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Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers: Limited Review for March 23


Shadows over Innistrad is continuing to unfold, and I'm trying not to die of excitement before the Prerelease! Today we get to talk about the rest of the Common Vessel cycle and some sweet multicolored Rares.

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)

White

Humble the Brute

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Shadows over Innistrad would need an exceptionally fast Limited format for Humble the Brute not to be preferable to Smite the Monstrous. Humble the Brute costs an extra mana up front and another two to crack the Clue, but an extra card is a pretty big deal. I probably wouldn't play multiples of these, but the first copy will always be welcome.

Survive the Night

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

We're going to have to pay extra on cards to Investigate, and I'm okay with that. But on Survive the Night, the rate is just too steep. This is an effect worth about one mana (see Unnatural Endurance), and I'm not willing to pay three mana for the benefit of a Clue token.

Vessel of Ephemera

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D+

Evasive creatures are nice, but they get worse the later in the game you cast them. Vessel of Ephemera's fastest route to flyers is playing this Turn 2 and cracking it Turn 3, and if my opponent did this I'd be relieved by such a slow start. Yes, Vessel of Ephemera puts itself in the graveyard for Delirium, but this costs too much mana for the effect. I might bring it out of the sideboard against 1-toughness creatures (especially other flyers) that I want to block.

Blue

Forgotten Creation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Translation:
Forgotten Creation - 3U
Creature - Zombie Horror
Skulk
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard your hand. If you do, draw that many cards.
"I can't remember my early creations." - Stitcher Geralf
3/3

Card selection, Madness and Delirium synergies, and occasional evasive damage combine to bring you Forgotten Creation, the sweetest Zombie in the set. Take it early and play it often. If the format is slow enough and Blue gets enough Madness spells, this could easily jump up to A status.

Lamplighter of Selhoff

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

If Lamplighter of Selhoff looted unconditionally, most Blue decks would play it. It blocks well, can sometimes attack, and the looting effect is a sweet bonus to improve your hand. Pick this creature up when you have a few Zombies and don't foresee having too many five-drops. I don't consider Lamplighter of Selhoff a combo with Madness because, after paying five mana to cast it, you're unlikely to have much left over.

Stitched Mangler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Stitched Mangler is a curious creature. It can't block immediately after being cast, but its freeze ability functions like a better version of blocking by forcing the opponent's biggest threat to tap and stay tapped. While not ridiculously strong, I can't imagine many Blue decks that wouldn't want this type of effect since Stitched Mangler protects against aggressive decks well enough, and it can buy time against big threats as well.

Stitchwing Skaab

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

If the cost to reanimate Stitchwing Skaab was one card, it'd be a sweet reusable threat. At two cards, I require multiple Madness cards in my deck to combo it with before running it. We know from the existence of the Devil token that 1 damage effects might be more common in the format and without Madness interactions, Stitchwing Skaab is just a bad Cloud Manta.

Uninvited Geist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

When a card reminds you of Mystic of the Hidden Way, you know it's doing something right. Once you cast Uninvited Geist, either your opponent will leave back multiple blockers indefinitely, or the first time you spend a removal or bounce spell (or Stitched Mangler) to clear the way, you'll get a sweet unblockable 3/3 as a payoff.

Vessel of Paramnesia

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D+

Vessel of Paramnesia is pretty expensive for just a cantrip, but it does put an enchantment and three random cards into your graveyard. If you have at least three Delirium spells  always play it. If not, don't.

Black

Vessel of Malignity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Vessel of Malignity loses Witness the End's life loss which is annoying, but being able to break up the costs and get one of the harder card types for Delirium is quite nice. In any Black deck with decent Delirium payoff, I'd run one Vessel of Malignity. They definitely get worse in multiples.

Red

Scourge Wolf

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Scourge Wolf's RR cost is a little hard to manage, but it gets Wolf synergies and is still fine on Turn 3. I don't know that the presumed Red-Green Werewolves archetype will want to waste time fueling Delirium instead of just attacking a lot, but if it does, double strike is a decent payoff.

Green

Inexorable Blob

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

If you can assemble Delirium quickly Inexorable Blob gets out of hand. If it takes until Turn 7, then your opponent is likely to just have a 4/4 to block. I love this Ooze, but I won't be afraid to risk it in combat early when triggering Delirium seems too far away.

Vessel of Nascency

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Here's the Green cantrip I've been looking for ever since Delirium was revealed as a keyword. Vessel of Nascency is very likely to get 3 of the 4 types needed for Delirium for just three total mana. I'd play this in any Green deck with graveyard synergies, whether or not the synergies are Delirium cards specifically.

Multicolored

Altered Ego

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

Clone with two upsides is a ridiculous baseline for Limited. Being able to pump up the copy to be bigger than the original means it's almost impossible to be behind once Altered Ego resolves, and it has a nice clause assuring you it is going to resolve. Take Altered Ego early and splash it in any deck that has a reasonable chance of casting it.

Prized Amalgam

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

A Dimir Nessian Courser is a rare find, but hopefully the value it generates will not be. Already we've seen Stitchwing Skaab and Geralf's Masterpiece and any more similar Zombies will make trading off with Prized Amalgam a losing battle for your opponent. Expert mode involves milling or discarding Prized Amalgam then getting it back for free multiple times without ever once casting it.

The Gitrog Monster

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

The Gitrog Monster is officially awesome. You heard it here first. Actually, a ton of people have already said it. Mostly because it's true.

In Limited, The Gitrog Monster will take over games. Whether you immediately bash with it in combat or leave it around a few turns to draw cards first, you're sure to devastate (and intimidate) your opponent. Don't worry about playing extra lands to feed the Toad; even a typical 17-land deck shouldn't fall behind on lands when you're drawing at least two cards a turn.

Conclusion

I'm not sure what my favorite spoiler today wa— ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD. ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD.

Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review tomorrow. Remember that you'll be on your own once the full set is revealed on Friday. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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