Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is nearly upon us, and we have an exclusive preview card to share from the new set, thanks to Wizards of the Coast. Midnight Hunt releases September 24th and is available for preorder now here at Card Kingdom.
Before I share our preview card, allow me to set the scene…
Ballad of the Dawn
Seasons wax and seasons wane,
Beyond Travails lie times of pain!
A tale untold by thane or bard:
Harvest falls on Innistrad
Where fruit is ripe upon the bush,
The Children pass in careful hush,
Whispered remnants of the plan,
Clutching knives with sticky hands
“Stay on the road, and tarry not,
Danger lurks beyond the cot:
Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and geists,
No longer shackled to the night!”
Avacyn has passed like Summer,
Her warmth and splendor spent in sunders
Autumn’s veil chokes the stars,
As folk turn in, their windows barred
Rumors spread amongst the taverns,
Of ancient cults tucked safe in caverns,
Pagan rites and cloistered fears,
Words not meant for children’s ears
Beyond the brook, below the bowers,
The trail is fair and strewn with flowers
Dare you opt to take a chance
And join in with the festive dance?
“Forget about beyond the path —
That frenzied fugue?” Old Mother laughed;
“Take no heed of Dawnhart Coven,
They’ll sooner put you in the oven!”
When darkness creeps and leaves turn gold,
And Autumn’s dew is frozen cold,
Leylines bleed in harrowed earth,
And peasants cede their barren hearth
Twilight’s fog seeps through the fields,
As farmers count their meager yields
Day retreats as clock strikes three,
And shadows writhe betwixt the trees
No hound nor ranger dares to tread,
Where knotty boughs creep overhead;
Few remain to pay the tax
And none dare fetch ‘jack’s lonely axe
Hangers on in Threatened Pastures
Lambholt’s young, their aging masters,
No help has come from high-up Thraben,
No priest nor knight, all bloody cravens
Eternal feud with those sanguine
Is cast aside for foes lupine
A play most queer, a contradiction
To what do we owe this benediction?
It’s no mere wolves, not just marauders,
Encroaching now on fragile borders,
The guard’s stretched thin — sometimes wide open!
Where now to turn, what to place hope in?
Nowhere to turn but Heron’s Grace,
Our Lady’s touch must save this place,
We’ll slay them all, from beast to runt,
Our Harvest marks the Midnight Hunt!
Nephalia’s sailors sweep the wharfs,
A vigil to stave Midnight off;
It’s not the dead that truly scare
The veterans who are stationed there
As sun slinks off and Moon now rises,
We must unite in common crisis,
Hold now tightly to your Light,
As teeth and claw shred through the Night!
From town to town and coast to coast,
Innistrad’s chosen take their posts,
Unlikely allies form new packs;
The Sungold’s lock must be put back
Now! Arise! Church, Pack, and Home,
To right the wake of Eldritch Moon,
Begin the Rites, and set the stage,
Celestus wakes to mark the age
And should you falter in the fight,
Fallen to the shroud of night,
Fear not for hope is near at hand,
The zenith of our fatal plan
Step into the Sungold Light,
Sigarda’s love, it still burns bright,
A boon for all the tired and desperate,
To rest, for a time, in Hallowed Respite
What can I say? When the mood takes you, it takes you. Hallowed Respite might not have flavor text, but it doesn’t lack in other relevant text.
The biggest knock against Hallowed Respite is the fact it’s a sorcery; the “nonlegendary” clause is not nearly as limiting as you’d think. For one white and one blue, you get essentially two choices:
- Flicker one of your own value creatures to save it from a Pacifism effect or to trigger an enter the battlefield effect again. In most cases, this creature will get a +1/+1 counter.
- Flicker an opponent’s creature, making it tap when it enters.
One more thing: the spell has flashback, for just one generic mana more. That’s pretty sweet. As the spell’s a sorcery, it’ll be used most commonly in main phase 2, after attacks. In this way, it’ll be possible to reset an attacker and move it into a blocking position, often with a boost to power and toughness.
The most fun you’ll have with this card is no doubt in Draft, where you can combine it with any number of strong synergies. You can use it proactively in an aggressive deck, or as a way to gain incremental value in a more controlling build. It can reset disturbed cards to be used on the front side again, and transform cards back to their front face.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have uses outside of that. Aside from retriggering powerful ETBs, it could see play in decks that like the new mechanic that allows for payment on ETB.
Hallowed Respite’s use in Standard hinges on how many non-legendaries these decks will run, but also how aggressive they are. To take a sorcery spell at all is a huge decision to make, and I can see Hallowed Respite seeing some use if the UW decks want to be on the beatdown. With Ephemerate legal in other formats, Hallowed Respite might be a little slow.
When it comes to Commander, Hallowed Respite competes with the best blink spells available. When it comes down to use in EDH, it’ll again largely depend on how aggressive your deck is. In my experience, blink decks have largely been defensive and value-based, so I’m not sure the classic blink deck has a home for the card. That said, it is a card with flashback, so really, it’s two cards in one. Is that enough to make it playable, as a sorcery, that can’t flicker a commander? It’s unlikely, but I’m sure it’ll see a non-zero amount of play.
And there we have it: Card Kingdom’s preview card for Midnight Hunt, courtesy of Wizards of the Coast. I hope you enjoyed the poem I put together; Innistrad is my favorite Magic setting, and it felt like a great opportunity to write a little lore. Let me know what you thought on Twitter!
Kristen is Card Kingdom’s Head Writer, and member of the Commander Advisory Group. Formerly a competitive Pokémon TCG grinder, she has been playing Magic since Shadows Over Innistrad, which in her opinion, was a great set to start with. When she’s not taking names with Equipment and Aggro strategies in Commander, she loves to play any form of Limited.