Sunday 27 March 2016

Shadows Over Innistrad Conclusions (plus top 16 cards)

A really lovely set all round. While it may not pack loads of cube powerhouses it has plenty new to offer the cube. There are masses of support cards for tribal decks and other themed decks as well as lots of useful cards for more diverse situations. Lots of holes are plugged with this set and some nice redundancy is offered too.

The mechanics in Shadows are generally interesting and good for the game and they have been put to use well on the cards. The set has some lovely flavour and really good art to boot. All round a good set. Magic design has been really good since Origins with lots of the sort of stuff I wanted to see. While it is great it is making the reviews take an age to do and making the updating of the cube more expensive...

Investigate is one of my favourite mechanics to date and I haven't even played with it yet. It lets you have cards that are playable as they are card neutral but useable at a point where you need the effect. A good example of this is Unsummon and Repulse, the former you can cast on demand when you need it but is hard to support in a deck due to the card disadvantage. Repulse is no trouble to include in a deck but often doesn't help because you can't afford to play it in time.

Investigate massively widen the list of cheap and useful cards that could be printed, be fair and still be good in cube. It gives the game depth by making early game more dynamic and late game less abrupt.

Here are the cards I will be picking up and playing with to some extent from the new set and how I rate the main cube stuff relative to each other. Lots of new one drops and a good dose of two drops as well, the area most in need of love in the cube.

Main Cube:

1.   Thing in the Ice
2.   Asylum Visitor
3.   Falkenrath Gorger
4.   Chocked Estuary/Fortified Village/Game Trail/Foreboding Ruins/Port Town
5.   Declaration in Stone
6.   Anguished Unmaking
7.   Heir of Falkenrath
8.   Arlinn Kord
9.   Avacyn's Judgement
10. Stern Constable
11. Tireless Tracker
12. Thraben Inspector
13. Indulgent Aristocrat
14. Bygone Bishop
15. Topplegeist
16. Geier Reach Bandit / Sin Prodder (doubt the cube has room for both)

To be Tested:

Town Gissopmonger
Brain in a Jar
Accursed Witch
Nagging Thoughts
Archangel Avacyn
Deathcap Cultivator
Drownyard Temple
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Westvale Abbey
Loam Dryad
Scourge Wolf
Goldnight Castigator
Fevered Visions
Sigarda, Heron's Grace
Descend Upon the Sinful
Relentless Dead
Geralf's Masterpiece
Olivia, Mobilized for War
Nahiri, the Harbinger

For the Cube Reserves:

Hanwier Militia Captain
Clip Wings
Just the Wind
Ravenous Bloodseeker
Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
Thalia's Leuitenant
Olivia's Bloodsworn
Thraben Gargoyle
Welcome to the Fold
Manic Scribe
Gibbering Fiend
Sinister Concoction
Startled Awake
Village Messenger
Always Watching
Diregraf Colossus
Engulf the Shore
Kindly Stranger
Call the Bloodline
Skin Invasion
Open the Armory
Bound by Moonsilver
Not Forgotten
Erdwall Illuminators
Essence Flux
Alms of the Vein
Gisa's Bidding
Grotesque Mutation
Sanitarium Skeleton
Murderous Compulsion
Bloodmad Vampire
Dual Shot
Insolent Neonate
Rush of Adrenaline
Confront the Unknown
Cryptolith Rite
Fork in the Road
Graf Mole
Epitaph Golem
Ever After
Seasons Past
The Gitrog Monster
Vessel of Malignity
Vessel of Nascency
Vessel of Volatility
Prized Amalgam
Incorrigible Youths

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