Shadows Over Innistrad Standard : Week One

Hello ladies and gents, Harrison here with another Magic: The Gathering article for you folks. Now, rock-dwelling company excepted, you’ve noticed that our standard format has rotated. Shadows Over Innistrad has hit tables from GPs to kitchentops everywhere, and it has brought with it some major changes for the Standard format.

#1: Fetches are Dead, Long Live White!

With Khans of Tarkir leaving us, it got a lot harder for you to have four and five colour manabases without much difficulty. Format-defining archetypes such as Jeskai Black, Abzan and Esper Dragons get much more difficult, if not outright impossible to play because of both a lot of the great removal – Crackling Doom, Abzan Charm, etc – leaving, and it being nearly impossible to reliably have access to three or more colours on turn three. Without those flexible and high-powered removal options, players have been scrabbling to find a replacement. And I do declare, Wizards have delivered.

The fair and balanced Stasis

Saturday Night Fever 2: Eldrazi Boogaloo

You thought I was going to say Declaration in Stone, didn’t you? Sure, the card is very good, but Stasis Snare creeps ahead in value for me, both being instant speed and being able to take out one of the most high value cards in Standard: Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. But hey, this isn’t Communist Russia. Why not have both?

#2: Seriously, White is Amazing Right Now

Cast your mind back all the way to the long ago time of Origins. Remember a four mana creature that a lot of people were speculating would be very good, but was buried under a format where it was easier to get three different colours than three of the same? Well Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Chainmail bikinis are so mid-90s.

Chainmail bikinis are so mid-90s.

Yes, it is finally time for Archangel of Tithes to shine! Now that one and two-colour decks are the place to be, Avacyn’s BFF is an absolute powerhouse, with the ability to establish the most powerful curve of must answer threats in the format, such as;

Turn 1: Kytheon, Hero of Akros. Or Dragon Hunter. Or Town Gossipmonger. High value one-cost creature, is what I’m saying.

Turn 2: Consul’s Lieutenant. Or Anafenza Kin-Tree Spirit. Or Thalia’s Lieutenant. There’s a pattern here.

Turn 3: Always Watching. Or a removal spell (see above).

Turn 4: Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Archangel of Tithes, two two-mana creatures….

Prepare yourself to feel the power of White in Shadows Standard.

#3: Get Weird With It

Love it or hate it, Siege Rhino is gone for good. And with that format defining monster leaving, alongside Mantis Riderand Crackling Doom, there are now wide open fields of space to do whatever you feel like. Want to cast six spells a turn in UR Prowess backed up by Rise from the Tides? Go ahead. Hard control with 12 counterspells and a big fat flying dragon? A mill deck utilizing Sphinx’s Tutelage and Startled Awake? Zada, Hedron Grinder tickle your fancy? I’ve heard it’s pretty scary with Silverfur Partisan. Hungry for braaaaaaaaaains? Diregraf Colossus and Relentless Dead just showed up to play. And hey, Collected Company is still here.

Only took them six years to break through that window...

Only took them six years to break through that window…

#4: Be Careful

Because there’s something out there in that water….

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