The first Commander parties were originally scheduled to occur at the end of October 2021 (see "Store Championships "), but have apparently been moved back to January 28-30, 2022. This new date coincides with the pending release of Innistrad: Double Feature, a set which contains most of the cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Innistrad: Crimson Vow (see "'Innistrad: Double Feature'"). The parties revolve around a narrative event that occurs in the land of Innistrad, and players take on the roles of representatives for one of four factions in the game (Vampire, Warlock, Werewolf, or Villager).
Players are seated in Commander Pods to start, and each player receives a faction card. The faction cards can help grant in-game bonuses to players as their factions advance on the event game board. A video guides the players through an immersive storyline, and the actions players take throughout the course of the game can result in different endings to the event.
The Commander Party Kit comes with an assortment of physical and digital items. On the physical side, it comes with alt-art Conjurer’s Closet cards, pre-cut paper masks with strings pre-attached, Faction cards, and an 18” by 24” dry erase poster that is the event’s gameboard. Retailers will have access to the following digital items: a 2-hour event video, 4 short Ending Videos played after the Event Video concludes, an instructional email for how the event is to be run, digital Faction cards, and Digital Poster image of the gameboard.
The format of Commander Parties seem strikingly similar to how Alderac Entertainment Group used to run their Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea CCG events in the late 90s and early 2000s (see "'L5R'"). AEG's storyline tournaments were events that revolved around factions attempting to oust each other in order to claim a narrative result prize, which changed based on the faction that won. Unlike AEG's early CCG era events, WotC has added digital video compositions to the mix, to take the place of written fiction being read aloud, as well as scaled the events down for WPN Premium shops (as opposed to the larger Kotei or Marked for Death events AEG would run).