This weekend marks the release of the M15 Core Set for Magic: The Gathering. While plenty of players took their first stabs at the set in last week's pre-releases, the cards will now become legal for constructed play. A few of the cards will make it to older formats. For instance, for Modern Hushwing Gryff is Torpor Orb on an evasive body and in Legacy Reclamation Sage being an elf is actually a pretty big deal, foils of this are worth more than most of the rares. There are plenty of goodies for EDH/Commander as well, like more slivers including Sliver Hivelord, a new colorless board wipe Perilous Vault and a bunch of the rares are legendaries as potential new commanders. M15 is also bringing our first four ability planeswalker since Jace, The Mind Sculptor. Garruk, Apex Predator is undeniably strong, but will his cost keep him out of heavy play? Ultimately though, Standard is still going to see the most impact out of a new set, and here are the new, or at least fresh reprints, cards I think are worth keeping in mind when you sleeve up this weekend.
Of the "new" planeswalkers, Liliana Vess is a reprint, I see these two as having the most potential for play initially. Liliana Vess can slot in nicely into the sideboard of most heavy black decks. She either starts to eat up your opponents hand or lets you fill you deck with silver bullets for the match-up that you can start tutoring out. In addition to a new four ability planeswalker, M15 also gives us another strong formatting in the double +1 variety. Like Elspeth, Knight-Errant before her, Nissa, Worldwaker gets to advance towards her ultimate along whatever path is most relevant at the time. Her most obvious home is in some kind of mono-green devotion list. A lot of folks have been cooking up grand plans for superfriends, a deck composed of a lot of planeswalkers, featuring Ajani Steadfast, who is certainly costed for it at only a single white, but I just don't see it. With the exception of his -2 and part of the ult, his abilities are primarily tailored to creature decks not the more controlling lists that superfriends typically form a shell around.
Soul of ____ Cycle
These have been compared a lot to titans from M12, while they lack the immediate board impact to make them quite as good that doesn't mean they won't see play. Soul of Innistrad strikes me as having the most potential. Standard is a very grindy environment of one for one exchanges right now. Buying back three of your creatures that your opponent used spells like Hero's Downfall or Thoughtseize on is pretty exciting. Soul of Theros might have had a shot, but it stacks unfavorably against Elspeth, Sun's Champion at the same casting cost both in your deck and across the board. There's only so many six drops you can afford to run, and Elspeth, Sun's Champion is better in a wider variety of boardstates.
Nightfire Giant and Kird Chieftain from this cycle are pretty bomby in limited formats, but Dauntless River Marshal and Sunblade Elf are costed more favorably for constructed play. Sunblade Elf is another classic two power for one mana for any Green and White decks. Likewise, Dauntless River Marshal is three power for two. Between the two, Dauntless River Marshal is better when your lands are not cooperating, though there is a less immediate home for an aggressive creature in White and Blue. Regardless, good sized cheap creatures with relevant abilities are always something aggro is on the lookout for.