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Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Blue

Other LSV Throne of Eldraine Set Reviews

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Ratings Scale

Retired and inducted into the Limited Hall of Fame: Pack Rat. Umezawa’s Jitte. The Scarab God.
5.0: The best of the best. (Niv-Mizzet, Parun. Skarrgan Hellkite. Ethereal Absolution.)
4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Thief of Sanity. Judith, the Scourge Diva. Experimental Frenzy.)
4.0: Good rare or top-tier uncommon. (Gate Colossus. Mortify. Biomancer’s Familiar.)
3.5: Top-tier common or solid uncommon. (Blade Juggler. Skewer the Critics. Skyknight Legionnaire.)
3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Sauroform Hybrid. Watcher in the Mist. Wojek Bodyguard.)
2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Ornery Goblin. Syndicate Messenger. Plague Wight.)
2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Radical Idea. Noxious Groodion. Ghor-Clan Wrecker.)
1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Wall of Mist. Axebane Beast.)
1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Feral Maaka. Knight of Sorrows. Prying Eyes.)
0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Expose to Daylight. Persistent Petitioners.)
0.0: Completely unplayable. (Font of Agonies. One with Nothing.)

Animating Faerie

Animating Faerie

Limited: 2.5 // 3.5

If you have few or no targets, this is a perfectly serviceable flier, and worth including in your deck. If you have a bunch of ways to make Food tokens, or other cheap artifacts, this becomes a potent threat and even an early pick.

Brazen Borrower

Brazen Borrower

Limited: 4.0

Flavor: 1.0

The combination of two fairly innocuous effects leads to a very powerful card. Getting a flash flier plus a bounce spell is a great deal for 3 and 2 mana respectively, and you don’t even need to pay it all at once. You rarely are going to miss out on Petty Theft, so think of this more as a bounce spell with a creature attached than anything else. I do have to dock it flavor points, though, since instead of stealing this actually returns things to their owner–not the same thing at all.

Charmed Sleep

Charmed Sleep

Limited: 3.5

Blue doesn’t do much better than this when it comes to common removal, so don’t sleep on picking these up. For three mana, this deals with just about anything, and it even sticks around to enable any cards you have that care about controlling enchantments (which is a minor theme of UW).

Corridor Monitor

Corridor Monitor

Limited: 1.5

The untap ability is mostly a throwaway, though it is a nice sideboard option against Charmed Sleep. Mostly what you are getting here is a 1/4 for two mana, which is a perfectly sound deal if you’re looking for defensive options.

Didn’t Say Please

Didn't Say Please

Limited: 2.0

This gets a slight bump due to the mill theme of the set; most decks still won’t want a 3-mana counterspell but if you have cards that care about filling the opponent’s graveyard, I wouldn’t be displeased to run this. Also, you’re practically required to scold the opponent when you cast this in person.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Limited: 1.0 // 3.0

In a deck without artifacts, Emry is unplayable. In a deck with 3+, she becomes very strong, especially if those artifacts are creatures. Getting to repeatedly play creatures out of your graveyard is quite good, and she even fills your bin for other purposes, like Raise Dead effects.

Fae of Wishes

Fae of Wishes

Limited: 3.5

First of all, a 1/4 flier for 2 mana is a great deal. That makes this playable on its face, and that’s without the decent bonus of finding whatever the best spell in your sideboard is. Note that even in best of one, you have a sideboard, so this works well regardless.

As for what you should leave in your sideboard to wish for, I wouldn’t leave premium removal there, since that’s still better off in your deck, but narrow sideboard answers are great, as are expensive or clunky spells (since spending four to get them usually means you’re in the mid or lategame already). If you are looking to make a last cut, this is a good tiebreaker, as cutting a spell from your maindeck gives you more options. Basically, you want a few choices when you cast Granted, but you don’t want to make your deck weaker to accommodate that.

Faerie Vandal

Faerie Vandal

Limited: 3.0

The “draw 2 cards” theme is well-supported in this set, and I like the payoffs across the board. Faerie Vandal just needs one counter to be worth the price, and it’s not too hard to get there. It also can ambush x/1’s nicely, and is a cheap flier that can wear equipment. I’d be happy speculating on this early, and later if you have enough enablers, this becomes one of the better cards in your deck.

Folio of Fancies

Folio of Fancies

Limited: 2.0

I actually fancy the folio more than you might expect. It’s very slow, and a card that takes some work, but it looks like an effective finisher in a control/mill deck. Imagine this: at the end of the opponent’s turn, you make both players draw 3-4 cards, then use it to mill 5-6 cards on your turn. On their turn, they are unlikely to play out all their cards, so you can keep milling for substantial amounts, all while having more resources to defend yourself since you’ve been drawing extra cards as well. To make this work, I’d highly prioritize cheap bounce spells and cheap defensive creatures, with cards like Merfolk Secretkeeper being perfect. You want to be in a spot where you are playing cards each turn while using the Folio, which is a hard-to-stop route to victory.

That all said, this is not good without some work, so don’t just jam it into any old deck.

Frogify

Frogify

Limited: 2.0

I’ve largely not been a fan of this effect, but this still is a playable way to take care of large threats. I dislike that it leaves your opponent with a relevant game piece, so if you are going the Frogify route, try and construct your deck such that it doesn’t care about a 1/1.

Gadwick, the Wizened

Gadwick, the Wizened

Limited: 4.5

Triple-blue is a lot less costly on a card that wants 6+ mana to begin with, as you can play this in a 2-color deck without worrying too much about having UUU right on turn three or four. Gadwick is really powerful, and I’d happily play it without the second ability, as XUUU draw X plus a 3/3 is fantastic. The tap ability means that you will win most games where you slam this, which makes it a bomb in my book.

Hypnotic Sprite

Hypnotic Sprite

Limited: 3.0

I’m a big fan of this Sprite (which, unlike the beverage, is an actual high pick). Paying UU for a 2/1 flier is great, and adding a situational counter to that is an awesome bonus. I’d tend towards running this out there turn two if you have good three and four mana plays already, but if you don’t you likely want to save it for the counter (and resulting two-for-one).

Into the Story

Into the Story

Limited: 2.0 // 3.5

Drawing four cards for four mana is well above what you’d expect to get (unless you’re greedier than I am, which is unlikely), so where this lands depends on how good your deck is enabling it and when you want to cast it. In a dedicated mill deck, it’s a solid 3.5, and in a slow control deck it’s always playable, but it’s a little expensive in a normal midrange deck with no enablers. I like speculating on this early, as the effect is powerful enough to justify doing some work for it.

The Magic Mirror

The Magic Mirror

Limited: 0.0

“Mirror mirror on the wall, you’re the most unplayable of them all”

I’m not sold on The Magic Mirror, and in fact, recommend against playing it in your deck under all circumstances. The problem is that once this gets going, you probably just end up decking yourself, and the kind of decks that can actually cast this for a reasonable amount don’t have the best finishing potential. Plus, investing this much in a long-game card advantage mechanism that doesn’t give you the time to actually use the cards (since you probably deck 4-6 turns after casting this) will almost never translate into more wins. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and drawing 4+ cards per turn is not where you want to be, given that you can’t turn off the firehose.

Mantle of Tides

Mantle of Tides

Limited: 1.0 // 2.5

Mantle of Tides is a little too expensive to equip to be worth playing if you aren’t getting it for free most of the time, but it is good in a deck built to utilize it. If you have 4+ ways to draw extra cards, and a couple of those are at instant speed, this can be a potent threat and something that really annoys the opponent while making combat decisions.

Merfolk Secretkeeper

Merfolk Secretkeeper

Limited: 1.0 // 3.0

This is most certainly going to be the most overdrafted card in the set. People love mill and people love low-impact one-drops, and this is both of those PLUS a shiny new mechanic. Still, it does actually have utility. It enables the cards that care about filling the opponent’s graveyard, it blocks early, and given enough of them, can actually deck the opponent. I think that fewer decks will want this than people think, but once you have 3+ good payoffs for the mill effect, it’s actually a desirable card.

Midnight Clock

Midnight Clock

Limited: 1.0 // 3.0

Now this is the kind of control finisher I can actually get behind. In a deck that can realistically stall out the game (and run out the clock), this provides some extra mana early and a powerful draw/recursion engine late. That’s good enough for me, and I like the idea of playing this in my control decks that are trying to go big. It’s slow, but a mana rock for 3 isn’t the worst deal if you get upside, and the upside here is quite large.

Mirrormade

Mirrormade

Limited: 1.5

The payoff here is ultimately not that great, as you are getting a copy of a solid card but rarely something broken. The downside is when this rots in your hand, and that’s what makes me skeptical. In a deck with 5+ good things to copy, I’d play this, but otherwise I’d avoid it unless you see something from the opponent’s deck that you really want to copy.

Mistford River Turtle

Mistford River Turtle

Limited: 2.5

Turts McGurts here is a solid defender and a surprisingly threatening attacker. This rarely will die in combat, so getting something powerful through is a nice ability, and this can sit back and block as needed. I’d tend to want this in my deck, though note that it doesn’t play nicely with Humans.

Moonlit Scavengers

Moonlit Scavengers

Limited: 1.5 // 3.0

In a deck with just a couple of artifacts/enchantments, this is a little overcosted, though it’s still big enough to have an impact. In a deck that reliably can trigger the ability, it’s great, and a card I’d be very happy playing. I’d look for 4+ cards that make this happen, with a bonus if they are cards that tend to stay in play (like Charmed Sleep or Trapped in the Tower).

Mystical Dispute

Mystical Dispute

Limited: 1.0

Mana Leak for three mana is not a card I want to play, so I’m largely regarding this as a sideboard option. I’d always board this in against an opponent with a bunch of blue spells, as paying one mana to counter something is an insane tempo swing.

Opt

Opt

Limited: 3.0

Opt has never been better. It cleanly enables the draw-2 mechanic while being a solid playable in its own right, and all that for just one mana. It’s also at instant speed, which makes a lot of the plays more threatening, so if you are in blue-red I’d expect to heavily prioritize Opt.

Overwhelmed Apprentice

Overwhelmed Apprentice

Limited: 1.5 // 3.0

This is similar to Merfolk Secretkeeper, though scrying for 2 is good even if you aren’t getting much from the mill plan. I have this as a marginal playable without combos (that’s not carte blanche to take this early – you know who you are), and a good addition to any mill deck.

Queen of Ice

Queen of Ice

Limited: 3.0

Queen of Ice operates as a good defensive or offensive card, which basically just makes it a good card. It can lock something down on curve or act as a 5-mana play, as well as just being a decent card on three mana. Too many of these may get a little clunky (it’s not exactly like Frost Lynx in that regard), but I like this card quite a bit.

Run Away Together

Run Away Together

Limited: 2.5

As with most bounce spells, there are diminishing returns, but the first copy of this is going to be pretty good. Note that you need both targets to cast it, so it’s a little limited, but saving your creature from removal and getting a free bounce is pretty nice. It also can proactively bounce their creature plus your ETB creature (think adventures), so I’d lean towards wanting one in most decks.

Sage of the Falls

Sage of the Falls

Limited: 3.5

Sage of the Falls is quite big, making it a solid bit of board impact, and has a recurring good ability. That’s a recipe for success, and I’d be happy with this in any deck, as it finds your good cards and prevents mana flood at a very low cost.

So Tiny

So Tiny

Limited: 2.5

Flash is the key here, as this operates both as a combat trick and a removal spell. It can win close combats or lock down creatures, and once you fill their graveyard it goes way up in value. Once you know you’re the mill deck, this becomes a solid 3.0, but until then it’s worth slightly less.

Steelgaze Griffin

Steelgaze Griffin

Limited: 2.0

I’m not the biggest fan of 5-drops that aren’t great on defense, as you often are tapping out to cast them in a spot where you want a blocker. That said, this can steel games quite easily, as a common 4/4 flier is not something you normally see. In the draw-2 deck, having a couple of these as a top-end sounds good to me.

Stolen by the Fae

Stolen by the Fae

Limited: 4.0

Speaking of stealing games…

Not only is this card the best Gaby Spartz token I’ve seen (look at the Faerie on the left), but it’s a huge swing in any game where you cast it. You can’t just make as many faeries as you want, since the X has to equal the target’s cost exactly, but bouncing a creature and getting 3+ tokens is insane. You can also bounce your own stuff if need be, though that will be less common.

Syr Elenora, the Discerning

Syr Elenora, the Discerning

Limited: 3.5

I too am discerning when it comes to my 5-drops, but an x/4 that draws a card is well worth the cost. This will usually hit pretty hard, and the ability making it harder to target is sure to annoy the opponent.

Tome Raider

Tome Raider

Limited: 3.0

We may be spoiled by Cloudkin Seer, but that doesn’t make Tome Raider less of a good card. I’d always run this, and be happy playing as many as I could pick up, because a 1/1 flier that replaces itself is definitely worth paying three for. Plus, in the draw-2 deck, this triggers a bunch of abilities, which makes it even better than normal.

Turn into a Pumpkin

Turn into a Pumpkin

Limited: 3.0

I look forward to turning many permanents into pumpkins over the course of the set, as the bounce + draw combination is always a good one. Unlike me, this even leaves leftovers sometimes, and that’s a bonus on top of an already-good card.

Unexplained Vision

Unexplained Vision

Limited: 2.0

Unexplained Vision is a powerful effect to be sure, but once you are in the 5+ cost territory you often won’t have time to skip a turn of playing cards that affect the board. I’d look to play this mainly in control decks, or occasionally as the top end in an aggro deck that needs a little more punch.

Vantress Gargoyle

Vantress Gargoyle

Limited: 3.5

The downside of this being unable to enter combat isn’t as big as you might think. It can block for the first good chunk of the game, which slows things down and gives you time to fill their graveyard. By the time you’re at less than 4 cards in hand it can usually start swinging, and all of that is a steal for just two mana. You don’t need to go out of your way to enable this, even if it does get a bit better in a dedicated mill deck.

Vantress Paladin

Vantress Paladin

Limited: 1.0 // 3.0

In a normal 2-color deck, this is just about unplayable. In a mono-blue deck, it’s a solid beater. That gives you a pretty good idea of when you want this, and if you do end up in a 11-12 Island deck, this lands somewhere in between.

Wishful Merfolk

Wishful Merfolk

Limited: 1.5

I’m not the biggest fan of defensive ground creatures that die to anything but a 1/1, and being able to pay to attack with this doesn’t help a whole lot. I’d play this if you really lacked 2-drops and wanted blockers but would wish not to otherwise.

Witching Well

Witching Well

Limited: 1.5 // 3.0

I actually like the look of this a lot in the artifact-matters style of decks. It comes down cheaply, gives you a small bonus, and when you no longer need an artifact in play you can cash it in for two cards. In a deck that gets no additional mileage out of this, I’d largely recommend against it, as it’s just a little too expensive to get full value.

Top 5 Blue Commons

5. Moonlit Scavengers

4. Queen of Ice

3. Tome Raider

2. Opt

1. Charmed Sleep

I really like the cantrip cards in this set, though once you get past Charmed Sleep I think all the commons are pretty close together. Once you know which deck you are aiming towards, I expect the rankings to change since different decks have different needs, and besides Sleep none of the commons are windmill slams across the board.

LSV

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