Wilds of Eldraine
This article is part of our community-sourced Set Prospective series. We survey Cube designers before the set’s official release to document their first impressions of new cards.
Eldraine has had a tough time of it. First, some hunky lunatic with pinky jewelry turns the king into an Elk. The royal heirs fix that, but then they burn down a school. And then the teeth fanatics invade, kill the freshly un-Elked king, and won’t leave until the whole realm (yes, even Rankle!) falls asleep! Talk about a string of bad luck. At least the king’s children, arsonists though they be, won’t start a blood feud or plunge the realm into conflict… right?
Oh. Well, at least Cube lets us pretend everything’s still alright. And we’ve got the survey results to prove it!
Wilds of Eldraine is hugely popular in Cube circles. With 323 responses from Cube owners, this survey is just shy of our all-time record for participation. The median survey respondents is playing 10 WOE cards, and assigned a median rating of 6.1 (above average). This play rate is higher than recent premier sets like Tales of Middle-earth, but lower than our all-time records of MH2 (16 cards at median) or MID (13 cards).
|Mosswood Dreadknight // Dread Whispers||41.2%||7.4|
|Cheeky House-Mouse // Squeak By||39.3%||6.8|
|Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender||31.6%||7.0|
|Elusive Otter // Grove's Bounty||27.9%||6.4|
|Questing Druid // Seek the Beast||25.7%||6.7|
|Virtue of Persistence // Locthwain Scorn||23.8%||6.3|
|The Goose Mother||21.1%||6.7|
|Scalding Viper // Steam Clean||20.1%||6.4|
|Decadent Dragon // Expensive Taste||19.2%||6.0|
|Twining Twins // Swift Spiral||17.6%||6.2|
|Cruel Somnophage // Can't Wake Up||16.7%||6.1|
|Hearth Elemental // Stoke Genius||16.1%||6.2|
|Kellan, the Fae-Blooded // Birthright Boon||15.5%||6.3|
|Lord Skitter, Sewer King||14.2%||5.5|
|Virtue of Loyalty // Ardenvale Fealty||13.6%||6.4|
|Heartflame Duelist // Heartflame Slash||13.6%||5.6|
|Pollen-Shield Hare // Hare Raising||13.3%||6.5|
|Torch the Tower||11.8%||5.9|
|Frolicking Familiar // Blow Off Steam||11.8%||6.3|
|Woodland Acolyte // Mend the Wilds||11.5%||6.0|
|Devouring Sugarmaw // Have for Dinner||11.5%||5.0|
|Bramble Familiar // Fetch Quest||11.1%||5.7|
|Horned Loch-Whale // Lagoon Breach||10.8%||5.6|
|Picklock Prankster // Free the Fae||10.5%||6.1|
|Back for Seconds||10.5%||5.5|
|Raging Battle Mouse||10.5%||5.5|
|Stroke of Midnight||10.5%||6.7|
|Agatha's Soul Cauldron||9.0%||6.3|
|Lord Skitter's Butcher||8.7%||6.0|
|The Huntsman's Redemption||8.7%||5.7|
|Rowan's Grim Search||8.7%||5.7|
|Shrouded Shepherd // Cleave Shadows||8.0%||6.1|
|Callous Sell-Sword // Burn Together||8.0%||5.8|
|Stormkeld Vanguard // Bear Down||7.7%||6.9|
|Beseech the Mirror||7.7%||6.4|
|Ruby, Daring Tracker||6.2%||5.9|
|Imodane's Recruiter // Train Troops||6.2%||6.2|
|Gumdrop Poisoner // Tempt with Treats||6.2%||4.4|
|Grabby Giant // That's Mine||5.9%||4.7|
|Eriette's Tempting Apple||5.9%||5.2|
|Goddric, Cloaked Reveler||5.9%||5.6|
|Gadwick's First Duel||5.6%||5.8|
|Up the Beanstalk||5.6%||6.3|
|Talion, the Kindly Lord||5.3%||6.8|
|Virtue of Courage // Embereth Blaze||5.0%||5.8|
|Spellscorn Coven // Take It Back||4.6%||5.6|
|Picnic Ruiner // Stolen Goodies||4.6%||6.2|
|Greta, Sweettooth Scourge||4.6%||6.1|
|Hylda's Crown of Winter||4.6%||6.7|
|Three Bowls of Porridge||4.3%||5.0|
|Return from the Wilds||4.3%||5.3|
|Two-Headed Hunter // Twice the Rage||4.3%||5.1|
|Freeze in Place||4.3%||6.6|
|Flick a Coin||4.3%||5.3|
|Tempest Hart // Scan the Clouds||4.0%||5.5|
|Song of Totentanz||4.0%||6.1|
|Brave the Wilds||4.0%||5.3|
|Welcome to Sweettooth||4.0%||5.7|
|Three Blind Mice||4.0%||5.5|
|Sharae of Numbing Depths||3.7%||5.6|
|Johann, Apprentice Sorcerer||3.7%||5.9|
|Expel the Interlopers||3.7%||4.4|
|Intrepid Trufflesnout // Go Hog Wild||3.4%||5.7|
|Gingerbread Hunter // Puny Snack||3.4%||4.1|
|Ratcatcher Trainee // Pest Problem||3.4%||4.8|
|Hollow Scavenger // Bakery Raid||3.4%||5.1|
|Beanstalk Wurm // Plant Beans||3.1%||6.3|
|Totentanz, Swarm Piper||3.1%||5.2|
|Ash, Party Crasher||3.1%||5.7|
|Lord Skitter's Blessing||3.1%||6.3|
|Virtue of Knowledge // Vantress Visions||3.1%||4.8|
|The Princess Takes Flight||2.8%||4.6|
|Ferocious Werefox // Guard Change||2.8%||5.7|
|Specter of Mortality||2.8%||6.2|
|Troyan, Gutsy Explorer||2.8%||6.3|
|Not Dead After All||2.5%||5.6|
|Threadbind Clique // Rip the Seams||2.5%||6.4|
|Aquatic Alchemist // Bubble Up||2.5%||4.7|
|The Witch's Vanity||2.5%||6.5|
Single Card Discussion
Rulers of the Realm
Three cards from Wilds of Eldraine are seeing play by over a third of our respondents. Valiantly leaping out of a witch’s clutches and into the most-tested slot is none other than Cheeky House-Mouse. A clean upgrade to a well-loved Cube effect, with charming and whimsical flavor, it’s no surprise that this uncommon is widely appealing. The Mouse’s Adventure raises its power level above Savannah Lions, but also tells a charming story of unlikely heroes.
If Cheeky House-Mouse represents the potential of Adventure to tell whimsical stories, then WOE’s most highly rated top performer champions Adventure’s spooky side. Mosswood Dreadknight, like the Green Knight it references, is belligerent, mysterious, and seemingly allergic to a proper beheading. Dreadknight’s Adventure heightens this narrative, while diverging from the play patterns of Throne’s most popular Cube cards.
“Tons of flavorful and evocative designs.”
Meanwhile, Garruk might have lifted the Veil's curse, but now he must reckon with an even mightier foe: Syr Ginger. This cookie cavalier has novel, powerful abilities that strengthen its backstory as Garruk’s appetizing archnemesis.
Courtiers of Cube
Another three Wilds cards were tested by between a quarter and a third of our respondents. Elusive Otter, by far the cutest of the bunch, adds Green to a classic Prowess threat. By nudging powerful effects like Elusive Otter into a second, unlikely color, Wilds of Eldraine minimizes the risk of its powerful cards causing Constructed issues. In Limited, however, the optional splash may incentivize creative drafting and deckbuilding puzzles.
Similarly, Questing Druid adds obvious power to Quirion Dryad, but players who wish to realize that ceiling must make investments during draft and deckbuild.
“Adventure is my favourite modal mechanic, and it's great to see them return with a few twists.”
Restless Vinestalk and the rest of its cycle aren’t as popular as AFR’s landfolk cycle were at release. But just below a quarter of our respondents are trying a new land or two, proving that mana fixing and late-game modality is a combination as classic as fairy tales and gruesomely poetic justice.
Beyond the Realm’s Borders
Embereth Veteran, besides being the second-most-popular uncommon, is the most popular card to create a Role token. Roles (“strictly better +1/+1 counters”?) are the most popular new mechanic from Wilds of Eldraine, with nearly half our respondents (43%) testing at least one role-maker, and a fifth (21%) testing more than one.
After generic powerhouses Syr Ginger and Restless Cottage, Tough Cookie is the most popular Food-matters card from WOE. Half our respondents are testing at least one Food card, with over a quarter (28%) testing more than one.
“This set singlehandedly motivated me to use its mechanics as a baseline for a new cube.”
The new Celebration keyword is the least popular new mechanic for Cube among our respondents. Raging Battle Mouse is the most popular card with the keyword, but only a fifth of our respondents are testing any card with the mechanic. This may speak to the bread-and-butter nature of this aggressive mechanic — since it is self-explanatory and carries no rules baggage, there’s no need to familiarize one’s players with Celebration through repetition (in contrast to mechanics like Adventures or Roles). Another interpretation, though, is that Celebration cards were designed for WOE Limited and not pushed for Constructed play, decreasing their appeal among our power-motivated respondents.
“Adventure is one of the best mechanics in all of Magic, and I'm glad we got another set of them to experiment with. ”
Finally, Candy Trail is the most popular common from WOE, with Quick Study close behind. Torch the Tower, another common, sneaks in as the most-tested Bargain card. Bargain falls between Celebration and Roles in terms of Cube popularity, with nearly a third (36%) of our respondents testing at least one card with the mechanic.
As always, thanks to all the Cube owners who submitted surveys for Wilds of Eldraine. Our very first set survey was for Throne of Eldraine in 2019, so this revisit is a major milestone for us. Thanks for coming along on the ride!
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