Set Information

We're Headed Back to an Old Standby in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

A howl in the night is the clue to our return to a world of fright and terror! Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, released on September 24, 2021, marks the third visit to the plane dedicated to everything that's scary and horrific.

Last time we went there, through the diptych of Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon, the theme was the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft. In Midnight Hunt, we find the original Gothic flavor of werewolves and vampires. The former of them are the focus of this particular set, while the bloodsuckers are protagonists of the November follow-up Innistrad: Crimson Vow. The two sets are full-sized stand-alone products but also designed to be drafted together, which they do in the special form of Innistrad Double Feature, a composite booster pack that contains a selection of cards from both. To better emphasize the atmosphere, two different showcase treatments have been devised for Midnight Hunt to be found in Draft Boosters, Set Boosters and Collector Boosters. An "Equinox" frame with autumnal decorations is reserved to Werewolves and Warlocks, while a black and white "Eternal Night" treatment, inspired by classic monster movies, is given to basic lands (in two versions each) as well to legendaries that aren't Werewolves or Warlocks.

Night and Day, but Mostly Night

After all the madness and reality-bending brought by Emrakul in our previous visit to the plane, Midnight Hunt aims to reset the Innistrad narrative to a story about humanity fighting monsters. But there are consequences for having an Eldrazi Titan sealed inside the moon: the day/night balance has been altered, so the nights on Innistrad are getting longer and longer. With the Archangel Avacyn now dead and the Werewolves on the rampage, the citizens of Innistrad turned to ancient witchcraft rituals, reviving the forgotten Harvesttide Festival. This aspect represents the Humans in the struggle, with the Warlocks and their often-disturbing practices creating a homage to "folk horror" stories like The Wicker Man and Midsommar. The new ability word coven is the mechanical face of this faction, generating particular effects when a player controls three or more creatures with a different power value.

The Werewolves are the poster monster of Midnight Hunt, though, and they're present in the set in large numbers, starting with a new incarnation of the Werewolf planeswalker Arlinn and the new legendary Werewolf leader Tovolar. The lycanthropes are the main declination of the transforming double-faced cards, which make their triumphal return after a full year spent dealing with the modal double-faced variety. The old transformation triggers for the Werewolves remain the same (they first transform when a player casts no spells during their turn, then back when a player casts two spells or more), but is now codified with the daybound and nightbound keywords, as well as two token cards tracking the current state of Day or Night, which leads to different applications of the concept, both to Werewolf-related cards and otherwise.

Monster Mash

But Werewolves and their Wolf companions aren't the only non-Human threats in Midnight Hunt. All the monsters make a comeback and are associated with a new dedicated mechanic. The Spirits have disturb, which lets us cast them from the graveyard, but directly to their back face, creating a novel version of double-faced cards that are neither modal nor transform from the battlefield. The Zombies are identified with decayed, preventing them from block and forcing them to be sacrificed after a single attack; it's mostly used to allow mass production of tokens or powerful recursion effects.

The appetizer for the Vampires of Crimson Vow sees them using a non-keyworded mechanic that makes them better if they enter the battlefield after an opponent has lost life during the turn.

That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternally Be Revisited

Midnight Hunt incorporates rules and flavors of every Innistrad sets that came before it. The old Innistrad mechanic flashback is another comeback, and it now appears for the first time on multicolored cards, allowing them to also be cast from the graveyard, a zone that's always and inevitably very busy when Innistrad is involved. And this time there's the mystery of the upcoming Eternal Night to investigate, so the namesake keyword and its Clue tokens make another return, in this case from Shadows over Innistrad.

Finally, among the planeswalkers involved in the story we find the time mage Teferi, with a brand new incarnation, as well as the Dryad Wrenn, who has come to Innistrad to find a new symbiont treefolk to replace the dying Six, so the resulting collaborative organism is now called Wrenn and Seven.