A Final Look at Crimson Vow

Last week we started to take a look at the new expansion that is just around the corner, but time passes quickly and there is only one week until Innistrad: Crimson Vow arrives. The full spoiler revealed the rest of the cards that will have their say in the evolving Standard!


Graf Reaver



We start with an interesting addition for a deck like Zombie, which has tried to make a few appearances in the format without much luck. 




This deck wasn’t lacking in drop two. Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia and Bladestithched Skaab, to name a few, are fundamental cards with a good power level. However, they don’t put pressure on the board that puts this 3/3 into a position that it can kill a planeswalker and trigger an ability by sacrificing a creature like Shambling Ghast.


Hullbreaker Horror 



Did you miss the typical side card for control mirrors? This card will find two slots in all control-deck sideboards. 


It may prompt playing more cheap spells, like Consider, and maybe it will change the game plan in the mirrors, such as removing all Epiphany and winning with Hullbreaker Horror. What is certain is that this card will be played and that it will bring change to all decks that use it.


Cemetery Gatekeeper



If Mono Red returns or if there’s a midrange deck led by Chandra, Dressed to Kill, then this card will find its place. Otherwise, it will still find space in a Rakdos Midrange shell.


Two mana 2/1 with first strike is a good base, and the ability is strong. When it comes into play, it exiles a card from the graveyard, which can be good as a graveyard-hate by itself, but it also deals two damage to each player who plays a card of the same kind of the exiled card. 


Two damage for each card played is not sustainable in any format by any deck, so your opponent is forced to quickly kill this vampire.


Headless Rider



Here’s the second addition for Zombie, which seems to have found new cards in this new expansion that can make it competitive.


This card is lucky enough to occupy a slot that was the deck’s weakest point until now. It provides a three-mana drop that the deck desperately needed, and it allows the deck to restart after a mass removal, which was needed for this deck to finally become competitive.


I have great confidence in this archetype because of these additions.


Sorin the Mirthless



Sorin returns to Standard by giving a big help to Mono Black. The card is interesting and has three strong abilities. It can easily win the game if the board is good and can properly defend itself. 



The +1 is an improvement on Dark Confidant‘s ability because, unlike the first Ravnica’s creature, there’s the choice of not revealing the card and adding it to your hand if you don’t want to spend life to get an extra card.  


The -2 creates a 2/3 lifelink and flying which is always good against aggro and control to put some pressure on the board.


The ending does 13 damage, gains 13 life, and ends the game in most cases.


Cultivator Colossus



When I first saw this card, I was reminded of the synergy with Wrenn and Seven in a hypothetical ramp deck.




The green planeswalker draws lands with +1. The Cultivator Colossus puts all these lands in play and draws as many cards, which seems strong. What if there was also a Scute Swarm on the ground? Remember that it is an x/x where x is the number of lands you control, so it is above even Burning Hands. If it is bounced, as UR can do, it revises the card advantage. It’s not an easy card to manage.


Ramp decks will benefit a lot from this card. They may be built differently and become competitive again.


Soon we’ll be able to play and try the new cards of what looks like a great expansion that will upset Standard’s balance!


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