Thursday, September 15, 2011


Well once more we arrive to that time of the year in which a new set of magic the gathering is released.

Innistrad is the name of it and it's main theme is horror stories, so we are going to see many werewolfs, vampires, ghost, zombies, etc in this expansion.

Now let's get to the things that affect the game itself.

This mechanic already exists in magic the gathering and it's returning in the Innistrad set.
The experienced magic players already know what flashback means but I'm going to explain anyway.
Flashback is a mechanic that can only appears in instant or sorceries and basically the only thing it does is giving you the opportunity to cast that instant/sorcery from the graveyard, after that it is exiled so it's like you can cast the card two times (one from your hand and one from the graveyard).
Here is a example of a card with flashback. Has you can see the flashback cost (the cost to cast this card when it is in the graveyard) is two black mana and five colorless mana, if you have enough mana you can even cast it from your hand and then cast it again from the graveyard getting four 2/2 black zombies in the same turn.           


Now that we covered flashback let's talk about the new mechanics making their first appearance in magic.


What is an horror themed set without a matching mechanic. When a card has the morbid word on it it means that the effect after that word only can happen if some creature died this turn.
Here we see a simple morbid effect. When Hollowhenge Scavenger enters the battlefield and if a creature died in the turn it enters then you gain five life.


When a creature has some ability that makes it fight with another creature then each of the fighting creatures does damage equal to it's power to the other.
This is not combat so the creatures are not tapped and abilities like first strike, double strike have no effect. However abilities that rely on damage being dealt (deathtouch, lifelink, infect...) still work because the fight causes each creature to do damage to the other creature.

Here is a mean werewolf that you can put in a fight against an opponent creature if you pay one red mana and tap the Nightfall Predator.


This is not a mechanic but a new type of card. You remember what auras are right? You enchant a creature with them. Well curses are work exactly the same except that their target is a player and not a creature.

Has you can see this curses makes the opponent put the two top cards of is library in the graveyard at the beginning of their turn.

And now we finally arrive to the explosive new concept that Innistrad brings to the table

Double-faced Cards

Yes it's exactly what you are thinking, a card that in the back has another card.
Let's explain it. The double-faced cards have the front face (marked by a sun symbol) that is a normal card, has the mana cost to play, etc, etc. The back face (marked by a moon symbol) doesn't have the mana cost but has a dot in the name line that indicates the color of that card when its back is facing up.
A double-faced card that is anywhere except the battlefield is always counted has the front face up.
Every double-faced card has one or more effect that transforms it. When you transform such a card you simply turn it with the other face up and while it's in that position it functions like the face that it's down doesn't existed.

Here is an example so that you can understand it better.

When this card is facing up it's a human werewolf named Gatstaf Shepherd with 2/2. Then if no spells were cast in the last turn it transforms in a werewolf named Gatstaf Howler with 3/3 and intimidate. In a future turn if a player cast two or more spells it transforms back to the Gatstaf Shepherd.
Now some new rules to play with double-faced cards. If you play with opaque sleeves (a practice I strongly recommend because it protects your cards from getting dirty and wearing-off) then it's simple, you put the card with the front face showing and when it transforms you take it off the sleeve and turn it with the back face showing.

If for some reason you don't play with sleeves then you are oblige to use the checklist.

The checklist is a card with a regular magic back so when it is in your library or in your hand it functions like a normal card (meaning that you can see what card it's by the back face). To use the checklist you simply mark it in the circle next to the card that you want it to substitute and you put it in your deck has normal. When the card is in your library, your hand or exiled face down you use the checklist, when it's in the battlefield, the stack or exiled face up you use the double-faced card.

This is sort of a summary of the rules to the double-faced cards. If you want to have a insight of the official rules then here is the link to them

Innistrad is almost here. The pre-releases are on 24 and 25 September and the official release of this new set is on 30 September. 

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