|Two outward-facing, overlapping, stylized herons|
|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Erik Lauer (lead),|
Tom LaPille ,
|September 30, 2011|
Themes and mechanics
Keywords and/or ability words
(15 basic lands, 107 commons, 67 uncommons, 59 rares, 16 mythic rares)
Development code name
|Innistrad block sets|
|Innistrad||Dark Ascension||Avacyn Restored|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
|Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas||Innistrad||Premium Deck Series: Graveborn|
Innistrad is the first top-down-designed Magic set, meaning that it was designed and developed with flavor in mind first, "molding mechanics to fit the concept". The Innistrad set and Innistrad block featured a gothic horror theme as well as minor graveyard and tribal themes.
Innistrad has a gothic horror theme and makes use of horror tropes. It is the first set to thematically take place on the plane of Innistrad. The set features graveyard and tribal mechanics, with the five main tribes each being split over an allied color pair. Spirits primarily in white and blue, Zombies in blue and black, Vampires in black and red, Werewolves in red and green, and Humans primarily in green and white. In each of these pairs, the second color is considered the primary. There are also slight thematic differences between the tribes depending on the color, such as blue zombies being abominations of science in the vein of Frankenstein's Monster, while black Zombies are shambling corpses reanimated by magical spells.
The set is considered a large set with 264 cards, which is 15 more cards than any large expansion in recent history had. Innistrad also features a number of double-faced cards which have a card frame printed on each side, and a checklist card used to prevent decks from becoming marked by containing them. The checklist card replaces the basic land in three of every four boosters. Due to basic lands becoming more rare, Innistrad only contains three basic land artworks rather than the usual four, further enlarging the number of functionally different cards.
Additionally, double-faced cards are on a different print run than regular cards, and every booster pack will have a double-faced card. This means that boosters can have two (mythic) rares without either being foil.
|“||Horror Lurks Within||”|
The Innistrad tokens in numerical order are:
- 4/4 Angel with flying produced by Geist of Saint Traft
- 1/1 Spirit with flying produced by Doomed Traveler, Geist-Honored Monk, Mausoleum Guard, Midnight Haunting, and Moorland Haunt
- 2/2 Homunculus produced by Stitcher's Apprentice
- 5/5 Demon with flying produced by Skirsdag High Priest
- 2/2 Vampire with flying produced by Bloodline Keeper and Lord of Lineage, its back face
- 1/1 Wolf with deathtouch produced by Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
- 2/2 Zombie (3 different images) produced by Undead Alchemist, Army of the Damned, Endless Ranks of the Dead, Moan of the Unhallowed, and Cellar Door
- */* Ooze with "This creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of slime counters on Gutter Grime." produced by Gutter Grime
- 1/2 Spider with reach produced by Spider Spawning
- 2/2 Wolf produced by Garruk Relentless, Kessig Cagebreakers, and Howlpack Alpha
Themes and mechanics
Innistrad is the first set to have cards with different card backs. These cards have two card faces on each side, and are used for the transformation mechanic, changing creatures into different creatures and back by turning the card over. When playing with double-faced cards, players may use a checklist which has a regular card back and the player marks on the card which double-faced card the checklist card is supposed to represent. Whenever the card is in a public zone, the checklist card is replaced with the double-faced card. Playing with only the double-faced card is also allowed if the player is playing with opaque sleeves.transform" written on the card in a sentence, similar to sacrifice, counter, or flip. The mechanic also introduces new symbols representing a sun and a moon which appear to the left of a card name similar to the tombstone icon marking graveyard-based mechanics in Odyssey block. The symbols specifically indicate the creature before transformation (day) or after transformation (night). Transforming creatures always enter the battlefield as they are before transformation, and once transformed not all creatures can transform back. During transformations, Auras, Equipment, and Counters stay on the creature.
Innistrad also introduces a new subtype for Enchantments named "Curse", which are simply Auras which enchant players and have a detrimental effect. The set is partially graveyard-based and features the return of flashback which originated in Odyssey and was reprinted during Time Spiral block. It also introduces the keyword action Fight, which represents the ability of Arena or Tahngarth, Talruum Hero. Two creatures that fight deal damage equal to their power to each other. Innistrad also features the new ability word Morbid in which creatures get benefits if another creature died the turn they entered the battlefield.
The set also makes use of tribal mechanics, with Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Spirits and Humans giving bonuses to each other and have abilities that work against other tribes. A small theme of using +1/+1 counters is also used in the set, particularly with Vampires growing stronger by dealing damage.
Liliana Vess returns as a new card named Liliana of the Veil. Garruk Wildspeaker also returns on a new card, named Garruk Relentless. Garruk Relentless is a double-faced card and the first Planeswalker card with five loyalty abilities. It is also the first Planeswalker card with a continuous triggered ability and the first green-black Planeswalker.
No novel creature types were introduced in this expansion.
Innistrad has five cycles:
- Taplands: Lands that can produce either color of an Enemy-colored pair and come into play tapped unless the player controls a land with a basic land type of either color. This cycle completes a ten card cycle with the allied-colored taplands first introduced in Magic 2010 and reprinted multiple times in subsequent Core Sets. — Clifftop Retreat, Isolated Chapel, Woodland Cemetery, Hinterland Harbor, and Sulfur Falls.
- Allied utility lands: A cycle of rare lands that tap for one colorless mana, or require an activation involving both colors of an allied pair to have an effect. — Gavony Township, Moorland Haunt, Nephalia Drownyard, Stensia Bloodhall, and Kessig Wolf Run.
- Rare flashback cards: Each of these rare spells has a more expensive flashback cost. — Divine Reckoning, Cackling Counterpart, Sever the Bloodline, Devil's Play, and Creeping Renaissance.
- Allied flashback cards: Each of these common spells has a flashback cost involving the next color on the color wheel. — Feeling of Dread, Forbidden Alchemy, Bump in the Night, Ancient Grudge, and Travel Preparations.
- Enemy flashback cards: Each of these uncommon spells has a flashback cost involving the enemy color two slots earlier on the color wheel. — Rally the Peasants, Memory's Journey, Unburial Rites, Desperate Ravings, and Spider Spawning.
Innistrad has two vertical cycles:
- Stitcher Skaabs: Blue undercosted creatures that require creature cards to be exiled from the graveyard to be cast. — Stitched Drake, Makeshift Mauler, Skaab Goliath, Skaab Ruinator. Armored Skaab bears a similar name and is also a blue zombie, but does not share the same effect.
- Bloodsuckers: Red Vampires that become more powerful when they deal damage to an opponent. — Bloodcrazed Neonate, Rakish Heir, Falkenrath Marauders, Stromkirk Noble. Curse of Stalked Prey and Stromkirk Patrol also have similar abilities.
|Innistrad preconstructed theme decks|
|Intro packs: Spectral Legions () | Eldritch Onslaught () | Deathly Dominion () | Carnival of Blood () | Repel the Dark ()|
|Event decks: Deathfed () | Hold the Line ()|
|Related pages: Innistrad block/Preconstructed theme decks • Innistrad block preconstructed decks|
Innistrad has four bicolored theme decks.
|Intro pack name||Foil rare|
|Spectral Legions||□||■||Angel of Flight Alabaster|
|Deathly Dominion||■||■||Skirsdag High Priest|
|Carnival of Blood||■||■||Falkenrath Marauders|
|Repel the Dark||□||■||Elder of Laurels|
|Event deck name|
|Hold the Line||□|
- ↑ Matt Cavotta. (December 12, 2011.) "Before, During, and After", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Monty Ashley. (March 14, 2011.) "Announcing Innistrad", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (August 27, 2012.) "State of Design 2012", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (June 9, 2003.) "Top Down and Goal", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Jenna Helland. (December 26, 2011.) "Innistrad from the Top", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (August 29, 2011.) "Every Two Sides Has a Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Wizards of the Coast. (August 28, 2011.) "Innistrad Mechanics", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Innistrad product information page — Wizards of the Coast
- "Magic Arcana". (Monday, March 14, 2011.) "Announcing Innistrad", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.