Shadows Over Innistrad Spoilers: Early Impressions

Spoilers for Shadows over Innistrad started a few days ago and we’ve already seen quite a few great cards!

First thing first: I am omitting the planeswalkers at this time, as I plan to dedicate a full post just to them. Beyond that, though, it really seems like SoI is shaping up to be a pretty great set. Here’s a look at some stuff that I’d be excited to play with (if I ever really had time to play)….

This zombie seems very good, especially for decks that can slow the game down. It can help stall against aggressive decks, and gives you great late game inevitability due to being able to get other zombies back as well. The problem is that early removal shuts down the recursion very easily (as you need mana free to get him back) and that not very many good zombies exist currently, making the tribal synergy necessary for this to be amazing very hard to come by.

Zombie devotion tribal in modern though… Maybe?

At first glance this card seems nuts. Then you realize that all of the real choices fall on your opponent. Sure, it’s possible they make a mistake, but it’s pretty unlikely. Your usual best case scenario is getting 2 cards from 4 mana at instant speed, which seems bad compared to something like Comparative Analysis. However, you do always have the option of using it at lower amounts of mana (or higher) means it should see more play than Steam Augury….

We have a great control card here, in the same vein as Wall of Omens. While Omens is good because it replaces itself, this card is very good because it is a blocker early and a win condition late that must be answered. Not to mention you can at times get it so it transforms mid combat to save a ton of damage and have your opponent lose a lot of tempo….

A 2/1 for with no downsides is a pretty great investment. The fact that this card gives all of your vampires in hand Madness could potentially go a long way. Just look a little farther down this list….

This card is amazingly good. On the front side we have an angel that can play both offense and defense, while also being an ambush viper when needed plus has the ability to prevent removal for a turn (or make for a great and one sided combat, where none of your creatures die and you can block however you want to maximize gains).

On the flip side Avacyn gets a bit bigger (moving into the range of only needing 3 attacks to kill an opponent at 20, thanks to her triggered ability) and also wipes out the small creatures at the same time (plus bolting your opponent). The condition is likely going to be pretty easy to arrange, especially as there are a large number of sacrifice effects in standard currently and it doesn’t specify “nontoken” either.

How big of a deal paying 3 life for a flexible removal spell will be has yet to be seen. If it’s not the end of the world, it’s quite possible we will see a lot of this card around in standard. Flexible answers are very good, and this answers everything except awakened lands and the manlands.

One of Gorger’s good friends. This version of Olivia is much more aggressively minded compared to the old one, but that’s not a big deal. The ability is very good in some situations, basically when you can get a spell played cheaper due to Madness (for instance playing a 3 drop and giving it a counter and haste by discarding Fiery Temper) or when you can pitch cards that don’t matter anymore (lands most likely, after a certain point for you). The nice thing is that it gives you options on a 3/3 flyer for 3.

Chris Wendelboe

Chris is a level 2 judge from Ashland, New Hampshire. He enjoys Scapeshift, modern, and putting on the best events possible.