Innistrad: Crimson Vow

MTG Crimson Vow: 5 Awesome Creature Mechanics

The new Magic the Gathering set, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, is releasing TODAY on MTG Arena and Magic Online and later in stores from November 19th.

The 90th MTG expansion, Crimson Vow continues the tale from the previous set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. In Crimson Vow, you are still on the plane of Innistrad, where vampires, zombies and werewolves hunt and roam during the eternal night that has cursed the plane and its people. Not all is doom and gloom however, as the biggest vampire wedding in Innistrad history is taking place.

What to expect in Crimson Vow:

As mentioned before, the plane of Innistrad is effectively the Halloween capital of the MTG Universe. You’ll find tonnes of zombies, spirits, werewolves, vampires and of course the few humans that are putting up some sort of resistance to becoming a snack. Each of the 5 main tribes have their own special mechanic for this expansion, with a few new ones and a couple we’ve seen before. Let’s dive into it.

Humans – Keyword: Training

The keyword mechanic for the Humans tribe is “Training”. A creature with Training has:

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

If you’ve played MTG for a while now, you’ll know that this is simply a reverse of the “Mentor” mechanic from Guilds of Ravnica. ‘Training’ as a whole seems a bit slow, as the effect doesn’t do anything when you play the card, it also requires you to have another creature on the board to (with a higher power). As with ‘Mentor’, this mechanic just seems like a ‘nice to have’ as opposed to the other mechanics in this set which really power up some cards.

Spirits – Keyword: Disturb

Making a return from Midnight Hunt, the ‘Disturb’ mechanic is back with a nice new twist. ‘Disturb’ at its core is the creature version of one of the best mechanics in the game, ‘Flashback’.

When a creature with ‘Disturb’ is put into the graveyard, you can play it again for the ‘Disturb’ cost and play it as a transformed card.

In Midnight Hunt this was humans coming back as spirits. In Crimson Vow, it’s spirits that come back as enchantment cards. I really like this mechanic, anything that can give you a 2 for 1 value is always really good in MTG. 

Werewolf – Keyword: Daybound / Nightbound

Another great mechanic returning from Midnight Hunt is the Daybound/Nightbound double face cards. When either player plays a card with ‘Daybound’ for the first, it becomes ‘Day’, then if a player plays no spells during their turn it becomes now. All ‘Daybound’ cards will transform into their ‘Nightbound’ forms. And if a player plays 2 or more spells during their turn, it becomes ‘Day’ again.

All the Daybound/Nightbound cards are exclusively werewolves. And the best ones from Crimson Vow have to be ‘Avabruck Caretaker’. This card is an absolute power house!

Zombies – Keyword: Exploit

A returning mechanic from Dragons of Takir, the ‘Exploit’ mechanic lets you sacrifice a creature when you play a card with ‘Exploit’ for an additional bonus. This mechanic fits into the set really well as there are lots of things to sacrifice such as Decay Zombie tokens and creatures with “When this creature dies” abilities.

I’ll definitely be playing Overcharged Amalgam in some sort of Blue/Black control shell. One thing to note with this ability is that you can sacrifice the creature itself if you don’t have any other creatures on the board and still get the bonus.

Vampires – Keyword: Blood

And finally we have the tribe that the set is all about, Vampires. And of course, you can’t have Vampires without spilling a little Blood. Blood is a new token card that is generated by a bunch of different Vampire cards. Blood tokens are like Clue tokens’ little brother. Same same, but different. Clue tokens allow you to draw a card for 2 mana, Blood tokens on the other hand only cost 1 but you also have to discard a card in order to draw another. While discarding a card may seem like a setback at first, both Innistrad sets have cards that benefit from being in the graveyard. Cards with Flashback and Disturb can both be played again from the graveyard.


That covers all of the new creature mechanics for Crimson Vow.

I can’t wait to dive into this set.

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