Wizards of the Coast is launching its newest Magic: The Gathering set, Innistrad, with the usual pre-release events and launch parties – but the new set is anything but usual.
For the first time ever, Innistrad brings double-faced cards to Magic.  As the name suggests, a double-faced card has two faces.  It has no regular Magic card back.  Its front face is marked with a sun symbol and a casting cost, while its back face is marked with a moon symbol.  The two faces of a double-faced card are often the same color, but not always.  Each double-faced card has at least one ability that causes it to transform. Then the card is flipped.  The transformed side of the double-sided card often has a darker more powerful malevolent creature or character.  But it also has the ability to transform back.
Using double-faced cards presented a problem for designers since the cards have no card back and can be easily identified in one’s deck.  So, two options are available to solve this issue.  Either opaque card sleeves will have to be used, as many players already do, and the card taken out of the sleeve when transformed.  Or every double-sided card in a player’s deck can be substituted with new “checklist cards” (also included in boosters).  A player simply set makes a mark on each checklist card next to the name of the double-faced card it represents.
The set features a deep back-story of new characters, monsters and regions from a dangerous plane named Innistrad. Innistrad is “a plane of menace and dread where every creature hides a darker aspect.”  Vampires and werewolves, spirits and ghouls inhabit the plane.
The new set offers new and revamped mechanics such as Morbid, an ability word that checks whether a creature died during a turn to activate abilities; and Flashback, which gives cards the ability to be cast from one’s graveyard.  But the real innovation in this new set combines a new mechanic with a highly anticipated new card type.
Prerelease events for Innistrad are being held on September 24th and 25th at participating stores where players can experience the new set a week before it goes on sale.  Participants will receive an exclusive Mayor of Avabruck/Howlpack Alpha promo card as well as one “Achievement” card (while supplies last).  The Achievement card is a fun activity for players to complete over the course of the Prerelease event.
The launch date for Innistrad is September 30, 2011 with Launch Parties occurring September 30 through October 3, 2011.
Innistrad features 264 black-bordered cards, including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. It is available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs.