Magic’s newest expansion has us returning to Innistrad just in time for Halloween. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is the first of two expansions set in the horror-themed plane, and this first set sees the story focusing on the besieged humans’ attempt to reset the balance of day and night – something that has been thrown off ever since the events of Eldritch Moon. A new set means new cards to examine, and in this article we’ll talk about the monocolored cards and what they mean for the game in different formats and how they’ll play.
BPhilipYork: I think for commander this card can see some play, you could even build a deck with it as commander, but in a knight tribal deck or white weenie this could see play. Depending your pod’s level opponents may not have something to block with, and this can combine well with cards like Toski, Bearer of Secrets and in combination with your ability to play buffs your 1/1 white weenies can be powerful, or anthem effects. To really leverage this though you need a way to make your creatures survive and start to stack up, or else have a way to gain from them entering and dying, so cards like Soul’s Attendant or Zulaport Cutthroat.
FromTheShire: The fact that this triggers for each opponent is nice, but entering attacking means the vast majority of the time your tokens are just going to die to random blockers.
Dinglis: A much toned-down Hero Of Bladehold, White has a good number of 3s in the current standard so I am not sure about this card just yet as Elite Spellbinder and Skyclave Apparition are very premium.
BPhilipYork: Possible in enchantress decks, fairly brutal if you use it with things like Containment Priest
TheChirurgeon: This has gotta be the upper limit on “how good can you make a creature that costs 1W” right? This is a solid weenie, though the downside of spending mana for the sacrifice ability is significant.
BPhilipYork: Very solid utility creature for 2 mana with flash.
BPhilipYork: Sadly I just can’t see this working in commander.
FromTheShire: It’s white so you’re not recurring it with the new Curse commander, and this doesn’t do enough on its own.
Dinglis: Likely not good enough as the decks that you want this against will have fast mana to be able to pay the cost. I would look elsewhere.
BPhilipYork: Awesome jank card, for 5 it’s a lot but a 3/3 flier with double strike that gives you hexproof is respectable, and the ability to save you is fun. Generally in commander you don’t die, someone wins, but I already built a deck around effects like this when I saw it.
FromTheShire: Kind of a better Celestial Mantle since it’s on a body and triggers on attack, but that card barely sees play these days even in dedicated Aura Voltron decks. In Commander if you can actually transform this, you are in a whole heap of trouble.
TheChirurgeon: This seems like incredibly good white removal, with a drawback that’s relatively palatable given the spell is instant speed. Probably not quite as good as it first looks in a format with lots of graveyard shenanigans, but it’s hard to imagine this won’t see play in multiple formats, even without exiling the target.
BPhilipYork: This is awesome powerful removal on par with swords to plowshares and path to exile, just slightly worse, and a really nice card for white to have.
FromTheShire: Being able to off a planeswalker or problem creature at instant speed is completely worth giving up a Clue in Commander where you might well be dead if you don’t answer it. Still, it will depend on your play group to some extent – Swords and Path are still better creature removal, and if your meta never runs walkers, this might not be worth the inclusion.
Dinglis: I’ve been bitten by Baleful Mastery before; investigate is a lot better than “draw a card.” I think this card will go in Aggro decks for sure as killing a key 4- or 5-drop will be worth the card.
BPhilipYork: This is a powerful card for day/night swapping decks, unfortunately I don’t think there’s enough support for that in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, but hopefully once Crimson Vow comes out something can be done. There’s several good triggers on the change cards in Boros colors.
BPhilipYork: All the adversary cards are strong, full stop. A scalable anthem is nothing to sneeze at for weenie decks, and 3/1 lifelink for 2 is respectable.
FromTheShire: This cycle of pseudo-kicker cards is pretty interesting, mainly because you choose to pay after the creature ETB’s. This means you don’t dump all of your mana into it just to eat a counter, you can ‘buy back’ the effect with a flicker, and you can still pay if you Aether Vial the creature in. As a white Overrun effect, this is pretty solid for making your team huge out of nowhere and winning.
BPhilipYork: I really uh… hate effects like this. Note your life total? Anyway, it’s weird card draw for white in a lifegain deck, which is okay, and gaining 1 life every time you cast a white spell isn’t terrible, but 4 mana for this effect will only work in the grindiest of games.
FromTheShire: In a mono white lifegain deck, this is kind of like a bad Phyrexian Arena….. but why are you playing that deck. If you’re doing a life matters game plan, you’re at least in Orzhov, where you have access to actual Arena and all of the other excellent draw that black offers you.
BPhilipYork: This is good creature recursion for sure for white, though obviously, it’s disappointing you can’t cheat it out in loops, but a 5 cost that returns 2 2 mana value creatures is solid for decks that operate on death and enters play triggers to stack life gain and drain life effects.
FromTheShire: Mana value 2 on cast is significantly worse than power 2 ETB – Reveillark this ain’t. Maybe there are some utility creatures you want back in your Angel deck but an immediate home for this doesn’t jump out at me.
Dinglis: I like this one a lot as a sideboard card – getting back 2x Luminarch Aspirants is no joke. I think this is good enough to get there as a curve topper or a sideboard card. I love seeing white cards designed like this.
FromTheShire: In a Humans or Soldiers deck, this is a solid rate with some pinpoint graveyard hate and evasion tacked on which is also solid. Whenever you can find in-tribe ways to get effects you would otherwise need to dedicate a separate card to, I’m a fan.
BPhilipYork: Kind of insulting to be honest, if it was draw 2 that’d be a lot more reasonable, as it is this card is so situational.
Dinglis: A Timely Reinforcements, I don’t think you can main deck it but it has a shot for sure in control decks in all formats. Skeptical about main decking it in Standard however.
BPhilipYork: This card is hot. Really amazing. Wrath for 2 is extremely solid, a really nice board reset for commander, amazing in superfriends decks and with commanders like Atraxa built certain ways.
FromTheShire: White Blasphemous Act, I’m extremely about it. White obviously has better board wipes than Red so there’s more competition, but even so when you actually need to cast this a lot of the time it is going to be 2 mana which leaves you with the rest of your mana to get a head start on rebuilding.
BPhilipYork: I think we could just make a table and figure out each way this sort of card can be made. It’s a sort of generic select + cantrip on blue. It is an instant, which is nice, useful for getting storm count up. Possible synergies with things like Brainstorm and Scroll Rack and possibly a pseudo graveyard dump if you’re doing Azorius or Esper Reanimator if you’re using something like Vampiric Tutor to put a big fattie on top and then Consider it into your graveyard.
FromTheShire: You know how Opt consistently features in top tier busted decks all of the time across multiple formats as an incredibly powerful enabler? What if we made it better? At least it’s a common.
Dinglis: Easily the best card in the set for all formats. It’s gonna be a staple in Pioneer and might lead to the banning of Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time, it’s just an Opt with upside. It’s just awesome, get your playset and keep them as it’s a staple. It will likely be okay in Standard but very good in Modern and Pioneer.
BPhilipYork: Well letting everyone but one person draw cards is a weird effect, in a janky curse commander deck with Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor.
FromTheShire: A nice on theme way to get some card draw in a Curse deck with some political upside as well. Unplayable everywhere else.
TheChirurgeon: I’ll admit, I’m surprised to see this getting a reprint. I’m not as certain there’s a Jace/Thing in the Ice deck waiting around for this in Standard this time, though.
FromTheShire: Delver is increasingly not even seeing play in Delver decks anymore, and I don’t think this has the support to matter in Standard.
Dinglis: It’s bad. Don’t play it. It was good in Innistrad 1 because we had the whole supporting cast. Maybe it gets there in Historic or Pioneer but I am very, very skeptical.
TheChirurgeon: This card was near-perfect as a design when it first debuted in Mirage as a 3-mana counterspell, and it’s always welcome in formats with graveyard recursion.
BPhilipYork: Well it’s a 3 mana value counterspell, exiling certain key combo cards can be really important as a lot of commander decks only play 1 or 2 cards to win the game.
Dinglis: The choice is between this and You Find The Villain’s Lair. So far I’m on the side of Looterspell but maybe with the second set this gets better.
BPhilipYork: My hope is fading for this set. No, not really. This is playable maybe in spellslinger decks since a lot of commanders will fall under the threshold and players don’t want their commander in their hand.
BPhilipYork: This is a solid counter for Esper or Dimir zombie decks since it gives you a token you probably want. Also upside with cards like Village Rites. Since it’s only 1 colored mana I think that’s a doable spell.
BPhilipYork: Taking someone’s commander is brutal for some decks, with blue getting access to decayed zombies to sac I think this is definitely playable, though it’s probably going to make your opponents really irritated.
FromTheShire: Control Magic sees very little play, having to sac a creature to cast it is even worse.
BPhilipYork: This is a card to cast when you’re about to win the game, and that’s about it. As a commander it’s kind of a nightmare, Izzet colors are where mass flashback really shines with red rituals, so I can see this as an enabler for some decks, it’s a possible polymorph target to fetch in Izzet storm type decks.
FromTheShire: The fact this turns off your own counters makes me wary, but mass flashback is obviously extremely powerful. This is a card you drop to storm off safely and win the game, not a commander.
Dinglis: Better than it looks I think. Will go into more of a Tap Out Control deck so think UB/UR than one with a million Cancels.
BPhilipYork: 4 to look at 4 and draw 2 then later pay 7 to look at 7 and draw 2 probably won’t make the cut unless your deck is generating ludicrous amounts of mana.
FromTheShire: Very solid in spellslinger decks.
Dinglis: My favourite card in the set, it’s gonna be the glue for the control decks. It’s awesome and does exactly what you want on Turn 4. If we see Dig Through Time banned in Pioneer this will happily fill its shoes for some decks.
BPhilipYork: Whenever triggers are always powerful, they can be a combo piece to pull something off, generating creatures whenever is always good, and graveyard recursion will be generating things, frequently requiring sacrifices so this definitely could be a useful combo piece, especially as it’s not a creature and so that will ensure you still have it if the board gets a wrath effect.
BPhilipYork: Very playable for recursion decks, which are themed in this set, letting you put what you want into your graveyard.
BPhilipYork: So this will play really well with disturb and other play from graveyard effects like Yawgmoth’s Will or Underworld Breach, which is particularly where it could see play.
FromTheShire: Another Spirit Lord is always welcome, and those decks frequently have at least a few spells coming out of the graveyard so you might even get a small bonus off of that ability as well.
BPhilipYork: Generating a ton of tokens this way is potentially really powerful, if you have a way to get rid of them, Goblin Bombarding them or Village Rites for draw, things like that. Also potentially just generating a bunch of tokens then going wide.
FromTheShire: Not the worst incidental token maker, though I think the decks that can best take advantage of the ability would rather just kill you instead. The factory is interesting in that it upgrades a lot of tokens power and toughness wise, with the tradeoff of hurting any you have made that have flying etc.
BPhilipYork: This is super obnoxious vs commanders and utility pieces, but for 5 mana it’s a bit much.
FromTheShire: I have always been a huge fan of Humility effects, and being able to use it in a targeted manner so as not to affect your board is great. One of the few ways to semi-permanently deal with a commander as well which is always welcome.
BPhilipYork: This is really a great card for utility purposes, letting you phase out stuff in response to a spell is nice, though you’re paying 4 mana to save one creature,
FromTheShire: I really like this card, and can absolutely see it being blinked or Vialed in order to phase out a couple of problematic cards and let you swing in for the win in Spirit decks.
BPhilipYork: This card is so inherently dangerously strong it’s irritating and blue absolutely didn’t need another card like this. It’s a draw card engine that can also let you win the game. Generating a ton of mana to draw a bunch of cards isn’t that hard, and there’s very little risk here, unlike win cons like Thassa’s Oracle where you have to risk exiling your deck.
FromTheShire: I like win the game cards in general, this seems like it might be abusable though. Appreciate the callback though.
BPhilipYork: Fine for vampire tribal decks.
BPhilipYork: Not good enough.
FromTheShire: Flexibility is always nice, and this gives you the option of either dealing with a medium sized indestructible creature, or sweeping away tokens while leaving your board intact.
Dinglis: A good example of paying the price for being flexible as neither side is that good. Could be okay as a sweeper for a token deck. It does clear out Eska’s Chariot tokens nicely.
BPhilipYork: For zombie tribal this could get out of hand really quickly, at a low power table with token generators and such, but it’ll probably just eat some targeted removal in that case.
FromTheShire: The flavor is on point and in other formats this might get there, in Commander just being big simply isn’t enough.
Dinglis: Great call back. I love it. I think this has some legs in Pioneer not sure about standard just yet.
BPhilipYork: This is potentially a game-winning card, so the six mana isn’t too bad.
FromTheShire: It’s expensive, but this does offer mill decks a way to deal actual damage which is always nice. It’s much easier to deal 40 than 100. With Mindcrank in play this could very easily end the game. Other than that sort of deck, 6 mana is probably too much.
FromTheShire: Sacrificing creatures is frequently an upside, and being able to exile a creature or planeswalker in black is still worth something, especially in a graveyard heavy set.
BPhilipYork: Potentially playable in heavy creature removal metas especially if you have lots of ways to use those tokens for something. Also has a neat interaction with cards like Pyrohemia and Pestilence to keep them in play, if you wanted to try a creatureless deck.
BPhilipYork: There’s a lot of potential upside here, but exile instead of die is usually going to be a non-bo for exactly the sort of deck that slots together with this. Generally, you need “when a creature dies” triggers, this will remove them. On the other hand, stealing all those creatures is enormously powerful.
FromTheShire: Really like this, especially in a graveyard set. You either get a bunch of free attackers and ETB’s, or if they kill it, their creatures stay exiled.
FromTheShire: A nice way to get some incidental graveyard hate and chip damage in one package that also protects itself to some degree.
BPhilipYork: This has synergies with Syr Konrad 3 for a 3/3 with Ward discard a card is probably enough protection to keep it on the board and hitting.
BPhilipYork: This could be okay if you have a very consistent need for fodder to destroy or enter, cards like Priest of Forgotten gods, but at one token per turn it’s still probably not going to cut it.
FromTheShire: Entirely too slow with too little impact for Commander.
FromTheShire: This is fine on its face in Human and Cleric decks, and on the off chance you are able to transform it, Ormendahl does work.
BPhilipYork: This is a cool card, but the fact it’s human-only triggers and a life total of 13 is so low for commander it’s probably not really viable. Potentially in some kind of cleric tribal deck.
BPhilipYork: Well this is obviously playable in some sense, its a worthy reanimator target, can easily be a game-ender, conjunction with cards like Mindcrank and Syr Konrad, this and K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth will definitely let you end the game, other than that it’s a 6/6 flyer with trample.
FromTheShire: A nice beater that can screw up top of deck tutors, and if you’re set up for it the mana ability is extremely powerful.
BPhilipYork: Awesome card, standout card for the set. It’s like a Bastion of Remembrance that also clears the board if you want, conditionally, which is amazing flexibility. In vampiric type decks with lifeloss and lifegain triggers just a great card.
FromTheShire: This is a really nice sweeper that lets you deal with indestructible creatures and then sticks around to give you an ongoing benefit.
Dinglis: Love this card a powerful 1-2 for a Control or Midrange deck as a sweeper effect.
Dinglis: Who doesn’t love some American Gothic? Did you know that he is a dentist.
BPhilipYork: This is one of the strongest Adversary effects, and it’s notable that it’s an ETB trigger as opposed to a “when cast” or a “multi-kicker” which means you can reanimate it and then generate the triggers, flicker, etc.. Making a ton of zombies is great, it’s a zombie, great great great.
FromTheShire: This is pretty mana hungry, but good news, you’re in black, which has a ton of ways to generate big mana. Since you’re a Zombie deck, you can probably reanimate this repeatedly and keep getting the trigger too.
BPhilipYork: This adversary is also huge, it’s a vampire, recasting (via exile – which triggers cards like Prosper, Tome-Bound ) a bunch of instants and sorceries. It just has enormous upside in so many ways. One of which is recasting a flicker effect from your graveyard and then casting even more.
FromTheShire: Very nice hasty aggressive creature that can make itself bigger and get a free spell or two if you draw it late game.
Dinglis: This card is gonna take my life points in Standard a lot. A great Red aggressive card.
TheChirurgeon: I really like how this gives RDW decks more to do late in the game with extra mana, while just being an efficient attacker early.
BPhilipYork: Cool card. Board clear almost all the time or devils when you need them.
FromTheShire: Not going to get there in Commander because 5 damage just isn’t enough but in other formats this is nice.
Dinglis: A sweeper that isn’t completely dead versus control. I’m excited.
FromTheShire: It’s not Faithless Looting but it’s spicy.
Dinglis: Big Dredge Vibes in Modern for this card
BPhilipYork: This is okay for the curse commander. Other than that I dunno. Maybe some kind of really wonky enchantress deck.
FromTheShire: Very solid in the Curse deck. I’ll probably run it in the sideboard of some dumb Modern or Pioneer deck at some point because it will be funny against a storm style deck but that’s because I’ll be trolling not because it’s good.
BPhilipYork: Totally playable in Rakdos or Mardu vampires, 2/1 for 1 that’s a vampire triggers Markov, you can sac the tokens, that sort of thing. Neat utility card, nothing format changing.
FromTheShire: I have a hard time seeing this even in a Vampire tribal deck, most of the time those decks include Black which gives you much better card draw. It’s on a relevant body so maaaaybe?
BPhilipYork: Exile casting is the new hotness for red, and the ability to use this for creature control or what not, when needed, is really good. Biggest upside is with cards like Prosper.
BPhilipYork: I’ve already heard this called nightling bolt, and for that, it’s that.
FromTheShire: Only at night is a definite drawback but if a day/night deck comes together, I can’t imagine it’s not running this conditional Lightning Bolt.
BPhilipYork: Obviously drawing up to 5 cards for casting a spell is powerful, but working out the logistics of casting spells that are every color is rough. I think you could do some kind of really wonky Dream Halls thing with this, maybe a bunch of dragons and use Tiamat as your commander or something. But we’re talking real Rube Goldberg territory here. Nonetheless, just spamming out your deck and then casting and drawing 1 card over and over has potential.
FromTheShire: I like this in 5 color Dragon decks. A lot of the big lads you’re slamming are 2-3 colors, and especially if you’re empty handed that’s some solid gas.
BPhilipYork: This could be fun in some weird Temur token deck. Bunch of big fatties token generators and doublers.
BPhilipYork: Slot this into the day/night deck. When Crimson Vow comes out.
FromTheShire: Another set, another return to the joke about someone at Wizards losing a bet, necessitating random Phoenixes to be made all of the time. If you’re playing with or against a day/night deck I think this is quite strong, but it’s pretty narrow moving forward.
BPhilipYork: This could be a big card when transform into ass-to-mouth dragon and just spam out instants and sorceries, especially given how many flash back cards there are available.
BPhilipYork: Hot. This really is a good card, a druid on top of everything, playing lands and creatures from the top of your library is awesome.
FromTheShire: This is one of the most sought after effects in Commander, and turning into a Garruk’s Horde for way less mana in a deck that wants to be playing creatures anyways is excellent.
Dinglis: A much worse Courser Of Kruphix is still a Courser. I think this is a solid Green Midrange option.
FromTheShire: It’s whatever in Commander, but in other formats the vigilance is going to make this extremely annoying.
Dinglis: It’s no Tireless Tracker but it’s a good aggressive midrange creature, Gruul getting all these tools is scary. Not Gonna Lie
BPhilipYork: This ooze thing is getting more and more fun for a weird tribal deck that sort of oozes into an unstoppable pile of weird token creatures.
FromTheShire: In an Ooze deck where you have ways to double up the tokens etc this is okay, in general one Goyf a turn is nothing though.
BPhilipYork: Recastable Regrowth for more mana, it’s fine if you need to recur key cards, though getting increasingly less valuable as there are so many flashbacks and ways to flashback non-flashback cards.
FromTheShire: Giving trample to your whole team is really great in a Werewolf deck.
FromTheShire: Repeatable artifact and enchantment destruction on a tribally relevant body? Yes please.
BPhilipYork: A 3 cost basic land fetch, with scry, and flashback, probably still won’t cut it. There’s enough cheaper, better at 3, or enough better at 4, that the math just doesn’t work.
Dinglis: The fact this ramps into itself is pretty cool. If there is a ramp deck this will be a big part of it.
BPhilipYork: Probably the weakest adversary, unless you have a desire to turn your lands into creatures for some combo piece.
FromTheShire: Kind of weird because the more you pay into this, the fewer lands you have to animate and swing with. Even then, you want to be winning the game with this attack or you’re just setting yourself up to get your lands blown up with a wrath.
Dinglis: Awesome, love these kinds of cards being in standard, long may they last.
BPhilipYork: This green deathtouch thing is fun, but sadly they didn’t set up the triggers right to make this combo with things like Hooded Blightfang.
FromTheShire: Love this card. It protects your attackers to a degree by giving them deathtouch, the rest of your team with hexproof, and gives you a way to untap a creature to save it from spot removal or a land like Gaea’s Cradle to continue going off.
BPhilipYork: Seems okay but too complex and too limited. You’d have to run a bunch of 5 mana value combo pieces and I just can’t think what precisely that would be.
FromTheShire: It’s good that this hits any permanent so you’re unlikely to ever actually whiff. Maybe this gets there in cascade decks.
FromTheShire: Know what green needed? A Grave Titan with upside. Frankly I’m surprised this doesn’t also have trample.
TheChirurgeon: That “each combat” rider is tickling the “do multiple combats” part of my brain. Very much thinking about jank combos with this. Sure, I probably don’t need this with Aggravated Assault – the latter is sufficient – but that’s not how my dumb brain works.
BPhilipYork: It’s 4 green so it’s probably not good but um it’s pretty hilarious, especially with extra combats this would rapidly get completely out of control. There’s also a bunch of red and green dragons that make mana or treasures based on their power or damage they deal so I think you could do something big and dumb with this.
FromTheShire: This is absolutely going to lead to some hilarious turns. It’s worth remembering that this triggers on your opponents’ turns as well which makes you pretty tough to swing in to.
BPhilipYork: Potentially this could get huge if you have the right kind of deck, and then you’d gain a lot of life, but I don’t see it being particularly worthwhile.
BPhilipYork: Putting all land in your hand into play is potentially a big deal, the +1 is also decent, and the emblem is obviously a powerful one.
FromTheShire: I’ve got a Forests matter deck that I can’t wait to slot this in to.
Dinglis: An awesome Green Midrange card. I like the design a lot it doesn’t feel too pushed but will be solid enough overall.
Next Time: The Set’s Multicolor and Colorless Cards
That wraps up our look at the monocolor cards of Midnight Hunt. We’ll be back later this week, looking at the multicolor, colorless, and double-faced cards before moving on to the set’s Commander decks. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.