Here’s every MTG Innistrad: Crimson Vow mechanic

Here’s every MTG Innistrad: Crimson Vow mechanic

Wizards of the Coast is expanding upon returning Magic: The Gathering mechanics within Innistrad: Crimson Vow while introducing three new ones. 

Scheduled to digitally launch on Nov. 11 and globally on Nov. 19, Innistrad: Crimson Vow (VOW) will contain a total of six mechanics. The MTG set is a continuation of the events that happened during MID, centered around Olivia Voldaren’s wedding and the Gatewatch attempting to bring back daylight to the plane of Innistrad. The returning Magic mechanics are Day/Night, Disturb, and Exploit. The three new VOW mechanics are Blood Token, Cleave, and Training.  

Returning MTG mechanics in VOW

Daybound and Nightbound will once again be a mechanic focused on werewolves featured in VOW. An upgraded version of Disturb will also return, featuring Double-Face cards with a creature on the front side and a variety of Magic types on the backside.


The MTG mechanic Daybound/Nightbound, introduced in MID, will remain mostly exclusive to werewolves within the VOW set. 


Disturb returns to VOW with an upgrade to the MTG mechanic. Creatures with the Disturb mechanic in MID were Double-Faced cards with the backside featuring another creature type, primarily as spirits. Within VOW, creatures with Disturb have a backside with a variety of Magic types.

Dorothea, Vengeful Victim
Image via WotC

The legendary creature Dorothea, Vengeful Victim, for example, returns to the battlefield upon paying the Disturb cost of 1WU as an Aura Enchantment called Dorothea’s Retribution. 

Dorthea's Retribution
Image via WotC


The Exploit mechanic was most recently showcased in Modern Horizons and first introduced into Magic via Dragons of Tarkir. Synergizing with sacrificial themes in both MID and VOW, a creature entering the battlefield gains the player or that creature a bonus for sacrificing an existing creature already on the battlefield. 

Fell Stinger
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Fell Stinger is a VOW zombie scorpion with the Exploit mechanic, drawing two cards for its controller at the cost of two life points and sacrificing a creature upon entering the battlefield.   

New Innistrad: Crimson Vow mechanics

A total of three new MTG mechanics are contained within VOW: Blood Token, Cleave, and Training. 

Blood Token

Blood Tokens in VOW are the vampire mechanic, similar to how Day/Night is primarily the werewolf mechanic. Players can use these tokens to draw a card upon paying one, discarding a card, and sacrificing the Blood Token. Another option is to stack the Blood Tokens until at least five are obtained, providing a power-up to vampire creatures.

Voldaren Bloodcaster
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Voldaren Bloodcaster is a VOW creature who creates a Blood Token whenever another nontoken creature you control perishes or the vampire wizard herself is taken out. Upon having five Blood Tokens on the battlefield, Voldaren Bloodcaster transforms from a 2/1 with Flying into a 3/3 Flying vampire called Bloodbat Summoner. 

Bloodbat Summoner
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Her transformation also includes an upside that turns a Blood Token you control into a 2/2 Bat with Flying and Haste at the beginning of combat on your turn. 


The VOW mechanic Cleave is only found on Instant and Sorcery spells. For an extra cost, Cleave removes any text on an Instant and Sorcery spell that’s in brackets. 

Dig Up
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Dig Up, for example, is a Sorcery speed spell that allows a player to search for a basic land, reveal it, and then put it in their hand. When the Cleave cost is paid on Dig Up, players can find any card and don’t have to reveal it.


Training is a new VOW mechanic that synergizes well with creature decks. When a Training creature attacks alongside another creature that has a power greater than it, its controller can place a +1/+1 counter on the creature with less power. 

Savior of Ollenbock
Image via WotC

Creatures with Training can also have other added bonuses, like Savior of Ollenbock. When the Savior of Ollenbock trains, it exiles up to one other target creature from the battlefield or from any graveyard. Upon leaving the battlefield, all exiled cards by the Savior of Ollenbock are returned to the battlefield under their owner’s control. 

The six VOW mechanics were revealed during the Wizards of the Coast preview stream of the new MTG set. Any additional mechanics revealed prior to launch and updates to existing ones will be updated in this article when that information is released.

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