Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review - Green

(Dryad's Revival | Art by Mila Pesic)

Waxing Poetic Under the Midnight Moon

Hello, everyone! Today I am bringing you my thoughts on the green cards of our third visit to the plane of Innistrad. There's quite a mix of cards to discuss, but thankfully none of them strike me as "must have" staples of the format. That hardly means that these cards are bad; in fact, I think the diversity of options we received is a great boon for the format, as we can pick and choose what most interests us rather than feeling obligated or pressured to own "the new hotness." With no further delay, let's begin our cardboard hunt.


Consuming Blob

As much as I love Oozes and creating tokens, Consuming Blob will likely be relegated to Ooze tribal and other constructed formats. A card that consistently creates large tokens is good, but at the end of the day we're paying five mana for a slow influx of vanilla creatures. Note that it only counts your own graveyard, not all graveyards. I think it's safe to assume this card will be a 5/6 most of the time, a 7/8 at max, with just a bit more potential if you happen to use any cards with the 'Tribal' type in your deck (which tends to be a rarity in most EDH decks). I don't think it's too hard to get the Blob to a respectable size, but it and its tokens rely upon the whims of the table, since a single Bojuka Bog depletes them mightily.

I anticipate this card will mostly just appear in Ooze tribal decks (often led by The Mimeoplasm), with a possibility of also showing up in the occasional Populate deck, like Ghired, Conclave Exile, to inject the game with some goofier tokens. Adrix and Nev, Twincasters could also have a field day making copies of the Blob itself, so that each copy makes even more Oozes!

Primal Adversary

I've struggled with finding a place where I'd want to play the Adversary cycle. While they'll often function as modal spells in other formats, Commander players almost exclusively would want to take advantage of their pseudo-Multikicker abilities. I would rate Primal Adversary's trigger as one of the least impactful of the cycle. Animating lands in Standard gives substantial board presence, but Commander is a format of resource accumulation, rather than tempo. Exposing lands to removal is usually disadvantageous.

Certain varieties of 'Lands Matter' decks do like land animation, and those decks will be able to animate multiple lands easily. However, that's a small subset of decks, and even those decks already have more reliable options, like Sylvan Awakening. I think I'd struggled to justify five mana to animate a single land into a 3/3, especially when cards like Embodiment of Insight can do it more reliably, don't leave the lands vulnerable during enemy turns, and cost a lot less money. This Adversary turns the lands into Wolf creatures, but truthfully, even in Wolf Tribal decks, I think this card would be low on the priority list, because using it optimally means putting your resources at risk. I won't call this card bad, but it has to make a steep climb to justify putting it into a decklist.

Wrenn and Seven

What if we combined Mulch, Fastbond, half of Kalonian Twingrove, and a permanent-based Praetor's Counsel onto a single card? While these aren't exact parallels, it gives you an idea of the value that Wrenn and Seven brings to the table. It's all attached to a five-mana planeswalker with five starting loyalty, which is important; I'm not saying this package of effects isn't worth that cost, but it does limit the decks that it can be played in. 'Lands Matter' is the fifth most popular deck archetype, according to EDHREC's Theme Page, so there's already at least one home.

While this will be a powerful inclusion in many land-focused decks, it will shine brightest in Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant. It digs for more lands to flip Sasaya, and it provides a way to drop all lands from hand after hitting Sasaya's threshold. That's a power play that most tables aren't ready for, especially if they've never seen how quickly Sasaya explodes. Let me assure you, the numbers are bigger than you'd expect.

Beyond Sasaya, I think Tatyova, Benthic Druid and Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Straits make the most compelling case for using the new Wrenn, and possibly Omnath, Locus of the Roil. Those Landfall decks wind up with lots of cards in hand, while other Landfall commanders sometimes run out of lands in hand and rely upon land drops from their graveyard via Ramunap Excavator and friends. Tatyova can happily blaze through two or three extra land drops, then slam down Wrenn and plop three or four more lands into play, too. That's pretty insane.

I think the land focus on this planeswalker largely relegates Wrenn away from Superfriends and keeps it in lands-based decks, and not every Landfall deck necessarily needs this thing either, but the ones that can routinely fill their hand with lots of lands for Wrenn's surprise slam will have an absolute field day. Watch out for this thing with Storm Cauldron too, by the way!


Augur of Autumn

Frankly, this will probably be one of the most played cards in the set, not just from among the green cards, but from among the entirety of Midnight Hunt as a whole. Courser of Kruphix is still played in 21,000 decks, from Omnath, Locus of Rage and Lord Windgrace to Karametra, God of Harvests and Azusa, Lost but Seeking, and Augur will often be a Courser with upside. While this doesn't fix your mana like Vizier of the Menagerie, it does have the option to clear the top of your deck in multiple ways. That's powerful. I'm not sure how difficult Coven will be to satisfy, but it's not looking like a very a tall order to me. Even outside the lands decks, flash decks, like Yeva, Nature's Herald and Surrak Dragonclaw, are sure to find an immediate home for this, and Nikya of the Old Ways and Animar, Soul of Elements were just given another way to go off with tons of creatures. Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire might also like another way to survey the top of the library, too!

Briarbridge Tracker

I could see this being a Constructed all-star, but for Commander, Briarbridge Tracker is going to be limited. Green has no shortage of ways to draw cards, and most of them get you more than one card for five mana. If you're looking to play Tracker, you'll want artifact, token, or sacrifice synergy to get the most from its Investigate trigger. While those are popular archetypes, they also then to have more impactful cards than this. I think Lonis, Cryptozoologist is ultimately going to be the Tracker's most comfortable home. I could also potentially see Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse using it for more ways to draw cards on an opponent's turn, but that's a pretty expensive way to fulfill that goal.

Saryth, the Viper's Fang

Deathtouch tribal continues to grow! While Saryth has stiff inter-set competition, I believe she's going to be a sleeper hit. Deathtouch and hexproof are potent keywords to grant even if you have to toggle between them. One of my favorite decks, Emmara, Soul of the Accord, uses this concept often. Tapping creatures down with Cryptolith Rite threatens not only instant-speed interaction, but also makes each creature ready to strike with deadly intent. Ironically, Fynn, the Fangbearer immediately leaps to mind for Saryth, but I think Fynn's already got plenty of other cheap deathtouchers and won't actually end up needing the help. Toski, Bearer of Secrets loves this additional threat. First strike and trample are astounding with deathtouch, so if your army regularly has access to those keywords, get ready to stomp on some folks. And yes, when you tap a Prodigal Sorcerer to ping a creature, it gets that juicy deathtouch. Goblin Sharpshooter, eat your heart out!

I expect most people will value Saryth, the Viper's Fang's untap ability even more. On the surface, Saryth can untap a creature to create an additional blocker or allow you to protect key creatures. However, explosive plays are going to happen when you untap a Circle of Dreams Druid or Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Captain Sisay, or Garth One-Eye need a quick untap? Saryth has you covered! It gets especially funny with Samut, Voice of Dissent!

Saryth can also just function as a second Guardian Augmenter, especially if your commander has natural vigilance, like Mowu, Loyal Companion. Decks with two Partner commanders might like the extra protection too, and decks like Shalai, Voice of Plenty appreciate the cross-protection to make themselves nigh-untouchable.

Saryth offers a diversity of options. Don't sleep on this card, or you might just fall victim to her fangs.

Storm the Festival

Storm the Festival's floor and its ceiling are vastly far apart, and your personal acceptance of that variance will determine whether you think this card is good or not. Its absolute floor is that you flip five instants or sorceries off the top, and can put nothing into play. That's pretty dang unlikely, though. The most likely worst-case scenario is that you'll hit just two lands. Six mana for two lands is... pretty steep. At its ceiling, though, you might get two five-drops. Since this only digs down five cards, most of the time I think you'll probably end up with something like one five-drop and a land, or perhaps a four-drop and a two-drop. Oh, and it also has Flashback, but that's a hurkin' big cost, so I reckon things would have to have gone pretty badly to ever warrant using it.

If you're excited by the prospect of spinning the wheel for value, this card won't disappoint you. If, however, you like to have more control and want to cheat mana to its maximum, I would pass on this. I enjoy the tension that this card brings, and my current deckbuilding is willing to lean into these cards even more, but I don't think this is a good sell for most players.

Tovolar's Huntmaster

Wolf Titan? Grave Huntsmaster? Someone funnier than me probably has a better nickname for our new color-shifted Grave Titan. While there are appreciable differences between this card and Grave Titan, when a comparison begins with a card that appears in over 16,000 decks, you take notice.

Creating tokens on the attack trigger requires the game to be night. Even despite this, creating two 2/2 on a 6/6 body is dang good, and the incidental upside of potentially flipping into a 7/7 with an on-board removal ability absolutely pushes the power of this card. While it should be no surprise that this will be a finisher in Tovolar, Dire Overlord, it also has homes in other decks. Fight decks have become more popular in the last few years, for example, so Rhonas, the Indomitable and Neyith of the Dire Hunt will both look to take advantage of the new Huntmaster. The oft-forgotten underdog Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves has also gotten a huge boost from Midnight Hunt. Not only does it get two fight triggers, it also gains a substantial chunk of life! Even token decks perked up at this six-mana token-maker, and Roon of the Hidden Realm loves having some handy token-making ETB effects!

Tovolar's Huntmaster overall rate of play will only be limited by the reality of it wandering into an already-crowded field of efficient green token-making beatsticks, and it lacks the massive tribal presence that Grave Titan's Zombie tokens often appreciate, since Zombies are one of the most popular tribes in EDH. Even so, it's got its own tribal relevance, and I still appreciate it amongst that big field of token-makers. Frankly, I want to play this card just to make an "Inside you, there are two wolves" joke every time I cast it!

Unnatural Growth

Unnatural Growth has the 'wow factor' in spades. Doubling anything in Commander is always powerful, and green just gets better at what it already did best. Also, why does this trigger each combat? Not that I'm complaining, but I skimmed over that detail on first read. Making your creatures bigger is always useful. Xenagos, God of Revels says hi. Kamahl, Heart of Krosa and Pathbreaker Ibex enjoy the big buffs getting even bigger. But how do we use this card beyond just 'being big'?

This answer is pretty easy. Green most often draws cards based on the power of its creatures. Momentous Fall and Greater Good suddenly double their possible output. Rishkar's Experise post-combat gets bug-nutty, and Return of the Wildspeaker can be used after combat to draw more cards, or before combat to provide not just +3/+3, but +6/+6! While Unnatural Growth doesn't help trigger cards like Elemental Bond or Colossal Majesty, it also doesn't need to. You know what sounds good with this thing? Multiple combat steps. Hey, Relentless Assault and Moraug, Fury of the Akoum, get over here! This enchantment doesn't grant trample, which is a substantial difference from other effects, like Overwhelming Stampede, but with enough combat steps, that detail might not even matter.

Personally, I'd also love to put this enchantment in an Enchantress deck, like Sythis, Harvest's Hand. Why? Starfield of Nyx is one of my favorite win conditions in EDH, and I love the idea of animating an Unnatural Growth and attacking someone with it for 10 damage! I expect to see this card in EDH quite often. Thankfully Wizards threw four green pips onto this card, so we'll most often see it in mono-green and green-heavy two-color decks.

Willow Geist

While not as impactful as Tormod, the Desecrator as a "leaves the graveyard" payoff, Willow Geist excites me because of the continued exploration of that design space. I'm always wary of deckbuilding with creatures that "only" get bigger. However, I've often seen Managorger Hydra become a must-answer threat, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Plus, as a one-drop, its commitment level is low. I think its rate of play is destined to be low too, though. I could see some lifegain variants of Reyhan, Last of the Abzan using this to shift counters around for some big lifegain payoff. Abzan and Modular builds for Reyhan do include ways to recur quickly from the grave with the likes of Together Forever or Arcbound Reclaimer. Otherwise, this little Geist requires too much work to truly earn its forever home.

Uncommons and Commons

Dryad's Revival

We got a Regrowth variant! While Eternal Witness and creature-based effects have most often been the go-to choice, additional spell-based options are always welcome if only for deck diversity and specialization. While this won't replace Regrowth, and frankly won't even unseat Bala Ged Recovery, Flashback gives it much welcomed repeatability in the same way Timeless Witness does. Never overlook getting multiple uses from the same card! Self-mill decks in particular will enjoy this customization.

Outland Liberator

During the day, Outland Liberator is a variant of the tried-and-true staples Thrashing Brontodon (9,200 decks) and Caustic Caterpillar (15,500 decks). These effects are popular for a reason, and this might be a sleeper staple of the set. My expectation is that many players will overlook the backside of these cards as unreliable, but for Liberator, I see it as nothing but upside. The back half is like a two-mana Trygon Predator variant! Even if it gets blocked, it can sacrifice for more removal! Note too that if it's already night when this card is cast, it enters at the Trapbreaker, which could matter for cards like Elemental Bond, or if we have a haste-enabler in play.

This is a spell effect on a creature, so Ruric Thar, Unbowed and Nikya of the Old Ways, take notice. It's a cheap sacrifice effect, so any deck that already plays Caustic Caterpillar, such as Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and Muldrotha, the Grave Tide, make a quick comparison to see if you'd prefer a two-mana body and a one-mana sacrifice cost instead of the one-mana body with the two-mana sacrifice cost. I think this card might pass folks by until they see how much work it puts in for Tovolar, Dire Overlord, and then players will start to consider it for their own decks, too.

Eccentric Farmer

If Satyr Wayfinder can find its way into over 12,000 decks, then at the very least, this card warrants discussion. Three mana is a big shift from two mana. At three mana, we're usually in Wood Elves territory. The appeal of this card really boils down to its self-mill aspect. Filling the graveyard while securing a land drop for next turn is pretty cool, and the land doesn't have to be one from among the top three cards. Truth be told, I'm torn on this card. Self-mill decks usually prefer very cheap creatures, like the Satyr or like Stitcher's Supplier, especially since those are Skullclampable. I still think you're well-served to consider this card, though. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant decks like a creature that mills, for example. Izoni, Thousand-Eyed feels the same way. This is a curious little common. It's not quite on par with some other self-mill contemporaries, but don't count it out completely!

Waning with the Coming Dawn

As sure as the moon rises and falls, so too does yet another set review come to a close. I hope you have enjoyed these green new offerings for the Commander format! My opinions are hardly monolithic, so I'd love to hear what you think of the new green cards from the set! Where am I off-base? Am I underrating Consuming Blob? Am I overselling Unnatural Growth? Let me know, and happy hunting!

Mason is an EDH player from Georgia, who is a self-proclaimed Johnny and Vorthos. His MTG career started with a casual lifegain deck with only a single win-condition. When not consuming MTG, he spends his time being a full-time student, an avid sports fan, and a dabbling musician. Mason can be found on twitter @K_Mason64