The plane of Innistrad is not a safe place. Vampires, zombies and spirits strip the land of life, and many of the humans have a dark, hairy secret.
This macabre, classic horror-themed block is teeming with nastiness. Will you help the humans battle the hordes of monsters that try to break through the gates of Thraben? Or will you lay a hand in the siege?
Old favourites, new colours:
Zombies, vampires, werewolves return, but with an added colour! There are the traditional shambling Black zombies, as well as the new Frankenstein’s monster-styled Blue zombies. Vampires are no longer confined to Black either; there are now Red vampires, equipped with the speed and fury of the Mountains. Werewolves are predominantly Green, with some White and Red lycanthropes as well.
The Innistrad set has a distinct tribal flavour, but you are not forced to stick with the tribal component in the way you were in Lorwyn/Shadowmoor. However, Wizards of the Coast have created some powerful synergies for players to harness if they stick to the tribal aspect.
Theme of 13
Keeping with the classic horror theme, many of the cards in Innistrad make use of the unlucky 13 (for example, Into the Maw of Hell destroys a target land and does 13 damage to target creature, and Blasphemous Act deals 13 damage to each creature in play).
A brand new Innistrad mechanic, Morbid activates whenever a creature dies. This can be your own creature or one of your opponent’s. There are many delightful cards in this set that have additional or improved effects if a creature has died during the turn. Everything from Caravan Vigil’s land coming onto the battlefield instead of into your hand, to Morkrut Banshee, 4/4 flying spirit that gives another creature -4/-4 when she arrives, effectively doing the job of Grasp of Darkness as an added bonus.
A new mechanic, this Aura attaches itself to you opponent, with dire consequences, from permanently weakening their creatures, to dealing a point of damage to them every turn, curses will slowly cripple your opponent.
Round 1, Fight!
Not entirely a new mechanic, some cards allow creatures to fight one another. When this happens, the two creatures deal damage to each other equal to their power. Combat effects like First Strike and Trample do not apply in a fight, allowing you to pick off those annoyingly elusive creatures and spellslingers.
Return of Flashback.
Flashback allows you to cast a spell from your graveyard, albeit at a higher price. Once you cast it though, that spell gets exiled, which is sometimes a small price to pay to use a good spell twice.
Another brand new, and heavily debated, mechanic in Innistrad is double-faced cards that literally have something on either side. When certain conditions are met, the card turns over and that little human girl becomes a nasty werewolf or ghoul. These cards will force both you and your opponents to stay on your toes and change strategy when a 2/2 suddenly becomes a 3/3 with Intimidate (like the Gatstaf Shepherd). Worried your opponents will see what cards you have? Wizards has solved this with checklist cards where you can mark what the card is, and then you pull out the actual card when you want to play it. That way you keep the element of surprise and don’t have to worry about turning your cards around in their sleeves all the time!
Firing up the sacrificial pit:
Deathly Dominion is a Green Black deck that makes heavy use of the new Morbid mechanic. Killing your opponent’s creatures is a great way to activate your Morbid abilities, but there are times when you may want or need to sacrifice your own creatures to gain the advantage. The trick is knowing when the best time to do this is, so the deck has some interesting strategies to work with. Sacrifice a creature too early, and you may end up in trouble. Wait too long, and you might miss your chance! Overall, this is a strong deck, with a very fun strategy of seeing the lives of your creatures as a new resource to work with. Your enemy will think twice after he destroys one of your creatures during your turn and you cast a Morbid creature in response.
The Disciple of Griselbrand not only keeps your health pool topped up, but is a great way to get rid of a creature to make way for your Morbid cards. Especially if you have a Lumberknot in play, a Hexproof creature that gets bigger each time something dies! The Skirsdag High Priest is the crowning jewel of this deck. This premium foil Cleric can summon a 5/5 Flying Demon by tapping himself and two other creatures whenever the Morbid condition is fulfilled. If this steady stream of infernal cohorts can’t beat through your opponent’s defences, you can bide your time until you can afford Moldgraf Monstrosity, an 8/8 insect with Trample. Moldgraf is a hard hitter that, when it dies, returns two random creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield, triggering their Morbid abilities to boot!
As you play with this deck, you will no longer see death as an inconvenience, but a dark road to power. Do you have what it takes to rule over death?
Birthing Pod is just begging to be added to this deck, as its mechanic ensures that your new creature arrives after something has died. Mix in some other cards with “when creature dies” effects, and your opponent might just try to help you keep your creatures alive.
Here is the decklist.
1 Ambush Viper
|1 Altar’s Reap
2 Caravan Vigil
2 Dead Weight
1 Demonmail Hauberk
1 Doom Blade
1 Make a Wish
1 Prey Upon
2 Rampant Growth
12 other spells
Last Updated: January 3, 2017