Typically, reprints within any one of MTG’s myriad sets are rarely a bad thing. In fact, the opposite is usually true, with reprints often being lauded for their ability to reduce secondary market prices. Understandably, this can excite players for reprint-focused sets such as the recently announced Commander Masters. After all, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a reprint of Capture of Jingzhou or Jewled Lotus? Unfortunately, while some reprints are Commander staples worth upwards of $215, not every MTG card is so desirable. The latest spoilers for the Shadows over Innistrad Remastered are one such example that’s leaving players baffled and downright disappointed.
Previously Powerful Planeswalkers
Wizards has recently revealed a trio of spoilers from Shadows over Innistrad Remastered to start the hype train rolling. Debuting three of the block’s six potential Planeswalkers, in theory, players should have been at least somewhat excited about these reveals. In reality, however, many MTG players were simply confused, with some players even angry that these cards were being reprinted. Out of the three cards revealed, only one was viewed with any modicum of positivity; Nahiri, the Harbinger.
While far from a Pioneer or Modern staple, Nahiri, the Harbinger does see fringe play within five color Niv-Mizzet decks. This is thanks to their powerful ultimate ability, allowing players to momentarily cheat out a creature or artifact. Used in conjunction with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, players can quickly fill their hand, turning the tide of battle. As players on Reddit pointed out, however, the real combo piece here is Niv-Mizzet, not Nahiri, the Harbinger. Their ability to cheat out cards can be useful, yes, especially for high-cost cards like Atraxa, Grand Unifier, however, as a -8 ability, it’s also relatively slow.
“You know what’s easier than spending 4 on a planeswalker, keeping it alive, proliferating a bunch then getting Atraxa? Just loot Atraxa and spend 4 to reanimate her.”u/Nawxder
Outside of Nahiri, the Harbinger and the other Planeswalkers getting reprinted simply don’t cut the mustard. Tamiyo, Field Researcher, for instance, barely sees any play at all, outside of the occasion rogue deck. Similarly, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets is scarcely used, only appearing in three Pioneer decks, according to MTGDecks.net. Somewhat comically, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets is used most frequently within fringe Explorer and Historic decks. For those not keeping track, this means that Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, is already on MTG Arena.
Since Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, first came to MTG Arena in Amonkhet Remastered, players aren’t too happy about their re-release. This is due to MTG Arena not having any form of duplicate protection for reprints within sets. Thanks to this missing feature, MTG Arena players will often end up with more copies of cards than they can actually play. Considering this issue exacerbates the consistent complaints around MTG Arena’s economy, it’s unsurprising that players are a bit miffed. “Why is Jace there if he already is on Arena,” u/wujo444 complained. “Cause f*ck all the people that will have eight copies of him!”
Sadly, while many players were upset about this almost unplayable reprint lacking duplicate protection, there’s no evidence things will change anytime soon. “They never said anything about changing how duplicate protection worked when they launched the patch, which would have been an easy PR win for WotC if they did,” u/NightKev explained. “So, it’s essentially 100% that they did not change it at all.” While this obviously isn’t what a lot of players wanted to hear, others noted that Jace’s inclusion is ultimately unsurprising. After all, as the name suggests, Shadows over Innistrad Remastered features cards from the Shadows over Innistrad block. As u/PurifiedVenom points out, this means not every card is going to be a runaway success.
“Are people really in here complaining as if every card from a remaster of 2 Standard sets was going to be playable in an eternal format?”u/PurifiedVenom
Remarkably, considering Wizards only debuted three new spoilers, the problems didn’t end there. As for some unknown reason, the art on Tamiyo, Field Researcher, has been changed for this Arena release. While this isn’t entirely unheard of, players were nevertheless baffled by this decision that removes previously gorgeous art. “Replacing the spooky, dusky Tamiyo, Field Researcher art with basic slush is a travesty,” u/ShockinglyAccurate commented.
Thankfully, the Shadows over Innistrad Remastered set isn’t just going to be comprised of these three somewhat disappointing reprints. Instead, the set should be chockablock with interesting and Pioneer playable cards that make the release worthwhile for Explorer fans. Alongside these, the Remastered set will feature several cards that are entirely unplayable in Pioneer. Not because they’re bad, but instead because they were made one year too early. Announcing this during a WeeklyMTG livestream, host Blake Rasmussen revealed Shadows over Innistrad Remastered will feature “81 cards that will include some callbacks to the original 2011 Innistrad block.”
For now, there’s no telling which cards from the original Innistrad block will be getting reprinted within this remastered set. Thankfully, however, there’s now not long to wait, as the set launches later this month on the 21st of March. Technically, Wizards of the Coast haven’t announced when the spoiler season for the set will take place just yet. That being said, considering its launch is so near, we’d expect it to start in earnest next week.