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Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers: Limited Review for March 16


Welcome friends to some more Shadows over Innistrad reviews and discussion. Today we get to talk about the second coming of Olivia and Sigarda, and the seventh (yes the seventh) Jace!

I'll be reviewing these cards from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. We can't rate the cards completely accurately without knowing the entire set, but we can evaluate the cards in an "average" limited format. You can find all the latest spoilers on the Shadows over Innistrad page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official spoiler for it has not been released yet.

Grading scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Dragonmaster Outcast, Linvala, the Preserver)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Clutch of Currents, Baloth Null)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Culling Drone, Akoum Flameseeker)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Geyserfield Stalker, Dazzling Reflection)
F: This card will have little or no impact on the game if I draw it or is strictly sideboard-material. If I cast this card, please stage an intervention for me. (Prism Array, Hedron Alignment)

Blue

Epiphany at the Drownyard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Like everyone else who saw Epiphany at the Drownyard, I was initially excited by the new Fact or Fiction before realizing it was just a new Steam Augury. At three mana, it's a worse Anticipate and at five mana, it's a little worse than Jace's Ingenuity. If your deck is slow and controlling and also wants to fill the graveyard, then you'll want Epiphany at the Drownyard, but it's no Stroke of Genius.

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

Sure, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets is just a Blue Ob Nixilis Reignited. Sure, he's just a better Jace, the Living Guildpact and a worse Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Sure, I'd have loved to see Tamiyo as our Planeswalker during this set. With all that said, I still get excited when I see new Planeswalkers, and I'd much rather cast Jace, Unraveler of Secrets than complain about him.

Since the Unsummon effect doesn't permanently deal with a creature, I expect this Jace to only have one ability (drawing cards) until it ultimates or until you're forced to bounce a creature to prevent a lethal attack. Since he draws you a card each turn (and generally a good card since you get to scry first), you'll be more likely to get ahead by chump blocking to keep his loyalty high. The emblem is very hard to beat, so your opponent will have to look for any way to get him off the table.

Nickname guide for Jace's:

Rise from the Tides

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Translation: 
Rise from the Tides (U)
Sorcery
For each instant or sorcery in your graveyard, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped.

Since Flashback isn't returning, we know we aren't getting Spider Spawning, but it looks like Rise from the Tides may fill a similar role. It's harder to fill a Limited deck with instants and sorceries than with creatures, but with enough bounce and kill spells it could be possible. I'd want at least three Zombies from this to be happy spending six mana, and if you can set it up to get five or more then you obviously did great. 

Black

Indulgent Aristocrat

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

One mana 1/1s aren't good enough by themselves, but sacrifice outlets are generally a bit better than they look. Indulgent Aristocrat can be a 2/2 or 3/3 Lifelink pretty easily, and if almost all your creatures are Vampires, the sacrifice will generally be well worth it. Don't forget that Indulgent Aristocrat can sacrifice itself if you don't have any smaller creatures you want to lose.

Red

Breakneck Rider

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

First Red gets a better Savannah Lions in Falkenrath Gorger and now it's getting a better Trained Armodon? I don't know what to believe anymore. Who's giving Red all these above-the-curve creatures?

This creature is good by itself, and with any reasonable board state the +1/+0 and Trample should be enough to enable good attacks.

Harness the Storm

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F

Maybe if they reprint Lightning Bolt, and it's at Common, and you're the only player in Red, and you get five of them. Then maybe you might want to put Harness the Storm into your deck. Maybe.

This card could do interesting things in Constructed, but I don't plan on touching it in Limited.

Green

Groundskeeper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Groundskeeper is an interesting reprint for a graveyard set. You probably won't want to return your only land and turn off Delirium, but once there are multiple lands in the graveyard this card is value. Additionally, Groundskeeper gives "infinite" discard activations for the cost of 1G apiece. If we get Wild Mongrel or something similar at Common, Groundskeeper could be incredible, but without such discard outlets it might be unplayable.

Multicolored

Olivia, Mobilized for War

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Good news for Limited players, Olivia isn't completely unbeatable now! Obviously Olivia, Mobilized for War has great stats and can overwhelm a slower opponent with hasty threats and Madness spells, but she won't steal every single creature your opponent controls like Olivia Voldaren threatened to do.

If you aren't attacking, you won't necessarily want any of your cards to be a free Battlegrowth, so think hard before you start discarding.

Sigarda, Heron's Grace

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

Sigarda, Heron's Grace much like the new Olivia, is a lot more beatable than her previous version, Sigarda, Host of Herons. In this set, she's just a very big flyer that creates chump blockers at the cost of cards in your graveyard. Her hexproof clause makes it such that your opponents can't Mind Rot you or touch your Human creatures until they're able to get Sigarda off the table.

Conclusion

One more Planeswalker to go (Sorin on Thursday), then Wizards should be running short on Mythics to show us. Let's go Commons! Join me for more Limited review during the rest of this week and next. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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