By Cody Perez
September 10, 2019
It’s a new week and Wizards of the Coast is continuing to drop more announcements about the upcoming fall expansion Throne of Eldraine for Magic: The Gathering. There is a massive wave of new cards that are arriving with the release of the forthcoming expansion including the new MTG Shimmer Dragon, Silverwing Squadron, and more!.
The new cards announced today include new cards for the dragon typing, which is the first of its kind for the upcoming expansion to be announced, knights, and many more. Of course, there is some more love for the fairy tale theme that is a prominent part of the new fall card set.
After all, Wizards of the Coast already revealed that the two main themes of Throne of Eldraine are the classic fairy tales like Beauty & the Beast and Arthurian legends including knights and more. While we’ve had quite a few fairy tale reveals recently, there hasn’t been a whole lot announced for knights yet.
Well, some solid knight cards were announced as part of the most recent wave of announcements, and they are sure to please those who like building knight decks. These include Inspiring Veteran, Silverwing Squadron, and more. But before we get to those, we have a dragon to deal with.
Dragons are always some of the most famous creature cards in sets, and we now have the first of the dragon announcements for Throne of Eldraine. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and take a look at the MTG Shimmer Dragon.
First up on the list of cards that we have to cover in this latest wave of announcements is the MTG Shimmer Dragon card. Shimmer Dragon is a beautiful, high fantasy-like dragon card that will be a strong addition to blue decks, especially those who are looking to add a powerful and versatile creature.
Shimmer Dragon is a blue dragon creature card that costs six mana to summon, two of which must be blue mana. To even out with its higher cost, though, it has some solid stats at five/six, which is pretty good, but the abilities it has make it more valuable.
For starters, it has flying, of course, which is no surprise given that it is a dragon creature card, but it has two additional abilities as well. So long as you control four or more artifacts on the field, the MTG Shimmer Dragon is hexproof while they remain on the field, which is pretty impressive.
Your opponent will only be able to take out Shimmer Dragon if they can remove the artifacts somehow, or by normal combat means. But that’s still not all as you can tap two of the untapped artifacts that you control to draw a card.
Overall, Shimmer Dragon feeds directly into the artifact-heavy expansion that features stuff like the new food tokens. While four artifacts may seem like a lot overall, it isn’t too bad if you have cards like the set’s featured Planeswalker Oko, Thief of Crowns on your side.
Oko, for instance, can generate a new food token artifact on the field each turn of the match. In this case, you can quickly accumulate four tokens by the time even play the MTG Shimmer Dragon. You’ll want to do this, of course, so that you can use it to its full potential. It will be a strong finisher in the new metagame for artifact blue decks.
Next up on the list of revealed cards is the new Silverwing Squadron. It not only gives much-needed love to the knight’s theme, but also to the white color, which hasn’t seen new card announcements like the red color.
Silverwing Squadron is also a powerful and higher costing card at six mana (one of which must be white) to summon this human knight creature card. But it more than makes for that in its variable stats and solid abilities that ensure that this will be an excellent mid to late game creature.
For starters, Silverwing Squadron is a knight squad of flying soldiers, so it has flying and vigilance. Its stats have asterisks attached to them because they change based on a specific factor. The power and toughness of Silverwing Squadron all depend on the number of creatures that you control on the field.
So, if you happen to have five creatures on your side of the field (most likely not including Silverwing Squadron but possible), it will be five/five for stats and so on. Of course, this does mean that it will likely lose and gain stats, depending on if you summon more creatures or they are destroyed.
The final ability that Silverwing Squadron has tops it all off with a rather insanely powerful one that will make this card more valuable than you’d expect. Whenever Silverwing Squadron attacks, it will create many two/two white knight creature tokens with vigilance equal to the number of opponents that you have currently.
This likely means that it will be based on the actual other players you are up against, rather than the real creatures that your opponent controls. In that case, you are only going to get one knight creature token in Standard play, but it will excel, of course, in Commander and Brawl match formats.
In Commander and Brawl, you can have multiple opponents that you are up against and so this card will fill up your side of the field in just one hit most likely. This also means that Silverwing Squadron will likely gain stats based on those creature tokens, too, making it a strong beast in those formats.
However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be useful in Standard as it will be there, too. You are at least guaranteed a new token each time you attack so that could mean plus one to stats with each turn you attack with Silverwing Squadron. It will be a strong finisher and defender for white color decks, especially knight ones.
Both red and white color decks get some love with this next human knight card Inspiring Veteran. Inspiring Veteran is a low-cost human knight creature card that is, oddly enough, a hybrid card for some reason between red and white. This is interesting given that it isn’t a legendary or Planeswalker.
It is cheap to summon the field as well, only requiring two mana with one being red and the other being white. It has solid enough stats to boot of two/two when it enters the field as well. But it has a reasonably standard ability that will boost the knight’s deck significantly.
Its singular ability is that it gives the other knights you control plus one/plus one. This doesn’t specify if it is only while Inspiring Veteran is on the field, so this could be a permanent boost when Inspiring Veteran is, inevitably, sent to the graveyard later on.
Regardless, this makes Inspiring Veteran a useful contender to knights decks. It can give plus one/plus one instantly to other knights like the Silverwing Squadron and make it more potent in the process. Of course, you can also stack your knight’s deck with this card up to four as well.
The great thing about this is that the boost to stats will stack with each one that you put on the field. Suddenly, all of your other knights besides Inspiring Veteran will get up to plus four/plus four to their stats, and each Inspiring Veteran will be boosted as well by the other three veterans.
It is a simple but effective mechanic that will make aggressive decks more potent in the upcoming expansion. It also helps that the artwork for Inspiring Veteran is so adorable (but terrifying as well?), too, showing the Veteran riding with a young child (presumably, theirs) into battle.
Stepping away from knights and their eternal fight with dragons for a bit, we have a couple more cards that were revealed with the latest spoilers. This includes the Savvy Hunter card. Savvy Hunter is a human warrior creature card that costs three mana to use, one of which must be black, and the other must be green.
It is another hybrid creature card, but this time around, it’s for green and black decks. It has solid stats like Inspiring Veteran of three/three. Also, whenever Savvy Hunter attacks or blocks, it will create a food token artifact card on your side of the field.
This food token artifact will have the standard food token stats of allowing you to spend two mana and tap it to gain three life instantly. Of course, given its first ability, you will be able to generate food tokens each time you attack or block with it.
But the second ability of Savvy Hunter is where the true usefulness of this card comes into play. You can sacrifice two food tokens to draw a card. This is already useful enough on its own, but there is the valuable general ability to be able to generate food tokens every turn.
The new food mechanic in the upcoming expansion is a significant part of many of the cards in the set. There are many cards like Savvy Hunter that benefit from getting as many food tokens onto the field as possible, like the Gluttonous Troll creature.
That creature also benefits from food tokens. By consuming one, it can gain stronger stats each turn as long as you have food tokens on the field. Savvy Hunter will be great for doing this and also for other cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns who can turn those tokens into strong elk creatures.
The final card in the latest reveals is Mystical Dispute. This card is another fairy tale card that will be a useful addition to the already powerful and versatile blue deck. Mystical Dispute is a blue instant spell card that can be cast at any time for the rather low mana cost of three (one of which must be blue).
Its artwork shows an exciting dispute between some human mage and a female mystical creature whose identity is unknown at this time. But it does continue the fairy tale theme that has been so prominent within the upcoming expansion that has many other fairytale-like themes.
Being that it is an instant spell card, it is available for use as a counter to an opponent’s move even on their turn. That is the exact purpose of this card, and it has some exciting flexibility that will make it useful for blue decks. For starters, you can play Mystical Dispute for only one blue mana in a certain way.
All you need to do is use Mystical Dispute to counter a blue spell that your opponent has. It will require two less mana than normal, making it even easier to use. Of course, this is a highly specific situation since you aren’t always going to be up against fellow blue deck users.
Regardless, though, this is still a useful counter spell card to have in your deck since it can counter any card that is used by your opponent. Its second ability is all about that since it can counter the target spell and stop it in the process unless your opponent pays three mana right then.
This allows you to, most likely, counter the spell, or it will be on the opponent to pay the cost in the process and have less mana to use for that turn. It would also be good to use this earlier on or when the opponent has less than three mana available, so that they aren’t able to stop Mystical Dispute even if they want to.
Thanks for joining us for a closer look at some of the new cards coming in Throne of Eldraine including the MTG Shimmer Dragon, Mystical Dispute, and so many more. Stay tuned as we’ll be continuing to update you as more cards are revealed!