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March 10, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – Going a Little Bit Mad Here

Welcome to some more fun preview action for Shadows Over Innistrad on the Daily Dose!  Each major set, there is usually a throwback to a previously used mechanic that Wizards of the Coast tries to utilize in a new way.  For Shadows Over Innistrad they are bringing back the Madness mechanic.  Madness was first shown back in Torment where it brought us cards such as Basking Rootwalla and Violent Eruption.  There were definitely a couple of cards using the mechanic, but none that really took advantage of it.

Madness allows you to cast cards for lower than its usual casting cost when that particular card is being discarded. What you need to do is play spells that make you discard cards as part of their casting cost, or as part of the spell or ability to fully take advantage of the value of cards with Madness.  There are plenty of cards already in Shadows Over Innistrad that make you discard cards like Heir to Falkenrath and Pore Over the Pages.

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Let’s take a look at some of the cards that will not be rotating out in Standard that will help you discard cards as well.

All of the above will allow you take advantage of cards with Madness, especially those that will take no mana to use the turn you use them, such as Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy.  Just one more reason why Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy will be a staple in the months to come.

Let’s have look at one of the cards with Madness, Fiery Temper.

The card is rumored to be in Shadows Over Innistrad, though not yet confirmed!

Looking at the card without it’s Madness Cost, it is a three mana instant that does three damage.  If you are looking for comparable cards, Exquisite Firecraft does four damage for three mana, but is a sorcery. If we look at the instant spells, we have Wild Slash that did two damage for one mana.  For two mana in the recent past we’ve had cards like Lightning Strike that have done three damage at instant speed.  So it is a little worse than some cards in the past for its cost.  Its Madness cost though is one mana for three instant speed damage.  What is that, everyone, that’s right, a Lightning Bolt.

Look for this to be played in perhaps a Blue Red deck utilizing Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy to be able to use the Madness ability quite easily.

The next card we will be looking at is a creature with Madness, here is Incorrigible Youths.

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Getting a 4/3 Haste Creature for five mana isn’t too bad by itself, but chances are you want to be spending your five mana on something better. If you can discard it though, you can get a 4/3 Haste Creature for three mana which is quite the good card.  Especially since it doesn’t have Dash or any drawbacks at that point.  A great start would be to play Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy on turn two, and then on turn three you could draw and discard and cast Incorrigible Youths for their Madness cost and get in for three damage.  An even better start would be to play Heir to Falkenrath on turn two, and than on turn three you could discard a card to transform Heir to Falkenrath, discarding Incorrigible Youths and casting it for its Madness cost.  That would be seven power of attach on turn three!

Needless to say there is plenty of opportunity to make Madness work very well if you have the cards and the deck to support it.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing which cards help enable it and which cards have it going forward in preview season.

Thanks for everyone for their continued support of the Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad as I continue to bring you some fun preview action.  See you tomorrow as we see some cards from the new set!