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By: xger, Xger
Jun 16 2016 11:00am
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Time to visit the second mini-block Wizards made. Shadowmoor shares some threads with Lorwyn, but contorts them: Lorwyn block had few multicolor cards whereas Shadowmoor is filled with hybrid and multicolor; Lorwyn focuses on +1/+1 counters, Shadowmoor utilizes -1/-1 counters; and color alignment of some tribes change up. Luckily, Shadowmoor is a good financial set. If you want to jump past the introduction, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here. 

Introduction to the Article Series:

To jump to the set background, click here. To jump to the fiscal analysis, click here.

Over the course of this year, Wizards will run flashback drafts that are from the Modern sets. One week for each format. The flashbacks will stop when there is a prerelease or release going on. More info here.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

Format Dates
Triple Shadowmoor 6/15-6/22
Shadowmoor, Shadowmoor, Eventide 6/22-6/29
Triple Shards of Alara 6/29-7/6
Shards of Alara, Shards of Alara, Conflux 7/6-7/13
Shards of Alara, Conflux, Alara Reborn 7/13-7/20
Magic 2010 7/20-7/27
Break for Eldritch Moon 7/27-8/17

Wizards has updated the schedule, so these are confirmed dates (they've even included dates beyond what I have here).

First, I will do a fiscal analysis. While a lot of players will play just for the fun of it, knowing what cards are worth something is a good plan. Since none of these formats are competitively valued anymore, there really is no reason to pass on a $30 card. Even if it is terrible and useless in limited. Further, knowing what common and uncommons are worth the effort to sell could be useful.

However, just a rote listing of pricing is only so helpful. A lot of the cards, particularly core sets and the older sets, just don't have the supply to adequately meet demand. That means some of the cards might tank quickly when there is a sudden surge of supply. Some of these sets have probably never had flashbacks, or it has been many years. That means the market reaction might be extreme or subtle. It is also unknown how many cards will enter the system—if the drafts are popular, the effect is greater.

To give the most useful information, I am going to track the value of the sets already given a flashback as well as the time just prior to the flashback. Hopefully this will give some idea of the fiscal value of the flashback draft. Of course, it is still going to be a lottery most of the time.

Second, I will give some very brief drafting advice and provide links to other articles from those better experienced. 

With that, let's get started:

Shadowmoor History and Background:

Shadowmoor is basically Wizards' crack at creating the typical dark mirror universe trope. Lorywn is the pretty, normal world. Shadowmoor is the twisted, dark version of the idealistic world. So, we go from +1/+1 counters being thrown around in Lorwyn to -1/-1 counters used as weapons to attack enemies. However, Shadowmoor is Lorwyn, in a sense. A cataclysmic event transformed Lorwyn, making it a world of terror and death. 

cinderbonesmass calcifycorruptburn trail

One consequence of the change is that Wizards color shifted many of tribes. Flamekins gained a color, going from mono-red to Rakdos. Elves switched from Golgari to Selsnya. The list goes on. Treefolk even lost a color, dropping white. 

cultbrand cinderraven's run dragoonboartusk liegecrabapple cohort

Shadowmoor brings new mechanics, a few of which are unlikely to return. At the forefront is the untap symbol. It saved little room on the card, and the very similar appearance to the tap symbol meant that players were confused more than helped by the new symbol. Mark Rosewater has listed Persist as a 6 on the storm scale, making not likely, but not impossible to return. Wither got a 4, and Rosewater thinks it'll come back someday. Conspire doesn't have a storm scale that I could find.

silkbind faeriekitchen finkskulrath knightghastly discovery

Shadowmoor also introduced another type of dual land: the Filter Lands. While nowhere near the power of fetch or shock lands, these lands have their uses, being the only lands able to turn one mana of one color into two of a different color. Shadowmoor also brought in the idea of a "mono-colored" hybrid--a card where you could pay 2 colorless in place of one colored mana. Shadowmoor also brought in some lands that have the basic type while having utility. This allows for some fetching of these, giving extra utility at minimal cost.

mystic gatereaper kingflame javelinmadblind mountain

MTGO nearly dies! Before Shadowmoor hit, MTGO went through one of its roughest patches. The servers were offline completely for a week, and connections difficulties ravaged the community. Shadowmoor releases were spotty, and it was luck to finish tournaments without bugs. Add to that, redemptions started it's nearly yearlong vacation: the MTGO economy tanked. Active players were terribly low, cards values plummeted, and faith in the system waned. Leagues became a low, low, low, low priority, and the vague promises started. Very likely this was the darkest time for MTGO. This was the future, proclaimed by Wizards:

Fiscal Value of the Flashback

Prices for the individual cards are from MTGOTraders sell price on Tuesday the 14th. Set trends are from MTG goldfish. 


Top 10 Rares
Name Price
Fulminator Mage $12.62
Prismatic Omen $11.48
Fracturing Gust $9.32
Greater Auramancy $8.66
Reflecting Pool $7.07
Runed Halo $5.82
Mystic Gate $3.55
Wheel of Sun and Moon $3.54
Vexing Shusher $3.51
Fire-Lit Thicket $3.33
Top Uncommons
Kitchen Finks $4.21
Cursecatcher $1.51
Guttural Response $1.39
Spectral Procession $0.55
Firespout $0.37
Worthwhile Commons
Manamorphose $1.24
Gleeful Sabotage $1.08

This will be a good flashback. Not only are the rares covering a reasonable spread, but there are several uncommons and commons that are worth picking up for value, and several of them are very good in limited. Several of those commons and uncommons also are very likely to hold their value. Kitchen Finks and (Manamorphse:shm), for instance, have long seen play and reprints, yet are still valuable. They are solid, playable cards. 


This chart shows the inflection point of the rares--here, between the 17th and 18th rares. That means that 17 rares in the set are priced higher than the average rare ($1.27). This set is much closer to Lorwyn, no particularly huge lottery rares and a decent spread. 

A lottery rate of 0% will mean the set is balanced, and 100% will mean a single card accounting for ~70% of the rares total value (70% is an approximation of the percentage of drafts that will not have the top value rare).

Shadowmoor's Lottery Rate: 75%

Shadowmoor actually beats Lorwyn for the best lottery rate, just barely. This is largely because of the length of the spread, taking until nearly the 20th rare to drop under a buck. Good chances to draw decent value fairly frequently with Shadowmoor. That doesn't even account for the quite nice uncommon and common options for recovering money.

Set Trend Pack Value Average Draft Value
The set is more traditional, having climbed about 20% since the flashback announcement. $2.01 With Commons $6.02
$1.61 Without Commons $4.82
N/A Without lottery rares N/A

Shadowmoor is a really strong fiscal set, with a good chance at decent values. Kitchen Finks in particular is something that gives a good long term value, as it has been holding its value for a long time and has seen a handful of reprints. 

Flashback Trends:

  Before Price After Price Percent Change Change Since Last Article
Eighth Edition $101.20 $106.54 5.3% 3.3%
Blood Moon $35.00 $32.34 -7.6% 9.8%
Mirrodin $94.90 $74.70 -21.3% 0.9%
Oblivion Stone $35.00 $15.54 -55.6% 4.6%
Darksteel $68.60 $60.40 -12.0% 2.5%
Aether Vial $5.60 $6.72 20.0% 2.3%
Fifth Dawn $106.00 $106.34 0.3% 3.4%
Serum Visions $2.80 $2.28 -18.6% -13.0%
Champions $75.50 $57.75 -23.5% 4.0%
Sensei's Divining Top $3.50 $2.99 -14.6% 30.6%
Betrayers $63.20 $44.68 -29.3% -1.5%
Goryo's Vengeance $28.86 $15.39 -46.7% 6.7%
Saviors $61.10 $66.18 8.3% 2.4%
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds $15.50 $10.06 -35.1% 2.0%
Ninth Edition $102.40 $83.94 -18.0% 9.5%
Phyrexian Arena $5.20 $4.62 -11.2% 3.1%
Ravnica $78.20 $63.82 -18.4% -2.3%
Dark Confidant $12.59 $10.91 -13.3% 2.4%
Guildpact $41.60 $32.50 -21.9% -5.9%
Orzhov Pontiff $8.40 $3.36 -60.0% -29.0%
Dissension $74.50 $84.00 12.8% 0.9%
Infernal Tutor $36.66 $51.37 40.1% -2.2%
Coldsnap $74.70 $59.93 -19.8% 4.0%
Dark Depths $25.09 $20.15 -19.7% 3.8%
Time Spiral $44.90 $49.48 10.2% 1.5%
Ancestral Vision $21.01 $26.46 25.9% 0.2%
Planar Chaos $26.20 $23.61 -9.9% 1.7%
Damnation $14.32 $11.00 -23.2% 0.2%
Future Sight $203.60 $180.27 -11.5% 0.4%
Grove of the Burnwillows $39.02 $33.27 -14.7% -7.0%
Tenth Edition $104.40 $82.05 -21.4% 3.4%
Crucible of Worlds $25.77 $21.80 -15.4% 5.6%
Lorwyn $78.70 $48.78 -38.0% -11.4%
Thoughtseize $6.45 $5.66 -12.2% -6.6%

Again, we're seeing a slow climb. I think the most interesting again is Serum Visions. The week to week seems quite random and it hasn't yet returned to value consistently. However, the day to day is even more volatile, but it has returned to value sometimes. I think that just establishes that Visions is mostly a victim of lots of people buying in for profit earlier and now selling whenever it picks up. So, if you are one of those people waiting to sell, either keep a vigilant watch or be prepared to wait for a while.


Don't forget to look at articles here on PureMTGO. Here is a search link for Shadowmoor articles. Again, we have a number of older articles, feel free to poke around. Old articles on the draft format: 

  • Here's an article from SCG by Nick Eisel
  • Here's an article from the mothership, by Steve Sadin

Shadowmoor requires a good determination of colors, because the very high amount of hybrid can lead to fights in the pod over certain cards.

As always, I appreciate any comments! 


xger21 on MTGO.