It’s that time again! A time for draft guides and analyses of the new set. Unfortunately, many analysts will miss one key consideration, and it’s going to lead to a meta that undervalues one key metric personally endorsed by Mark Rosewater in a blog post, now tragically lost due to the Wizards site migration. Namely: the number of ladies and other people lesbians might kiss in a deck who should totally kiss the other ladies and other people lesbians might kiss in that deck!

Don’t worry: I’m here once again to help fill the gap, and provide you with my picks for the top ten queer ladies and other sapphics on cards in Wilds of Eldraine. As usual, this is not a pick of the hottest ladies and sapphics, although there will be a lot of overlap (queer people being, of course, innately hot).

Two quick ground rules before we dive in: first of all, we have one disqualification for Wilds of Eldraine. This set’s story reveals, in a sly, winking fashion, that Rowan Kenrith is queer (and into monster-ladies, for that matter). And even without that, Rowan’s new haircut and new fealty to an evil queen in make her an absolute shoo-in. In order to give characters who haven’t been in box art before a fair shake, you won’t find Rowan on this list.

Second, this set features not one but two prominent non-binary characters, in Ashiok, Wicked Manipulator, and Talion, the Kindly Lord. Now, of course, non-binary people don’t belong on a list of women, but they can belong on a list of people lesbians might kiss. I included some (in my fanon) non-binary and/or trans masc characters in my Tales of Middle Earth list, which felt ok because I was playfully pushing against a default assumption that Elanor Gardner must be a woman, or that two hobbits sharing Second Breakfast must be a straight couple. It feels a little weirder to declare canon non-binary characters as “into ladies” and dating lesbians; it doesn’t feel like my place to assert fanon about who Talion might like or how they date. So you won’t find Ashiok or Talion on this list either (although ftr my little lesbian heart would absolutely be ok with dating Talion, even though they aren’t a woman – queer dating is complicated!).

If we see Talion smooching a cute femme in a future story, hey, maybe we’ll see them on a future list.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to our queer countdown!

#10 Stockpiling Celebrant

You know what queer people like? Free food! Yeah, honestly, there’s not too much more to why I chose this card other than that joke and the fact that I love the face that Raluca Marinescu gave this freeloading dwarf, which must be a real person’s likeness. Maybe if she had an eyebrow slit, or we could see her nails, I’d have more to go on. But also? If you were working as a server while trying to get your paintings of your ex-girlfriend’s hands into a gallery, you’d grab some food to go, too.

#9 Stormkeld Prowler

Obviously Kylene would rather be home with her partner and their beautiful children, but textbooks and date nights cost money, and you know how you get money? Gemstones larger than a human being’s head, and gigantic golden needles.

You can tell that Kylene’s queer because, how extra do you need to be to put on a half-face mask to disguise yourself from a giant, who can’t see your teensy face and doesn’t care who you are anyway?

#8 Smothering Tithe

Our only non-creature inclusion on this list, and our first foray into an anime treatment in this column; I’m sure my fellow queer nerds are very excited. I don’t know exactly what just happened in Daisuke Tatsuma’s striking scene here, but I know it’s something that one or both of these girls will need to talk about with their therapists when they’re in their 30s.

“I just don’t understand why I was so mean to her!” the blonde girl will say.

“Mm,” her therapist will answer. “And how long after this was it that you became aware of your attraction to other girls?”

“I…I…” And her eyes will get wide, and she’ll go looking for the brunette girl on social media that night and stare wistfully at how beautifully she’s aged.

#7 Conceited Witch

Let’s talk about drag for a second. I’m not actually an expert on drag, and have actually had trouble breaking into queer friend groups because I don’t watch Drag Race! But drag is obviously a rich tradition that has allowed generations of queer people to experiment with gender, whether they were trans or not. RuPaul, of course, tried to claim drag as the domain exclusively of gay men not too long ago, specifically to exclude trans women, and he was rightly and soundly rebuffed by queens and fans.

Anyway, all of this is to say, I invite you not to view this as a picture of an ugly hag hiding her true appearance, but of a powerful woman choosing how the world will see her–and hoping to meet a nice girl. And hey, it’s not conceited if you really look that good. Slay, queen.

#6 Embereth Veteran

I promise there aren’t many dashing knights on this list–I love them but they’re so well-represented in Magic, only the real gems stand out– but it wasn’t Embereth Veteran’s bulky armor and imposing stature that won her the number 6 slot, it’s her kindness and warmth. I adore the Embereth Veteran’s mechanic of sacrifice and mentorship, and how it’s represented in Andreia Ugrai’s beautiful art. Intergenerational solidarity is important in queer communities, and the Embereth Veteran’s way with young heroes is sure to set your figurative or literal ovaries buzzing.

#5 Yenna, Redtooth Regent

When I showed my picks for Wilds of Eldraine to my fiancée, she said of this one, ‘oh, is that your bottoms-are-valid-too card?’ And, sure, although Yenna is certainly a power bottom (and in fact a switch, if I had to guess). But no, this isn’t about bottom representation, it’s about bisexual representation. In other words: very interesting way of sitting you have, Yenna.

#4 Neva, Stalked By Nightmares

This is my bottom representation.

No, seriously, I’m putting Neva on this list not so much for this card alone, but for this card in combination with the story suggested on Glass Casket, and the obvious tie to the Sleeping Beauty story. I’ve always loved Sleeping Beauty, especially the Disney movie, which is the only “classic” Disney movie I have strong feelings about. I don’t understand it as a story about a passive woman who needs to be rescued; to me, Sleeping Beauty is about the strength of endurance and hope, of having the courage to be vulnerable in a world of spindles that prick and thorns that tear. I love our modern fairy-tale princesses too, don’t get me wrong, but I will always love Sleeping Beauty, and I’m happy to have the story retold on this beautiful card.

#3 Eriette of the Charmed Apple

This speaks for itself, right? Right. Thank you art director Andrew Vallas for giving Magali Villeneuve this brief.

“But Dora,” I hear you say, “did you see the mirrors in her collar reflecting her true form?” Girl, I don’t care about her true form any more than Rowan cared about Royse having mandibles instead of a mouth. Broaden your horizons and let us live.

#2 Beluna Grandsquall

Listen: she’s a big strong lady who likes to have fun and has the cutest shoes. What can I say?

#1 Imodane, the Pyrohammer

Hey, here’s that eyebrow slit I was looking for!

Surely this isn’t a surprise. Ever since friend-of-the-site K. Arsenault Rivera described Imodane’s “handsome face” as “silvered with scars earned in valiant service,” I knew she would appear on this list. Imodane is handsome, and powerful, and fierce. Unlike the Embereth Veteran, whose obvious strength is tempered with careful restraint, Imodane never holds back, even when she probably should, as her scars will testify. But Imodane also has a good heart, and despite nearly killing Will Kenrith at the beginning of the Wilds of Eldraine fiction, she’s fighting at his side by the end. No doubt she’s the same way in love: falling too hard, burning too hot, but coming through in the end. Call me, Imodane.

Dora Rogers (she/her) is a writer, game designer, and heart-eyes lesbo from Montreal. She is one half of Gal Pal Games, and you can find her solo TTRPG and interactive fiction projects on Follow her in all the places, or catch her on Arena playing questionable Vorthos decks in Standard.

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