At this point, it’s clear just how many excellent cards there are in Wilds of Eldraine. From Standard down to Legacy, there are lots of multi-format staples making their presences felt. Of course, some of these cards are flashy rares and mythic rares that will likely continue to dominate. Cards like Beseech the Mirror and Questing Druid are elite all-stars. However, not every card falls into that camp.
Up to this point, we’ve seen a number of commons and uncommons having an enormous impact on various formats. Up the Beanstalk, for example, completely lived up to the hype. Additionally, role-players like Monstrous Rage in Pioneer Boros Heroic have helped reinvigorate specific archetypes.
Today, we are focusing on an uncommon that, in general, was completely overlooked. This uncommon is not only seeing play in multiple competitive formats, but it is completely dominant in Wilds of Eldraine Limited. This card is none other than Imodane’s Recruiter. Let’s take a look at where Imodane’s Recruiter shines the most and what makes the card so strong.
A Unique Adventure Card
It’s no surprise that Adventure cards are often more powerful than they might appear on the surface. Adventure cards are typically very much worth the sum of their parts. Even if the Creature or the associated Adventure spell alone aren’t the most powerful and most efficient cards, they often can combine well together and become super useful.
Look at a card like Questing Druid. As a Creature, the card is nothing more than Quirion Dryad. As an Instant, the card is quite similar to Reckless Impulse. However, when combined, Questing Druid provides great card advantage by letting you reap the rewards from the Adventure, then cast the Creature from exile later in the game. Questing Druid is also super flexible, giving you the option to simply cast the Creature on curve as necessary.
Imodane’s Recruiter, on the other hand, is slightly different. See, both parts of Questing Druid only cost two mana, giving you a solid choice at the same point in your curve. Imodane’s Recruiter costs three mana, but the Adventure costs five mana, and isn’t super efficient for Constructed. Sure, spending five mana at Sorcery speed to get two 2/2 Knight tokens with vigilance is a nice option to have if you are flooding. However, the real power of the card lies in the Creature itself. In this sense, while this Adventure card isn’t as versatile as something like Questing Druid, the Creature alone more than makes up for this on rate.
For three mana, you get a 2/2 that immediately gives your whole squad +1/+0 and Haste when it enters the battlefield. At minimum, that means that Imodane’s Recruiter can attack as a 3/2 the turn it comes out, which is already decent. If you have a wide board of Creatures, though, Imodane’s Recruiter threatens to end the game in short order. This is exactly where the card shines, and it’s starting to see lots of play in both Standard and Pioneer.
Better Than Reckless Bushwhacker?
In Standard, Imodane’s Recruiter provides a relatively unique effect for go-wide Creature decks. Recently, we wrote about the Standard Boros Convoke starting to pop up in the format despite having existed in Pioneer for some time now, and the addition of Imodane’s Recruiter is a big reason why. Getting to cast Gleeful Demolition and follow it up with Imodane’s Recruiter, buffing your whole team and letting them attack immediately is a big deal.
The thing is, in Pioneer, a very similar card already existed: Reckless Bushwhacker. Reckless Bushwhacker is also a three-mana Creature, but with a Surge cost of two mana. This means that if you cast another spell beforehand, you can play Reckless Bushwhacker for two mana and give your other Creatures +1/+0 and Haste when it enters the battlefield. Notably, this buff does not include Reckless Bushwhacker itself, though Bushwhacker does have Haste naturally.
While Reckless Bushwhacker does have Surge for only two mana, which means you can cast it alongside a one-mana spell on turn three to add an additional threat to the board, you are forced to cast multiple spells in a turn in order to get the buff to your team. This does give Reckless Bushwhacker high upside but makes it less reliable than Imodane’s Recruiter in a number of spots. For example, Imodane’s Recruiter is a much better top deck, since it can pump your squad regardless of whether you have access to another spell or not. It even has the Adventure attached, which despite not being cast often, can help you rebuild from a board wipe. Given Recruiter’s reliability, it is starting to see play in some Pioneer Boros Convoke lists in place of Reckless Bushwhacker, which shows just how strong the card truly is.
A Mythic Uncommon
Beyond Constructed, this card is also a complete menace in Wilds of Eldraine Draft. Boros is one of the best performing archetypes, and Imodane’s Recruiter shines brightest here. While paying five mana to make two Knight tokens isn’t ideal in Constructed, it comes up a lot in Limited, especially in games where the board gets gummed up.
From there, you get to cast Imodane’s Recruiter from exile and attack with a large army. This one card alone presents nine power of damage to the opponent between the Recruiter, the two Knights previously created, and the enters-the-battlefield effect. This is simply incredible, and it’s no wonder Luis Scott-Vargas jokingly referred to Imodane’s Recruiter as Grave Titan in his Limited Resources podcast.
To put it into perspective just how powerful this card is, according to 17Lands.com, Imodane’s Recruiter has the second-highest win-rate of any card when maindecked in the whole set. Additionally, in Premier Draft on MTG Arena, Imodane’s Recruiter has the fourth-highest win rate in games where Imodane’s Recruiter is drawn during the game. This means that, among 17Lands.com users, only Realm-Scorcher Hellkite, Virtue of Persistence, and Gruff Triplets have higher win-rates when drawn during the course of the game. This put Imodane’s Recruiter in similar conversation with the biggest, baddest bomb rares and mythic rares in the set!
Imodane’s Recruiter hits hard and adds a lot of power to the battlefield. It isn’t quite as dominant in Constructed, but has solid homes in Standard and Pioneer, nonetheless. For aggressive decks looking to go wide with Creatures, this is a fantastic inclusion.