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March 31, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad – It’s Pure Madness

Welcome to deckbuilding week on the Daily Dose! Today I’m going over some decks using some of the Shadows Over Innistrad cards I’m the most excited to use. When I heard that the Madness mechanic was returning, I immediately wanted to play a Grixis Madness deck. They have all of the tools to work well with Madness including the master of discarding, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy.

What I wanted to do was try and find a good balance between cards that make you discard, and cards that take advantage when you discard. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Grixis Madness

Creatures (21)
Asylum Visitor
Elusive Tormentor
Geralf’s Masterpiece
Heir of Falkenrath
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
Liliana, Heretical Healer
Olivia, Mobilized for War

Spells (12)
Avacyn’s Judgment
Fiery Temper
Kolaghan’s Command
To the Slaughter

Planeswalkers (2)
Chandra, Flamecaller

Lands (25)
Choked Estuary
Evolving Wilds
Foreboding Ruins
Island
Mountain
Shivan Reef
Smoldering Marsh
Sunken Hollow
Swamp
Wandering Fumarole

Made the Cut

Fiery Temper – Having a pseudoLightning Bolt available in the format made me immediately want to play this card, and this is the perfect fit for this.

Geralf’s Masterpiece – With you discarding cards at a fast rate, this will most of the time be a 6/6 or 7/7 Flying machine! Every once in a while you might even bring it back from the graveyard as well.

Chandra, Flamecaller – This is just too powerful of a Planeswalker to leave out of the deck. All three of its abilities are powerful. Being able to recycle your hand while activating Madness isn’t too bad either. This hand cycler wins out over Forgotten Creation.

Heir of Falkenrath – Called the new Delver of Secrets by some, this creature not only transforms into an evasive 3/2 Flying creature, but also activates Madness with its transform ability.

Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy – This is the card that will provide the most value for your Madness spells as you not only get to play the discarded spell, but also draw a card as well. You should have no problem paying the Madness cost on spells like Avacyn’s Judgment.

Elusive Tormentor – A 4/4 Creature which is very hard to kill, thanks to an ability that activates Madness as well. This is a win, win situation indeed.

Kolaghan’s Command – A very versatile spell that will allow you to get back some creatures you might have had to discard over the course of the game, while also either dealing damage or making your opponent discard. With this and a Fiery Temper you can deal five damage for only four mana by making yourself discard the card.

Liliana, Heretical Healer – A great way to get back creatures that you’ve discarded throughout the game. It can also be a discard engine for your Madness cards as well.

Olivia, Mobilized for War – One of the most aggressive cards in the deck. It can help you get an 8/8 Flying, Haste Geralf’s Masterpiece onto the battlefield to attack for 11. Sounds good to me.

Asylum Visitor – This is one of the key cards in the deck that will able to draw you lots of cards once you’ve discarded your hands using the various cards seen above. Being able to cast it instantly for its Madness cost is an added bonus for sure.

Avacyn’s Judgment – This is a great early removal that will also deal with small tokens like Thopters. It can also be used late game to deal a lot of damage divided between any number of sources.

To the Slaughter – This a great removal spell that will be able to deal with a large threat on the other side of the board.

Didn’t Make the Cut

Welcome to the Fold – Great as a sideboard card, but just too much mana to play in the main deck. Tough to play on turn 4 when you’d rather play Haste creature after Olivia or play Elusive Tormentor.

Incorrigible Youths – Although this would be the dream on turn three after playing either a Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy or Heir of Falkenrath, I would still rather be playing an Olivia, Mobilized for War or Liliana, Heretical Healer in this spot.

Ever After – Not large enough targets to make this worth playing. Two creatures are nice value, but will stick with getting creatures back with Kolaghan’s Command.

Forgotten Creation – Paying four mana to maybe discard your entire hand to get more cards isn’t that great in this deck, as you will be bringing yourself to a low card total with this deck pretty quickly.

From Under the Floorboards – This would be played more in a Control type shell of this deck, instead of this more mid-range creature based version.

Wolf of Devil’s Breach – This 5/5 wolf just didn’t seem like the right fit for this deck. By the time you get to five mana, you would rather have the 7/7 Flying creature than the 5/5 ground creature. You probably wouldn’t have many cards left at this point either.

Overall I think this a fun deck that will able to use Madness to it’s full value! I look forward to trying it out in a few weeks’ time! Thanks again for reading more of the Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad. I’ll be back tomorrow with the last of my deckbuilding articles.