Shadowmoor mechanical previews

More Shadowmoor previews have popped up this week, both on the official site and in various magazines. If you’re not keeping up with every possible preview, they’re all eventually collected here. This week’s previews demonstrate some of the interesting mechanics showing up in Shadowmoor. Here they are:
Persist is basically a “hard to kill” mechanic, intermediate between normal creatures and, say, the annoying unkillability of everyone’s favorite artifact cockroach, Epochrasite. We’ll have to see if there are any really large, difficult, or annoying creatures in Shadowmoor with Persist. Any comes into play ability would be particularly synergistic with Persist, making it extra painful to try and rid the world of the creature (or, at the very least, enhancing the value of RFG effects).
-1/-1 counters are all over this set. It’ll be interesting to see if this is a cool idea, or if it will crush tempo all over the place as armies of creatures are attritioned into nothingness each turn. Certainly, it reduces the value of all your X/1 utility creatures (although as SSO has pointed out, a lot of utility creatures are X/2s).
The untap symbol appears to be the “Q” that Mark Rosewater was hinting at earlier. I’ll watch this with interest, as having an untap symbol on anything feels like an ingredient for combo — which, of course, is why all the untap abilities probably include costs, such as the single blue mana for Leech Bonder’s ability.
Godhead of Awe doesn’t highlight any new mechanics, but it’s another part of the cycle featuring the Demigod of Revenge. In addition to having creepy art, the Godhead plays well with the -1/-1 counter theme of the set, as it instantly makes every other creature on the board an easy target for counter-based assassination. Godhead into Pyroclasm seems reasonable, though — assuming W/R decks become popular again.
Those are the highlights for now. I recommend checking in with Rei Nakazawa’s latest feature article on the story behind Shadowmoor, including an update on how the Aurora twists all the races of Shadowmoor (except, notably, the Faeries…).