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March 25, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad: Hydras Under the Floorboards

Welcome to some exciting previews as we get to the end of preview season here on the Daily Dose. Don’t worry though, there are still some exciting cards to come as we look into the future which includes Shadows Over Innistrad on April 8th. It seems that during each set, Magic feels the need to release a new Hydra creature. From Oran-Rief Hydra to Genesis Hydra to Mistcutter Hydra, we have seen many variations on the multi-headed beast. Shadows Over Innistrad once again brings us another variation with a small throwback to a certain Titan Beast from back in the day. Here is Ulvenwald Hydra:

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Unlike most Hydras, you aren’t able to add or remove any +1/+1 counters from it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make it bigger thanks to its power and toughness equalling the lands you have in play. So not only do you get to search your library for any land card, but lands played normally during your turn will also grow this Hydra. Most of the time it will be a 7/7 Reach creature right off the bat with the opportunity to just keep growing. Being able to search for any land like Sanctum of Ugin, to ramp into a large colourless creature, which gets you another colourless creature, and so on. Once you get to six mana, you can have a combination of turns that will bring out big creature after big creature onto the battlefield. Will be interesting to see if this sees play in Eldrazi Ramp decks.

The next card I’m going to look at is a way for green to get major card advantage.  Here is Seasons Past:

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Six mana is a large amount to pay for a card with a regrowth affect as seen in cards like Greenwarden of Murasa. We have seen it in other cards recently like Den Protector and Pulse of Murasa that being able to choose which cards you get back can be quite powerful. Seasons Past takes this to the extreme by allowing you to get a multitude of cards back from your graveyard. Remember as well that zero counts as well, so you will able to get back a Hangarback Walker or even a land.en_YkNCnwoF4i

One of the things you will notice in Shadows Over Innistrad is that the exile zone is not often used as it related to a place where Eldrazi Processor ran rampant in Zendikar.  Like another card in this set, Ever After, you will be able to place Seasons Past on the bottom of your library instead of exiling it after use.  This allows you to not be able to regrowth it from your graveyard, but depending on shuffling in your deck, you could see it again from your library in the near future.

My last preview card for this set is none other is a Madness engine, Creeping Dead.

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This discard engine will allow you to power out such powerful Madness cards as From Under the Floorboards, Fiery Temper, Avacyn’s Judgment, and Welcome to the Fold. This also has the added bonus of getting card advantage with your Madness cards as your opponent continues to discard during each of your turns. There is also the added chance of making your opponent lose three life if you win the card type lottery and have the same type. I think to be able to play a card like Creeping Dead, you would have to play a large number of Madness cards to make this worthwhile. Another option is to have this in a control shell where you can negate your opponent’s cards and have them top-decking each turn, but most of the time you would be as well.

Thanks for reading the final preview Daily Dose for Shadows Over Innistrad.  I will be back next week with some Daily Dose Deckbuilding for Shadows Over Innistrad.  Look forward to seeing you for some deckbuilding fun!