Last weekend we got our first chance to play with Magic the Gathering’s latest set during the Throne of Eldraine Pre-Release. This is always an interesting time for the Magic community, but it was especially exciting for yours truly because this was the first Pre-Release I had been able to attend since Ravnica Allegiance.
In fact, this was the first time I’d been able to play paper Magic in a long time. With work commitments and family life being very busy for me, I haven’t been able to get down to my local FNM for my weekly dose of Magic fun, although that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been playing this fine game. Thanks to Magic Arena and Magic Online, I’ve been getting more than a decent amount of games in during what free time I do have.
But there is something to be said about socialising with friends and fellow players alike, and I’ve missed the comical banter and pleasure of facing an opponent in the real world. Luckily, last Friday I was able to get myself down to my LGS to play some sealed. So, after finishing my shift at work and quickly grabbing my gaming supplies, I headed to the store just in time to start cracking packs.
Now I’ll be the first to admit my luck when it comes to Sealed is far from good. It’s no secret that I would much rather play Draft when it comes to limited Magic, as the truly random nature of Sealed is rarely favourable to me. Most of the time I end up with what can only be described as Draft chaff, or the occasional great card but no support in its accompanying colour. This time however, it seems the odds were very much in my favour.
While my White, Blue, and Red were nothing to write home about, my Black and Green were about as good as I could have asked for. Including my promo, I had four on-colour rares and well as a decent amount of removal and solid creatures. I also had a pretty strong Food theme going throughout the remaining card pool, with cards like Witch’s Oven and Trail of Crumbs.
Now before this Pre-Release I wasn’t overly impressed with the Food mechanic. To me, it didn’t seem like this latest Artifact token had the same utility that Clues and Treasure had in previous sets. However, with cards like Feasting Troll King, I felt that they might prove to be somewhat useful. In the end, I settled on the deck below and sleeved it up ready to face my round one opponent.
Round One vs Bant
My first opponent of the evening was none other than our very own Sean Johnson, playing a White, Blue, and Green deck featuring Oko. Game one was pretty straight forward, with my kill spells removing the threats that Sean was able to play out while I was able to put on some good early game pressure with my two and three drops. The game finished with a very angry Feasting Troll King smashing face for the win.
In game two I was a little slower off the mark, but I was able to dig through my deck and keep my life total nice and high thanks to my many Food tokens and Trail of Crumbs. Ather a while I was able to build a sizeable board including the now infamous Feasting Troll King. Sean was able to turn the mighty Troll into a 3/3 Elk, but it was to no avail, and I claimed victory.
Round Two vs Izzet
I played Sheffield regular Jason in round two and his pretty sweet Izzet deck featuring one of my favourite new Throne of Eldraine cards, Torbran, Thane of the Red Fell. Game one didn’t go as well as I would have liked, as Jason was able to put me under considerable pressure with a tooled-up Raging Redcap. While I was able to hang on for quite a while thanks to my Food supply, I sadly couldn’t keep it up and Jason took game one.
In game two I was able to establish a very strong board thanks in no small part to Oathsworn Knight and Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig. After a while, Jason was able to stabilise, but was put back on the back foot thanks to Order of Midnight returning Tuinvale Treefolk back to my hand for some more adventuring. A few turns later the match was all tied up.
Game three I was able to get down a turn one Witch’s Oven, which ended up being the best thing I could have asked for. Jason was able to remove most of my early threats, but thanks to the Oven I was able to turn those creatures into Food Tokens in response. This was especially potent when I was able to return my Feasting Troll King back from the graveyard to cause even more havoc. Even so, the game would have been over long before I got to that point if it wasn’t for the life gain provided by these Food tokens. Maybe they are better than I first thought?
Round Three vs Mardu
So, going into the third and final round I was feeling pretty confident in the deck and was also beginning to think Feasting Troll King was a little bit OP. My round three opponent was playing a Mardu aggro deck (which he denied despite playing quite a lot of one drops and getting me down to one life very quickly). Once again, Witch’s Oven was the key to my success, allowing me to get the much-needed life needed to stay in the game until I could get down my heavy hitters.
Game two was a little bit more of a straightforward affair, as my opponent seemed to struggle on mana for the first couple of turns. Meanwhile, I was able to get ahead and was able to use my Food to dig through my deck along with Trail of Crumbs until I found a suitable win condition. This time it was in the form of Syr Konrad, the Grim and his Blood Artist-style effect.
Well, that was a better result than I expected. Now I’m not going to lie, my pool was extremely good. It was probably the best I have opened since Amonkhet when I opened Rhonas the Indomitable and Glorybringer in my pool. But there was another thing that led to my success, and that was Food.
I said at the beginning of the article that I was unsure about how good Food tokens would be in the Throne of Eldraine limited formats. Well, I think it’s safe to say that after this Pre-Release I am completely sold on this new artifact token mechanic. Not only did the life gain from them keep me in games long after I should have lost, but Wizards’ play design team have done a great job of making them versatile with cards like Trail of Crumbs and Feasting Troll King.
Overall, I am quite impressed with Eldraine’s limited format. While it does seem to be slower than previous sets in recent memory, the synergies are all there to make this set a fun and exciting experience. You can be sure that I’ll be playing my fair share of limited in the next couple of months. And who knows, I might even get to play some more paper Magic if I’m lucky.
But what do you think of Eldraine limited? Why not let us know in the comments below, and make sure you like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. If you want to support us here more directly, we also have a Patreon. Just $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy.
If you have any idea’s for new and exciting decks you want me to look at, you can contact me directly @MTGTengu over on Twitter. But until next time, remember: no matter the game you play or where you play it, good luck and have fun.