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CardName: Shadows Over Innistrad Spoilers Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Shadows Over Innistrad Spoilers
Updated on 25 Mar 2016 by Jack V

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2016-03-14 15:03:39: Jack V created and commented on the card Shadows Over Innistrad Spoilers

Am I the only one surprised they broke a string of blocks going all the way back to Time Spiral where they've been using the set's major counter type as a component of at least one mechanic?

Probably. I didn't even notice that was a streak. It's what, support, bolster, monstrosity, unleash, undying, infect, level-up (that's a stretch), devour, persist, suspend? Bloodthirst brings it back one block more.

Oh I definitely count level-up. That set had level counters as its main counter type.

I consider the original unnamed ally mechanic to count (because the default at common was putting counters), but that's basically correct. I keep forgetting reinforce was in Morningtide and not Lorwyn, which somewhat breaks the pattern, which is other one mechanic per set.

It's a bit of a relief, really. There's only so many riffs you can do on things that grant +1/+1 counters.

How are you counting -- do you reckon that some sets +1/+1 counters the "major" counter, and other sets they aren't?

I hadn't really tracked that, I just thought, each set has +1/+1 counters (or -1/-1 counters), plus up to one other major counter type. Non-+1/+1 counters usually have a specific keyword mechanic.

But I thought it was mostly chance whether there was a specific +1/+1 counter mechanic or not, just that there's a lot of design space, but usually more than one will fight for the same space.

In Time Spiral block the major counter type was time counters (associated with Suspend and Vanishing). In Rise of the Eldrazi, it was level counters (with Level up). As far as I'm concerned, these are the only two exceptions to counter types, but they do not alter the pattern.

Every block since original Ravnica, as well as every set since Morningtide, has included a mechanic (in one case unnamed) that used the block's main counter type (usually +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters).

Ravnica: [exception]
Guidpact: Bloodthirst
Dissension: Graft
Time Spiral Block: Suspend and Vanishing
Lorwyn: [exception]
Mornintide: Reinforce
Shadowmoor/Eventide: Persist and Wither
Alara block: Devour
Zendikar/Worldwake: unnamed Ally mechanic
Rise of the Èldrazi: Level up
Scars block: Infect and Proliferate
Innistrad block: Undying
Return to Ravnica: Scavenge/Unleash
Gatecrash: Evolve
Dragon's Maze: [see previous two]
Theros block: Heroic, Monstrosity, Tribute
Khans of tarkir: Outlast
Fate Reforged/Dragons of Trakir: Bolser
Battle for Zendikar: Awaken
Oath of the Gatewatch: Support
Shadows over Innistrad: [exception]

You can't deny it's a pretty strong pattern even if we decide to treat Zendikar/worldwake as an exception.

Oh cool! I'd never seen it laid out like that.

I just checked and I hadn't realised how much the sets with other counters had avoided +1/+1 counters -- there's still some, but not many.

However, I think another way of looking at it would be "there's usually one to two +-1/+-1 counter mechanics, occasionally three, occasionally zero".

So, I think it's unusual, since there's just so many +1/+1 counters, but not surprising that that comes up occasionally. I'm more surprised there wasn't a different counter type, if there wasn't that many +1/+1 counters. But I guess maybe there just wasn't any need for it. Or they wanted a low-counter block to make it slightly easier to have a -1/-1 counter block next?

Or they wanted a low-counter block to make it slightly easier to have a -1/-1 counter block next?

That is an interesting hypothesis! Before they spoiled Soul Swallower and Markov Dreadknight (at that point we knew nearly 50 cards between spoilers and leaks), I was wondering whether they would be using stat counters at all, and exulting at the thought.

That didn't happen, but your idea certainly looks like a possible explanation. with nearly a third of the set spoiled, only 5 cards involve +1/+1 counters... If we assume this is representative, this means half as much cards involving such counters than in BFZ (who had about 30 of them).

Yeah. I heard someone else suggest that before I repeated it. I'm not sure if they were just guessing or if they had something solid to base it on.

Interesting. Corrupted Tombstone gives us our first 2cmc artifact ramp in quite some time.

Kind of. It should be pointed out that Corrupted Tombstone has a drawback. If there are no colored cards in the graveyard, it doesn't do anything. It's going to be really hard to consistently pump out a four drop on turn 3 with it...

I doubt it will be that difficult. Given the abundance of means to discard, if a deck uses it, it can reliably get its mana.

On a different topic, I've seen some comments about how SOI seems to have a lot of enchantments. Two cycles, apparently so far: the enemy color activation at uncommon and the vessels at common (generally improved on JOU's Fonts).

It's to fuel delirium, especially the vessels. There needs to be plenty of cards of each card type if you want to get 4 into your graveyard.

I dunno. Between creatures, lands, instant and sorceries, I don't think they really needed to amp the amount of enchantments... (Although admittedly BFZ block had an unusually small mount of them.) --

But if you're aiming for 4 types, it's nice to have the choice of how far you stretch your deck to enable delirium as often as possible, or as early as possible...

@Circeus on Corrupted Tombstone: Excluding mana producing non-basic land abilities that happen to include discard, you must play a one cost spell on round one which happens to somehow include discard to ramp up to four mana on round four.

I'm sure Shadows will include lots of effects that will help you discard, and players will probably get to turn on their gravestones on turn four or five. I just don't think many players will be packing the necessary 10 1-cost cards in their deck required to get reliable 'fast mana'. I presume, most of the time, it will function in a similar way to Serra Avenger (get played later than its casting cost would suggest, but is still very cost efficient, and it an excellent card to play two of on round 4.)

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