The Throne of Eldraine has been officially unveiled as the next Magic set along with some exciting changes to booster packs and the introduction of the Brawl format to MTG Arena. You can catch up on all of that news over on my Discord community but today I’m going to take a brief look at a common card:
Ferocious Pup is a 0/1 wolf creature that creates a 2/2 green wolf creature token when it enters the battlefield.
So why am I looking at a common card? Well first of all this isn’t actually too bad; creating two bodies with one card is always good, even if you only use the little pup to chump block1 in the hopes of stabilising on your next turn.
The real reason, though, is that I’m fairly sure we’re about to see some wolf love in Throne of Eldraine. I’ve said for a while that it was curious that Arlinn, Voice of the Pack in War of the Spark specifically mentioned werewolves when there aren’t any in Standard and then this continued in Core Set 2020 with Nightpack Ambusher. It was always possible that this was just to satisfy Modern players but it seemed a little off to me. Beyond that, we’ve seen the wolf archetype slowly go from nothing prior to Core Set 2019 to now being a fairly strong tribe to the extent that I was soundly beaten by a wolf deck at the Core Set 2020 pre-release2.
At present, there are only 10 cards that either are a wolf or have some wolf interactions. This doesn’t seem many but some of them are exceptionally good:
- Arlinn, Voice of the Pack: A planeswalker that causes all wolves to enter the battlefield with an extra +1/+1 counter and she can reduce loyalty to create a 2/2 wolf token (which is effectively a 3/3 wolf token)
- Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves: A legendary creature who creates a legendary 3/3 wolf token and gives all wolves an ETB trigger that gives you 3 life and allows that wolf to fight another creature
- Wolfrider’s Saddle: A legendary equipment that gives +1/+1 to a creature and it can’t be blocked by more than one creature; it creates a 2/2 wolf token with which it is pre-equipped when it enters the battlefield
- Nightpack Ambusher: The best card for a wolf deck, this 4/4 creature has flash and gives other wolves +1/+1; if you don’t cast any spells on your turn, it creates a 2/2 wolf token on your end step
All of these paired with some mana ramp and an Icon of Ancestry3 can lead to a pretty decent deck. It isn’t quite competitive yet but with a few new cards it could definitely take shape. When rotation hits, only two wolves will be removed from Standard; Skalla Wolf (which was confined to the Vivien Planeswalker deck) and Thornhide Wolves, neither of which will be particularly missed.
Now that Throne of Eldraine has been announced as a “Camelot meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales” setting, it seems highly likely to me that there are going to be both wolves and werewolves in the near future. It’s not hard to imagine that The Big Bad Wolf might make an appearance from the fairytale side of things whilst the story of Melion from King Arthur would bring a werewolf from the Camelot aspect. It is also perfectly feasible that we may see more from such stories as The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids and The Wolf and The Fox.
The hinting thus far just seems too strong for there to be anything other than a good showing of wolves in the upcoming set and with those I think that a wolf tribal deck might just start to take shape for use in a more competitive environment…
This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.