The Five Spookiest Magic Sets for a Halloween Draft

The Five Spookiest Magic Sets for a Halloween Draft

Kristen GregoryLimited

October is “the spooky month,” and what better way to enjoy the season as a Magic player than to get some friends together for a Halloween draft?

While you might not have a Halloween themed cube, there are plenty of Magic sets that lean into horror, thrills and general scary vibes. Which options have the best art? Which make for the best to draft as the autumn chill approaches? Find out below, if you dare!


I’ll bet that you didn’t expect to see Guilds of Ravnica on the list, did you?

GRN was designed with the fact that it was another return to Ravnica in mind. So to keep the set feeling fresh, the art team chose to have it take place in autumn and adopt a kind of “film noir” vibe. There’s a chill in the air, something wicked is stirring and nobody is quite sure what. 

Having Ravnica in the autumn for an autumn set is inspired, and it helps hammer home the unease felt across the plane. You might find anything as you round a corner, but what really scares you is what could be stalking in the shadows.

Far from merely building tension, the set also boasts some truly spooky designs. I don’t know what a Thief of Sanity is, but I don’t want to meet it.

It helps that Guilds of Ravnica was also a fantastic draft environment. Settling into a two color pairing might seem straightforward, but there was a depth to the archetypes and plenty of build-arounds to keep things exciting all these years later.


Midnight Hunt was one of two Innistrad sets in 2021. Of the two, I believe MID had a better draft environment than VOW — so maybe their set codes should be the other way around.

Midnight Hunt took us back to Innistrad, and in a similar vein, it changed up the season to keep things fresh. Thanks to The Celestus, Innistrad is trapped in a wintery chill. 

Brilliant phenomena created by the sun passing through ice crystals form daggers in the sky, and despite the valorous attempts of waning heroes, the ever creeping dread intensifies as the shadows lengthen. 

Despite being filled with the usual horror fare we’ve come to expect from Innistrad sets, MID also embraces paganism, ritual, witchcraft and cults. If you’ve seen The Wicker Man or Midsommar, then that’s enough to creep you out. 

And, as a bonus, MID actually features a bunch of great Commander cards for many archetypes. Florian is a very fun card, and Adeline continues to snowball value — especially with a Skullclamp


OK, so this next one might be a challenge to pull off, but I want to talk about it anyway. After all, New Phyrexia is a chilling set.

The husks of former Mirrodin natives are ghastly, and the sci-fi horror of alien life that is Phyrexia will always be creepy.

What’s more, the set is famous for body horror, which is some of the creepiest horror there is. Phyrexian Unlife is uncannily morbid, and Surgical Extraction is just gross — let’s be honest. While the price of a New Phyrexia set is also gross these days, we are in the business of covering spooky draft sets today, so it deserves a mention.

If you still want to scratch that itch, you can always opt for a box of Phyrexia: All Will Be One instead. It nails the creepy alien horror, especially if you find the idea of countless teeth disturbing. It’s also, you know… full of cards like Elesh Norn, Atraxa and Vraska… which wouldn’t exactly be bad cards to open on draft night. 


It’s a bit cheaper than New Phyrexia, alright?

Any list of draft sets for Halloween would be incomplete without OG Innistrad. ISD is an all-timer draft format. Spider Spawning. Invisible Stalker. Cackling Counterpart

ISD is iconic for a reason, and that’s not just because people love to play its draft format. It’s beloved because it offered our introduction to the gothic horror plane. All of the expected tropes are out in force: possession, zombies, spooky spectral visitors in the shadows. 

It has intoxicating vampires, savage werewolves and even creepy dolls. There’s something for everyone.

While the price of entry is steep (and we won’t get an Innistrad Remastered until January 2025), there’s thankfully a more reasonable alternative.


For many players, Shadows Over Innistrad was their first time visiting Innistrad — and what a time to visit! SOI takes place during the Gatewatch arc and sees some of the gang on Innistrad investigating what is making the things that go bump in the night a little… weirder. (Spoilers: it’s Emrakul!)

The standard Innistrad horror theme is elevated with more attention paid to the idea of mixing terror with the sublime, straight out of an 18th century novel. 

While zombies and vampires are accounted for and double-face cards return (giving us Werewolves), there’s something bubbling under the surface to keep in mind. Horror of the Eldritch variety is at play, and when paired with the set’s introduction of the Investigate mechanic, it really brings drafts to life. 

SOI is also a key point in the Magic story. Nahiri’s efforts to get revenge on Sorin for abandoning Zendikar and locking her in the Helvault for thousands of years are coming to fruition, and Sorin has to make some difficult choices. The stage is set for revelations to come.

And if you ask me? It has some of the most iconic art of any Innistrad set so far. 

Shadows Over Innistrad is a solid draft environment, but Eldritch Moon was not to be sniffed at either. It was hard to pick between them, but Shadows won out just because it managed to tease the Eldritch while giving us a plentiful serving of everything we love about spooky, horror themed Magic sets.


You don’t really need an excuse to get some friends together and draft, but we hope this helps. Halloween is a perfect time to revisit some classic Magic sets, and there are ways to make it happen whatever your budget may be. And in the meantime, be sure to tell us your favorite creepy Magic artwork over on X!