Happy Shadows Over Innistrad release day planeswalkers! Currently, boxes and pallets of cards are being freshly unwrapped and put on store shelves and tonight at Friday Night Magic events a whole new standard rotation begins! If the influx of new cards is leaving you paralyzed with choices, however, never fear-I’ll be here to hold your hand through the changes and current strategies being thrown around by the pros. Let’s get started.
Turn and Face the Strange, ch-ch-ch-Changes:
Alright, the first path to understanding the newest changes in Standard is understanding what is being phased out. With Shadows Over Innistrad hitting shelves today, you can wave goodbye to Khans of Tarkir and Fate Reforged. I know many people will find this depressing, especially the loss of fetch lands (cards that let you search your deck for ANY land and were essential in several decks), but I’d also like to point out that this is an equally awkward and fun time. Wizards, last year, officially changed all blocks into two sets as opposed to the old standard of three per block. This means that, for the first time ever, the new Standard format consists of four different blocks! We’ve got Dragons of Tarkir, Magic Origins, Battle for Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad. The amount of variety this new standard offers is going to be insane, and I can’t wait to see what kind of decks become the best.
Alternatively, this is also a great time for new players to the game! If you’ve been on the sidelines waiting to attend Friday Night Magic events or get into the game, this is the time to do it, while everything is new even to veterans and new strategies are still being formed.
If you have a deck that’s being torn up by the new Standard, here’s an article that can help you cope with the change and find some new work-arounds. For those approaching deck-building for the first time, here’s an article with some new ideas and synergies to use as a jumping off point. Good luck to you deck pioneers and have fun at Friday Night Magic!
Finally, with a new set, comes a new set of bans and restrictions. Luckily, this only affects the Modern and Vintage formats and will have no effect for the new Standard we talked about above. If all this talk of formats is making your head spin like Linda Blair, feel free to educate yourself on what the different formats are here. For those in the know, here is the list of what has been banned and the explanation why.
With the release of a new set also comes the announcement of the next pro tour! This is where the top magic players in the world gather together and compete for prizes of up to $40,000! Yeah, this ain’t no joke. This year the pro tour will be held from April 22-24 in Madrid, Spain:
If you’re intrigued by the thought of professional Magic players, Wizards will stream the entire event, with commentary, all weekend on their Twitch channel as well as post additional coverage with their Twitter and Facebook. If you are rich and have enough free time, spectators are always welcome at the event as well. If you’re content, like myself, to watch from halfway across the world, check out the preparation that goes into Pro Tour events as well as the exclusive merchandise given and sold to the pros. All other info about the event, as well as links to the streams and social media pages can be found here.
Or maybe you think you have what it takes to play with the big boys. Maybe you have already configured a perfect deck for taking out every opponent that stands in your way. If you’re wondering how to get an invitation to the Pro Tour, every possible way is outlined on the official site.
Cards of the Day:
For a while now, I’ve been hinting at the huge story implications behind some of the cards in this set, and now I think it’s time to collect them all and make sense out of what is going on with Innistrad.
Firstly, we have Nahiri, the Planeswalker who has been missing for thousands of years. Her and Sorin used to be friends, possibly even more, and Sorin’s whole reason for revisiting Innistrad is to look for her. Well, as we’ve seen, he’s found her, but possibly not the way he intended:
It’s quite clear that Nahiri is no longer Sorin’s friend. In Structural Distortion and Declaration in Stone not only does Nahiri go to Sorin’s ancestral manor and completely destroy it, but she also murders everyone inside. In the flavor text of each card, it’s clear Nahiri wants Sorin to suffer and Innistrad to be destroyed. Given that the moniker on Sorin’s new Planeswalker card is Grim Nemesis, it appears he’s ready for a fight. So, why is Nahiri so angry? Part of it could be she’s angry at the Eldrazi for destroying her homeworld of Zendikar and wants Sorin and his world to suffer the same fate. How does she plan on doing so? Well, that leads to the next segment of cards:
Remember back in Zendikar how each Eldrazi titan left a trail of corruption in their wake specific to each titan? Well, in Thraben Inspector we can see what looks like a new trail of corruption starting to spread over Innistrad and it just so happens we have one Eldrazi titan yet to see. Emrakul, the titan of corruption. Its presence and influence could explain the corruption of the angels and forces meant to protect Innistrad. All clues Jace has discovered in the set point towards Drownyard Temple and this week’s chapter is all about it. Essentially, it looks like a giant beacon set up by Nahiri to lure Emrakul to Innistrad and bring about its total annihilation. Seeing as the next set is titled, Eldritch Moon, her plan may succeed.
What are the theories you’ve formed from the cards? Do you think my theories are incorrect? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading and have a happy release!