Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope / Arlinn, the Moon’s Fury – Midnight Hunt
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Midnight Hunt has some great alternate art. They’ve really been nailing this element since Throne of Eldraine, and it does help the atmosphere of the set. We may revisit this when I write my gameplay-free review, but in Arlinn’s specific case, I’m impressed that they managed to invoke about six different elements of the Red Riding Hood story on one freaking card.
After her sojourn in Ravnica for the War of the Spark, Arlinn is back to being the standard-bearer for Innistrad’s werewolves. What do I mean? Every ability on both of her faces which supports the way werewolves like to play: they help you keep the game state in night once you reach it. This is particularly obvious with the wide variety of ways to summon threats and get mana without casting spells, but even her day side’s +1 allows you to use your opponent’s turn and reduce the likelihood of needing to cast multiple spells on your own. And just in general, diversifying your threats by adding Arlinn’s ability to attack on her own is potentially very helpful for creature decks that need to push damage through. Adding in a good mana cost to starting loyalty ratio means that her new card has a lot of potential.
Back we go to Innistrad, with werewolves on the agenda. This Arlinn is technically like a werewolf, highlighting the twist on the mechanic that they’ve been known for; daybound and nightbound indicate what side comes in with the day/night cycles, and they mostly happen the same way. Casting nothing on your turn makes it night on the next turn, and casting two or more spells makes it day on the next turn. Similar, yet different.
So let’s go to Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope; both sides enter with 4 loyalty, and they provide different things. Her nightbound side is more immediately threatening, becoming the reincarnation of Throat Wolf (a 5/5 with haste for 4 mana is nice, and that’s without factoring in all her key words), while she can help provide mana if you need it and don’t need her to go for the face. Her daybound side is more incremental: more wolves are nice to protect her, and the flash enabling can be very dangerous if you’re able to abuse it.
In all, she’s an interesting sort of threat: incremental on one side, immediate on the other. If you can keep night over the land, she can try to take over the game all on her own, but the flip side isn’t so bad at getting your army going. It also lets you hold back to bring on night and then dump everything at once, which is fun.
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