Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Mechanics Revealed

Learn more about daybound/nightbound, disturb, coven, and more!

Wizards of the Coast (WotC) announced all the new and returning mechanics coming in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.

Day/Night and Daybound/Nightbound

Day and night are new designations for the state of a game of Magic. When a game begins, it is neither day nor night until a card enters the battlefield with daybound or nightbound. Confused? Check out this video and Tovolar, Dire Overlord:

When Tovolar, Dire Overlord enters the battlefield it becomes day as it has daybound. From that point on, the game will either be day or night. If it’s day and at any point a player doesn’t play a spell on their turn, it becomes night as the next turn begins. As it becomes night, all permanents with daybound transform. As long as it’s night, all permanents will enter the battlefield with their nightbound faces up (the same goes for day and daybound faces). If it’s night, the next time a player plays two or more spells on their turn it will become day at the start of the next turn and the cycle continues. Day and night tokens will help keep track of whether it’s day or night.

Daybound and nightbound cards range from as simple as Tavern Ruffian/Tavern Smasher and as complicated as Brutal Cathar/Moonrage Brute and the above mentioned Tovolar, Dire Overlord/Tovolar, the Midnight Scourge.

Tavern Ruffian is effectively a vanilla creature with the exception of the daybound and nightbound mechanic. No other triggers or effects happen when it transforms other than its power and toughness and name. Tavern Smasher will still have a mana value of four, as that’s what its front face, Tavern Ruffian, has.

If you play Brutal Cathar before the game has had a chance to be day or night, it will become day and its enters-the-battlefield trigger will happen. However, if it’s night, when you play Brutal Cathar it will enter the battlefield as Moonrage Brute and you will have to work to make it day to get that exile trigger.


Disturb is another mechanic that plays off DFC design space. Take a look at this video and Beloved Beggar:

Beloved Beggar and Baithook Angler are just normal creatures when you play them from hand for two mana. But when these creatures die and are in your graveyard, you may choose to cast them for their disturb cost. If you do, they enter the battlefield as their back side (so as Generous Soul or Hook-Haunt Drifter).

If Generous Soul or Hook-Haunt Drifter would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead. Disturb is a nice little mechanic that gives certain creatures a second chance at life, just in a different form.


Coven is a new ability word that makes cards better if you control three or more creatures with different powers. Meet Sigarda, Champion of Light.

Triggered coven abilities like with Sigarda, Champion of Light or Candlelit Cavalry check for three or more creatures with different powers twice. The coven ability triggers goes on the stack first then again when it tries to resolve. If you have three creatures with different powers, the coven ability of Candlelit Cavalry goes on the stack at the beginning of combat, if nothing happens to any of your creatures the ability resolves. This means players can respond to the first trigger with a removal spell or a spell or ability that could change the power of one of the creatures and negate the bonus effect.

Candletrap has an activated coven ability, so you can only activate the ability if you have three creatures with different powers, but once you do activate it the ability will happen even if something happens to one of the creatures. A quick tip for playing with Might of the Old Ways: don’t target a creature if the +2+2 would make it so you no longer control three or more creatures with different powers, as you then would lose the draw a card bonus from it as it resolves.

Investigate and Flashback

Investigate and flashback return in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. Flashback was already announced with the set teaser a few weeks ago, but investigate comes as a surprise after its wide approval from Shadows Over Innistrad.

Secrets of the Key boasts both mechanics. What’s better than one clue? How about two clues!

What do you think of the new mechanics and the returning ones in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt? Which one do you look forward to playing with the most?

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is currently scheduled for release on September 24. View our official preview gallery.