March 15, 2016

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Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad: Where Have You Been Nahiri?

Welcome to a crazy week on the Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad as the official first preview week continues and we preview you some of the sweet new cards that come into our laps.

One of the biggest mysteries coming into the set was what Planeswalkers would be in Shadows Over Innistrad.  There have been assumptions on Jace and Sorin being in the set as they have been seen on packaging and other art from the set.  They then provided us with stories of a new Werewolf Planeswalker, Arlinn Kord, which I will be discussing tomorrow! Tamiyo has also been featured in art and in the card Tamiyo’s Journal. So which Planeswalker am I talking about today? Well Nahiri of course!  Welcome Nahiri, the Harbinger!

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Following Archangel Avacyn, we have a Red/White Nahiri, changing from her White version seen in Commander 2014.  She starts off with four loyalty counters, which easily goes up to six if needed. Let’s break down Nahiri’s three Planeswalker abilities.

+2: You may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.

First off we get a common Red ability of reverse card looting. A slight difference is that you may discard a card, so you can still +2 if you don’t want to discard a card or if your hand is empty, but in both of those circumstances you won’t be drawing a card.

This ability will also work well with Madness allowing you to get even more value especially on the turn after you cast her.

-2: Exile target enchantment, tapped artifact, or tapped creature.

Next we have more of a White ability similar to Gideon Jura‘s ability to destroy a tapped creature. This ability will have a lot of versatility allowing you remove more cards from play. I can see it being able to remove a creature that attacked you on the turn before casting Nahiri. Leaving them with an empty battlefield and a Planeswalker on your side will make it harder for Nahiri to be killed.

-8: Search your library for an artifact or creature card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. It gains haste. Return it to your hand at the beginning of the next end step.

This is definitely a powerful and potentially game ending ultimate ability.  Bringing in a creature like Emrakul or Ulamog to swing in for Haste damage is very appealing. Although most ultimates on Planeswalkers, this will rarely be seen, but I can hope!

Overall I think Nahiri will be quite strong with its synergy with Shadows Over Innistrad mechanics and its ability to protect itself. History has shown that Planeswalkers with +2 or more abilities are harder to kill.

Next let’s look at a Black removal spell that isn’t a Sorcery or an Instant. Here is Sinister Concoction:

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At first glance this seems like a large price to pay to destroy a target creature. First off you have the ability to destroy any target creature for two Black mana, which is unheard of. Some players might say that it isn’t an instant spell, but playing this on turn one allows you to hold it up an instant removal when needed.

Lets go back to the large price to pay of losing one life, milling one card, and discarding a card. In taking a closer look, this actually provides great synergy with some often seen mechanics from Shadows Over Innistrad. If used in conjunction with Madness cards like Fiery Temper, you will be able to use this penalty to your advantage.

This cards greatest synergy is with the new Delirium mechanic as it can at anytime almost guarantee you to activate it when sacrificed. When sacrificed you will have an enchantment in your graveyard, plus the card type that is milled along with the card type you choose to discard. If you are desperate to get instant Delirium you can even target your own creature, but that’s just mad.

Next I’m going to look at a removal spell that fills a void left when Utter End rotates out of Standard. Here is Anguished Unmaking.

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Everyone always call for a reprint of Vindicate, but this looks like the closest we will get to that.  I believe that the difference of one less mana makes this card more playable than Utter End even with the loss of three life.  Its true that this could become blank in the late game or against aggressive decks, but most of the time, the three life lost will be worth the removal.

Its always good to have an all-encompassing removal in the Standard format, but only time will tell if any decks will be able to handle its two-color casting cost.

Thanks again for reading another Daily Dose of Shadows Over Innistrad. This new set continues to surprise and I look foreword to seeing what other new cards are to come!