After MaRo – Just Follow the Clues

Boldwyr Intimidator - Esad RibicIn today’s announcement, MaRo gave us a few hints on what Shadowmoor’s theme might be. Basically, it is something that has never been done in Magic before (Not Artifact based, or deals with creature types), yet there are two cards in Future Sight that will be reprinted in Shadowmoor. Interesting, yes? Before we look at what cards might those be, let’s see what he did (or didn’t say) about the new block.

– It’s like Lorwyn, only in darkness.
– While Tribal isn’t a theme, he didn’t say if more Tribal cards weren’t going to be printed (like Tarfire).
Lorwyn block and Shadowmoor block fit with each other. It seems like the same creature (race/class) types will stay in play (important for what cards belong).
– And according to promotional material, a favorite mechanic returns, but it doesn’t say if it is a keyword mechanic (like Buyback) or a non-keyworded one (like the “pitch spells“).

Now comes the fun part, figuring out which cards are the hidden ones in Future Sight. Once I read that, I thought of a post title with a National Treasure parody, with all of the clues he gave us, but nothing that I deemed funny. But he’s basically saying: Look, here’s the Declaration of Independence, find the clues. And so we shall…

Here’s the list of the all the Future-shifted cards in Future Sight:

Arcanum Wings – Aven Mindcensor – Baru, Fist of Krosa – Bitter Ordeal -Blade of the Sixth Pride – Blind Phantasm – Bloodshoot Trainee – Blodwyr Intimidator – Bonded Fetch – Bound in Silence – Bridge from Below – Centaur Omenreader – Darksteel Garrison – Daybreak Coronet – Death Rattle – Deepcavern Imp – Dryad Arbor – Edge of Autumn -Emblem of the Warmind – Fleshwrither – Flowstone Embrace – Fomori Nomad – Frenzy Sliver – Ghostfire – Glodmeadow Lookout – Grave Scrabbler – Graven Cairns – Grinning Ignus – Grove of the Burnwillows – Henchfiend of Ukor – Homing Sliver – Horizon Canopy – Imperial Mask – Imperiosaur – Korlash, Heir to Blackblade – Linessa, Zephyr Mage – Logic Knot – Lucent Liminid -Lumithread Field – Lymph Sliver – Mass of Ghouls – Mesmeric Sliver – Mistmeadow Skulk – Muraganda Petroglyphs – Nacatl War-Pride – Narcomoeba – Nessian Courser – Nimbus Maze – Nix -Oriss, Samite Guardian – Patrician’s Scorn – Phosphorescent Feast – Quagnoth – Ramosian Revivalist – River of Tears – Sarcomite Myr – Second Wind – Seht’s Tiger – Shah of Naar Isle – Shapeshifter’s Marrow – Skizzik Surger – Snake Cult Initiation – Spellweaver Volute – Spellwild Ouphe – Spin into Myth – Sporoloth Ancient – Steamflogger Boss – Storm Entity – Street Wraith – Tarmogoyf – Tarox Bladewing – Thronweald Archer – Thunderblade Charge – Tombstalker – Vedalken Aethermage – Virulent Sliver – Whetwheel – Whip-Spine Drake – Witch’s Mist – Yixlid Jailer – Zoetic Cavern

Long list, right? Now, the two cards that are being reprinted might not be the central theme, but there might be a good chance that it is. There are some red herrings in this timeshifted, it’s just what MaRo likes to do. Weeding some of these cards out, let’s get rid of all of the cards that meet these qualifications to rule them out of being a “Preprint”:
– A card with the same keyword mechanic as used throughout the Time Spiral block (morph/echo)
– Slivers (Used throughout the block)
– A Keyword variation on an existing Keyword mechanic (Transfigure)
– Lands that have the same multi-color combination of ones in Lorywn.
– The Granduer legends that are ties to that particular plane.
– Creature types not seen in Lorwyn (Cats, Imps, Ogre). Note: Because this is a darker world we will visit, Zombies will still be on the board as possibilities, but likely, as well as Illusions.

The revised list comes to this:

Arcanum Wings – Aven Mindcensor – Blind Phantasm – Bloodshoot Trainee – Blodwyr Intimidator (In Morningtide) – Bridge from Below – Darksteel Garrison – Daybreak Coronet – Death Rattle – Dryad Arbor – Edge of Autumn -Emblem of the Warmind – Flowstone Embrace – Fomori Nomad – Ghostfire – Glodmeadow Lookout (Made token that was in Lorwyn) – Graven Cairns – Grinning Ignus – Grove of the Burnwillows – Horizon Canopy -Imperial Mask – Imperiosaur – Logic Knot – Lucent Liminid – Mass of Ghouls – Mistmeadow Skulk – Muraganda Petroglyphs – Nacatl War-Pride – Narcomoeba – Nix – Patrician’s Scorn – Phosphorescent Feast – Second Wind – Seht’s Tiger – Shapeshifter’s Marrow – Snake Cult Initiation – Spellweaver Volute – Storm Entity – Thronweald Archer – Thunderblade Charge – Witch’s Mist – Yixlid Jailer

He have some common themes with some of these cards.

* Let’s take card that interact with different zones or that are played from other then your hand. Doing some research from various reports about Future Sight from the MtG website, I came across this gem:

Aaron Forsythe, Latest Developments, May 4 2007

That said, it still wasn’t easy for Development to maintain that line [boundaries of where to push cards], as there was so much gray area. Some were easy—Bridge from Below, sure. Spellweaver Volute, sure. The cards are unique in and of themselves, but they also hint at whole categories of cards—things that only work in the graveyard, things that enchant stuff in zones other than in play—that we haven’t done yet. They do a great job of giving players a glimpse into a potential future.

Hmm, interesting. Both are on the list… But MaRo said that both of these cards were to fill holes (strike against these cards), but he did say that he submitted just two cards for the holes (points for), though they do demonstrate something that really hasn’t been done that much before (cards that work in different zones). Both saying that they are graveyard based might kill these cards for Shadowmoor (Thunderblade Charge also fits into this theme, but wasn’t mentioned by name in the article and with Nacromoeba there are no illusions in Lorwyn).

Lash Out - Scott Hampton* A popular theory in message boards is the Converted Mana Cost (CMC) is the new theme. Mistmeadow Skulk, Phosphorescent Feast support that, though Kithkin have now been shown to not like bigger spells/creatures (A support for the card). Clash is something that loves CMC matters cards, which would work well with Lorwyn block, but wasn’t a theme.

* Enchantments that tap don’t work very well, as by definition they don’t tap. I shutter at the thought of having a block where enchantments tap. Though Daybreak Coronet, Lucid Liminid and Imperial Mask suggest that Enchantments could make a large theme where they don’t have to tap. While it might be an enchantment themed block, Wizards argues that Urza’s block was supposed to be enchantment based, but there were a couple of artifacts that got in the way and Shadowmoor won’t be enchantment based.

* With cycling on two cards, people have pointed to that, only to have Street Wraith bungle that theory (no streets and no wraiths in Lorwyn). To be fair, both cards don’t have to be examples of the one theme, and Edge of Autumn still fits. It’s a popular mechanic that has an extreme design space to use (that I’ll explain this week).

* Poison’s a possible idea, with two cards in FS, but only one that isn’t a sliver. There was some talk about doing a multi-colored land with poison, but it was too powerful outside of a block that will have poison (and MaRo says it’s coming, why not now?).

* The one theme that no one is really talking about (except a few people) is a multicolor theme. Now wait a minute, didn’t we just have that in Ravnica? Yes we did. In fact, with the legends that each tribe has, there is the setup of great multicolor madness again. In the land of Lorwyn, everything has been flipped around and people will have new opportunities to draft what they want. MaRo, “Finally, I am going to make the bold statement that in my opinion the Shadowmoor / Shadowmoor / Eventide draft environment is going to be the most dynamic thing you have ever seen.” Now, it’s not saying there are going to be Red merfolk, but what about Black merfolk? Another clue that MaRo gave us, showing the picture of Gaea’s Skyfolk in his article, saying that not everything will be as what you remembered it. Tribes will team up with each other to try and keep their kind going, while in those tribe, there will have to be new roles, all without overplaying the tribal aspect of it. And what cards support this theory? Gravin Cairns and Bloodshot Trainee. While some argue that Bloodshot is the name of a tribe on other planes, it might be what they call themselves after this “event.”

Well, that’s my two cents. I could be wrong, but this is all just speculation. What do you guys think? Let’s hear what you believe.

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One thought on “After MaRo – Just Follow the Clues”

  1. What about mistmeadow skulk and Nix? One set could have beneficial effects for certain cmcs, and one have negative, making the draft very dynamic by the fact that you’ll have to be balancing the two categories of effects. The flavor in the book suggests the tribes becoming less cohesive, and the posted fact that tribes are not the theme supports that. Any card based on a tribe would be false, or a minor subtheme of the greater fact that tribes aren’t beneficial. I’d go so far to say that we’d see cards that punish cards of a certain tribe, but not anything with a positive bent on tribal.

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