Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Limited Set Review: White

Sigarda's Splendor Art by Howard Lyon
Sigarda's Splendor Art by Howard Lyon

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is almost here! While I’m looking forward to new Standard, I’m even more excited to start drafting a new set! I loved drafting original Innistrad, and this set appears to be executing a lot of the same ideas while also excluding obnoxious designs like Invisible Stalker. Reading through LSV’s limited set reviews helped a ton when I was an up-and-coming player, so I thought it would improve your understanding of the specific cards and limited format if you saw what I would rate each card in the set from a limited perspective. I’ll be going in WUBRG order, which means that today is white. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Here’s the scale I’ll be using, which is based pretty heavily off the one that LSV uses:

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

Rating: 4/5

Adeline alone will often be a huge threat, and curving a two drop into her will immediately put your opponent into an awful position. It’s not great that the 1/1 she makes is attacking since that means it’ll often die, but just the threat of that ability triggering as soon as she enters will make your combat step very scary at most points in the game.

Ambitious Farmhand

Rating: 3.5/5

Great two drops will always be at a premium, and Ambitious Farmhand is just that. Playing this on turn two guarantees your third land drop, which will allow you to flip this into a pretty fantastic midgame threat. Sylvan Ranger is great, and Ambitious Farmhand is just a way better version of it even if it only gets plains. I don’t plan on passing this one very often.

Beloved Beggar

Rating: 3/5

Now this card is solid in pretty much every deck, but it’s especially brutal to face down when you’re an aggressive deck. Killing this gives your opponent a Serra’s Angel in the late game, but leaving this blunts some of your offense. Zero power is also perfect for triggering Coven. The flavor here is absolute dynamite, it just shows how important it is to be nice to everyone!

Bereaved Survivor

Rating: 2/5

A three mana 2/1 is really bad, and while it’s easy to flip, a worse Devoted Crop Mate doesn’t have me the most excited to play this. The fact that the creature coming back has to attack means that a lot has to go right for this to work out in your favor. You have to flip this, have a creature to return, and still have a profitable attack when Bereaved Survivor brings the creature back.

Blessed Defiance

Rating: 1.5/5

Looks like Make Your Mark is back, however this one seems better to me since at least you get to gain some life while you trade up. A 1/1 flier is worse than a 3/2 on most boards, but +2+0 and Lifelink means that you can also pull ahead in a race with this when you need to. Just keep in mind that you really don’t want many of this effect and there are almost always going to be better combat tricks to be playing than this.

Borrowed Time

Rating: 3.5/5

Banishing Light is great and you’re always looking to get as many of these as possible. Being easily splashable is just the chef’s kiss.

Brutal Cathar

Rating: 4.5/5

A Banisher Priest that can brawl? Sign me up! A fantastic piece of removal that heavily rewards you for flipping it back and forth makes this a must answer threat that’s slowly gonna answer every threatening creature your opponent plays. Brutal Cathar addresses the biggest issue with Banisher Priest, which was that you could rarely attack or block with it because the body was so small. Moonrage Brute is a great attacker and an even better blocker, and with Brutal Cathar clearing the way for its werewolf form, it shouldn’t be too hard to beat the opponent up with it. The single white mana cost makes this easy to cast and splash, which makes it an even better first pick because you’ll always be able to play it.

Candlegrove Witch

Rating: 2.5/5

Solid two drop right here since it beats down early and then flies over the opponent’s defenses in the late game. Aggressive decks will be looking to load up on these.

Candletrap

Rating: 2.5/5

What an awesome design! This will especially shine when you have a bunch of Fliers, but even in the aggressive decks this can be played early to stop an attacker while eventually exiling the creature for good once you fulfill Coven. The fact that the damage the creature deals is prevented is also great since it allows you to continue to attack in with your horde of creatures without the fear of one dying in combat. This stopping Disturbed is just the cherry on top, and there’s a good chance I’m valuing this too low.

Cathar Commando

Rating: 2.5/5

A 3/1 for two on turn two is fine, but being able to trade this up in the late game while also still being able to answer problematic Artifacts and Enchantments makes this versatile enough where most decks will be very interested in this.

Cathar’s Call

Rating: 1/5

Cool effect, but I’d rather not get opened up for a two-for-one. If this gave Flying it would be a different story, but Vigilance just isn’t the most useful keyword and this has to be around for a really long time before you can start to overwhelm the opponent. The risk just ain’t worth the reward here.

Celestus Sanctifier

Rating: 1.5/5

3/2 for three just ain’t what they used to be in limited. Mediocre body with a Scry 2 slapped on is very far from exciting. This gets better the more Disturbed cards you have though so keep that in mind.

Chaplain of Alms

Rating: 2.5/5

One drops normally underperform in limited, and the front side of Chaplain of Alms being so low impact is why it has a surprisingly low rating. It’s a good blocker against X/1’s, but you’re rarely ever attacking with this. Being able to chump, gain some life and then get access to a flier that protects your team is pretty nice though and gives this card some good midgame potential.

Clarion Cathars

Rating: 2/5

Daysquad Marshall is back and as mediocre as ever. There are a lot better four drops than this, but it’s still got okay stats so don’t beat yourself up too much if you need this to get to 23.

Curse of Silence

Rating: 0.5/5

There’s just no room from these incredibly narrow effects in your limited decks. The only time I could ever see this serving a purpose is if you’re sure that your opponent has like 5-6 copies of one card in their deck and you want to tax them while also still being able to eventually recoup the card you invested. I pretty much never see that happening, which means that you shouldn’t touch this 99.99% of the time.

Duelcraft Trainer

Rating: 3/5

Almost every white card is looking to beat down and Duelcraft Trainer is only aiding that plan. A 3/3 First Strike is a great attacker and blocker, and once you get Coven you’ll be able to make any creature you want into a huge threat. Giving double strike to a flier seems incredibly gross, and I can see lots of games where you’re hopelessly chumping against this effect.

Enduring Angel

Rating: 4.5/5

Without removal, you’re basically dead to this. It kills the opponent incredibly quickly and stabilizes the board no matter how precarious of a situation you’re in. The only reason this isn’t getting a 5/5 is the somewhat prohibitive mana cost.

Fateful Absence

Rating: 2/5

Sure it’s non-conditional removal, but getting two-for-one’d in limited is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing. This is great if you see some crazy bomb from your opponent or if you’re aggressive to the point that you can kill your opponent before they have the time to crack the Clue. Otherwise this is so much worse than Doom Blade that the two are barely comparable in my eyes.

Flare of Faith

Rating: 1/5

I hate bad clunky pump spells like Gift of Strength, and this feels even worse than that since sometimes you’re only getting +2/+2 for two mana, which is very disappointing. It’s playable in aggressive Human based decks but I’d never actively seek this effect out.

Gavony Dawnguard

Rating: 3/5

Day and Night is a cool mechanic to utilize in this version of Innistrad. It kind of existed in original Innistrad but was only used for werewolves and not cool cards like this. Gavony Dawnsguard’s value depends on how many cheap creatures you’re playing since playing this and consistently hitting is going to quickly bury your opponent in card advantage. This is a four drop that I’m pretty high on because it’s giving me major Militia Bugler vibes and boy did I love that card.

Gavony Silversmith

Rating: 3/5

Saddleback Lagac‘s human brethren! Since when did white start getting such good creatures? You only need one other creature in play for this to be good, but I can just imagine the eye rolls from my opponent when I go two drop into three drop into this and just KO them on turn four.

Gavony Trapper

Rating: 2.5/5

A worse Fan Bearer is still going to be good in most decks. Tapping down their best threat every turn or setting up an end of turn tap into tap, then attack with everything means that Gavony Trapper has a lot more utility than you would think. Also don’t underestimate that zero power for Coven!

Hedgewitch’s Mask

Rating: 0.5/5

Awful equipment, pretty much just a way worse Short Sword. Don’t play this.

Homestead Courage

Rating: 1/5

Travel Preparations this is not. I want my combat tricks to be an instant, and when they’re not I want them to affect the board more than this does.

Intrepid Adversary

Rating: 4/5

A 3/1 Lifelink for two is solid, but the fact that this is a must answer threat once you “kick” it at least once means that I’ll be happily taking this over every common and uncommon pack one pick one. Adversary pumping itself is also quite nice, since it becomes a pretty beefy threat in the late game. My only complaint is how awkward combat can be when this is in play. If your opponent has mana up, you could get blown mid-combat out once your creatures lose their buff.

Loyal Gryff

Rating: 3/5

I love these aggressive creatures with an extra relevant ability. Flashing this in and beating down with Vexing Gull is fine, but the times where you reset an ETB, get to save a blocker, or blow out removal gives Loyal Gryff so much potential upside.

Lunarch Veteran

Rating: 2.5/5

This is a weird hybrid Soul Warden/Doomed Traveler, though having to pay two to get the spirit is a little lame. Both sides of this card are pretty weak, but this does do a lot for one mana so I’m going to go with my gut and give this a 2.5 instead of a 2. It gains some life, trades with something, and then pecks in while gaining more life so that can only be so bad.

Mourning Patrol

Rating: 2.5/5

What a stellar name. It’s a simple design that nicely showcases the Disturb mechanic and being able to trade this and be left with a flier reminds me a lot of Dauntless Cathar, which was a solid common in Shadows Over Innistrad.

Odric’s Outrider

Rating: 3/5

Creatures have gotten so good in modern limited that a 2/4 for four just won’t cut it. However, Odric’s Outrider has a really powerful effect that especially shines in aggressive decks. Getting a little bit of value when it dies also doesn’t hurt. Ultimately I’m pretty low on four and five drops in modern limited sets since it’s always easy to pick late game plays up, but I think that this ability is powerful enough to make it a solid four drop in creature heavy deck that’s looking to beat down.

Ritual Guardian

Rating: 1/5

This is just Celestus Sanctifier with a way worse effect! What a scam, you can do better than this at the three drop slot.

Ritual of Hope

Rating: 2/5-3/5

Some decks will really want this sort of effect. White is looking like it’s the aggressive color of this set, which means that a two mana Inspired Charge will be exactly what you’re looking for. The only thing I fear is when you cast this with Coven and your opponent responds with removal causing you to lose it and you to get potentially blown out in combat.

Search Party Captain

Rating: 3.5/5

What the heck this common is nuts! Worst case scenario it’s a Striped Bear, but when you’re beating down it’ll be easy to double spell this and something else. Creatures that draw a card are always at a premium in limited, and this is no different.

Sigarda’s Splendor

Rating: 3/5

Drawing cards and gaining life in Magic is like combining chocolate and peanut butter. It seems easy to net at least 1-3 cards off of this assuming that you’re heavy white and/or have some forms of lifegain. My only issue is how bad of a top deck this can be when you’re empty handed and behind/at a low life total.

Sigardian Savior

Rating: 4/5

A five mana 3/3 Flier is a great floor, and once you’re returning at least one creature you’re going to quickly pull ahead of your opponent. Returning two is obviously the dream, but what I really like about this card is that when you have it in hand, you can be way more aggressive with your trades in the early game. In a less aggressive deck with only a few two drop creatures Sigardian Savior would drop down to a 3-3.5/5.

Soul-Guide Gryff

Rating: 3/5

3/4 Flier with minimal upside? Sign me up, this type of creature is in pretty much every set and is always solid.

Sungold Barrage

Rating: 2/5

I’m happy to maindeck one copy of this with all the werewolves around, but it’s mostly just going to be a great board card for the green strategies.

Sungold Sentinel

Rating: 3.5/5

A 3/2 for two ain’t bad, but it’s the Coven ability that makes this a potent threat throughout the entire game. I love two drops that do something at every point in the game because it allows you to have a good curve, but also makes you less prone to having nothing to do in the late game. Triggering Coven in limited seems very doable since the games will often get to board stalls in addition to there being way less removal and board wipes in limited. Keep in mind that the distribution of power amongst the creatures in your deck will matter a lot since most cards with Coven are pretty anemic if you’re unable to reliably trigger it.

Sunset Revelry

Rating: 1/5

This is an example of a just okay board card. Since white is mostly looking to beat down, you’ll pretty rarely have a slower white deck that could make good use of this. It’s mostly worse Timely Reinforcements since you’ll rarely have less cards in hand than an aggro deck which is where you’ll want this, but still, a Krenko’s Command that gains four is decent.

Thraben Exorcism

Rating: 2/5

This is kind of just a reprint of Urgent Exorcism, except it’s an even better board card. If you see a bunch of spirit’s and Disturbed cards (Azorius seems the most vulnerable to this effect), then board this in a enjoy your somewhat situational Terminate.

Unruly Mob

Rating: 2/5

Unruly Mob seems better this time around because of Decayed, but overall this isn’t the best two drop. How good it is goes hand in hand with how many creatures are in your deck, so keep that in mind.

Vanquish the Horde

Rating: 4/5

I love me a wrath effect in limited. Your opponent is pretty much never going to play around it assuming that you don’t play too suspiciously, which makes it pretty easy to get a two or three-for-one off of this. Most of the times that you’ll be casting this it’ll probably be three-five mana, which makes is more or less the same as Wrath of God in my eyes. It’ll be gross in the late game though when you wrath for two mana and follow up with a seven drop!

White seems like it’ll be the aggressor of this format, and overall I’m very impressed with the color’s card quality! I can’t wait to kill my opponents with as many Search Party Captain‘s as I can get my hands on!

Thanks for reading!

Chris Kvartek

While Chris Kvartek technically kicked off his career in 2012, he burst onto the scene in 2019 like few before him. With an early season Top Finish at Mythic Championship II and narrow miss for his second at Mythic Championship IV, Kvartek earned invitations to two more Mythic Championships through online qualifiers. He secured his second Top Finish of the season at Mythic Championship VII, and now this rising star must prove he can stay among the elite of professional Magic.

7 Responses

  1. Gavin Fitzgerald says:

    Thanks for your insightful analysis, Chris

  2. Andrew says:

    Feedback: please put the rating below the card. I like to try to guess my own rating before I see yours!

  3. estyles says:

    Why compare Hedgewitch’s Mask to Sigiled Sword of Valeron? It costs 2 less, the equip cost is 1 less and the effects are way different.

  4. Cody Mann says:

    Quick question on brutal cathar, does your opponent get their creature back when he transforms at night or is it considered the same creature?