Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Magic has always dabbled in horror, what with all the zombies and demons on black cards, but the game's designers have crafted a true homage to classic Universal and Hammer horror movies with their newest expansion, Innistrad.

In the vaguely Eastern European flavored realm of Innistrad, the night is ruled by vampire nobles, shambling zombies and bloodcrazed werewolves. In dank labs, mad scientists and their deranged assistants conduct unspeakable experiments — sometimes on themselves. The humans who live there have survived for centuries with the holy protection of the angel Avacyn, but she no longer answers their prayers.

In addition to lengthening shadows and evocative art, Innistrad features a somewhat startling new mechanic: double-sided cards. These cards represent creatures that change forms, like werewolves or experiment subjects. If you ignore the somewhat clunky and awkward hack needed to play them in tournaments (you have to either use opaque-backed card sleeves, which most tournament players already do, or use a placeholder checklist card marked to show which double-sider it represents), the new twist is a fun way to depict a classic horror trope.

When you're done drooling over the hi-res card art here, you can visit the official Innistrad site to see a gallery of every card in the set, info about the world of Innistrad, and game stores near you that will be holding prerelease tournaments this coming weekend.

Artist credits:

Bloodline Keeper - Jason Chan

Endless Ranks of the Dead - Ryan Yee

Bane of Hanweir - Wayne Reynolds

Olivia Voldaren - Eric Deschamps

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born - Peter Mohrbacher

Creepy Doll - Matt Stewart

Daybreak Ranger - Steve Prescott

Moonmist - Ryan Yee

Angel of Flight Alabaster - Howard Lyon

Standoff - Karl Kopinski

Bloodgift Demon - Peter Mohrbacher

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born - Peter Mohrbacher

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad

Gothic horror comes to Magic: The Gathering's new set, Innistrad