Werewolf is a creature type, which represents instinctive, seemingly human creatures which can transform into bloodthirsty wolf-like beasts. Werewolves are often attributed superhuman strength and senses, far beyond those of both wolves and humans, or most sapient bipeds.
Card history[edit | edit source]
The first two printed werewolves had the creature type Lycanthrope. Lycanthrope (from the Greek λυκάνθρωπος: λύκος, lukos, "wolf", and άνθρωπος, anthrōpos, man) was obsoleted in the Grand Creature Type Update, when the Lesser Werewolf (Legends) and the Greater Werewolf (Homelands) became Human Wolves. Treacherous Werewolf (Judgment) never even had the subtype Lycanthrope.
A special Werewolf subtype was (re)introduced for the classical Horror set Innistrad, and the three old cards were updated with that subtype. While these earlier werewolves were all black, the new double faced Werewolf cards from Innistrad were red or green.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Ulgrotha[edit | edit source]
Ulgrotha was home to powerful beasts inhabiting the land of the Dark Barony. When someone survived a bite from one of these creatures, the victim would become a werewolf loyal to the one who bit him or her. The corrupt wizard savant who gave Eron the Relentless his immortality was made into the first greater werewolf as punishment by Baron Sengir, and became the baron’s loyal servant.
Dominaria[edit | edit source]
Greater werewolves are also present on Dominaria and can be found in the region of Upper Videnth. During the Ice Age, many such lycanthropes traversed the expanding ice shelves from the northern supercontinent to Terisiare.
Innistrad[edit | edit source]
Werewolves prowl the Innistrad province of Kessig, sometimes alone and sometimes in packs. Hunter's Moon is considered to be the time when werewolves are the strongest. Since there are more humans hunting and traveling in the woods during these months, werewolf attacks are more prevalent. The humans believe the attacks have something to do with the season itself, although there are no more werewolves at this time than any other time of year.
Emrakul's corruption tended to affect the two aspects of the werewolves asymetrically. They might seem normal in human form, but physically and mentally warped in wolf form, or vice versa. In the later stages of corruption, the more corrupted side took over and the werewolves lost their ability to transform at all.
The Krallenhorde[edit | edit source]
The Krallenhorde is Innistrad's largest howlpack. The Krallenhorde has existed in some form for decades, composed of anywhere from fifty to over two hundred werewolves depending on the availability of prey and the phase of the moon. The pack is led by Ulrich, and he is known for staying with the wolves even in human form. The most heterogeneous of howlpacks, Krallenhorde includes a mix of repentant and wanton werewolves, and has drawn members from all provinces of Innistrad. The Krallenhorde survived the Cursemute intact.
The Mondronen howlpack[edit | edit source]
This howlpack, about 60 in size, was known for using a dark form of magic. They stayed away from civilzation and staying to farmlands, rural communities, and remote monasteries. With Avacyn's protective wards getting weaker, the Mondronen got closer to cities. After the return of Avacyn, the howlpack was dissolved.
The Leeraug howlpack[edit | edit source]
A relatively small and tight-knit pack of Innistrad's most vicious werewolf predators. The Leeraug were unique in that they hunted under the black night of the new moon, rather than transforming when the moon was full. They favored the flesh and entrails of children, and often stole into homes and orphanages through chimneys or windows left ajar. After the return of Avacyn, the howlpack was dissolved.
The Vildin Howlpack[edit | edit source]
An especially infamous group of werewolves that appeared after the end of the Cursemute. It is said that this howlpack calls into its ranks only those humans who have committed murder before becoming a werewolf. They dwell in the Natterknolls of Kessig and the Stensian Highlands.
Wolfir[edit | edit source]
Avacyn offered repentant humans afflicted by the lycanthropic curse a special place at her side. If they promised to serve as guardians of humanity, she would transform their curse, fusing the two warring aspects into a single noble creature. Many accepted her offer, and she transformed them into the wolfir. The transformation was mostly reversed when Avacyn was corrupted through the machinations of Nahiri.
The Silverfurs[edit | edit source]
A ragged handfull of the remaining Wolfir have formed a kind of virtuous howlpack. They are led by Johanna and Pavel.
The Dronepack[edit | edit source]
After the death of Avacyn, the Somberwald became a hunting ground for the Dronepack, a group of werewolves that had succumbed to the flesh-warping powers of Emrakul.
Notable Werewolves[edit | edit source]
- Arlinn Kord — a werewolf planeswalker
- Howlpack Alpha — a werewolf lord
- Terror of Kruin Pass
- Tovolar — Alpha of the Mondronen howlpack
- Skaharra — Alpha of the Leeraug howlpack
- Ulrich — Alpha of the Krallenhorde howlpack
- Rahilda — Alpha of the Vildin howlpack
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The werewolf mechanic transform, and the Innistrad theme of double-faced cards with day/night sides, was designed after werewolf legend, humans who turn into monsters when a full moon is present at night.
- The instant Moonmist transforms all Humans. (This only affects double-faced cards, though, since only they can transform.)
- On April 6, 2012 (which featured a full moon) a double-faced token was released as a special FNM card. It fittingly represented a 1/1 human on one side, and a 2/2 wolf on the other.
- Kessig Wolf Run portrays the homeland of Wolves and Werewolves alike.
- Full Moon's Rise is an enchantment that grants bonuses to werewolf creatures.
- Sometimes other humans can shapeshift in creatures other than wolves. Odyssey has a light werecreature theme with Dirty Wererat and Werebear, which were both native to Otaria. These are Human Rat and Human Bear respectively.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (September 05, 2011.) "C'mon Innistrad, Part 1", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 3, 2011.) "Were the Wild Things Are", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (January 09, 2012.) "Dancing in the Dark Ascension, Part 1", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Creative Team. (October 05, 2011.) "A Planeswalker's Guide to Innistrad: Kessig and Werewolves", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- James Wyatt 2016, "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad".
- Ken Troop. (March 9, 2016.) "A Gaze Blank and Pitiless", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Tom LaPille. (September 16, 2011.) "Werewolves Gone Wild", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Monty Ashley. (March 28, 2012.) "The Double-Faced Token", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.