Throne of Eldraine previews have officially begun, and one of our favorite Planeswalkers made quite an entrance. After a five-year hiatus, Garruk Wildspeaker is back on the hunt on the plane of Eldraine and has been captured on the new card Garruk, Cursed Huntsman.
When we last saw Garruk, he was the face of Magic’s 2015 Core Set, and he (and his axe) were everywhere. While he cost a hefty seven mana, Garruk, Apex Predator came with four abilities, three of which could have an immediate effect on the board. But shortly after he took center stage, Magic’s “Gatewatch” era began, and Garruk faded into the background, leaving many fans to speculate about his whereabouts.
The Huntsman Cometh
Now, Garruk is back with three abilities that will seem familiar to players who enjoyed his previous incarnations. Like each Garruk before him, the Cursed Huntsman makes creature tokens – in this case, two 2/2 wolves. Like Garruk, Apex Predator, he can destroy a creature for the low cost of three loyalty points. He draws cards like Garruk, Primal Hunter; and, like the original Garruk Wildspeaker, he has an easily achievable ultimate ability that provides an Overrun effect. (This one is an emblem, so your creatures have +3/+3 and trample permanently!)
Unfortunately, our cursed friend doesn’t have any abilities that put loyalty counters on him: he has a 0 ability, a -3, and a -6. The good news is, Garruk’s pack has his back: When one of his wolf tokens dies, Garruk gains loyalty. This doesn’t work if the wolves get exiled, of course, but if you happen to have a few different Garruk Planeswalkers on the battlefield, they all reap the rewards. If you’re playing Garruk in Standard, there are also plenty of other ways to put loyalty counters on him, such as The Elderspell and proliferate effects.
Garruk could easily find a home in a black-green Standard midrange deck, and we expect him to be a popular Throne of Eldraine pick-up. His closest cousin in current Standard is Vraska, Relic Seeker, a six-mana Planeswalker that black-green midrange decks could turn to in the late-game. But while Vraska’s ability to answer diverse threats made her a strong control finisher, Garruk seems much more potent in a creature-based deck.