Agatha’s Soul Cauldron – Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: October 4, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you read this card straight through from the beginning, it takes some thought to really grasp its full appeal. Even if it didn’t have the first two abilities, a two-cost card that can exile one card from a graveyard each turn would probably see play in at least the Standard and Historic style of format. That’s a fast rate for settings where graveyard strategies tend to be on the slower end of the spectrum. A card that just let you steal activated abilities from creatures would see play in casual decks and rogue tournament decks (see: Experiment Kraj). Having both of them together is a powered-up version of both, but also kind of a trap: you shouldn’t feel obligated to use the Cauldron only in a deck that can explicitly take advantage of both. If you need it to hose graveyards, view the ability thing as a bonus. If your deck is mainly built around stealing abilities, view the graveyard clause as part of the setup (ie. include Inquisition of Kozilek).
There’s a couple of interesting things it’s easy to miss amid the multi-line explanation. Agatha’s Soul Cauldron grants the activated abilities of exiled cards to any of your creatures that have a +1/+1 counter on them for other reasons, not just from its own ability. And the clause that lets you use mana of any color for abilities applies to all your creatures’ abilities, not just those granted by the Soul Cauldron. I have a feeling that’s going to confuse people over the next couple of years.
Commander [EDH]: 4
A particularly interesting mix of graveyard hate and combo potential, Agatha’s Soul Cauldron has quickly become one of the chase cards of Wilds of Eldraine, and it’s certainly not hard to see why. Granting activated abilities to creatures can be scary, particularly abilities they might not normally have, and it can grant it to multiple creatures if you have the means to get more counters going. While this is slow at first, it can start creating chaos pretty quickly, and an effect like this snowballs hard. It’s already starting to show up in a lot of formats, and it might be reason enough to start considering artifact hate in one’s decks, as giving the Soul Cauldron time to do its thing can only end badly for all parties.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We would be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉