Magic: The Gathering’s second half of its two-part return to the plane of Innistrad will kick off with a deadly fun wedding - and we have an exclusive peek at one of the cards from the upcoming set.
Innistrad: Crimson Vow invites the trading card game’s players to attend the wedding of vampire matriarch Olivia Voldaren as her plans to unite all of the world’s bloodsucking clans finally come to fruition. The set will also mark the end of MTG's third trip to Innistrad, following its introduction in 2011 and its besieging by Eldrazi horrors in Shadows over Innistrad in 2016.
Returning to the horror roots of the famously top-down designed set (which means the team started with the flavour and created card mechanics to match) has meant a glut of zombies, werewolves, demons and haggard humans struggling to make it to the next sunrise. Which gets a lot more difficult when something throws the world into a magically wrought eternal midnight.
Crimson Vow and its immediate predecessor, Midnight Hunt, each respectively focus on vampires and werewolf creatures, but that hasn’t stopped a few from creeping into the opposite side. One of those furry interlopers is featured on an exclusive Dicebreaker reveal - Wolfkin Outcast, whose artwork comes courtesy of Alexander Mokhov. The uncommon rarity Human Werewolf creature comes at a heavy cost of five colourless and one Green mana, but rewards the caster with a stocky 5/4 in power and toughness.
That’s already a fairly good pick in Limited MTG formats, where board presence and ability to take a few hits on defence are worth their weight in land cards, but Wolfkin Outcast synergises with his furry friends - if the player controls either a wolf or werewolf creature, that cost is knocked down by two colourless mana. With plenty of choices in the lower-cost categories, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to hit the board on turn three.
Being a werewolf, our Outcast is also Daybound, locked to a vicious cycle of releasing his inner beast once the sun sets. This occurs mechanically whenever a player casts no spells on their turn, prompting all Daybound cards to flip to the Nightbound side of their dual-face card. His transformation is Wedding Crasher, a 6/5 power and toughness werewolf with an axe to grind and a party of ghoulish guests locked in his sights.
Wedding Crasher’s rage manifests in the form of his one ability, letting the controlling player draw a card whenever it or another wolf or werewolf creature dies. Card draw is a powerful resource in Magic: The Gathering, regardless of format, making this uninvited thrasher valuable even if he never takes a swing during combat. Having to chump block with him or another lupine pal doesn’t sting quite so much when one might topdeck an even bigger threat.
Innistrad: Crimson Vow, which contains 277 cards - not counting the two tie-in Commander preconstructed decks, launches digitally on Magic: The Gathering Arena and MTG Online November 11th. Physical prerelease will run from November 12th to November 18th, preceding the full paper launch of the set on November 19th.
This is the last major set for Magic: The Gathering in 2021. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty begins 2022’s line-up of main MTG releases in February and will be another return to a fan-favourite plane, this time awash in a cyberpunk aesthetic. While some worry this was a wish that curled a finger on the monkey’s paw, Wizards of the Coast has claimed to be approaching the broad Asian aesthetics with more care and explicit consultancy than last time.