CardName – Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
When you break down a card like this and find its critical stats to be things like an eight-mana 6/6 which ends games on its own, my instinct is to compare it to Akroma. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been researching cubes that go out of their way to use old-time favorites. The comparison only holds up so far, though, because Akroma works well when she’s the only attacker, and you don’t need to play other creatures to benefit from her; that’s not true of Moonshaker Cavalry. If you’re going to accelerate into it with green cards, mana elves and such, you might find yourself in awkward situations where all the creatures you just granted +3/+3 and flying are tapped. And using the land-searching type of card is barely better, if at all. It’s far too expensive for most aggro decks, and needing other creatures is a turn-off for most reanimator decks.
Does that make it a bad card? Well, no, not really. Remember that white’s reanimation effects commonly take the form of “value” cards, often targeted at smaller creatures – but not exclusively. For years, the common strategy for aggressive white decks was to get ahead in creatures on the table, then cast Armageddon. A similar style of deck that used, say, Resurrection on this card might be a more interesting strategy in that vein, and certainly end the game quicker. Then the problem just becomes how you get Moonshaker Cavalry into your graveyard as a white deck – but one thing at a time!
The card may well have been intended for Commander, where you play mana rocks almost as a matter of course, can use the long game to generate even more tokens than in constructed, and have multiple opponents and thus need big creatures around.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
Moonshaker Cavalry is, basically, the white Craterhoof Behemoth, a big and flashy “I win” button to turn that massive army into a massive sledgehammer. If you’re bringing this out, you’re intending to end the game then and there; while this can’t attack with the army (normally), it is a slightly better body than Craterhoof Behemoth if your alpha strike fails to be sufficiently decisive.
The main issue here is that Moonshaker Cavalry, while good, is white…and white is not a color that does well at getting out its own threats ahead of schedule. Craterhoof has Natural Order and a deck perfectly suited to it, while this has to settle for less unfair options. Not to say it’s lacking…this will end games quickly if given the opportunity, but you need to maneuver carefully to get there.
Constructed: 4 (probably worse than Craterhoof, but has applications all the same)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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