The Mechanics of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
Time to take a closer look at the mechanics, keywords and other unique aspects to Midnight Hunt, so you can be as ready as possible to assess each card during pre-release and draft.
Day & Night, Daybound, Nightbound:
These are all technically mechanics that used to exist in the previous iterations of Innistrad, but this time the mechanic has been given a name and some keywords, along with a relatively cleaner way to go about things.
I am of course referring to the ‘werewolf’ mechanic where casting no spells during a turn would cause werewolf creatures to transform into the back side of the card, and then if a player cast two or more spells during a turn, creatures transformed this way would return to their original side.
We now introduce the Day/Night condition, as well as the mechanics that will most of the time introduce it to a game; Daybound and Nightbound.
First of all, the game starts neither day or night. If an effect would mention that it becomes either day or night, then the Day/Night cycle has begun and it can never cease to affect the current game.
If it is Day, whenever a player casts no spells during their turn, it becomes night at the beginning of the next turn.
If it is Night, whenever a player has cast two or more spells during their turn, it becomes Day at the beginning of the next turn.
If a card bears the Daybound keyword, it will also have the Nightbound keyword on the other side of its card. If Day becomes Night, Daybound creatures transform to their Nightbound side, while the opposite happens if Night turns to Day.
A notable difference to the original way such permanents transformed, is that if it is currently Night and a permanent with Daybound would enter the battlefield, it enters the battlefield with its Nightbound side instead. Furthermore, in the past, opponents could force transformations by casting no spells or double spells during your turn to cause things not to flip/flip depending on what was advantageous to them. This is no longer the case.
During games, several effects will instruct you to transform cards. If such a thing happens, simply flip the card that has transformed to its other side. It is not considered to have left the battlefield unless otherwise stated, and both sides of the card have the same mana value.
A fan favorite mechanic returning to Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Flashback essentially gives instants and sorceries the ability to be cast from your graveyard by paying their Flashback cost and then exiling the card as part of its resolution. It’s like buy one get one free… with your cards!
This is essentially what happens when mommy Transform and daddy Flashback love each other very very much…
Pay the Disturb cost of cards that bear the keyword in your graveyard, to cast them for their transformed side. Note that the transform side of all cards bearing the Disturb keyword exile themselves if they would die instead of going back into the graveyard, so you can’t keep casting them this way.
Coven is a reminder keyword that essentially reminds you that an effect can happen if you have three or more creatures with different powers. It doesn’t inherently do anything on it’s own, but is there to serve as a reminder that three or more different powers among your creatures is something that matters.
A new keyword that mostly appears on Zombie tokens created through several effects in this set. Creatures with decayed can’t block and if they attack, you sacrifice them at the end of combat.
There are several tribes in Innistrad; Humans, Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Spirits are the most prominent. There are cards that synergize well with cards that have certain creature types, so keep your creature type count in mind while deckbuilding/drafting.
And that is all folks! All you need to know about the mechanics of Midnight Hunt. Join us for the next article where we’ll be discussing specific archetypes within the set, as well as a fun draft league by yours truly!