6, Nov, 21

Innistrad: Crimson Vow Mythic Set Review for MTG Arena

Article at a Glance

We are finally through previews for Innistrad: Crimson Vow! With release next week on Magic Arena on the 11th, it’s time to take a look at the set and review the cards to know what’s hot and what’s not! Today we’ll be covering the Mythics in the set and rating them for Magic Arena’s constructed formats, Standard and Historic. We’ll be doing the Rares and Notable Commons and Uncommons in separate articles so stay tuned for those!

The Rating System

This is the rating system that we’ll be using for all of the reviews. I will throw a .5 after the star on occasion.

★ – Draft Chaff. These cards have zero constructed viability. Do Not Craft

★★ – Fringe constructed playability. Mostly a meme card. Only craft if you have all the other Mythics.

★★★ – Some constructed viability. Needs testing but most likely needs additional pieces or a meta shift to be good. Only Craft if you have spare Wild Cards.

★★★★ – Strong constructed viability. Generally a good card and will test well and make the cut in decks. 2nd tier priority for crafting.

★★★★★ – All Star Cards. These are deck defining cards with strong qualities. Top tier crafts.

Cemetery Cycle

First up is the Cemetery cycle of creature cards. We talked about these cards more in depth and over all, their abilities are solid. Exiling cards from graveyards is generally very strong, and gaining some upside from that is always nice. The evergreen keywords on each of these are nice additions, with some cards getting more benefit from them that others. I’ll give a brief note about each card along side the rating, but for a bit more in depth analysis, check out the article.

  • Cemetery Protector: ★★★★ – This could be the top end of an already strong deck in Standard, Mono White, as we can leverage all of this card well. This could also find a home in Historic as well.
  • Cemetery Illuminator: ★★★★ – In the Standard environment, this probably falls a bit short. Where it truly will shine is in Historic, where we have the card pool to make a Azorius Spirits / Flyers deck work.
  • Cemetery Desecrator: ★★★ – Thinking about this card more, It’s possible to find a home in some control deck in Standard, but the format is pretty solved at the moment and has no room for this card. Ultimately, this card costs too much for both formats at this time.
  • Cemetery Gatekeeper: ★★★★ – This is the kind of card that would support a mono red aggro deck. It provides reach with it’s second ability, and rewards mono red or burn for doing what it already wants to be doing. It’s cheap enough as well that it fits in well to the decks that want it.
  • Cemetery Prowler: ★★★★ – This card naturally feels like it has a home in both Standard and Historic. Green creature decks are strong at the moment, and giving them cost reduction is just another boost to that power. Expect this to show up in both formats.

Hallowed Haunting

Wizards of the Coast

Hallowed Hauting is a strange card to evaluate. For Standard purposes, there isn’t an apparent home for a card like this. There aren’t a lot of enchantment removal options in the format, which makes this appealing, but the shell is unclear. My guess would be something like an Azorius or Bant Enchantment Control deck that leverages Class cards, and some other new enchantments from Crimson Vow.

In Historic, there is a place where this could fit, and that’s in Selesnya Enchantress. The deck’s choices for enchantments are a bit tight though, so it may be tested in smaller numbers. The deck has the ability to play a super long game by leveraging Solemnity and Nine Lives combo, with Sterling Grove for protection. This card could give us another way to close the game out.

Rating: ★★★

Savior of Ollenbock

Wizards of the Coast

Savior of Ollenbock is a very interesting card. Training is a pretty easy ability to evaluate and work with. In the decks that want this guy, there’s plenty of creatures with more than 1 power that we can attack with to trigger Training. Where it gets interesting is how we can utilize the exile effect. We can use this as a way to clear the way for a lethal attack, or get rid of a problematic graveyard synergy, but if we can trigger this a few times, we can use this as a way to rebuild our board after a board wipe. We can also do some blink shenanigans with this guy as well which is cool

I think there’s homes in both Standard and Historic for this in Mono White Aggro or Collected Company decks, but maybe could be used in some blink decks as well, but that’s a bit less likely. This should make it into the lists though.

Rating: ★★★★

Faithbound Judge / Sinner’s Judgment

Next up is Faithbound Judge / Sinner’s Judgment. Looking at the front side, a 3 mana 4/4 with flying and vigilance is pretty nice, but it can’t attack for the first 2 turns it’s out. In Standard, it is actually a really solid blocker, trading with some of the most powerful cards in the format in Goldspan Dragon and Esika’s Chariot. In Historic, this can block Arclight Phoenix profitably, but probably dies to the rest of the cards in that deck.

The back side is something else. 7 mana to cast from the graveyard is a hefty cost. At 7 mana, there’s other cards I’d rather be casting that win the game faster, namely Alrund’s Epiphany and Alchemist’s Gambit. If you can combo this with taking extra turns, then maybe you could wombo, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Overall, the only home I could see a card like this MAYBE seeing some play is an Azorius or Esper Control deck, but even then it’s not likely.

Rating: ★★


Wizards of the Coast

Necroduality is a very fun card. Getting a copy of Zombies that you play can be a very powerful tool to have. The downside is that this is a blue card. There aren’t any zombie decks in Standard, and the one that’s in Historic is Mono Black and hyper aggressive, so this may not fit in. That being said, this may be worth testing out in Historic as a splash card, as the creatures that exist in the current Zombies deck would be great to get copies of.

Rating: ★★★

READ MORE: Unlock This COLOSSAL Commander Combo in MTG Crimson Vow…Here’s How

Jacob Hauken, Inspector / Hauken’s Insight

Jacob Hauken, Inspector / Hauken’s Insight is a very interesting card, and one that could make some waves in very specific decks. This card almost gives me Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy vibes. Both cards can be played on turn 2 and gain some benefit, but can also be played in the late game, protected and transformed for some more insane value. Where I think that this fits in is simply put is in control. Azorius, Esper, and Grixis are the ones that come to mind the most.

Rating: ★★★★

Sorin the Mirthless

Wizards of the Coast

Sorin the Mirthless is our first planeswalker. Sorin’s natural home is an aggressively slanted vampire deck. We’re definitely wanting to activate his +1, but not take too much damage in the process. He also gives us a great blocker and his ult can be game ending. While I’m unsure whether or not a vampire deck will be competitive in Standard, Historic may be a place where Sorin can find some legs. I think people will test this guy out, and he may make the cut in smaller numbers but more than likely falls off the list.

Rating: ★★★

Toxrill, the Corrosive

Wizards of the Coast

Boy oh boy is this one spicy. Toxrill, the Corrosive is a massive creature that has a slow burn of an ability. Sadly, this is not constructed viable. This is definitely one of the “Designed For Commander” cards. But hey, this will be a cool card for Brawl!

Rating: ★.5 (Not exactly draft chaff, but zero constructed viability, maybe craft one of these for brawl if you want.)

READ MORE: Thalia Won’t Save Us From Izzet Epiphany in MTG Standard

Henrika Domnathi / Henrika, Infernal Seer

Now Henrika Domnathi / Henrika, Infernal Seer is a card that a vampire deck would want as a top end creature. This feels like a new Rankle, Master of Pranks. We have the flexibility to utilize her first two abilities if we have the time, but then we can transform her if we needed to. The flip side of her is pretty strong as well. I think that Henrika is going to definitely see some testing as the set comes out for Standard, but we’ll have to see how the meta shakes up to know if she’s sticking around.

Rating: ★★★

Chandra, Dressed to Kill

Wizards of the Coast

Our second planeswalker is Chandra, Dressed to Kill and man is she a good one. For starters, she only costs 3 mana, which is incredibly low. She helps ramp us, gives us card advantage, and rewards us for playing red spells if we can ultimate her. Her only downside is that she can’t really inherently protect herself, so we need to play her either to an empty board on turn 3, or on turn 4 and have a removal spell on hand to deal with a creature.

She’s going to definitely fit into the Izzet Dragons deck for standard, and she could even find a home in a red aggro strategy as well in both Standard or Historic. Either way, Chandra is very strong and will definitely be seeing play.

Rating: ★★★★

Manaform Hellkite

Wizards of the Coast

Our big dragon of the set is Manaform Hellkite, and this one is pretty interesting. It rewards us for casting Non-creature spells, so my first inclination is to stick this in the Izzet Dragons deck, but I don’t know that there’s room in that deck. This would likely replace Smoldering Egg, but the question becomes, is this better than Ashmouth Dragon?

I think that this card is definitely very powerful and if it finds a home, it will accel.

Rating: ★★★.5

Volatile Arsonist / Dire-Strain Anarchist

Volatile Arsonist / Dire-Strain Anarchist is a strange one. It has the abilities of a creature that wants to be 3 mana cheaper, and 2/2 smaller, but it’s not. So where would this fit? It’s not competitive enough to be in Gruul Werewolves in Standard, or Gruul Werewolves in Historic. The place that I think this makes the most sense would be in some sort of “Big Red” strategy, but then it’s competing with Goldspan Dragon, so that’s probably a no go. I’m not sure where this exactly fits in, and I think that while it’s a pretty strong card, it has no home right now.

Rating: ★★★

Cultivator Colossus

Wizards of the Coast

Another 7 mana creature is up next with Cultivator Colossus. This one is seriously cool and could have some crazy combo potential. That being said, the deck building around this is crazy difficult for constructed. You want to be able to ramp to him effectively, but also be able to have enough lands in deck and hand that you can combo off with the second ability. While there’s no shortage of pay offs with Landfall, finding the best build for this deck will be difficult. This is most likely a “for Commander” card as well.

Rating: ★★

Avabruck Caretaker / Hollowhenge Huntmaster

Avabruck Caretaker / Hollowhenge Huntmaster is a CRAZY card. It’s front side has hexproof, so it’s a relatively safe card to play on it’s own, but then it has a benefit of buffing one of your guys. If you flip her, then EVERYTHING has hexproof and you pump up your entire team. I think that this definitely fits into the Standard Mono Green decks and can most likely find a home in a Mono Green Historic creature deck as well.

Rating: ★★★★

READ MORE: Edgar Markov Costs How Much?! CRAZY MTG Commander Spike

Kaya, Geist Hunter

Wizards of the Coast

Our third and final planeswalker of the set is Kaya, Geist Hunter. 3 mana for a planeswalker is traditionally very strong, but the planeswalker needs to have some really good abilities for it to be good. I think that Kaya doesn’t necessarily fall into that category. She either needs creatures in play to protect her, or needs to be played late in the game when you have enough mana to double spell and create some tokens to go along with her -2. While there is some combo potential with Fynn, the Fangbearer, I think that’s a bit of a pipedream.

Rating: ★★

READ MORE: Innistrad: Crimson Vow Has the BEST Reprints in Years

Olivia, Crimson Bride

Wizards of the Coast

Last but not least is our Bride to Be, Olivia, Crimson Bride. While Olivia is the face of the set, she’s not going to be making the biggest splash in constructed. While her ability is pretty strong and pushing through some crazy damage, it hinges on you having a strong creature in the graveyard, and then her not dying. That being said, there is a Jund Midrange deck in Standard that’s probably tier 1.5 that could use Olivia at the top end. Outside of that, I don’t see her being a big player.

Rating: ★★

READ MORE: This Spicy Red Brew Could Light A Fire in Crimson Vow MTG Standard

And that’s it! We’ll be taking a look at Rares tomorrow, and then some notable commons and uncommons on Wednesday, so make sure that you stay tuned for those! What’s your favorite Mythic of the set, and what’s the one that you’ll think will make the most impact on constructed? Let us know in the comments!

Innistrad: Crimson Vow releases on Magic Arena and Magic Online on November 11th, and in paper on November 19th. Make sure that you check out our Preview Gallery to see all of the new cards! You can also preorder Crimson Vow products here.

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more