Throne of Eldraine spoiler season is in full swing. The last few days saw some interesting card that should have an impact on standard. To make it easier to examine their impact I will look at them by color. In this article, I am going to look at black, white, and artifact cards. I will take a look at red, green, and blue in my next article.


Black decks got several cards that will see play in a variety of decks. The card that fit into the most decks are Reave Soul and Epic Downfall. Each of these cards can destroy a creature. I see them as good targeted removal options given the number of creatures we will see entering the format in Throne of Eldraine.

Epic Downfall exiles a creature with converted mana three or greater. Standard has only had limited way to deal with large creatures. With Cast Down leaving the format, Epic Downfall looks like a good sideboard replacement for Cast Down and will see some main deck play. Reave Soul destroys a creature with power three or less. I expect to see the number of creatures with converted mana cost three or less increasing in the format with the rotation of Goblin Chainwhirler. This makes Reave Soul a good inclusion in any black deck.

Black got two new interesting creatures that will see standard play. Based on the cards previewed so far, a Mono-Black deck is likely. Ayara, First of Locthwain gives the deck a new powerful creature with a triggered ability that impacts the game. When Ayara or another black creature enters play, you gain a life and your opponent losses a life. Her second ability requires you to sacrifice a creature to draw a card. Both of these abilities will have a significant impact on game play. A combination I expect to see is Dreadhorde Invasion with Ayara. Dreadhorde invasion creates an army token or adds to an army each turn, and you lose one life. Combining this with Ayara eliminates the lose of life and does one damage to your opponent each turn when the token is creatures. Then you sacrifice the token to activate Ayara’s ability to draw a card. You can repeat this each turn getting card advantage and ping your opponent. This gives Mono-Black card advantage that it usually does not have.

Our second black creature is Clackbridge Troll. For five mana you get an 8/8 troll with trample and haste. These are great stats that say play me. If that was the only text on the card it world be a must in nearly any black deck. The difficulty in judging the card is the rest of the text on the card. When Clackbridge Troll enters the battlefield, it creates three 0/1 white Goat tokens for your opponent. This would not be bad, if that was all the text. Unfortunately, it is not. The remaining text gives your opponent the option of sacrificing a creature to tap Clackbridge Troll. You do gain three life and draw a card, but it prevents Clackbridge Troll from attacking. The community has had a mixed response to Clackbridge Troll with more liking it than disliking it. I feel that the ability your opponent has to remove it from combat makes it less playable especially against aggro decks. I see it as a good sideboard option for black deck when they play decks built around planeswalkers or control decks.


Glass Casket is a replacement for Baffling End. White based decks want creature removal and Glass Casket does this with an artifact rather than an enchantment. I expect it to be in sideboard and in mainboards if there are a large number of aggro decks in the format.

Harmonious Archon is one of the most interesting cards from Throne of Eldraine. Its high mana cost limits its playability, but in a ramp deck it might be a star. For six mana, you get a 4/5 creature that creates two 1/1 human creature tokens when it enters the battlefield, so it is not bad for its cost. What will determine how much Harmonious Archon gets played is how effective its other ability makes it. As long as Archon is in play non-Archon creatures have base power and toughness 3/3. In a deck that has many one and two power creatures this is a big boost to these creatures. It may make it possible to swing in for lethal damage on the turn that Archon comes into play. Making this ability very powerful. On the other hand, what will limit Archon’s usefulness is how many other aggro decks are in the format. It is a great card against control, combo, and planeswalker decks, but it gives the same advantage to other aggro decks because the ability affects all creatures. Right now, I see Harmonious Archon as a good sideboard option against control, combo, and planeswalker decks.


A nice reprint was Sorcerous Spyglass. This card allows you to shutdown the non-mana abilities of any card. It works well against planeswalkers because they will not be able to activate their abilities. Spyglass has been a sideboard card in many decks and I expect it to remain an inclusion in sideboards going forward.

Two artifact creatures were spoiled late last week were Stonecoil Serpent and Gingerbrute. Both have standard playability and fit into most decks that want creatures. The more powerful of the two is Stonecoil Serpent. This X cost creature is the next in the line of X cost artifact creatures. What makes Stonecoil Serpent special is its abilities. It has reach, trample, and protection from multicolored. The protection from multicolor maybe the most important ability because it protects it from most of the planeswalkers in standard and from many of the format’s removal spells. I see Stonecoil Serpent finding its way into many of best decks in standard. Similar to the way that Hydroid Krasis ends up in most decks that have simic colors.

One of the most anticipated cards from Throne of Eldraine is GIngerbrute. The Gingerbread Man lives on through the brute. Gingerbrute is a 1/1 Food Golem with haste. It has two abilities that give it additional value. First, you can pay one and Gingerbrute can only be blocked by creatures with haste. This give Gingerbrute evasion that only a few creatures have in the format. His second ability allows you to sacrifice Gingerbrute to gain three life. Overall, Gingerbrute is an interesting creature. It certainly works in the Cavalcade of Calamity deck, but I am not sure how many decks it fits well into.

Until next time. Good luck finding your win condition!