– Throne of Eldraine
November 13, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.0
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card’s existence convinces me that someone inside Wizards of the Coast loves The Once and Future King as much as I do. That novel is the most prominent work where we see Robin Hood (or, as T.H. White named him, Robin Wood) in the same place as King Arthur. The historical figures on whom Arthur and Robin are based would have lived almost a thousand years apart in time, but you should never let little things like that get in the way of a good story – or a good Magic card, for that matter.
The tokens created by Outlaws’ Merriment are each appealing in their own way, but the card’s random nature is a potential issue. If there’s no particular need from your point of view, like if the table is empty, you might not really care which one you get. The Rogue token may have the lowest power, but it’s still two damage to the opponent on an empty table. The issue may come when you do have a particular need. If your opponent has a blocker with three toughness, you have a two out of three chance of getting a token that can’t kill it. If your opponent has a planeswalker or a troublesome creature that has one toughness, you have a two out of three chance of getting a token that can’t shoot it.
This game of odds may work against it in high-level tournaments, but I still think it has potential for certain decks. For one thing, you might just decide that your deck is going to be so aggressive that it doesn’t matter which of the Merry Men takes the field, because they’re going to enter alongside a herd of hasty creatures and a storm of direct damage. You might also note that it’s a continuous creature-generating effect that is relatively resilient, and that this is one way for red-white decks to keep up with blue, black, and green’s card advantage in multiplayer settings.
Another in the long line of Boros colors flooding the field with tokens, Ourlaws’ Merriment is interesting. You get a random token creature each turn, each one with a different set of abilities and types. Like with most “wait for it” enchantments, having to sit out a turn isn’t a great deal…but once this gets going, trying to stem the tide of creatures gets surprisingly hard. Not being able to pick which one you get does make this a touch unreliable, but this can serve well as a removal-resistant win condition in a deck archetype that can have trouble in longer games.
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