Top 10 Cubeable Cards Of Wilds Of Eldraine

Ryan Overturf analyzes new MTG set Wilds of Eldraine for the cards worthy of entering his Cubes and yours.

Virtue of Persistence
Virtue of Persistence, illustrated by Piotr Dura

Howdy, gamers! With Arena Cube and Vintage Cube now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to talk about Magic’s most recent Standard release and the impact that it will have on Cube broadly! Wilds of Eldraine looks to have avoided the power level issues of its predecessor while very much delivering on the aesthetic of a rad fairy-tale plane. There aren’t a ton of cards that stand out from the set on their own merits, but the set is deep with synergies and cool themes, so before I get into my Top 10 list, let’s talk about these themes more broadly.


Questing Druid Virtue of Strength Beluna Grandsquall

First introduced in Throne of Eldraine, the Adventure mechanic offers players something between a modal spell and an inherent two-for-one. Wilds compounds this dynamic by introducing off-color Adventures, making having the correct color of mana a relevant part of the equation. This mechanic is a home run for Cube play, and there are quite a few Adventure designs in the set that I expect to see in Cubes of varying shapes and sizes. Beluna and a handful of other cards notably offer support for Adventures as more of a macro theme as well, which opens up the space to Cube with cards like Edgewall Innkeeper and Lucky Clover.


Obyra, Dreaming Duelist Faerie Fencing Talion's Messenger

Once a Standard menace, Faerie support shows up in Wilds of Eldraine in much more tame fashion than we saw in Lorwyn so many years ago. A lot of Faerie designs lend themselves naturally to the flash gameplay that Dimir decks are often interested in, and it’s definitely worth exploring in the right Cube environment. I think about Mistbind Clique now and again as a card that I miss playing with, and every cheap Faerie and Faerie synergy card makes it more and more desirable to pursue as a Cube option.


Spellbook Vendor Beseech the Mirror

Ash, Party Crasher Totentanz, Swarm Piper

I wouldn’t call Wilds of Eldraine explicitly a tokens set, but there is a ton of token generation going on that will naturally find homes in Cubes with token and sacrifice themes. Roles are a cool new mechanic that generate Aura tokens as part of a broader enchantment theme that also play incredibly well with the bargain mechanic as easy game pieces to sacrifice any time an enchantment checks the right boxes!

Celebration also plays naturally well in decks looking to create tokens, and Rats are the token du jour in the set. Given that the Rat tokens in Wilds of Eldraine can’t block, there aren’t many explicitly powerful Rat token generators, but they do make excellent sacrifice fodder. Totentanz, Swarm Piper looks awesome for lower-powered Cubes with sacrifice themes.


Sweettooth Witch Night of the Sweets' Revenge Greta, Sweettooth Scourge

Finally, it wouldn’t be Eldraine without a little Food. Night of the Sweets’ Revenge looks totally busted in the Game Objects Cube I recently brainstormed, and there are a lot of cool things to do with Food here without any copies of Oko, Thief of Crowns or Cauldron Familiar present. I’m particularly excited for Tough Cookie as a green card that plays well in artifact Cubes, something that the history of Magic is really light on.

Tough Cookie

And now let’s take a look at my picks for the 10 most broadly Cubeable cards in Wilds of Eldraine!

10. Embereth Veteran

Embereth Veteran

Embereth Veteran isn’t as exciting of a card today as it would have been pre-Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, but more good one-drops are always worth taking note of. Rarity-restricted Cubes will be happy to have access to another one-mana 2/1, with Human and Knight both serving as potentially relevant creature types in a wider range of Cubes. A built-in sacrifice ability that provides an Aura as well as +1/+1 counters also open up a lot of synergies for Embereth Veteran, so while it no longer fits the bill for something like Vintage Cube, it’s still a good rate that fits a lot of different themes.

9. Heartflame Duelist

Heartflame Duelist

A Blade of the Sixth Pride with upside is arguably less of a big deal than a Savannah Lions, but I do think that Heartflame Duelist does a better job of standing on its own merits than Embereth Veteran. A perfectly serviceable two-drop with a burn spell stapled on when drawn late or to be used as the game dictates is noteworthy. The most significant aspect of the card is that it’s trivial to splash Heartflame Splash in an otherwise mono-white deck, giving you access to reach that is typically one of the weaknesses of white as an aggressive color.

I think it’s easy to say that Heartflame Duelist is weaker than a card like Bonecrusher Giant, but that ignores what the card does bring to the table. Personally, I’m so low on Lightning Strike that I wonder if Heartflame Slash could have just been cost at 1R, but even at 2R this is a card that Mono-White Aggro decks will just play and often splash some red sources for, as well as a respectable option for fully Boros decks.

8. Goddric, Cloaked Reveler

Goddric, Cloaked Reveler

A three-mana 3/3 with haste is playable is more Cube environments than those that have a slot for such a generic stat block, and any card that offers that as a baseline has my attention. Goddric is considerably weaker than Laelia, the Blade Reforged, but I think that the comparison to Goblin Rabblemaster is actually pretty close.

If you’re just goldfishing, then Rabblemaster closes faster, but Rabblemaster is notoriously weak against blockers, especially as more 1/2s like Delighted Halfling enter the fray. The ability to gain evasion makes Goddric a very appealing option, and any token makers make it relatively easy to turn on celebration. To that end, Goddric plays very well alongside Goblin Rabblemaster! Given all of these considerations, I do think that Goddric is at least more powerful than imitators like Legion Warboss.

7. Royal Treatment

Royal Treatment

In my experience with green aggressive decks in Cube, cards like Blossoming Defense and Snakeskin Veil are paramount to making these decks competitive. I think that both Snakeskin Veil and Royal Treatment are firmly more powerful than Blossoming Defense, given that they leave something behind after offering their relevant protection. There’s a little give and take when you compare Royal Treatment to Snakeskin Veil as counter synergies are easy to come by, but leaving ward on the creature for future turns is relevant in all of the spots where you want to give a creature hexproof.

6. Mosswood Dreadknight

Mosswood Dreadknight

Mosswood Dreadknight might be the coolest card in Wilds of Eldraine, and on power level it’s no slouch either! Human and Knight are both potentially relevant creature types, and an efficient creature that keeps coming back can really give control decks fits!

I see Mosswood Dreadknight making the biggest waves in Cubes featuring Experiment One and other creatures that scale as you cast creatures with more power. A 3/2 for 1G fills out the curve in these decks naturally in a way that is easily castable and on a card that gives these decks some staying power against interaction.

In general, this card is just excellent in environments about attrition as well.

5. The Goose Mother

The Goose Mother

The most important thing to know about The Goose Mother is that when you cast the card for X=1, you get a 3/3 flyer and a Food token. At higher points on the curve, you can draw progressively more unfavorable comparisons to Hydroid Krasis, but on Turn 3 or hopefully Turn 2 in green decks, The Goose Mother delivers. I would contend that I’d rather have The Goose Mother up until we hit the six-mana mark, and even then Hydroid Krasis is a smaller creature, so there’s still give and take.

Food synergies and counter synergies help to make The Goose Mother relevant, and I’m not even ready to say it’s not a Vintage Cube card, given that Food tokens play into artifact themes! If The Goose Mother reads as weak, it’s because it might take a couple of reads to see that you get the first Food at three mana and due to unfavorable comparisons to Hydroid Krasis, but I’m confident that the card stands on its own merits.

4. Virtue of Loyalty

Virtue of Loyalty

The enchantment half of the card here is expensive and slow to build your primary gameplan around, so this card’s power level is largely tied to the in-game relevance of Ardenvale Fealty. My initial reads of a set can involve a lot of skimming; I definitely registered the card as a sorcery initially, and it wasn’t a real consideration for my Top 10. It seemed a solid card at sorcery, but as an instant, the token offers some blowout potential in a wider range of decks and situations. The card starts to function more as a removal spell either to attack planeswalkers or to trade with creatures.

When you factor in the addition of more and more relevant flash cards, with Reprieve and Cathar Commando headlining recent printings, there’s a lot to like here. The Virtue itself is also a big deal in any bogged-down battlefield, and while I don’t see this card as a fit for the highest-power Cubes, I do see it as a very relevant addition to formats like Arena Cube.

3. Likeness Looter

Likeness Looter

Creatures that loot have been Cube staples for as long as Cube has been a thing, and new Looters with extra abilities always catch my eye. A flying body means that Likeness Looter is a good creature to pressure planeswalkers a little or to put an Equipment on if you’re into that sort of thing, but this card offers far grander aspirations than that.

The most powerful versions of Reanimator decks, in my experience, are either completely broken with all of the tutor bells and whistles or builds that are capable of just playing regular back-and-forth games of Magic with the potential to do something explosive on occasion. Likeness Looter fits into that type of gameplan perfectly, as it’s a Looter to sculpt your draws generally, to set up your combo, or to act as a payoff when you have the mana to cast your boom-booms itself! If you want to do something particularly filthy, the combinations of Likeness Looter with Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath are out of control.

2. “Restless” Creature Dual Lands

Restless Bivouac Restless Cottage Restless Fortress Restless Spire Restless Vinestalk

There’s not a lot that I could offer about these cards that you don’t already know. They fix your mana and they give you some upside later. Creature duals are great, and this cycle looks to supplant or supplement the existing enemy creature duals very effectively. I do find myself wondering if another allied cycle is looming as well to at least upgrade Lavaclaw Reaches

I see Restless Bivouac and Restless Cottage as clear upgrades to their predecessors, but I’m a little cold on both Restless Spire and Restless Fortress. Fortress kind of seems like you’re mostly paying an extra mana for approximately Shambling Vent, and I imagine I’m both bigger on Wandering Fumarole and colder on Restless Spire than most. The long and short of it is that Izzet decks often care a lot about being able to switch between controlling and aggressive roles, and Restless Spire is a rancid blocker. It’s good at pressing advantages when you’re ahead, which tend to be the times when creature-lands are the least relevant.

I see Restless Vintestalk and Lumbering Falls as a very close comparison. The Vinestalk is bigger and has some extra text that is relevant for growing another of your attackers or shrinking one of their blockers, but not dying to Doom Blade is a really nice feature of the Falls. I’d expect most Cubes to opt for the Vinestalk, and I can’t fault anybody for being on either side of that one.

1. Virtue of Persistence

Virtue of Persistence

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m old enough to remember when Debtors’ Knell was awesome. It’s really difficult to justify a seven-mana spell with no immediate impact these days, but it’s comparatively easy to feature two-mana removal spells. Lonely End was among my most-played black cards in this last run of Arena Cube, and while sorcery speed is definitely a downside, I don’t see it as a dealbreaker on a card that offers both interaction and a powerful late-game effect.

Maybe I’m showing my age and this card won’t appeal as broadly as it does to me, but is the card that has the best ratio of cool factor to general playability in the set by my standards, which makes it my pick for the card that adds the most to the wide world of Cube.

Wilds of Eldraine looks like another solid set for Cube, and I’m happy to not see anywhere near the power level push we saw in Throne of Eldraine. I’m also happy to see the non-blue colors get some powerful tools and options while blue gets more niche tools to help support its themes in environments other than the most powerful Cubes. All in all, I’m a pretty big fan of this release.