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Affinity for Numbers: Shadows over Innistrad


Magic is a game of numbers: sixty cards, 20 life, draw two cards, take 7 damage, and add three counters. There are even more numbers surrounding the game—facts and figures, prices and trivia, they are everywhere. In Affinity for Numbers, I uncover and highlight some of the more interesting numbers in Magic. This week is all about the new, shiny, Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) expansion.

1 Frog Horror

Shadows over Innistrad brings the very first Frog Horror to Magic! We've had Frog Crocodiles, Frog Beasts, and Frog Mutants (thanks, Simic), but no Frog Horror until now. Welcome to the Multiverse, to The Gitrog Monster!


This is the cost to activate two abilities on Relentless Dead when it dies, returning it to your hand and another Zombie to the battlefield. This card sure seems to be a Constructed-playable goldmine with applications in Standard and Modern. Bonus points for the awesome art link to the past.


Wizards of the Coast is printing a 2-mana artifact-ramp spell, lovingly referred to as a mana rock, in SOI. Corrupted Grafstone is the first such rock at that cost in quite some time, setting aside Commander products. Sphere of the Suns was in Mirrodin Besieged, but it only started with three charges. You have to go back to Mind Stone from Tenth Edition to find the last true rock.

5 New Commanders

Shadows over Innistrad is giving the world's casual game tables some new commanders to play with:

  • Archangel Avacyn
  • Odric, Lunarch Marshal
  • Olivia, Mobilized for War
  • Sigarda, Heron's Grace
  • The Gitrog Monster

5 Dual Lands

A new block means a new cycle of dual lands—duals sell packs, after all, and they also tend to dictate what Standard will look like. The so-called hand lands are pretty good, but they are certainly not fetch lands. Four-colored decks are probably out with rotation.

6 Old-School Skulkers

There are six creatures in Magic that already have skulk, or at least a variation on it.

Amrou Kithkin
Daxos of Meletis
Goldmeadow Dodger

To this, SOI will add seven new creatures designed to showcase the new mechanic.

Skulk has great flavor and is very easy to understand; it would be a bit surprising if it doesn't find its way into evergreen-ability territory.

7 Abilities

Sage of Ancient Lore has three abilities. Werewolf of Ancient Hunger has four. That's seven abilities on one card, tied with Avacyn for the most in the set. Being double-faced cards certainly helps cram in the win!

13 Shared Abilities

Odric, Lunarch Marshal is like a kindergarten teacher: He's all about sharing.

"Jimmy, first strike isn't your toy, it belongs to the class."

"Sally, did you bring enough vigilance to share with the class?"

Odric's "classroom" has a whole bucket of fun toys to share with all the kids on the battlefield, thirteen different ones to be exact.

The most popular kid in class is clearly Akroma, Angel of Wrath.

Akroma, Angel of Wrath

15 Vampires

Tribes were a huge part of Innistrad, and they are again with Shadows over Innistrad. Vampires look to be one of the more Constructed-playable tribal options thanks to their alignment with black and red—and madness. A premier returning character from the world of Innistrad sure doesn't hurt . . . 


Thing in the Ice // Awoken Horror is the seventh-most-expensive card in Shadows over Innistrad. Only the four Planeswalkers, Archangel Avacyn, and Relentless Dead top it. It is the highest-priced rare and is pricier than the imminently playable Olivia, Mobilized for War. The flavor is admittedly awesome, but the hype-drive may be set to maximum for this one.

28 Discard Outlets

Fueling madness will be important in Limited. There are nine cards in SOI that trigger a discard: 3 mythics, 4 rares, 13 uncommon, and 8 common.

30 Mana and 5 Life

That's what it would cost for Westvale Abbey to transform into a 9/7 Demon with flying, lifelink, indestructible, and haste all by itself. Of course, one could aid this by adding additional sacrifices to the battlefield. This card seems a bit like SOIs version of Elbrus, the Binding Blade transforming into Withengar Unbound.

Those are all the numbers I have for you today. If you also have an affinity for numbers, and have one you think I should share, let me know on Twitter @MrVigabool.

Order Shadows over Innistrad at CoolStuffInc.com today!

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