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March 7, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – Delirium

Welcome all to some more Shadows Over Innistrad previews with the Daily Dose! With every new set comes some new mechanics often mixed in with older mechanics.  Shadows Over Innistrad is no different as it brings back a mechanic such as Madness, but I’ll talk more about that another day.  Today I’ll be talking all about the new mechanic of Delirium.  When we think of Delirium we think of going deeper and deeper into madness. One can see this as a bad thing, but Delirium in Magic terms, as you will see, will help you embrace that delve into madness and reward you for it.

Let’s look at what the base mechanic of Delirium does:

Delirium – If there are four or more card types among cards in your graveyard, do really cool ability.

In a moment we will see what some of the possibilities with Delirium are, but now let’s look at how easy or hard it will be to activate Delirium.  First we will look at all of the available card types.

  • Instant
  • Sorcery
  • Creature
  • Land
  • Artifact
  • Enchantment
  • Planeswalker

Three of these card types will be going to the graveyard a lot easier than the rest.  There is a good chance you will have some of instant, sorcery, and creature card types in your graveyard quite frequently.  The Land card type will be harder to get into your graveyard thanks to Fetch Lands rotating out of Standard.  We could see more Evolving Wilds in play, but it’s more likely players will be looking to discard their Land to get it to the graveyard.

Currently Artifacts are rarely played in Standard, therefore making it less likely to see them in your graveyard. There could be some better Artifacts to be put in Shadows Over Innistrad or future sets, but only time will tell.

When it comes to Enchantments, there are very few that will end up seeing the graveyard once they’ve seen play.  So look to discarding them if you want them to count towards Delirium.  One recent exception to this it the cycle of Oath cards from Oath of the Gatewatch.  Playing multiple Oath of Nissa for example, will get you the needed Enchantment card type into your graveyard.

The Planeswalker card type will be one of the most difficult to get into your graveyard.  Planeswalkers are the least played of any of the card types, making it less likely to hit the yard.  If you do play Planeswalkers in your deck though, they often die quickly.

So as you can see, it won’t be that easy to get four different card types into your graveyard, but I’m sure there will be many ways other than from the battlefield to get these cards into your graveyard.

Now let’s look at the first of some of the new cards from Shadows Over Innistrad to use the new Delirium mechanic.  Here is Topplegeist:

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Topplegeist is definitely an offensive card when it enters the battlefield, allowing you to get in some attacks that turn.  It becomes more defensive in its Delirium ability by allowing you to lock down an opposing creature during each of your opponent’s turns. A 1/1 Flyer isn’t too bad by itself for some early damage.  Early on because of its one mana casting cost, you probably won’t get its Delirium ability, but it does increase the value of Topplegeist in mid-to-late game when you do have Delirium activated.

Next we will look at a classic Black creature with a drawback in Mindwrack Demon:

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First off, you get a very solid four casting cost 4/5 Flying, Trample creature.  This is quite good value for four mana.  Being a black Demon card is does have a drawback.  It’s Delirium ability is that during your upkeep you will take four damage a turn unless you have Delirium activated.  In an aggressive Black deck this can be no problem, but just in case you do get to put four cards from your library into your graveyard when it enters the battlefield.  This could potentially lead to instant Delirium, but either way will put you close to Delirium.

Delirium looks to be a great new mechanic that fits very well into the story that the set is looking to portray.  I’ll be interested to see what other Delirium cards are to come in the coming weeks.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose and I look forward to talking about some more preview action tomorrow.  Shadows Over Innistrad looks like it will have some fun surprises coming its way and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.