Welcome back to our final day of our Shadows Over Innistrad set review here on TCGplayer.com! I am Conley Woods and all week long we have been taking a look at cards from the new set with a bent towards how to brew new decks around them as well as determining what Shadows over Innistrad Standard will look like.
This time around we are giving the video format a try so be sure to leave any feedback you have in the comments below! For the readers out there though, there will be some abbreviated notes, found below. With that out of the way, let's wrap this thing up!
Archangel Avacyn: One of the best cards in the set. This should see all sorts of play and be known for making all sorts of plays. Because this is a kit that can do everything from counter a removal spell to sweep the opponent's board, almost every deck should be able to find something about this that they like.
Hanweir Militia Captain: Probably not good enough, but this is a human with a relatively easy trigger condition, so I figured it was worth including in the playable talk.
Startled Awake: Probably best as a control-on-control trump, this will likely be a sideboard card as a result. You can certainly include this in a mill deck, but I doubt that such a thing is viable until Eldritch Moon comes out.
Thing in the Ice: A cool little defensive option. People have shown the willingness to play vanilla one-mana 0/4's, so for a single mana more you get the potential to have a giant Evacuation on legs and that is a powerful proposition.
Accursed Witch: This transforms into one of the more unique auras I have seen in quite some time, so I figured it was worth mentioning. Maybe red/black burn could use this?
Elusive Tormentor: A four-mana 4/4 with a relevant creaature type is a conversation starter, but I do wish this got better. It has a nifty way to protect itself, but for that to matter, your opponent needs to want to kill a vanilla 4/4. Probably a reasonable sideboard option.
Heir of Falkenrath: A great aggressive black creature that should go into vampire tribal as well as any aggressive deck with some madness spells in it.
Geier Reach Bandit: Another unique ability and haste on the front side makes this a passable creature in werewolf strategies, so I could see this going somewhere. Right now, I don't think there are enough good werewolves to consider this, though.
Skin Invasion: One of the creepiest stories in the set and a great implementation of a transform card. This could be viable as a one mana 3/4, even if it takes a little work, is pretty strong.
Autumnal Gloom: I love difficult-to-deal-with creatures and one that starts as an enchantment and then gains hexproof is exactly that. The delirium aggro green deck looks kind of spicy.
Duskwatch Recruiter: One of the strongest werewolves in both limited and constructed. I love how both sides of this work so well together. This should be a big part of decks like the new Collected Company.
Hermit of the Natterknolls: Namely a sideboard card against control decks but possibly good enough for werewolf tribal as well.
Lambholt Pacifist: A good blocker even when this can't attack. I don't think this is good enough, but it's close and is pretty strong when online.
Arlinn Kord: One of the best cards in the set and one of the best planeswalkers we have seen. This has two strong abilities on the front side along with a Lightning Bolt on the backside. An Overrun and an ultimate round this out. I would expect this to be a mainstay in decks that can play these colors.
Westvale Abbey: A fun story and probably a pretty powerful card. This seems okay in control as a value land but should be best in decks that can reasonably hope to transform it. Eldrazi decks with a lot of tokens seems like a natural home.
Anguished Unmaking: Arguably the best card in the set, the new edition of Utter End is sleeker and more painful. Usually, three life is worth that mana saved (consider Phyrexian Mana for example) making this a great maindeck mainstay.
The Gitrog Monster: A super fun card to build around that will likely see Standard and Modern play. Combining this with Molten Vortex or Sesimic Assault is a great place to start, but even just using things like the Blighted Lands will show just how impressive the new Spiritmonger is. This toad brings card advantage and a giant threatening body. Mom, can I keep him?
Nahiri, the Harbinger: Probably a tad overrated but still strong. This has two utility abilities that might not be that splashy, but they still get the job done. I personally think this won't see heavy play, but it will be used to slay enchantments and tapped creatures in some control decks and possibly madness shells.
Olivia, Mobilized for War: Another lord effect for the vampire deck that happens to enable madness. This is hardly just a vampire card though as other aggressive decks and even midrange can use this profitably. Imagine this in the black/red dragons shell, for example.
Sigarda, Heron's Grace: Not nearly as powerful as her previous form, this is still rather good and should pick up some play due to her ability to create an army out of nothing. Human tribal might be a thing, but this will probably be played elsewhere as well.
Sorin, Grim Nemesis: I am a big fan of six mana Sorins and this one does a decent job of comparing to the original. Its two abilities, card advantage and removal, are important, though this can't protect itself as well as something like Elspeth, Sun's Champion. Expect this to be a curve-topper for control decks.
That about does it for this round of set reviews! Shadows over Innistrad looks like an awesome set that I can't wait to play with in both limited and constructed! Standard is sure to be shaken up by the new set. How good will madness prove to be? How many graveyard based decks will we see? And just how many of the new planeswalkers will be major players?
Standard should be a lot of fun and the limited environment promises the same. Which is good, because we better get in our fun before Emrakul shows up and ruins the day. Until next time, thanks for watching!