Friday, November 04, 2011

It's the Magic: Innistrad

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Innistrad is good. It's always a bit harder to be nice about something than to be mean. If Innistrad had missed, I would have had plenty of snark about racist human tribes, vampires liberated of conventional sexual/gender norms, and using "furry" as a creature type for werewolves.

As it is, it's good. The tiny, devout human tribe has a hard time getting the feel of an angry mob, but then, there's a scale to Magic that makes that inherently difficult. Playing werewolves is tense and highly interactive. My gut impulse is to say that they're a bit too strong, but my actual play time with them is limited. Ultimately, they're fun to play against and I can't think of higher praise than that.

Spirits are 'meh,' and I haven't really hit the right chord with vampires yet. The Zombies seem like fun, though the self-milling blue zombies have a tendency to put you on a clock that hurts blue in a long game. That said, I still like the cards and I'm sure that there's going to be a self-milling zombie archetype that starts rocking some serious socks soon.

The flavor is top notch, giving us a whole universe--moon to shoreline--that works by its own rules while still evoking a particular place in the player headspace (northern Germany, c. 1700?). All that, and we're given a big, but subtly-played, mystery that remains elusive about betraying any secrets of things to come in the next two sets.

Huh, That's Funny
Speaking of that mystery, I was wondering if anyone else caught the similarity between a certain "central religious figure is missing" story for Innistrad and a more conspicuous "central religious figure is missing" story by a certain writer named Ennis. Huh, vampires too. If there's a human who can command Avacyn because he's super-posessed, I'm going to choose a vampire to be his BFF and go ahead and break my Vorthos cherry with a theme deck. Suggestions for which Magic card gets to be The Saint of Killers?

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