Alchemy: Innistrad White and Blue Card Review and Decklists
Hello everyone! Today I’m going to start reviewing the brand new cards for Alchemy: Innistrad and provide some spicy decklists! Considering there’s only 63 new cards, I’ll just split them up into 3 articles instead of the normal 6. Let’s get into it.
As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
When you’re done, you can continue to check out reviews and decklists for Black and Red cards here:
ANGEL OF ETERNAL DAWN
This is an unbelievably weird card first and foremost. Locking the Day/Night cycle is interesting, but right now seems like flavor text unless there’s an extremely strong Day/Night payoff that’s going to be printed/see play. The real prize of the card is stopping opponents from casting cards ahead of schedule, but I have to question how effective that is on a 3 drop as the cards you’re generally most afraid of coming down early are 4 drops. I don’t think this is a bad card per se as a 3 mana 2/4 Flier isn’t embarrassing and it does have a lot of text, I just can’t currently see the applications.
ANGEL OF UNITY
This is definitely a pretty narrow card, but it does seem like a pretty reasonable party payoff that requires little investment assuming your deck is fully geared to doing party things (which any deck considering to play this should). I’m not sure if this is enough to bring Party back into prevalence, but it is a decent enough ability that I wouldn’t be surprised if it could made the deck an ok option again. Speaking of…
Another very interesting design that’s like a weird psuedo-Thalia that isn’t as consistent, but also discounts anything you draw and has double strike. I don’t think this card is necessarily bad, but I think it’s definitely one of the bigger traps in the set as this card looks and feels like it should be really good, but it’s likely just mediocre. However, if you have ways to buff it’s attack, then I can see this being a bit better. Not bad, not great.
I can imagine that if you’re looking to curve out and your opponent plays this on turn 3, you’re going to want to divinely purge Arena from your computer. This isn’t a 3 mana wrath, but this is an unbelievably effective stalling mechanism for White control decks to contend with the fastest of aggressive draws. This card seems already pretty good in Standard, but it’s Historic applications seem pretty good as well considering Lurrus of the Dream-Den is one of the most played cards.
If you are a fiend for some good old fashioned Control, Azorius would love to utilize this.
This card doesn’t feel like a Mythic, but it’s definitely a cool design! I have to wonder if there are any weird combos that can be enabled in Historic with giving certain creatures lifelink, but even if you’re playing this in a fair deck it seems pretty strong. I would say it’s matchup dependent on whether or not this card is going to shine, but this seems like a nightmare in a creature matchup where racing matters.
Somehow the cards keep getting weirder and weirder and I’m all for it. This is the weirdest lord I’ve ever seen as it doesn’t technically give creatures a permanent buff, but it’s pretty close. It’s kind of like a janky Thalia's Lieutenant (obviously not as good) as it can grow itself or others as more humans enter the battlefield. Realistically this is probably not going to be strong enough to usurp the other powerful 3 drops in Monowhite Aggro normally, but if you build around it with the other Human payoff, this could be reasonable.
I worked on a Humans deck at the beginning of Crimson Vow, and this could be the card that puts it on the map.
Faithful Disciple’s Spellbook
- Anointed Procession
- Cathars' Crusade
- Authority of the Consuls
- Sigil of the Empty Throne
- All That Glitters
- Banishing Light
- Divine Visitation
- Duelist's Heritage
- Glorious Anthem
- Gauntlets of Light
- Teleportation Circle
- Angelic Gift
- Spectral Steel
- Cleric Class
- Angelic Exaltation
Drafting is a new mechanic to card designs that allows you to functionally draw a card whenever it triggers, but it’s limited to a smaller card pool. For Faithful Disciple, those are all enchantments with varying abilities which can make it hard to necessarily get something you’re always happy with.
With that in mind, this is always going to be a 2/2 when it dies draw a card which is fine, but not amazing, however it’s not always going to be a helpful card. When you hit well you’re going to feel smart for playing it, but it’s probably not too great on average.
Let me set the scene. It was March 2015. I was hanging out with my friends on the weekend looking over and talking about card spoilers. One of them looks at Collected Company and asks if we thought it was good. I said it was trash. However, it was actually I who was trash.
Inquisitor Captain is bananas. It’s a Collected Company you can literally never miss with, but a downside of one of those creatures will always be just a 3/3 Vigilance. This isn’t as good as Collected Company, but that’s an insane bar to clear. This is going to be a staple without a doubt.
There’s going to be a million ways to utilize this, but my favorite so far is combining it with Glasspool Mimic to potentially flood the board with creatures on turn 4!
Here’s my hot take, this is going to replace Intrepid Adversary in Monowhite Aggro. Both are 3/1s that scale into the late game, but Adversary is much too fragile versus most of the decks while this can make more bodies and tap down multiple permanents in a turn. This is going to be great turn 2 and great later which is a very rare mix on a card.
Even if people don’t want to replace Adversary, this 100% should be a 4 of in your aggro decks as it’s that good. It may even be good enough to see play in decks that aren’t necessarily aggro, but faster midrange strategies as well which really speaks to the strength of this card.
Slayer’s Bounty’s Spellbook
- Bounty Agent
- Bound in Gold
- Bring to Trial
- Glass Casket
- Collar the Culprit
- Compulsory Rest
- Fairgrounds Warden
- Iron Verdict
- Luminous Bonds
- Raise the Alarm
- Seal Away
- Summary Judgment
This is another wacky card that I think is a lot better than it looks. It’s functionally a White Divination that will almost always draw a removal spell, peek at (part) of the opponent’s hand, you can pay in installments, and works with other Clue tokens if you can manage that. You pretty much have to play this in a slower White deck, but I don’t think Azorius or maybe even an Orzhov deck would mind playing this. Definitely a bit narrow, but reasonably powerful.
Unfortunately there are no other Clue enablers in Standard or Alchemy (so far), but using this in a deck that can stall the ground out well so you don’t lose too much life when you’re looking to get card advantage seems ideal.
Now here’s another weird one to look at. On the surface, this looks like a potential Monowhite curve topper as this could easily be a 4 mana draw 4-7 which is a pretty good rate overall. However, I think it actually has a good amount of other applications. This would likely be at its best in a White deck that can play a lot of Anthems as well as in the Wedding Announcement / Welcoming Vampire shell that’s starting to gain traction.
If you want to get real cute, you could even use this as a 1-2 of in Control decks as you wait until you’re low on cards and suddenly unleash an armada on them. Realistically it should probably stick to a deck or two if it’s even good enough, but I think it has potential.
This card is super cool, but it is going to be a bit narrow in what decks want it. Most have learned that Divide by Zero is pretty nuts so that will functionally always get the nod over this in deck construction. The question then remains is what decks would want to play 4 Divide and then a few more hard counterspells? I could see potentially Azorius and/or Dimir fitting that bill and would want to play 1-2 of these if they prefer it over Wash Away (which would depend on how popular Alrund's Epiphany is post-nerf).
Is this card good? No. Is this card sweet? Oh yeah. Although I don’t really see the Constructed application for this card, this seems like a fun one in Historic Brawl which has got to count for something.
DISCOVER THE FORMULA
So the closest comparison to this card I can think of is Opportunity, but instead of running the risk of drawing lands when you may not need them, you’ll always find 3 spells and they’ll be discounted! This isn’t the easiest format to be playing clunky spells that don’t impact the board, but having this as a 1-2 of in slower decks wouldn’t be that unreasonable.
GEIST OF REGRET
I haven’t seen the rest of the colors beyond White, but I think Blue is going to be the color of wacky designs. This is looking to make use of Flashback spells since the ETB trigger can help you find some and then the triggered ability will give you some pretty obscene value. I initially thought there wouldn’t be many spells to use with this, but there are technically 37 Instants and Sorceries with Flashback currently in Standard!
That said, most of them aren’t particularly good which begs the question if you want to play a lot of Flashback spells to get the most use out of it’s triggered ability or just a few to guarantee (or close to) which ones you always get. Overall, this card is cool and likely powerful, but probably pretty powerful if you can get it to work.
Personally, I think playing just a few spells to more or less guarantee what you hit would be the best use of it, perhaps in in something like a Reanimator deck to always find your Diregraf Rebirth.
This is a very interesting card that looks to act as a psuedo ramp spell for expensive instants or sorceries while also providing a mediocre 1/3 body to defend with. I think this card would’ve been much better if Alrund's Epiphany didn’t get nerfed (and they still are good together), but the applications of this seem pretty narrow otherwise. There aren’t many great sorceries or instants that are really interesting to accelerate into, but this card does have some potential.
So this is like a Dismiss that will Seek a spell rather than draw a random card? Honestly that’s not bad. The reality is that Dismiss is not really a Standard playable effect right now and I think this is slightly worse, but if the format ever slowed down I could see this being a reasonable inclusion in some decks.
Now this is a Thieving Magpie! A 4 mana 4/3 Flier with Ward 2 is already quite a good body, but to draw cards on hit as well definitely makes this appealing. Furthermore, you can build your deck in a way that it can have like one 5, 6, and 7 drop just in case you are flush with cards so you always know what you’re going to get from the ability. There probably aren’t many decks that can make good use of this card, but it definitely has potential.
OGLOR, DEVOTED ASSISTANT
Before anything else, I have to wonder if this is Fblthp’s sibling. Food for thought. Oglor looks that it wants you to play a lot of Disturb spells to make use of it’s ability as those are likely the easiest to get out of the graveyard to trigger it’s 2/2 Zombie, however those creatures needed to have been discarded or milled!
Playing this is probably like being a dolphin at Sea World with how many hoops you’ll have to jump through. It makes you work so hard for so little payoff I can’t imagine this is going to be a good card unless there’s some wacky combo deck that can get this to work (Zombie Infestation would probably be the first part of it).
Giants were a very marginally supported tribe back in Kaldheim so it’s interesting that we’re getting a little more support on that front! For what it’s worth, this is a pretty decent Giant as it has a good body and making all your other Giants harder to target as well is a nice bonus considering they’re generally expensive.
This does also work with Wizards which could be relevant as there are some nice ones, so with a decent body, decent ability, and two directions to work towards, I can imagine that this will see play.
Although they haven’t really had their time to shine, Giants has a surprising amount of payoffs so it may be closer than most people think!
Sometimes reviewing cards can be difficult, for this card it isn’t. This is not good and it would be very rare that it does actually do something good. Not completely terrible, but close to.
Tireless Angler’s Spellbook
- Fleet Swallower
- Moat Piranhas
- Mystic Skyfish
- Nadir Kraken
- Pouncing Shoreshark
- Sea-Dasher Octopus
- Spined Megalodon
- Stinging Lionfish
- Voracious Greatshark
- Serpent of Yawning Depths
- Wormhole Serpent
- Sigiled Starfish
- Riptide Turtle
- Ruin Crab
This card is interesting as you do functionally draw a card with each land drop, but obviously there’s a few restrictions. First it needs to be an Island, second you’re going to get a random Fishy friend. This is a super cool card and getting a creature per land drop can be powerful, but it seems a little too niche for me.
The final card of this list is easily the strangest card I have ever seen. So it’s a Divination that allows you to Test of Talents yourself because that’s what Blue was missing. In fairness, this can be interesting in a Control deck where you can get rid of cards that are dead in the matchup (say wrath effects in Control mirrors), but that’s unbelievably niche and Divination already isn’t a playable card.
In terms of strength, I’d say that White is leagues ahead of Blue right now, but Blue definitely has White beat on coolness factor. Nevertheless, seeing these designs makes me extremely excited for Alchemy as a lot of weird cards may not only be viable, but even good!
Do you agree with my ratings? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!