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MTG Arena State of the Game – Innistrad: Crimson Vow – November 4, 2021

Before the release of each new set, Wizards of the Coast typically publishes a State of the Game article where they provide us some details about everything that’s happening with Magic the Gathering: Arena. Today, they have released the November 2021 State of the Game in anticipation of the upcoming set Innistrad: Crimson Vow.

Crimson Vow is schedulead to release on Arena on November 11, and we’re currently right in the middle of preview season. All of the up-to-date spoilers can be found here, and you can find even more information about Crimson Vow by following the links below:

Down below, we’re going to give you a rundown on all of the critical information contained in the State of the Game, with the full text of the post available to read at the bottom of the page. Some of this information was also a part of yesterday’s MTG Arena Announcements, which can be viewed here.

Crimson Vow Mechanics Arriving on Arena

With a new set comes new abilities and mechanics, and much of the State of the Game showcases those mechanics and how they will be implemented on Arena. For those who may have missed it, Crimson Vow will be bringing two new mechanics, a new token, and a returning mechanic that’s coming to Arena for the first time. In addition, Midnight Hunt’s Daybound/Nightbound and Disturb mechanics are also a part of the set.

Here’s a quick rundown of the new mechanics with examples:

Training: Whenever this creature attacks with another creature with greater power, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.

Cleave: You may cast this spell for its cleave cost. If you do, remove the words in square brackets.

Exploit: When this creature enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature.

Blood tokens: {1}, {T}, Discard a card: Draw a card.

Wizards provides a bit more detail on each of these mechanics; you can read everything they had to say about them by following this link.

Crimson Vow Draft and Sealed Schedule – Including the December Arena Open

Innistrad: Crimson Vow will of course be bringing with it a host of new draft events showcasing the new limited format. Wizards has given us the following dates for Crimson Vow limited:

  • Sealed: November 11–December 3
  • Premier Draft: November 11–February 10
  • Traditional Draft: November 11–February 10
  • Quick Draft: November 26–December 10

There will also be a change to the traditional and premier draft events – players won’t be able to see the display names of the other players at the draft table. Wizards says this is an intended feature because the Arena Open that will be taking place on December 4-5 is going to feature the draft format. Day 1 will have an option for both best-of-one and best-of-three draft matches, and players who qualify for Day 2 will play best-of-three.

More information on the Arena Open will be coming soon.

Updates to Jump In! and Midweek Magic

Jump In! was introduced to MTG Arena last month with the aim of creating a Jumpstart-style event that’s friendly to new players and can help them build their collections. With the release of Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Wizards will be adding ten new themed packets to the Jump In! pool. You can find more information about Jump In! over at our event guide.

There are also changes coming with Crimson Vow to the free-entry Midweek Magic events that take place each week. The most significant of these changes is that the in-store promotional codes that allowed participants to earn extra packs in Arena will be discontinued. However, Wizards says that the Midweek Magic events are here to stay for now and they will continue to be free to enter. The first Midweek Magic after the release of Crimson Vow will be a “Phantom Quick Draft” which will allow players to try out Quick Draft with no entry fee.

And that covers all of the main points from today’s State of the Game! The original, unedited text from Wizards of the Coast can be found below:

MTG Arena: State of the Game – Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Save the date! The pleasure of your company is requested to the most lavish vampire wedding in ages. And because this is 2021, of course this celebration is going digital!

Sorin battles Olivia

The ceremony begins on November 11, and we made sure there are plenty of things for you to sink your teeth into. Without further “I do’s,” here’s an overview of how we’ll be commemorating this sanguine celebration on MTG Arena.

Innistrad: Crimson Vow Mechanics

In addition to the return of daybound, nightbound, and disturb from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Innistrad: Crimson Vow will be bringing both new-to-Magic mechanics and one new-to-MTG Arena mechanic to the upcoming occasion. While we’ve already revealed our full itinerary of included mechanics, this wedding is all about showing off and that includes us as well.



With the vampires of Innistrad ready to party, those of us with warm blood flowing through our veins may want to reconsider skipping leg day. Better yet, bring a friend! Cards with the new training ability make creatures stronger when attacking. Whenever a creature with training attacks alongside a creature of greater power, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature with training.

Training mechanic in action in MTG Arena

Be sure to mark “plus one” on your reservation!



Ah, words. You either love them or cleave them. Literally, in this case. This new keyword ability cleave allows you to pay an alternate cost when casting a card, and in exchange, you get to rid the rules text of certain words and phrases contained within square brackets that may stand in the way of your fun, like “[At the beginning of that turn’s end step, you lose the game].” Talk about a killjoy.

Cleave in action with the card Dig Up

When playing on MTG Arena, the game will automatically take care of certain editorial duties when using this ability—if you cast a card for its cleave cost, the words will automatically be removed.

Blood Tokens

Well, we all knew this event was going to be a bloody good time! And here’s the token to prove it . . . or to sacrifice for something else instead. We’re certain our hosts won’t be offended, seeing as it was their idea. Blood tokens are new predefined colorless artifact tokens that let you breathe new life into your hand—at a cost, of course.

An Innistrad: Crimson Vow Blood token



While exploit is not a new mechanic per se, it is new to MTG Arena, so we figured we should give a quick overview of this triggered ability. When a creature with exploit enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature. What happens next depends on the card.

Exploit in action with the card Rot-Tide Gargantua

As you can see here, if you choose exploit when Rot-Tide Gargantua enters the battlefield, each opponent must also sacrifice a creature.

Innistrad: Crimson Vow Sealed and Draft Events

While our weekly announcement blog is the best place to learn about and be reminded of all our upcoming events, this is a card set release, and we know which dates you’re going to ask us about the most. So, without further ado:

  • Sealed: November 11–December 3
  • Premier Draft: November 11–February 10
  • Traditional Draft: November 11–February 10
  • Quick Draft: November 26–December 10

A Note on Innistrad: Crimson Vow Player Draft

Speaking of drafts, we do want to call out that when participating in Innistrad: Crimson Vow player drafts (traditional or premier), you will not be able to see the display name of your opponents at the table. This is not a bug. This is intentional, and it’s intentional because . . .

Announcing the Arena Open – Draft Edition

Arena Open Draft

First things first, you know the drill:

  • You must be 18 years or older to participate.
  • Regional eligibility restrictions apply, void where prohibited.
  • Receiving monetary rewards requires having or creating Wizards, DCI, and i-Payout accounts. (i-Payout accounts cannot be created in advance.)
  • Refer to the official Terms and Conditions for complete details—these will be available as we get closer to the date.

It’s been a while since we’ve held an Arena Open that featured a Limited format, and the answer for that is simple—we know you enjoyed Sealed, but we know that what you really wanted was Draft. Well, like a wedding planner working behind the scenes, our developers have been leaping technical hurdles and answering logistical questions just in time to keep the Innistrad: Crimson Vow party going right into December.

Our full announcement article will go over everything in depth soon, but for those who have their calendars handy, the event is scheduled to take place December 4–5. Day 1 will be available in both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three Draft formats, and Day 2 will be Best-of-Three Draft using a new draft pool.

Jump In! to Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Jump In! event image

Who leaves a wedding before the ceremony has even begun? Not Jump In!, that’s for sure! This event continues to be popular with our players, so Olivia was generous enough to extend an invitation to allow this format to partake in the festivities—assuming we paid the proper blood tithe of course. And by blood tithe, we mean ten new Innistrad: Crimson Vow-themed packets. This is all a fancy way of saying we’re extending and updating the Jump In! event with the release of Innistrad: Crimson Vow, and we’ll periodically check in to ensure this format hasn’t overstayed its welcome.

Midweek Magic‘s Crimson Change-Up

Just as the sun has set on Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, we have decided it’s time to lay to rest our in-store promotional codes for Midweek Magic. As more locations are once again hosting in-person sanctioned events, we encourage players to safely support their local games store whenever possible.

We will continue to support Midweek Magic for the foreseeable future and have instead revamped the rewards to extend to three wins, including a cosmetic reward in addition to the rare individual card rewards players have been receiving in-game. So, while Innistrad gives us plenty to fear, removing Midweek Magic as our no-entry weekly event is not on the menu.

Midweek Magic

And no—your eyes do not deceive you! Our November 16 Midweek Magic event will be a special Innistrad: Crimson Vow Phantom Quick Draft, allowing you to try out the Quick Draft format with no entry fee!

The Gathering

Last, but not least—as we head from wedding season into the holiday season, we want to keep spirits high and joy in the air. From November 24–28, enjoy an All-Access Standard Singleton event, where you can build and play with decks even if the cards are not in your collection. The event will have no entry fee and will feature special rewards to remind us all to spend time with the people we love.

The Gathering

You’re Invited

Let’s raise a glass to the beauty and power of our latest card set, all our exciting events, and of course, our lovely vampire bride. In addition to bug fixes and other improvements, Innistrad: Crimson Vow will be available on MTG Arena starting on November 11, 2021. As a fiendish reminder, you have until the chapel doors close (which happens to coincide with scheduled maintenance) to preorder the Olivia pack or Sorin play bundle.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in-game!

Innistrad: Crimson Vow MTG Arena preorder ad

Iroas, God of Victory Art


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Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.

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