Throne of Eldraine has been a pretty awesome set so far. So many of the cards look like contenders for both Standard and Modern, and there are a few that seem Legacy-playable. I’m really excited to see what all the ca-
So, I’m going to cut to the chase here. This is, at the time of this writing, one of the top three cards in the set, if not the best card. While it looks super innocuous and fairly bland for a Mythic Rare, it is exactly what tempo decks have been looking for.
The first deck that came to mind was U/G Flash. This deck rose to prominence shortly after the release of Core Set 2020, but has since been a bit underplayed. This card has so much impact at all points of a game, and the evasive attacking body is definitely a welcome threat to have at a mana cost that the U/G Flash deck needs.
U/G Flash, by Anthony Lowry
4 Spectral Sailor
4 Brineborn Cutthroat
4 Brazen Borrower
4 Frilled Mystic
4 Nightpack Ambusher
4 Sinister Sabotage
2 Essence Capture
1 Tale’s End
4 Breeding Pool
4 Temple of Mystery
2 Fabled Passage
The deck doesn’t really change in behavior, but now it’s even easier to go on the offensive. The one issue with Brazen Borrower is how strong other flyers will be in Standard. If there’s even a marginally better flyer that can go over it, then it’s going to struggle where it counts. I do not foresee this card being heavily played in any other archetype, but it doesn’t have to be to make a big splash.
Speaking of making a splash, Hushbringer is sure to be a multi-format all star.
Following a long lineage of hate bears, Hushbringer is the first of its kind to prevent abilities from triggering on death. This will be a great check against decks packing a ton of Cavaliers, making sure they don’t get too greedy with their removal.
Modern is the place where I’m most excited to play this card, specifically in Death and Taxes. This may very well be the piece that the deck was missing. The big selling point with this card is its two toughness, which lets it dodge Wrenn and Six. Flying also allows it to pressure the powerful planeswalker, and the life gain from lifelink will add up if you give the faerie a sword.
Another important implication for this card is how strong it is against the Sword of the Meek/Thopter Foundry engine, along with a good chunk of the Urza decks in general. Due to the additional effect of stopping dying effects, I expect this to completely replace Tocatli Honor Guard if sideboards call for that effect.
It would not surprise me to see this card in Legacy and Modern with regularity down the line.
Lastly, there’s the actual best card in the set, Bonecrusher Giant.
This card will define any aggressive deck in Standard for the next year at least. This will also be a good option for Modern if you’re looking for more Skullcracks for those pesky Batterskulls. While the spell part is very straightforward, the creature side is incredibly hard to deal with, given how punishing aggressive creatures seem to be in this upcoming format. Playing a reactive deck is going to mean paying some sort of price for interacting, and those prices will add up very quickly if things don’t like up. Combine that with manabases looking rough at best, and you have a strong recipe for red and Gruul-based aggro decks to take charge early on.
I am a bit skeptical of the rate of the card simply being misaligned with what the rest of the format is doing. There is a good chance that this card will easily be outclassed by other cards going over, around, or in some cases, right through it. If that does happen, then it may be better to build a deck that has Bonecrusher Giant as a supporting cast member, while heavy hitters like Questing Beast or Opportunistic Dragon take the lead. It’s also possible that two damage to a target may not be good enough, but with Teferi, Time Raveler still being a nuisance, it would take some drastic shift to create that big of a push.
Throne of Eldraine is looking like such a powerful set, and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the last few spoilers. Mana bases are going to be especially difficult to build, and I expect some heavy compromises to be made for consistency’s sake.