Throne of Eldraine (ELD) is Magic: The Gathering‘s newest set and spoilers are fully underway. One new card, Clackbridge Troll, is a powerful addition to any planeswalker’s arsenal, even though it could be too risky to make a splash in Standard.
With an 8/8 body, Clackbridge Troll is going to be one of the biggest creatures on the battlefield. Paired with trample and haste, it’s a powerful beater that can end a game quickly.
But this troll requires a toll—and he even gives opponents a way to pay it. As a play on the “Billy Goats Gruff” fable, Troll gives opponents three 0/1 goats, which they can then sacrifice to hold off the Troll’s attack—doing so gives the Troll owner life and a card. Theoretically, they can play even more creatures and sacrifice them each turn to keep the Troll from ever attacking. It also has no on-board way to protect itself from removal.
This makes the Clackbridge Troll a risky play. The worst-case scenario is you just gave an opponent three creatures in exchange for a removal spell.
But there’s potential upside as well. Get rid of the goats before attacking, for example, and Troll can deal some big damage immediately. Cry of the Carnarium and Ethereal Absolution provide ways to do this, but now we’re talking about setting up a combo just to attack for eight damage. Clackbridge Troll may not be worth the work.
We’ll see if it finds a good home in Standard as we approach rotation later this month.