Welcome back to day three of our week long set review here on TCGplayer.com! I am Conley Woods and all week we are taking a look at some of the more exciting cards from Shadows over Innistrad. In particular, we are exploring the deck building capabilities of those cards and taking a look at what the new Standard is going to deliver.
Avacyn's Judgment: This has value when hardcast as Fire, or when cast with madness as a Fireball. While neither mode is absurd, the versatility and cheap initial cost should put this in many sideboards.
Bloodmad Vampire: Not a great card, but a relevant creature type with multiple small upsides, so it's worth mentioning.
Dual Shot: A cheaper sideboard option than Avacyn's Judgment against small creature decks like Atarka Red.
Falkenrath Gorger: A one-drop all-star for a tribe that is both aggressive and lacking other good one-drops. The size on this alone leaves it playable so the madness bonus is all upside, but it will come up and be used given the stable of vampires at our disposal.
Fiery Temper: Lightning Bolt is back! Ok, this isn't that good, but it is v one of the stronger Lightning Bolt variants. Expect this to see a lot of play in a variety of decks.
Geistblast: What? This is such a strange card. It has a flashback ability which means it is probably viable somewhere, I just don't... what?
Goldnight Castigator: One of the spicier mythics in the set and for good reason. Non-red control decks are going to hate playing against this as they can hardly take advantage of the drawback, leaving them on the very bad side of that tradeoff.
Harness the Storm: I want to like this card, but that bit about needing to pay for the graveyard copy is not my favorite thing in the world. I am sure this can and will do something broken eventually though.
Incorrigible Youths: The real Arrogant Wurm 2.0. I think this is better than Arrogant Wurm when cast on your turn and worse when cast on the opponent's turn, but that seems fine. Adding a worthwhile creature type to this helps a lot too. We will talk about Olivia, Mobilized for War and Heir of Falkenrath tomorrow, but vampire tribal seems like a safe bet to at least be a Tier 2 strategy, if not higher.
Lightning Axe: About as cheap as it gets for removal and for madness enabling. I would expect this to see play all over the place as it is just so cheap and kills so much. Obviously if you have no synergies at all with this, it becomes much less attractive.
Rush of Adrenaline: Not as good as Titan's Strength, but it fills a similar role and should see a little fringe play as a result.
Scourge Wolf: Playable without delirium and crazy good with it. If there is wolf tribal, this should be involved but even in generic aggressive decks, this is exciting, especially with a bunch of pump spells.
Sin Prodder: A very cool card. I imagine this can be good in midrange or aggro and just gaining value turn after turn as a sort of red Dark Confidant.
Ulrich's Kindred: Another wolf build-around, While this is clearly built for limited, it has a little potential in constructed since indestructible mid-combat is so powerful.
Wolf of Devil's Breach: I want to love this card, but it feels kind of boring. A 5/5 for five is a decent rate, but then I need to attack with it and pay more mana while discarding a card to gain additional benefit? A nice madness enabler, but not sure too many decks will be okay with all of work to get a medium payoff.
Briarbridge Patrol: Huge fan of this card even though it takes a ton of work before you actually get paid off. Luckily, this does supply its own clues, so its not a total stinker without a bunch of support. Pretty awesome in limited.
Clip Wings: A solid sideboard card that actually works better than most edicts against the likes of Dragonloard Ojutai.
Confront the Unknown: We were looking pretty hard for payoffs on our clues and this does technically do that. Without double strike or infect though, I doubt this will be good enough.
Crawling Sensation: You play this for the self-mill and the enjoy the occasional 1/1 most often, I think. It is tough to really abuse the 1/1 clause as this only sees a single land when a group of them hit the yard at the same time.
Cryptolith Rite: I don't know what combo is going to be enabled by this, but it feels like something has to. Outside of that though, the constructed applications for this are limited.
Deathcap Cultivator: A very solid two-drop that will be stepping in for Rattleclaw Mystic. Deathtouch turns this into a more relevant creature in the late game than Rattleclaw Mystic was, even if we do lose a little fixing in the process.
Graf Mole: Finally, a control worthy payoff for our clues! Gaining three life with our cantrip is pretty spicy and allows us to feel good about making a ton of clues. Obviously gaining life is not going to win the game for us, but it does buy us time so that we can find something that will.
Groundskeeper: This combos with something like Molten Vortex in a sweet way, so I didn't want to rule it out of constructed. It might work well enough with The Gitrog Monster to find a home beside the toad as well.
Howlpack Resurgence: This card intriques me as I love a flash anthem now that Dictate of Heliod has come into my life. Building around wolves and werewolves is going to be tough though, as there is not much prior to Innistrad. We are looking decent though with the following stable for us already:
I don't know if we actually get to a list, but we aren't far off.
Inexorable Blob: Looks better than it is. I think hes probably playable to some degree, but there's likely to be better options.
Moldgraf Scavenger: The old mini-Tarmogoyf. This can be a two-mana 3/4, but you need to be willing to put up with a two mana 0/4 before that. I could see this being a constructed staple or useless depending on how easily decks can achieve delirium.
Moonlight Hunt: A sweet removal spell for wolf tribal and certainly constructed playable if the wolves and werewolves it needs are. You only need one or two creatures out for this to function.
Obsessive Skinner: Likely unplayable, but I wanted to note that it can work in decks that care about +1/+1 counters, such as with Hangarback Walker.
Pack Guardian: Probably just good enough to be considered for constructed play. Four mana for six power at instant speed is something you can make plays with. This also supplies you two wolf bodies for any tribal nonsense you have going on.
Seasons Past: One of my favorites from this set. It is hard not to imagine just filling up your hand with six, seven, eight cards off of this and then doing whatever you want from there. I imagine this can be a combo, control, or midrange card and it should be interesting to see what decks try to mess with this.
Silverfur Partisan: I want to love this card, but it does ask for a lot of work just to get some 2/2s. As a defensive sideboard card against decks with a lot of removal, this works great, I just don't know if it gets there wolf tribal.
Soul Swallower: If you were excited by the Inexorable Blob, I would suggest checking this card out, as I just thing its a better payoff for the same work.
Traverse the Ulvenwald: So when Lay of the Land goes Super Saiyan, this is the result? Grabbing a nonbasic or a creature is really the only reason to play this so don't expect to actually be fetching a basic land unless you are heavily mana screwed. That said, this card should be pretty strong across multiple formats.
Ulvenwald Hydra: Little Prime Time! This card is certainly no Primeval Titan, but it can still be a big player in Standard. This grabs Shrine of the Forsaken Gods which is then likely to be active, so this could see a role in ramp shells.
Weirding Wood: A Fertile Ground variant that replaces itself. This works especially well with investigate as you can tap the enchanted land to draw your card immediately. Should a consideration for ramp.
Well that is that for the red and green cards across Innistrad. So far we have gone through all of the main colors and the colorless cards and the set is looking pretty exciting. There is a lot of new build-around potential, new linears to explore, and some powerful individual cards as well. Tomorrow we should see our biggest batch of powerful cards as we finish up the review with a look at the multicolor cards and the double-faced cards from the set. After that, we will quickly review my Top 8 cards from Shadows over Innistrad and welcome the set into Standard. Until then, thanks for watching!