New details have been revealed about Magic: The Gathering’s next card set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, including its rare dual lands and unique mechanics – as well the return of a recognizable ability for its werewolves, now formalized with new keywords and a shifting day-night mechanic.
Midnight Hunt revisits Magic’s gothic horror-themed plane of Innistrad during a time when the nights are growing unnaturally long and the local Harvesttide Festival is being threatened by werewolves. Werewolves have been an iconic part of Innistrad since its introduction in 2011, and the idea behind the transforming dual-faced cards that define them has been tweaked in small but significant ways here.
Flip through the gallery below to see brand new cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt:
Magic: The Gathering – Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Cards
Werewolves traditionally have a human “day” side that can be played normally and a werewolf “night” side that they need to transform into, but the the triggers to do so have now been made proper keywords: Daybound and Nightbound. These still behave the way previous werewolf cards generally have – Daybound triggers when a player casts no spells during their turn, flipping them to the night side, while Nightbound triggers when they cast two or more, flipping them back.
But now rather than simply transforming any relevant werewolf cards on the battlefield, this trigger flips an overarching day/night tracker to the appropriate side for all players. That means whether it’s day or night is always known and tracked globally, and can clearly flip back and forth during the course of a game. Werewolves will transform to their appropriate side to match the time of day, meaning if you play one while it’s already night you’ll get your werewolf right away instead of having to activate it first like Innistrad’s previous werewolves.
That’s a significant difference, adding a rotating day-night cycle to any match where a werewolf is played, and Wizards of the Coast says a double-sided day/night card can be found in packs to help paper players keep track of the current time. Past werewolves won’t be errated to use these new keywords, but certain Midnight Hunt cards can interact with werewolves and the time shifting mechanic in unconventional ways. For example, Tovolar, Dire Overlord (visible in the gallery above) will make it night if you control three or more wolves/werewolves at the start of your turn, and even has an extra ability specifically meant to allow past werewolves that don’t automatically change with Daybound or Nightbound to transform along with it.
But while werewolves might be the main course, they aren’t the only dish at this dark feast. Wizards of the Coast detailed Midnight Hunts cycle of rare dual lands as well, which are very similar to the “Battle lands” from 2015’s Battle for Zendikar set. The key difference is that they lack basic land types (a relevant change for any format with Fetch lands), and that they enter the battlefield tapped unless you control two or more of any other land, not just basic lands, but they are also only be available in allied color pairs.
Midnight Hunt will also introduce three other mechanics: Disturb, Decayed, and Coven. Cards with Disturb can also be transformed to their back face, but only if you cast them from the graveyard for their specified Disturb cost. Decayed, on the other hand, is a keyword that will primarily show up on certain zombie creatures, preventing them from being able to block and causing them to be sacrificed after combat if they attack, essentially making them a one-time-use attacker.
Meanwhile, on the less monstrous side of things, the more human-focused forces of Innistrad might have the ability keyword Coven, which can cause a unique ability if you control three or more creatures with different powers when it’s triggered. One example given is the legendary angel Sigarda, Champion of Light, which not only buffs humans but also has a Coven ability that allows you to look at the top five cards of your deck and put a human from among them into your hand when it attacks.
Outside of new mechanics, Midnight Hunt draft boosters are guaranteed to contain two double-faced cards each: one common and one of a higher rarity, with a chance to get a third if you happen to get a foil one. That provides plenty of chances to pull its werewolves and Disturb cards during drafts, and every pack will contain a double-faced helper card to make playing with them easier as well. It’s also possible to get special Equinox showcase versions of every werewolf and warlock card, which have unique art and ornate card frames themed after the Harvesttide Festival.
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt spoilers and card reveals are officially entering full swing as it approaches launch on September 24. Of course, it’s not the last we’ll see of Innistrad this year either, with the vampire-themed Crimson Vow set following hot on its heels just two months later. Midnight Hunt itself comes only a month after Historic Horizons too, which introduced digital-only cards to MTG Arena – and things will get even wilder next year as Magic gets its very first cyberpunk-themed set, as well as crossovers with Fortnite and Street Fighter.