– Throne of Eldraine
November 5, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.67
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
And suddenly, things turned ugly. If you add up the total mana you spend on the Talisman’s first granted wish, you’ll get turn three – or turn two with a Gilded Goose. That’s much, much earlier than we’ve gotten this effect in recent Standard sets, and it simply begs to be broken in some way. There aren’t many true combo decks in Standard, but there are certainly midrange and planeswalker decks that make use of silver bullets and can always use just a little more consistency. It’s held in check by the fact that it can be disenchanted and it’s only one per turn, but that won’t matter as much when you have enough mana to grab the one thing you need to turn the game around. I wouldn’t expect it everywhere in competitive Magic, as Standard lacks game-ending combos and older formats have lots of options, but I’d be surprised if it doesn’t get use somewhere.
A reference to The Monkey’s Paw, Wishclaw Talisman offers you the ability to get what you want out of your library…if you’re willing to let an opponent do the same. That said, there are definitely ways to exploit this for your own gain (flicker effects; cards like Venser, the Sojourner; untap effects) as a result of what it says: activate this during your turn, but you don’t need to activate it at sorcery speed. Three mana for a tutor effect is actually rather nice, and even if you do it fairly, you’ll still get it back for another activation…and I guess proliferate can help, though you’re still passing it up and using it every other turn. (You also can always blow this up after you’ve tutored!)
This is a cute card with some more practical uses if you can break the perceived symmetry of the effect; an unconditional tutor this cheap does have its downsides, but it does offer ways around the downsides if you’re enterprising enough. This might be one of the sleeper cards of Throne of Eldraine; it’s not one of the stars, but I could see things converging to give it a starring role at some point.
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