Magic: the Gathering‘s next Standard set, Wilds of Eldraine, returns to the fairy tale-inspired plane of Eldraine. This bright fantasy world first appeared in 2019’s Thrones of Eldraine, which was widely regarded as one of the most fun and flavorful MTG expansion sets ever printed. Now, with the Phyrexian threat vanquished, MTG is ready to turn a new page and enter a new era of storytelling by returning to Eldraine in the upcoming set.
Eldraine is heavily inspired by classical European fairytale fantasy, which is one of the reasons Thrones of Eldraine was so popular. The set also introduced lots of unique and interesting cards, like the powerful Adventure mechanic, Food tokens, and the infamous 3 mana Planeswalker, Oko, Thief of Crowns. With March of the Machine and The Aftermath disappointing fans, MTG players are understandably excited for Wilds of Eldraine‘s more grounded fantasy setting and intriguing cast of characters.
MagicCon Minneapolis Teased Wilds of Eldraine’s Sleeping Beauty-inspired Villain
On May 5, 2023, WotC revealed stunning new Wilds of Eldraine artwork depicting various characters and settings from the upcoming set. One piece of artwork features Eriette of the Charmed Apple, a white-haired witch in a high-collared dress holding a jeweled apple. WotC revealed that Wilds of Eldraine‘s story revolves around a mysterious sleeping curse, and with Eriette holding a jeweled apple, it’s clear she was inspired by Sleeping Beauty‘s wicked queen Maleficent.
Additionally, observant fans will notice the reflection of a twisted hag in Eriette’s glass collar. With WotC confirming that Eriette has a pivotal role in the story, and considering her striking parallels to Sleeping Beauty‘s iconic fairy tale antagonist, it’s likely that Eriette will be a prominent villain in Wilds of Eldraine.
WotC Revealed Wilds of Eldraine’s Kenrith Twins and Syr Ginger the Gingerbread Knight
Additionally, the new Wilds of Eldraine artwork confirms the return of the fan-favorite Kenrith Twins, Rowan and Will, who both lost their Planeswalkers’ Sparks following the Phyrexian invasion of the multiverse. Will’s card will be called Will, Scion of Peace, and its artwork depicts Will wearing his late father’s crown. Rowan’s card will be called Rowan, Scion of War, and she’s shown wearing an attire suspiciously similar to the witch Eriette.
Unlike Will and Rowan, the Nightmare Planeswalker Ashiok didn’t lose their Spark in March of the Machine. WotC revealed artwork depicting Ashiok harvesting the power of Eldraine’s curse — an interesting twist to the story that many fans weren’t expecting. Best of all, the reveal introduced an adorable new character named Syr Ginger, a tiny gingerbread knight atop a gingerbread horse called Cinnamon. Fans were immediately enamored with Syr Ginger, and unsurprisingly players can’t wait to find out what the card does.
MTG’s Current Roadmap Points Towards More Classic Fantasy
In addition to Wilds of Eldraine, Wizards of the Coast has several releases lined up that set the stage for MTG to go back down to earth with more grounded fantasy sets and storytelling. Most notably, MTG‘s upcoming LotR set Tales of Middle-earth launches later this year. Tales of Middle-earth is packed with interesting and thematic cards that bring to life the most iconic fantasy setting of all time as MTG cards, and fantasy and LotR fans alike are in for a treat.
On top of this, MTG is full of interesting mechanics and keywords that further play into the classic fantasy theme, like Horsemanship. This ability appeared on the March of the Machine Commander-exclusive card Herald of Hoofbeats, and Will and Syr Ginger both appear on Horseback in the new artwork. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Horsemanship returning alongside other fantasy and fairytale-inspired abilities, but players will need to stay tuned to find out more. Wilds of Eldraine releases on Sep. 8, 2023, with spoiler season beginning on Aug. 1, 2023. Fans can also look forward to another Preview Panel during MagicCon Barcelona on May 26. 2023.
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