Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers – Real or Fake?
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They haven’t been confirmed yet (although they are now on Mythicspoiler and Manaleak’s Shadow Over Innistrad spoilers page), so they could be fake – though recent history says they’re probably real.
Let’s start with what we know about Shadows over Innistrad:
Set Name Shadows over Innistrad
Block Set 1 of 2 in the Shadows over Innistrad block
Number of Cards 297Prerelease Events April 2-3, 2016Release Date April 8, 2016Launch Weekend April 8–10, 2016Game Day April 30–May 1, 2016Magic Online Prerelease Events April 15-18, 2016Magic Online Release Date April 18, 2016Magic Online Release Events April 18-May 4, 2016Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad April 22-24, 2016Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad Location Madrid, Spain
Now let’s take a look at the cards that were spoiled…
The Leaked Spoilers
This morning, a user on marktplaats.nl, a Dutch website similar to eBay, posted images of cards printed in English that appeared to be part of the upcoming Shadows over Innistrad set. Allegedly the user was offering to sell a booster pack from Shadows over Innistrad.
A little later, photos were shared on imgur, in two different places, with two screenshots from the Dutch website shared on the first imgur post. Based on the imgur photos, it appears that most of a booster pack was opened and leaked online, but the first picture shared looks like a collection of uncommons and rares.
What appears to have happened, according to this Reddit post, is an entire pack of Shadows over Innistrad was posted on marktplaats.nl, a website similar to eBay for the Netherlands. The person who made the Reddit post put images of the cards, and two screen captures of the marktplaats posting on imgur.
A few hours later, a post went up on Reddit by a user claiming to have bought the pack from the seller. This user also posted on Reddit with watermarked photos of each card. The alleged buyer also claims:
Btw it turn out the dutch guy got it from a friend in Spain who work for Wizards of the Coast in the factory.
The leaked images can be found below (from both websites), arranged as you might see them in a booster pack:
It’s worth noting that while some photos in the “buyer’s” imgur post do not appear on the first imgur post, the cards that also appear in the original post are merely watermarked and reposted on the buyer’s post. For example:
The keywords and abilities that we find in the leaked photos are:
- Investigate. (Put a colorless Clue artifact token onto the battlefield with “, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.”)
- Skulk (This creature can’t be blocked by creatures of greater power.)
- Delirium – An effect that requires four or more card types among cards in your graveyard.
- Madness – A reprint of [card]Fiery Temper[/card] brings back the Madness ability.
- Werewolves – [card]Duskwatch Recruiter[/card] shows us that werewolves and flipped cards are back.
Are They Real?
Many are skeptical about whether the leaked spoilers are genuine. The “Investigate” keyword, for example, might seem clunky. Delirium seems to fit with previous mechanics, and the flavor fits Innistrad. It makes perfect sense that Madness and werewolves would be brought back with the new Innistrad block.
It’s worth noting that many were also skeptical of the [card]Kozilek, the Great Distortion[/card] leak, which (obviously) turned out to be real. In a community constantly plagued with leaks and fake spoilers, it’s only natural to be skeptical.
The question we should ask about these leaks is, “Why now?”
[card]Kozilek, the Great Distortion[/card] and land cards were spoiled on November 17, 2015. The release date for Oath of the Gatewatch was January 22, 2016, so the leak occurred just over two months before the set was released.
[card]Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim[/card] was leaked on December 1. [card]Mina and Denn, Wildborn[/card] was leaked five days later.
Finally, during the Magic World Cup the following week, Wizards of the Coast revealed the alternate artwork for [card]Wastes[/card] and the Surge mechanic on [card]Crush of Tentacles[/card].
Two days later on December 14, a slew of cards from Oath of the Gatewatch (and one from Shadows over Innistrad) were leaked. Mythics, Expeditions, and a few other lands, were all spoiled at once.
When does Wizards Want to Start Spoiler Season?
The photo album on the Magic: The Gathering Facebook page previewing new Oath of the Gatewatch cards was created on December 29. Wizards of the Coast wanted roughly a month to preview upcoming cards and generate hype.
With the upcoming Shadows over Innistrad set’s release date set at April 8, that means we can expect official spoilers in March. The Kozilek/Wastes spoiler was a month ahead of schedule. The Shadows over Innistrad card spoiled alongside Oath of the Gatewatch expeditions was just under three months ahead of schedule.
The most recent leak, then, is about a month ahead of schedule. But are they legit? All signs point to yes. They’re on Mythicspoiler, and they’re on Mtgsalvation.
Ultimately, do leaks hurt the hype of an upcoming set? It’s hard to know for certain. Wizards is very protective of the timing for spoiler season. Most of us would much rather hear about these awesome cards straight from Wizards’ mouth rather than give credence to the leakers.
As for the hype, the leaks from Oath of the Gatewatch did nothing to reduce the hype for the set. It was a great set, and we’re already seeing at the Pro Tour that entire decks are being built around cards that were printed just a few weeks ago. The expeditions generated hype all on their own, too.
For now, let’s look over the spoilers and look forward to what else Wizards has planned for us. What kinds of cards will we see in the near future with Investigate on them? How much fun will “Clue” artifacts be in limited, as well as certain constructed decks? Will Skulk be useful? How cool will Delirium be? And don’t forget the return of Werewolves! Who else is excited for that?
UPDATE: More Shadows over Innistrad Leaks!
It looks like someone just found another bunch of Shadows over Innistrad cards. Could this be from the same guy that leaked the original pack above? It would be reasonable to assume that he took more than 1 Shadows over Innistrad booster pack? If so then how many packs do they have? and what could the implications be?
Here are the cards below…
Community Question: Do spoiler leaks hurt the hype of an upcoming Magic: The Gathering set?
Thanks for reading,