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Innistrad: Carnival of Blood Review (Part 2 of 2)

It’s our leadoff game for Innistrad, and we couldn’t be more excited. After the lot of us feeling somewhat less than enthusiastic by the end of Scars Block, the release of a set as flavourful as Innistrad has the house buzzing. Today I’m piloting the Vampire deck, Carnival of Blood, and Jimi has her pick of the litter to pit against me. She opts to go for the Spirit tribal deck, Spectral Legions. We shuffle them up, deal out seven, and kick things off! Here are our notes from this first match.

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Innistrad: Carnival of Blood Review (Part 1 of 2)

Ten years ago, Wizards of the Coast introduced a new world to players of Magic, and a new story began. Set on a remote continent of the world, Otaria, 2001’s Odyssey brought a new cast of characters, new themes, and- of course- new mechanics. Although there wasn’t a great deal of flavourful resonance typing the mechanic to the set, the graveyard became the focus of the new bag of tricks. First up was a mechanic that rewarded you for having a well-stocked graveyard, with spells and creatures that became more powerful when a threshold of seven cards were there. And while the set included a number of ways to stock it, flashback ensured that played or discarded cards could have a second lease on life.

These were fine enough ideas, but there was some feeling within Wizards that the set really didn’t quite do them justice. Without any thematic tie to the graveyard they were more or less just naked mechanics, and it had the feeling of an opportunity missed. What a graveyard-based set really needed was something that would weave in the tropes and themes associated with actual graveyards. What it needed was a little dose of horror.

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