Last updated on November 21, 2022
Imprisoned in the Moon | Illustration by Ryan Alexander Lee
One of the most asked questions from MTG Arena players is, “When will more sets be available to play on Explorer?” There’s a bunch of MTG blocks that haven’t been released on the digital platform like Theros, Khans of Tarkir, and Shadows over Innistrad.
SOI was a great block with the Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon sets, and it had a lot of great cards and mechanics. Now it’s going to be remastered and released on MTG Arena. Based on what’s already been done with Amonkhet Remastered and Kaladesh Remastered we can take a few guesses at what’s going to be done with this remaster.
Shadows over Innistrad Remastered has been announced for mid-2023, and that’s all we know for now. Let’s have a look at that block to see what to expect for its Arena remaster!
Angel (Shadows over Innistrad) | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve
|Number of Cards||TBA|
Nevermore (Innistrad) | Illustration by Jason A. Engle
Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon follow the story of the Gatewatch post-Battle for Zendikar block, the formation of the Oath of the Gatewatch, and the battle against Kozilek and Ulamog. Weird things are happening in Innistrad and the Gatewatch must resort to seeking aid from Sorin Markov and Liliana Vess.
Nahiri has a vendetta against Sorin and makes her move to bring Emrakul, the Promised End to destroy the plane of Innistrad. Liliana joins the Gatewatch and they fight a horde of Eldrazi-like horrors and monsters thanks to Emrakul’s influence on the plane.
Sorin fights Nahiri. Emrakul is then Imprisoned on the Moon and the day is saved.
Transforming Double-Faced Cards
As an Innistrad-related block there’s bound to be transforming double-faced cards. After all Innistrad was the set that introduced the mechanic. TDFCs have two sides: one is normal and the other is “transformed.” Transform has a trigger to allow you to change between the two sides of a card.
In some cases you only transform once after reaching a threshold or paying some mana, like with Kessig Prowler or Archangel Avacyn. Other cards, like most of the werewolves, transform based on the number of spells cast in a turn (zero spells transform a werewolf into human and two spells transform a human into werewolf). In this case the transformation happens between turns.
Emerge is a mechanic that lets you sacrifice another creature when you cast a spell with it. If you do that you pay less mana to cast the spell equal to the sacrificed creature’s mana value. Good cards with emerge include Distended Mindbender and Elder Deep-Fiend.
Although those cards cost 7+ mana, they can be cast for cheaper than that by sacrificing a 3- or 4-drop.
Escalate is a mechanic on modal sorceries and instants that allows you to pay more than the mana cost to have more options. It’s similar to mechanics like entwine where you can choose one mode or both.
Investigate is a mechanic found on all sorts of cards. Whenever you investigate you create a Clue token. A Clue is an artifact that you can pay two to sacrifice and draw a card, also known as to “crack a Clue.” In other words, you can pay two mana later and draw a card when you investigate.
Tireless Tracker is a staple in various formats and lets you investigate whenever a land comes into play under your control. Tamiyo’s Journal and Confirm Suspicions are other fine examples of investigate cards.
Madness was brought back to this block for two reasons: flavor (the world’s going crazy thanks to Emrakul’s presence) and mechanical (the set has a heavy graveyard and discard component). While discarding a madness card you can cast it for its madness cost, which can reduce the cost of the spell and allow it to be cast with flash or at instant speed. Fiery Temper is a good madness spell, as is Murderous Compulsion.
A creature with skulk can’t be blocked by creatures of greater power. As a “more Limited than Constructed mechanic” and without a lot of powerful cards, I don’t think there will be that many skulk cards in this remaster. Startled Awake and Wharf Infiltrator are examples of this mechanic.
There are two main reasons for this set’s remaster. The first is to release Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon cards on MTG Arena and evolve the Explorer format further into Pioneer. Lots of staples from those sets are played in Pioneer and other formats, so those cards will almost surely be reprinted. The second is to add a Shadows over Innistrad block Draft experience, which will be close to the block’s Draft experience.
Several cards from outside the block also got reprints with the release of Amonkhet Remastered and Kaladesh Remastered. One speculation I see all over the web is that Snapcaster Mage could be printed in this set and that it’s going to be legal in Historic only because it’s not legal in Pioneer. It makes sense because it’s a cool card from Innistrad. Other iconic cards that could be in this set include Invisible Stalker, Geist of Saint Traft, and Heartless Summoning.
We can also speculate about the Limited archetypes from the set that could be available to be drafted:
- Azorius () spirits
- Dimir () zombies
- Rakdos () vampires
- Gruul () werewolves
- Selesnya () humans
- Golgari () delirium
- Simic () investigate/Clues
- Boros () go-wide aggro
- Orzhov () sacrifice/aristocrats
- Izzet () spells
There aren’t any official spoilers yet. Stay tuned!
The lists below are all cards that are staples from Constructed formats and could be played in the Explorer, Historic, and Pioneer formats from each set. These cards are very likely to make the cut in the remaster based on Constructed needs. There are other relevant cards from these sets that are already available on MTG Arena thanks to other releases like Jumpstart: Historic Horizons.
Shadows over Innistrad
- Archangel Avacyn / Avacyn the Purifier
- Arlinn Kord / Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon
- Anguished Unmaking
- Cryptolith Rite
- Nahiri, the Harbinger
- Open the Armory
- Pieces of the Puzzle
- Pore Over the Pages
- Prized Amalgam
- Relentless Dead
- Rise From the Tides
- Tamiyo’s Journal
- Thing in the Ice / Awoken Horror[/card
- [card]Traverse the Ulvenwald
- Westvale Abbey / Ormendahl, Profane Prince
- Bedlam Reveler
- Collective Brutality
- Collective Defiance
- Distended Mindbender
- Elder Deep-Fiend
- Emrakul, the Promised End
- Gisa and Geralf
- Gnarlwood Dryad
- Grim Flayer
- Imprisoned in the Moon
- Ishkanah, Grafwidow
- Liliana, the Last Hope
- Oath of Liliana
- Selfless Spirit
- Sigarda’s Aid
- Spell Queller
- Tamiyo, Field Researcher
I’m sure that the boosters from Shadows over Innistrad Remastered will be available on MTG Arena since it’s an exclusive for the platform and it won’t be released in physical boosters or be available on MTGO. You’ll be able to get them in the MTG Arena Store or Draft them.
Apothecary Geist (Shadows over Innistrad) | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel
I’m very excited for this release! It contains iconic cards for a lot of formats like Brawl (Gisa and Geralf Historic Brawl decks?), and cards for Constructed formats like Historic and Explorer which will enable new builds and strengthen already existing archetypes.
What do you think about this set? Do you agree with my speculations? Let me know in the comments below or in the Draftsim Discord. And if you’re an MTG Arena player like me you should definitely have Arena Tutor by your side.
Thanks for reading, stay safe folks. Until the next time!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: