Welcome to Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Today the Magic world got its first look at the second installment of the Innistrad double header: Innistrad: Crimson Vow. The set takes place after Midnight Hunt and focuses on the wedding between Olivia Voldaren and Edgar Markov, the progenitor of all vampires on the plane of Innistrad. The plane is trapped in a state of perpetual night and as Olivia makes her power play, Arlinn Kord seeks the help of Chandra and Kaya to help crash the party and restore a day-night cycle on the Gothic horror plane. And seeing as how this wedding involves his grandfather, Sorin Markov also makes an appearance. 


Crimson Vow brings back several mechanics from Magic’s past. While this set is centered on Vampires, the daybound/nightbound mechanic appears on Werewolves in Crimson Vow. Disturb is also making a return, but instead of creatures disturbing into Spirits, this time around creatures can be disturbed into other card types – such as Auras. 


But Midnight Hunt is not the only place where Crimson Vow is getting its mechanics. Where Zombies in the last set focused on being decayed, the Zombies this time around are revisiting the Dragons of Tarkir mechanic of exploit. This means that when the Zombies with exploit enter the battlefield, they can sacrifice a creature for an effect.


There are three new mechanics appearing in Crimson Vow: Cleave and Training. Cleave is a spell mechanic where instants and sorceries come with a Cleave cost. When cast for their normal cost, the spell resolves all the text on the card. However these cards have text that appears in brackets ([ ]). If a spell’s Cleave cost is played, the spell resolves as if the text in brackets does not exist.

Training is another take on Mentor from Guilds of Ravnica. A creature with training will get a +1/+1 counter if it attacks with another creature that has a greater power. Training is the mechanic for the Humans in Crimson Vow.

The final new mechanic revolves around Blood tokens. These tokens are artifacts where you can pay a generic mana, tap, and sacrifice the token to discard a card then draw a card. There are cards in Crimson Vow that use Blood tokens in different ways, such as powering up their effects or triggering off the token’s activation.


Crimson Vow features plenty of amazing cards right off the bat. The dual land cycle from Midnight Hunt is completed with the enemy color pairs. Straight from Dark Ascension, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is getting a straight reprint. 

And what is a Magic set these days without special treatments? As with Midnight Hunt, Crimson Vow will feature full art basic lands in the Eternal Night treatment – a treatment which is also coming to different cards in the set. Vampires get a special frame called the Fang frame, which highlights the fashion and architectural sense of Innistrad’s vampire families. Finally, the set also features a Dracula Series. These cards are done in the same style as Ikoria‘s Godzilla Series: reskins of cards in the set, but given secondary names and art that are pulled from Bram Stoker’s novel. Collector, Draft, and Set Booster Boxes will come with a Box Topper from the Dracula Series. 

There’s more, of course, including two Commander decks. But we want to know – what are you looking forward to in Crimson Vow? Are you excited for more Vampires or, like me, the return of exploit?

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