Mark Rosewater’s Midnight Hunt Teaser

With September coming up on us fast, so too is the release of the next Magic: The Gathering Standard set- Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The official preview season will be getting started on September 2, but in the meantime, MTG Head Designer Mark Rosewater has published a list of teasers that gives us a sneak preview of what some of the set’s cards will be like.

Before the beginning of each preview season, Rosewater has made a tradition of posting a collection of interesting details and tidbits about the the upcoming set on his blog. Today, the teaser has been released for us to have a look at:

There are a lot of interesting details on the list this time around, such as a curse card that transforms (also implying the return of curses in general), a white card that draws more cards, and two permanents with doubling effects. There are also a few things Rosewater mentioned that we can examine a little bit more closely.

Returning Mechanics

Rosewater says that “three popular mechanics” from Innistrad’s past will be returning in this set. We already know that one of them is flashback thanks to the early preview cards that Wizards has already shown off, and we know that another is transform per Rosewater’s Twitter account:

There have been a lot of sets based on Innistrad already, and so even with two options eliminated, we’re still left with eleven possible mechanics that could be returning: Fateful Hour, Miracle, Morbid, Soulbond, Undying, Delirium, Investigate, Skulk, Emerge, Meld, and Escalate. Emerge and Meld were flavor-specific to the Eldrazi ravaging the plane during the Eldritch Moon expansion, so they are unlikely to return.

That still leaves us with nine mechanics, so which of these is the third mechanic that Rosewater is referring to? In reality, it’s anyone’s guess, but based on the fact that Rosewater specifically says “popular” mechanics would be returning, Investigate, Miracle, and Morbid come to mind. The Escalate mechanic also created some powerful tournament cards such as Collective Brutality which sees play in Modern.

Investigate, Miracle, and Escalate all had flavor tie-ins with the specific sets for which they were created, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that any of them would return. In light of this, Morbid does seem like a likely mechanic to be returning, but we will have to wait until spoilers start rolling out to know for sure.

“A Popular Tournament Card”

Rosewater also cryptically mentions the return of “a popular tournament card,” but he has also given us a significant hint: the card will be receiving its fifth artwork. Reddit user u/MannerVarious ran a search to find any cards that would meet these criteria:

Once again, it’s really anyone’s guess as to which of these cards might be the reprint in question. Many of the cards from this list could be made to fit with the flavor themes of Innistrad. It’s unlikely, but not out of the question, that powerful cross-format powerhouses like Thoughtseize, Cryptic Command, or Ponder could be included in the set, although the latter seems particularly far-fetched given the impact it would have on formats like Historic and Pioneer.

Commenters on the Reddit post are speculating that the reprint might be Pithing Needle, a card which fits Innistrad’s macabre setting without throwing off the balance of Standard or other formats. Ancient Grudge also seems to be a likely possibility, given that it fits with the flashback themes of the set and, while it is a powerful sideboard tool, it would do little to upset the balance of the Standard format.

Wrapping Up

The real preview season will be getting started this Thursday, September 2nd, and we will be covering all of them in real time as the cards are revealed. Be sure to check out our spoilers page to keep up with the inevitable barrage of new cardboard. What do you think of MaRo’s teaser? Any guesses as to what the returning mechanic will be, or do you have any other speculations based on the teaser? Let us know in the comments!


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