We still have a few more weeks of current Standard to play, but the time has come to release some new deck lists I’ve been brainstorming for Shadows Over Innistrad Standard to the world. There have been plenty of exciting new cards spoiled so far, and one that has particularly caught my attention (and more than likely everyone else's as well) is Arlinn Kord.
This card at the moment appears to be the most powerful card coming our way in Shadows Over Innistrad. Both sides of her card have abilities that protect herself, and both +1 abilities can put relevant pressure on your opponent. I expect to see a lot of this card come Shadows Standard, and now that the dual lands from the new set have been spoiled we can begin trying to find her a home!
I expect the hand lands, or shadow lands, to play similarly to the dual lands from Scars of Mirrodin block, which came into play untapped if they were the first, second, or third land you played in a game. Since the new hand lands are allied coloured, I believe two colour decks will be the most played, and any three colour decks we see will more than likely be based in an allied colour pairing touching a third to create an original shard manabase (Naya, Bant, Esper, Grixis, Jund). It’s also important to remember our Eldrazi overlords and colourless mana possibilities, but I'll have more on that in a future article!
Back to Arlinn Kord, I believe she will pair quite nicely with two already existing planeswalkers that I expect to see dominate in the upcoming standard format: Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
The Nissa + Gideon combo already exists in current standard, and I fully expect that many players will continue to play them together post rotation due to the raw power level they provide. For the sake of making our manabase as playable as possible, I want this deck to be base GW with only a small splash for Arlinn Kord. By playing red we also get to fit a creature land into our deck, Needle Spires, which in turn means we can play Sylvan Advocate for its full late game value.
Here’s the first iteration:
I believe Oath of Nissa is going to start seeing much more play post-rotation, and it does a lot of work in our deck here. 81.67% of our deck are hits for Oath of Nissa, and it also help fix our mana for our twelve planeswalkers. Since we’re base GW, we also can reliably cast Archangel Avacyn, which is also competing for the “best card in the new set” slot. While we do lose Wingmate Roc in rotation, I think Archangel Avacyn can fill it’s role nicely and end games very quickly; with the added value of completely blowing out opponents in combat.
As for our spell choices, two drop unconditional removal is hard to come by in GW, so Declaration in Stone is a welcome addition to this deck; I don't think the drawback of giving our opponent a Clue will be too relevant of an issue for our strategy. Dromoka's Command is obviously quite good, so I won't explain this card choice beyond that. Finally, Secure the Wastes is another game ending threat that plays extremely well with all three of our planeswalkers, and I expect it to be an all-star in this sort of strategy.
Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments! I’ll have more lists for Shadows Over Innistrad coming in the near future, so stay tuned!