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March 9, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – Bring Out Your Dead!

Welcome to some more preview action from the exciting new Shadows Over Innistrad set coming out on April 8th to a local gaming store near you!  If any of you were around when the original Innistrad came out in 2011, there were many Horror tropes portrayed throughout the set.  This is definitely continuing during Shadows Over Innistrad.  Today I’m going to be looking at some of the horror creatures that will be lurking around Innistrad come April.

Zombies have always been abundant in Innistrad, and now is no different.  Let’s have a look at Relentless Dead!

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At it’s base, Relentless Dead is a 2/2 Menace creature for two-mana, which isn’t that bad.  The Menace ability makes it harder to block to get some early game damage.  What turns Relentless Dead into a Mythic is in its other abilities.  Anytime Relentless Dead dies you can spend a black mana and have it returned to your hand instead.  If that is not good enough for you, at the same time, you can spend X and return a target Zombie with X mana cost from the graveyard back onto the battlefield!

At first glance you might see Relentless Dead as an aggressive creature, but if you play it on turn two and it dies, you get no value out of the card.  I see it more as a mid-to-late game card where you will be able to protect it and maybe also grow your creature base with its two abilities.  You could use it late game with a sacrifice outlet to bring back creatures as well whenever needed.  I’m sure there will plenty of Zombie targets in Shadows Over Innistrad.

Next, I’m going to have a look at a Zombie creature which looks familiar to one we’ve seen in Innistrad before, but not in the same colour.  Let’s have a look at Heir of Falkenrath.

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A low cost creature that transforms into a 3/2 Flying creature, now where have we seen that before?  Well if it isn’t our old friend Delver of Secrets!

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Delver of Secrets has an advantage of being one-mana cost where Heir of Falkenrath is a two-mana creature.  Immediately, a lot of players will assume that that makes Delver of Secrets the obvious better choice.  Let me argue in favour of Heir of Falkenrath.

You are able to transform it anytime you want.  Simply by discarding a card, you can transform it during your turn, your opponent’s turn, upkeep, and even end step.  This flexibility could be very important in deciding when to transform.  Most times this will transform quicker than Delver of Secrets will, and in doing so you won’t have to reveal cards that you draw to your opponent.

With the new Madness mechanic, it allows you to get value out of the card that you are discarding to make it transform.  Look for it to be used with cards like Fiery Temper for full value.

The last card I’ll look at today even has Horror as a creature type, here is Geralf’s Masterpiece.

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A 7/7 Flying creature for five mana is quite the powerful spell. It does have the drawback of getting smaller for each card in your hand, but if placed in the right deck, this card could thrive.  If you try and use it in a slower control deck, chance is this will be a 4/4, 3/3 or even worse.  That just isn’t getting the right value for this card.

When you put Geralf’s Masterpiece at the top end curve of an aggressive deck, there is a good chance that this will be a 6/6 or even a 7/7 most of the time, therefore getting the best value for this card.  Its ability to get it back from the graveyard will probably be used very rarely, as losing three cards to get it back just might not be worth it.  Although doing this will most likely trigger Delirium for some Madness shenanigans.

Good to have every one back for some more Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad, and I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow where we will be looking at more of the Madness that is Shadows Over Innistrad!