Throne of Eldraine previews continue apace. We have roughly half the set already, which is just enough to start checking out the boring cards. Anyone can get excited about rares and mythics, and the power uncommons might as well be rare too. Flashy commons like Seven Dwarves get previewed early, but half of each booster pack languishes in obscurity until the end of the preview season.

Let’s fight that trend! Here are six super-boring commons that make me excited for a Limited world where they can do good work.

Ardenvale Paladin is about as boring as a common card can get. Pillarfield Ox with upside! What can I say—I’m a cheap date. But hear me out. While a four-mana 2/4 probably doesn’t cut it in today’s Limited environments, it was once a servicable curve filler and sideboard blocker against aggressive red decks. I actually won Round 9 to get to 8-1 at Grand Prix Philadelphia years ago (during Theros block) off the back of siding in two Oxen. Now that all creatures are bigger, your Ardenvale Paladin is a 2/5 instead. That’s a nice baseline when you need it.

But here’s the thing: a 3/6 is really hard to kill or attack into. It demands premium removal, or sits in play shutting off all sorts of otherwise-profitable attacks from your beatdown-hungry opponent. Paying 1WWW for a 3/6 on turn four is a bit ambitious on mana yet very medium on power level. What if you draw this card on turn twelve, though? You will surely be able to pay 1WWW by then, or at least get the story equity of how horribly you drew all game. If the game has devolved into an empty-board topdeck war, then a 3/6 can be a real finisher. It’s no Hexplate Golem—but what is?

Perhaps Tome Raider will end up the key piece in a new Modern Tempo Faeries starring Disrupting Shoal deck that only exists in my dream Tier Three metagame. I’m not holding my breath. Tome Raider may not be Cloud of Faeries, but I could see a world where this gets banned in Pauper eventually. I’m also going to ignore the Lara Croft aspects of this card.

Beyond all of that, this is still a compelling card. A 1/1 fying cantrip creature for three mana seems very relevant to contemporary Limited play. Wind Drake has slowly fallen off the cliff of playability in draft. So if you don’t want a 2/2 flier in your 2U mana slot, why not give up a power you didn’t need for a new card? The faerie type probably matters to some draft decks, but whatever. This card is Divination that blocks. Sign me up.

While we’re on the topic of faeries, Eye Collector wins top prize in the name department. Also in the existential question department: will you win by damage or by milling? Probably neither, but remember Mist Intruder? That was a good card and serious archetype enabler in a bad draft format. For one less mana, you get probably the same thing in a hopefully much better draft format!

There could be a careful dance of “which player wants to mill themselves more” where you have to side out your Eye Collectors. I sure hope so! Even then, the one card probably doesn’t matter. You can also use this to block, much like Tome Raider.

One drops are the new two drops, apparently. Usually cards like Weaselback Redcap kind of suck. You think you can draft this all-in fourteen land Red Aggro deck, but then you realize you won’t be able to make this stupid thing a 5/1 until turn ten. That said, this is the perfect thing to block with your Tome Raider or Eye Collector. And in turn, Weaselback Redcap does a solid job of trading with Ardenvale Paladin on turn twenty.

Oh yeah, this thing is also somehow a Goblin and a Knight. Those facts are probably a lot more relevant than anything else about it. Two relevant tribes for one mana, plus a random mana sink that can win a game? Sounds broken to me.

Not quite Wild Pair, but close enough. Treats to Share has to be the most ridiculous “card name” ever printed inside the text-“book” of a common creature. Are you obligated to sacrifice your 1/3 to some ravenous woodland beast later in the game? I assume so.

On the other side on the coin, a 1/3 by itself is surprisingly not awful in at least some games of Limited. Throw a free food token out on turn one if you get lucky, and you’ve got a real card. Probably not going to give Thraben Inspector a run for its money, but creating Food could be a thing. You know you want to make Food happen. Treats to Share! See, it’s fun.

What was I saying about Hexplate Golem? Power creep is a hell of a drug. And then they gave it trample? Might as well! Gotta punish those 1/3 chump blockers.

Brendan McNamara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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