Hello ladies and gentlemen, Harrison here with another Magic: The Gathering article for you folks. Now that Eldritch Moon has hit our tables, and we have all had a chance to play around with the new cards, I thought I would share a few of my favourite brewing opportunities. These aren’t the immediately powerful options like Spell Queller or Emrakul, the Promised End, but just some exciting and potentially promising options for your local FNM.
For when the answer to “Who you gunna call?” is “The Gatewatch”.
Now, I admit to cheating a little here, the Ol’ Chains not actually being an Eldritch Moon card. But the two powerhouse options of Selfless Spirit and the above-mentioned Spell Queller have enabled the UW Spirit deck that was teased in Shadows to actually win some games, and Rattlechains is one of the linchpins of that archetype. With games reminiscent of Merfolk in Modern and Legacy, and Delver in previous Standard formats, UW Spirits is rapidly becoming a staple of the format. Cheap, high value creatures backed up by removal and counterspells? Seems like a good way to win games.
Going to take more than two hobbits and a knife to take down this spider.
I’ll just have to pull back the curtain for you here a little right now. I put together my list for this article before the Pro Tour, but wasn’t able to actually put any words down until after. Luckily, in the case of the Spider Queen, I was proven correct. EMN has seen quite a few archetypes that had previously been not-quite-there come into the spotlight, and BG Delirium might be the biggest success story of them all. Providing six power and more importantly 11 toughness spread across four bodies, Ishkanah is fantastic value-for-mana, and one of the key components required to keep Collected Company decks in check.
Hakuna Matata all over your face!
Hands up, who’s lost a game to a Craterhoof Behemoth out of nowhere? Well Decimator can (literally) Emerge out of nowhere to do the same thing. A potent top end finisher for Elves (Shaman of the Pack and Dwynen’s Elite are still in Standard, remember) and GW Tokens alike, be prepared for the Eldrazi Boar to do more than kill one in ten.
Still the second most awkward vampire-with-a-bent-knee in Innistrad…
A free discard outlet on turn three? Two black mana on the previous turn.
A 3/3 flying vampire? Three black mana.
Turning that flyer into a 6/5 and wrathing your opponent’s board? Three creatures (Dark Salvation, anyone?)
Being able to do it all again with your next one? Priceless.
When you love your horse. Like, really, REALLY love your horse.
There have been some really creatures at 1W in Magic’s history. Stoneforge Mystic. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. And Lone Rider has the potential to stand with those greats. With a very easy to hit flip trigger (3 life? Seriously?) and an absolutely insane stat line on the other side, Lone Rider is going to be a staple for a long time moving forward. My preferred way to flip him/it/them? Odric, Lunarch Marshal.
“I’ve made a horrible mistake” That Guy, 2016
Do you remember when you only had to pay one blue mana to draw three cards in standard? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Now you have to pay a whole two (TWO!) red mana, but you do get a 3/4 prowess along with it. But what about the discard? Who cares! You can get a Lightning Bolt (cough, Fiery Temper, cough) along with it as well!
But seriously, the Reveler has the potential to be a monster. While it does have a little more of a deck building requirement than Treasure Cruise, the potential pay off is just as -if not even more – back breaking. Reloading your hand AND a game winning threat? Sounds like a winner.
So that’s it folks, six of my personal favourites to play with in our new standard format. From archetype enablers, to new deck building opportunities, Eldritch Moon promises to be a very exciting addition to the Company-ridden Standard format. What are you building with?