Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review - White
With the promise that white will be improved for Commander, did Innistrad: Midnight Hunt deliver us the daylight after the long night?
Well... it's gonna be a bit more of a process than that, but we did get some sweet cards that care about day and night!
For just one more mana than Ye Olde EDH staple blink strategies, which can always keep up a Get Out of Jail Free card by temporarily exiling the Angel and bringing it back on its front face. However, you'll have to be careful that you let the full trigger resolve and the transformation occur before you do so, otherwise 's "lose the game" clause will occur. Still, this strategy will keep you alive through alpha strikes at the very least, which is fairly powerful all on its own., provides the same benefit stapled to a 3/3 flying body with double strike, along with a tiny shout-out toward that may give a tiny little last gasp for air. The immediate thing that leaps to mind is to use this card in
In other words, those peskydecks have yet another way to make sure they don't lose the five-hour game while still having no way to win it. We get it, Brago!
In truth I don't think this interaction will make much of a splash. The likeliest home for this card is Angel tribal, although there's more competition in those decks with every set that releases.
I'll giveone thing: it's aggressively costed. A 3/1 lifelink for two mana is definitely not anything to scoff at. That said, you do have to pay four mana to really get anything other than a simple body out of this little Human Scout, at which point it's kind of a bad on a stick. Crucially, the counters on it are also 'valor' counters, rather than simple +1/+1 counters, so this isn't even a great card for +1/+1 counter decks, unless perhaps you have a lot of sources of Proliferate. That really only leaves aggro decks, where this is quite good, lifegain decks, where there are probably better options, and token decks, where I still think you'd be happier with other anthem cards.
So aggro players, eat your hearts out! Otherwise this thing is probably staying in Standard.
You can't help but wonder if they could have pushedinto recurring two permanents rather than two creatures, but there's no disputing that this is card advantage in a color that desperately needs it. Not to mention the list of relevant creature targets that this card works with is nothing short of impressive. I concocted a list of the top 10 (well, 11) most popular creatures in mono-white decks that the Savior can resurrect:
Mono-White's Top 11 Creatures With 2 Mana Value Or Less
- (If you were wondering why I went to 11, this is why)
And that's just the beginning of the list! There are probably better feelings in the world than casting an Angel for five mana and reviving a 2/2 Knight that puts a Plains into play, plus a 1/2 Kor that tutors up an Equipment... but I can't immediately think of any.
Of course, this is all a bit 'Magical Christmas Land' for the average deck, which is why I don't suggest throwing Aristocrats strategy, this thing could be an all-star for you.around willy-nilly into all of your white builds. With that said, if you are running a lot of low-to-the-ground creatures or are in the
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
If there's a theme among the white rares of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, it's this: aggressive mana costs. On her own,hits the battlefield as a 1/4 for three mana, which would be underwhelming except that in the worst case scenario she instantly becomes a 2/4 in the attack step, with a 1/1 companion swinging a sword right next to her. This is, again, the worst-case scenario, where you only have one opponent at the time. In your typical four-person pod, where opponents haven't yet bitten the dust, and we can pump those numbers up to a 4/4 with three tokens. We're looking at one of the most aggressively-costed cards available to white that is also one of the color's best token-makers.
Sure, half of those Soldiers are going to end up instantly chump blocked, but we're okay with that.is certainly okay with that. is okay with that. and are okay with that! Aristocrats decks love the death triggers too!
I'm tempted to call this as easily the most-played white card from the set... but I can't, and I'm mad about it. More on that later.
Curse of Silence
The numbers for other white Curses, like, don't give me much hope for Curses in general, but even ignoring prior Curse data, I just gotta say that my initial impression for this card wasn't positive. The reason and effects haven't caught on in EDH is because of the 100-card variance of the format. Usually, the only solid shot you can call is someone's commander, and if you're going to do that, you might as well just play .
creates less feel-bads, however, simply making someone's commander a bit more expensive and giving you the option of drawing you a card once they've finally bitten the bullet. That doesn't make it a strong card, mind you, but it does make it one of only three single-mana Curses in existence. That's not nothing, but... this card is kind of a lot of nothing.
Another Standard set, another attempt to make a playablealternative. While the fact that this can destroy planeswalkers is more interesting than the usual restrictions we get on these efficiently-costed spells, that's probably not enough to knock either Swords or out of your deck unless your meta never really recovered from War of the Spark. In EDH, where we can make lots of indestructible creatures, we want the exile effects over a simple destroy effect, every time, and there aren't usually enough deck slots for both.
Mono-white is near and dear to my heart, so when the community perks up at a card advantage card in this color, I'm usually all ears. This time around, however, I must admit that I was very disappointed by the hype once I actually read. Comparisons to had me laughing in fully depressed fashion, because that's just not what this card is.
Forto draw you a card every turn, you have to not only gain life every turn, but also keep it. Gaining two on your opponent's end step with is all well and good, unless the counters it got are a result of the four life you lost during their turn. In other words, most lifegain decks will be happier with the existing and options, which let you reliably draw cards every time you gain life, rather than playing the game of chicken that presents - one that will also encourage other players to target you.
The one place where I do think this card is an interesting option is in white Spellslinger decks. Granted, that's a pretty small well, but and players know what I'm talking about.
While so did the MTG Wiki!does remind me a little bit of , I'm not sure that it will see similar play numbers without the crucial "indestructible" text (or the adorable Cat Tribal decks). It also just confuses me. Why it doesn't just gain protection instead of a mishmash of most of the things protection gives you? Did I miss 'protection from X' becoming non-evergreen again? Because if I did,
Vanquish the Horde
There are several out there who have been confused by me, a known mono-white enthusiast, not being enthused by the existence of. Don't get me wrong, it's a good card. Better than good, actually. That's kind of my problem. came out in original Innistrad, in 2011, three months after the original Commander precons. So while it's possible that was designed with Commander and multiplayer in mind, I really doubt it. Commander was a more exploratory format at that point, and it wouldn't really start to be designed around as the premiere format for another five years at least. For the most part, there were no big shout-outs or even intentional "each opponent" cards among the Standard set that came out in 2011. Multiplayer was still what it had always been throughout Magic's history: a kitchen table afterthought.
What I'm saying is this:was a mistake. Wizards either didn't know or didn't care how it would play in multiplayer formats like Commander. That is not the case for . The only way anyone could look at this card and not see that it's pretty much always a two-mana is if they've never played a game of Commander. Sure, this could be seen as white "keeping up" with the much-improved red, but I myself take a much more cynical view: this is a purposefully printed $20 bill. It's not good news for white, it's more money that has to be spent in the name of keeping up with the Joneses, because it's the only game in town.
If you're looking to play a tuned build in white, then this is the best board wipe. Period. No niches, no "X might be better under these circumstances".is the new mono-white staple Wrath effect...
...until they print the next one.
Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute
As a reminder, color identity counts all faces of a card, so this card can only be played in decks whose commander's color identity contains red and white. I'm reviewing it here though since the mana cost only requires white.
It takes a second to realize thathas significantly more upside than your average . Transforming a card doesn't remove it from the battlefield, so if you can repeatedly turn night into day and vice versa, you may be able to stack a cornucopia of creatures under . That may only be enough for him to see play in a deck that cares about day & night deck specifically, and more so only the versions of it that include Boros. I think non-competitive decks might like this Human that can also attack occasionally as a non-Human!
Uncommons & Commons
Ambitious Farmhand // Seasoned Cathar
is not a very good white card draw effect, and in the very same set, here's a card advantage effect I'm much more excited about, and it's just an uncommon! Unlike other contenders in the "fetch a Plains" category like , , or , there is no clause on . It just enters and goes and gets you a basic Plains, no questions asked. If you blink it, it will do it again in the same fashion. Many have gnashed their teeth about said Plains going to your hand rather than onto the battlefield, but to those players, I would point out the play numbers on , , , and . The least popular of those still shows up in nearly 6,000 decks
Sure, drawing a card is usually better than getting a land, but at the end of the day, you're replacing a card with a card, and it's a card you'll need, because in Commander, making your late-game land drops is more important than it is in any other format. Besides, if you do find yourself land flooded, you can pay three to get a 3/3 lifelinker. Now that's value!
I anticipate that this card will be overlooked, only appearing in Human Tribal decks, or perhaps lending its lifelink to the occasionaldeck. I implore you to give it a second look. Even appears in 8,000 decks.
Bereaved Survivor // Dauntless Avenger
this is not, but as we noted with , the back half of this card does a reasonable impression. The fact that the creature comes back already attacking can be very good as well, although there are . Still, this is a great recursion tool that will fit in low-to-the-ground decks from to , although I would be hesitant to use it in the more aggressive aggro decks that may not be able to kill their own creatures on demand.
Chaplain of Alms // Chapel Shieldgeist
As a one-mana 1/1 with first strike and Ward 1,may not seem like much... because it isn't. The occasional aggro deck is probably happy to see it, but even there you've probably got better bodies for one mana.
Hey, look, it's!
Okay, that's definitely taking things a little too far, butis nonetheless a tiny equalizer if you're behind in a game. While you'll rarely hit on all three clauses, the likelihood that you'll get two is fairly high, especially if you're not the lifegain deck. For me, two mana for two tokens and four life is worth it, as is four life and a card. only shows up in 236 decks, though. It doesn't replace itself, which matters to me, but it may not be enough to persuade other players who have better ways of creating tokens and gaining life.
Without that little word "flash", this card wouldn't have even warranted discussion, much less inclusion to any EDH deck. With flash, however, you now have a combat trick that occasionally moonlights as a removal spell. A 3/1 for two mana is a decent body, so all too often, you'll be happy to just plop it down in response to a block, remove a problem creature, and call it a day. Most white creatures that destroy an artifact or enchantment usually only hit one type of permanent, likeand . It's a big deal that this can hit either type, and it can attack and block. It's not flashy, it's just a great option. Look for it first in Human Tribal decks, and then watch it spread out a bit more to decks that like to sacrifice creatures, like and .
Gavony Dawnguard //
this is not. It's not even . I'm all for taking a turn off, holding up some mana, sandbagging some cards, but I don't know if day and night are reliable enough to trigger, because players really like casting spells in EDH. Even if night and day do trigger reliably, I'm unsure about the odds of reliably finding good creatures among the top four cards. There are some very valuable low-cost creatures I really like, but there are also only so many card slots in a deck for them, even in the aggro strategies. I'd like to be wrong about this card, but based on the play patterns of EDH players, I think it reads better than it will play.
Lunarch Veteran // Luminous Phantom
isn't a full-fledged , as you only gain life for you own creatures entering the battlefield, but even appears in 7,400 decks! The back half of this card is cheap to Disturb and it gives a nice one-two lifegain punch. Just like Daxos, try this card out in , , , and + .
Search Party Captain
The real question withis what cost you're willing to pay for it. At full price, there's pretty much no question you're unhappy. At three mana, it's not a deal breaker, but you're not ecstatic, either. At two mana, you're getting a bear that replaces itself, a strictly better rate than what you'd see for other cantrip creatures. At one mana you're absolutely ecstatic to get a body and a card back. In other words, if your deck is consistently triggering Battalion, then you're really gonna like . If you're in mono-white and love abusing and , check this out too. If you're neither of those things, you have infinitely better places to put four mana. White wants card draw, not just cantrip creatures.
White Can Haz Card Draw?
While the headliner white card in this set will always rightfully be, the sneaky takeaway from white in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is card draw. may be pretty restricted in where it's usable, but and are not, and fits into a few strategies too. Combine that with the card advantage we're getting from the numerous cards that resurrect lots of tiny creatures, and there's a lot to be hopeful about for white, which is slowly introducing more ways to establish staying power during long games of EDH.
It's getting easier and easier with every release, so give mono-white a try. Or you can just keep it as a support color. It's still the best at that.