Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shadows over Innistrad Review: Black

Link to Blue Cards

I will leave double-faced cards, or DFCs, for a separate section.

Behold the Beyond: end-the-game in Standard constructed mythic.
Alms of the Vein: limited.

Asylum Visitor: it applies to all players... if only there was a way to lock other players out of casting cards? If not, then every one at some point is drawing an extra card for one life. I don't get why the casting cost and the madness cost is the same, maybe its a point made related to the storyline.
Behind the Scenes: just like the blue Investigate enchantment, this one will tell us exactly how good or not Skulk is. Its worth checking out. Oh, and the ability is in white.

Biting Rain: reads like an Eldrazi scion hoser to me. To the sideboard it goes. Its also useful against any other token-heavy deck, such as the Zombie decks in this block.
Ever After: potential game-ending reanimator in Standard constructed.

Call the Bloodline: aggressively costed all the way, must play. In white/black, I can buff the token with a anthem (say, Intangible Virtue in Modern). My opponent played this card against me and it is great late game. If you already have all the lands you need, you can recycle those additional late game lands for tokens.
Farbog Revenant: limited.

Creeping Dread: a little heavy for anything but Standard, and should find good use there. White blue/black self mill, in only a turn or two there should be enough types to trigger the damage clause.
Dead Weight: nice limited reprint. I remember using this card in Standard constructed as a n00b. It took me a while to realize that I could always find a better card for that slot in constructed.

Crow of Dark Tidings: self-mill is dangerous in limited, but it could be a good strategy in this format.
Diregraf Colossus: you will need to have cards that protect your graveyard from getting exiled, and once you that, this thing can get big. It will still not be very dangerous because it doesn't fly, or have Indestructible, or any other self-protecting ability. It will be great for Johnny Standard constructed fun builds. I like it a lot.

From Under the Floorboards: I love dropping a bunch of Zombie tokens and this card will let me do it. Once it drops to junk rare, I plan to play this beauty.
Ghoulcaller's Apprentice: limited.

Ghouslsteed: helper in blue/black self-mill or in white/black reanimator. A little on the heavy side as a 5-drop.... I don't see it getting much play in any format. This is one of those n00b plant cards. (But after seeing it played against me at the pre-release, am no longer sure this card is a n00b plant. I like it).
Gisa's Bidding: reasonably good in Standard constructed. When I am building a Zombie token decks, this will be one of my helper cards.

Grotesque Mutation: limited battle trick.
Merciless Resolve: limited. Second reading: OK to sacrifice a creature to draw two cards. In a Standard with a smaller card pool, this may be a good constructed card.

Hound of the Farbogs: limited.
Mindwrack Demon: am I missing an upside? I self-mill for four, and all I get as a benefit is that I lose 4 life every turn if I don't seed my graveyard correctly? Its still a four drop 4/5. I guess I will have to see in play against me to think better of it.

Indulgent Aristocrat: reads almost like a rare. "on each" is really good. Must play.
Macabre Waltz: reprint from Dissension. It will prove useful in more than just limited. The discard happens at the end. That's good.

Liliana's Indignation: let's do the math. If you have 30 creatures (think of an extreme case to maximize this effect), and you drop six cards into your graveyard, on average you will have three creatures and hit an opponent for six life. If you have a way to reanimate those creatures, this could be part of a sweet combo.
Markov Dreadknight: reads more like an uncommon in Modern. The counters come at three mana for two counters, and its only a 3/3 creature. You will need some vampires in the Standard vampire deck, and this one is one of them, but I think its a junk rare. I am still going to try it if it is cheap because discard outlets are good cards to trigger Delirium.

Morkrut Necropod: sacrificing another creature can be good in the right deck. Sacrificing a land is almost always a very bad idea. Didn't like at first glance, but now I like it because discard is good for Delirium.
Olivia's Bloodsworn: giving a Vampire that you just cast Haste can be very good and its only one red mana. Are we getting a guild block next? This is a solid card.

Murderous Compulsion: another 'casting cost equals madness cost' card. Seems more useful than just in limited. Its a Sorcery, and that means you will kill the creature after it has already attacked.
Pale Rider of Trostad: aggressively costed, and discarding can be good in the right deck. I like it a lot.

Pick the Brain: really good card, will see tons of play in Standard. There are many equivalent cards in Modern/Legacy/Vintage, some better than this one. Still a solid card.
Sinister Concoction: if you Scry, you will know what you are discarding. In the right deck this effect is actually useful. Another discard outlet: good for this set.

Rancid Rats: fun card, and more than just limited fodder. Its on my play list for sure. Just like my favorite Zombie Cat (Black Cat), I will find a home for this card.
Stallion of Ashmouth: limited.

Sanitarium Skeleton: limited.
Relentless Dead: it has many options, but none seem mythic to me. Unless I am missing something, this one is a junk mythic. Late game, though, you can play it and play it again with the return clause. I will have to see it played against me to iunderstand its value better.

Rottenheart Ghoul: limited.
Shamble Back: it can be from your opponent's graveyard. In a deck that causes opponent to discard, this effect can be very useful. I see it as more than a limited card. And if your opponent only has one creature in their graveyard to trigger Delirium, this card could undo that.

Stromkirk Mentor: limited.
To the Slaughter: very very good. Forcing sacrifice is always great, especially when facing Hexproof creatures. The 'and' close is really good. As we get more and more planeswalkers, and more ways to play them, any card that can destroy a planeswalker becomes a better card.

Throttle: limited.
Tooth Collector: the effect happens every turn, and that is really good. That means you can take out a bunch of small threats one by one, or reduce a threat by -1/-1 to be able to attack. Reads like a good card.

Triskaidekaphobia: cute, as situational as a card can be, and by itself, it will be a miracle if it sees any play. Destined to be a junk rare unless there is a card that sets a player's life total to 13. If the latter is true, we then have a really good combo.
Vampire Noble: limited.

Twins of Maurer State: limited.
Vessel of Malignity: same as a four drop Sorcery with this effect. limited.

Link to Red Cards