10 top original cards in 'Eldritch Moon'

10 top original cards in 'Eldritch Moon' WOTC

With Eldritch Moon, the next Magic: the Gathering set releasing July 22, comes 205 new cards.  Many of those cards are originals with some (such as Murder and Convolute) being reprints.

Now that the prerelease is over and we're approaching release day, we highlight what we perceive to be ten of Eldritch Moon's best original cards.  Please note that we're not considering any cards with Meld because (a) we think it's a terrible ability and (b) we do not consider the oversized cards they meld into to be individual cards.

Emrakul, the Promised End (Mythic) - Thirteen might not be a lucky number for your opponent, but it's sure to be a lucky number for you should you be the one playing the new Emrakul.  With a built-in discount based on your graveyard, the third Eldrazi titan could cost a mere seven mana to bring out and while she can be countered, she's tough to deal with once on the board.  Add in the semi-Mindslaver ability that fires off even if she is countered, and you've got something your opponent will not want to see played (and that's a good thing for you).
Harmless Offering (Rare) - Harmless Offering is a color-swapped funtional reprint of the Urza's Destiny card Donate.  In standard, it should see play coupled with Demonic Pact, harmlessly offering it to your opponent right before he/she has to concede the game.  In modern, legacy, and vintage, however, there is much, much more that can be done.  Essentially, any deck that runs blue for Donate can now run red either for what is effectively four extra Donates or can cut out blue altogether in favor of red.  Harmless Offering is an exciting card to have in this set.
Deploy the Gatewatch (Mythic) - Sure, a mana cost of six isn't exactly a bargain and you'll probably have to hit a pair of planeswalkers to make it worthwhile, but Superfriends decks will likely not have problems with that.  Where this card really gets out attention, however, is in modern with high-costed planeswalkers such as Karn, Nicol Bolas, and Ugin.  Then not only do they come in either at cost or at a discount, they come out mono-white as in the case of the three color Bolas.  Fun.

Liliana, the Last Hope (Mythic) - Help us, Obi-Wan Liliana!  And help you she will.  Very affordably costed at a combined three mana, Liliana's ultimate can net you quite the army (even if her +1 is a tad underwhelming).  In limited play, she'll be a force to be reckoned with and will be a good vehicle for recursion, threshold, and delirium decks.

Tamiyo, Field Researcher (Mythic) - A control player's dream in terms of planeswalkers, Tamiyo, Field Researcher is a tri-colored piece of wonderfulness.  Her +1 ability works against your opponent's creatures, for yours, or both.  Her second ability does very well to slow things down for your opponent, and her ultimate is so "power nine" worthy it would even make Teferi, the iconic planeswalker and time mage, jealous.
Thalia, Heretic Cathar (Rare) - Older players will likely have fond (or disdainful) memories of playing when Kismet was a legitimate thing.  While that white enchantment of yesteryear might not be so competitive these days, Thalia, Heretic Cathar does a pretty good job at bringing the spirit of Kismet back into play.  A 3/2 first striker for three, this new Thalia is quite the departure from her original Dark Ascension card but she does a great job at slowing down permanent-based decks (of which many in Standard tend to be).  She would probably also find her way into Modern and Legacy in sideboard form.
Lone Rider (Uncommon) - Initially, Lone Rider was not going to be on this list.  After seeing it in action numerous times during the Eldritch Moon pre-release locally, however, its inclusion seemed all but mandatory.  It's quick to hit the board and despite being a 1/1 for two mana, it ends up being a great value because it's not exactly difficult to trigger its transformation through combat trick or any other means.  Once transformed into the 4/4 It That Rides As One, the addition of trample to the first strike and lifelink makes the creature a force with which to be reckoned.
Eldritch Evolution (Rare) - Those looking for an alternative to Birthing Pod or Food Chain will be quite happy to have Eldritch Evolution in their arsenals.  Sure, this card is a one time use rather than multi-use permanents like the aforementioned cards but it has a perk that the others don't.  It gives you a two mana boost towards the creature you're tutoring for.  That means your Primal Druid can turn into a Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet; your Yavimaya Elder can fetch an Ishkanah, Grafwidow; and so on.  There are many possibilities for this card and it is for that reason that it made our top 10.
Cryptolith Fragment (Uncommon) - Having a versatile mana generator such as Cryptolith Fragment is nice.  While not as quick as some players might like thanks to its 3 mana casting cost, the added bonus of all opponents (whether that be one in "normal" play or multiple in EDH) puts all other players on a clock.  Once they're at 10 life, however, the Fragment transforms into a 1/4 flyer that triples the loss of life whenever it attacks.  Blocked or not, that's a guaranteed loss of almost a third of your opponent's life right off the bat, perhaps more depending on how close to zero your opponent is.
Succumb to Temptation (Common) - Who doesn't like instant-speed card draw?  While blue is largely considered to be the best color for this sort of thing, the black instant Succumb to Temptation might shift the focus a bit towards the darker side of the game.  Sure, losing life isn't necessarily something that players look forward to, but when the trade-off is two cards it's definitely worth it.  And when you consider older formats such as Legacy and Vintage, players can Succumb to Temptation on turn one with the help of a Dark Ritual.  Sure, that's not exactly game breaking and some players would rather a turn-one Hypnotic Specter, but early card advantage like that is still pretty good in our book.

Eldritch Moon is the second and final set in the Shadows Over Innistrad block.  The set releases July 22 with Wizards of the Coast holding the set's Magic Game Day a few weeks later on Aug. 13-14.

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