MTG Arena’s Alchemy: Innistrad Cards – Here’s What We Can Expect
MTG Arena’s Alchemy: Innistrad is on the way, and so we need to talk about these brand-new cards for the card game. For those that missed it, MTG Arena is receiving an exclusive Standard mode, called Alchemy. It will feature cards that have been nerfed/buffed, and will also have more digital-only cards. It’s pretty divisive, but we discussed it right here. Personally, if the adjusted cards stayed in Alchemy, and didn’t leak into Historic, I would be just fine. I have a feeling it may harm the play Historic gets, but we will have to see. Cards for MTG Arena’s Alchemy: Innistrad have already been revealed, and the actual update drops on December 9th, 2021.
So we’re going to cover all the awesome new cards we’ve seen so far. You can tell the brand-new Alchemy cards in MTG Arena easily. A card that’s brand-new has an Arena 22 symbol, and the balanced cards have an Arena symbol next to the card name. Very easy to distinguish the difference. You won’t find any common cards in these, either – just Uncommon, Rare, and Mythic Rare. There are some pretty wild cards too, so we’re going to get started without any further ado. This set of cards will be bigger than future MTG Arena Alchemy sets. The future sets should be around 30 cards, whereas this one is roughly 60.
Oglor, Devoted Assistant (2-Cost Legendary Creature – Homunculus): It’s nice to see a Homunculus again. At the beginning of your upkeep, you look at the top two of your deck, then put one in your graveyard. Whenever a creature card is put into your grave from your library or hand, it perpetually gains “When this card leaves your graveyard, create a tapped 2/2 black Zombie creature token”. Essentially, this is a card for Retrieval/Revival/Exile decks. You get a plentiful supply of zombies, and I pretty much love that.
Geist of Regret (5-Cost Creature – Spirit): More Spirits? A Mythic Rare Spirit? You bet! When this comes into play, put a random instant card from your deck into the grave. Then put a random sorcery card from your library into your grave. Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery from your grave, copy that spell. You may choose new targets. Ready for some Flashback shenanigans? Oh, it’s coming.
Obsessive Collector (4-Cost Creature – Spirit): More Seek from MTG Arena Alchemy cards/ creatures. Whenever this Flying 4/3 deals combat damage to a player, seek a card with Mana Value equal to the number of cards in your hand. Oh boy, could this get out of hand really fast. Not too shabby though, and it has Ward 2, so it’s going to stick around a bit more. But seek requires the card to be in your library, so you have to plan ahead.
Discover the Formula (6-Cost Spell – Instant): Blue’s big deal right now feels like it’s “Seek”. You seek three nonland cards, then nonland cards in your hand perpetually gain “This spell costs 1 colorless less to cast.”
Clone Crafter (2-Cost Creature – Human Wizard): When this creature enters play, conjure a duplicate of a random creature from your opponent’s library into your hand. It also perpetually gains “You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast this spell.” As long as your opponent has creatures in this deck, this is value. It’s a ½ for 2, so honestly, it’s worth including in a control deck I think. You have a chance to get a game-winning bomb that your opponent may not have an answer for, that they aren’t prepared for.
Tireless Angler (3-Cost Creature – Human Rogue): I like this for a variety of decks. Whenever an island comes into play for you, draft a card from Tireless Angler’s Spellbook. Perhaps we’ll see plenty of annoying fish, serpents, and octopus cards.
Sinister Reflections (2-Cost Spell – Instant): Okay, this card is amazing. For 2 blue mana, you conjure a duplicate of each of up to two nontoken creatures you control into your hand. Have something with a filthy, broken, ETB trigger? Make more of them! Get that combo going even faster! Oh yes.
Unexpected Conversion (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): This is amazing for when you have cards in your deck that just won’t work in the current match-up, or won’t anymore. Draw two, and then exile an instant or sorcery from your hand. If you do it, search your hand and library for any number of those cards, and exile them too. Seek an instant or sorcery for each card exiled from your hand this way. That way, you can hopefully get your infinite turn combo even if you lack the cards in hand for it.
Kindred Denial (4-Cost Spell – Instant): A counterspell with bonus card find? Love to see that. This counters a spell for 4 mana, which explains the high cost. It also lets you seek a card with the same Mana Value as that spell. So whatever they’re casting, you have a chance to get something just as powerful. That’s certainly a fascinating, frustrating counter
Rimewall Protector (3-Cost Creature – Giant Wizard): This is okay. It grants all Giants and Wizards you control and in your hand a perpetual Ward 1. So it’s neat.
Puppet Raiser (4-Cost Creature – Zombie Wizard): With enough creatures in your graveyard, and some planning, Puppet Raiser is amazing. You can exile a card from your graveyard during your end step. If you do, seek a card from your deck with that Mana Value plus 1! That card also perpetually gains Menace. You can do a fair amount with this I think. Find powerful cards you need to make combos pop, give them menace, and keep pushing the other player about.
Gutmorn, Pactbound Servant (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Demon): Is this the lowest stats on a Demon ever? It’s the lowest I can remember – at ⅓. It also has Flying/Deathtouch, which is great. Each player discards a nonland when it comes into play, and whenever a player discards a card on your turn, they choose another player. That player conjures a duplicate of that card into their hand. It perpetually can be cast with any mana, on top of that. In a discard deck, this could be incredibly potent. You force your opponent to discard, and you then get to receive a copy of that card you can spend any mana on? It could be broken. Or it could be useless, but I’m willing to lean more towards this being powerful.
Patient Zero (2-Cost Black Creature – Zombie): A 2/2 Lifelink, it makes your opponent’s creatures damage not regenerate at the cleanup steps. So if they have a ⅔, and it takes one, it’s stuck at 2/2 as long as this is in play. Love that.
Break Expectations (1-Cost Spell – Sorcery): This is a really interesting discard spell, but it has a sort of benefit to the other player too. A player reveals all cards with mana value 2 or greater in their hand, and you pick one of those. Exile that card. If a card was exiled this way, that player drafts a card from Break Expectation’s spellbook and reveals it. I wish these spoilers showed the spellbooks with greater frequency.
Predatory Sludge (3-Cost Creature – Ooze): A 3/3 with Menace is pretty solid all on its own. When this comes into play, you pick a permanent you don’t control. When the chosen permanent is put into the grave from play, conjure a card named Predatory Sludge into your hand. With the right removal options, you could just keep creating sludges, and make sure your opponent never gets an edge. Pretty big fan of this, frankly.
Veteran Ghoulcaller (2-Cost Creature – Human Rogue): Whenever a card in your graveyard is put into your hand, conjure a duplicate of it into your hand. Oh my god, this is an amazing rare. You just need enough cards to retrieve spells from your grave, that’s it.
Sanguine Brushstroke (3-Cost Enchantment): Do you love Blood Artist, and want it in Standard? Now you can! When this comes into play, create a Blood Token and conjure a Blood Artist into play. Then whenever you sacrifice a Blood Token, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. Combine this with the life loss/gain from Blood Artist/other creatures dying? Oh man, you could stack lots of obnoxious life gain and life loss concepts easily with this.
Citystalker Connoisseur (4-Cost Creature – Vampire): 3/3 Deathtouch Vampire? Already solid. When it comes into play, an opponent discards a card with their greatest mana value, and you create a Blood Token. Not too shabby.
Assemble from Parts (1-Cost Spell – Instant): Pretty much every 1-cost Instant in Black is great. This one takes a creature card in your graveyard, and perpetually gives it “4 Mana: Exile this card from your graveyard; shuffle it into your library. Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s also a 4/4 black Zombie in addition to its other types. Only activate this as a Sorcery.” You can make some of your pithy, but useful 1/1s into 4/4s that are far more terrifying.
Ishkanah, Broodmother (4-Cost Mythic Rare Legendary Green Spider): A ⅗ in Reach is right at home in Green, that’s for sure. But it also gives other Spiders you control +1/+2, so it’s also a Lord. If you tap 2 (1 green or black), and exile two MTG Arena’s Alchemy cards from your graveyard, you draft a card from Ishkanah, Broodmother’s spellbook.
Antique Collector (2-Cost Creature – Human Rogue): This can’t be blocked by creatures power 2 or less, so I love it. When this comes into play, creatures you control perpetually gain “When this creature dies, you may shuffle it into its owner’s library if it’s in your graveyard. If you do, investigate.” This. Is. Amazing. Your creatures are never going away. As long as he’s in play, your creatures come in with that, and they keep it for the remainder of the game, no matter what.
Tenacious Pup (1-Cost Creature – Wolf): What an adorable pup! This ½ Wolf gives you 1 life when it enters play. Then when you cast your next creature spell, it comes in with an additional +1/+1 counter, as well as a trample counter and a vigilance counter. Wow, that’s going to make something into an absolute monster! If you play this in the mid-game on your big creatures, you can do some serious damage. I’d love to be able to Flicker this.
Electrostatic Blast (2-Cost Spell – Instant): This spell deals 2 damage to any target. Then when you cast your next Instant or Sorcery spell, exile the top three of your library. You can play one of those until the end of turn. I like this spell, but I don’t like how random the results can be. You lose two spells permanently, so I’m less likely to use it.
Toralf’s Disciple (3-Cost Red Human Warrior): A 3/3 with Haste for 3 in Red is already amazing. But when it attacks, conjure four cards named Lightning Bolt into your library, and then shuffle. Good. God. Lightning Bolt is an instant that deals 3 damage to a target creature or player, for 1 red mana. Why is this so potentially devastating?
Town-Razer Tyrant (4-Cost Creature – Dragon): Of course Red would get a new Dragon! It also removes all non mana abilities from an opponent’s land. It also gains “At the beginning of your upkeep, this permanent deals 2 damage to you unless you sacrifice it”. This is infuriating on the right land. Especially if that player desperately needs it for mana, or for some other useful ability. Especially lands that can stop combat, or turn into creatures.
Bloodrage Alpha (4-Cost Creature – Wolf): We needed a new Wolf too, given that it’s time for Innistrad. When this 4/3 enters play, you can either give another Wolf or Werewolf you control to fight a creature you don’t or when you cast your next Wolf or Werewolf it gains “When this creature enters the battlefield, it fights up to one creature you don’t control.” So either way, something is going to fight.
Conductive Current (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Huzzah, damage! This deals 3 damage to each creature, and you also get to enhance a spell in your hand – Instant or Sorcery. This spell perpetually gains “If this would deal noncombat damage to a permanent or player, deal that much plus 2.” For 3 red mana? Absolutely love this for Mono-Red burn. Hilariously powerful.
Frenzied Geistblaster (2-Cost Creature – Human Wizard): Prowess is back! Whenever you cast a noncreature spell and this is in play, it gains +1/+1 until end of turn. When this drops onto the field, if you have 20 or more instants and/or sorceries in your graveyard, hand, and library, you can discard a card. If you do, seek one of those types of cards.
Arms Scavenger (2-Cost Creature – Human Warrior): Unlike some of the other “Draft” spells, this has you Draft a card from this card’s spellbook during your upkeep, then exile it. You can play it until end of turn. This one, for that reason, feels so much stronger. The Arms Scavenger doesn’t have to die first.
Fearsome Whelp (2-Cost Creature – Dragon): A 1/1 Flying Dragon that’s useful? Oh yes it is. Each dragon in your hand perpetually gains “This costs 1 colorless less to cast” during your end step. If you can keep this in play, you can start playing big-time dragons much faster. Big fan of this.
Brittle Blast (3-Cost Spell – Instant): This is a major-league Uncommon. Creatures and planeswalkers your opponent presently control now perpetually gain “If this would die, exile it instead”, and it deals 5 damage to a creature or planeswalker. For 3 mana, at Instant speed! Good God, this is filthy.
Ethereal Escort (3-Cost Creature – Spirit): I really like the possibilities for UW Spirits. This 3/3 Lifelink has you choose a card in your hand, whenever it enters play, or attacks. The card you choose perpetually gains lifelink. Play this on your most frustrating, largest, most aggressive cards, and make sure you stick around longer than your opponent can handle.
Captain Eberhart (2-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Soldier): Love Double Strike, that’s for sure, even one weak units (1/1 in this case). Spells cast from among cards you drew this turn cost 1 colorless less and spells cast from among cards your opponents drew this turn cost 1 more to cast. It makes your spells easier to handle and spells your opponents draw into much slower. Okay yeah, I like this a lot.
Inquisitor Captain (4-Cost Creature – Human Cleric): When this card enters play, if there are 20 or more creature cards with Mana Value 3 or less among cards in your graveyard, hand, and library, seek two creature cards with Mana Value 3 or less. Put one into play and the other into your library. It’s basically Collected Company but better. It’s a creature with Vigilance (3/3), and it gives you the MTG Arena Alchemy cards you need to start just slapping someone about. It’s an incredible, must-use card for Mono-White/WG Humans. It’s incredible.
Suntail Squadron (4-Cost Spell – Instant): What an interesting spell. This conjures a Suntail Hawk into your hand, for 4 mana. However, if you have fewer than 7 cards in hand, repeat this process. You can get a lot of creatures that weren’t in your deck to start with. The Suntail Hawk is a 1/1 Flyer for 1 mana as well.
Sigardian Evangel (2-Cost Creature – Human Cleric): This could be really frustrating, with enough mana. A 2-cost 3/1, when it comes into play, conjure a card named Sigardian Evangel into your hand. Discard it at the beginning of your next End Step. So if you can afford to keep casting them, you can do so. When this comes into play, tap a permanent you don’t control. So I see why people would want to use it.
Slayer’s Bounty (1-Cost Legendary Artifact – Clue): When this comes into play, look at the creatures in your opponent’s hand. Whenever you sacrifice this or another Clue, draft a card from Slayer Bounty’s Spellbook. You can also pay 2, and sac this to draw a card. The usefulness of this depends on what cards are in its spellbook.
Divine Purge (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): This exiles all artifacts and creatures with Mana Value 3 or less – frustrating for Aggro decks. These MTG Arena Alchemy cards perpetually gain “This spell costs 2 colorless more to cast” and “This permanent enters the battlefield tapped”. For as long as these are exiled, their owners may play them. This could completely cripple a deck with a bad start, that’s for sure.
Angel of Eternal Dawn (3-Cost Creature – Angel): This Angel turns the game into Day when it comes into play. It can’t become night, and your opponent can’t cast spells with Mana Value greater than the number of turns they have begun. No cheating out bigger spells early! This might be one of my favorite Angels in Standard right now.
Angel of Unity (2-Cost Creature – Angel Cleric): Whenever Angel of Unity enters play, or you cast a party spell, choose a party creature in your hand. That creature perpetually gains +1/+1. That means even if it dies and comes back, or even gets exiled, that +1/+1 sticks around. A Party Spell is a card that is a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, or Wizard. So any creature with that creature type can get the buff. I’m a pretty big fan of this, especially as a 2-drop Angel.
Faithful Disciple (2-Cost Creature – Human Cleric): Another “Draft” card, when this 2/2 with Vigilance dies, draft a card from this creature’s spellbook. Time will tell how useful these will be.
Gitrog, Horror of Zhava (4-Cost Black and Green Legendary Frog Horror): A 6/6 for 4? That’s money. It also has Menace on top of that. At the beginning of each combat, if Gitrog, Horror of Zhava is untapped, any opponent can sacrifice a creature. If they do, tap Gitrog, and then seek a land card and put it into play tapped. So our opponents can stop us from attacking with it, but we gain lands! Whenever a land enters play for us, it perpetually gains “1Black 1 Green, Tap/Sacrifice this land: Draw a card.” We already have ways to retrieve lands from the graveyard, too. Love to see it.
Begin Anew (4-Cost White and Black Spell – Sorcery): Simple and to the point – destroy all creatures. Creature cards in your hand perpetually get +1/+1. Not too shabby if you are being destroyed, but have useful cards in your hand.
Forsaken Crossroads (Land): This comes into play tapped, and you choose a color when it comes into play. When this enters play, you also Scry 1. If you weren’t the starting player, you can choose to untap Forsaken Crossroads instead. You tap this land for 1 of the chosen color.
Key to the Archive (4-Cost Artifact): This artifact comes into play tapped, and when it enters play, you draft a card from its spellbook. Then, discard a card. However, it has an amazing mana ability. This taps for 2 mana in any combination of colors. There are some fantastic spells in the spellbook, too. Approach of the Second Sun, Day of Judgment, Time Warp, Counterspell, Demonic Tutor, and so much more. I’d run this for no other reason than an attempt to win with Approach of the Second Sun – one of my favorite wincons.
Wickerwing Effigy (3-Cost Artifact Creature – Scarecrow): A ¼ with Defender, you can look at your top card, and cast creature spells from the top of your library. What a great card so far. Whenever you cast a creature from your library, it becomes a black Bird in addition to its other colors and types, has flying, and a base power/toughness of 1/1. Okay, that’s less good. If you’re running a weak creature deck, or creatures with 0 power, this could wind up being okay. But I’m a fan of having a horde of fliers, so with card buffs, this could be hilarious.
Soulstealer Axe (1-Cost Artifact – Equipment): The equipped creature has Trample – making it a beautiful thing for me. It equips for 2 colorless, and whenever that equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, seek a card with Mana Value equal to the damage dealt. Yeah, even as an Uncommon (especially as an uncommon) I love this card. There are so many decks where I think “if only we had Trample. . .” and this fixes it!