Once upon a time, there came a Magic set full of wonder. Where fairy tales came to life and blue/green was the most hated colour combination of the format. I’m of course talking about 2019’s Throne of Eldraine. Well, thanks to Wizards of the Coast we’re going back to this amazing fairy tale inspired plane in the new Wilds of Eldraine. Read on to experience this enchanting tale in our Wilds of Eldraine review and check out our pack opening below!
Wilds of Eldraine Review – Story
During the events of March of the Machine, the Phyrexians invaded the multiverse and Eldraine wasn’t safe from its influence. To combat the Phyrexians, the fae of Eldraine cast a spell known as the Wicked Slumber to put the Phyrexians to sleep. However, this also put a number of its inhabitants to sleep. Now with the war over, the occupants of the plane have to pick up their lives again.
With their king gone, it’s up to his children to take up the mantle, though they both have their own way of doing things. While the more bookish Will Kenrith seeks to bring the kingdoms together through his council, his hot-headed sister Rowan is trying for a more hands on approach. As Rowan is approached by a mysterious woman named Eriette, she’s told about her mysterious past as well as the past of her mother.
Wilds of Eldraine Review – What’s in the set?
With this being the ninety-seventh for Magic, you can expect a set of 266 regular cards plus the usual assortment of full art lands and special showcase cards. Along with the standard extended art cards, the storybook frame style makes its return from the original Eldraine set. In addition to all these lovely cards, you can also find some very special reprints. Yes, much like March of the Machine’s Multiverse Legends and The Brother’s War Retro Artifacts, Wizards of the Coast have taken a certain card type and selected 63 of them to reprint.
This time they’ve decided to reprint some fantastic enchantments and have given this special little bonus set the quite fitting name Enchanting Tales, but we’ll talk about them a little later on. One final thing to look out for are the much anticipated, Universes Within versions of The Walking Dead Secret Lair cards.
Yes, Wizards of the Cast have finally decided to bring their first Universes Beyond set back for their in-universe reprints. If you’re curious about what exactly Universes Beyond is, I recommend you check out our previous MTG review for the special Lord of the Rings set!
Wilds of Eldraine Review – New and Returning Mechanics
First off, let’s talk about the returning mechanics:
Like I mentioned before, Adventures make their return in this set. First appearing in Throne of Eldraine, these are special split cards that give your spells a lot of extra value. While it’s placed on permanent cards, Adventures are instants and sorceries that have a range of effects.
When you cast the Adventure side you send your creature (or now artifact or enchantment) on, well, an adventure. This means you cast the Adventure side, exile the card and can then play the permanent at a later time.
While less of a mechanic and more of a theme, Food returns in a big way in Wilds of Eldraine. In a world of fairy tale creatures, of course there’s going to be some living food. While cards like Night of Sweets’ Revenge and Greta, Sweettooth Scourge (a very clever play on Gretel), use food for abilities and advantage, Eldraine is the only plane we’ve seen that has living food that can bite back.
We have the glorious return of the fastest biscuit in the game Gingerbrute but we now have a great edible powerhouse in Tough Cookie and even better, we have a legendary gingerbread knight in Syr Ginger, The Meal Ender. Just be sure not to touch the gumdrop buttons.
You ever seen a biscuit the can take a bite out of you?
And now it’s time to move onto our new mechanics:
The first of our brand new mechanics is Bargain. This ability adds some versatility to the cards it’s printed on. By sacrificing an artifact, enchantment or token when you cast the spell you get an extra effect tacked onto the card. While you don’t need to Bargain when you cast the card, it’s nice to have the versatility on hand.
The second new mechanic we’ll take a look at is Celebration. This mechanic is only found on permanents and currently only on some red and white cards. For this mechanic, if you have a second nonland permanent enter the battlefield you’ll get a special effect. While this mostly just gives a minor buff, it is perfect for the aggressive deck that wants to play low to the ground and try to win quickly.
The final new mechanic of Wilds of Eldraine is Roles. These are special token enchantments that will either buff your creatures or debuff your opponent’s creatures. While it’s not a massive change to the boardstate, it’s also worth remembering that if a creature already has a Role token on it, they can only be given a new one by sacrificing the first. The ability to create these tokens is tacked onto other spells that will happen as the spell resolves.
Wilds of Eldraine Review – Showcase Art and Enchanting Tales
As with each new set that comes out we’re treated to some truly beautiful showcase art. It seems Wizards of the Coast have decided that each specific plane gets its own unique showcase art that represents the themes of that plane. With Eldraine being a fairytale inspired plane, we get the very beautiful storybook themed showcase art. Inspired by classic book illustrations, every time you look at this art it’s like you’re entering a world of enchantment.
Speaking of enchantment, we need to talk about the special set Enchanting Tales. These are reprints of many iconic (and some not so iconic) enchantments. You can have the potential to pull some high price cards like Rhystic Study and Doubling Season in brand new and unique art. But it doesn’t stop there!
While you can find these enchantments in the set boosters and collector boosters, you can also find special anime art variants in only the collector boosters. Wizards of the Coast knows what many of their players like and want, we’re all just nerds at the end of the day.
Card art you can hear.
Plus if you’re really lucky, you can find extra special confetti foil variants of the anime cards. Just check one out in the gif below!
Wilds of Eldraine Review – Commander Decks
The final thing to mention are the commander decks that come with the set. As with each new set released we get a couple of new commander decks to enjoy. We have two to cover this time around.
Virtue and Valor
This is a green/white go wide enchantment deck. With a bit more of a focus on the new role enchantment tokens, this deck is your typical go wide strategy where you buff your creatures and gain extra value off of casting and even just having enchantments around.
This deck is a blue/black deck that also features a go wide strategy but with faeries instead. As you pump out more of the pesky little bugs you can use your counter magic to control the board and tell your opponents “no”. While definitely not as hard hitting as the other deck, I wouldn’t be so hasty to count this one out. If there’s one thing I know it’s no never trust the FAERIES!
Wilds of Eldraine Review – Conclusion
So there you have it folks, our comprehensive breakdown of Wilds of Eldraine. I love this plane and everything that comes with it and look forward to seeing what story the future holds. Hopefully we can return to this set once more for some even more fairy tale wonder.
A review pack was kindly provided by Wizards of the Coast for the purpose of our Wilds of Eldraine review. If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out more of our tabletop coverage and join the Qualbert Discord to chat with us about upcoming Magic the Gathering sets!