Up the Beanstalk – Wilds of Eldraine
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This seems like a pretty innocuous card, right? I doubt anyone expected a card from this design archetype to make much of a splash outside of Standard: after all, Garruk’s Uprising didn’t do so in M21, and it even became a fun casual reprint in Wilds of Eldraine itself. The thing is, though, most cards like this only look at creatures. Up the Beanstalk is kind of an eyebrow-raiser for color pie aficionados – and an eyebrow-raiser of a different kind for everyone who likes “free” (ie. alternate-cost) spells. There have always been a few cards that made relevant the fact that many of those spells still count as having a high mana value, but now it’s possible to draw a shocking number of cards while also getting the benefit of the free spell. Conveniently, those alternate costs often demand that you sacrifice an extra card or two, so I suspect that Up the Beanstalk is going to remain a surprisingly big threat in the larger formats for a while.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
A two mana cantrip with additional applications besides is quite a promising prospect if the payoff is easy enough to trigger, and Up the Beanstalk may well be just that. In addition to replacing itself, it quickly pulls ahead as you cast more spells up the mana curve…which pairs beautifully with cost reductions and a fair few alternate casting cost spells, since their mana values are not altered there. It also pairs well with adventures…maybe not the all-in-one engine the archetype needs, but we already had that the last time Eldraine wrecked Standard. Still, this is an excellent workhorse that replaces itself and stacks well, and both of those play far better than they look at first.
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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