A five mana draw spell at Sorcery speed doesn’t often end up at the forefront of Standard. Tidings and a few others are an exception in this category, but it takes a lot of raw power to make a blue mage want to tap out on their own turn. Pore Over the Pages both doesn’t require actually tapping out, and also might meet our power level needs.
The first thing that I’d like to discuss is the card’s ability to untap lands upon resolution. This is reminiscent of one of the most broken mechanics in Magic’s history that you find on cards like Frantic Search and Time Spiral. It didn’t have a keyword then, and it doesn’t now, so it’s unclear if there will be more cards that let you untap lands on resolution in Shadows Over Innistrad. I have a sinking suspicion that the implementation of this mechanic here has something to do with balancing this effect with the existence of Goblin Dark Dwellers, but time will tell.
The real power of this card comes from the fact that madness will be a block mechanic in Shadows. The cool thing about the untap mechanic here, is you can tap your lands however you want, see what you draw, and then untap based on either a regular followup spell or the mana necessary to cast a potential madness spell.
Without knowing what kind of madness cards we will be getting, it’s hard to say exactly what will go into a Pore Over the Pages deck, but the synergy with both Pore and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and madness are not to be ignored. With Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time rotating out when Shadowns rotates in, I expect Pore Over the Pages to be a strong consideration for Standard play.
Speaking of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, if you were hoping this card would go down anytime soon you’re out of luck on this one. The announcement of madness as a mechanic alone has bumped Jace back into the near $80 range. I don’t expect that he’ll be disappearing from the top tables of Standard events, and the proper madness cards could even more strongly solidify his place in Modern.