns later on in the game.
Bargain is a new mechanic, a Kicker variant which demands the sacrifice of an artifact, enchantment or Token to be used, and it is present in a few interesting cards, allowing new interactions for the format.
Finally, we have Roles, a new mechanic which allows you to create enchantment Tokens which can be attached to a creature - and considering the format counts with an enchantment deck, it is quite possible that this mechanic will find its space.
How is Standard Currently?
Standard hasn't changed much after the recent bans, and it remains a format extremely focused on Midrange and Control decks, with the black color representing a good part of the metagame.
WOE Highlights for Standard
White as a color already has a few good options for the format, creating a new archetype and offering support for the well-known decks.
With these three cards, it is quite possible that there will be a deck focused on Tokens or some variations of Midrange decks which use Tokens. The format already has many pieces which support this strategy, such as The Wandering Emperor and Wedding Announcement. Pollen-Shield Hare, Regal Bunnicorn and Three Blind Mice will come in to solidify that strategy.
This is a creature with evasion which can act as a "Lord" for creatures enchanted with auras, besides being a 4/4. Archon of the Wild Rose has good odds of playing in Selesnya Enchantments.
Cathar will always be best in decks which care about creature type, such as Soldiers, but being able to have the same effect at instant speed and targeting any creature, be it yours or the opponent's, opens up a new array of possibilities for the format.
Farsight Ritual can work as a Memory Deluge, but it offers Control decks another option for card advantage which has synergy with tokens, being able to look up to the top 8 cards in your deck for 4 manas - which brings some flexibility, an important trait for any deck.
As for Ice Out, it is a potential Counterspell in decks which can pay the Bargain cost, with no further comment needed. It might as well be played in spots occupied by Dissipate, which is very popular in Control decks.
Mono Blue Tempo gets another interesting piece. Tolarian Terror and Haughty Djinn decks will now have access to two 1-cost cantrips and will maybe see more play. Maybe now it will be more viable to play this deck's Izzet and Dimir versions.
This card can fit well into Mono-Red Aggro, serving as a source of burn on the initial turns, and a source of creating card advantage on later turns.
It is an effect that creates card advantage at the same time it removes resources from your opponent, and which, on the following turn, becomes a 4/4 creature with Flying and Trample, and also ramps when it attacks.
Decadent Dragon is a creature which has a lot of potential and can come up in some Rakdos deck or even a Grixis Midrange deck, decks which have practically disappeared from the format after the latest bans.
Black as a color will get even more powerful with the arrival of WOE and gets quite interesting additions for decks based on that color.
This is the only Planeswalker in the set. Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator has very interesting abilities which at first may not seem as powerful, but they open up a few possibilities.
Its +1 creates card advantage at the cost of exiling a card, while its -2 can fill the board with creatures which benefit from the first ability. Its ultimate can act as a wincon for late game, or it can really disrupt your opponent.
Beseech the Mirror is very strong, allowing you to cast a Sheoldred directly from the graveyard, or, in the worst-case scenario, place it in your hand, acting as a tutor, which isn't bad for Standard's power level, and it can define games. With the right build, this card will be extremely problematic to deal with.
Here we have one of the best, if not the best Adventure in the set for the Standard format. Virtue of Persistence is a removal in an Adventure which creates some life gain, and then you have access to a Breach the Multiverse's permanent effect, which fits better in decks with many removals.
This is another card which can be quite impactful - both its Adventure part and the creature part - and which on top of it all has synergy with Virtue of Persistence. Cruel Somnophage is a low-cost creature which grows as the game goes on. This card can both play in traditional Dimir Midrange and in other versions of Dimir.
This card seems bad in decks which depend on creatures to finish the game, but a deck in which creatures are second and planeswalkers have a more essential role might be the perfect home for Rankle's Prank. It is definitely a fun card!
I also talked about Blossoming Tortoise on another article, highlighting its potential in ramp decks in the Standard format. With good synergy with cards such as Wrenn and Seven and Tatyova, Steward of Tides, this card makes some very interesting ideas possible for this format.
Mosswood Dreadknight is another eye-catching Adventure. On one side, it is a spell which creates card advantage, and on the other, it is a 3/2 body with Trample and a bonus with a type of recursion which allows you to cast this card as an Adventure an extra time.
The color combination may not be one of the best in Standard currently, but it might just be time for other combinations to shine.
This is another card I highlighted on an article during previews.
Up the Beanstalk might be what Multicolored Ramp decks need to shine even more in the format. It is a source of card advantage in the right color and which has good synergy with that type of strategy.
Among the colorless cards, the card which most caught my eye when we discuss Standard is certainly The Irencrag. This is a two-mana artifact which ramps, which can make it possible to bring Sheoldred, the Apocalypse on turn 4, a The Wandering Emperor or even a Beseech the Mirror with Bargain looking for one of these cards.
The fact it is a legendary permanent is a big drawback, but only tests will tell how rewarding it can be to run more than two copies of this card with the goal of speeding up extremely powerful plays in the format.
Multicolored cards in this set didn't really stand out, but I highlight these two, as I believe they have the biggest potential if we think about the current metagame.
Ash, Party Crasher can bring back old Boros Aggro to the format, a deck which was at one point one of the best options for MTG Arena's Bo1. As for Likeness Looter, it has quite interesting abilities and deserves to be explored in the format.
Standard gets new manlands with the arrival of WOE. The last time we had access to this type of land in the format was with Dungeons & Dragons. Den of the Bugbear, Hive of the Eye Tyrant and Hall of Storm Giants have become very important pieces in the format's main decks, and were extremely powerful due to the possibility of going into any deck which used their colors, with decks that even used one of each.
The new manlands are dual lands, and, therefore, to use them properly, ideally you'll put them in decks which use their colors. With the current color combination which we see in current Standard, it is hard to see where these cards might fit, except maybe Restless Vinestalk, which could easily go into 4C and 5C Ramp, or Restless Fortress which can fit into BW Midrange and BW Control. We still need to wait for the release to test out the new lands, possibly even in new decks.
Wilds of Eldraine is a set which will probably be less relevant than old Eldraine, but which brings back mechanics which are very popular with players at the same time it presents us with new mechanics and will serve to boost some consolidated strategies, and even bring new mechanics to life.
One more article reaches its end. I hope you liked it. Leave your questions in the comment section and tell me what you expect from this new set for Standard. I'll try to answer all. See you next time!