Now that Throne of Eldraine has been out for several months and the meta has had time to shake out, we’re taking a look at the 10 strongest cards from this set. One thing is for sure – green seems to be the best color in the meta at the moment.
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10. Bonecrusher Giant
Starting us off at #10 is Bonecrusher Giant. This adventure style card is an aggressive two-for-one that is basically a mandatory include in any deck running red. Its instant side, Stomp, is a 2-mana Shock that is useful in killing common early game drops like Edgewall Innkeeper, Pelt Collector, and Knight of the Ebon Legion.
The creature side is a resilient 4/3 body that works well against both aggro and control decks. With 3 toughness, it acts as a deterrent against fast aggro creatures run in Rakdos Knights or RDW. If you want to remove the Giant with a spell, it’ll cost you 2 life to do so and usually a wasted turn from tapping all your mana.
With 4 attack, Bonecrusher Giant also can’t just be ignored. Against heavier control decks, you can simply tap him every turn to put your opponent on a 5-turn clock.
9. Questing Beast
Questing Beast is, well, a beast on the battlefield. He eats up planewalkers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The current meta seems to have relatively few decks running planeswalkers, but part of that is likely due to Questing Beast warping the meta itself.
Even though there aren’t that many planeswalkers roaming around these days, ramping into a T3 Questing Beast is still a strong play. If you can get a Vivien, Arkbow Ranger onto the battlefield to give him +1 counters and trample alongside his deathtouch, all the better.
8. Murderous Rider
Murderous Rider is one of the main reasons to splash black in your deck, and you usually always want 3-4 in your deck. This card instantly removes any creature or planeswalker and also serves as a 2/3 body with lifelink, making it great against both aggro and control decks. People figured this card was strong when first revealed, and they were right.
7. Trail of Crumbs
This is another card no one initially saw much value in, but has proven to be extremely valuable in food-based decks. It’s the draw engine that keeps the Jund Food deck that won the Mythic Championship going.
Whenever you sac a food, you can pay an additional 1 mana to get a free look at the top two cards of your deck, putting one in your hand. Here’s a great thread on r/spikes about Trail of Crumbs being the best value engine in Standard.
6. Gilded Goose
This little bird provides enormous value for just 1 mana: ramp of any color, 2 toughness, flying, and can continually produce food throughout the game. The latter can prove to be really useful even in later stages of the game, as it serves as sacrifice fodder for Vraska, Korvold, Mayhem Devil, Cauldron Familiar, etc. While it may seem like a waste to waste a removal spell on the Goose, it can often be the correct play.
5. The Great Henge
“Let’s make a mythic artifact for green. Should it have mana ramp, lifegain, stat boosts, or card draw?”
Jokes aside, resolving The Great Henge essentially means you’ve won the game. It not only provides that +1/+1 stat boost that is so important in mirror matches, but more importantly gives you an additional two mana every turn and endless card draw. While green is typically known for having big, bulky creatures, The Great Henge allows you to go big and wide to overtake your opponents.
It’s 9 cmc makes it seem daunting to cast, but it’s actually fairly easy to play if you have a Lovestruck Beast or Rotting Regisaur on the battlefield.
4. Edgewall Innkeeper
Few people predicted how good this 1/1 would be when the set first released, but this guy is the engine that keeps all the Adventure decks running.
The longer Edgewall Innkeeper remains alive, the more value he generates. Some opponents might make the mistake of leaving him alive, given he’s “just a 1/1”, but will likely quickly realize their mistake by the time he’s drawn you 5-10 cards.
Card advantage is one of the biggest edges you can gain in a game of Magic, allowing you to fish for the most important cards in your deck like Vivien, Arkbow Ranger or The Great Henge. Opponents are often forced to spend 2-3 or more mana to deal with the 1 mana Innkeeper, which also means you gain a mana advantage just by playing it.
3. Fae of Wishes
Fae of Wishes is a two-for-one that provides incredible value, especially when combined with Fires of Invention. You can fetch gamebreakers like Command the Dreadhorde, Planewide Celebration, or Casualties of War and play them on the same turn.
The card is particularly potent in the BO1 format, since it effectively gives you a 15-card advantage over your opponent. You can fetch any card from your sideboard to answer precisely what your opponent is doing.
The 1/4 body of Fae of Wishes also acts as a great early defender, allowing you to safely stall into the later stages of the game. Its activated ability also can’t be ignored, as it lets you discard two cards to return Fae of Wishes back to your hand so you can fetch another card.
Embercleave is the trump card in any aggro deck. If you’re playing against a red deck, you should always play around this card. Since the card costs one less mana to cast per attacker, it’s very possible to cast Embercleave on turn 3 or 4. Sometimes this is game over, especially if it’s equipped onto the likes of a Rotting Regisaur or Lovestruck Beast.
Because Embercleave equips onto an attacker the turn it’s cast, the only real way to counter it is to leave some mana untapped so you can cast an Instant artifact destroyer like Return to Nature or Murderous Rider to remove the creature. This always comes at a cost, though, and you’ll likely be playing the rest of the match in a reactive state versus proactive.
In a format dominated by midrange and control, Embercleave stands out as one of the few weapons aggro decks have to level the playing field.
1. Fires of Invention
Free spells are always good, and Fires of Invention is a testament to that. The card has spawned numerous decks, and you can add “Fires” to basically any deck title and it’d work. It also works with basically any color combination (Jeskai, Grixis, Temur…), although Jeskai seems to be the strongest currently.
When a Fires deck goes off, it goes off hard. We’ve probably all been a victim of a Cavalier of Gales and Cavalier of Flames getting cast on the same turn, hasted, and beating us down. Or a Kenrith + Cavalier combo that hurts just as much.
With draw engine cards like Drawn From Dreams and Fae of Wishes, it’s also not too difficult to find the card. All in all, this card is just insanely strong and even toes the line for broken.
So Good They Were Banned (ie. OP)
Oko, Thief of Crowns
This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include something about the most broken card of all, Oko, Thief of Crowns. Regardless what you think of the design, this card is simply busted, as evidenced by the fact that it’s even rampant in other formats like Modern and Historic.
Once Upon A Time
Along with Oko, Veil of Summer (not Eldraine) and Once Upon A Time were also so good they had to be banned. OUAT essentially gave you a free mulligan and made it far too easy to find the right cards you needed early game – all for a cost of 0.
So all in all, not too surprising these cards were banned.
Witch’s Oven / Cauldron Familiar
By themselves, neither of these cards are exactly gamebreaking. But when combined together, they provide insane value for the price of just two mana!
Once you get both cards out on the battlefield and have some food generation (Gilded Goose), you can simply keep saccing and recurring Cauldron Familiar to slowly bleed out your opponent’s health. If you have something like a Mayhem Devil or Korvold on the battlefield as well, it only adds to the combo’s effectiveness.
Cauldron Familiar can also serve as an excellent chump blocker, effectively making big creatures useless. That is, unless, they have Trample, which is why we’ve seen the rise in popularity of Vivien, Arkbow Ranger recently.
Rankle is still one of the coolest cards to come out of Eldraine. His ability to make an opponent discard a card, sacrifice a creature, or draw a card and lose 1 life means there’s a ton of skill involved with playing him correctly. While he saw some value initially in mono black decks, Rankle hasn’t been too effective in any of the current meta decks. He’s just a little too easy to kill to get enough value out of.
Kenrith, the Returned King
Kenrith has been proven to be a great add to any Fires deck. His mana abilities means you can use multiple of them after playing your two free spells from Fires of Invention. The instant haste/trample and +5 life can often outright win you games. And obviously a 5/5 body is nothing to sneeze at. There’s a strong argument to include him in the top 10, for sure.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Along with Embercleave, Torbran is one of red’s few weapons to level the playing field. If you can get him out onto the battlefield alongside Cavalcade of Calamity, it usually spells a victory. Torbran’s weakness is due to the plethora of removal cards in the game right now, making it hard to get value out of him.
There you have it – the 10 strongest cards in Throne of Eldraine. Let us know what you’d add or remove to the list in the comments below. If you’re just getting started in Magic Arena, be sure to check out the list of free MTGA codes you can redeem for some extra booster packs.