First Impressions: Innistrad!

Wizards of the Coast just released a new Magic: The Gathering expansion called Innistrad. From the spoilers and set pictures, it's filled with ghosts, demons, werewolves and undead.

They had me at undead.

Note that I'm going into this as a collector first, player second. Read on!

Man, I don't even remember the last time I bought a booster pack of Magic, much less played a game of it, but the set theme was too cool to resist. I've often wanted to take a crack at Magic again before this (the last time I played was with a Goblin Grenade deck. So 1990s), but seeing the recent cards with their crazy effects and mind-numbingly imba stats (along with the Planeswalker mechanic) made my head spin like an out-of-control Beyblade.

Good thing that Innistrad has that back-to-basics look and feel that got me interested, and I was lucky to get wind of its release date (September 29) So off I went to Neutral Grounds yesterday to see what the fuss was all about.

I bought some boosters at Php160 a pop. 15 cards for that price was pretty good. And buying boosters made me feel like I was in grade school again feeling up card packs at Cards 'R' Us.

I especially love the Double-Faced Card mechanic, where you can flip a card ala Yugi-Oh to transform from one creature to another. Cloistered Youth turns into an Unholy Fiend, Hanweir Watchkeep turns into a, I'm the last person you should ask about how good a Magic card is, but they look like fun creatures to play. They were some of my wants from this set, so color me pleased.

I still remember the levels of rarity in Magic, which is why I was happy to see a few uncommons and rares in my packs. I don't think I've ever gotten a rare in a booster before. Heretic's Punishment, Divine Reckoning and Nephalia Drownyard are awesome and crazy powerful.

I'm thinking of collecting the entire set of Black because...vampires! Would it hurt to get a lich one of these days? Still, Falkenrath Vampire is cool.

I really love the horror theme of Innistrad. The designers can get really gruesome and pants-crappingly scary. The gorgeous art sells it too. I know some Magic players who don't really notice the art on the cards, but I do. Skeletal Grimace is one badass scary card!

And now I end this post with a hilarious story. I brought along a friend of mine and asked her to buy a booster to try her luck. Understand that this friend of mine has what I call the Deathtouch, where anything she blind-buys (booster packs, toys from gashapon machines) always contain the worst possible result. Always. Since this was the last booster I was buying, I thought, "A booster full of duds wouldn't hurt."

So she picks out a booster, and I open it. Remembering what I read about Magic boosters, you're guaranteed at least a rare in every pack. Lo and rares.

The Deaththouch is real!

However, it was only when I got home that I noticed this card with a red rarity symbol, one I've never encountered before. I went searching for answers online, and it dawned on me what it was.

It was a new rarity, the Mythic Rare, one in every eight boosters.

The Lady with the Touch of Death just got me a frikkin' Mythic Rare.

And there goes my first impression of the latest Magic: The Gathering set. I'll get around to buying an Intro Pack of Innistrad to get a better feel of the set, and maybe see if I can shake my rusty game. Till then, thanks for reading!

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