We wanted to do something a little different in the way of a preview for Eldritch Moon. I have collected a list of the top 5 cards each of our sites authors are most excited about and why!
5. Mind’s Dilation
The Commander player in me rejoices! While not exactly a card I expect to see in any competitive tournaments in the near future, Commander players will have a great time with this fun enchantment that can potentially take over. Because Commander games are a bit slower, spending time to develop out your resources, a 7-mana enchantment will be a perfectly suitable card.
4. Liliana, the Last Hope
Many people were quite struck at Liliana’s abilities when she was first spoiled; they thought she was quite bad. I believe those people are very wrong. Any planeswalker that requires so little mana to cast and can protect themselves is worthy of consideration, and I believe Liliana, the Last Hope to be a card that we see in many high finishing decks in the very near future.
3. Splendid Reclamation
As you can tell my list of cards from Eldritch Moon doesn’t necessarily equate to “top 5 best cards from the set”. Splendid Reclamation is an awesome card, one that I really want to play in draft or sealed. While it is a rare, it’s also a card not many people are going to want and so if it is opened I expect to get it. Why do I want this card so badly? Delirium and self-mill decks. One of my favorite things to do in Shadows over Innistrad draft was build a deck that milled itself to the point of exhaustion. Splendid Reclamation seems like a fun card for those decks.
2. Eldritch Evolution
This card is busted. We’ve seen these types of effects before and cards, and some of those are the most powerful cards in Magic (think Natural Order). While there are certainly conditions to Eldritch Evolution, I can see this being completely busted in the Modern environment. I’m not quite sure as to where it would fit right now, but I’m positive somebody will find a way to abuse this card sooner or later.
1. Emrakul, the Promised End
I mean, come on. This card is awesome. While I initially didn’t expect Emrakul to have so much constructed hype around her, I can definitely see why this is a thing. Besides being a 13/13 with other great stats, the fact that you get to Mindslaver your opponent as an on cast trigger makes this card gross. While initially a cost of (13) seems prohibitive, in older formats this is something that is easily negated by getting more and more card types into your graveyard. While it might not make huge waves in Standard, (although it certainly could), expect to see Emrakul, the Promised End in any number of competitive decks. And Worth, please let me cast this at least a few times in limited 🙂
5. Tamiyo, Field Researcher
Not only is the new Tamiyo great on her own, but she’s also another planeswalker that can ultimate immediately and still survive with Doubling Season in play. Pretty sure I want to try and make this a real thing now that we have another piece for it.
4. Collective Effort
This is basically like a Valorous Stance on steroids. The versatility of this card is unreal and, in conjunction with Dromoka’s Command, it makes sure that no enchantment is safe in Standard.
3. Distended Mindbender
This takes the best part of Thought-Knot Seer…doubles it…then removes the draw back. If you’re not looking at this card in conjunction with cards like Matter Reshaper you’re doing it wrong!
2. Ishkanah, Grafwidow
This card is just insane. Four bodies, reach, and life loss spread over one card? It’s like a stronger Cloudgoat Ranger. I expect this to make a huge splash in Standard, especially if Spirits become a thing.
5. Elder Deep-Fiend
My Faerie Bias may be showing a bit but this is an extremely powerful effect. I haven’t scoured the format for cost-reduced creatures yet but that would be a good place to start. There are a lot of scary Emerge monsters and they can all slot into this position on the list, but the pseudo-Time Walk is going to win out for most exciting effect.
4. Thalia, Heretic Cathar and Gisela, the Broken Blade
I grouped these together as busted white mid-cost creatures. The former wants to be in a more aggressive shell and can be found with Collected Company while the latter is likely more control-oriented and can be melded in the right deck. Both are powerful, hard-hitting creatures that demand immediate answers or threaten to gain substantial advantage each turn they stay in play.
3. Grapple with the Past
Most of these ‘top 5’ posts are generally the big hitters of the format. Especially as development has pushed towards a more rare-centric constructed profile. But there are still some less flashy non-rares that crop up as obvious role-players and value cards, and Grapple with the Past is one of them. With creatures being as strong as they are, and lands rarely if ever running out of utility, this type of card is extremely pushed at two mana, let alone as an instant! Self-mill has all sorts of value attached to it already, and the smooth two-for-one with selection is just gravy.
2. Emrakul, the Promised End
To the surprise of absolutely no one except Jace, Emrakul has ascended upon Innistrad, and she means business. This card has been discussed to death already so I’ll just give you the short version: One of the best finishers of the modern era and priced to move at about 7.5 mana. Get used to being Mindslavered. So what could beat out the big spaghetti monster?
1. Spell Queller
This innocuous spirit is truly busted. Part Remand, part Tidehollow Sculler, part Reflector Mage, but Spell Queller goes beyond such comparisons. The 2/3 flying body lets you play a one-card Counter Spell strategy, and even the creature-type comes with a handful of favorable interactions: Namely, Rattlechains and the currently underrated Mausoleum Wanderer. The tempo granted is enormous, and that’s assuming the spell stolen can be recast profitably when this dies, which can be an iffy proposition with counter magic and even removal. Hitting a ramp spell or key early-game creature is effectively countering it, and any time you end the game with this still in play is going to feel all sorts of dirty. It slots into so many decks and will over-perform in them all, making Spell Queller my choice for #1 most exciting card from Eldritch Moon.
(He specified no order, but we did it for him anyway!)
5. Decimator of the Provinces
A huge finisher for commander adding a much desired second Craterhoof Behemoth like spell to the decks that want it. Very fun with Tooth and Nail and a really good chance at killing the whole table make this one big pig in my book.
4. Thalia’s Lancers
Another tutor for commander deck wanting to abuse kiki-jiki and a they do a really fun Captain Sisay impression. Should be a staple for many white based commanders decks looking for a creature tutor.
3. Eldritch Evolution
As a man who may have loved Zombie Pod way too much back in the day, I want to relive those days. This card is extremely powerful and may have a lot of use in both standard and modern. Time will tell, but I can’t wait to brew.
2. Graf Rats/Midnight Scavengers//Chittering Host
This is sort of a cheat, but I really love the flavor with these cards. I’m sure I will try to draft this combo at some point, but really if I flip these even once I’ll be happy. And have you looked closer at Chittering Host? Love that art.
1. Harmless Offering
This is a choice that I make with no relation to the power level or playability of the the card. Donate was good in the past, but what is there really to combo with it now? That said, how can you say no to that face?
5. Liliana, the Last Hope
In my opinion this may be the most underrated card in the set. Her +1 both protects herself and helps you break through ground stalls (I’m looking at you Sylvan Advocate), her -2 lets you recur your best threats, and her ultimate is game winning. While she won’t be taking over Liliana of the Veil‘s slot in older formats, there’s a lot of subtle power here that combined makes a great card for Standard.
4. Bedlam Reveler
This card is either broken in half or terrible. Cost reduction combined with drawing three cards has already proven itself to be an absurd effect (see Treasure Cruise), but only relying on Instants and Sorceries along with discarding your whole hand is a pretty big drawback. Cards like this excite the brewer in me, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
3. Bruna, the Falling Star
While most of the hype has been around Gisela as a mini Baneslayer, my focus is on the bigger of the corrupted sisters. Seven mana may seem like a lot, but an uncounterable reanimation effect attached to a giant body is exactly the kind of payoff a dedicated Delirium wants. It also has the potential to enable Brisela which seems nigh unbeatable if you can stick it.
2. Eldritch Evolution
The toolbox ability is real! Any card that has this much flexibility, raw power, and lets you cheat on mana almost guarantees that it will see play just as a value spell. Throw on some dies trigger shenanigans alongside infinite combos and we’ve got a potential multi-format all star.
1. Elder Deep-Fiend
How is this a Magic card? Best case it comes down on Turn 4 where a 5/6 will be the biggest thing on the board, Time Walks the opponent, then starts bashing in. Worst case you play it late and it completely turns the tide when it comes to combat math. Don’t even get me started about chaining multiples of these things thanks to Sanctum of Ugin. I believe this is hands down the single best card in the set.
5. It of the Horrid Swarm
I’m very excited to try this out in Pauper. In certain tron builds, Maul Splicer has been a good value kill condition but IotHS might actually be better. You get two less stats, but the potential to cast it with 4 mana via emerging from a Sea Gate Oracle might make it a better option. Although it lacks blinkability, it is certainly more tempo-oriented.
4. Ulvenwald Captive
Werebear is one of my favorite Magic cards of all time, and this is pretty close to it. Instead of seven cards in my graveyard to make it huge, I need only seven mana. I look forward to casting a “were-” mana producer again, even if it’s only good enough for sealed.
3. Splendid Reclamation
This is sort of a Nega-Scape shift; it is a very similar one card combo but with very different set-up. I can certainly envision using cards that mill myself consistently in order to get a turn 4 valakut kill. This might actually make my foil Edge of Autumns useful. I fully intend to toy around with this card in modern.
In Pauper, this can act as a pseudo grapeshot for the currently dead storm decks. The negative part is you have to play it a turn before going off, but if it means I can play pauper storm again, I’m going to certainly try it out. It might also be good in the awful pauper “defender” deck.
1. Subjugator Angel
I am indeed a Momir Basic aficionado (Eldrich Moon Momir set review coming soon!), and this is a premier six drop. Ivory Giant can certainly cause some damage at seven mana if you have a lot of white creatures, but this can potentially win the game on the spot with zero downside. I look forward to punching my monitor when all of my opponents get this for exact alpha-strike damage.