Sunday 22 September 2019

Throne of Eldraine Preliminary Review Part IX

Wildborn Preserver 6.5

This seems fairly powerful in a level up sort of way. This is just a two drop bear like Scavenging Ooze that grows into a more serious threat over time. Preserver can grow much quicker and more easily than Ooze but it has neither lifegain nor graveyard disruption capacity. Preserver seems to be a good early threat, a good mana sink and an all round convenient card. The flash and reach help a decent amount too. This ultimately holds off anything and will often snipe down a faerie, thopter, or spirit token. Not the most exciting card but a good one. A cross between Sylvan Advocate and the Ooze, and better than the former too I think, which has been a reasonably effective cube card so far.

Hypnotic Sprite 4

This reminds me of Mystical Dispute except the upside is not having a juicy one mana Leak but instead getting a "free" 2/1 flier some time later on. Basically it is always a subpar counterspell and the upside, while somewhat assured, is not all that interesting. It isn't always going to be that relevant and is often off theme. I think this will see some play, it likely has decent abuses with bounce effects which are common in blue. Most spells cost three or less so this will afford some solid soft locks. Although good in those settings it seems to aimless and low powered to make it in the drafting cube. I will give it a quick test to be sure but it seems rather on the fair side. It does have a bit more application in a tribal setting where the dork mode gains a bit of power.

Syr Carah, the Bold 2

Nice to have this kind of effect on a body now but sadly at five it appeals a lot less than the enchantment and planeswalker alternatives at four. There is a tiny bit of Experimental Frenzy about this as you can just chain off burn spells which is pretty nice. Much as that sounds great Syr Carah is going to be dead before you get to untap and have your fun almost always. With enough ways to protect it then you probably don't have the time or the deck composition to really abuse the card.

Claim the First Born 6

This has a real chance of being good in cube. It is just so cheap for the swing it can bring. Most of the dorks in cube are things it hits, it is just spot removal too when they have dorks with sac outlets or  you have one yourself. Threaten effects are decent and this is the best one for the faster formats. It will steal powerful dorks and do so at key stages of the game while allowing for other things to  be getting done. This should average out to be a significant amount of face damage. It generally removes a blocker which we can call two damage on average but it obviously has a much higher ceiling than that. I suspect it will also do somewhere between two and three on average for the damage it does as well. This makes it a great Lava Spike, a great finisher, a great planeswalker control tool and sometimes even a removal spell. It is all a bit situational however and so that is the only real hurdle this has to deal with. On paper Reckless Charge is insane but in practice it is generally rather fairer. This feels like a similar sort of card but being disruptive I think it will perform better.

Worthy Knight 3.5

Easily the best tribal knight card we have yet seen. The Hero of Precinct One for knight decks if you will. As with Hero, you will not need that high of a trigger count for this to be impressive. Too high for the drafting cube but a lock in for those tribal builds extending potentially beyond just knights. It is cheap and generates threat and value passively. It is a huge synergy payoff while also being a benefactor of your other synergies.

Charming Prince 7.5

Is it a Bear? Is it a Charm? It is both! And a quality name to help get you there too. This is impressive I think. It does what you want from a Charm while being a suitably proactive play. I think you will be happy playing this in a fairly wide selection of builds even if it is best suited to the more proactive ones. It has scry, a flicker or some life. Scry is always good and does make this a pretty reasonable turn two play just to set you up nicely while progressing your own position. It is still great later on when you are digging for more specific things. Sure, it is low value for a card but it isn't useless by any means. Odds on it is more use than a lot of your other two drop things. Even a Wall of Omens doesn't help you find a specific out as quickly as this can! Lifegain is always something you can take but it is not so often that important. When it is however it is game winning. This is basically a cheap tempo two for one against red burn decks. It is a couple of extra cards in a black deck full of life for cards options and that sort of thing. Lastly we have the flicker mode which is the least often viable and still not always useful but when it is it is comfortably the most powerful. If you can flicker anything with a useful EtB effect, which is many cube dorks, then Charming Prince is potent value. It is a bit sneaky too, you can target things you own so you can steal things back than have been stolen. It is an until EoT effect too so if you have ways to flash him out he can be used to save another cards from spot or mass removal if you are willing to martyr the Prince! Obviously there is the effective untap option too. Mostly it will be about getting bonus 3/3 golem tokens and clues from your Blade Splicers and Thraben Inspectors. You want to use this for the flicker basically and the more you build to that the better it will be. You will never be unhappy however when you use it for the other modes. This has good design, good balance and should play really well too. I expect to see this getting more action than Flickerwisp although I do also expect to see those cards played together a lot of the time. This is a card this is getting its high rating from suitability and playability rather than power. There are higher powered or more efficient ways to do any of the modes offered already.

Outlaw's Merriment 1

Much as I love this it is pretty poor. It just looks really mediocre when put next to other token generators. Elspeth and Gideon both afford more immediate impact, control and power. Cards like Krenko and Hero of Bladehold offer way more tempo and game ending threat. Then of course we have cards like Assemble the Legion which just blow this out of the water for being an inevitable and hard to remove threat. I love the design, flavour and feel of this card. Sadly it needed to make the token right away for this to oust Assemble from the top spot of cards like it. It does cost one less and is probably better for the first two triggers as well meaning this is a good three turns ahead of Assemble but that isn't really the point. You play these because they are hard to remove enchantments, their relative sloth is the cost of that. If you don't need the safety or threat diversity you are absolutely playing one of the many faster acting threats over this or Assemble.

Scorching Dragonfire 6.5

Incendiary Flow becomes instant and gains the ability to exile planeswalkers at the cost of no longer being able to hit face. This is an overall downgrade in cube as it is less playable but in general I think it is a more potent card. In cube what this is comparing to is Lava Coil or Abrade. It is a good midrange and control card but a dodgier aggro one. This will be good anywhere you play it but I expect I will ultimately cut it for more rounded and flexible burn. In standard it should be great however. Perhaps even making it into modern if more small cards need dealing with using exile.

Syr Elenor, the Discerning 0

Overpriced for the effect and not a very exciting body to make up for that which makes the difficulty in targetting her a minor perk at best. I'll take Mulldrifter over this everyday of the week, or Fblthp the Lost.

Stolen by the Fea 1

This comes close to being good but falls short. At instant speed it would have been great. Bouncing any kind of non-land would have been a huge help too. Both of those perks and this would have been a premium card but as it is I don't see it getting enough love. You can't overshoot on X meaning you can only get as many tokens as their most expensive dork and your available mana. Being doubly restricted makes this weak as a late game blow out card and as an early tempo play. Certainly there are times this will be absolutely game winning but they will be too irregular while the average performance of the card will be mediocre.

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