Planeswalking into Throne of Eldraine

Chantelle Campbell Standard

We’ve seen all the new cards in Throne of Eldraine, and while there are many that we can start brewing with, there are a few specific characters that have walked through the blind eternities right into my heart. I’m of course talking about Oko, The Royal Scions, and someone we’ve been wondering about for quite some time: Garruk.

With these three new Planeswalker cards previewed, my mind immediately got to work deciding how they would slot into the brave new Standard format that is just around the corner. And with the other cards that have been revealed, I believe there are not only some existing strategies that will benefit from these new Planeswalkers, but some fresh archetypes as well!

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman

He’s back, and bigger and badder than ever. This new black and green Garruk has been most notably compared to Elspeth, Sun’s Champion – and for good reason. His ability to protect himself both by making wolf tokens and destroying a creature seems incredibly powerful – and for six mana, I should hope so! I believe Garruk slots in perfectly as a midrange finisher, with noted synergies with both sacrifice themes and, of course, wolves.

B/G Rock

This deck explores not only the great sacrifice synergy between Garruk and Vraska, Golgari Queen, but also takes advantage of graveyard recursion through cards like Find // Finality and Golgari Findbroker. This card harkens back to the grindy Golgari decks of last fall, but with the opportunity for new additions like Questing Beast and Rankle, Master of Pranks. I also can’t wait to get a ton of value from Murderous Rider and its adventure!

4 Assassin’s Trophy
3 Find // Finality
3 Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
2 Golgari Findbroker
4 Incubation Druid
1 Izoni, Thousand-Eyed
1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General
4 Murderous Rider
2 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
4 Paradise Druid
2 Plaguecrafter
2 Questing Beast
1 Rankle, Master of Pranks
3 Vraska, Golgari Queen
2 Castle Locthwain
4 Temple of Malady
4 Overgrown Tomb
9 Forest
5 Swamp

Abzan Wolves

With rotation, the breadth of mana and fixing will become significantly more limited. This means that, if you’re building a three-color deck, green cards like Gilded Goose and Paradise Druid go up in value. The interaction between Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman is also powerful: when you use Garruk’s 0 ability with Tolsimir in play, you can easily kill a four-toughness creature while netting two loyalty on Garruk! You could also consider Knight of Autumn, Despark and Oath of Kaya, depending on how your local metagame shakes out. 

4 Gilded Goose
4 Nightpack Ambusher
4 Paradise Druid
4 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
4 Wicked Wolf
2 Conclave Tribunal
3 Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
1 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
2 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds
3 Assassin’s Trophy
4 Once Upon a Time
4 Fabled Passage
3 Forest
2 Godless Shrine
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Plains
2 Swamp
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Malady

The Royal Scions

It’s wonderful to see Will and Rowan in the spotlight, and even better to see them on a card that can fit into a few of my favorite strategies! At three mana, The Royal Scions can easily find a home in any tempo deck, and with two +1 abilities leading to a momentous -8, it is a must-include in any deck playing red and blue. 

U/R Phoenix

The most straightforward deck for The Royal Scions to slot into is Izzet Phoenix, which doesn’t lose any creatures in rotation. Also, with Opt returning in Throne of Eldraine, the only real losses are Chart a Course, Lightning Strike and Tormenting Voice! The Royal Scions helps fill the hole left by Chart a Course, with a +1 that lets Crackling Drake and Arclight Phoenix punch through any chump blockers. Thrill of Possibility also does a great Chart a Course impression, giving the deck some legs that it would have been missing otherwise. Other cards that I would consider here include Loch Dragon, Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor, Irencrag Pyromancer, Improbable Alliance and Fae of Wishes.

4 Opt
2 Radical Idea
4 Shock
1 Beacon Bolt
1 Finale of Promise
3 Lava Coil
3 Thrill of Possibility
4 Arclight Phoenix
3 Crackling Drake
4 Goblin Electromancer
1 God-Eternal Kefnet
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
2 Saheeli, Sublime Artificer
3 The Royal Scions
4 Fabled Passage
7 Island
5 Mountain
4 Steam Vents
4 Temple of Epiphany

Jeskai Feather

Boros Feather is another deck that doesn’t lose much to rotation, and I’m eager to try splashing blue for The Royal Scions. What we lose in Reckless Rage, we gain in repeatable card filtering. Barge In is another card that this deck gets to add to its arsenal; it pairs well with both Tenth District Legionnaire, and Dreadhorde Arcanist.

1 Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice
3 Burning Prophet
4 Dreadhorde Arcanist
4 Feather, the Redeemed
1 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
2 Legion Warboss
4 Tenth District Legionnaire
2 Barge In
4 Defiant Strike
4 Gods Willing
4 Shock
1 Gird for Battle
3 The Royal Scions
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Mountain
5 Plains
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Steam Vents
4 Temple of Triumph

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Finally, we get to the new kid on the block: Oko, Thief of Crowns. This three-mana Planeswalker is hard to evaluate, as we don’t know how powerful Food tokens will be in Standard. However, he seems to pair very well with Gilded Goose, and makes me want to do big broken things. His +1 not only helps grow your own mana dorks and enablers, but can also shrink opposing bombs to a more manageable size. And his minus five, usable the turn after he comes down, is a great way to steal early enablers (or Hydroid Krasis)!

Simic Mass Manipulation

Oko, Thief of Crowns fills the hole left by Entrancing Melody. The ability to play him on turn two, with the help of Gilded Goose, lets you start generating that value early. Maraleaf Pixie and Beanstalk Giant are two more new additions to Standard that help this deck ramp out its big finishers: Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Hydroid Krasis and Mass Manipulation. Beanstalk Giant also has the additional benefit of being a big beefy beater late in the game. 

2 Beanstalk Giant
2 Frilled Mystic
4 Gilded Goose
4 Hydroid Krasis
4 Incubation Druid
4 Maraleaf Pixie
4 Paradise Druid
4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
3 Oko, Thief of Crowns
4 Mass Manipulation
4 Breeding Pool
4 Fabled Passage
10 Forest
3 Island
4 Temple of Mystery

Sultai Food

I couldn’t write this article without talking about one of my favorite things.

Magic.

Just kidding, it’s food. (Though Magic is pretty great, too, I guess…)

The set’s food token synergies power up payoff cards like Wicked Wolf and Feasting Troll King. However, there are other food token generators worth noting: Savvy Hunter, Bake into a Pie, and our friend the Gilded Goose, just to name a few. Oko has the greatest flexibility in this shell, as he can act as both an enabler to generate food tokens and as a finisher when you trade those food tokens for your opponent’s valuable cards.

3 Feasting Troll King
4 Gilded Goose
4 Paradise Druid
4 Savvy Hunter
3 Wicked Wolf
4 Assassin’s Trophy
3 Bake into a Pie
3 Giant Opportunity
3 Trail of Crumbs
4 Oko, Thief of Crowns
4 Breeding Pool
4 Fabled Passage
3 Forest
1 Island
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Swamp
2 Temple of Malady
2 Watery Grave
4 Gingerbread Cabin

Conclusion

With so many great Planeswalkers ready to burst onto the Standard scene, I’m going to need to track down some more Arena mythic wildcards. I’ve only scratched the surface in brewing with these powerhouses, and I’m excited to see where they land in the new post-rotation Standard format. 

For now, all this talk about food has made me more than a little hungry. I think I saw a gingerbread man around here somewhere…