Innistrad: Crimson Vow Legacy Set Review

Somehow, the new Innistrad set is upon us and I have to say it’s a lot sooner than I expected. Regardless, the plane of Innistrad has some of the best flavor in Magic and this set continues that trend quite nicely. For Legacy though, this set is a bit light on impact which, as I have said many times by now, is not a bad thing. Doing these set reviews that have some fringe playables really drives home the impact of sets like Modern Horizons, which were so chock full of playables I had to separate it into two parts. Honestly, I prefer the latter, as I find that sets with a ton of playables make things really exciting. It’s nice to have a few sets as a buffer post-MH2, though, as things settle in so again, it’s not a bad thing. Let’s jump right in to the Crimson Vow Legacy Set Review!



Header - White

Hallowed Haunting

Most Enchantress decks have moved away from Sigil of the Empty Throne, but this is strong enough that it could definitely pop up as a win condition there. Costing four is a lot better than five, but the more recent Enchantress decks have moved away from slightly clunky win conditions like this. 

Savior of Ollenbock

Even with 80 cards, I don’t think this has what it takes to break into Death and Taxes. Its text is appealing and being smaller is a benefit with Recruiter of the Guard looking to tutor it, but it takes too much work to get going. Death and Taxes is generally filled with smaller creatures anyway, so you will likely only get a counter or two. Your creatures are also not guaranteed to die, so it’s possible this won’t get any value.

Welcoming Vampire

This is a reasonably powerful effect that I think Legacy has moved beyond. There are definitely going to be some games where this will help keep the ball rolling, but it’s not better than anything the white decks already play and only works when your game plan is in full swing (read: have more creatures in hand).


Header - Blue

Cemetery Illuminator

This effect is clearly very powerful, but again, I think it’s another card that won’t be able to break into Legacy. Getting some incidental graveyard hate is nice and being able to generate long-term value by exiling a Brainstorm or Ponder can really get the ball rolling. It’s quite a bit too slow in the format right now, though, and I don’t know if the format will ever go back to the point where this effect can be fully utilized.

Cobbled Lancer

One mana 3/3s are worth looking at, although I don’t think this really has a home. You can’t really cast it on turn one and the impact of a 3/3 without evasion falls off pretty quickly on later turns. The extra value gained by drawing a card is nice, but way too slow for Legacy.

Inspired Idea

This is a pretty powerful draw effect with a substantial downside. Three mana is slow for Legacy, but there are decks that can take advantage of this. High Tide stands out as a potential option, as casting this end of turn has a far lower cost than casting Meditate (if you’re planning to win, that is). I could also picture a world where a Baral/Goblin Electromancer storm deck could exist and really want this type of card, but I also don’t see that being better than any of the combo variants currently legal in the format.

Stormchaser Drake

I’ve seen people mention this card in conjunction with Ground Rift as a way to draw an obscene amount of cards. It seems more fragile than Witherbloom Apprentice/Chain of Smog, which doesn’t see too much play these days, but it’s certainly something to consider.

Spectral Arcanist

This is a commander card and as Legacy stands right now, this is quite a bit too slow. However, Spirits have shown up from time to time as an archetype and having a Spirit that casts Brainstorm or Swords to Plowshares is pretty tempting. It casts the spell from any graveyard, which might set up some really cool situations as well, so I don’t think this is that far away from making it in a Spirits (Esper Vial might also be a viable place for it).


Header - Black

Demonic Bargain

This is kind of interesting in a Food Chain deck, as exiling Misthollow Griffin can give you access to multiple combo pieces for a single card. It’s quite slow, though, and that deck doesn’t have a ton of excess space for expensive noncreatures, so I’m not sure it has a place, but it’s worth considering.

Dread Fugue

A worse Inquisition of Kozilek that has kicker to become Thoughtseize is not really what the format was missing.

Shadowgrange Archfiend

Another commander card, Shadowgrange Archfiend certainly pairs well with Lion’s Eye Diamond, so it could certainly have a place in Madness. It’s really poor without Lion’s Eye Diamond, which is a knock against it, but the fact that this answers Murktide Regent, Marit Lage or Emrakul makes it a really interesting option to have. I anticipate this will at least show up in Madness sideboards.



Header - Red

Cemetery Gatekeeper

This is a somewhat appealing hatebear against decks like Storm or 8-cast, so I could pretty easily see this showing up. It’s nice that it has some additional utility by having a Ankh of Mishra mode, so this might all add up to a reasonable sideboard card.

End the Festivities

The party’s over, Blazing Volley.

Reckless Impulse

This is certainly a lot worse than Expressive Iteration, but when compared to cards like Light Up the Stage, it’s pretty interesting. I think before the format had Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Ragavan, Reckless Impulse would have been better, but now if we ever need to look beyond Iteration, Light Up the Stage is probably better than Impulse (even if Ragavan was banned).


Header - Green

Cemetery Prowler

I don’t think most green decks are looking for this effect or body. However, I could easily see a world where this is a potent combo enabler, exiling an artifact and allowing you to cast a huge number of spells. I’m not sure what that deck looks like, but it might be there.


Header - Artifacts

Lantern of the Lost

Another Relic of Progenitus effect is nice to have, and some decks will want this over the multitude of other options.


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