– Throne of Eldraine
November 8, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I know I’ve been making a lot of Disney comparisons in our conversations about Eldraine, but Fabled Passage’s art also reminds me of Brockhall and Loamhedge, iconic locations from the early Redwall novels by Brian Jacques. Unlike many of Magic’s planes, Eldraine doesn’t really have anthropomorphic animals, but there would undoubtedly be Magic analogues for things like the Long Patrol and the sea rats if we looked hard enough.
Sometimes you don’t need a huge amount of game text to catch attention. Long-time players are very familiar with Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse by now, as they’ve been a staple in casual formats for over a decade. Although multicolor decks in tournament Magic tend to reach for shocklands, Fabled Passage adds a little extra kick and late-game smoothness; this adds to the list of reasons to consider a multicolor deck that relies on basic lands instead (Terese Nielsen’s beautiful art for the new Back to Basics being another big one). It’s also one of only a couple of fetchlands – all of which are only for basics – in the new Pioneer format, and I thank the badger ancestors of Salamandastron that Wizards finally seems to realize that this is the way it should be.
Fabled Passage is a tweak on the likes of Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse, albeit one for the better. It’s slow early, but it’s not a bad top deck outside of the first couple of turns as a result of untapping the land if you have at least four lands. It’s good support for multicolored decks that might have trouble with getting their mana base in order, and it’s a good way to encourage multicolor decks without having the format revolve more around shock lands than they usually do. It’s probably not fast enough for Modern or more expansive formats, but it’s going to have a home in a lot of “fair” decks all the same.
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