The spoiler season for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt begins this Thursday and that means it’s time for another Mark Rosewater teaser blog.
Rosewater is a senior game designer at Wizards of the Coast and releases a blog before official previews start for every set. These blogs provide a glimpse into what fans can expect from the set and are perfect for facilitating discussion in the days leading up to spoiler season. Some teasers hint toward returning mechanics, while others showcase interesting rules text found on cards in the set.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms teasers hinted at many of the Creatures from Dungeons & Dragons that would be making an appearance. In contrast, the Midnight Hunt teasers focus on returning mechanics and are, in general, more nebulous than some of the obvious hints from Forgotten Realms.
Here are some of Rosewater’s teasers and what they mean.
“Three popular mechanics previously seen on Innistrad return.”
This teaser hinges on the word “popular.” The three mechanics that come to mind from Innistrad are Flashback, Transform, and Morbid. These keywords were essential during their time in Standard and are appropriate for the power-level of the current, powered-down Standard that Wizards is going for in a post-Eldraine format.
Transform makes sense because of how many double-faced cards in Midnight Hunt thanks to Werewolves. Double-faced cards are also a theme for the past year of Standard.
Flashback is a mechanic that has stood the test of time. There are cards with the keyword that are played in every eternal format in Magic. The teaser “Each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard has” could mean the return of Past In Flames. If Wizards doesn’t reprint Past In Flames, Midnight Hunt will probably have a Creature with the same ability. This is in line with some of the callbacks like Champion of the Perished.
Morbid is more of a long shot. Wizards made it clear that Zombies are a key Creature type in Midnight Hunt. This set could expand the Sacrifice decks that lose many of its staple cards with rotation. The return of Morbid would be an immediate boost to the archetype.
“A popular Innistrad card gets reprinted”
Snapcaster Mage is simply too powerful for Standard and would warp the format around it. When looking at the post-rotation Standard format, a necessary card would be Ghost Quarter. The utility land is one of the primary ways to deal with the plethora of Creature lands in the format thanks to Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Since Field of Ruin is rotating, Ghost Quarter is ready to enter the format and fill a necessary role.
“A popular tournament card in multiple formats gets reprinted with its fifth piece of art.”
This is probably Ancient Grudge. Many of the other options, like Thoughtseize, will never be printed in a Standard-legal set again due to power-level concerns. Ancient Grudge is an excellent sideboard spell for competitive Magic. This Instant with Flashback would give Standard a cheap, effective way to deal with troublesome Artifact.
“a curse that transforms into a creature”
Accursed Witch is a Creature from Shadows Over Innistrad that transforms into an Enchantment Curse. In line with Triskaidekaphile, this teaser will be a callback to Accursed Witch. Instead of coming in as a Creature, this new card will enter as a Curse and transform into a Creature if a condition is met.
The big question is whether or not the Creature comes in on your side of the battlefield or your opponents. This could be similar to the tokens that Relic Robber produces that actively hurt your opponent.
Legendary Creature – Ooze
Wizards really want Ooze tribal to happen. There’s a good chance that Ooze tribal will be playable in Standard with the release of Midnight Hunt. A powerful legendary Ooze would give the deck a good top-end threat against the Izzet Dragons of the world.
There will be three Ooze Creatures that will make the transition to post-rotation Standard. Ochre Jelly is a strong, hard-to-remove threat from Forgotten Realms. Oran-Rief Ooze is a glue card for a +1/+1 deck. Gelatinous Cube is a decent four-mana removal spell that can punish graveyard strategies with its exile ability.