Shadowmoor Pre-release Tournament Next Weekend

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty psyched about Shadowmoor. Next weekend is the chance for Magic players everywhere to experience the new set, aka: pre-release time!

Lorwyn was cool, there were brightly colored pretty things flitting about all over the place, but I’m eager to see how it feels now that things have pretty much gone to hell. There’s something attractive about a nice dark Magic set like this, made all the more so because of its sharp contrast to Lorwyn’s bright and cheery qualities.

Attending the Shadowmoor Pre-release Tournament

Here’s a quick rundown of what the pre-release is all about:

It’s sealed-deck, so you will be given a Shadowmoor starter and a couple of boosters, from which you will build a 40 card deck. Basic land is supplied. The rest of your card pool forms your sideboard, and since this is a casual-style tournament, most organizers forgo deck registration and allow you to rebuild or swap cards with your sideboard willy-nilly between games and rounds. No need to return your deck to a registered configuration before the next round, if you discover you really should have been playing that Tattermunge Maniac just slide it in for next game and you’re all set.

As I said, the pre-release is a relatively casual tournament. No doubt there will be some players there who could make it on the pro circuit (or already have) but the atmosphere is generally a little more relaxed than other tournaments. Everyone’s there to have fun and get a first look at the new cards.

You want to go, right? Excellent.

If you’re like me and will be in the Connecticut, head over to TJ Collectibles for details on where and when to show up. Flights run all day Saturday and Sunday. For other locations, check the Wizards site for more info.

Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that everyone who shows up gets a special foil rare promo card? Not too bad, plus you get an extra booster just for participating, no matter what your record is (of course if you fare 3-1 or better you become eligible to get a stack of additional prize boosters).

I highly recommend checking out your local pre-release, Shadowmoor looks to be an exciting (and dark) set. See you there!


    I myself will be in Syracuse on Sunday participating.

    I have to say I am more concerned with this set than any before it. I have done well at these events for quite some time but I fear this may be disaster (if at least, a spectacular one). The idea of playing mono color is interesting but bizzar and simply sorting your cards in this set will be a challenge.

    Good luck to everyone.

    Matt Says:

    I be there too with Josh. I still think he’ll clean up, but for me it’s a chance to finally get in the win column. One of the problems for me is deck construction in an limited environment. I’m a constructed guy and someone that likes to really take a lot of time with deck construction. Being forced to come up with something in 30 minutes or so, and with a limited card pool isn’t exactly a strength. Not to mention my card evaluations tend to be on a more constructed tone rather then limited where it needs to be for that kind of event. I’m sure my game play is also not where it should be as I’m not crazy MOTO guy like Josh is. However that isn’t as important at a prerelease as card selection is, at least that’s the way it seems when I look back at my losses as of late.

    I think this set actually might help me because of the mono-color ideology. I don’t have to worry as much about the right mana to play or which combinations are going to work best. I only have to look at which color pile has the most depth, and I think I can do that. That and I think card evaluations are going to be screwy to everyone so that might end up helping me as well. Guess we’ll find out this weekend.

    Scott Says:

    Strange, I see the hybrid cost cards as a way to make playing two colors easier. If that’s what you guys are referring to. They are pretty, um, saturated in the colored mana cost area so it won’t be the same as Ravnica, but I can’t see why two colors would be out. Unless you’re talking about combining hybrid U/B with hybrid R/B for a “mono-black” deck, that sort of thing?

    Scott Says:

    I think with Lorwyn I’ve been getting better at card evaluation and deck construction, but like Matt it’s probably more in constructed than limited. Though I am playing in a sort of league, once we got past the first month or so our card pools were larger than any normal limited environment.

    Last time around at the Morningtide pre-release I had trouble building something good in the allotted time. Then in the second flight same thing, only I was already almost ten minutes late coming back from lunch which made things even more challenging. Often after the tournament I’ll be able to take a fresh look at the same cards and build something respectable, but of course then I’ve also got first-hand experience in how they play by that point.

    Either way I have fun playing, no matter if I rarely do better than 2-2.


    In Shadowmoor you have access to 30% of the set if you stick with mono color and so many of the cards become more powerful if you are only playing one color. On the otherhand most likely what we will see is mono splash with a lot of decks being something like Black/red or Green/white rather than Red/Blue/black like like in Lorwyn. This is just a prediction and is more for drafting to boot since sealed is a different animal that I have less experience with.

    Scott Says:

    I guess I keep forgetting about the difference between constructed and limited; I was about to say that I never played red/blue/black or another three-color combo in Lorwyn. Then I remembered back to the pre-release where I think I had three colors.

    I think you’re right Josh, that we’ll be seeing decks primarily of one color and splashing a neighboring color, while going to three or even splitting evenly across two may not be viable given the saturated mana requirements.

    By the way, it seems that the foil promo for card for Shadowmoor will be the Demigod of Revenge (I know, this link doesn’t work at this time, but it will magically work once they update the gatherer in a few days). Heh, not a bad card to have multiples of (I normally play two flights).


    They often don’t have a second flight in Syracuse on Sunday, just not enough interest. Also, I tend to be pretty beat by the end of the first flight.

    Most of the draft decks I built in Lorwyn were three color. Heck, I once “splashed” Vigor and two other green cards in a deck because I had so much fixing and Vigor is so gross sometimes. I ended up laughing my way to first place.

    I guess my point is that anyone going to the pre release needs to really look at the deck’s mana requirments. If you play a lot of hybrid cards and then play two even colors you are going to have some problems I think.

    Scott Says:

    Hmm… I may be misunderstanding what you mean, but if you’re playing red/black and stick to just red cards, black cards, and red/black hybrids you should be just as fine as if you were playing straight red/black (more so, even). Though as soon as you throw in that black/blue hybrid you’re asking for trouble if it’s more than one colored mana.

    They get me with the multi-flight discount. It does make a long day, but once every three months or so I can swing it for an entire day devoted to Magic. Plus I have a shorter drive to the pre-release here, not to mention a little Danger is Go! to make it pass by fast 😎


    Devin Low had this to say.

    “Shadowmoor also explicitly rewards mono-color decks with cards like Jaws of Stone, Beseech the Queen, and Midnight Banshee. The Shadowmoor design team set a goal of making monocolored decks a consistently good option in Shadowmoor Limited in a way that no set has ever done before.”

    I really hope to play mono color at the pre release, even if just for the fact that it would be so different for me.


    Here’s a link to his full article.


    Esentially you get to either play Black and Red (for example) and have access to all the black spells, the red spells and the black/red hybrid spells or you can play Black and have access to the black spells the black/blue hybrid spells and the black/red hybrid spells. So either way you are gaining something but losing something else.

    Scott Says:

    Agreed. And I think it’s going to be interesting to see how people confront that particular deckbuilding dilemma. Plus a sorting challenge, as you mentioned earlier.

    I’m hoping that my card pools will speak to me and say which way I should go. I’ll see tomorrow.