Insider: Hot Picks in Shadows Over Innistrad

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We are so close to Shadows over Innistrad that I'm in the shade! The new set looks absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to have some of these cards in my hands at the prerelease. I love the Gothic horror theme and all the monsters and ghosts! Who doesn't love a good ghost yarn? And, with all the clues and investigating going on I'm pretty sure this block is going to have all the epicness of an episode of Scooby Doo.

C'mon Scooby, won't you be our eighth for draft? No? Will you do it for a Scooby Snack? Anyways...

So which cards should you try and get first? If you are looking at preorder prices the first thing you'll notice is they're very high. By now you know how these things tend to play out---most prices typically start out high and slowly trickle down as the majority of cards don't immediately find homes. Demand lulls, and things settle down.

In fact, even most of the cards that do find decks tend to gradually lose value. So, what is the point of speculating on a new set when the majority of the cards come out of the gate overpriced because the demand is so high?

Well, the trick is to find the few cards that actually are underpriced or have some room to grow. We can try and identify these cards by looking for spells that are powerful and likely to see play going forward.

Typically, one makes the money on the lower priced rares and not the flashy mythics. The mythics are already expensive just based on hype and demand. In order to keep these high prices they will have to earn their keep. Most won't and the few that do end up being important will be hard pressed just to keep their opening prices.

Every now and then we have a $20 mythic that gradually grows up to be very expensive. In order for this to happen the card has to be insane across Modern and Standard. Possibly, into Eternal.

Relentless Dead


Scooby Doo would not enjoy this card. G-G-G-G-GHOST!!! Unfortunately, while Shaggy and the gang would have been doing a comical double-take, this terrible zombie would have literally eaten them alive.

Good stuff.

If any card has a "shot" I'd say it is Relentless Dead. However, it is asking a lot to assume this card will be a dominant force in Standard and Modern. I think the card will be great in Standard and passable in Modern.

At $20, I'm going to pick up my Japanese playset and hope they don't depreciate too much. However, I intend to get my reps in with this particularly interesting zombie. I wouldn't invest too hard on this card but I certainly don't hate $20 to get in with a preorder if you want them. They could rise slightly if the card is good but will surely decline thereafter.

Okay. Let's look at some of the cards that I think have potential to make some money.

Goldnight Castigator


The only mythic rare that I believe isn't straight up overpriced. This card seems awfully powerful. Four power, four mana, and haste. Yes, the card has a drawback---and a significant one at that. But in a deck looking to close the door as soon as possible I believe this card could have a pretty significant place in Standard.

I could see the card earning a little bit if it ends up being good. And I think it will.

Deathcap Cultivator


Another card that will likely be a Standard Staple for the next two years. Goodbye Rattleclaw Mystic and hello Deathcap Cultivator. I get annoyed at cards like this because I feel that Magic design got a little lazy. I mean, every single Standard must have a two-drop creature mana rock dork. Cool. Way to keep it fresh.

Anyways, all complaining about recycling the same ideas aside, I think it is safe to say that this card will be good just like Rattleclaw and Sylvan Caryatid before it. The price is low; I could see a case for buying in on it.

Epiphany at the Drownyard


I've seen the range on this card going between $1-$3 presale online. I believe this card is fantastic and will be format-defining. I'm certainly interested in buying in on this card between a dollar and two dollars. I think the card could easily spike into the five dollar range if it is as good as I think it is.

However, only time will tell if an expensive card draw slash graveyard card will be. I think the ceiling is solid and that it's the type of card that will see considerable play. It is great at turning on delirium as well. I like this card at the current tag, and think it has room to grow.

Ever After


I don't think this card is apt to stay a bulk rare. There is so much self mill stuff floating around that I could see this card easily buying back an Ojutai and Silumgur (or worse) on turn six! The spell is quite powerful.

I also think this will end up being a great kitchen table type card with Commander potential. The effect is big and flashy. I'd like to pick up foil copies for this exact reason.

From Under the Floorboards


I also believe this card is not a bulk rare. I think the madness on the card is quite insane. I could see this being a great finisher in Standard. I like that it has a bunch of different things, tokens and life gain, built into one card. These are exactly the kinds of incremental advantages I'm looking to get out of a control deck.

There is so much incidental instant-speed draw and discard that I could see this card actually being quite good. It isn't out of the question that pitching it to Olivia could be a thing as well...

Inexorable Blob


So, Inexorable Blob is guaranteed to hit because it's the card I'm most excited to add to my Danger Room/Battle Box (LOL). So far pretty much every single card that I've wanted to add to my D.R. has ended up making pretty significant gains.

On power level I actually think this card is quite good. Solid power and toughness for the mana and the ability feels like it could get quite out of hand quickly. It is also sweet that it puts the token into play attacking.

I think this card is a strong sleeper. I gravitate toward wanting to play this card, and it might be even better than I'm envisioning now. It's my pick of the week.


So, enjoy the new set. It looks absolutely fantastic---the flavor, the cards, the themes and the mechanics. It all looks like a home run that I'm going to be very excited to play with. I wasn't a fan of the first set from the Zendikar block, but Shadows appears to be a much better first set offering.

The key is to look for the cards that are being undervalued---and they always exist. Don't buy into the hype on the cards that are already expensive. $40 for four-cost walkers is the sucker price. Wait on these cards if you can because they will dip. However, find the winners and you'll make a few bucks.

7 thoughts on “Insider: Hot Picks in Shadows Over Innistrad

  1. I like most of your picks and your logic is pretty sound. However, I gotta disagree on the “Relentless Dead” pick…I like the card and I think it will see play somewhere…but at $20 EACH a playset is $80…we have VERY rarely seen a recent mythic go above $20 for that long (with JvP being the big exception). I think this will quickly plunge to $10 or less and then I might be interested…but at $20 no way.

  2. How do you feel about Tireless Tracker? Can hit it off of CoCo and since you already want to play lands anyways you don’t really have to jump through any hoops to get it’s effect.

  3. We both chose Goldnight Castigator as the most likely underpriced mythic in the set!

    My other pick is ulvenwald hydra, but its very controversial and mostly an experiment on my own part.

  4. “The only mythic rare that I believe isn’t straight up overpriced.”

    Would appreciate if you provided more context. What price are you referring to? The price as of the date you wrote the article? The price from any particular store? The trading price?


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