Its nearly that time of year again. When we of the Magic community gather together our Standard brews and strip them apart, as a new season of construction mayhem comes around with all its new nuances to work out. Yes, rotation is fast approaching and while we are losing some pretty powerful cards from the format, we are getting two new Standard sets that are based in one of Magic’s most popular setting. That’s right, we are heading back to Innistrad. And I for one am very excited.
Now if you know me personally, you will know I am a pretty big horror fan. Whatever the medium might be, there is nothing I like more than a creepy tale of ghosts and ghouls to make my blood turn cold with dread. So, as you can guess I’m rather over joyed to be going back to Innistrad with not just one, but two Standard sets this fall. Now while we are still a bit away from the actually release, the fine folks at Wizards of the Coast have seen fit to give us a bit of a sneak peek at the first of this two set, Midnight Hunt. So let’s not waste any time, and get right to the good stuff.
Flashback is, well… back.
Kicking things off strong, we have one of the most popular mechanics ever coming back to Standard in the form of Flashback, as shown on Join the Dance. Been in two colours, it is slightly trickier to run than other popular Flashback cards like Lingering Souls. But it is still a decent amount of value for what it can do. Additionally, the two colours that it is in (White and Green) are predominantly associated with the humans of Innistrad, so perhaps this is foreshadowing a W/G human/token strategy for limited. Either way, it’s nice to see the mechanic return, and I look forward to seeing the rest of the Flashback cards in the set.
13 is the Magic Number.
Oh Wizards. You and your alternative win conditions. The gift to all the janky brewers (yours truly included) it is always fun to see these types of cards show up and inspire the craziest of deck builds. But I have to say, Triskaidekaphile might actually be somewhat viable. A 1/3 for two mana has long since been the blocker of choice for the control player. However, this once comes with not only the win con attached, but with means to achieve it too.
After all, Blue Control decks love to draw cards. So, what’s better than a decent blocker that rewards you for doing just that? Whether it will be a successful strategy in any constructed format is up for debate, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fair few players trying to make it work. Oh, and speaking of card draw, Consider promises to be a fun include for any graveyard centric decks that are going to miss running four copies of Opt. Better start looking for some more graveyard hate I guess.
Back in Black.
Next up we have not one, but two good Black cards that will probably end up shaping the format moving forward. First up we have a brilliant reference to original Innistrad with the Champion of the Perished, the zombified twin to Champion of the Parish. If this is any indication, then it seems that zombies will be a tribe to watch out for in the future Standard season, especially considering that Kalaheim had a number of decent undead critters to play with.
But the biggest surprise from the preview was the reveal of the upgraded Doom Blade, Infernal Grasp. Two mana to kill any viable creature at instant speed is fantastic, even if it does come at the cost of two life. With Black and control decks losing a decent number of premium removal spells at rotation, I expect that Infernal Grasp will become the must have replacement in the short term. Expect to lose a lot of valuable creatures to this pesky card in the near future.
You’re going to get Burnt.
Speaking of Standard playable removal, Red players got a real treat with our next card, Play with Fire. With Shock rotating out, aggressive players were looking for something to fill that one mana direct damage slot. Sure, Frost Bite is good, but it can’t target players which makes it suboptimal for aggro builds. Play with Fire on the other hand is great for doming your opponent, and also helps keep your top decks full of gas thanks to that all important scry. Expect to see this in my new and improve Goblin deck sometime soon.
If you go down to the Woods Today.
We also got a look at one of the new planeswalkers from Midnight Hunt, as Wrenn makes their debut appearance in a Standard legal set. Now sporting a mono green aesthetic, this lands matter walker is set to be a decent payoff if a ramp deck becomes somewhat viable. Sure, it is sad the Six is gone, but Seven is a fun replacemen… wait a minute! 6+7=13!!! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
No magic set would be complete without some wonderful new basic lands, and Midnight Hunt does not disappoint. These wonderful and creepy black and white lands are absolutely beautiful, and are quite possibly my new favourite basics ever made. Suitable creepy, they perfectly capture the spooky aesthetic of Innistrad in a way that feels unique while not going over the top. 10/10. Now I just have to get enough to replace all the basic in my Commander decks! Trades anyone?
And there you have it, the first few previews for Midnight Hunt. What do you think of Wizards returning to Inistrad? Like me are you very excited for what is to come? Why not tell us your opinions in the comments below, and while you are there why not consider liking and sharing our articles to help grow our little community. If you want to engage with me directly you can find me over on Twitter @TenguPlaysGames. I can be often found there posting random memes and teasing new articles before I write them.
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