Friday, September 30, 2011

Grocery List

UPDATE: I managed to get just about everything on my list - only Liliana remains. I will have to trade for one, or sell a couple of my high-value rares. As for the Nin deck, it's not coming together the way I'd hoped. I'm thinking of scrapping that and going Red/Black instead... not sure yet.

Well, it's Friday. September 30th. The day Innsitrad becomes available for purchase. Sweet!

I have used my limited Excel skills to compile a list of all of the Innistrad cards I want for the decks I currently have together, as well as a Nin, the Pain Artist deck that will be my next project.

This has given me a list of the cards that I need to buy in order to have everything I need for all my decks, so that I don't wind up buying a bunch of stuff that I think is really cool, but then don't have a deck to put it in. I definitely want couple of Bloodgift Demons and a Balefire Dragon or two... at some point down the road. But for now, I don't have a deck to put either of them in, so I would like to prioritize purchases that will go into decks immediately, or those cards that are needed in order for me to build the Nin deck I'm working on.

If I'm just going to stick it into my binder for future use, I can just wait and buy it later. Here is the list of what I need immediately:

Geist of Saint Traft
Grimoire of the Dead
* Liliana of the Veil *
Olivia Voldaren
Past in Flames
Blaspehmous Act x2
Bloodline Keeper
Cackling Counterpart x3
Charmbreaker Devils
Clifftop Retreat
Curse of Stalked Prey
Evil Twin x2
Falkenrath Marauders
Hinterland Harbor
Isolated Chapel
Mentor of the Meek x2
Nephalia Drownyard
Parallel Lives
Runechanter's Pike
Skrisdag High Priest
Snapcaster Mage x2
Stensia Bloodhall
Stromkirk Noble
Sulfur Falls x2
Undead Alchemist
Woodland Cemetery 
Trepanation Blade
Desperate Ravings
Falkenrath Noble
Intangible Virtue
Make a Wish
Rakish Heir
Runic Repetition

This will satisfy all of my needs for currently-built decks, plus the Nin deck that will be built over the course of this weekend. Hopefully tonight, but we'll see.

I  am a bit dismayed to see a Liliana and TWO Snapcaster Mages on the list, as those are two of the most expensive cards in the set.

On the flip side, I'm relieved that MOST of the other stuff I want is pretty cheap, even Olvia Voldaren isn't all that high anymore. And I don't need quite as many of the new dual lands as I feared, so they shouldn't be too problematic to acquire.

I'm  buying a box and a fat pack, in hopes that I can open the high-end stuff and maybe a cool foil that I can trade. I also have two Vendilion Cliques for trade, which I forgot to bring to work with me... so I'll have to wait to trade those later. Oh well. I guess if I fail to open a Liliana, I can wait a bit, and trade or sell my Cliques to help me acquire one later.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

 Hello, all. I'm providing this post as a convenient way to access all 7 parts of my Innistrad EDH Set Review.

Please leave comments if I missed a card, f you think I assessed a card wrongly, or if you just have some cool use for a card in the set.


Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 7: Double-Faced Cards

I've made it known that I'm not a fan of the new double-faced cards. It's not that they don't have the traditional Magic back. No, if they'd just redesigned the back of the card or altered it in any way, I'd be severly pissed. But that's not my issue.

It's the physical logistics of playing with such cards that turns me off. I play with sleeves - ALWAYS. Even my draft decks and sealed decks get sleeves. Playing DFC's with sleeves seems like a huge pain in the ass. If you use the actual DFC in a sleeve, if and when you "transform" it, you have to physically remove the card from the sleeve, flip it over, and re-sleeve it. This will increase wear and tear on the card AND the sleeve.

My buddy Chad has the best solution I've heard so far: He bought some clear dragonshield sleeves. He'll use the proxy checklist card provided in the Innistrad boosters to represent the DFC in his deck, but he'll have the DFC sleeved in a clear-backed sleeve so that when he plays the checklist he can just set the DFC on top of it, and then if he meets the transform conditions, he just flips the card over. That way he doesn't have to de-sleeve and re-sleeve constantly.

It's a pretty good workaround and  I hope it works well enough for him to enjoy playing Werewolves - he's been waiting a long time for WotC to make Werewolves a viable tribe, so I hope the tribe winds up being fun for him.

The transform mechanic just doesn't seem fun to me. Some of the cards are cool, but flipping them over is just not appealing to me. That said, there are a few cards I'm willing to put a little effort into accepting the DFC mechanic in order to play.

Let's just go down the list, shall we?

Cloistered Youth/Unholy Fiend
     This one is pretty cool, flavor-wise. It's the old innocent-looking-girl-is-really-something-evil trope, and this captures the flavor well. I definitely don't see this being even remotely playable in EDH.

Thraben Sentry/Thraben Militia
     A 5/4 Trample wouldn't be too terrible in the format, but starting as a 2/2 for 4, it hardly seems worth getting excited over. You might play this if you're running a Soldier tribal deck, but then again you might not.

Civilized Scholar/Homicidal Brute
     The classic Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde trope. Another card where they captured the flavor wonderfully, but made the card nigh-unplayable in the process.

Delver of Secrets/Insectile Abberation
    What were they going for here? The Fly? Or is it meant to be a Franz Kafka-esque Metamorphosis reference? Anyway, a 3/2 Flyer for one blue is cool, but in EDH, this won't have any board impact past, say, turn three or so.

Ludevic's Test Subject/Ludevic's Abomination
     Well, I can hardly stand here and tell you that a 13/13 with Trample "lacks board presence" without losing all credibility. I definitely think this is playable, but I dislike it for the same reason I dislike the Level Up mechanic in EDH - you sink way too much mana into leveling up your guy only to wind up with nothing when someone finally Wraths or Paths your dude when you're one level away from something awesome happening.
This is much the same. Clever players will wait until you've spent 8 to 10 mana on this, then kill it in response to your last hatchling counter.

Bloodline Keeper/Lord of Lineage
    I will play this. I don't care how much of a pain the Transform cards wind up being. This Vampire is friggin' insane. Damn good card. Should be playable in just about any vampire-themed deck, or even in some mono-black decks that just happen to have a few Vampires. This guy brings his own army of vamps with him, so you don't need that many more for him to be potentially good.

Screeching Bat/Stalking Vampire
    Simple, elegant design - gets a five-star review on that aspect. Playability is next to nothing. Great in Limited, probably terrible anywhere else.

Hanweir Watchkeep/Bane of Hanweir

Inquisitor Gang/Wildblood Pack
    This one is actually pretty good. It's not parasitic to the werewolf tribe, as it pumps all attacking creatures. I can see it being playable. It's not good enough or exciting enough to get me to play it, but I do think it's playable.

Kruin Outlaw/Terror of Kruin Pass
    If this card weren't a parastic tribal card, I probably would play it. I like giving all my dudes Doublestrike. I don't see too many decks having enough werewolves to make this good, at least not until the third set comes out.

Reckless Waif/Merciless Predator

Tormented Pariah/Rampaging Werewolf

Village Ironsmith/Ironfang

Daybreak Ranger/Nightfall Predator
    That single red mana on the night side of the card severly limits the number of decks this could go in. The fact that it's mediocre also severly hampers its playability.

Garruk Relentless/Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
     This is a pretty powerful planeswalker, and I would definitely consider it highly playable overall. It's not so good, though, that there's any specific deck that I would say "you NEED this card" for, but if you just happen to open one in a pack, you would likely be happy to fit this into a deck somewhere.

Grizzled Outcasts/Krallenhorde Wantons

Mayor of Avabruck/Howlpack Alpha
     Human lord side is great. I'd love it if it was just that side. I'm less intrested in the Werewolf side, but that's mainly because most of the werewolves suck. Maybe, just maybe, by the end of the block there will be a place for this guy. Not yet.

Uvenwald Mystics/Uvenwald Primordials
     5/5 with W: Regenerate is not terrible. Not exciting either, but not strictly crap.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 6: Other Stuff

This part will cover Multicolor cards, Artifact cards and finally Lands. One more section after this will cover the Double-faced cards.

Multicolor Cards

 Such an awesome card, very flavorful, highly amusing. It’s also quite good. It can be just a regular old Clone if you need it to be, but cloning an opponent’s guy and then offing the original is a nice bonus ability. Definitely going into Wrexial, but I can easily see this being squeezed into almost any UB deck. It’s not going to replace Phyrexian Metamorph for sheer versatility, but it’s ten times more exciting because of the awesome flavor. Just one question: Where’s the evil twin’s goatee?
This guy is good. Really good. I think he could easily helm a Blue/White control strategy without being just a Grand Arbiter Agustin deck with the wrong General. I also kinda want to put him in Rafiq, just cause. Finest Hour + This guy seems like a fun combo. Traft is almost definitely the strongest potential General in the set, though probably not the most fun.
Interesting. This guy is a puzzle, in that he requires solving to be worthwhile. You can’t just throw him into any old deck. I have little interest in him as a General, but he might be cool in a Thraximundar deck, just so long as you have enough token-producers or some other way to enable this guy. I would not have expected the Zombie Legend to be the Johnny-est of the batch, but this guy is definitely made for puzzle-solvers. I'm definitely a fan of this guy - I just don't know if I'll be able to make effective use of him.
Likely to be a fairly popular commander, Olivia is one of the highlights of the set for me, though I like her better as one of my 99 in Garza. I just think that almost any deck Olivia could enable, would be made even better simply by adding Blue. Regardless, she’s highly playable either way. She's not likely to be nearly as strong as Geist of Saint Traft, mostly because W/U is just an overall better combination than B/R... but somehow I think more people will be more excited and interested by Olivia than the musty old ghost.

Artifact Cards

Such an odd, interesting design, and it does something we've never seen before - "milling" a library from the bottom rather than the top. Weird. I don't have much to say - it's not likely to see much play, but it's quirky and unique enough that someone is bound to find a use for it.
 Kinda disappointing. This was one of the earliest illustrations from the set to be shown, and I really was intrigued by the artwork. Oddly, the card does make a lot of sense. The moment I read it, I was immediately surprised that I hadn't actually predicted the card would do just this... it seems so obvious in retrospect. But there are very few cards in Magic that say "flip a coin", and don't immediately lose my interest. This isn't one of those rare exceptions... my interest has withered.
Slow-rolling graveyard hate seems to be a theme here. Makes sense, of course - something like Relic of Progenitus or Bojuka Bog in a set that was all about the graveyard would just be stupid. Some EDH players need to be hit on the head with a shovel until they learn the importance of graveyard hate in the format. Personally, I hope they never catch on - I like reanimating things.
Speaking of reanimating things...

It’s kind of ironic that this mythic Artifact is cooler, more interesting, and arguably BETTER than most of the mythic Artifacts we saw in the block about artifacts. Given the “tap, put counters on it, do stuff” design I have to wonder if this wasn’t originally designed for Scars block, but shipped to Innistrad due to the flavor fitting better with this block. Anyway, something that does Liliana Vess’s ultimate is bound to make EDH players take notice and it’s virtually guaranteed that people will try to make this work. If they do, it’s clearly going to be a game winner. The only question is: Can we make this work?
Well, huh... this is definitely worse than giving your general Doublestrike. But, some decks excel at marching their generals through the red-zone unimpeded by blockers. Rafiq and Thraximundar come to mind.

This is actually quite interesting, though, in Rafiq - the Flail's effect STACKS with Doublestrike... So, I can definitely see this being a role-player in dedicated general-damage decks. It obviously has some potential drawbacks, though.
Clever design! Not particularly exciting as an EDH card, though. Could see very limited play in some of the wonkier Sharuum decks, and could be a metagame choice for players who feel their meta is just oversaturated with Wrath effects. Mostly, I think this will be an uber-casual card, fine for players with smaller card pools and a low-powered metagame. If you and your friends are just breaking into the format and have a limited pool of rares, this one isn't strictly bad...
An unusual card like this is kinda hard to evaluate. It should be pretty good in nearly-creatureless decks, where you might be able to one-shot people by sticking this on your General… I'm thinking a Red/Blue deck with a strong Instant/Sorcery theme. Maybe Nin, the Pain Artist... this could be a nasty little tool in the right deck.
Definitely want to try this out in Wrexial. I can see this being frustrating for an opponent to play against. It’s pretty hard to control or predict the effect, but it should always shave at least one swing, probably two, off of Wrexial’s general-damage clock, while also filling up their ‘yard with goodies for Wrexial to pilfer. Nicely done! I don’t see it being much use outside that deck, though. I'm guessing Ken Nagle just wanted a new toy for his Wrexial deck...
The whole Curse-destroying thing is basically “added-value”: an incidental effect tacked on to the real effect, which is giving you hexproof. So do you want a four-mana artifact that grants you hexproof? If so, this is your lucky day. Maybe later, if some really nasty Curses get printed in the next two sets, the first ability will be a little more relevant, but mostly the correct way to look at this is as a colorless Ivory Mask with a couple of very, very small upsides.
Hardly playable, unless your group is just absolutely overdoing it on the Vampires… But this is, quite simply, one of the most awesome examples of top-down design I’ve ever seen. It’s just absolutely perfect. So many of the equipment cards in this set tried to capture the everyday-object-used-as-weapon flavor, but none of them come close to pulling it off this well. Flawless Victory, Wizards!

Well, that's nearly it. Next we just have to cover the double-faced cards. It might take me just a bit of time to get that one ready - I have to do some photoshoping to get the images formatted... or, maybe, I'll skip the images? I don't know yet... be patient and I'll figure something out. Spoilers for the impatient: The only two I give a fuck about are Garruk and Bloodline Keeper. I'll try to do justice to the others, though.

Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 5: Green

I'm a bit behind schedule... I wanted to have this all wrapped up before the weekend, in time for the Prereleases. I'll try to have it wrapped up tonight if possible.

Anyway, toward that end, here's Green...

This thing can easily be a 5/5 or bigger, for only two mana. Thing is, though, it just dies to Tormod's Crypt, Bojuka Bog, or any other graveyard nuke. The lack of evasion makes in pretty worthless, despite the cost/size efficiency. It is my long-standing experience that creatures this big without Flying, Trample or some other evasion ability never, EVER connect with an opponent. This might still be played in Dredge decks, though.
This is pretty cool - an updated Creeping Mold that can now deal with Planeswalkers. They needed to make this card, but I think they should have made it BEFORE they made Beast Within, because, frankly, this is kinda dull after BW... Still, I'm sure there are some mono-Green decks out there still rocking the ol' Creeping Mold... this will replace or even supplement CM in those few decks. Everyone else will just run Beast Within.
I get what this is trying to do, and I think it will be good, but it's not fantastic. For one thing, it's basically going to be "Creatures" 90% of the time. And as long as your getting two or three cards back, at least, it's good card advantage. Still, it'd be easier to love this card if it said "card type" instead of "permanent type".
Seems okay. It's like Ezuri, but not Elf-specific. Doesn't give Trample, though, which will be a deal-breaker for some folks. Others won't care so much. Token decks actually don't need trample much because they have enough guys that blockers are usually irrelevant anyway. Seems like this guy will be playable in any deck in which Gaea's Cradle frequently taps for 8 or more mana...

A very amusing design. This is the kind of card you want to play with because it’s cool, flavorful and looks fun, but you aren’t quite sure it’s good enough. I’m probably going to try it out in a few decks and see if it works, but I don’t expect big things from it. Definitely worth pairing up with Doubling Season, though.

Interesting. Can potentially produce a lot of tokens, but an otherwise vanilla 3/4 isn’t the safest thing to be attacking with. Still, this card puts us one step closer to enabling a playable (if not exactly competitive) wolf token deck. Time to dust off those Master of the Wild Hunts and Wren’s Run Packmasters? Maybe.

Another one of those death-triggers that immediately makes me think of Kresh the Bloodbraided and/or Savra... and Hexproof is the one ability you always wish cards like this had, and they usually don't. However, all this guy does is get big, so I'm not sure he's worth four mana or the card slot... after all he's just a worse, slower version of Kresh. Someone with more experience playing Kresh can tell me: is this the card you've been waiting for all along, or is it just "meh"?

So, first off, an 8/8 Trampler for seven mana isn't bad. The fact that, when it dies, it reanimates two creatures to take it's place definitely isn't bad either. It's kinda like Wurmcoil Engine - kill it and suddenly you have two more things to deal with. Here are the parts that are bad: when this dies it self-exiles to prevent shenanigans, and it reanimates at random... I like shenanigans, so I'm not a fan of the self-exile condition, and I dislike the word "random" here, though you can control it's effects by rigging your graveyard. Kind of a lot of work to go through when you could just play Living Death or something. I think this will see some play in the format, but not widespread.
The tremendous popularity of Doubling Season practically guarantees this knock-off will be popular as well. It’s basically half a Doubling Season, and for the most part it seems to be the more relevant half. It doesn’t have the cool interaction with Planeswalkers, or +1/+1 counters, but it’s pretty much a lock that this will be a staple for token decks of all breeds, as well as Riku decks.
There are definitely decks out there that can easily set this card up, but is the payoff going to be worth it? I don’t see it being a huge bomb, but it could wind up as a metagame choice, acting as a potential foil for a certain deck giving you trouble. Kaalia, maybe? I dunno. Probably not going to see a lot of play.
Stupid name; cool card. Another potential inclusion for Dredge and Mimeoplasm decks, but not an auto-include. Would be pretty weak without Trample, but since it does have it, I think it will be fairly playable.

Probably has the best chance at being playable in Ghave decks. I really wish it had Blue in it's Flashback cost, so it'd be playable in Animar decks instead. I don't really see it being worth a card-slot even in Ghave, though. Doesn't have the "oomph" needed for most EDH cards.
 WTF? I don’t even know what to make of this card. So weird. I’m not even going to try to predict what this one will do in the format. By itself, it probably won’t be very good at all, but I have a feeling there are some amusing tricks to pull off that will have the Johnnies of the format cackling like mad scientists.
 This is such a mediocre imitation of Eternal Witness it's laughable that it even tries. Because it bears the faintest echoes of E. Witness, I expect some players to give this a shot as well. Witness is so damn good that even a "bad Witness" can still be good, right? Well, no, not in this case.

Interesting, but deceptively hard to use. The first thing I thought of was Ghave… but then I realized that if I drop this guy, then I am forced to re-cast Ghave afterward, Ghave comes into play as a copy of this guy… meaning he no longer has the ability to pump out tokens. Using him alongside creatures that make tokens is counterproductive. He’s far better with non-Creatures that make tokens. Think Kher Keep, Vhitu-Gazi, Sprout Swarm, Bitterblossom, Awakening Zone, Mobilization…

This is the one 'get-random-cards-back' card that I actually like and think is playable. It's a guaranteed two-for-one, and even if you don't get to hand-pick what you get back, you will almost always get something worthwhile at least. I'd play this one before I'd play any of the other Eternal Witness wannabes in the set. Sweet art, too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 4: Red

Blood and fire! Red gets Vampires in this set. Weird, huh? It kinda makes sense, though, now that I've seen how it all turned out.

Yeah, it's a reprint, and a common at that. But it's pretty playable, and EDH players do love their two-for-ones.
The only Dragon in the set needs to be memorable. I think this one is. It almost single-handedly makes me want to reassemble Kaalia. But I think this will be pretty playable in more than just Kaalia decks. Definitely good in Mayael of the Anima and Kaarthus as well.
Sweet. Very playable if you’re needing a board-sweeper and don’t have access to Black or White. Also can do cool things with cards like Stuffy Doll, Spitemare, and especially Repercussion! Should be more or less a staple in mono-Red.
I can’t imagine many EDH decks would have enough Flashback spells to make this worth running. However, it also works with Retrace and Unearth, so a Sedris deck loading up on stuff with those three mechanics and maybe a Yawgmoth's Will? I can see it happening.
Oh good. A way to constantly recur your Time Warp spells. Joy. In all seriousness, this is probably just a tad too expensive/fragile to be as broken as it looks at first glance, but this guy can easily win you the game if he manages to stick around for long. Definitely worth a shot if your deck is loaded with Instants and Sorceries.
Interesting multiplayer applications. In a four-way FFA game, putting this on an opponent could help sway opponents into attacking the cursed opponent instead of you. Probably not as good as Edric does, but it’s something, at least.
This might be my favorite curse in the set… still not sure. But I like it. Really messes up a defensive player’s strategy and forces them to make bad attacking decisions. Then again it might annoy them into just attacking the heck out of you every turn. Reading between the lines a bit, this card also kind of says “Creatures enchanted player controls can’t block unless they have Vigilance.” Use it carefully, use it wisely, and if you do, it should win you some games.
 I really don't think this is good, per se, but I'm already considering it for a potential Nin, the Pain Artist list... we'll see. It requires you to be in Blue, though, and frankly if you're playing Blue already you have like a million better options.
Probably pretty good, but I’m really not the best person to judge Red direct damage X-spells. I find this card to be rather boring, but I expect it to be playable for those who like this sort of thing.
Eh, not the best Vampire in the set, but not the worst either. Flying and Haste are a nice pair of Keywords, though, and this guy can get pretty big pretty pretty quickly. I definitely intend to try him out in my Garza Zol vampire tribal deck, but I don’t see him making the cut in anything else.
Seems like a pretty bad card to me. It’s repeatable removal, which is good, but it looks like it could easily be a dud, unless you’re running heavy library manipulation. Definitely has some potential in a narrow sense, but for the most part it’s rather awkward.
I’m not sure how many decks are going to want this effect for six mana, but ignoring the cost for a moment, it definitely looks like a handy spell to have around for many decks. There really aren’t a lot of creatures that will survive 13 damage, so it’s pretty reliable as a removal spell. The name alone almost makes it worth playing, though.
 This seems like it could be a potentially huge bomb. Definitely a game-ender along the lines of other big-mana spells like Rite of Replication, Insurrection, etc. But it also bears some resemblance to Yawgmoth's Will. Drawing this in the very late game should pretty much be an auto-win unless someone is packing counterspells and instant-speed graveyard hate. I definitely have plans for this spell.
Whenever I see a death-trigger like this one, I can’t help but think of Kresh decks. But at six mana for a 4/2, I’m not too sure this would make the cut. It could definitely be a piece in an infinite-combo, though, if you’re into that sort of thing. I think at 5 mana, or as a 2/2 for 4 with this ability it'd be much better.
Definitely not playable outside of a Vampire tribal deck, but probably good there. I've got a spot reserved for him in Garza Zol, of course, but I can't fathom what use he'd be anywhere else.
Neat for Limited, but slinging around Shocks at the cost of a creature and a Red mana, this is terribly infective for EDH. I don't see a role for this card in the format. But look at that art! HOT!
This guy has his pimp strut going on. A fine one-drop for Vampires, possibly other highly aggressive decks. Pro-Humans is not wildly exciting, but hardly irrelevant either. Narrow playability, but fine in the right sort of decks.

Suggested alternate flavor text:
"Bitch, don't you know who the fuck I am?"

Innistrad EDH Set Review, Part 3: Black

Black cards are up next...

 This Zombie has a pretty compelling set of abilities. His power and toughness aren't so exciting. Still, if you can boost him with tribal pump effects or equipment, he could be pretty good. He's pretty niche, and won't make much of a splash, but I can see him in Zombie decks, and maybe a few others.
 Holy wow, that's a lot of zombies. Sucks they come into play tapped, but that won't stop this from being played. You could always use Amulet of Vigor or Intruder Alarm if the whole tapped thing is a deal-breaker.
 This card is awfully parasitic. I would just say "awful", but she does have faint echoes - very faint - of Academy Rector, which is an insanely good card. Problem is, she only gets Curse enchantments, so her playability is strictly tied to the playability of the Curse cards in this block. So far I haven't seen anything that really makes this Witch desirable, but by the time the block is complete, their might be enough playable curses to make her playable too.
This card should be pretty obvious. It's really good in just about anything, but definitely a must for Kaalia decks that tend to have pretty limited options on card-draw.  Phyrexian Arena that beats in the air for 5, and can, in dire circumstances, start targeting opponents with it's Arena effect. Versatile, useful and very cost-efficient, this should see tons of play.
 Good against tokens. -1/-1 doesn't really kill much else in EDH, the format of big fat creatures. It is a Curse, it's worth noting. And it effects only the cursed player's creatures, so that's cool. It just depends on weather or not -1/-1 will have significant board impact or not.
 This shouldn't be worth mentioning, except that I am legitimately scared that my group will start running this. Just a week or so ago, I was getting hosed badly by a Jotun Grunt, and this is a comparable effect.
 Wish this was an Enchantment instead of a dude, but sac outlets are very useful in EDH and the life-gain could be pretty useful as well. Definitely not a format-wide staple but clearly playable in specific decks.
You'd need a minimum number of zombies in your deck before this becomes playable, but once it passes that threshold it gets really good, really quickly. MaRo said this card had his absolute favorite art in the set... I'd be hard pressed to disagree. It's beautiful and the concept is brilliant. This card will undoubtedly be a casual staple, but it's role in EDH will be a bit more limited. Zombies are a popular tribe, though, so it will make those decks for sure.
 I'll be playing this in Vampire Tribal, and I would definitely consider it for a Kresh or Savra deck, too. Beyond that it's a bit lacking in power. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that it is somewhat better in multiplayer, because it triggers off ANY creatures dying. A significant fact that some noobs might overlook.
Oh, okay I get it. It helps me cast creatures, but weakens them in the process, creating a kind of tension. You want to get the most benefit possible out of it's cost-reduction, while finding clever ways to minimize the effect of it's downside. Meh. I guess this will be cool in something, but I will pass on it, and I don't see it getting much play in EDH. Though the fact that it effectively mitigates one payment of the general-tax is not lost on me...
New Liliana is hot stuff. A terrific Planeswalker for sure. I don't think she qualifies to just be slotted into every black deck ever, but the decks that will make the best use of her are probably fairly numerous. Wrexial, obviously, will love this.
Meh. Not a bad card for the die-hard Zombie fans. Flashback is nice, too. It's basically at the ideal cost for this effect - any cheaper and it'd be too good for other formats. That said, the effect of making two 2/2 zombies isn't all that big a deal in EDH.
 Flavorful and powerful, but with a certain amount of tension built-in. His ability isn't a "may" ability, so this guy could turn on you, if the situation warrants. But, he's a demon, so that makes sense. You could always safe-guard your own guys by playing Xenograft or Conspiracy set to "demon".
 It's hard to get excited by a four-mana spell to exile one creature, and flashback of 7 is a bit much to RFG one dude. Still tokens do tend to all have the same name, and Rite of Replication alone makes this sort of a "Sideboard" kind of card.
Seems pretty good in a Ghave deck, where your general provides ample creatures to tap, and a handy sac-outlet to fulfill the Morbid trigger. Overall, this guy is cheap enough that he could see quite a bit of action, but he's not going to warp the format.
Not bad, but I'd rather play Consuming Vapors. For 1 more mana, we get Rebound, making Vapors a 2-for-1 instead of a one-for-one. The art on this one is about a million times better, though. This is definitely playable in 1v1, but less so in multiplayer, by several degrees.
 Definitely requires a zombie tribal theme, but definitely worth playing if you are going for that. God the top-down design in this set just doesn't stop! I'm a big fan of this card even if I never play it in a single deck.
Oh I love me some Zombify. Well, okay there are plenty of cards that I'd run over Zombify, but the basic effect is what I'm after. Reanimation is awesome. Flashback is pretty good. This pairing makes perfect sense, and the Black/White thing is a cool flavorful twist. I will likely run this in every deck that meets the color identity requirements.

Well, that wraps up our look at Black in Innistrad. I'd say Bloodgift Demon is likely to be the most widely-played among these cards, but there are definitely some good cards besides that one. Unburial Rites is my favorite of the bunch, simply because I've been a die-hard Orzhov fan ever since I first laid eyes on Ghost Council. And I just dig reanimation spells.