Throne of Eldraine Mechanics

Posted in Feature on September 4, 2019

By Matt Tabak

Senior editor. Game designer. Writer. Bon vivant. Matt wears many hats inside Magic R&D, but they're hard to see as he's so tall.

Once upon a time, on a world not too unlike our own, there lived Knights, Faeries, Giants, Witches, animated . . . gingerbread cookies? Okay, perhaps Eldraine is a bit different, but at the same time, it's hauntingly familiar. Inspired by the fanciful tales of our childhoods, Throne of Eldraine is almost here, so let's see what new mechanics are in store. After all, your tale is just getting started.

Adventures

From seeking out missing kings to scaling beanstalks and seeing the sights, everyone on Eldraine seems to have an adventure waiting for them. Adventures are the hot new thing on Eldraine, and they're not that hard to spot. Here's Beanstalk Giant in the stylish new Adventure frame.

Beanstalk Giant

Some creatures in the set have their own personal adventure: an instant or sorcery that occupies the lower left corner of the cards. Adventures have their own name, mana cost, type line (including the new instant and sorcery subtype Adventure), and rules text. The creature's name, mana cost, type line, and power/toughness box are in their customary positions. The creature's rules text is over on the right.

As you're casting this foreboding-yet-strangely-beautiful card, you choose which part, creature or Adventure, you're casting. If you cast Beanstalk Giant, it goes on the stack as you'd expect a creature spell to, it can be countered or responded to as normal, and—as long as it resolves—it will enter the battlefield under your control. Jolly good.

Casting an Adventure is very similar. If you cast Fertile Footsteps, it goes on the stack as you'd expect a sorcery spell to, it can be countered or responded to as normal, and if it resolves you follow its instructions . . . and now we get to the first twist in our tale. As an Adventure spell resolves, you don't put it into your graveyard. Rather, you exile it. It's now on an adventure. Exciting!

Now the fun part of going on an adventure: returning safely! If an exiled card you own is on an adventure, you can cast the creature. This could be the same turn in which you cast the Adventure or on a future turn. This works only if the Adventure spell resolves and the card remains in exile. If you cast the Adventure and it's countered, you're out of luck. Of course, you don't have to cast the Adventure at all. You could just cast Beanstalk Giant if you have need of smashing now or you don't want to risk Fertile Footsteps getting countered.

While Beanstalk Giant is on the battlefield, just ignore the Adventure and all its text. While the card is in your hand, your graveyard, your library, even exile, it has only the characteristics of the creature, not the Adventure. For example, if you cast a spell that lets you search your library and find a creature card, you can find Beanstalk Giant. But if you cast a spell that lets you search your library and find an instant or sorcery card, you won't be able to find Fertile Footsteps.

Come, friends. Adventure awaits.

Adamant

There are five courts on Eldraine that constitute "the realm." Each color-aligned court is dedicated to a particular virtue (loyalty, knowledge, persistence, courage, and strength), and each handsomely rewards those who demonstrate dedication to that virtue. To wit, new adamant cards include bonuses if you spend at least three of a particular color of mana to cast them.

Embereth Paladin

Here's Embereth Paladin, a courageous Knight from Castle Embereth. A 4/1 with haste, Embereth Paladin will charge into battle with nary a second thought. As Embereth Paladin enters the battlefield, it fondly looks back to the halcyon days when it was first cast—you know, ten or fifteen seconds ago. If at least three of the mana spent to cast it were red, it enters with a +1/+1 counter.

Instants and sorceries can also get in on the fun. In many cases, the adamant ability will provide an additional effect. Here's a look inside the court of Ardenvale and the Silverflame Ritual.

Silverflame Ritual

In a few cases, the adamant ability may replace the base effect with something better. These adamant abilities, such as the one on Slaying Fire, will include "instead" to help you understand how they work.

Slaying Fire

Adamant abilities will look at all the mana spent to cast the spell in question, including any additional or alternative costs you pay. Of course, you must also factor in cost reductions or the ability to cast a card without paying its mana cost. If you cast Slaying Fire without paying its mana cost somehow, you probably didn't spend at least three red mana to cast it, so the adamant bonus won't apply.

If your word is true and you show fierce dedication to one of the courts, the entire realm will be your oyster. Oh, speaking of food . . .

Food

Gingerbread. Porridge. Magic beans. Picnic baskets full of goodies. Even the occasional pie. Fairy tales are replete with references to food. We'd be remiss if food didn't figure into our tales at least a little.

Bake into a Pie

Throne of Eldraine marks the introduction of Food tokens. Like Treasure tokens before them, Food tokens are a predefined sort of token created by several cards in the set. A Food token is a colorless artifact token with "2, T, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life." Eating, er . . . sacrificing Food tokens for life is a fine thing to do, but you'll encounter other uses for Food tokens throughout the set.

Food 1Food 2

Food 3Food 4

Food is an artifact subtype, so it's fair game to show up on artifact cards as well. Catch such cards if you can.

For the Realm!

Throne of Eldraine has it all: fencing, fighting, revenge, Giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles, and more. We'll see you at the Prerelease!

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