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March 18, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – Is Sorin Predicting a Grim Future?

Welcome to a Friday edition of the Daily Dose where we bring you more and more exciting preview cards from our return to the Innistrad plane!  One of the many great things that the original Innistrad brought to us was the return of the Planeswalker Sorin.  Sorin, Lord of Innistrad was first introduced in Zendikar and immediately became a fan favourite. He has returned and travelled to many planes including Innistrad and Tarkir. Sorin returns again to fight the good fight in Shadows Over Innistrad.  Here is Sorin, Grim Nemesis.

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Usually if a Planeswalker costs six mana or more it needs to pack a powerful punch.  Other Planeswalkers with six mana or more include Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, and most recently Chandra, Flamecaller. Sorin, Grim Nemesis fits that bill of a powerful Planeswalker and does not disappoint.  First off, Sorin starts with six loyalty counters which makes it much harder to kill right off the bat.  Now let’s take a look at his three abilities.

+1: Reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. Each opponent loses life equal to its converted mana cost.

Getting card advantage using a black permanent that doesn’t deal damage to you is quite a nice change of pace.  The bonus is that about 60% of the time, you also will deal some potentially major damage to your opponent.  This ability will most likely be used with when you are ahead on the board, and be used to finish off an opponent while building card advantage.

-X: Sorin, Grim Nemesis deals X damage to target creature or planeswalker and you gain X life.

This ability will allow you to protect Sorin, by killing an X/6 creature or six loyalty Planeswalker when you cast it.  Hopefully it will be less than six, so that you can keep him on the board. Being able to remove a threat while also gaining life will allow you to climb back into games where you’ve fallen behind.

-9: Put a number of 1/1 black Vampire Knight creature tokens with lifelink onto the battlefield equal to the highest life total among all players.

If you are ahead on the board, and in control of a long game, you should be able to gain card advantage and deal damage using Sorin’s +1 ability to get to this ultimate ability. Barring a board clearing spell, this should mean the end of the game for your opponent.  I don’t believe the lifelink will play much of a part as the shear amount of power that you are placing onto the battlefield.

With fetch lands rotating out of Standard, the format is sure to slow down and as a result, cards like Sorin, Grim Nemesis will be able to see play more often.  Look for Sorin to make an impact in the months to come.  I believe being able to get rid of planeswalkers will be a key to winning games.

Next we will be looking at a card that will be looking to take over the spot vacated by Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise once they rotate out of Standard.  Here is a look at the Instant card advantage spell, Epiphany at the Drownyard.

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Epiphany at the Drownyard has an ability similar to the card Steam Augury, but variable.  Let’s take a look at what happens when X goes from 0 to 3.

  • 0 – In this scenario, you will be getting two cards into your graveyard, both whatever the top card is, plus Epiphany of the Drownyard itself.
  • 1 – You will be getting the worse of the two cards into your hand.  Another play on this would be to put two cards in one pile and 0 in the other.  You would do this if you are looking to activate Delirium.  This will allow you to get three cards into your graveyard or two cards into your hand.
  • 2 – In this scenario you will either be drawing two cards or getting the best card of the three.  Depends on the power level of the cards.
  • 3 or more – In these scenarios you will be guaranteed two cards in your hand and three cards in your graveyard if you split the piles evenly.

This card gains much more value if you able to capitalize on the cards going into the graveyard as well as what ends up going into your hand as well.

Thanks again for joining me as we look at some of the cards that we will all be playing in the months to come.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until April 2nd comes!