Shadows over Innistrad: An Evaluation of Rares & Mythics for Standard (Red, Green, Multicolor, Artifacts and Lands), by Fabrizio Anteri

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Shadows over Innistrad: An Evaluation of Rares and Mythics for Standard (Part 2: Red, Green, Multicolor, Artifacts and Lands)

Hello again,

Recently we analysed in Part 1 the White, Blue and Black Rares and Mythics of Shadows over Innistrad for Standard, make sure to check out the article here if you haven’t done so yet.

Today we are going to carry on with the remaining Rares and Mythics from Shadows over Innistrad and draw our conclusions about the set as a whole.

So, lets jump straight in!

 

Shadows over Innistrad – Red

Geier Reach Bandit

Geier Reach Bandit
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As a 3/2 creature with Haste for 3 it’s not bad, but probably not good enough. Making him transform is not going to be easy after turn 3 and once flipped the upside is not very impressive. This card is unlikely to see play in Standard.

Avacyn’s Judgement

Avacyn's Judgement
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This card has potential and many players have been talking and writing about it already. While I agree that this card is playable, I don’t believe that this is a 4-of in any red deck. Two damage divided for two mana is not impressive and its not going to be easy to have a lot of Madness enablers to be able to cast this for its Madness cost. In red we already have Fiery Temper and so we need to have a balance between Madness spells and Madness enablers. I expect this to see play, but not necessarily as a 4-of in every red deck.

Burn from Within

Burn from Within
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The upside from Blaze is not good enough to justify playing this. Also, Avacyn’s Judgement is a clearly better version of this effect. This card won’t be played in Standard.

Devil’s Playground

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It may have some cute synergies, but it’s clearly an underpowered card for Standard.

Falkenrath Gorger

Falkenrath Gorger
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2/1s for R have always been the base to build mono red decks and this has a great ability. A clear inclusion in the RB aggressive Vampire deck.

Flameblade Angel

Flameblade Angel
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Another Angel for your collection. Sadly, not one you will be including in your Standard deck.

Goldnight Castigator

Goldnight Castigator
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Red is an aggressive colour by default, so many red decks won’t even care about the downside of this creature and as a 4 power for 4 mana with Flying and Haste this will be a great fit in most red decks. Other red decks will be concerned about the downside, but will still be able to play this in the sideboard against those deck that won’t be trying to do damage early.

Harness the Storm

Harness the Storm
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Some players will brew with this card and you will be amazed of how powerful it is in some games. The other 99% of the games you will realize how bad this is, so I recommend just putting this straight in your box of Junk rares.

Scourge Wolf

Scourge Wolf
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If you can’t have Delirium before turn 4-5 this wouldn’t be good enough and I don’t think Standard have the tools right now to make that happen often enough.

Sin Prodder

Sin Prodder
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This has a really powerful effect and it doesn’t seem to be overcosted, but still I have my doubts about this card. It’s a really close call and I will say it won’t be played, but I could easily be wrong about this one.

Wolf of Devil’s Breach

Wolf of Devil's Breach
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This should have Trample or Haste to be playable. You can’t even target the player with the ability. I am afraid this won’t be played in Standard

Here is an alternative perspective for all red cards from Shadows over Innistrad by TheManaSource.

Shadows over Innistrad – Green

Sage of Ancient Lore // Werewolf of Ancient Hunger

Sage of Ancient Lore // Werewolf of Ancient Hunger
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It’s nice that you draw a card when this enters the battlefield, but it’s just not good enough anyway. In green you normally don’t have many cards in hand and even transforming it doesn’t really do much other than maybe pumping it a bit more.

Cryptolith Rite

Cryptolith Rite
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This is a combo card and it will require a lot of brewing and testing to decide if there is something useful to do with it. It would have probably be a nice combo with Jeskai Ascendancy, but that’s gone from Standard. I would guess it won’t see play just because it seems complicated to imagine a good deck for it, but maybe someone will manage to make it happen.

Deathcap Cultivator

Deathcap Cultivator
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This is my favourite from the set, I just like those two colours. Expect it to be played in the next months, it’s a decent mana dork and those are always welcome.

Inexorable Blob

Inexorable Blob
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Once again I don’t think Delirium will be active early enough to make a card like this playable. It’s a nice target for Collected Company and the effect is not too bad even in the late game, but three drops is a busy slot for many decks, so I wouldn’t expect this to make the cut.

Seasons Past

Seasons Past
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Very powerful card, hard to exploit and probably too slow for many decks. Still I expect over the next few months of Standard to see some copies of this in some decks.

Second Harvest

Second Harvest
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Right now I don’t think Standard has the cards to support this instant. It’s still a decent card and maybe with the help of the next sets it could find a place somewhere.

Silverfur Partisan

Silverfur Partisan
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This should be 3/3 or 3/2 to have a shot. A 2/2 after turn 3 is just easy to ignore and I don’t think you can just build a deck with this and a bunch of Giant Growth effects to try to get some value.

Soul Swallower

Soul Swallower
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Just another random vanilla big beast (or wurm) in green, not good enough for Standard.

Tireless Tracker

Tireless Tracker
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This is cute and decent as well. Sadly, I think there are more powerful cards or just better synergies to build around. This on turn 4 followed by a fetchland would have been better, but that’s not possible anymore in Standard.

Traverse the Ulvenwald

Traverse the Ulvenwald
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This is surely good, how good it is will depend on how likely are you to have Delirium. Still, it’s a card I would try to find 4 copies of for future Standard decks.

Ulvenwald Hydra

Ulvenwald Hydra
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Why this Hydra has Reach when it should have Trample, I don’t understand. The fact that this finds not only basics but any land in your deck makes it really appealing. Still, this is not Primeval Titan and I wouldn’t expect it to be played in Standard any time soon.

Below is an alternative viewpoint by TheManaSource

 

Shadows over Innistrad – Multicolour

Arlinn Kord // Arlinn Embraced by the Moon

Arlinn Kord // Arlinn Embraced by the Moon
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This Planeswalker is obviously great and everyone is writing entire articles about it. I am just going to say that I totally agree and advise you to get a playset of it.

Altered Ego

Altered Ego
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A clearly better Clone, but Clones have rarely seem play in Standard lately. Seems like Planeswalkers are dominating right now, not creatures. So I don’t expect this to be played in Standard any time soon.

Anguished Unmaking

Anguished Unmaking
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Everyone agrees this is a very good removal and the question is how many to play. Only testing will decide how many each deck can afford, but I think this is such a good removal that is worth building around it. By that I mean it would be worth it to add some life gain cards you wouldn’t otherwise play, just to afford extra copies of this card.

Fevered Visions

Fevered Visions
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I am not a fan of Howling Mine cards. This is better in some ways and could make the difference. I won’t blame you if you get some copies and try them out, but I will spend my time trying different cards and different decks.

The Gitrog Monster

The Gitrog Monster
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This is a big scary Turtle (some say it’s a Frog). I am a fan of this and I will be trying it in different builds in the next few weeks. There is power there but there may not be a right deck. Even if not now, I would expect this to eventually make it to the big stage.

Invocation of Saint Traft

Invocation of Saint Traft
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It doesn’t matter how similar this is from the Geist, it’s just not it. It’s a really big trap and I would recommend staying away from it.

Nahiri, the Harbinger

Nahiri, the Harbinger
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I am not a fan of this card, but many people think it’s actually good. I think the plus ability is just really bad and the minus is not good enough to justify the card. Planeswalkers are sometimes underated at first (even Jace, the Mind Sculptor was) so I may be wrong, but my personal opinion is that Nahiri won’t be played.

Olivia, Mobilized for War

Olivia, Mobilized for War
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In any other set, it would be questionable on whether Olivia would see play. In Shadows Over Innistrad, she will be the base of the RB Vampires – Madness deck. Expect to see 4 copies of her in many builds of RB in the upcoming months.

Prized Amalgam

Prized Amalgam
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This reminds me of Deathmist Raptor. By itself it’s clearly worse, but as a “combo” card it could be much stronger. Brewing and building decks around this will be hard, so I can’t be sure just yet if this would be successful, but with so many options already to build a deck with graveyard interactions, my guess is to expect this Zombie to be played.

Sigarda, Heron’s Grace

Sigarda, Heron's Grace
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Good cost, good stats, good abilities. I would expect it to be played just as a very powerful card, but sometimes interactions are more important than power and you see cards like Dragonlord Dromoka not seeing much play.

Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Sorin, Grim Nemesis
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Just as Arlinn this is clearly a very powerful Planeswalker and it will see play. 6 mana is more than 4 so Sorin won’t be a 4-of, but most WB decks will want at least one copy of it.

 

Shadows over Innistrad – Artifacts

Brain in a Jar

Brain in a Jar
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Nope, sorry. This is not “Aether Vial for Instants and Sorceries”. It’s clearly worse and unplayable for Standard.

Corrupted Grafstone

Corrupted Grafstone
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I’ve been trying to find out if you can add colorless with a land in your graveyard but there is not a FAQ for the card yet. I am almost sure you can’t, in which case I would expect this to be unplayable. If you could get mana out of a Terramorphic Expanse in your Graveyard, I would expect some decks (specially those also playing Traverse the Ulvenwald) to want this Stone.

Slayer’s Plate

Slayer's Plate
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This is just the mandatory unplayable Equipment of the set.

Tamiyo’s Journal

Tamiyo's Journal
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Too slow for Standard, won’t be played.

 

Shadows over Innistrad – Land

Westvale Abbey // Ormendahl, Profane Prince

Westvale Abbey // Ormendahl, Profane Prince
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Even without the last ability this would probably be good enough to be played. Expect many decks to run this as a valuable 1-of Land. Maybe some decks will be able to sacrifice it easily enough and will want to run more copies of it.

Choked Estuary, Foreboding Ruins, Fortified Village, Game Trail and Port Town

Shadows over Innistrad Dual Lands
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This set of Dual Lands is not the best ever and maybe they wouldn’t have seen play in other formats with better mana. As it is right now, these lands are almost the only Duals we have and will be played in basically every deck that runs both the colours.

Drownyard Temple

Drownyard Temple
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Many decks with Jace will run a number of these depending in their mana base. Just to get some value after discarding it. Same goes for Madness decks. I would get a playset of this land, it has potential.

 

Summary, Overview and Post Rotation

With that we completed all the Rares and Mythics in the set. Aggressive red decks like Atarka Red were losing popularity before rotation and it seems like Shadows over Innistrad is not giving enough tools for them to have a come back. Green also didn’t get anything particularly aggressive, instead it got some grindy and midrange-ish tools.

Most of the multicolor cards are very powerful and some cards will have decks built around them. WB is one of the obvious build with a lot of new and good cards, but deciding what’s the best build will be the real challenge. RB Vampires is another obvious build to try, it won’t be as aggressive as Atarka Red, but it would count with a lot of powerful cards and synergies to end up games quickly enough.

The mana clearly get’s worse now that we’ve lost the Fetch Lands, so decks will go back to being mostly one or two colors. Some greedy decks will still try to go three colors, but the consistency won’t be the same.

Rotations bring in a lot of changes and I am really excited about starting the brewing and testing for the Pro Tour with the new cards. The set surely didn’t disappoint and I will enjoy the next few days trying out the new cards.

Hopefully Team Eureka will have some nice and spicy decks and after the Pro Tour I will be able to share with you all the knowledge gained during the testing and the Pro Tour itself.

So that completes part 2 of my 2 part Shadows over Innistrad set review of Rares and Mythics. What did you think of my thoughts? Did you agree or disagree? Have I overlooked or undervalued anything? Please let me know in the comments below.

Check out the latest Shadows over Innistrad cards and boosters, and order here.

As always, thanks for reading.

Fabrizio

Shadows over Innistrad: An Evaluation of Rares & Mythics for Standard (Red, Green, Multicolor, Artifacts and Lands), by Fabrizio Anteri
Today we are going to carry on with the remaining Rares and Mythics from Shadows over Innistrad and draw our conclusions about the set as a whole.
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