Hey guys, I’m a little this late this week as I was waiting for the maximum number of cards to be spoiled before putting out this article. Spoilers for Shadows over Innistrad will end Friday so it is unlikely much will change between then and now.
With every set, the pre-order prices for most cards are astronomically higher than they end up. There are some exceptions to that rule (I’m looking at you Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy) but the best bet is usually to buy the least amount possible.
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the rare land cycle. I think the pre-order prices for these are a little too high to recommend buying them all but I couldn’t fault you for getting the ones you think you are likely to play for the first month. These should be $2-3 by this summer and then you can finish up your playsets.
Upgrading Old Strategies
Bought into the Eldrazi ramp deck recently? Here are my recommendations for pre-orders:
Deathcap Cultivator easily slots into the same spot as Rattleclaw Mystic and supports a black splash instead of a red one. That might be the best going forward anyway since Kozilek’s Return doesn’t kill a lot of the new vampires or many older creatures.
Drownyard Temple has a great synergy with World Breaker but I wouldn’t recommend getting a whole play set. One or two is probably all the deck can support anyway without cutting into Shrine of the Forsaken Gods or Sanctum of Ugin
With the additional ETB tapped lands, I expect ramp will find some mana earlier to use on Tireless Tracker. It’s obviously a huge favorite to be a huge monster if you play a ton of lands. It will help with some of the problems of flooding and isn’t legendary like Nissa, Vastwood Seer. While this card might not be a slam dunk, the pre-order price of $2 or less is not much to lose.
Stay away from this card. A lot of people are hypothesizing it’s synergy with Ruin in their Wake but the reality is this will often be much worse than Oath of Nissa. At $4 most places, I don’t want to buy into what is likely to be a bulk rare.
Collected Company more your jam? It’s likely that a Green/White based deck will be the bread and butter CoCo deck. There are unfortunately not a ton of great cards to add to those style decks but there are a few that could make the cut.
Collected Company decks are almost always light on removal (the nature of a green/white deck). Declaration in Stone gives you some more flexibility in removing troublesome creatures cleanly and doesn’t require a bigger creature, like Dromoka’s Command does.
Naturally, Hanweir Militia Captain’s flip trigger works well in a CoCo deck. Putting 2 Hanweir Militia Captains into play during your opponent’s end step could spell big game. This one is purely speculative as the next creature.
A deck with a ton of 3 or less drop creatures could be in the market for a reasonably costed flyer to draw some cards. This one unfortunately matches up pretty poorly against Drana, Liberator of Malakir and Olivia, Mobilized for War so we will have to see how the meta game shakes down. If we see a ton of Eldrazi Skyspawners and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet (which makes Deathmist Raptor worse) maybe this guy gets the nod.
For the mono-red Eldrazi deck I only have 1 recommendation.
I know it looks like a pile of garbage but the truth is this will be a very important sideboard card against “slower” decks. Its great against Ramp and it will probably be great against Esper Dragons (or similarly controlling decks). The worst case scenario is this is a Skizzik (or Ball Lightning, if you prefer that) that can throw off your opponent’s math. Most of it’s text box is largely irrelevant if you kill them with it.
Some cards look deceptively powerful on paper but don’t realize any competitive play. For the most part, anything over $15 pre-order price is too high to pay unless you are sure it will be good. Here’s my shortlist of things I have (or would recommend) pre-ordering.
She’s cheap, she’s got reasonable stats, and she turns every spell you play for the rest of the game into an insane return. Olivia’s ability to curb your flooding while still putting pressure means it won’t be hard for her to find a home. I’m fine with pre-ordering these up to $15 if you are going to play them.
This is the best Serra Angel ever printed. Glowing endorsement, right? Well if you played with Restoration Angel during the first Innistrad block, you would know how powerful large flash flyers are. Avacyn is really big, at a great rate, and doesn’t need much help to be effective. She is largely immune to Reflector Mage. Combined with Ojutai’s Command, Avacyn delivers the same lose/lose situation as Cryptic Command and Mistbind Clique did. This is a card I’m not worried that we won’t find a deck for.
So Arlinn is definitely very good on paper. Probably the best planeswalker in the set. But I don’t think she will find a home. Be on the lookout for when she drops. I can’t imagine she stays anywhere over $20 in a month.
Don’t buy these cards. They’re too hyped and probably won’t be good enough to maintain their price tag for more than a month.
All of the Planeswalkers have the Planeswalker tax. Anguished Unmaking is fine but it’s also the Game Day promo and I’m not sure it can be played as a 4-of like Hero’s Downfall. Sin Prodder is a glorified Boggart Brute. It’s “fine” but on average it will draw you less cards than Abbot of Keral Keep. Thing in the Ice is purely an eternal card and as such will drop like a rock. It’s unlikely to see too much play in a Standard format that has Ultimate Price, Grasp of Darkness, Silk Wrap, and Reflector Mage.