Sorry, zombie Iona

In this week’s In Development, I’ve mentioned Iona as one card I have my eye on going into the new Shards-Zendikar Standard, as she has a tremendously powerful effect. As I discuss there, the most likely way to deploy Iona effectively in Standard is going to be via reanimation, but with about half the cards spoiled at the time I wrote the article, I wasn’t sure if that option was going to be available or not.
It’s looking rather like we won’t be reanimating any Ionas, unfortunately, as I just crosschecked the Zendikar orb of insight against the now much-more-robust Zendikar spoiler at MTGSalvation. The verdict? 21 instances of “graveyard” in each. This suggests no additional reanimation spells yet (we can hold out hope for Worldwake and the third set in this block).
That still leaves open the entirely real possibility of Iona as a full-on, nine-mana finisher of doom. There may also be other ways to cheat her into play. I’ll discuss my final verdict on Iona in next week’s In Development once we have the full spoiler in hand. Given her ability to simply declare a game over, I’m not willing to rule her out even without obvious ways to cheat her into play – at least, not without completing a solid preliminary understanding of the new play environment.
In the meantime, Tooth and Nail for Iona + Painter’s Servant is hilarious. Just saying.