Earier this week I shared my first ever Eldritch Moon draft and I provided a general guide to drafting the new cards and adapting to the new format. This week I'm going to take a step back and focus on the old cards of Shadows over Innistrad that we need to reevaluate in the new environment. With Eldritch Moon taking center stage, Shadows over Innistrad plays an important supporting role in making the most of the cards drafted in the first two packs. Join me as I show my journey through Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad draft, followed by my thoughts on the most-improved cards.
As I mentioned last draft article, the format has shifted away from synergy and towards raw individual card quality. Clue tokens are not nearly as prevalent, and there are less mana sinks, so Magnifying Glass in particular represents a card that gained in the transition.
Efficient creatures and especially those with evasion are at a premium, so they should be taken highly. Stormrider Spirit, for example, rules the skies as a large flier that pulls a double-shift as a fantastic blocker for their fliers, ideally ambushing one. All fliers, like Apothecary Geist and Niblis of Dusk, should be taken highly, and a card like Thraben Gargoyle should be looked at seriously. Anything that blockers fliers is valuable, so Gloomwidow is better than ever. Watcher in the Web is the single best solution to enemy flyers — five toughness makes it a particularly robust blocker. Silent Observer is similarly effective.
The format is defined by three-power creatures, so anything with four or more toughness is fantastic. Inquisitor's Ox, for example, has gone from filler to a respectable blocker, especially given that white gains fantastic removal from Eldritch Moon and can comfortably assume a controlling role. Moldgraf Scavenger may quietly be the single most efficient blocker in a format nearly devoid of quality Horned Turtles. Drownyard Explorers improves as a great blocker that generates value.
Eldritch Moon enables white to take an aggressive, go-wide theme supported by Borrowed Grace and cards like Thraben Standard Bearer and Spectral Reserves to make tokens, while Desperate Sentry and Extricator of Sin allow the deck to maintain a battlefield presence even in the face of removal spells. There are some Shadows over Innistrad cards that support the theme, like Vessel of Ephemera, that are now better than before. Inspiring Captain is excellent as an anthem effect. W/B in particular supports this plan with Campaign of Vengeance, and it points to an increase in value for Behind the Scenes. Emissary of the Sleepless in particular stands out as a huge winner because it's a flyer that can generate another creature. It also benefits from Eldritch Moon's increased focused on sacrificing creatures, which also increases the value of a card like Pious Evangel.
Anything that can generate value from the graveyard, specifically Ghoulcaller's Apprentice and Sanitarium Skeleton, are great in a format that's more about grinding. Geistblast is another winner, and it finds a perfect home in the U/R Prowess deck enabled by Eldritch Moon. Geistblast is especially useful because of the increase in efficient spells, notably Galvanic Bombardment. This deck is also why any prowess cards, like Sanguinary Mage, have increased in value, and Pyre Hound in particular a payoff for the archetype.
What Shadows over Innistrad do you think have gotten better in Limited? How are you drafting Eldritch Moon? Share your ideas in the comments, and I'll answer any questions.