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Top 10 Overpowered "Throne of Eldraine" Block Cards

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

The "Throne of Eldraine" Block in Magic

Compared to other trading card games, Magic: The Gathering does an admirable job of limiting "power creep," meaning newer cards aren't necessarily better than older ones. This keeps players satisfied, preventing them from constantly having to invest in new sets to maintain top-tier decks.

That said, we've seen some devastating spells throughout the ToE block (made of Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths). But are these cards overpowered, or simply competitive? You be the judge as we explore Magic's ten best ToE-block cards!

Bonecrusher Giant mtg

Bonecrusher Giant mtg

10. Bonecrusher Giant/Stomp

Set: Throne of Eldraine

You can either cast Giant as a monster right off the bat, or play his adventure "Stomp" into exile, where Giant can later be cast from. That's probably what you'll want; Stomp makes damage unpreventable that turn and deals two damage to any target, a great removal for creatures or weakened planeswalkers. It's also an instant, similar to the classic "Shock."

So you've got a decent instant that transitions to an excellent creature. For just three mana (two of which can be any color), Giant offers a fierce 4/3 who inflicts two damage to anyone who targets him with a spell, punishing removals. And since Giant isn't legendary, you can easily control multiple copies.

Embercleave mtg

Embercleave mtg

9. Embercleave

Set: Throne of Eldraine

Embercleave isn't nearly as expensive as it looks, as its base price is reduced (to a minimum of two) by one per attacking creature you control, and it automatically equips when it enters the field. Not only that, but Emmercleave has flash, letting you cast it at instant speed and gives its bearer +1/+1, double strike, and trample!

Double strike is an amazing trait that lets you hit twice, and since the initial occurs at first strike speed, you often avoid a counterattack. With flash speed, you can often bait blockers into unsuitable combat, and even if Embercleave's initial bearer dies, it only costs three to reequip.

This is a big part of what's making red aggro so deadly; get one onto Giant, and you're swinging for ten trampling damage with one unit!

Shadowspear mtg

Shadowspear mtg

8. Shadowspear

Set: Throne of Eldraine

Since it's colorless, Shadowspear fits any theme, and it's remarkably cheap, costing just one to cast and two equip. Its bearer gains +1/+1, trample, and lifelink, three useful bonuses that work well together.

Stopping there, you'd already have an excellent card comparable to classic "Basilisk Collar," but Shadowspear also lets you spend one mana to instantly remove hexproof and indestructible from all opposing permanents! That's an amazing debuff that affects all card types, not just creatures, and it's an excellent counter against the indestructible Theros Beyond Death gods.

The only thing that even sort of balances Shadowspear is the fact that it's legendary, but trust me, one is more than enough.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath mtg

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath mtg

7. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

Set: Theros Beyond Death

So, when you first cast Uro for three, he sacrifices himself, but you still get his entrance/attack effect, gaining three life, drawing a card, and letting you play an extra land. Heck, that itself is worth a three-cost spell, and it gives you some rare Simic lifegain, helping outlast red aggro decks.

But you keep Uro out when he escapes from your graveyard, requiring four mana and five other cards exiled from your graveyard. You'll get his entrance effects again, but now you also score a massive 6/6 who triggers again just by attacking! Again, this gives blue-green builds some abilities that don't normally enjoy (lifegain and graveyard exploitation), giving white-black powers without needing to delve into their colors.

Uro's black/red counterpart, "Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger," is also a highly recommended spell.

Thassa's Oracle mtg

Thassa's Oracle mtg

6. Thassa's Oracle

Set: Theros Beyond Death

Admittedly, Oracle really only works in certain decks, but boy does she. Her stats are decent at 1/3, but she has the popular merfolk and wizard subtypes to play with. More than that, when she enters the field, you get to scry a number of cards equal to your blue devotion, placing one on top of your deck and the rest on bottom randomly.

However, if your devotion is equal to or greater than the number of cards in your library, you immediately win the game! Counting her own symbols, you know you're scrying at least two, but the trick to utilizing Oracle is to drastically mill your own deck using cards like "Treasure Hunt." Replace a few island lands with "Mystic Sanctuary" to reuse Hunt, and you've got a deadly combo that's hard for opponents to mess with since it doesn't rely on your field state.

Thassa, Deep-Dwelling mtg

Thassa, Deep-Dwelling mtg

5. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

Set: Theros Beyond Death

Like other Theros gods, Thassa is indestructible, meaning several enchantment removals ("Back to Nature" and such) fail against her. She's formidable at 6/5, but won't count as a creature until your blue devotion is at least five. But that's fine; you're really after her blink effect, letting you exile your own creature at your end step, then return it to the field.

This can effectively untap tapped creatures, letting them block, but it's lethal with entry effects, letting you reactivate powerful triggers like "Agent of Treachery," "Risen Reef," and whatever else you come up with. Throw in the ability to pay four mana to instantly tap an enemy creature and you've got a versatile yet deadly god card.

Questing Beast mtg

Questing Beast mtg

4. Questing Beast

Set: Throne of Eldraine

Static traits aren't locked into one color, but Questing Beast heavily explores other colors' specialties. Vigilance is usually white, deathtouch black, and haste red, yet Beast enjoys them all, on top of great 4/4 stats.

And that's not even it; Beast can't be blocked by creatures with two or less power, meaning he bypasses most walls and deathtouch defenses. He also prevents combat damage on all your creatures from being prevented, and whenever he damages your opponent, he hits one of their planeswalkers for as much!

Simply put, Beast is an incredibly fast anti-planeswalker countermeasure, and splashable enough to fit in multi-color decks.

Fabled Passage mtg

Fabled Passage mtg

3. Fabled Passage

Set: Throne of Eldraine

Let's compare Passage to its non-rare land counterpart "Evolving Wilds." Both tap and sacrifice themselves to play any basic land from your deck tapped, a great way for multi-color decks to search colors they need. This also places a card in your graveyard, helping stockpile for escape effects.

But Passage can do what Wilds can't; after its effect, if you control four or more lands, you get to untap your new basic land, giving the full power of Wilds' search and graveyard support without the disadvantage of having to wait on the mana.

Once Upon a Time mtg

Once Upon a Time mtg

2. Once Upon a Time

Set: Throne of Eldraine

As if ToE hadn't already overpowered green, here comes a now-banned (in standard and modern) spell. It's an instant, so you can cast it whenever, and it lets you add a creature or land from your deck's top five cards to hand, placing the rest on the bottom of your deck.

Ending there, you'd have a good tutor, but Time can be cast for free if it's the first spell you cast that game, providing an amazing opening play that helps guarantee your early land drops/spells.

Oko, Thief of Crowns mtg

Oko, Thief of Crowns mtg

1. Oko, Thief of Crowns

Set: Throne of Eldraine

Green/blue strikes again with this monstrous planeswalker, now rightfully banned in standard and modern. He enters with four loyalty, great for a three-cost card, and unlike most planeswalkers, he has two loyalty-adding effects to pick from. +2 creates a food token, which you can sacrifice while spending two mana to gain three life. +1 is even better, making a creature or artifact lose all effects (permanently) and become a 3/3 elk.

Use this against your opponent's big creatures to weaken them and dispel their abilities, or on your weak tokens to buff them to respectable 3/3s. Oko's -5 is also deadly, letting you exchange control of an artifact or creature you control for an opponent's creature of cost three or less, which means you can hand them weak food tokens for whatever mid-game creatures you like.

In short, Oko's cheap, has strong loyalty, and three excellent abilities, making him one of the most overpowered cards in all Magic's history, not just this block.

Other Overpowered Cards in Magic History

Cards like today's remain a controversial subject, with some players thinking every set will naturally contain a few outliers, others seeing them as power creep and "pay to win" rearing their ugly heads. Other powerful cards from recent memory include things like Veil of Summer" and "Teferi, Time Unraveler," but I've got to admit that the ToE block has been particularly dubious when it comes to outlandish spells.

Sure, the banned list helps regulate overpowered cards, but it's better to balance them in the first place. But for now, as we await more of the game's best spells, vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!