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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description The Reaper King's Crown.
Design Mark Rosewater (lead)
Sean Fletcher[1]
Mark Gottlieb
Devin Low
Ken Troop
Development Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Devin Low
Alexis Janson[2]
Matt Place
Jake Theis
Steve Warner
Doug Beyer
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date May 2, 2008
Plane Shadowmoor
Themes and mechanics Hybrid mana, Untapping, -1/-1 counters
Keywords/​ability words Conspire, Persist, Wither
Set size 301 cards
(121 commons, 80 uncommons, 80 rares, 20 basic lands)
Expansion code SHM[3]
Development codename Jelly
Shadowmoor block
Shadowmoor Eventide N/A
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Morningtide Shadowmoor Eventide
This page is about the set. For the plane, see Shadowmoor (plane). For other uses, see Shadowmoor (disambiguation).

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

Set details[ | ]

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.[5][6]

Shadowmoor takes place on the plane of the same name, which is a reflection of Lorwyn, the setting of the previous block.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10][11]

Every basic land in Shadowmoor is part of a two-card diptych.[12] The expansion symbol of Shadowmoor[13] 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. The latter is the official reading.[14]

Flavor and storyline[ | ]

Shadowmoor was once the world of Lorwyn — in fact, in a sense, it still is. But thanks to the Great Aurora, everything's changed.[15] 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.[16][17][18][19]

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[ | ]

Shadowmoor was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 16-card booster packs, 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.[20] 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.[21] The promotional prerelease cards for Shadowmoor was Demigod of Revenge with alternate art.[22] The promotional release card for Shadowmoor was Vexing Shusher.[23] 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[ | ]

The tips & tricks cards are

Tokens[ | ]

The Shadowmoor tokens are:[24][25]

Misprints[ | ]

Mechanics[ | ]

Shadowmoor expands on its hybrid theme with the introduction of mono-colored hybrid mana.[27][28] 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.[29]

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.[30]

Further, the set includes a cycle of lands that 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:[31]

  • 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[ | ]

Shadowmoor has 26 cycles. Seven of them are part of the Shadowmoor block mega cycles. The remaining 19 cycles are:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Allied-color self-boosting creatures Rune-Cervin Rider Parapet Watchers Loch Korrigan Blistering Dieflyn Foxfire Oak
Each of these common monocolored creatures has an activated ability with a hybrid mana cost that boosts one or both of its stats.
Basic land count spells Armored Ascension Flow of Ideas Corrupt Jaws of Stone Howl of the Night Pack
Each of these uncommon spells gains more power for the more basic lands of the appropriate type you control.
Cohorts Ballynock Cohort Briarberry Cohort Ashenmoor Cohort Mudbrawler Cohort Crabapple Cohort
Each of these common creatures gets +1/+1 as long as you control another creature of its color.
Colored permanent count creatures Kithkin Rabble Faerie Swarm Crowd of Cinders Horde of Boggarts Drove of Elves
Each of these uncommon creatures costs {3}M and has P/T each equal to the number of permanents of their color you control.
Hate-enhanced spells Inquisitor's Snare Consign to Dream Gloomlance Ember Gale Gloomwidow's Feast
Each of these common spells has a greater effect against enemy colors.
Hideaway creatures Windbrisk Raptor Isleback Spawn Hollowborn Barghest Knollspine Dragon Mossbridge Troll
Each of these 7-mana rare creatures is the awakened form of one of the hideaway lands from Lorwyn, and has an ability that mirrors its land-form.
Initiates Apothecary Initiate Drowner Initiate Smolder Initiate Intimidator Initiate Nurturer Initiate
Each of these common 1/1 creatures allows you to pay {1} whenever a spell of its color is cast to gain an effect.
Mentors Resplendent Mentor Deepchannel Mentor Corrosive Mentor Bloodmark Mentor Roughshod Mentor
Each of these uncommon creatures grants an ability to all creatures you control of their color.
Monocolor conspire sorceries Mine Excavation Ghastly Discovery Disturbing Plot Burn Trail Gleeful Sabotage
Each of these common sorceries has conspire and has art depicting members of races new to Shadowmoor or Eventide.
Monocolor hybrids Spectral Procession Advice from the Fae Beseech the Queen Flame Javelin Tower Above
Each of these uncommon spells has a mana cost of {{2}/M}{{2}/M}{{2}/M}. The reminder text on these cards reads "{2/M} can be paid with any two mana or with M. This card's converted mana cost is 6."
Rare persist creatures Twilight Shepherd River Kelpie Puppeteer Clique Furystoke Giant Woodfall Primus
Each of these rare creatures with persist has a powerful comes-into-play ability.
Reflections Boon Reflection
(life gained)
Thought Reflection
(cards drawn)
Wound Reflection
(damage dealt)
Rage Reflection
Mana Reflection
Each of these rare enchantments doubles a common event, and each is illustrated by the sister/brother team of Terese Nielsen and Ron Spencer.
Utility lands Mistveil Plains Moonring Island Leechridden Swamp Madblind Mountain Sapseep Forest
Each of these uncommon lands has a basic land type, comes into play tapped, and can be tapped for one mana of its respective color in addition to another ability that can only be played if you control two or more permanents of the proper color.
Wisps Niveous Wisps Cerulean Wisps Aphotic Wisps Crimson Wisps Viridescent Wisps
Each of these common cantrips changes a creature's color until the end of turn.[32]
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Color-aligned scarecrows Watchwing Scarecrow Wingrattle Scarecrow Rattleblaze Scarecrow Blazethorn Scarecrow Thornwatch Scarecrow
Each of these common Scarecrow artifact creatures is matched with an allied pair of colors, gaining an ability if you control a creature of a specific color.
Witches Mistmeadow Witch Inkfathom Witch Spiteflame Witch Tattermunge Witch Seedcradle Witch
Each of these uncommon hybrid creatures has an ability that requires MN to play, where M and N are its colors.[33]
Duos Thistledown Duo Gravelgill Duo Emberstrike Duo Tattermunge Duo Safehold Duo
Each of these common hybrid creatures has one race and two classes each, and gains a bonus until the end of turn whenever you play a spell of one of its colors.
Hybrid conspire spells Æthertow Memory Sluice Traitor's Roar Giantbaiting Barkshell Blessing
Each of these common spells has conspire and has art depicting members of races introduced in Lorwyn.
Unblockable hybrid creatures Barrenton Cragtreads Wanderbrine Rootcutters Sootwalkers Mudbrawler Raiders Raven's Run Dragoon
Each of these common 3/3 creatures has a casting cost of {2}HH, where H is an allied-color hybrid mana. They can't be blocked by creatures of their colors' shared enemy color.

Mega Cycles[ | ]

Shadowmoor has seven mega cycles as part of the Shadowmoor block mega cycles. The allied colored set in Shadowmoor are:

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Lieges Thistledown liege Glen Elendra Liege Ashenmoor Liege Boartusk Liege Wilt-Leaf Liege
Each of these creatures has a mana cost of nHHH, where H is a hybrid mana symbol and n is an integer of generic mana. Each liege holds two separate abilities that provide 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 for its colors. The lieges from Shadowmoor have allied-color costs and the Knight creature type.
Demigods Godhead of Awe Ghastlord of Fugue Demigod of Revenge Deus of Calamity Oversoul of Dusk
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
These auras grant +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.
Common hybrid one-drops Zealous Guardian Oona's Gatewarden Manaforge Cinder Scuzzback Scrapper Elvish Hexhunter
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
Each of these rare lands can be tapped for {C} mana. They also have the ability "M/N, {T}: 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
Each of these uncommon creatures has a converted mana cost of {3}, made up entirely of hybrid mana.
Hybrid modal spells Repel Intruders River's Grasp Torrent of Souls Firespout Dawnglow Infusion
Each of these uncommon hybrid spells has different effects depending on which of two colors were used to play it.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Colorshifted[ | ]

Reflections[ | ]

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[ | ]

  • Fossil Find is the last card to refer to graveyard order; it only does so as other forms of randomly taken from the graveyard are less practical than shuffling face-down.
  • Kitchen Finks was a key midrange card, with Persist and lifegain, it stifled burn-based aggressive decks.
  • Painter's Servant is infamous for being part of a two-card combo with Grindstone.
  • Reflecting Pool, a famous reprint, enabled five-color mana bases in combination with the Vivid Lands from Lorwyn.
  • Runed Halo is the first card to grant Protection to a player rather than a creature.[35]
  • Safewright Quest is the first land tutor with a casting cost of {G/W} and searches for either a Forest or Plains specifically.
  • Savor the Moment has the cheapest casting cost "take an extra turn" spell since Alpha's Time Walk, at {1}{U}{U} but has the drawback of skipping the untap step of that turn.
  • Swans of Bryn Argoll was 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, such as with Seismic Assault or Chain of Plasma.
  • Wheel of Sun and Moon can be used to combat an opponent who is reliant on their graveyard by enchanting them or combatting an opponent with a mill strategy by enchanting oneself.
  • Vexing Shusher and Guttural Response have seen play as an annoyance to blue control decks.
  • Devoted Druid has proven to be a consistent combo enabler when combined with any way to prevent -1/-1 counters from being placed on it
  • Fulminator Mage was a common answer in the early age of Modern sideboards for problematic nonbasic lands
  • Smash to Smithereens is a sideboard favorite in burn decks in multiple formats
  • Manamorphose is an important part of spell-based combo decks like Storm and Arclight Phoenix in Modern, Legacy, and Pauper, as an essentially "free spell" that refunds both mana and cards, especially when combined with cost reduction to turn it into a ritual
  • Savor the Moment is a notably cheap extra turn spell for the Modern era, balanced by turning off the extra turn's untap step

Misprint[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Shadowmoor features five two-colored, allied-colored theme decks.[37][38]

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[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Sean Fletcher (April 28, 2008). "What More Can I Tell You?". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Alexis Janson (May 12, 2008). "Shadowmoor – The Hole Story". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Tom LaPille (November 6, 2009). "Know Your Allies". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Tim Willoughby (April 14, 2008). "Shadowmoor Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (July 16, 2007). "Two Plus Two". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (March 31, 2008). "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part I". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (February 18, 2008). "Innovate Is Enough (Or Is It?)". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (April 14, 2008). "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part III". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (April 07, 2008). "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (April 28, 2008). "Mix & Match, Part I". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (May 05, 2008). "Mix & Match, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (May 22, 2008). "Shadowmoor Land Diptychs". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (October 04, 2007). "Announcing Shadowmoor". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (January, 2008). "Ask Wizards - January, 2008". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Ken Nagle (May 07, 2008). "I'M IN UR COLUMN, TASTING UR MAGIC". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Rei Nakazawa (March 31, 2008). "The Deepening Shadowmoor". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Jeremy Jarvis (April 07, 2008). "Shadowmoor Pays Off!". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Garrett Baumgartner (May 05, 2008). "The Two-Sided Coin". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Doug Beyer (July 09, 2008). "Selkies and Subtypes". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (March 12, 2008). "Shadowmoor Booster Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Magic Arcana (March 20, 2008). "Shadowmoor Fat Pack". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Wizards of the Coast (April 14, 2008). "Shadowmoor Prerelease Card". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Wizards of the Coast (April 28, 2008). "Shadowmoor Launch Party Promo". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Magic Arcana (April 03, 2008). "Shadowmoor Tokens, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Magic Arcana (April 10, 2008). "Shadowmoor Tokens, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Aaron Forsythe (April 25, 2008). "I have a foil Reflecting Pool from Shadowmoor that has the plains symbol. Is this a print mistake?". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Devin Low (April 25, 2008). "Shadowmoor's Mechanic Web". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Devin Low (April 04, 2008). "What's a "Monocolor Hybrid?"". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Mark Rosewater (March 17, 2008). "Building Blocks". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Devin Low (April 11, 2008). "The Day the Cards Tapped Backwards". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. staff (April 18, 2008). "A Planeswalker's Primer for Shadowmoor". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Magic Arcana (April 23, 2008). "Shadowmoor Lexicon: Wisps". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Devin Low (April 18, 2008). "Blink and You'll Mist It". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Wizards of the Coast (May 30, 2008). "Wallpaper of the Week: Kinsbaile Balloonist/Kinscaer Harpoonist". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Mark Rosewater (April 21, 2008). "Shadowmoor More More". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Wizards of the Coast (April, 2008). "Ask Wizards - April, 2008". Wizards of the Coast.
  37. Magic Arcana (March 25, 2008). "Shadowmoor Theme Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Magic Arcana (April 21, 2008). "Shadowmoor Theme Deck Contents". Wizards of the Coast.