Welcome to the Midnight Hunt Draft Guide! Innistrad always had enjoyable draft formats, and it certainly looks like this one will live up to the hype. Of course, it’s always more fun, if you’re winning, and that’s what we’ll try to help you with.
We’ll explore various big picture stuff about Midnight Hunt Draft format. As usual, we’ll start with mechanics, and explore how they affect the format. We’ll continue with the best commons for each color.
Then we will move to the archetypes, which you’ll encounter in the draft. In this section, we also take a look at some uncommons that preform specifically well in certain types of decks. We also rank colors in archetypes in the Power Rankings section.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with some additional tips, which will hopefully come in handy.
As you can see, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started by exploring the mechanics of Innistrad, the plane of Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves and other horrors.
UPDATE: If you’re looking forward to drafting the newest set, you should read our New Capenna Draft Guide.
Midnight Hunt Mechanics
There are multiple things going on with Midnight Hunt mechanics. Some are very present, other less so. We’ll talk take a look at:
- day / night
- other transform cards
- decayed zombies
While not all of these are technically mechanics, it’s important that you have at least a basic understanding of them, so you won’t make unnecessary mistakes.
Flashback is a keyword ability that can appear on instants or sorceries. If a card has flashback, you can cast it from your graveyard for its flashback cost. When you do so, you have to exile it afterwards.
You can cast Rise of the Ants for six mana from your hand. You get two 3/3 Insects and two life. Afterwards, you can cast it from your graveyard for eight mana, and you get another two tokens and two life again. Then you exile the card.
You don’t have to first cast the card from your hand. You can discard Rise of the Ants, or you can mill it from the top of your library. If the card with flashback is in your graveyard for whatever reason, you can flash it back. It’s an easy two-for-one.
The more such cards you have in your deck, the better cards that mill you become. (Milling is putting cards from a library into the graveyard.) Of course, cards that exile cards from graveyards also become better, as you can get rid of your opponent’s stuff with flashback.
There are 38 cards with flashback. They are present in all colors, but most of them are in Blue and Green. That color pair also has a flashback theme, as you’ll see in the Archetypes section.
Disturb plays somewhat similarly to flashback, but can only appear on creatures. In short, creatures with disturb can be cast from the graveyard for their disturb cost. They come into play transformed.
All disturb creatures are flying Spirits on the other side, and have a clause that they have to be exiled, if they’d be put into a graveyard.
The usual play pattern would be that you play Mourning Patrol for three mana, it dies at one point, and then you play four mana to get a 2/1 vigilant flyer from your graveyard. Once again, an easy two-for-one.
Again, disturb creatures promote self milling, as it doesn’t matter how the creature got into your graveyard.
There are 12 cards with disturb. All of them are in White and Blue, except Covert Cutpurse, which is Black. Naturally, White-Blue has a disturb theme. But more about that in the Archetypes section.
Day / Night
This is the most complex of Midnight Hunt mechanics, so bear (or should I say wolf) with me for a second.
Start of the Day
Day and night are designations that a game of Magic can have. When a game starts, it’s neither day nor night. There are two main types of cards that can start tracking day and night, when they enter the battlefield:
In both cases, it first becomes day. (In some rare cases a permanent with Nightbound can enter the battlefield first, and it becomes night, but that probably won’t happen in your draft game. The more common way would be to cast Unnatural Moonrise)
Day & Night Changing
Afterwards, the day becomes night, if a player doesn’t cast a spell during their own turn.
On the other hand, night becomes day, if a player casts at least two spells during their own turn.
So what happens during the day and night cycles? When it becomes day, all Nightbound permanents transform into their Daybound sides.
When day becomes night, all Daybound permanents transform into their Nightbound sides. Another important thing is that during the night, all permanents enter the battlefield on their Nightbound side.
This is a mechanic used mostly for Werewolves, and they are usually better on their Nightbound side. However, there are other cards that track night and day for various benefits, like this Component Collector.
What Does This Mean for the Draft?
Okay, so what does all this mean for draft? Well, if you’re playing a deck with Werewolves, you can put a slightly higher value on cards with flash, instants and activated abilities. The reason for this is that you’ll sometimes want to pass your turn without playing a spell, in order to transform your Werewolves. You’ll still want to use your mana, so you’ll just do it on your opponent’s turn.
For decks that will want to change night from day, cards like Consider become slightly better, as you can use them to easily play two spells in a turn. You can also transform your opponent’s big Werewolves into smaller ones when you do so.
Furthermore, you might have cards that become better if it’s night (like Olivia’s Midnight Ambush). Note, you don’t necessary need to have enablers yourself, as your opponent might have some Daybound cards in their deck anyway.
Other Transform Cards
Besides the day/night cards and disturb creatures, there are also some cards that transform using various criteria. While these don’t have a special effect on a format as a whole, we wanted to mention them, so newer players won’t be confused by them.
Ecstatic Awakener for example, transforms when you pay three mana and sacrifice another creature. You get a card and a 4/4 for your troubles.
Coven is an ability word. Cards with coven get better, if you control three or more creatures with different powers.
Candlegrove Witch will get flying at the beginning of combat, if you control three or more creatures with different powers. Of course, it counts itself as one of those three creatures.
In general, the coven bonuses are pretty minimal, so you shouldn’t go out of your way to support this mechanic. Don’t play bad creatures, just because their specific power is missing in your deck.
Nevertheless, you can use creatures’ powers as a tiebreaker when you’re deciding between two creatures of a similar power level. In that case, you can go with the creatures that has a power that’s less prevalent among your other creatures.
There are 16 cards with coven. All of them are in White and Green. If you want, you can find out more about coven rules here.
In the Midnight Hunt draft, you’ll find cards that make 2/2 Zombie tokens with decayed. These tokens can’t block, and when they attack, they get sacrificed at the end of combat. This means you can only use them as one-time attackers, or to sacrifice them for value.
You don’t want to overrate these tokens. They are usually worse than random 1/1 tokens. So when evaluating cards that make decayed Zombies, don’t value it much higher than you would if it didn’t make the token. Of course, that changes once you have multiple ways to sacrifice them, or a mass pump spell, which will make your big Zombie attack that more meaningful.
There are 14 cards that make decayed tokens. All of them are in Black and Blue, except Ghoulcaller’s Harvest. Black-Blue archetype also takes the most advantage of these tokens.
Only five cards in the set have the investigate mechanic, and only one of them is common. This means it won’t have a big effect on the format, and we just wanted to mention the mechanic for the newer players.
When you investigate, you create a Clue token. You can pay two mana and sacrifice a Clue token, to draw a card. In a way, it’s a delayed card draw.
That’s it for the Midnight Hunt mechanics, and we’re moving on to the next section.
Best Commons for Midnight Hunt Draft
Most of your deck will consist of commons, and these are the cards that you’ll see the most of during the draft portion. That’s why they’re important. We’ll take a look at the best of them in each of the five colors.
If you want a grade for each card in the set, then you should also check Midnight Hunt Draft Tier List.
1. Gavony Silversmith
At its worse, Silversmith is a four mana 3/4, which is okay, but not amazing. However, at its best you’ll curve out – a two drop, into a three drop, into Silversmith. It buffs your previous two plays, and your opponent is in an awful spot.
Usually, you’ll get at least a counter on it and on an another creature. This often enables some attacks that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to make. There are also flyers in the format (like the disturbed Spirits), which get significantly better with just a single +1/+1 counter.
So, you’re virtually getting 4/5 stats of value for four mana, and half of the stats can get pseudo haste. You also won’t mind playing multiples, as following one after another is quite good. An amazing card!
2. Search Party Captain
Apparently, White creatures that draw cards are here to stay. Such creatures are almost always good, if their stats are passable for their cost. For this one to be good, you really want to reduce its cost to at least three. This probably shouldn’t be too hard, in a deck with a nice mana curve.
The usual scenario would be to play a two drop, attack with it, deploy Captain and get your card. That’s perfectly fine.
However, occasionally you’ll get Captains’ cost down to two or even one mana, at which point, you’ll feel like you got away with something. Even if you’ll have to pay four mana at some point, that won’t be the end of the world.
All things considered, this is a very nice card to have in your White decks, even in multiples. Keep in mind that the more aggressive you are, the better it gets.
This set’s Pacifism effect is a weird card to evaluate. It essentially makes one of your opponent’s creatures into a 0/X defender. While this does mean it can still block, at least it won’t trade for anything.
The card also has coven, so when you have three creatures with different powers, you can pay three mana to exile the enchanted creature. While this won’t happen constantly, it’s still a nice option to have.
Candletrap is less powerful, than some other similar variants, but it does cost just one mana, which will often enable you to play two spells in a turn. (This is already a great tempo play, plus it can turn night into day.)
You’ll want to play it in most White decks, but it really preforms best in more controlling decks, or decks with flyers, which won’t care for ground blockers.
Speaking of flyers, Soul-Guide Gryff is certainly a big flyer. Exiling a card from a graveyard will be relevant against almost everyone. In some cases, the effect might even get close to drawing a card. Anyway, most White deck will play a couple of Hippogriffs, and be happy with them.
Sungold Barrage is a mana cheaper than this kind of effects usually are. Naturally, this does improve it. Another thing it has going for it is that it kills a third of all creatures (50 out of 150). And these are the big creatures, the ones you often want to kill the most. Additionally, you can use it on smaller creatures, if an opponent buffs them. However, you don’t want to go too crazy with it. At the beginning of the format we’d recommend a single copy.
Blessed Defiance is a combat trick that does a lot for a single mana. Your creature can trade up, you get a big life swing, and you can end up with a 1/1 flyer, which is always useful.
Don’t sleep on Gavony Trapper, as these types of creatures are better than they look. It also brings the rare 0 power to your deck, which makes it easier to get coven.
White still has some nice common creatures. Mourning Patrol is serviceable, and provides and easy two-for-one. Cathar Commando can surprise your opponent, and also deal with a problematic enchantment or artifact in a pinch.
Finally, we have to mention Thraben Exorcism, not because it’s so good, but because you could quickly overestimate it. There are 20 Spirits in the sets (and that’s counting all disturb cards), and 18 enchantments. Almost all the Spirits are in white and blue. This means you can very easily play against a deck, which wouldn’t have targets for it. As such, this card is best served to start in the sideboard of a Traditional Midnight Hunt draft deck.
1. Organ Hoarder
As we talked about, creatures that draw a card when they come into play are always good, if they have at least serviceable stats. A four mana 3/2 does affect the board, so Hoarder passes the test.
However, it doesn’t just draw you a card. You actually get card selection from the top three cards of your library! But that’s not all. The rest go into your graveyard, so if you have cards with flashback or disturb, you can get even more value.
This means you can hoard as many of them as you can get your hands onto, and you’ll do quite nicely in the Midnight Hunt draft.
Four mana for a 3/2 flyer is a fine rate. Add the ability to get it back from a graveyard as a 2/2 flyer, and you have an awesome two-for-one.
Opponents can’t just ignore flyers forever, as their damage does add up quite quickly. If you can stop creatures on the ground from dealing you too much damage, then this Hippogriff will eventually finish the game.
3. Locked in the Cemetery
Two mana is fairly cheap for this effect. Sure, it’s much better if you have five or more cards in your graveyard, but that’ll happen often enough in a longer game, as there’s enough self-mill support in Blue.
In the early game, the creatures are smaller, so you can afford to take a hit before you lock something down. Locked in the Cemetery is certainly a common that you’ll like to include in your Blue decks.
Drownyard Amalgam has a solid stats for a five drop. 3/6 is a real roadblock. It also comes with two small, but relevant upsides. First, it mills you for three (or your opponent, which can come in handy in long games.) This can enable some graveyard stuff, like disturb or flashback, or even powering up Locked in the Cemetery. You can also make it unblockable, which will eventually finish the game. All of this adds up to a really nice common.
Stormrider Spirit is a card we’ve seen before, with various names. (Fun fact: there are five differently named five drops with flash and flying.) They’ve almost always been at least playable, and there’s no reason for this to change with Midnight Hunt draft. The usual play pattern is to ambush a small attacker, and then start attacking yourself. It can also mess up with opponent’s day/night plans.
Cheap bounce spells can be very good if you time them right. Some of them don’t let you return your own stuff, which makes them less powerful. However, that’s not the case with Geistwave. It’ll even reward you with a card, if you bounce your permanent. You can use it in various ways, sometimes even returning your disturbed creatures back, so you can play them twice – again.
Consider is a nice card that all Blue decks will like to play. It has synergies with a lot of cards in the set (flashback, disturb, instant and sorceries matter, etc.)
Finally, Secrets of the Key is a nice way to ensure you won’t run out of fuel in the long game.
There are 150 creatures in the set. 38 of them have flying, at least on one side of the card (that’s counting disturbed Spirits.) Even then, Defenestrate deals with 112 creatures, which is 74.4% of all creatures.
So for three mana you get to kill around three quarters of creatures in the Midnight Hunt Draft format – at instant speed. You just can’t beat this kind of efficiency.
Of course, you want some spells that’ll be able to deal with flyers. But you don’t have to look far. The very next card will do fine against them.
2. Olivia’s Midnight Ambush
Let’s ignore the night part for a bit, and evaluate this card, as it’s just an instant that gives -2/-2. Even with this rate, you can kill around half of the creatures (48.7%). That’s quite impressive.
Add the night benefit, and you can kill everything. You don’t even need to have the day/night mechanic in this deck to make it work, it’ll do just fine on its own. Besides, if your opponent has day / night mechanic, you can make them do the work, and reap the benefits yourself.
3. Diregraf Horde
Diregraf Horde provides you with some fodder for cards like the ones we just mentioned. It can also mess up with your opponent’s graveyard shenanigans, which is very powerful in a set like this. All in all, it gets a lot of stats on the table, and you’ll happily play all the copies you can get.
Horde could easily move up in rankings, once we get more drafts under our belts, and see how things play out.
Eaten Alive is basically a split card: One has the option of paying five mana, the other is to pay one mana and sacrifice a creature. Such cards are always significantly better than each separate side would be, as they give you options.
Both Morkrut Behemoth and Ecstatic Awakener are both great sacrifice outlets. One is just a massive creature for its mana cost, while the other offers a lot of flexibility. You can sacrifice one of your creatures that would die to removal, as well as a decayed Zombie. You get a 4/4 and a card, which is quite powerful.
1. Moonrager’s Slash
Three mana for 3 damage at instant speed is always goon in draft. This one actually becomes a Lightning Bolt when it’s night, which is a nice upgrade, but the card would be perfectly fine without it. Don’t think that you have to have day / night cards in your deck to play this.
Anyway, this is an amazing card, and you should pick it very early in the draft. Don’t forget that you can also target an opponent, to potentially win the game on the spot.
Similarly to the Olivia’s Midnight Ambush kill around half of the creatures (48.7%) in the format. This has the upside that your opponent can’t save their creature with a combat trick, as it will simply die on the next turn.
Every once in a while, you’ll even use this enchantment to buff one of your own creatures, possibly something hard to block, like Soul-Guide Gryff.
3. Burn the Accursed
Five mana can be a lot, but so is five damage. It deals with a whooping 143 or 95.3% of creatures. The 2 damage to the opponent will also be relevant, since removing your opponent’s biggest blocker usually makes room for attacks, and the damage adds up quickly.
You still don’t want too many of these, but a couple of copies will do just fine.
Famished Foragers is a very interesting card. 4/3 for four are passable stats. The ability to discard and draw for three mana, guarantees that you won’t run out of steam in the late game. Finally, if you manage to damage your opponent, you get three mana back on the turn you play it. This can enable a very explosive turn. It looks like a card that you won’t mind playing multiples of, but keep in mind that it’s better in more aggressive decks.
Ardent Elementalist can be a fine addition to your deck, but you’ll want a nice mix of differently costed instant and sorceries. Why? Because it’s nice to have different options. Maybe you need a cheap spell, to quickly affect the board, or you can afford to pick an expensive one, that will swing the game in your favor on the next turn.
Red combat spells usually feel clunky on the defense. However, Midnight Hunt draft is bringing us a fresh take with Stolen Vitality. (And by fresh, we don’t mean the interesting art style.) It provides trample on attacks, and first strike on defense. With such a large power boost, you’ll probably happily play a couple of copies in your red decks.
Brimstone Vandal is a fine pick-up for an aggressive deck. It’s hard to block, and will deal some incidental damage to the opponent during longer games.
1. Duel for Dominance
Fight spells are usually quite good, but they usually come with slight modifications, so let’s take a look at how good this one is.
If you don’t have coven enabled, you get to fight two creatures for two mana at instant speed. This is very efficient, despite the fact that you don’t get a buff. However, green creatures in this set are quite beefy, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Occasionally, you’ll get the coven ability, which gives your creature a +1/+1 counter this is relevant effect, and will certainly make the card even better in those situations.
As always with cards like this, choose your moment carefully, so you don’t get blown out (don’t cast it into opponent’s open mana if you can avoid it). Furthermore, make sure that you have some efficient creatures that can fight well, like the next card on the list.
2. Shadowbeast Sighting
For mana for a 4/4 is always a great rate. For seven mana you even get another 4/4 Beast. Simple and elegant design, and a very effective card, which provides a really easy two-for-one.
You won’t mind playing multiples of this card. If you do, consider playing 18 lands, as you’ll have things to do with your mana in the late game.
3. Howl of the Hunt
This card is more of a combat trick that sticks around than your usual aura. It can make for some real blowouts – it wins you a combat and your creature is now a big threat.
It will be better at the beginning of the Midnight Hunt Draft format, and will start losing some of its value, once players learn to play around it. However, once that happens, this article will get an update, and we’ll adjust this card’s position accordingly.
The card obviously plays well with Werewolves, not just due to the untap shenanigans, but because you can simply pass the turn, so it becomes Night, then use it on your opponent’s turn.
Candlelit Cavalry and Tireless Hauler are your big common creatures in the set. You almost always want a couple of such cards in your deck. Since they are pretty close in power level, it doesn’t really matter much which one you pick.
Sometimes a draft format enables a five color deck, splashing all the rares and mythics it wants. It’s yet to be seen if that’s the case with Midnight Hunt draft, but if it is, both Dawnhart Rejuvenator and Path to the Festival will be the key cards.
Bird Admirer is a fine three drop. It starts as a 1/4 reach, which hold the defense quite well. When it becomes night, it’s a 3/5, which is a massive presence on the board.
Might of the Old Ways can be a powerful combat trick, if you can consistently trigger coven.
Before we move to the archetypes, we’ll just quickly take a look at one card that’s easy to miss.
We’ve seen this type of card in various sets, and it was pretty mediocre. This time around it’s actually reasonably costed, and you won’t mind including it in your deck, if you didn’t get enough other removal. Now and then you’ll even get to kill a big Werewolf with it.
Midnight Hunt Draft Archetypes
It’s time to move on, and explore the archetypes of Midnight Hunt Draft. In general, there are ten of them, one for each color pair. Naturally, you can always splash a powerful card in any archetype, and the most easy way to do so is with green deck – but for now let’s focus just on regular two-color combinations.
Black – White: Sacrifice
Sacrifice decks usually rely on three things:
- Outlets (cards that let you sacrifice creatures for value)
- fodder (creatures that you can sacrifice without a big loss)
- payoffs (cards that reward you for your troubles)
Sometimes cards fall in multiple categories. Fleshtaker, for example, is both a sacrifice outlet and a payoff. This type of card is always very important in this archetype.
Most outlets in the set here are one-time effects:
Your “best” creatures to sacrifice will most likely be decayed Zombie tokens.
There are multiple cards that create them, the best ones in Black seem to be Diregraf Horde, Rotten Reunion, and Ghoulish Procession. The first two make a couple of bodies, while the latter one is repeatable.
Some other cards, like Novice Occultist also work.
Besides Fleshtaker, your payoffs include (sorted from best to worse):
Don’t forget that these four can also be triggered by just attacking with a decayed Zombie, as it’ll die at the end of combat.
You’ll want a nice mix of all three categories for your deck to preform well. These strategies can often be tricky to play, but very rewarding once you master them. The White-Black sacrifice deck will be more on the aggressive side, and will also like to use Ritual of Hope if possible.
Blue – Black: Zombies / Sacrifice
The other side of the same coin is Blue-Black. Naturally, all the Black cards that we’ve talked about before, are still good here. So let’s take a look at what Blue brings to the table.
For the most part, it gets you access to some good card that make decayed Zombies, like:
You’ll get access to Vivisection, which is a nice way to turn a decayed token into some real card advantage. Although these tokens can’t block, Skaab Wrangler can make them useful on defense. Similarly, Siege Zombie can make them into a slow, but consistent source of damage.
Furthermore, you can convert your useless tokens into something big and powerful with Corpse Cobble. The nice part about this card is that it’s an instant, so you can use it in response to a removal spell.
Compared to its White counterpart, the deck looks more controlling but enables many sweet plays. If you manage to build it right, you can certainly win many games with it.
Blue – White: Disturb Flyers
The vast majority of disturb creatures are in Blue-White. On their back side, they’re all Spirits with flying. That’s why you can evaluate this deck similarly to a flyers deck with some twists.
There aren’t any specific payoffs for creatures with flying. The closest we get is Patrician Geist, a rare that buffs Spirits. Nevertheless, flyers are good enough on their own in draft, and don’t need specific support.
So, what you’ll want to do with this deck is – lock down the ground, so you won’t lose too much life, and meanwhile attack in the air. You’ll also want some +1/+1 counters, which get much better, when you’re putting them on flyers, and not on random creatures. Finally, you’ll also want some self-mill cards, to get more value from your disturb creatures.
We’ll quickly take a look at some cards you can use to achieve your goals, before we move on to the next archetype.
Locking Down the Ground
- Borrowed Time – always an amazing card
- Candletrap – at its best in this deck
- Gavony Trapper – lock the biggest threat for a turn
- Locked in the Cemetery – has synergy with self-mill
- Gavony Silversmith – great option
- Homestead Courage – not amazing, but has self-mill synergy
- Odric’s Outrider – repeatable effect
- Covetous Castaway – disturb creature
- Drownyard Amalgam – good defender
- Devoted Grafkeeper – disturb creature
- Organ Hoarder – replaces itself, and mills you
Flyers With Abilities
Phantom Carriage is a big flyer, that gets you a disturb card you want most from your library to the graveyard. While you don’t want too many expensive cards, you always want a couple of these, if you can get them.
Loyal Gryff is an amazing card, and particularly in this deck. You can use it to save one of your creatures from removal. When you use it on a disturbed creature, you get twice the value, as you get to reply the creature on the front end, and when it dies, you can get it from your graveyard once more.
Black – Green: Creatures Dying / Midrange
When you look at the two gold uncommons for this archetype, you’d think that everything revolves around multiple creatures dying in a single turn. This is only somewhat true, as this is merely a subtheme, and not something you should really focus your deckbuilding on.
The biggest reason is that there simply aren’t enough payoffs for doing so. Sure reducing the cost of Diregraf Rebirth for a mana or two is nice, but it’s not like you broke it, if you managed to get a bigger cost reduction, as that’s probably in the late game anyway.
You can still take advantage of some of the previously mentioned Black cards from both sacrifice archetypes. Decayed Zombies can provide you with multiple creatures dying when you need them.
But since there aren’t that many payoffs, focus instead on building a good midrange deck. This shouldn’t be too hard, as you have the best removal spells in Black, and the most efficient creatures in Green. Your cards will naturally take advantage of dies-triggers, but you don’t need to build heavily around them. Just include good cards, and the synergies will be incidental.
Green – White: Tokens / Coven
We’ve talked about decayed tokens a lot in the last few archetypes. Green-White also focuses on tokens, but the regular kind, so a bit more versatile, and permanent. The archetype also has access to every coven card.
As always, the Plan A with tokens is to go wide with a bunch of creatures, then use a mass pump spell for the win. Let’s see which cards let us do that.
The following cards are all fine ways to get multiple bodies on the field from a single card:
Sunset Revelry is also an option. It’s a bit tricky to use, but at its best when you need it most. (It won’t vanish, unlike a certain Airbender.) Cards with disturb are also useful, since they give you more resiliency.
There’s only one mass pump spell, Ritual of Hope. It’s an uncommon, so you should pick it highly, if you find yourself in this archetype. Dawnhart Wardens comes with a solid body, and can also offer a small boost to your tokens.
Furthermore, Gavony Silversmith will usually have bodies to boost in this deck. It also works nicely with the coven cards, as you can often distribute counters in a way that will enable coven.
Don’t build too heavily around coven. You’ll naturally have creatures with different powers in your deck. You can still use the creatures’ power as a tiebreaker when deciding which of the two similarly useful ones to pick for your deck. Go with the creature, that has the more “uncommon” power in your deck.
Furthermore, you can use cards that give +1/+1 counters in a way that you’ll creatures will have different powers.
All in all, this archetype looks like it has access to everything it needs. Don’t forget to pick payoffs first, as those are less common, than token makers.
Red – White: Aggro
Not all archetypes are necessarily amazing new takes on the color pairs. Red-White doesn’t have a specific theme, apart from being aggressive and a small day / night theme.
Don’t try to maximize the day / night mechanic here, as it’s just a small portion of the archetype. Just get your curve low and efficient, and start attacking your opponents quickly. Once you run out of cards in hand, then you’ll transform your Daybound cards.
You can also have a small token subtheme, with the White cards we mentioned in the previous Green-White archetype.
This deck will be one of the best to utilize combat tricks like:
There’s really not much else to say about this archetype, as it’s quite straightforward. It’s probably a good idea to have some archetypes like this one, as not everything needs to be built around a gimmick. If you manage to build a low curve, you can go down to 16 lands, as this deck usually won’t have that many mana sinks.
So, if you just want to smash your opponents down, this deck is a fine option.
Blue – Green: Flashback
Do you like value and two-for-ones? Then this is the archetype for you!
Blue-Green is all about that flashback value, and everything you’re trying to do is perfectly represented by Rootcoil Creeper. It ramps you towards your more expensive flashback cards, it can get you value by giving you a flashback card back from exile. Finally, it also affects the board.
This is the thing, that you have to pay a lot of attention to with this deck. You want to affect the board quickly, so you won’t get surprised by an aggressive deck in the early game. Thanks to the flashback cards, you’re probably a favorite in the long game, so it’s that more important that you reach that stage.
There are various flashback cards in the set, and most of them are at least playable. Here are just some good ones that you can get at lower rarities:
Path to the Festival is another flashback card, which could also be considered a support card. Flashback costs can be quite high, and having ramp cards surely speeds things up. Another great addition is Dawnhart Rejuvenator, which besides ramping provides you a nice blocker and a big life cushion. With these two cards, you can also easily splash some powerful rares in other colors.
You can also ramp toward Phantom Carriage, which gives you even more value – by getting the flashback card you want most to your graveyard. And that’s on top of it being a flyer!
Anyway, this deck looks like a ton of fun, and quite viable too.
Black – Red: Vampires / Life Loss
Red-Black has an interesting theme. It’s part Vampire tribal, and part dealing damage to your opponent. Both are pretty much interwoven with one another.
Let’s take a look at enablers first. The easiest way to deal damage to the opponent is just to play cheap attackers, so you can expect this archetype to be quite aggressive.
Falkenrath Perforator is a cheap creature that might deal some damage in the early turns. Later in the game, it can be a one-Vampire Suicide Squad to trigger your life-loss cards.
Neonate’s Rush is a nice enabler, if your opponent is playing creatures with one toughness, it’s excellent. 23.3% of creatures in the format have one toughness, so it’s pretty reasonable to have a target now and then.
While Thermo-Alchemist is not the most Vampire themed card, it will guarantee a consistent source of direct damage to the opponent. As you can see, there are quite some options to trigger life-loss cards.
Vampire Socialite is an amazing card here. First it can buff your Vampires, and thanks to the menace ability, it’s a reasonable enabler as well. All of that, for just two mana. Stromkirk Bloodthief can also buff your Vampires, but on a smaller scale.
Voldaren Ambusher is a much better card, if you can pull it off. Getting to destroy a creature, and getting one yourself, is a real beating.
Some other payoffs include:
You might even get lucky and get a rare like Florian, Voldaren Scion.
So, have a low curve be aggressive, get some good payoffs, and you should do well with your Vampire deck in the Midnight Hunt Draft.
Red – Green: Werewolves
Werewolves are a popular tribe and, as we talked about, their mechanic got changed this time around. So you can expect a lot of playing with the day / night mechanic with this archetype. But first let’s take a look at Werewolves and how good they are.
Best Werewolves in Midnight Hunt Draft
Of course, the two best Werewolves would be the rare ones – Tovolar’s Huntmaster and Tovolar, Dire Overlord. But since you can’t just count on being lucky, here are the top five Werewolves from lower rarities, ordered from best to worst:
- Hound Tamer
- Kessig Naturalist
- Fangblade Brigand
- Burly Breaker
- Village Watch
- Outland Liberator
- Tavern Ruffian
- Tireless Hauler
- Bird Admirer
- Spellrune Painter
- Harvesttide Infiltrator
Now, this doesn’t mean that Harvesttide Infiltrator is bad or anything like that. It’s just that the power level of Werewolves as a whole is very high.
How to Transform Without Losing Tempo
By now you already know, that it has to be day first, and then a player mustn’t cast a card during their turn. But what does this mean in practice?
Often you’ll want to simply pass the turn, so it becomes night. But your opponent might cast two spells in a turn, and now it’s day again, and you’ve wasted a turn’s worth of mana. Yikes.
To combat that, you’ll want stuff that you can do on your opponent’s turn. Activated abilities are great, and that’s why Hound Tamer is so good. You can also use cards with flash or instants. Card like Bounding Wolf and Howl of the Hunt will allow you to pass the turn, and still use your mana on the opponent’s turn.
So get as many Werewolves as you can, particularly the better ones, even though there are really no bad ones. Get some stuff you can do on your opponent’s turn, and fill the rest of your deck with good cards.
However, the one big problem Werewolves have is their lack of card advantage. Many other decks (especially the Blue ones), have a lot of it, so it can be hard for Werewolves to compete in the late game.
Blue – Red: Instants & Sorceries
Blue-Red archetype once again focuses on instant and sorceries. These decks can often be tricky to build, as you need to find a right balance between instants and sorceries on one hand, and creatures on the other.
So, which creatures will you most likely see in this archetype? Some of them are the ones that get buffs, when you cast an instant or sorcery spell:
If Delver of Secrets will find a place in a draft deck, it will be in this one. Although, it’s still quite unreliable.
Thermo-Alchemist will be an important part of the deck, as it can provide a lot of damage throughout the game, plus it can block some early attackers. If you get really lucky, you might get Poppet Stitcher, which is totally bonkers in this archetype.
Instant & Sorceries
Some of the best cards in this category are the cheap ones that replace themselves. Consider and Arcane Infusion would be two such examples. Card with flashback are also useful, as you’ll get to use them twice.
Seize the Storm is also the perfect card for the deck. It makes a big creature twice, while it counts as an instant or sorcery for all your card that care about them.
Getting the Right Mix
While you’ll play fewer creatures than in a regular draft deck, you still probably want at least 10-12 creatures, as you’ll need them to actually win the game. Furthermore, with so many good removal spells in the set, you can’t rely on a single Storm Skreelix to get the job done.
If you’re playing a lot of cheap card draw, like Consider, consider going down to 16 or maybe even 15 lands. This way, you won’t risk drawing too many lands with your cantrips.
Midnight Hunt Draft Guide: Power Rankings
It’s time for the rankings. As always, take these with a grain of salt, especially at the start of the format. These are just some of the first thoughts we have on the format, and it doesn’t mean that the colors or archetypes on the last places are bad.
It just means that if you’re in a dilemma to which of the two cards to choose, you can use this as a tiebreaker, since a certain color or archetype might be slightly better than another.
All of this is bound to change after we all do some drafts, and there will be an update to this article in a couple of weeks after the set’s release. With that said, here are our current rankings:
Black has so many good removal spells, it’s hard to argue for any other color to be on the first place, especially since Black creatures aren’t bad either. Blue has so many good two-for-ones, and various card advantage, that’s a favorite in any kind of longer game. The rest of the colors are all bundled up pretty closely together, and it’ll be interesting to see how this changes in the upcoming days.
Best Archetypes in Midnight Hunt Draft
- Blue-White: Disturb Flyers
- Blue-Black: Zombies / Sacrifice
- Black-White: Sacrifice
- Blue-Green: Flashback
- Green-White: Tokens / Coven
- Red-White: Aggro
- Black-Red: Vampires / Life Loss
- Black-Green: Creatures Dying / Midrange
- Blue-Red: Instants & Sorceries
- Red-Green: Werewolves
As you can see, on the top we have three archetypes with all combinations of the best three colors. Early on, these seem like clear candidates for the best archetypes.
Then we have a bunch of decks that are pretty close together in power level. On spots from four to eight.
Finally, there’s Blue-Red deck, which is really hard to come together properly. The deck often relies on small amount of creatures, which makes it harder to preform well in a format full of efficient removal spells. Werewolves have the problem, that they don’t have card advantage in the long game, and there are better aggressive options for an fast deck (Red-White and Black-Red).
With that said, that’s still an early assessment of the format, and we hope that the archetypes end up really well-balanced at the end, as this is the main characteristic of some really fun draft formats.
Additional Tips for Midnight Hunt Draft
Before we wrap up, here are some final tips, that might help you win Midnight Hunt Draft.
The two of the main mechanics of the set are flashback and disturb. In order to make those mechanics work, the format has to be a bit on the slower side. Wizards want their marquee mechanics to be playable, so it’s safe to assume that Midnight Hunt Draft, won’t be the fastest format out there.
That doesn’t mean that you can just durdle around and do whatever. Fast decks will still be present. A curve of Candlegrove Witch, Ritual Guardian into Gavony Silversmith is fast and that’s just commons in one single color.
How Many Lands to Play in Midnight Hunt Draft?
This would really depend on your deck build, but the range would probably be around 15-18.
Your deck can have a lot of mana sinks (there are a lot of them in the format, thanks to flashback and disturb). If that’s the case (let’s say you have five or more), then you want to go up to 18 lands.
On the other hand, if you’re very aggressive, have a really low curve with not many mana sinks, or if you’re playing a ton of cards like Consider, you could go down to 16 or even 15 lands.
However, if you’re unsure, just stick to 17 lands, and you won’t get it wrong by much.
It’s usually good to know how mass destruction spells there are in a draft format, so you know when you can over-commit and when not to.
In Midnight Hunt Draft, there are three different wraths:
When your opponent is making weird play patterns and plays White, Red or Black, you should think about maybe playing around these wraths. What would be weird play patterns? Chump blocking with their good creatures, or simply not deploying many creatures.
In such cases, you might want to consider if you can beat a certain wrath by holding a couple of creatures in your hand. (Or maybe by playing a 6-toughness creature, against Burn Down the House.) If you think you can, you can try to do so. If you won’t be able to beat anyway, just deploy all of your creatures and hope for the best.
The Hunt isn’t Over!
This is the end of our Midnight Hunt Draft Guide. However, if you want more Midnight Hunt content, there are some articles that might interest you.
First up, some news for Commander players. We’re getting two precons with this set. One deck is built around Zombie tribal, and the other focuses on the coven mechanic. Read all about Midnight Hunt Commander decks here.
Do you want to organize a draft at home? If so, you’ll want to get a Midnight Hunt Draft Booster Box.
On the other hand, if you’re a collector, and like alternate art shiny cards, you might prefer Collector Boosters. You can explore Midnight Hunt Collector Booster contents here.
Are you playing on Arena? In that case, you’ll surely want to check out MTG Arena codes. This way, you can get various free stuff, including cosmetics, and free packs – including three packs of Midnight Hunt.
Furthermore, if you want more information about the draft, you can check previously mentioned Midnight Hunt Tier List, where my colleague Drifter ranks every card in the set, plus shares some additional tips.
If you’ll be playing some Standard games, you can find new Midnight Hunt Standard decks here.
Don’t want to miss another draft guide, or the update to this one? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. This way, you’ll get reminders for all of your favorite articles. Including a special Midnight Hunt Draft Tier List, which is releasing later today.
Until next time, have fun, and may you consistently get to the seven wins in your Midnight Hunt drafts.