I love new versions of classic fairy tales, especially horror or fantasy-themed ones and Wizards of the Coast’s latest expansion for Magic: The Gathering is just that, as we Planeswalk into the worlds of Eldraine. A King and Queen have passed during the Phyrexian invasion, and their children are now trying to make their way through the world. Throw in a bunch of fantasy staples, a beanstalk, a creeping “Eternal Slumber”, and a Planewalker, Ashiok, and welcome to Wilds of Eldraine.


Although not everything is going well in Eldraine, they did have the “Eternal Slumber” spell appear out of nowhere and put the Phyraxians who were invading to sleep. Great for them, but it’s also laying to snooze many of the inhabitants of the world. Now we have heirs to the thrones, Rowan and Will Kenrith, twins who are working to rebuild Eldraine, though not always on fully agreeing terms.

Wilds of Eldraine is one of MTG’s most interesting sets in some time, and it feels like one of their “Universes Beyond” sets while being a core set and not based on another IP at all. It can be both horrific and darkly comedic. Opening a booster of Wilds of Eldraine, you may be met with someone like the “Gumdrop Poisoner,” a heinous vision of a tentacled armed candy-cane, or be caught in the eyes of “Eriette of the Charmed Apple,” one of the witches who may be at the centre of this sleeping spell. And then you’ll see a card like “Syr Ginger, the Meal Ender”, which is a gingerbread knight and could be the most incredible card in this set.


The new mechanics introduced with Wilds of Eldraine are thematically themed for the fantasy setting.

“Role Tokens” are token enchantments created by other cards in the set and attached to cards, giving them a “Role,” which can provide positives or negatives.

The “bonuses” are as follows:

  • Cursed — Enchanted creature has base power and toughness 1/1.
  • Monster — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has trample.
  • Royal — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ward {1}.
  • Sorcerer — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has “Whenever this creature attacks, scry 1.”
  • Wicked — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and “When this Aura is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life.”
  • Young Hero — Enchanted creature has “Whenever this creature attacks, if its toughness is 3 or less, put a +1/+1 counter on it.”
  • (Commander) Virtuous — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each enchantment you control.

Unlike typical auras, when you attach another one of these, the older one drops off and exiles as it’s a token. On paper (or cardboard, haha), this is a basic mechanic, and maybe in a larger format and time. This mechanic is not that memorable, but it’s thematically fitting and enriching within Limited.

“Bargain” is a new mechanic about sacrificing an artifact, enchantment or token as you cast a spell, which will usually trigger an enters-the-battlefield triggered ability. If you bargain, other spells may do more damage or have increased effects, even a lower mana cost.

“Celebration” is a new ability word that triggers if two or more nonland permanents enter the battlefield under your control in a turn, which is always cause for a good celebration.

Returning for Wilds of Eldraine is also “Adventures,” which are alternate costs and card types that can be on a variety of cards. A dragon may have an “Adventure” cost for an instant card. You cast these, and the cards go on the stack; if resolved, the card gets exiled as it goes on an adventure, and you can then cast it later, or on the same turn, as the new card.

Enchanting Tales

As much as I love the core Wilds of Eldraine set and the new cards, there’s nothing better than some classic cards- enchantments- getting some stunning fantasy-themed art makeovers. The art seen in these cards is fantastic and probably my favourite part of this set. There are also “Anime Borderless Enchanting Tales,” which are adorable and funny, especially when looking at a card like “Doubling Season”, as seen below.


Magic: The Gathering has been having an exciting couple of years. While the Universes Beyond sets draw in fans from other worlds, the core sets, as interesting as the Phrexian story was over the past year, aren’t as accessible or as interesting to new fans. Wilds of Eldraine is another perfect set to draw in new players, with the fairy tale setting being a stand-out on game store shelves and the world. The mechanics aren’t mind-blowing for the set, but they make the Limited format feel thematic. There’s also just too much to love when looking at the art in this set. Hopefully, an art book will be released soon, because I want that on my coffee table!

Buy Magic: The Gathering – Wilds of Eldraine via Amazon, or find your local game store. Download and play MTG Arena to play at home.

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast for sending over a bunch of packs to get my collection started.