Set Name: Shadows over Innistrad Block: Set 1 of 2 in the Shadows over Innistrad block Number of Cards: 297 Release Date: April 8, 2016 Languages: English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Set Information


Innistrad had historically been stabilized by Sorin's creation of Archangel Avacyn, who was meant to keep the plane in a delicate balance by protecting the Humans from extinction. This balance has been put in jeopardy after Avacyn became inflicted with madness and a growing disgust for Humans. The Zendikar storyline continues in Shadows over Innistrad, as the vampire Sorin is sent by Spirit Dragon Ugin to look for Nahiri. These three planeswalkers built the original Hedron network to trap the overwhelming Eldrazi in Zendikar thousands of years ago. By now Sorin and Nahiri are estranged, and it looks like Nahiri might even have fallen under the influence of Emrakul, the last remaining Eldrazi titan. Emrakul specializes in twisting all living beings, and her arrival on Innistrad would explain the madness and delirium various other inhabitants of Innistrad have recently been struck with. The name of the next set in the block and a series of clues hidden on various cards in SOI also hint towards Emrakul...


Double-faced cards

Innistrad is a dangerous place, which puts a lot of evolutionary pressure on its inhabitants. Unsurprisingly, the remaining creatures of this plane have developed a lot strange abilities to have an edge in their daily struggle for survival. Between Humans turning into Werewolves, Vampires transforming into Insidious Mist, and Frozen Krakens awakening from icy hibernation, there are a lot of transformational processes happening. Once again we will see these processes visualized by double-faced cards. These cards don't have a traditional Magic card back, instead they have a front face and a back face, and a card specific rule how you can transform the card, which means turning it into whatever is on the other side of the card. You may be used to Double-faced cards by now thanks to the flip-walkers from Magic Origins, but there are some minor rules changes to remember. The converted mana cost of a double-faced card is always the mana cost of the front face now, which makes more sense than becoming a 0-drop for technical reasons. If a double-faced card has an ability that transforms it, that permanent transforms only if it hasn't yet since that ability was put on the stack. Imagine you want to transform your card, but your opponent responds with a conditional removal that would not kill your creature once transformed. The new rule allows you to respond to your opponents removal with another transformation attempt, without causing the first attempt that is still on the stack to transform your creature back to the front side again when it will finally resolve.

Checklist cards

Double-faced cards break the rule that your cards have to be undistinguishable on the back while in your hand or deck. This is not a problem with opaque sleeves, which are the standard for Constructed tournament play, but in Limited events players sometimes don't use sleeves. Checklist cards are provided in Booster packs to be used as placeholders for double-faced cards until they enter play.


If you thought Innistrad was wild the last time, you should better prepare for a whole new level of madness now. Madness is an old mechanic you might remember dominating the Odyssey block, allowing you play cards with the Madness ability although you were supposed to discard them from your hand! This weakens opposing discard effects, and also allows you to pay for your own effects requiring a discard without actually losing a card in the process. There is one minor rules change for veterans to remember though. If you discard a card with madness, you exile it instead of putting it into your graveyard, creating a trigger that will allow you to cast the spell from exile for its madness cost. If you don't cast the spell this way, it will be put into your graveyard.


This creature can't be blocked by creatures with greater power. While most of the creatures on Innistrad are strong and durable, there are other ways to be successful in this dangerous world filled with maddened monsters. Sometimes it is better to just sneak past the more unpleasant residents of Innistrad, and the Skulk keyword can help your creatures to do just that.


Delirium is another take on the transformational theme. This time you do not physically flip over the card, but your cards get better when you obtain the threshold of having at least four different card types in your graveyard. Once you have reached the magnificent state of Delirium, everything appears to be possible.

In Standard the seven different card types that could show up in your graveyard are creature, planeswalker, sorcery, instant, artifact, enchantment, land. In older formats there is also a few cards with the type tribal - a discontinued card type. The important part here is that you only get to count card types in your own graveyard, and that the number of cards in your yard doesn't matter, as long as you can count at least four or more card types.

Investigate and Clues

Since our last visit to Innistrad, various strange things have happened. There seem to be great powers at work distorting not only the physical world, but also the minds of Innistrad's residents. Even the Archangel Avacyn herself, who was keeping the plane in a balance, has descended into madness. Who is behind all these changes on Innistrad? We probably won't know for sure before Eldritch Moon, the second set of the Shadows over Innistrad block will be released, but to start solving these mysteries, you'll need to investigate and follow the clues. Which brings us to our last new mechanic - Investigate. Some SOI cards tell you to investigate, which means Put a colourless Clue artifact token onto the battlefield. Such a Clue always has the text 2, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card..

Comments (12)

ICollect(09.02.2016 13:17)

Yes, DFC cards are confirmed, first leaks contain Duskwatch Recruiter // Krallenhorde Howler (1G | Creature - Human Warrior Werewolf | 2/2 | 2G: Look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal a creature card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Duskwatch Recruiter. // Creature spells you cast cost 1 Mana less to cast. At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast two or more spells last turn, transform Krallenhorde Howler.)

gavken(04.02.2016 23:08)

Shadows over Innistrad will almost certainly have DFCs returning. The number of cards in the set is 23 cards above the set size for a large set, which is around the same number of DFCs that were in the original set. While it is not certain, there is a strong likelihood that DFCs will be back, but no doubt there will be a twist this time with the way that they transform. Some graveyard interaction is likely in this horror themed set. The promo in the Dual decks is a demon that cares about different types of cards in the graveyard. Could this be the Tarmogoyf mechanic being spread over more cards?

DrumBum(04.02.2016 21:13)

I'm very excited about this set! Innistrad was one of the best sets I've played, both in the cards and in the flavour. It had one of the best limited-experiences, eternal staples like Snapcaster and Liliana of the Veil, and all this very theme-driven with the horror/gothic style. I am curious whether a new Emrakul will be released, I know there are some rumours flying around, but to be honest, I really can't see a giant spaghetti monster making an appearance between a bunch of vampires and zombies.
All in all, very excited and looking forward!

Amarynn(04.02.2016 21:00)

Innistrad, probably one of the most loved planes of the multiverse by the magicians we are. When we left angels and demons were fighting following the release of Avacyn and Griselbrand on a world torn by chaos due to the absence of Sorin's creation. The danger lurking over Innistrad is for the moment unknown but already, and despite the little information that has leaked rumors fuse. Is it Emrakul, the Eldrazi titan which we do not know the current location? Or Nicol Bolas, the dragon whose machiavellian and sordid plans could involve the Chain's Veil or Liliana.

Good things are coming, hopes are at an all time high concerning storyline, gameplay or power level.
Innistrad the first is mostly known for being one of the best set for limited, but we have to remember that it also shaped "Modern" with cards like Snapcaster mage, Griselbrand and Liliana of the Veil which define this format.
What I personally expected from Shadows over Innistrad, as a casual player, is beautiful angels and exceptionnal artwork.

If you're a Magic the Assembly player, veteran or young magician, there's something for you hidding in the darkness of Innistrad.

monkofwar(04.02.2016 20:44)

Even though both the Tarkir block and Origins had some interactions with the graveyard (Delve, Spell Mastery, a whole deck based on returning stuff from your graveyard to the battlefield), given the theme of the expansion and what the original Innistrad taught us, I think it's pretty safe to assume we can expect some graveyard/dying-related mechanics - I'm almost certain Undying was received well enough to make a return. One of the currently available cards I view as clearly interloping with a future set (you always get these!) is Kalitas - I don't believe he's here just to deal with aggro/Rally the Ancestors decks. His interaction with zombies/vampires will probably suit SOI strategies even more, as these creature types are basically guaranteed to return. Speaking of creature types, I think werewolves will be back as well - MaRo admitted lack of legendary WW was a mistake and people loved these flipping guys. Hell, even in my case my first won FNM was with werewolves (God, why did I get rid of that Cavern of Souls' playset back then?). I guess they might end up in different colors this time, though, as most have been turned by Avacyn into happy little wolfir. Now, relating the above to what MCM is about, I'd suggest grabbing Kalitas when his price drops in a month, and sticking to cards like ORI Liliana (I don't believe in reprinting of the Veil one, unless she lands in that rumored Innistrad Echoes expedition-like thing), Den Protectors and Deathmist Raptors (you need some Deathtouch to get rid of the oversized Eldrazi, you know). Also, as soon as prices fall due to prevalence of older, tested decks, grabbing the OGW Eldrazi cards might be wise, simply because they'll be the go-to cards as soon rotation hits in April. Their ability to exile stuff will probably help mess up any graveyard-oriented strategies that might emerge come SOI. Whoa, can't wait to see these games - angels and demons flying towards alien-like beings that devour entire worlds.

Mercurio-the-Traveler(04.02.2016 20:43)

In Shadows Over Innistrad expansion we will see a new expansion around the gothic horror, sure we will see werewolves, vampires, zombies and ghosts. And a lot of human white creatures. The return of old mechanical like “transform”, with several double-sided cards. This makes me think that we will get few overpower creatures like the bestseller "Delver of Secrets", but probably not a reprint of them. My “safe” bet is a new version of Olivia Voldaren and a new Liliana. I think this is for sure.

Mystikal(04.02.2016 20:28)

I think that this set might be intresting simply by the rumor that cascade might be one of the set mechanics. Also i would love to see snapcaster mage reprinted. It would help me a lot to get them for a good price so i can finish my modern decks. Overall i want to see vampires again... I miss them...

Flayed1(04.02.2016 20:28)

There's been a rumor about "Echoes of innistrad", that would be like the expeditions in Zendikar, but with cards like Liliana of the veil, Garruk relentless, restoration angel and other modern staples (Yes, Snapcaster mage as well). There's no verified info about this tho.

Shadows over innistrad may bring us back double sided cards, as the mechanic has been a total success with the new creaturewalkers, and the morph mechanic from khans of tarkir so it would be for sure a great edition. And don't forget that our most beloved walker comes back! Nicol Bolas, the shadow over innistrad, may he be playable!

House-of-Cards-OE(04.02.2016 20:27)

I believe that this block will also include expeditions. My prediction is based on the fact that every set during the last years had something like that. I.e. dragon maze (shocklands), Fate reforged (fetch lands), zendikar block ( treasures then and expeditions now). Moreover the enemy tango lands haven't been printed on Battle for Zendikar and they are also available in expedition form. My point is that Hasbro likes to design cards in cycles. The tango lands cycle is still open and Innistrad is a perfect way to conclude it. just take into consideration that the old Innistrad had enemy check lands so it is highly possible to see the enemy tango lands now. Finally if expedition will be in Innistrad boosters i bet in 5 enemy tango-lands, 10 check-lands, and some value lands like cavern of souls .

Salamondo(04.02.2016 20:25)

Let's expect the graveyard shenanigans to be back, i'd love to see new a whole new set but it will not bother me to see reprints for snapcaster mage and liliana of the veil.
Storyline wise, if i'd take Battle for Zendikar block as an example this first set will give the problem that is casting shadows over Innistrad (Roll credits) and the second set will give the solutions. As for my personal opinion i'd prefer to see a build up of the problem in like 3 sets and a problem solving one.

Runeclawseller(04.02.2016 20:24)

If the rumors about "Echoes of Innistrad" (expeditions-like cards of powerohouses of old Innistrad block, like Liliana, GoST and Snapcaster) will turn out to be true, it will become evident that what WotC wants most from players are their money. Of course, WotC is a business company, but players will be very upset if their business plan will become so obvious.

Rheibe(04.02.2016 20:19)

From the point of Standard format I can recommend keeping your Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet as he must have even more synergies with the upcoming cards. Innistrad in known for its vampires and ghouls. Other than that many people who have played for quite a long time find this plane as the most appealing to them. Dark and gloomy surroundings, scary looking creatures, all of this will definitely provide an unforgettable limited experience.