Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is coming, and with it comes a return to the spookiest plane in the multiverse of Magic: The Gathering. It’s an undoubtedly exciting time for a lot of long-time fans, because Innistrad has always been good to us, and it’s hard not to feel something of an affinity for this place of horrors.
Of course, this set also sees a brief return to the world of blocks, with the next set being Innistrad: Crimson Vow. For those who aren’t in the know - understandable given how many MTG sets there are each year now - Innistrad: Crimson Vow is the next standard set and releases two months after Midnight Hunt. There will be yet more mechanics, new story beats and other characters in Crimson Vow, with a more vampire-heavy focus expected versus Midnight Hunt’s love of werewolves. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of that set too - and we’ve only got a couple of months before we find out.
To celebrate our return to this most terrifying of fantasies, we’ve made a list of the ten best Innistrad: Midnight Hunt cards, which hasn’t been easy. There are a lot of peculiar MTG cards in this set with huge potential, and there’s definitely going to be some sleepers that take everyone by surprise. Nevertheless, we think these ten are worth keeping an eye on.
Best cards from MTG Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
- Fateful Absence
- Katilda, Dawnhart Prime
- Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
- Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset
- The Meathook Massacre
- Vanquish the Horde
- Tovolar’s Huntmaster
- Bloodline Culling
- Augur of Autumn
- Tovolar, Dire Overlord
There are two land cards we very nearly put on the list. Field of Ruin is a battle-tested bit of land removal that’s already proven its worth, and it’s nice to see it getting a reprint given how potent it is. We would have liked to have seen Ghost Quarter again, but we’re still quite happy about the whole thing.
The other notable one is Hostile Hostel, which can transform into Creeping Inn, a 3/7 horror construct that exiles a creature card from a graveyard when it attacks, before each opponent loses X life and you gain X life, with X being the number of creatures it has exiled. You can even pay four mana to have it phase out, which is perfect protection. We’re not sure if it’s good or not, but it does seem like a really interesting bit of design.
1. Fateful Absence
That’s good removal
There’s a fair bit of removal on this list, because it just so happens that Midnight Hunt has a lot of great removal. Fateful Absence is a two-mana White instant that allows you to destroy a creature or a planeswalker, and then the controller of that permanent creates a clue token.
This harks back to Declaration in Stone, which was also two mana, but was a sorcery, exiled the creature and couldn’t target planeswalkers, but did hit every creature that shared a name with the target. The two are absolutely comparable, and Fateful Absence is, ironically, sure to stick around in decklists for a long time.
2. Katilda, Dawnhart Prime
Mana from humans
Humans in Magic: The Gathering always end up feeling shockingly overpowered when you consider the fact that they’re regularly up against dragons, werewolves, vampires and unknowable eldritch horrors. Well, the trend’s continuing here with Katilda, Dawnhart Prime.
Katilda is a two-mana Green and White 1/1 that has protection from werewolves, and also grants all of your human creatures the ability to tap to add one mana of its colors. That means that Katilda here, for example, could tap for Green or White. This would probably be enough to make Katilda worthy of this list, but you can also pay six mana and tap them to put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Some would say this is too much, but here we are.
3. Lier, Disciple of the Drowned
No more counters anymore
Lier is also a human, but this time they’re a five-mana 3/4 in Blue. Lier, Disciple of the Drowned stops spells from being countered. That’s all spells - not just yours - which is an interesting choice on a blue card, but it’s also a really potent effect.
Along with that, they also grant each instant and sorcery in your graveyard flashback, with the cost being equal to its mana cost. This is good for a lot of reasons. For starters, the ability to get a second use out of your most effective spells is great, but it also removes the extra cost you normally have to pay with flashback cards.
4. Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset
Is this too much text?
Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset is probably a romantic, but that’s not all that relevant to their abilities. Teferi is a four-mana Blue and White planeswalker that enters with four loyalty. You can add one to: “Choose up to one target artifact, up to one target creature, and up to one target land. Untap the chosen permanents you control. Tap the chosen permanents you don’t control. You gain two life.” You can also choose to pay two loyalty to look at the top three cards of your library and then put one into your hand.
Their ultimate is where things get really silly though. For seven loyalty, you get an emblem that allows you to not only untap all of your permanents during each opponent’s untap step, but also draw a card during their draw step. It almost feels like overkill - we think this Teferi has an unnatural potential to really upset your opponents.
5. The Meathook Massacre
A scalable board wipe
This is such an oddity of a card, but it’s very obviously powerful too. The Meathook Massacre isn’t a horror film, but it is a Black enchantment that costs X and two Black mana. When it enters the battlefield, each creature gets -X/-X until the end of the turn.
That’s already not actually that bad, especially as it being an enchantment means you can potentially bounce it back to your hand and cast it again later on. However, it also makes each opponent lose one life whenever a creature you control dies, and whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, you get to gain one life.
6. Vanquish the Horde
A very cheap board wipe
While we’re on the subject of strange board wipes, let’s talk about Vanquish the Horde. Vanquish the Horde is an eight-mana White sorcery that destroys every creature on the battlefield. It’s way too expensive to be of any use really, and that’s probably why it’s never actually going to cost you eight mana.
You see, this spell costs one less mana to cast for each creature on the battlefield. Now, Vanquish the Horde can never be cheaper than two White mana, but given that there only needs to be six creatures out for it to be a two-mana board wipe, we’re pretty sure this is going to be in every control deck while it’s legal.
7. Tovolar’s Huntmaster
Tovolar’s Huntmaster is a six-mana 6/6 that enters the battlefield with two 2/2 Wolf tokens. It also has Daybound, which is Innistrad: Midnight Hunt’s new mechanic that helps keep track of whether or not a werewolf should be a werewolf or a human.
When this one transforms, it becomes Tovolar’s Packleader. At this point, it not only makes two 2/2 Wolf tokens when it enters the battlefield, but also when it attacks. Also, it’s a 7/7 now, and you can pay four mana to have another wolf or werewolf fight a creature you don’t control. Werewolves look quite strong in this set, and being able to sic them on whoever you want with this beast is going to make them truly horrifying.
8. Bloodline Culling
Pick their poison
Our final bit of removal on our list of the best Innistrad: Midnight Hunt cards is Bloodline Culling. This is a three-mana Black instant that gives you two options to choose from, and it’s always nice to be offered a choice.
When you cast Bloodline Culling you can have a creature get -5/-5 until end of turn, which can be useful for killing off any specific threat, but especially those that are indestructible, as they don’t die through normal means. If that’s not fitting for the problem you’re facing, you can also choose to have all creature tokens get -2/-2 until the end of the turn, which is going to be great against Wolf tokens, Zombie tokens, probably Human tokens and basically every other creature token too. The flexibility here is the strength.
9. Augur of Autumn
Topdeck your cares away
Augur of Autumn is a three-mana Green 2/3 with lots of words. You can look at the top card of your deck at any time, which is nice, but you can also play lands from the top of your library, which is even nicer.
This is also the only card on this list that has the new Coven keyword. As long as you control three or more creatures with different powers, you’re able to cast creature spells from the top of your library. We’ve had all of these effects before on creatures, and they’re always on cards that end up becoming essential, so we’re expecting the same here, even if Coven can be tricky to manage.
10. Tovolar, Dire Overlord
Finally, a good legendary werewolf
Finally, we have Tovolar, Dire Overlord, who is the best legendary werewolf we’ve ever seen in Magic: The Gathering (and also only the second one we’ve ever seen, too). Tovolar is a three-mana 3/3 that lets you draw a card whenever a wolf or werewolf does combat damage to a player.
He also makes it so that if you control three or more wolves or werewolves at the beginning of your upkeep, it becomes night and you can transform any number of human werewolves you control.
Tovolar’s grumpy alter ego - we assume they’re grumpy - is Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge, which is a 4/4 that still lets you draw cards in the same way as Dire Overlord, but also allows you to pay X, one green and one red, to give a target Wolf or Werewolf +x/+0 and trample until the end of the turn.
Tovolar is mostly on the list because he finally makes werewolves worth playing in Commander, but his abilities also mean that we could be seeing the rise of an aggressive Werewolf deck in Standard too.