One new card in Magic: the Gathering‘s upcoming set, Throne of Eldraine (ELD), has players dreaming of smashing faces with unassuming artifacts. The expansion has a sub-theme that involves turning any artifact into a 4/4 creature, and Workshop Elders is gets to do it for free.
On the surface, this is a very expensive 4/4. But the reason why is immediately obvious—it makes another 4/4 out of whatever artifact you have lying around. And then each turn, it makes another. Oh, and they all have flying. When used properly, this creature will quickly end the game.
The reason this card really shines, however, is that there’s already a few fringe decks out there that run practically meaningless artifacts as combo pieces: OmniTears and Karn, the Great Creator variants. Being able to turn those artifacts into threats is an amazing alternative win condition for these decks, and at the very least pressure that will eat up time and removal for your opponent.
Perhaps what’s most amazing, however, is how well it synergizes with the new Food mechanic. Food is a cheap, repeatable artifact, and now you can make the Food a flying beater. There are going to be plenty of uses for Workshop Elders and casting it will surely be a turning point in any game. The ability to give artifacts flying alone turns regular creatures into evasive threats.
It’s hard not to see Workshop Elders finding a place in Limited as a bomb and in Standard as a win condition. It may also find a specific home in other formats, and indeed, has been a feature part of the new Brawl precon Faerie deck.