We’ve recently gotten our first taste of spoilers for the upcoming Wilds of Eldraine. The set drops in about a month and will have two preconstructed commander decks. We don’t have much concrete info on them, but we know both names and color identities. Today, I’ll cover everything we know about the virtue and valor precon and make predictions about everything we don’t.
Virtue and Valor is a selesnya (white/green) creature-based deck that releases alongside the main Wilds of Eldraine set on September 8, 2023. It will contain a 100-card deck (10 brand-new cards), a 2-card Collector Booster sample pack, one life tracker, and a deck box.
With that basic info out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the things we can deduce about the virtue and valor precon. We’ll cover what I assume the deck’s strategy to be, reprints that might be included, what won’t make it in, and some cards to pick up now if you’re going to buy this next month. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
We recently got our first look at the primary and secondary commanders for the virtue and valor precon. Most of my predictions for the deck reloved around +1/+1 counters, but I mentioned an enchantment-based “pump the team” strategy being possible.
That said, I was wrong about which way it would lead. The deck is built around the new “role aura” mechanic from the main Wilds of Eldraine set. Here is a look at the new commanders and what they do.
Whenever Gylwain or another non-token creature enters the battlefield under your control, you create one of three “role tokens” and attach it to it. Here is a rundown of what each one will give your creature:
- Royal Role – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ward one.
- Sorcerer Role – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has “Whenever this creature attacks, scry 1.”
- Monster Role – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has trample.
This is a new, unique way to play enchantments that offers a lot of versatility. Is the creature you cast something you want to protect? Make it royal and give it ward. Is it a beat stick? Monster role will be the best bet. You can sort of buff and boost your creatures as needed, and that’s cool.
Here’s your secondary commander – It still cares about enchantments (and features the new role mechanic) but in a slightly different way. Instead of giving you a “build a creature” play-style with many options, she allows you to create a “virtuous role” token and attach it to another of your creatures when she enters the battlefield or attacks. Here is what a virtuous role token does:
- Virtuous Role – Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each enchantment you control.
So, you get less versatility and options this way but you have a slightly more streamlined gameplan at the same time. Then there is the next portion of the text, which is always great on a commander – “Draw a card.” Whenever an enchanted creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you’ll draw a card.
I think both commanders are quite good and the card draw engine here will work will alongside the monster token role in the deck.
Virtue And Valor Precon – Possible Strategies & Cards
We don’t know anything for sure yet – That means we don’t have any spoilers or deck lists yet or know the strategy for certain. However, given the name of the precon, the colors, and some info on the box, we can make some pretty strong guesses as to how it might play.
In my experience, selesnya (green/white) decks do a few things well in Commander, and I would make sense to see some (or all) in the virtue and valor precon. First is churning out an army of creatures, also known as a “go wide strategy,” such as tokens. These creatures might start small but usually don’t stay that way long, and this will likely be the deck’s core.
There’s a line in the virtue and valor Amazon description that says, “Buff your creatures and crush your foes with Syr Ellivere’s loyal woodland creature squires at your side.” If this tells us how the deck will play, the first step will be putting creatures on the
There are many token-producing cards in commander, and I’m curious to see which ones make the cut for “woodland creatures” because things like Trostani Discordant, for example, don’t fit well. Many of the 10 new cards may contribute to this portion of the deck.
Here are a few examples of cards I expect to see.
Cadira, Caller of the Small, is an under-the-radar powerhouse that would be an excellent fit for the deck. A three-mana 3/3 is an ok base rate, and the trample makes her a formidable threat if she’s pumped up. And trample goes a long way in triggering her ability.
Speaking of her ability, it gets out of hand very quickly! With even a few tokens in play your
This is a newer card that, in my experience, is very good. It doesn’t make tokens unless you’ve already for something in play to populate, but that usually isn’t a problem. And if you get some big tokens in play, creating a copy at the start of combat gets out of hand quickly.
The more tokens you play, the bigger this thing will get, and if it goes unanswered for a while, it can be quite the beater. And the cherry on top is the evasion. Overall, this does a little bit of everything you’d want in a deck like this.
Felidar Retreat is another card that does everything you want and then some. It can contribute bodies to the
Speaking of landfall, Avenger of Zendikar is another prime example of the mass creature-producing (and bolstering) spells that I’m expecting to see in the virtue and valor precon. Seven mana is a lot, but you almost always get your money’s worth with this hard-hitting classic.
Related: All MTG Precons – The Complete Guide
Pump The Team
If I were a betting man, I’d lean toward the +1/+1 counters being the primary means. Still, an enchantment sub-there with the secondary commander would be logical, as it is one of the color combination’s stronger archetypes. Below are some excellent examples of what we may see.
Unbreakable Formation pulls double duty in the decks where you want to sleeve it up. First, it protects your
Let’s focus on the Unbreakable Formation, which gives all your creatures a +1/+1 and vigilance (in addition to the indestructible) which can be massive and almost guarantees a “free” attack. To elaborate, your creatures will survive blocks (thanks to the indestructible), and not having to tap means you can attack without fear of retaliation. And the counters stick around afterward. Overall, great card!
If you want a game-ending card for this type of build, Overrun checks all the boxes. A +3/+3 boost and trample is a nasty combination that can take unprepared (or sometimes even prepared) opponents out of the game in one massive swing. I might add that the art is on point for the woodland creature theme, too.
Not everything in the deck has to be a token or start small. End-Raze Forerunners is massive when it hits the table and makes everything else even bigger. Not to mention it has haste, vigilance, and trample and grants to the rest of your creatures the latter two abilities.
As mentioned with Unbreakable Formation, these abilities combine to give you favorable attacks and close out games or eliminate opponents quickly. I’m sure there will be at least a few hard-hitting, game-ending spells in the 99.
Card Draw And Removal
Every deck in MTG needs a few core things to function well, and the virtue and valor precon won’t be any different – Two of the biggest things are ways to draw cards and answer opposing threats. Let’s look at how a go-wide creature deck can achieve these things and cover some of the staples in G/W for these categories.
- Return of the Wildspeaker
- Rite of Harmony
- Rishkar’s Expertise
- Collective Unconscious
- Swords to Plowshares
- Generous Gift
- Beast Within
- Aura Mutation
- Kabira Takedown
- Austere Command
- Citywide Bust
- Hour of Reckoning
- Sundering Growth
- Conclave Tribunal
Cards I Don’t Expect To See
The possibilities for an archetype like this are vast, and you could include many things. That said, here are a few things that would be good in the deck that I think won’t be included despite being good. Most of these will be excluded due to their high price tags or overall power.
Craterhoof is a staple and a powerhouse finisher for decks that are going wide. And I’m sure it would be a great inclusion in the virtue and valor precon. However, I don’t think WOTC will include such a high-dollar (and powerful) staple in the deck. I think there’s a chance we Moonshaker Cavalry (which many are touting as White’s version of Craterhoof) be included since it’s from the main WIlds of Eldraine set.
Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, & Anointed Procession
Assuming the deck makes tokens, any of these three cards is phenomenal – In a token-heavy theme, they make most of the deck twice as good as usual. Especially Doubling Season, if the creature buffs come in the form of +1/+1 counters, which I assume will be the case.
While these cards would likely be great for the deck, they’re too expensive to be included at $40 to $50 each. Plus, these are good candidates to be reprinted in the “Enchanting Tales” sub-set that is coming along with Wilds of Eldraine. So, between that and the high price, I doubt any of the three will be in the precon.
Toski, Bearer Of Secrets
I love Toski. Not only is it an excellent standalone commander, but it’s also a card draw machine in any deck with many creatures to turn sideways. And while it may be a nice theme fit (squirrels are woodland creatures, after all), I don’t think we’ll see it show up in the virtue and valor precon.
In my experience, WOTC doesn’t usually reprint strong legendary creatures in precons that are good at the helm of other decks. Usually, they come with a new face commander and a backup (who shares the color identity for the deck), and Toski doesn’t fit the bill there.
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
Similarly to Toski, Bennie here is a beast in the card draw department and a popular commander himself. Also, like Toski, he’d be too strong of a legend to include in the 99 of a precon and has a pretty hefty price tag of around $20. That said, I would love to be wrong about this one, and I’ll tip my hat to WOTC if they include it. But I don’t think so.
Most commander precons have a reprint value of around $95. To elaborate, without counting the value of any new cards included in the deck, there should be about $100, give or take, in value. Here are some more expensive cards that may help get the deck there.
- Second Harvest – $6
- Heroic Intervention – $9
- Akroma’s Will – $15
- Clever Concealment – $7
- Esika’s Chariot – $6.50
- Ozolith, the Shattered Spire – $5
- Cathars’ Crusade – $8
- Tribute to the World Tree – $6.50
Cards You Should Pick Up Before Virtue And Valor Releases
If you want to buy and upgrade the deck, here are some cards you should consider getting early. I don’t think they’ll get reprinted in the deck, but that would be good to have. If the precon is popular, relevant cards start spiking, and my guesses are accurate, you should save money by buying them now.
Jaheira, Friend of the Forest
I don’t think this will make it into the deck because of the background mechanic. It would be strange to include it without a background in the deck. And new players tend to find it somewhat confusing, so I doubt they will. That said, the card is potent in any deck going wide with tokens!
If the deck is popular and many players are upgrading it, most, if not all, are going to want this. So get it while it’s at its current price. Oh, and you’ll want a background, too – My recommendation is cInspiring Leader.
If I had to guess, I would say Citizen tokens would be a strange inclusion in the woodland theme mentioned by WOTC for the deck. Not to mention, it’s a wincon. As a result, I think they’ll probably leave it out. This is understandable, but I recommend adding it if you’re ok with disrupting the flavor to increase the power.
It makes tokens, draws cards, provides you with a great mana sink, and, as mentioned, can win you the game under the right circumstances. I’m sure there will be plenty of less impactful cards in the stock list that you could swap with this. As of now, this is around $5.
Mirari’s Wake hasn’t been in a precon since way back in 2017, and I doubt that’ll change now. Furthermore, it just got reprinted in Commander Masters, so the price is currently low. There is nothing not to like about +1/+1 to all your creatures and double mana from all your lands. This is 100% the best time to buy this if you plan on getting the virtue and valor deck.
Huatli, Radiant Champion
Ashiok is the only planeswalker on Eldraine this visit, so Huatli would feel more than random in the Wilds of Eldraine precons from a story/flavor perspective and wouldn’t fit the woodland wildlife theme either. However, from a gameplay perspective, she’s perfect.
Her +1 begs to be activated with a massive
Her final ability might not win you the game outright, but it is tough to lose through the emblem. Assuming the deck is devoted to cranking out bodies, you can draw an absurd amount of cards. And it’s relatively easy to make happen, thanks to the +1.
Official Deck List
We don’t have deck lists just yet. However, when they drop, you’ll find them here.
There you have it, my friends – If you have an interest in the Wilds of Eldraine precons, I hope you found today’s article useful and enjoyable. The main set looks amazing, and I can’t wait to see the lists for the commander decks when they release. Until then, get out there are play some MTG.