As promised, here is my experimental Top 10 list of Eldrictch Moon cards. Plus a couple of Honorable Mentions. I couldn't help myself. Anyway, I'm just trying this on for size, we'll see how I feel about it afterwards. Who knows?
Anyway, on with the show!
Honorable Mention#1: Ulrich of the Krallenhorde – I know this guy disappointed a lot of Werewolf fans, by not being exactly what they wanted. He is awfully generic and nothing about him really screams “werewolf tribal” other than his type line, but honestly, I don’t think he’s a bad card at all, really. He’s not a great Commander for the werewolf deck, but he could make a reasonable R/G stompy commander, and might be perfectly fine in the 99 of some other decks. I’m not that hyped about him, but neither am I disappointed – I never wanted to build a werewolf deck in the first place. I dislike the whole DFC mechanic anyway, though I have played with a few of them (Bloodline Keeper is the SHIZ!). But, more importantly, I’ve always been 100% Team Vampire. Not just in Magic, but in general – I’ve been really into vampires since, like, the 80’s when I was a wee lad, but I’ve never really been interested in werewolves. In the 90’s I got into the old World of Darkness tabletop games and one of my deepest friendships was formed over a debate/argument over whether it would be cooler to be a vampire or a werewolf, despite that we came down on different sides. I’m not happy that Ulrich was a disappointment to Werewolf fans, but I am happy that I was backing the right team all along. That all, said I am sure plenty of people will build Ulrich decks anyway. Hopefully they’ll perform better than expected.
Honorable Mention #2: Lone Rider – As much as I dislike DFC’s I am pretty pumped to see this guy in action in my Karlov deck. He should be super-easy to flip, and adds to the aggressive quality of the deck nicely. Plus the name “It That Rides as One” is metal as heck. I wanted at least one uncommon on the list and this is the one I’m most interested in playing, even if it only belongs in a few certain decks.
10. Elder Deep-Fiend – I actually really, really like the Emerge mechanic and I sincerely hope they go back to this well a few more times. I can see this mechanic being great in a Golgari or Sultai deck that likes to sac things for value. In fact, I’d be very happy to see Emerge as the Golgari mechanic in the next Ravnica block, unlikely, as that is to happen. That said, I don’t much like the application of the mechanic here. I just don’t particularly like most of the Emerge cards in this set. Deep-Fiend is the one exception, and even then I’m not sure this card will pan out as I hope, but I feel like it has a lot of potential in my Teferi deck. It has Flash, is reasonably costed, and it’s ETBF effect can keep Teferi from being attacked quite well.
09. Mirrorwing Dragon – Not super sure about this one, but it’s certainly cool, and could lead to some really epic things going down. I have no immediate plans other than to try and squeeze it into my Malestrom Wanderer deck, but I don’t really have enough support to make this shine. I do have Savage Punch and Epic Confrontation, so it would be highly amusing to have my whole team of Dragons punching bears, but with such a low amount of synergy I’m not sure it’ll make the cut. That said, I do like how if someone really wants to Swords or Path this guy, they have to live with Exiling their own team as well.
08. Tree of Perdition – I honestly don’t know why I like this card so much. I’m actually okay with Magister Sphinx in EDH, but I don’t necessarily want WotC to print a bunch of these effects. This will be overpowered and annoying in EDH, but I still find the very existence of this card to be highly enjoyable.
07. Niblis of Frost – Surprisingly decent for an Intro Pack rare, this guy is efficient for a Blue creature and has a powerful triggered ability that seems bonkers in any Instants and Sorceries matter deck. It might make me almost miss my Melek deck. Definitely going to run this in Teferi and Narset. Maybe Grand Arbiter, too, but less sure about that one.
06. Voldaren Pariah – Pretty much a shoe-in for decks that run Grave Pact and make lots of tokens. I’m currently looking at this for Prossh and Savra/Meren. I could also see her going into some Teysa decks. Again, anything with Grave Pact or any kind of “sac for value” theme should at least give this serious consideration.
05. Cryptbreaker – One mana, makes zombies, draws cards. What more could I want? This is the other card, along with Gisa and Geral that is really pushing me to have a zombie tribal deck somewhere in my roster.
04. Eldritch Evolution – I initially thought this card was absolutely nuts, likely to be the best card in the set. I’ve since cooled off a little, and now I just think it’s merely “really good”, but I still think that one were inclined to do so, one could really break this card. That said, I can still easily envision a world where this card is nearly as ubiquitous as Eternal Witness. I might not run it in EVERY deck with Green, but in my current roster, I’m hard pressed to find a deck that wouldn’t happily run this if it could. This is the one card I feel comfortable calling a future staple right off the bat.
03. Gisa and Geralf – This card is almost single-handedly compelling me to convert my Sidisi deck into a zombie tribal deck instead of the more generic good-stuffy deck it currently is. Havengul Lich, Crytolith Rite, lots and lots of zombie tokens. Seems fun.
02. Sigarda’s Aid – This seems insane for 1 mana. Flash in auras and equipment is great, but being able to automatically equip something for free is just nuts. Still not quite as good a 1-drop as Land Tax, but in equipment-heavy decks it’s a very close second. This thing is going to make combat a nightmare for my opponents when I’m playing Aurelia, or any other decks that happen to have a lot of powerful Equipment cards. Also seems like a real boon for Enchantress fans.
And, there we have it folks. I'd like to have done card images this time around, but I just couldn't find time to squeeze that in. Hopefully next time. Anyway, let me know what y'all think about this format or share ideas if you have anything else in mind.
One thing I'm thinking of doing is making it a point to talk about every new Legend in a separate article focusing solely on the new Commander options of each set, then do a Top 10 list of cards excluding the new Legendarys. Something along those lines, anyway.
Again, I'm just throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what feels right to me. I hope you all like whatever we land on, but ultimately it comes down to what is fun for me to write and doesn't feel like a chore. I look forward to nailing something down soon, though.