Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered came to MTG Arena on the 21st of March 2023. This spooky gothic horror-themed set contains several important reprints for Explorer and Historic, alongside some less exciting cards.
This list won’t contain cards that have already been added to MTG Arena through anthology sets, so that means no Thraben Inspector or Tireless Tracker. The list also won’t include any cards on the rotating Shadows of The Past bonus sheet like Snapcaster Mage or Griselbrand. This is partially because there is not always a guarantee that these can be opened in a Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered pack, and partially because otherwise they would dominate the entire list.
With all of that that said, here are 10 of the best Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered cards you can get your hands on.
10. The Reveal Lands
Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered brought the cycle of “reveal lands” to MTG Arena. These lands are Port Town, Choked Estuary, Foreboding Ruins, Game Trail and Fortified Village. The reveal lands enter play untapped if you can reveal a card with a certain basic land type from your hand. For example, Game Trail requires you to reveal a Forest or a Mountain, while Fortified Village requires you to reveal a Forest or a Plains. Although there are certainly better dual lands out there, these cards make a great budget option as they have been printed at Uncommon, meaning it’s very easy to get your hands on them using wild cards.
9. Westvale Abbey
This unassuming Abbey can transform into the incredibly strong Demon Ormendahl, Profane Prince by sacrificing five Creatures to it. Although the sheer number of creatures you need to sacrifice to the Abby possibly makes the card a bit impractical, if you can get the card transformed it will change the course of the game. It is quite hard for opponents to answer a 9/7 Indestructible, Hasty threat with Flying before it has dealt some major damage to them.
8. Anguished Unmaking
7. Archangel Avacyn
Although no longer used hugely frequently outside of Commander, due to having a prohibitively high Mana Value of five, Archangel Avacyn is still an exceedingly powerful card once it hits the board.
Archangel Avacyn can be flashed into play at instant speed, and rewards you for doing so by granting all of your Creatures Indestructible until the end of the turn. This allows Avacyn to be used to rescue Creatures about to be destroyed by removal effects, or who would otherwise die chump blocking a powerful threat. When a non-angel creature you control dies, Avacyn transforms. This card’s reverse side, Avacyn, the Purifier loses Vigilance, but gains a +2/+1 buff and also deals three damage to each creature and each opponent, likely wiping the board of an aggro piloting opponent clean.
6. Collective Brutality and Collective Defiance
Both of these cards see a certain amount of Pioneer play and are fun executions of the Escalate mechanic. Cards with Escalate have multiple modal effects, one of these effects is activated when the card is played, and additional effects can be activated by paying an increased cost.Collective Defiance is used primarily for its first effect, which combos brutally with Narset, Parter of Veils to force an opponent to discard their entire hand and then only draw a single card to replace it. The additional burn effects on Collective Defiance are also useful for removing Creatures and closing out the game. Collective Brutality, meanwhile, offers several generically useful, but not overwhelmingly powerful, Black effects. Rather than mana, the Escalate cost of Collective Brutality is paid for by discarding cards. Collective Brutality is typically run in decks that utilize graveyard recursion like Abzan Greasefang. This turns the downside of the cards you need to discard to activate all three of Collective Brutalitity’s modes into an upside, as you can use it to load up your graveyard with cards to reanimate.
5. Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4. Liliana, The Last Hope
3. Thing In The Ice
Spellslinger decks want every creature they run to count, and Thing In The Ice absolutely delivers. Thing In The Ice enters play with four Ice Counters as an 0/4 with Defender for two mana. Every time Thing In The Ice’s controller casts an Instant or Sorcery one of these counters is removed. Once the final Ice Counter is gone, the card transforms into Awoken Horror, a formidable 7/8 beater. Awoken Horror immediatley bounces all non-Horror creatures in play to their owner’s hand, clearing the field for it to make a decisive attack. This card is a hugely popular component of Izzet Pheonix decks in Pioneer and it will surely be just as well received in Historic and Explorer.
2. Sigarda’s Aid
1. Emrakul, the Promised End
The face of the set, and by far the most iconic card contained within it. MTG Arena’s developers had to struggle to even program Emrakul into the game. Emrakul, the Promised End was banned from the Standard format of its time and is one of the most powerful Eldrazi in the game. At the prodigiously huge cost of 13 Mana, Emrakul at first seems too unwieldy to be practical, but this cost is reduced for having a stacked graveyard. Since this card’s ability triggers when it is cast, even if Emrakul ends up getting countered you still take control of your opponent on their next turn. You can use that turn to sabotage all of their plans, before later swinging in for the kill with the colossal 13/13 trampling flier you now control.
Read more: Top 10 Best MTG Win Conditions in Commander