Innistrad: The Story so Far
For those of you who may not be aware (or haven’t been concentrating) the next Magic set sees us planeswalk back to the plane of Innistrad for our third visit. While it seems like not much time has past since our last visit to the plane (for me at least) it has actually been 5 years since the release of the last expansion set there, Eldritch Moon (the passage of time is a scary, scary thing).
So it seems like a great time to do a very brief overview of the plane and what kinds of thing we can be expecting from the next sets Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow.
Our first visit to Innistrad took place in 2011 giving us an introduction to one of the (if not the most) loved planes in the entirety of the multiverse. It also happens to be around the time I got into the game so these sets have a special significance to me.
Innistrad is the plane of classic gothic horror, featuring all of the tropes we’ve all come to know and love. We have the monsters in the form of Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires and Spirits all terrorising the poor Humans of the plane. The Humans mostly stay inside the various towns and cities under the protection of cathar and clerics worshipping the angel Avacyn, a divine being notably absent when we arrive in the set.
The humans continue to have a rough time during the second set Dark Ascension seeing the monsters grow in power and hinting at a plot led by the planeswalker Liliana to release a demon named Griselbrand from the Helvault, a magical prison keeping captive. This comes to a conclusion during Avacyn Restored which sees Liliana trick a cathar named Thalia to open the Helvault letting loose Griselbrand and his demon followers. Also contained within the Helvault however was Avacyn who restored balance between humans and monsters with the assistance of her angelic sisters, Bruna, Gisela and Sigarda.
We venture back to Innistrad five years later with the release of Shadows over Innistrad which, once again, paints a bad picture for the humans of the world. Avacyn has been driven mad and attacking the humans she’s sworn to protect leading to the flavour text present on ‘Avacyn, the Purifier’ “...She is our guardian no longer.”.
Avacyn remains out of control leading to her creator, a planeswalker named Sorin, destroying her. This shifts the power firmly into the hands of the monsters as the humans are hunted even more ruthlessly than before. Eldritch Moon sees the finale of the story started in Battle for Zendikar seeing the eldrazi titan Emrakul influencing the plane of Innistrad driving monsters mad. This introduces a new potent threat for the humans of Innistrad as monsters and humans alike are being manipulated and merged to for eldrazi mutations. This is eventually dealt with by the combined power of the planeswalkers Jace and Tamiyo, trapping Emrakul into Innistrad’s moon.
Now we come to the fun bit, endless speculation! Midnight Hunt is going to see the shift of power well and truly move to the monsters side, giving them massive advantages over the humans of the world. As indicated in the name of the set I would expect to see a large focus on werewolves promising a return of the ever popular transform mechanic.
I would expect to see a return of a few of the more popular characters previously seen on Innistrad as well. Thalia is a character who’s appeared in both previous visits, as well as Tamiyo and Sorin who’ve all had cards in previous Innistrad sets. We have had a few spoilers so far featuring the planeswalker Wrenn this time accompanies by Seven rather than the previous version Six as well as Champion of the Perished, a very interesting call back to Champion of the Parish from the first Innistrad set which I think perfectly represents the balance change from humans to monsters.
As usual this is promising to be an incredibly exiting set for me (as most Magic releases are) and this is doubly exciting as it sees the return of the pre-release events we’ve all been missing over the past months.
Athena will be hosting a huge variety of pre-release events, including the return of the ever-popular two headed giant pre-release, over the course of Friday 17th to Sunday 19th with tickets to all being available now at the link below: