Just uploaded to Star City Games’ Facebook page are more Innistrad spoilers, revealing new mechanics and something everyone will be happy to see. So, without further ado, let’s do this!
Olivia Voldaren is the red/black vampire legend most people were expecting were gonna be in the set, but she’s actually playable, which we didn’t expect. 2BR is appropriately costed for this 3/3 black and red flyer with not one but two activated abilities; her first ability for 1R, she deals 1 damage to a creature aside from her. This creature becomes a vampire in addition to its other types, and Olivia gets a +1/+1 counter. I’m surprised there wasn’t a vampire that made more vampire before now, come to think of it. Vampires do make more vampires by biting them, now they finally did it. Now, her second ability for 3BB allows you to get control of any vampire on the board as long as you control her. So, anything you hit with her ability is a target, plus other targets in the mirror match. A great card and an excellent card to reveal to us, props to wizards on this one, even if she is going to be a Mythic Rare.
These three cards reveal one of the new mechanics, Transform. Right above the cards power and toughness, there’s another set of power and toughness above them, albeit smaller, representing what their power and toughness become when they transform. This also implies they can transform back whenever you want to, or may be forced to in the case of Mayor of Avabruck.
Looking at them individually, Screeching back is a 2/2 flyer for 3 mana, which is about average. However, during your upkeep, you can pay 2BB to transform your bat into a 5/5 flyer. It’s a great way of showing how this ability can work.
Major of Avabruck is a green 1/1 Human Advisor Werewolf that gives all your other humans +1/+1 for 2. However, if no spells were cast during your last turn, he transforms into a 3/3 for that same 2 mana. He’s also another good way of introducing Transform into the format.
Ludevic’s Test Subject is a blue 0/3 defender lizard for 1U, which by itself isn’t bad, as that’s 1 less mana than Roc Egg, the 2W 0/3 defender who got reprinted in M12. However, for 1U, you can place a hatchling counter on this card, and then if there are 5 or more hatchling counters on it, you can remove all of them and transform it; into a 13/13. I’m not sure if it keeps the defender, which means it’s possible that transforming removes all abilities other than the transformation ability, but we’ll learn that later.
Hollowhenge Scavenger is a 4/5 green Elemental for 3GG that introduces us to another mechanic new to Innistrad, Morbid. When Hollowhenge Scavenger enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn, you gain 5 life. This makes me assume from the name and this ability is that Morbid triggers when other creatures have died in the same turn in most cases.
Zombies make a triumphant return in Innistrad with Diregraf Ghoul, the perfect example of a good zombie; a 2/2 for 1 black that comes into play tapped. This is going to be a great card in draft, instantly putting a threat on the board that’ll beat your face in if it isn’t fried immediately. I honestly think this card could see some play in Standard with it’s power for only 1 black mana.
Stiched Drake is a 3/4 zombie drake flyer for 1UU and removing a creature from your discard. It’s actually a pretty good draft card for a common, decently balanced as you have to have lost a creature before you played it, but is still cheap enough to play easily early game. Another good card I’m happy to see.
Bloodcrazed Neonate is an interesting vampire. 1R for a 2/1 vampire that has to attack every turn, and when it inflicts combat damage to a player, it gets a +1/+1 counter. In draft, this can easily become ridiculous. I’ve had games where I’ve had opponents not play a creature until hitting 4 mana, meaning if you drop this at 2 mana, you’ve got a 3/2 on the board that’ll just keep getting bigger if they don’t have an answer. However, being a 2/1 is bad, as that one toughness lets you get killed by the wimpiest of saprolings and chump blockers. However, it’s good to see a red vampire, meaning these red vampires will most likely be wanting to feed, rather than be the strategic black vampires of Zendikar.
Curse! CUUUUURSE! Curse of the Blood Tome adds a new enchantment type to the game, Curse. It also shows us an “enchant player” enchantment, which is always fun to see. Curse of the Bloody Tome for 2U causes that player to mill 2 cards during each of their upkeeps. A stack of these will mill an opponent down pretty quickly in draft and sealed deck. It’s a decent card.
Boneyard Wurm is… well, cheap. Cheap and potentially very dangerous. This is honestly a really good card for an uncommon. Its power and toughness are equal to the number of creatures in your graveyard. It’s no Tarmogoyf, but it’s still a good card, in draft at the very least. It’s possible to even see play in Commander and maybe Standard if self-milling becomes a theme with this set.
Skirsdag Cultist is a decent uncommon, for 2RR you get a 2/2 that can sacrifice a creature and deal 2 damage to target creature or player for a red mana and a tap. You could always block with him, then use his ability to sacrifice himself and ping your opponent for 2.
This was revealed in the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 game, but it was re-revealed at the Innistrad PAX Party, so I’ll take a look at it here; for 1 green, the enchanted creatures gets +X/+X, where X is the number of creatures you have in your graveyard. This is a pretty damn good enchantment for 1 green. Like Boneyard Wurm, I think it might see some play outside of draft and sealed deck, and will give you a reason to play green in said formats.
THIS IS THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY CARD THEY REVEALED. New enemy dual lands, meaning there will be a U/R, R/W, B/W and U/G lands along with Woodland Cemetery, which is B/G. I’m happy they’re printing these. They aren’t fetches, but they’re almost as great.
Devil’s Play is another Banefire, except this one has flashback for 2 more red. It’s a decent addition to the set as a rare, and shows us that flashback really is back in Innistrad block.
My apologies for the very poor quality of this picture, but this was the source picture I was able to find. This card is Wooden Steak, which as a 2 drop equipment, it has an equip cost of 1 and causes any vampire the equipped creature battles to die and be unable to regenerate. It could see play as a sideboard card, in draft at the very least.
Another picture of terrible quality, but this card is Travel Preparations, which is a common from the set. It’s a sorcery that for 1G puts a +1/+1 counter on each of up to two target creatures, which is pretty good, and also has flashback of 1W, which makes sense with the Human archetype supposedly being the GW archetype in the Innistrad block. Another decent card in the set, which could see some play in standard.
While I know that’s a card from Zendikar, Blazing Torch is being reprinted as confirmed by PAX, and is a 1 drop 1 equip equipment that prevents the equipped creature from being blocked by vampires or zombies, both of which are big in Innistrad. You can also tap the equipped creature and sacrifice Blazing Toch to deal 2 damage to target creature or player.
This is a very, very good card. a 2/2 for 2 white with first strike, vigilance, protection from Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies. Definitely deserving of being a rare, I think this might be my favorite card in the set so far.
However, since I reviewed these, I’m going to also take a look at the cards that were already revealed in the Duel of the Planeswalkers game, so look out for that. Due to these, Part 4 of the Commander/EDH ban list will be a little delayed, but I promise it’ll be up soon.