Last week, Wizards shared some early previews for the latest Magic: The Gathering set: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. With so many previews happening recently and more to come, now’s a good time to pause and examine these new cards to see how they’ll shape Standard.
Midnight Hunt is the first of two Innistrad sets coming to Standard this fall, and so far, it does not disappoint. There are lots of powerful and exciting cards already, and let’s get started with a familiar face.
Wrenn and Seven
Wrenn and Seven is the first walker we’ve seen so far, and it looks like a great fit for midrange strategies. Wrenn does a great job of ensuring you hit your land drops, allowing you to play a long game even with a lower land count. Having a planeswalker like Wrenn also allows you to play more utility lands, which you’re already interested in decks like this. Magic is ultimately a game of resources, and Wrenn makes sure you have plenty.
My favorite thing about Wrenn is how many extra cards you get with her. Her ability to fill your hand will lands could open up some payoffs for discarding cards or having a certain number of cards in hand. During this preview season, I’ll be keeping an eye out for cards that care about having extra resources to play with, kinda like our next card…
This is a very unique and flashy card that should play well with Innistrad’s themes. You need the right number of cards in hand, which can be a challenge, but you win the game if you succeed. This card has a fairly weak body but the pay off is actually game winning. As mentioned, you can easily pair this card with Wrenn and Seven — you want to have lands to ensure you can use the activated ability, and Wrenn’s +1 might be the perfect enabler for this card. Winning the game with this card might be much easier than you think.
So long, Heartless Act. There’s a new all-star removal spell coming to Standard.
Infernal Grasp immediately draws comparisons to other black removal spells, and I see it as almost the opposite of Eliminate. Ideally, you want to be pointing it at creatures that cost three or more mana, as you don’t want to get caught trading two life and a card for smaller threats. That said, the great thing about this card is you can if you absolutely need to.
Grasp will be at its best in a world with few aggressive decks. But even in a more aggressive world, you can always keep this in your sideboard for cards like Goldspan Dragon. The range of threats in the metagame will ultimately determine how widely played this card will be, but it’s at least worth considering.
Speaking of considering, we also have a new cantrip worth looking at. Consider looks to be a more powerful Opt; it provides card selection and can potentially fuel a graveyard strategy. Putting a flashback card in the yard off Consider is essentially drawing two cards. I expect to see this card as far back as Modern.
Play with Fire
What can I say? This is a Shock, and sometimes, it’s slightly better. Red aggro decks always want more card selection, so this card ticks a lot of boxes. This is going to be a big role player in Standard in a variety of different strategies.
Champion of the Perished
Champion of the Perished will help power up Zombie decks all the way back to Modern. We don’t have too many Zombies in Standard currently, so judging its power is a little hard, but I think it’s a fair assumption that these Innistrad sets will provide plenty of fodder for a tribal Zombie deck.
Join the Dance
Join the Dance is the first flashback card we’ve seen in the set, and it’s very reminiscent of Saproling Migration. I could see it being a great role player in a tokens or go-wide strategy; these decks need ways to keep up on cards, so an early spell with flashback will be a huge help. Join the Dance might also be great for sacrifice strategies, since you get four bodies for just one card. Again, we don’t have many sacrifice cards in Standard right now, but on a world like Innistrad, I expect some number of them.
That’s all for our first look at Innistrad: Midnight Hunt! More previews will be coming in a few weeks, so stay tuned for more content about the future of Standard.
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.