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Adam Plays Magic: Spellslinging in SIR Draft

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This week on Adam Plays Magic, we're hopping into a Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered draft. This Arena-only format takes the best cards of Shadows Over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon and spices it up further with a "bonus sheet" comprised of original Innistrad block favorites. That means Emrakul, the Promised End and Tamiyo, Field Researcher may be able to share a battlefield with Snapcaster Mage, Falkenrath Aristocrat, and the like.

To keep the format fresh, that bonus sheet rotates weekly, prioritizing and de-prioritizing different archetypes. For example, week one had a stronger focus on tribal synergies with cards like Drogskull Captain whereas week two has a greater emphasis on flashback spells like Spider Spawning. These changes meaningfully affect how the format plays out and make it an absolute blast to replay. Check out the full bonus sheet schedule here.

What I Played

One of the stronger archetypes of this format is a personal favorite of mine, UR Spells. Believe it or not, this Limited archetype directly translated into a top-tier Standard deck in its time, mainly thanks to Thermo-Alchemist. With so many cheap spells, this pinger represents upwards of two to three damage per turn, per copy. With three toughness, it does a great job of staving off early creatures and sponging up damage.


My draft started strong with a first-pick Mirrorwing Dragon. The ability isn't at its best in this deck as I'm missing combat tricks like Uncaged Fury, it's a large evasive threat and if the opponent uses a kill spell on it, they wipe their entire board along with it. Moreover, with five toughness, it dodges much of the removal in the set like Alchemist's Greeting. I passed up on a Cackling Counterpart which would've been an amazing combo with the dragon in favor of efficient removal. The disciplined choice was undoubtedly correct, but still, I wish I could've gotten a screenshot.


What really makes UR Spells so strong is Rise from the Tides. Similar to Spider Spawning, all this card asks is that you make it to the late game and then it invalidates the rest of the board by flooding it with 2/2 zombie tokens. In fact, there are so many cheap and interactive spells, UR is incentivized to play as few creatures as possible since the ones you have will give a target to the otherwise dead removal spells in the opponent's hand. Rise goes so wide that it invalidates the opponent's board anyway...and I had two copies along with graveyard recursion to really make sure that final nail was put into my opponents' coffins.

Notably, this deck had three copies of Galvanic Bombardment a Kindle variant that deals more damage for each copy in your graveyard. These ensured I could clear out early and midrange threats efficiently and trade up on mana. Another card I couldn't get enough of was Drag Under, one of the best blue commons. It is a Repulse variant that punishes the opponent for playing large creatures or buffing them with cards like Travel Preparations and Hope Against Hope.

Ultimately, this deck takes early control of the game and out-tempos the opponent with removal and chip damage, followed by a massive Rise from the Tides to close it out. It's powerful, consistent, and demoralizing for the opponent. What more could a person want?

The Deck

End Step

I had a blast playing this deck and without spoiling too much, it performed very well. I have a feeling I will be drafting a lot more of this set. As always, you can find me on Twitch and Twitter to keep up with all of my latest decks and testing updates.

With that out of the way, I would like to share a personal note. This will be my last article for Quiet Speculation for the foreseeable future. Last week I started my dream job with a company I love and will be directly improving the lives of people in my community. However, the demands of the position mean that I will need to take a step back from regular content creation.

I cannot thank you enough for coming with me on this journey and supporting my work. This isn't a goodbye forever—more of a see you later.

Cheers,

Adam

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