Wilds of Eldraine Modern Highlights

Wilds of Eldraine Modern Highlights

Michael RappModern

Wilds of Eldraine is approaching quickly, and the set will be out in Modern before we know it. But before that happens, I’m on the lookout for cards with the potential to impact the format. Here are the five most likely candidates, without further ado!

Not Dead After All

So…remember when Rakdos Scam won Pro Tour Barcelona and has been the best deck in Modern since? Well, it just got even better. 

Not Dead After All is an upgrade over Undying Malice and Feign Death. The creature gets +1/+1 from the Wicked Role instead of getting a +1/+1 counter, which means Scam can play some number of Undying Evil along with Not Dead After All — and that will let their creature come back into play untapped sometimes. 

That’s not game breaking, but it is a clear upgrade. What’s more, given the way the Wicked Role works, should you manage to kill the creature it is on (or remove the aura), you’ll lose one life on the way out.

Hearth Elemental

Hearth Elemental seems like it was clearly designed to play into an Izzet spells archetype, being the payoff for casting a bunch of cantrips. However, that isn’t remotely the part of the card that I’m interested in for Modern. 

Stoke Genius, on the other hand, is quite powerful as a Dredge enabler. While Stoke Genius isn’t Breakthrough, it is a solid, Modern power level substitution. It is a little unclear if Stoke Genius is more powerful than something like Cathartic Reunion, but I’d be willing to bet that it is better than Thrilling Discovery

Elusive Otter

Izzet Prowess has shown flashes of potential in Modern, but ultimately doesn’t seem to be quite good enough yet. Part of the problem with Izzet Prowess is that, with only two one mana prowess creatures, the deck can produce some disjointed draws where it doesn’t have a Monastery Swiftspear or Soul-Scar Mage and spells lose a lot of value. 

Elusive Otter is an elegant solution to that problem by offering another one mana prowess threat. It’s also a mana sink that lets you add +1/+1 counters to your creatures, which gives prowess some added staying power. 

Elusive Otter does struggle against Orcish Bowmasters because it has one toughness, but it does solve a problem that a somewhat successful deck in Modern needed fixed. 

The End

Maybe this one is good, maybe I just want it to be good…I’m not quite sure. That said, I’ve tried a few different builds of Dimir Death’s Shadow, which has a noticeable weakness: struggling to kill large creatures. 

Weird problem for a Dimir deck to have, right? But Murktide Regent and Primeval Titan are out of reach of Fatal Push, and frequently out of range of Drown in the Loch. Sheoldred’s Edict is unreliable and cards like Go for the Throat or Doom Blade have some obvious downsides. 

While The End is going to cost four mana some of the time, I think there is space to build an aggressively slanted Dimir Death’s Shadow deck featuring Street Wraith, Dismember, Stubborn Denial and The End. Once The End is two mana, it becomes an incredibly powerful removal spell, cleaning up both creatures and planeswalkers and extracting any additional copies. 

Agatha’s Soul Cauldron

The combo potential for Agatha’s Soul Cauldron is quite high. Once upon a time, Necrotic Ooze had a combo deck built around it, and Agatha’s Soul Cauldron is a modernized retelling. 

Exiling a Devoted Druid creates infinite green mana, provided that you have a creature that isn’t summoning sick. As a result, Agatha’s Soul Cauldron greatly improves the grind potential of small creature combo decks like Devoted Druid or Heliod Combo against highly interactive decks by being able to move the abilities of their combo pieces around. This greatly taxes the opponent’s removal spells. 

Yawgmoth is also potentially interested as Agatha’s Soul Cauldron since it can make an army of Grist, the Hunger Tides. It is going to take some tinkering to find the right home for Agatha’s Soul Cauldron, but the card is very powerful if someone can do that.

End Step

Wilds of Eldraine seems to have a handful of new toys for us Modern mages to play around with. I’m interested in seeing exactly how things shake out and which other cards may make the grade. Let me know if I missed something here that you think could be a Modern player.