I attended (if you can call it that) the Sunday Shadowmoor prerelease in Syracuse over this past weekend and I felt I needed to chime in a bit about my initial impressions. First I should say I didn’t play too much. I opened my packs, realized I wasn’t winning, played one match where I went 1 and 2 (I had my opponent to three life in the first game and four in the last but it wasn’t enough obviously), dropped and went home.
What’s My Deal?
In my entire pool of cards I didn’t have a single removal spell and I only had one playable “trick”. As I have mentioned before reacting to my opponent is what I enjoy so there was no way I was going to spend another four hours playing a deck I had no interest in. Some people prefer playing to the bitter end in all things but I am a firm believer in quitting when you’re not having fun.
What’s the Deal With Shadowmoor?
I will admit that my card pool and performance have probably tainted my opinion but quite frankly at the moment my opinion is so low that it would take quite a lot to get it to mediocre. The set feels very vanilla and lacking in interesting interactions. In fact in three games I never once blocked my opponent so if they were trying to make a set about interesting combat situations so far (yes very early on indeed) it seems they have missed.
It seems to me there are far too many cards that do nothing other than become bigger when you have a certain color out, are unable to be blocked by a certain color, or are only interesting because they are hybrid and for me that doesn’t make them interesting at all.
Wither sounded like a neat concept but after looking at the cards more closely I felt that it was more like saying “Hey, this guy isn’t vanilla. Look! He deals damage as -1/-1 counters!” About half the time my answer to that is… “so?” since often the creature will be just trading with another creature anyway and thus the counters mean nothing.
My Bizarre Tastes
I realize that I have strange tastes when it comes to Magic and thus I guess I should try to temper my temper. For example I loved Champions and hated (with the fire of a thousand suns) Ravnica. I will be sad to see Lorwyn go as I think it may well have been my favorite limited set ever, and following that perhaps Shadowmoor was at a disadvantage.
Last Words, for Now
I think it’s possible I could change my mind on Shadowmoor. My opponent, for example, had two Burn Trails so I know there is some removal out there but it still doesn’t seem enough to me. When the set comes out online and I can play it in drafts I will get a real feel for it but until then I guess the best I can say is that I am disappointed.
Tune in later this week when I complain about Magic Online III! (Oh and make sure to leave comments about how cool Ravnica was and Shadowmoor is.)