With most of the cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow now spoiled, its time to take a look at some of the most exciting cards from the new set! With a theme of “Vampire Wedding”, Crimson Vow is looking like a unique set, and there are a lot of interesting new cards to check out. For this spoiler season I want to try something a bit different than just ranking the cards I think are best. Instead, I have put the eight most powerful cards that have been spoiled so far into a bracket. The cards will be compared two by two until just the most powerful one is remaining. As a tiebreaker for comparing cards I will imagine which card would come out on top in an actual game, if a player cast one and their opponent cast the other. It’s a subjective process but at the very least it will shine a light on some of the cards from the set that will have the biggest impact on Arena.

Quarterfinals: Sorin the Mirthless vs. Chandra, Dressed to Kill

First up we have two of the top planeswalkers from the set, and both of them look ready for the reception (and constructed play!). Sorin the Mirthless may not be happy to be here but he certainly brings a lot to the table, providing card advantage, creature tokens, and an ultimate ability that will usually be game-ending. Meanwhile Chandra, Dressed to Kill is unsurprisingly taking an aggressive approach. Her pair of +1 abilities complement each other, one can provide extra mana if you have a full hand you want to play out, while the other one can provide cards when you’re empty-handed. Since Chandra comes down quicker and even has the ability to deal damage to other planeswalkers, I’ll be giving this matchup to her.

Quarterfinals: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben vs. Parasitic Grasp

This matchup is a doozy, with the best reprint in the set and one of the best new removal spells. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a classic and will certainly be a great addition to Mono-White aggro in Standard. Meanwhile Parasitic Grasp is an upgrade of Essence Extraction that preys on Humans. Thalia makes Parasitic Grasp more expensive, but Grasp is also discounted against Human creatures so this cancels out. Although Thalia would be destroyed by Parasitic Grasp I am going to give the matchup to her since she has a clear role in Standard while Grasp will have to prove itself.

Quarterfinals: Faithbound Judge vs. Ascendant Packleader

Both of these creatures look very exciting for Standard, and I think they will both certainly find a place. Faithbound Judge seems like a great defensive creature and could be an amazing addition to control decks, midrange decks, and even the sideboards of aggressive decks to bring in against other aggro players. Meanwhile Ascendant Packleader is all aggro. Green decks are often starving for good one-drops, and this looks like it fits the bill. Mono-green stompy is currently playing Wrenn and Seven and Esika’s Chariot which both pump this, and I think the Packleader will be a great fit for the deck, giving it even more speed. However, in this matchup I think Faithbound Judge wins because it does so much, acting as a very powerful defender and an amazing win condition as well.

Quarterfinals: Cemetery Protector vs. Cemetery Prowler

Next up we have two cards from the cycle of “Cemetery” mythics that exile cards from graveyards for different benefits. Cemetery Protector makes tokens, and its Flash ability means that it will almost certainly be able to make a token or two before it is dealt with because it can come down at the end of an opponent’s turn and start making tokens on the turn after. Cemetery Prowler has the same stats as the Protector for one less mana, and has an ability that can reduce the cost of your spells. The Prowler also exiles another card every time it attacks so the discounts can build up if the Prowler remains on the battlefield. I think this matchup goes to Cemetery Prowler because it has a great body for its cost and a very exciting ability.

Semifinals: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben vs. Chandra, Dressed to Kill

Since Thalia, Guardian of Thraben can come down on turn two and make Chandra, Dressed to Kill wait until turn four to be cast I think it would be a clear favourite in an in-game situation. Since I think Thalia will also do better in Standard she will be taking the matchup once again.

Semifinals: Faithbound Judge vs. Cemetery Prowler

I think both of these Mythic Rare three-drops will have a good opportunity in Standard and would have a hard time picking one that I think will be more successful. However, in a head-to-head situation Faithbound Judge would obviously stonewall the Prowler so it wins this matchup.

Finals: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben vs. Faithbound Judge

Lastly we have two great white cards facing off, although likely ones that will fit into different decks. With Faithbound Judge being more defensive and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben being disruptive and aggressive there is no happy couple here. Thanks to the fact that Faithbound Judge can easily block Thalia and her usual White Weenie friends, the Judge takes the (wedding) cake once and for all. 


So there we have it! Through a completely impartial process we’ve determined that Faithbound Judge is the top spoiler so far from Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Really though, all of the cards above will likely be making an impact, and the set as a whole seems to be very creative and competitive. Plus, unlike Midnight Hunt, the good cards aren’t all blue! I’m looking forward to seeing what the metagames in Standard and Historic will look like once the set drops. Faithbound Judge especially seems like it may have the ability to spur a new archetype, as creative new Mythic Rares often do. In the meantime, let me know if you agree with my decisions and if you think there’s any cards I’ve skipped over entirely!

About The Author

Dawson Reynolds has been playing Magic since he first laid eyes on those shiny booster packs back at the LGS. Since then he's taken a competitive approach to the game, enamoured by the appeal of pro play and the most powerful decks. Today he's working towards his dream of a Mythic Championship, while also enjoying those simpler things in life, like Cube and Brawl.

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