Shadowmoor

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Shadowmoor
Shadowmoor
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
The Reaper King's Crown.
Design team
Mark Rosewater (lead)
Sean Fletcher[1]
Mark Gottlieb
Devin Low
Ken Troop
Development team
Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Devin Low
Alexis Janson[2]
Matt Place
Jake Theis
Steve Warner
Doug Beyer
Art Director
Jeremy Jarvis
Release date
May 2, 2008
Themes and mechanics
Hybrid mana,
Untapping,
-1/-1 counters
Keywords and/or ability words
Conspire,
Persist,
Wither
Set size
301
(121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 lands)
Expansion code
SHM
Development codename
Jelly
Lorwyn–Shadowmoor block sets
Morningtide Shadowmoor Eventide
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Morningtide Shadowmoor Eventide

Shadowmoor is the forty-fifth Magic expansion and was released in May 2008 as the first set in the Shadowmoor block. Prerelease events were held April 19-20, 2008. Release events were held May 2-4, 2008.[3]

Set details[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor contains 301 cards (80 rare, 80 uncommon, 121 common, and 20 basic lands). It is the first set of a so-called mini-block, the second being Eventide. It is also a large expansion released in May, when usually a small expansion is released. Together with the previous Lorwyn block, they formed a four set mega-block.[4][5]

Shadowmoor takes place on the plane of the same name, which is a reflection of Lorwyn, the setting of the previous block.[6] Shadowmoor does not continue any mechanics or themes from Lorwyn and often inverts them. For example, while Lorwyn had a sub-theme involving +1/+1 counters, Shadowmoor uses -1/-1 counters instead.[7] While Lorwyn contained only a few multicolored cards and Morningtide none, Shadowmoor contains many multicolored cards. The races native to Lorwyn also appear in Shadowmoor, but some switch color-alignment. Additionally, a race of artifact creatures called Scarecrows is introduced.

The strongest theme of Shadowmoor is the usage of Hybrid mana which can be paid with mana of either of two colors.[8] This mechanic was first introduced in the Ravnica block but is heavily expanded in this and the following set, Eventide. Shadowmoor focuses on Allied pairs.[9][10]

Every basic land in Shadowmoor is part of a two-card diptych.[11] The expansion symbol of Shadowmoor[12] is alternately interpreted as a bat wing, a dead leaf or the Jack-o'-lantern lid from the Reaper King, the King of the scarecrows.

Flavor and storyline[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor was once the world of Lorwyn — in fact, in a sense, it still is. But thanks to the Great Aurora, everything's changed.[13] Where it was once constantly sunny, now it is always night, steeped in gloom and fog, with only cold moonlight to light the skies. Once-clear waters have turned brackish and chill. The howling wind creaks the brittle branches of rotting trees. Life, once abundant, either struggles to survive or is twisted into something vicious and cruel. This is not a world of despair, but of oppressive terror and constant death.[14][15][16][17]

Except for Faeries, each of the major races has its main colors changed:

  • Flamekins: Mono-{R}{B}/{R} (Cinders)
  • Elves: {G}/{B}{G}/{W}
  • Giants: {R}/{W}{R}/{G}
  • Goblins: {B}/{R}{R}/{G}
  • Kithkin: {W}/{G}{W}/{U}
  • Merfolk: {U}/{W}{U}/{B}
  • Treefolk: {G}/{B}/{W}{G}/{B}

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 16-card boosters, five preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. All products except the boosters contained a random Pro Tour Player Card. The booster packs featured artwork from Murderous Redcap, Grief Tyrant, Ashenmoor Gouger, Reaper King and Faerie Macabre.[18] Starting with Shadowmoor, the fat pack was redesigned to include one storage box rather than two, and eight boosters rather than six. The panorama art piece that wraps the contents is 2¼" shorter as a result[19]. The promotional pre-release card for Shadowmoor was Demigod of Revenge with alternate art.[20]The promotional release card for Shadowmoor was Vexing Shusher.[21] The set was accompanied by the anthology of the same name, consisting of stories written by Cory J. Herndon, Scott McGough and others.

Like Morningtide boosters before them, boosters of Shadowmoor come with a bonus sixteenth card that is either a "rules card" or a creature token. One face of the Shadowmoor bonus card has one of six different rules tips or one of twelve different creature tokens. The other face has one of six advertisements for organized play programs, Gleemax, fat packs and Eventide.

Tips & Tricks[edit | edit source]

The tips & tricks cards are

Tokens[edit | edit source]

The Shadowmoor tokens are:[22][23]

Misprints[edit | edit source]

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor expands on its hybrid theme with the the introduction of mono-colored hybrid mana.[25][26] This mana cost can be paid by either one mana of a specified color, or by two mana of any color. The converted mana cost of these cards is the highest possible.[27]

Another new feature was the untap symbol {Q} which is used as a cost allowing a permanent to be untapped to produce some effect as listed on the card. The card must be tapped to use that ability, just as cards with {T} must be untapped. This ability appeared primarily in white and blue.[28]

Further, the set includes a cycle of lands which have basic land types, despite not being basic lands. To prevent them from being strictly better than basic lands, these enter the battlefield tapped. However, they can also be used for a specific, somewhat weak effect, if its controller also controls at least two permanents of the appropriate color.

Shadowmoor introduced the following keyword mechanics:[29]

  • Conspire — As you play this spell, you may tap two untapped creatures you control that share a color with it. When you do, copy it.
  • Persist — When this creature is put into the graveyard from play, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to play under its owner's control with a -1/-1 counter on it.
  • Wither — This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters. Primarily in red, black and green.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor has 27 cycles. Seven of them are part of the Shadowmoor block mega cycles. The remaining 20 cycles are:

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

Colorshifted[edit | edit source]

Reflections[edit | edit source]

Several cards from Shadowmoor were designed to reflect cards printed in Lorwyn and Morningtide, playing up the set's theme as a dark reflection of the world of Lorwyn:

Mechanical Reflections:

Flavor Reflections:

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

  • Firespout — A hybrid sorcery with a casting cost of {2}{R/G}. This casting cost is cheaper than a 3-point Earthquake or Hurricane. If {R} is spent to cast Firesprout then it deals 3 damage to each non-flying creature, if {G} is spent to cast Firesprout then it deals 3 damage to each flying creature. Also, if {G}{R} is spent in the casting cost it deals 3 damage to all creatures - a very good bargain.
  • Kitchen Finks — Hard to kill due to Persist and gaining life, this card would often simply shut down very aggressive decks.
  • Murderous Redcap — May be characterized as the Finks evil twin, this card also has Persist and deals damage equal to its power when it enters the battlefield.
  • Painter's Servant — Infamous for being part of a two-card combo with Grindstone.
  • Reflecting Pool — As a reprint already famous, this card enabled some very strong and diverse mana bases in combination with the Vivid Lands from Lorwyn.
  • Runed Halo — The first card to grant Protection to a player rather than a creature.[33]
  • Safewright Quest — A land tutor with a casting cost of {G/W}. It is also the first land tutor that can search for either a Forest or Plains specifically.
  • Savor the Moment — This is the cheapest casting cost "take an extra turn" spell since Alpha's Time Walk, at just {1}{U}{U} but has the drawback of skipping the untap step of that turn.
  • Smash to Smithereens — An improved version of the card Shatter, Smash to Smithereens also deals 3 damage to the artifact's controller.
  • Spectral Procession — A card which was initially dismissed later shaped Standard significantly as it provided three cheap, flying creatures who all individually would be able to take advantage of power/toughness boosting effects like Glorious Anthem or Ajani Goldmane.
  • Strip Bare — At just {W}, this instant destroys all auras and equipment attached to a target creature.
  • Swans of Bryn Argoll — Used in a few combo decks which would deal a large amount of damage to the Swans to draw a lot of cards and turn those cards into damage to the opponent, e.g. with Seismic Assault or Chain of Plasma.
  • Wheel of Sun and Moon — This card can be used to hose an opponent who is reliant on his graveyard by enchanting him, or hosing an opponent with a mill strategy by enchanting oneself.
  • Vexing Shusher — This goblin is an annoyance to control decks and is a strong card for Legacy sideboards.

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Shadowmoor features five two-colored, allied-colored theme decks.[34][35]

Theme deck name Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Aura Mastery W U
Mortal Coil U B
Army of Entropy B R
Overkill R G
Turnabout W G

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sean Fletcher. (April 28, 2008.) "What More Can I Tell You?", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  2. Alexis Janson. (May 12, 2008.) "Shadowmoor – The Hole Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  3. Tim Willoughby. (April 14, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Prerelease Primer", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  4. Mark Rosewater. (July 16, 2007.) "Two Plus Two", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  5. Mark Rosewater. (March 31, 2008.) "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part I", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  6. Mark Rosewater. (February 18, 2008.) "Innovate Is Enough (Or Is It?)", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  7. Mark Rosewater. (April 14, 2008.) "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part III", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  8. Mark Rosewater. (April 07, 2008.) "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part II", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  9. Mark Rosewater. (April 28, 2008.) "Mix & Match, Part I", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  10. Mark Rosewater. (May 05, 2008.) "Mix & Match, Part II", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  11. Magic Arcana. (May 22, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Land Diptychs", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  12. Magic Arcana. (October 04, 2007.) "Announcing Shadowmoor", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  13. Ken Nagle. (May 07, 2008.) "I'M IN UR COLUMN, TASTING UR MAGIC", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  14. Rei Nakazawa. (March 31, 2008.) "The Deepening Shadowmoor", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  15. Jeremy Jarvis. (April 07, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Pays Off!", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  16. Garrett Baumgartner. (May 05, 2008.) "The Two-Sided Coin", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  17. Doug Beyer. (July 09, 2008.) "Selkies and Subtypes", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  18. Magic Arcana. (March 12, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Booster Packaging", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  19. Magic Arcana. (March 20, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Fat Pack", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  20. Wizards of the Coast. (April 14, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Prerelease Card", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  21. Wizards of the Coast. (April 28, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Launch Party Promo", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  22. Magic Arcana. (April 03, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Tokens, Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  23. Magic Arcana. (April 10, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Tokens, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  24. Aaron Forsythe. (April 25, 2008.) "I have a foil Reflecting Pool from Shadowmoor that has the plains symbol. Is this a print mistake?", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  25. Devin Low. ( April 25, 2008.) "Shadowmoor's Mechanic Web", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  26. Devin Low. (April 04, 2008.) "What's a "Monocolor Hybrid?"", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  27. Mark Rosewater. (March 17, 2008.) "Building Blocks", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  28. Devin Low. (April 11, 2008.) "The Day the Cards Tapped Backwards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  29. magicthegathering.com staff. (April 18, 2008.) "A Planeswalker's Primer for Shadowmoor", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  30. Magic Arcana. (April 23, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Lexicon: Wisps", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  31. Devin Low. (April 18, 2008.) "Blink and You'll Mist It", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  32. Wizards of the Coast. (May 30, 2008.) "Wallpaper of the Week: Kinsbaile Balloonist/Kinscaer Harpoonist", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  33. Mark Rosewater. (April 21, 2008.) "Shadowmoor More More", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  34. Magic Arcana. (March 25, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Theme Decks", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
  35. Magic Arcana. ( April 21, 2008.) "Shadowmoor Theme Deck Contents", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]