Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Limited Set Review: Black
Table of Contents
- 17Lands: Where I Agree, Disagree, and What Data You Should Be Taking From It
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Sealed Guide
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Strategies You Aren’t Drafting Enough
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Draft Guide – May 2023 Update
- How to Utilize Context from Past Limited Formats – Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Edition
- The Archetypes to Avoid in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Draft
- How to Play and Draft the Best Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Archetypes
- Underperformers and Overperformers of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Limited
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) Limited Tier List – October 2021 Draft Challenge Update
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Limited Guide: Part 1 – Mechanics
- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Limited Guide: Part 2 – Best Spells and Archetypes
- Arrogant Outlaw
- Baneblade Scoundrel
- Bat Whisperer
- Blood Pact
- Bloodline Culling
- Bloodtithe Collector
- Champion of the Perished
- Covert Cutpurse
- Crawl from the Cellar
- Curse of Leeches
- Diregraf Horde
- Eaten Alive
- Ecstatic Awakener
- Foul Play
- Ghoulish Procession
- Gisa, Glorious Resurrector
- Graveyard Trespasser
- Heirloom Mirror
- Hobbling Zombie
- Infernal Grasp
- Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
- Jerren, Corrupted Bishop
- Lord of the Forsaken
- Mask of Griselbrand
- The Meathook Massacre
- Morbid Opportunist
- Morkrut Behemoth
- No Way Out
- Novice Occultist
- Olivia’s Midnight Ambush
- Rotten Reunion
- Shady Traveler
- Siege Zombie
- Slaughter Specialist
- Stromkirk Bloodthief
- Tainted Adversary
- Vampire Interloper
- Vengeful Strangler
- 5.0: Disgustingly powerful and basically unbeatable. Either answer it the turn it comes down or just pack up your cards. (Esika’s Chariot, Fury, Starnheim Unleashed)
- 4.5: Incredible bomb that still gives your opponent a slim chance. (Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant, Alrund’s Epiphany, Grand Master of Flowers)
- 4.0: Great rare or the absolute best uncommons and removal. (Froghemoth, Murder, Skullport Merchant)
- 3.5: Great role filler or removal that you never cut. (Magic Missile, Clarion Spirit, Battle Cry Goblin)
- 3.0: Good playable that I’m basically never cutting. (Usher of the Fallen, Owlbear, Dragon Turtle)
- 2.5: Decent playable and the bar I hope nearly every card in my deck to reach. (Rally Maneuver, Steadfast Paladin, Goblin Morningstar)
- 2.0: Mediocre filler that normally is your 20-23rd card(s). (Contact Other Plane, Vampire Spawn, Valor Singer)
- 1.5: Replaceable, overall bad filler. Could also be decent sideboard cards. (Dungeon Map, Spiked Pit Trap, Village Rites)
- 1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Secret Door, Brazen Dwarf, Funeral Longboat)
- 0.5: Very unhappy to main deck this, but maybe it has fringe sideboard applications. (You see a Guard Approach, Kick in the Door, Compelled Duel)
- 0.0: Unplayable in every possible situation. (Mimic, Fifty feet of Rope, Bard Class)
A situational Vampire Spawn just ain’t gonna cut it. Not being able to trigger this will leave you with an awful 3/2 for three, and even when you do trigger it, it’s nothing special. Arrogant Outlaw is playable in the very aggressive decks, but is never going to be exciting.
This is a really hard creature to block, especially once it flips. You only need so many four drops, but this seems like it’ll be one of the better ones.
The payoff here is at least better than Arrogant Outlaw. The problem is that when you don’t trigger this, it’s just a Giant Cockroach, which will just trade down in combat. If you can ensure that you’re consistently triggering this then go ahead and play it, but the floor here is just too low for me to be interested in this. Keep in mind that the stock of this does go way up the more Vampire Interlopers you have.
Bladebrand was surprisingly good in Ravnica Allegiance limited because of how good it was with Footlight Fiend. I don’t see a card in this set that’s similar to Goblin Arsonist, which means that Bladebrand will mostly be mediocre unless you can combine it with some Decayed tokens or something.
Three mana Sign in Blood? I thought that the power creep was supposed to be making cards more powerful, not less. This just looks like a really bad Divination to me, even though it’s an instant and can deal the final two to the opponent. I would just play a random creature over this.
Just a Murder that can clean up some Decayed tokens every now and then. Unconditional removal will always be an incredibly high priority in limited. However, I could see this be a 3.5/5 considering that there are so many cards with Disturb running around. I would guess that most non-exile removal spells will end up being worse in this set than they normally would be.
I’m always down for a Shining Aerosaur and the little bit of value that’s tacked on here helps to push Bloodtithe Collector over the edge. It’s nice too because by the time you’re casting this, it should be pretty easy to trigger and your opponent should already be down to their last few cards. That makes it more likely that you snag a spell from their hand.
Champion of the Perished
Decayed tokens is what makes this awesome. Obviously there’s already zombie support because this is Innistrad, but amassing Decayed tokens seems really easy so I would expect this to get out of hand very quickly, especially if you end up in Dimir. Worst case scenario, this is still most often a one mana 2/2 or 3/3, which is still great.
This is going to be hard to play around since it’s an uncommon. The powerful effect and good flipped side more than make up for the 2/1 body here. All of the life loss matters cards in black incentivize your opponent to block, which should make Covert Cutpurse perform better than it would in other sets.
Crawl from the Cellar
Assuming you have some zombies lying around, double Raise Dead that adds to the board actually seems pretty decent to me. You don’t want too many of this sort of effect, but with all the mill that’s around I’d be happy to play a couple copies of these in my creature heavy black decks.
Curse of Leeches
Your opponent can avoid casting spells in order to flip this and get some reprieve from the upkeep drain, but if they do that they’ll still be facing down a huge lifelinking leech! This card has a really cool play pattern and offers a lot for only three mana.
This is close to Murder, but not being able to chuck large fliers out of a window is a pretty substantial drawback. I’ll play as many of these as I can get my hands on, but I know that I’m going to die to some geist or demon while this is rotting in my hand.
You get a lot of temporary power here, so assuming that you have ways to make use of the tokens, then this seems like an okay five drop. If your opponent is behind they could also just die from the attack for seven on your next turn.
This is some very good top end right here. Dreadhound will come in and often deal 1-2 damage from the mill in addition to making combat near impossible for the opponent. It’s also just a huge creature that dodges a lot of the removal in the set. Hissing Iguanar effects always overperformed in Limited because there is constant creature combat going on, and I see Dreadhound doing the same.
Awful main deck card, but a decent sideboard option against planeswalkers and other non-creatures bombs. Missing with Duress is incredibly bad, so I’d under no circumstances ever have this in my main deck.
With all the Decayed tokens around this will almost always be an incredibly cheap piece of removal that perfectly answers all the Disturbed creatures in the format. At the moment I would assume that this is going to be by far the best common.
This is great assuming you have a decent amount of Decayed token producers. The Decayed tokens provide so little value that I’d be ecstatic to trade one in for a card and a buffed up creature. This also hits very hard if you’re able to flip it on turn three.
Situtational removal like this rarely kills what you want it to and Foul play is especially awkward because it’s a sorcery. I do imagine that it will still be very solid though because the times you do kill an early creature and get a two-for-one for such a cheap cost will be absolutely backbreaking for the opponent.
This is a really difficult effect to evaluate. On one hand, it doesn’t seem too hard to trigger this at least once every turn cycle. On the other hand, your opponent can play around it and the creatures you get mostly suck. I still think that this effect is unique and powerful enough to include in creature/removal heavy decks. Plus, all these Decayed tokens with any sort of anthem or Blood Artist effect seem pretty fantastic to me.
Gisa, Glorious Resurrector
Yeah this seems very hard to beat if it lives. This reminds me of Draugr Necromancer from Kaldheim, and I could see Gisa especially shining in this set because of how good exile is against Disturb. The creature tokens getting Decayed is kind of lame, but it should be easy to overrun the opponent even if the creature’s you’re gaining can’t block and are dying at the end of combat.
Being hard to answer while having a solid body and a great effect is the perfect recipe for a limited powerhouse. This stops any graveyard synergies your opponent has while also killing them quickly, so I wouldn’t expect to ever be passing this.
You get to rummage three times, fill up the graveyard, and then get a huge demon. That sounds like a good deal to me! The frontside even fuels the backside, so once this flips it’ll make short work of the opponent. In my opinion the payoff here more than makes up for the clunkiness. Losing life to activate the mirror is a bit of a bummer though.
Daggerback Basilisk is always just fine. This reminds me of Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade, which was an unexciting, but fine playable.
Losing two is a very real drawback, which makes this worse than the average Doom Blade in my eyes. Efficient removal is still great though, even if it doesn’t line up the best against Disturb.
Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
Your opponent better have a 2/3 lying around otherwise these Zombies are gonna shamble right over them! So many cards have Decayed, so it’s likely that this won’t do much in the late game since you’re likely to have a token or two lying around. If you have a powerful sacrifice outlet then this becomes way better. As is, it seems good early and middling later on.
Jerren, Corrupted Bishop
You get two bodies at the very worst here which is already pretty great. All these abilities combine well to make it easier than it seems to get to 13 life, and once you do flip this you’ll be rewarded with a near unbeatable threat that will still draw you a bunch of cards before it’s answered. Obviously never pass this.
Lord of the Forsaken
The classic untap and win type of bomb. Once you untap with this, it’ll be incredibly easy to either kill your opponent in the air or just mill them out. Three cards is a lot, and having random creatures lying around is very easy to accomplish in this set. Thank goodness this is a mythic.
Mask of Griselbrand
This turns any random creature into a fantastic threat while also being busted with Decayed tokens. It’s a little clunky to equip, but the life you’re gaining will catch you up and help prevent your equipment from getting out-tempoed. There’s not a chance that I’m taking anything over this pack one pick one (except for a foil bomb mythic of course!)
The Meathook Massacre
A wrath that drains the opponent and then sticks around continuing to drain them does not seem remotely beatable.
This rating may be high, but this seems like the Skullport Mercenary of the set to me. If this sticks around, all your Decayed tokens become nuts while all your opponents become near useless. Since this triggers on each turn and creatures are always dying in limited, it seems incredibly easy to bury the opponent in card advantage with Morbid Opportunist. I would definitely not sleep on this unassuming powerhouse.
It’s just hard to get me excited about a five drop. The times where you don’t have a creature lying around this is going to be way too slow and expensive. Menace is also one of the worst keywords for a big creature like this to have since it’s almost always going to be double blocked in combat.
One of the few auras that’s actually pretty nice in limited! If this stays on your creature, it should become a big threat in no time and if it happens to get killed at some point at least you get back the card you invested. Just be wary about casting this into your opponent’s open mana.
No Way Out
Mind Rot with minimal upside will make for a good board card against slower decks with powerful late game bombs
This is pretty much just Oculus from Mirrodin Besieged so I don’t see Novice Occulist being anything more than bad filler. A two mana 1/2 just doesn’t do much, especially in a set where three toughness seems key (because you want to be able to block Decayed tokens with ease).
Olivia’s Midnight Ambush
Cheap removal early that can be situated in the late game to answer whatever you need? This is great removal that I never see cutting.
Main decking this should be out of the question since it is so low impact. However, if the card you’re exiling is valuable then this could be a decent sideboard option against Flashback and Disturb heavy decks.
I’ve come across way too many of these during my travels to Magic events. Both sides are fine, and like stated earlier being able to connect early on will help power out some of those life loss matters vampires.
A fine aggressive early play. I like how this will beat in early and then slowly ping the opponent in the late game. Nothing particularly special here but a fine curve filler.
Man do I hate to play cards that give the opponent any form of value. This only getting bigger off your opponent’s creatures dying gives your opponent a lot of agency over just how big this gets. I would just try to steer clear of playing this, but if your opponent doesn’t show you any removal in the first game then maybe this is worth boarding in. Keep in mind that just because a card is a rare does not mean that it’s good!
A Gray Ogre that scales well into the late game is going to be solid. This also snowballs pretty quickly if you have an sort of aggressive start.
A 2/3 Deathtouch for two is already great! The fact that this adds so much power onto the board in the late game makes it a versatile bomb in my eyes. It’s also nice that if you’re falling behind early on you can play Tainted Adversary and have it be a good blocker. If the game goes late, then this should easily overwhelm the opponent with Decayed tokens.
Only the very aggressive decks will want this, but it’s going to overperform with how much black values life loss in this set. Who needs to block when the opponent is always on the backfoot? In Magic, a good offense really is a good defense!
Your opponent is going to be forced to trade with this at some point, and when they do they’re going to more or less be forced to sacrifice whatever creature you enchant. The bad thing about this card is how awkward it is at answering bombs, but that’s just a small issue with an overall solid card.
Black has some great removal and some very powerful uncommons like Morbid Opportunist and Dreadhound. I’m definitely going to keep all that in mind when I rate the colors after my final review! Less than a week until we can draft I just can’t wait!
Thanks for reading!
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