Questing Druid– Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 3.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Way back in his design stories for Throne of Eldraine, Mark Rosewater commented that they cut a reference to the Green Knight because not enough people in their focus groups were familiar with him. Curiously, I see at least one card in Wilds of Eldraine which can be connected to the Green Knight – perhaps two, if Questing Druid’s visual style counts. That is, of course, debatable, since the mythological Questing Beast was more connected to King Pellinore and Sir Palomides (as illustrated in a very sad subplot of the generally heartbreaking The Once and Future King, albeit a subplot with a comparatively happy resolution).
Questing Druid’s creature game text has a great pedigree – Stephen Menendian once endorsed it in Vintage, of all places, in its dryad form. It’s been a long time since we saw much of that effect in competitive Magic, as people started playing efficient answers and things with comes-into-play triggers, but a creature that can grow shockingly fast is always one slight meta shift away from being a major threat. Seek the Beast is almost the more interesting part of the card: we’re familiar with this “impulsive draw” effect by now, and we’re even familiar with this form where you have extra time to cast it (which I always think is funny – surely you don’t play red if you’re that risk-averse). But it’s most often at sorcery speed, which means there’s a lot of extra things to do with Seek the Beast. If you use it during your opponent’s turn, you might hit another instant which you can use to mess up their attack or other plays. If you use it during your turn, you might hit an instant and decide to hold off on playing it, which will change your opponent’s plan for their next turn. If you use it during your turn and hit a land and a card that you could play with that land, you might hold off anyway because you want to counter a spell or otherwise play on the opponent’s turn, and just do it next turn because you can. And I could go on like this.
It’s also interesting to note how well Seek the Beast plays if you already have another Questing Druid in play, which comes up slightly less often now that Commander is the top casual format, but definitely helps its chances in Standard and other tournament formats.
Commander [EDH]: 3.5
It’s more of an oblique reference to everyone’s favorite ability jumble from Throne of Eldraine, but Questing Druid has some intrigue of his own to offer, both as an updated Quirion Dryad and as a decent source of card advantage…particularly if used on an opponent’s turn, since the cards go away at your next end step. Red’s impulse draws have helped to smooth out one of its weaknesses without completely ameliorating them, and Sek the Beast is a solid spell to set up for shenanigans on your next turn. While Questing Druid isn’t great on his own, he’s a nice upside to staple to a pretty good spell in its own right, and he can get big with time and care. Maybe not an all-star, but Seek the Beast strikes me as reason enough to play him, and I think he’ll certainly see play for being card advantage now and a threat later.
Limited: 4 (can grow with a bit of care, and card advantage in Limited is always good)
Commander [EDH]: 3.75
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