Q & A - Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad Prep [Nathaniel Smith - Battlemage, Level 41]

Shadows over Innistrad has just hit the streets and we've got a little bit of data from SCG Baltimore. It's an exciting time for Standard again. And Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad is right around the corner.

For this week's Q & A session we've decided to tap into the brain of upcoming #ptsoi competitor, Nathaniel Smith. Given the nature of preparing for a Pro Tour, we know most players have their reservations leading up to the event. But we can at least get a general idea of where the format might be headed. So let's see what Nathan has to say.

What cards are you really excited about testing for Standard?

I've been excited testing Wasteland Strangler. SOI opened up a new flood of creature decks and Strangler excels at maintaining tempo against cards like Collected Company that would put the opponent ahead on board.

What are some underrated Standard cards?

Wasteland Strangler and Archangel of Tithes. While Reflector Mage and Declaration in Stone limit the playability of creatures like Archangel of Tithes because of the deficit in tempo they can create, the effect it has on the game is very unique and its body lines up well against the top threats in the format.

What Limited archetypes do you think are strong?

Anything with green as a base is a good place to start. I also like UW and have had modest success with RB, though I'd caution against drafting an all-in madness strategy unless it seems very open, as when those decks don't come together they can be very underwhelming.

What are some underrated Limited cards?


Ongoing Investigation and Ulvenwald Mysteries are both much better than they appear due to the fact that they can take over the game should it go long, and they even cause the game to go longer due to their non-investigation effects!

Who would you like to battle against in the finals?

I know a lot of great players I would like to see make the finals; but were I lucky enough to pick, I'd have to say Owen Turtenwald because I'd like to be able to say I beat the best to become a champion. And should I lose, I'd be able to say that I lost to the best.


Will Wasteland Strangler take the title? Will green be the best color to draft in Shadows over Innistrad? Only time will tell. Be sure to keep an eye out for Nathan at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad. Thanks for reading.

Have fun and enjoy your games,
The Galactic Treasures Crew

Additional Reading

1. Solving the Limited Puzzle - Shadows over Innistrad Pick Order, Commons & Uncommons [Haibing Hu - Archmage, Level 46]

2. Standard Fare - All about Eldrazi [Edward Eng - Battlemage, Level 42]

3. Q & A - Standard Rotation and Picking the Best Deck [Collin Rountree - Sorcerer, Level 39]

A Little Bit about Nathaniel Smith

Nathan "Pandabeast24" Smith is a silver-level pro and has been playing Magic since the release of Return to Ravnica. He reached the pro scene at Pro Tour Fate Reforged and has played every PT since. Nathan also has 1 Magic Online Championship Series win and 2 Grand Prix top 8s.

Archive of Nathan's Articles

Nathaniel Smith


Galactic Treasures