Eventide Pre-Release Tournament: Wrapping Up Shadowmoor Block

Eventide is coming soon, and the latest Magic pre-release is almost upon us. See the conclusion of Shadowmoor and the -1/-1 counter craze (too quickly for some, and long overdue for others).

Shadowmoor showed us the way of -1/-1 counters and lots of hybrid mana costs. Not to mention slightly less removal than normal (makes sense for a set where “creature size matters,” whether or not it makes for more fun), and significantly less effective blocking.

Now Eventide is poised to bring us opposing color hybrid mana costs, even more -1/-1 counters, chroma, retrace, and a bunch more bombs if the spoiler is any indication.

Attitude Toward The New Magic Sets?

There are plenty of varied opinions. I play, pretty much exclusively, in a mini-league that started at Time Spiral with a couple of friends, so the environment is multi-player, limited, and casual. For me Shadowmoor has felt neither as bad as some have made it out to be, nor as good as I had hoped, but on the whole rather disappointing.

Why? Well one area where I definitely agree with Josh on Shadowmoor is the seeming trend of less blocking. For a set where I think one of the design tenets was “creature size matters,” making blocking a tougher proposition hasn’t worked to their favor. Less blocking going on actually dulls the gameplay and tilts toward racing, which I don’t often enjoy.

There is also the sense that Shadowmoor has stepped down the complexity level a notch or two, and that frustrates me. Not specifically about a loss of complexity for complexity’s sake, but as a Johnny I wish to have more combo-liciousness available and in that regard Shadowmoor feels like a let-down.

Eventide’s opposing color hybrid mana combinations are the kind of thing I can look forward to, as I still have a fondness for color pluralism, the likes of which Ravnica’s guilds brought to the table. The rest? Well, chroma is not that exciting. Retrace seems like a flashback to, well, flashback (ahh, Odyssey block), either weaker or stronger depending on how you look at it (I’ll hedge on the side of stronger; not having to remove it means you can play it again if you have more land). Most likely there’s at least one other new type of ability Eventide will show off, we’ll have to see.

Attending the Eventide Pre-Release Tournament

I’m going to assume everyone who is interested has experience with Shadowmoor (does that mean a smaller turn-out?); as such, not much should be necessary in the way of playing or limited deckbuilding advice.

Just find your nearest pre-release tournament using the DCI locator thingie (I know, not the most user-friendly design). If you’re within a reasonable drive of Hartford, Connecticut as I am, I’ll save you some time: just head over to TJ Collect for info.

Despite my less-than-glowing hopes for Eventide’s ability to make Shadowmoor into a triumph, I’m still looking forward to going to the pre-release. It’s the only level of Magic tournament I tend to play, and the chance to try my competitive deckbuilding and playing skills in matches with a bunch of new faces (and get my butt kicked in the process) is a lot of fun.

Hope to see you there!

Update: Back from the pre-release, see my reaction to Eventide!


    I’m pretty sure I am sitting this one out. Not only do I dislike Shadowmoor but life has been far to busy lately.

    Still, I will play Eventide when it comes out online and I do hope that it is fun.


    If I haven’t mentioned it already, I expect this to be my last tournament for a while. My group is planning to take a new-Magic-set hiatus for a time after Eventide, just too hard to keep up with all the sets and get time for other games in too.

    Joe Says:

    Yeah, even though I like playing Magic, I am not as excited for this prerelease as I was for Lorwyn, Morningtide, or even Shadowmoor. It is probably because of the quickness with which they are releasing the sets. I look forward to mixingthe whole block together.


    Joe- after we get through a box of Eventide our pools will have three blocks’ worth of cards: Time Spiral, Lorwyn, and Shadowmoor. Together they should be enough for us to come up with some more interesting decks!

    And who knows, persist might even do something, if the -1/-1 focus is spread out more.

    I’m looking forward to it (and… maybe some Odyssey down the road…?)


    I have to say I do sometimes miss my casual magic days of yor. When our group around here got down to three players we stopped playing and these days there are really only two of us still interested in something like this.

    Still, Magic was the king of gripe fest a lot of times, with a lot of hurt feelings and general displeasure. It might be best that it has left our circle.


    Well, there’s always Big Deck Magic. Might ease tensions a little with an even more casual format.

    Plus don’t forget the benefits of only needing one person who owns enough cards, and being able to seed the deck with cards from your favorite sets; ‘course you should remember this stuff, you wrote the article 🙂


    Even that isn’t really an option at the moment. Most of our group is either anti magic or neutral bordering on “I don’t give a crap”.

    Big Deck really doesn’t appeal to some people since you can’t pre plan for things and it takes away the fun of deck building.

    In Lorwyn Matt and I were dealing out cards as though they were sealed decks and then building out of them and that was fun but we were the only two that did that often.


    I have done the randomized “sealed deck” thing with other CCGs (Shadowrun, Jyhad), that can be fun. Kinda too bad you and Matt are the only members of your group who get into that, since I know for both of you Magic has been a pretty big draw in the past.

    Though it does sound like your group is better off with co-op or role playing games for now, the kind of thing people can all pull together on more easily. Thankfully for me, Joe and Mike are into the friendly competition thing, there are certain benefits to a small group 🙂