Although these mini-blocks are distinct in terms of game mechanics, they are linked in their flavor (being set on alternate versions of the same plane) and are treated as a single block for the purpose of rotation. With the release of Shadowmoor, Lorwyn–Shadowmoor block also replaced Lorwyn block for the Block Constructed format.
For inspiration, the creative team turned to Celtic folklore and mythology. There are influences from Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish, and Celtic stories, languages and cultures in both the look and world details of the setting. Mark Rosewater later stated that the flavor erred in being too true to the source material rather than hitting the tropes players knew. The latter would be revisited in Throne of Eldraine.
The Lorwyn block is the thirteenth block; unlike all previous blocks, it consist of only two sets: the large expansion, Lorwyn () and the small expansion, Morningtide (). The block came out in 2007–2008.
The race/class system is a major theme of this block. Each creature in the block belonged to one of the following nine creature types: Elemental, Elf, Faerie, Giant, Goblin, Kithkin, Merfolk, Shapeshifter, and Treefolk.
Three mega cycles exist across the block's two sets:
- Mono-colored legends: Each of these rare legendary creatures represents one of the main protagonists of the Lorwyn and Morningtide novels — Brigid, Hero of Kinsbaile, Vendilion Clique, Maralen of the Mornsong, Ashling the Pilgrim, Rhys the Exiled.
- Rare changelings: Each of these rare shapeshifter creatures has changeling and another powerful ability — Mirror Entity, Shapesharer, Cairn Wanderer, Taurean Mauler, Chameleon Colossus.
- Tribal lands: Each of these rare lands comes into play tapped unless you reveal a card in your hand of a certain creature type; there was one for each of the block's eight tribes.
- The tribal lands from Lorwyn could each be tapped for either of its tribe's colors — Ancient Amphitheater (giants, red and white), Auntie's Hovel (goblins, red and black), Gilt-Leaf Palace (elves, green and black), Secluded Glen (faeries, blue and black), and Wanderwine Hub (merfolk, blue and white).
- The tribal lands from Morningtide had different abilities from the lands in the previous set but shared their "tribal untap" ability — Murmuring Bosk (treefolk, counts as a Forest, can also be tapped for white or black mana at the cost of 1 damage), Primal Beyond (elementals, can be tapped for any color of mana but only to pay for elemental spells), and Rustic Clachan (kithkin, can be tapped only for white mana but has reinforce).
- Two cards, the common Shimmering Grotto and rare Mutavault, were associated with the changeling "tribe," but were not part of the cycle.
The Shadowmoor block is the fourteenth block; as a mini-block it consist of only two sets: one large expansion, Shadowmoor (), and one small expansion, Eventide (). The block came out during the first half of 2008.
A major theme of the Shadowmoor block was color. Hybrid mana, introduced in the Ravnica block, was brought back in Shadowmoor and given a more thorough treatment. -1/-1 counters were among the block's minor themes.
Seven mega cycles exist between the two sets, each made up of ten cards, one for each color pair.
|Demigods||Godhead of Awe||Ghastlord of Fugue||Demigod of Revenge||Deus of Calamity||Oversoul of Dusk||Divinity of Pride||Dominus of Fealty||Deity of Scars||Nobilis of War||Overbeing of Myth|
|Each of these Spirit Avatar creatures has a converted mana cost of 5, made up entirely of hybrid mana symbols.|
|Demigod auras||Steel of the Godhead||Helm of the Ghastlord||Fists of the Demigod||Runes of the Deus||Shield of the Oversoul||Edge of the Divinity||Clout of the Dominus||Gift of the Deity||Scourge of the Nobilis||Favor of the Overbeing|
|These auras grants +1/+1 and one of two bonuses to a creature if it matches one of its colors, or +2/+2 and both bonuses if it matches both.|
|Lieges||Thistledown Liege||Glen Elendra Liege||Ashenmoor Liege||Boartusk Liege||Wilt-Leaf Liege||Deathbringer Liege||Mindwrack Liege||Creakwood Liege||Balefire Liege||Murkfiend Liege|
|Each of these creatures has a mana cost of nHHH, where H is a hybrid mana symbol and n an integer of generic mana. Each liege holds two separate abilities that provides a +1/+1 bonus to a creature that matches either color, which stacks for those that match both, and each has an ability or effect appropriate its colors. The lieges from Shadowmoor have allied-color costs and the Knight creature type. The lieges from Eventide have enemy-color costs and the Horror creature type.|
|Common hybrid one-drops||Zealous Guardian||Oona's Gatewarden||Manaforge Cinder||Scuzzback Scrapper||Elvish Hexhunter||Nip Gwyllion||Stream Hopper||Odious Trow||Duergar Assailant||Slippery Bogle|
|Each of these common creatures has a mana cost of one hybrid mana.|
|Hybrid filter lands||Mystic Gate||Sunken Ruins||Graven Cairns||Fire-Lit Thicket||Wooded Bastion||Fetid Heath||Cascade Bluffs||Twilight Mire||Rugged Prairie||Flooded Grove|
|Each of these rare lands can be tapped for mana. They also have the ability "M/N, : Add MM, MN, or NN." where M and N are two different colors.|
|Hybrid three-drops||Plumeveil||Wasp Lancer||Ashenmoor Gouger||Boggart Ram-Gang||Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers||Restless Apparition||Crag Puca||Stalker Hag||Hearthfire Hobgoblin||Wistful Selkie|
|Each of these uncommon creatures has a converted mana cost of , made up entirely of hybrid mana.|
|Hybrid modal spells||Repel Intruders||River's Grasp||Torrent of Souls||Firespout||Dawnglow Infusion||Batwing Brume||Unnerving Assault||Cankerous Thirst||Moonhold||Invert the Skies|
|Each of these uncommon hybrid spells has different effects depending on which of two colors were used to play it.|
Shadowmoor block has one mirrored pair.
|Poison the Well
|Drain the Well
|A black-red and a black-green hybrid sorcery respectively, each destroying target land and changing life totals by 2, Poison the Well by dealing 2 damage to land's controller and Drain the Well by causing the sorcery's controller to gain 2 life.|
- Mark Rosewater (July 16, 2007). "Two Plus Two". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 31, 2008). "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part I". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (April 02, 2008). "The Shadowy Pendulum". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (June 17, 2013). "Modern Tales, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (September 10, 2007). "A Lorwyn/Lorwyn Situation". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (September 13, 2007). "A Taste of Lorwyn". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Elye Alexander (October 15, 2007). "Building a Better Faerie Realm". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (November 08, 2014). "Being based on "Fairy Tails" and being based on Celtic lore, are practically the same thing.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (May 9, 2016). "Because Salt Makes Mistakes Taste Great". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.