Despark

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Alchemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Despark

Instant

Exile target permanent with converted mana cost/mana value 4 or greater.

COOZCOOZCOOZ on Ave Christus Rex

1 week ago

Howdy again JosephStardust:

I think you misunderstand, I would never tell you not to use Anguished Unmaking over Despark: however, I would definitely imply that you should swap it for Fracture. Most of the threatening stuff you will need to remove is over 4 CMC anyway, and while there SOME exceptions depending on your meta, you have plenty of other removal at your disposal to hit other targets anyway if it really is below 4 cmc.

I believe though that this is where our playstyles differ: I don't like cards like the well or archive because I consider them to be "Win more" cards. It basically requires your entire deck to do what it needs to do before it just kinda sits there. If you have no mana to dump into it or youre not gaining life, then the Well is nothing, and while Archive will certainly help you gain more life, I don't see enough extra card draw for that second ability is be as helpful as you want. If you are looking for replacements to help draw and gain life, I would recommend swapping in Twilight Prophet, and Dark Confidant (while its cheap) or Sigarda's Splendor. I feel that the combination of lifegain and card draw will allow your Karlov deck to utilize its counters for removal since you are not always desperate to dump it into the well. Allowing yourself to utilize Karlov even more won't hurt anything either.

I have always found Karlov to be a reliable source of removal since I usually have enough mana to always get his ability off once or twice during a rotation of the table. Again, I understand that my suggestions may break flavor or your playstyle, but I highly encourage you to try them.

JosephStardust on Ave Christus Rex

1 week ago

Hey COOZCOOZCOOZ!

Thanks for trying out the deck! I saw your recommendations and thought I'd share why I do or do not use some cards.

Firstly, Alhammarret's Archive and Well of Lost Dreams help with lifegain and card draw. The latter works very well with Pristine Talisman and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, as well as my other draw spells, while the former can boost them all by doubling my lifegain and card draw. As for the new Athreos, I can put a coin counter on any creature, then exile it with Karlov, then I can steal it onto my battlefield. That is why I use the new Athreos over the old one. However, I do agree that more card draw is never a bad thing. I originally considered running either Black Market Connections or Phyrexian Arena but I took them out; now I am considering adding either one of those or Dark Confidant as you said before. And when it comes to Despark, I prefer to use Anguished Unmaking. For more mana and 3 life, I can exile any nonland permanent, and not just one with CMC or more. Plus the art is killer since I'm a huge metalhead.

Thank you again for the advice!

COOZCOOZCOOZ on Ave Christus Rex

1 week ago

Hi! I like the deck! I think its very flavorful and on point. This deck can be very strong, but I will say I am not a fan of some of the cards used in here (mainly Alhammarret's Archive, Well of Lost Dreams, and that Athreos). However, I know my build is not quite as thematic, so if there are flavor reasons then ignore me, lol. It does play out differently then my Karlov deck Karlov, Leader of the Ghost Mafia and I enjoyed playtesting it. The core of the deck very much remains the same.

I also think your removal and mana could be a little tweaked though. I know there are flavor reasons, but Despark is such a good card I feel like you may want to reconsider. Further, I feel you may be running 1 or 2 extra sources of removal. After all, Removal is stapled on Karlov, so I don't think you need to run quite as many removal sources as other ozrhov commanders (but this also takes your meta into account, so if its just nuts then ignore me lol). It may be worth including an extra source of card draw, for which I highly recommend Dark Confidant while it is as cheap as it is right now. That, or maybe have another tutor? I wouldn't want you to break flavor, but at least Beseech the Queen is a fairly cheap tutor. As far as your mana base, I think you should swap a few plains with a few swamps. In playtesting, I always found I had way more plains then I needed at any given time versus times where I needed a swamp.

I enjoyed it a lot though! The Warhammer cards are super strong, and its a pretty convincing argument to run them in my Karlov deck!

to_regatha_and_beyond on Warrior Midrange

1 month ago

Good deck! I made a similar archetype a while back, though I didn't have the lifegain components as much.

You might want to play around with Glory-Bound Initiate, it has some really strong synergy with Herald of Dromoka. You're essentially attacking with a 4/4 lifelink every single turn, possibly even a 5/4, which is super powerful, even moreso if you can get double strike on it.

Mardu Strike Leader could be pretty helpful, though I concede it's a little bit slow for the gameplan you're using.

I would get rid of the Dutiful Attendants, you're already able to use Revival / Revenge to bring those creatures back at instant speed without having to wait for the Attendant to die, which is way more powerful.

Lastly, when you're working on building your sideboard, I would consider:

  • Despark, a good and cheap removal card for certain situations
  • Go Blank, a good tool against graveyard decks
  • Lifebane Zombie, a good tool against green and white that also comes on a warrior
  • Duress, a good way to fight combo decks

Good build so far, I'm excited to see where you take it!

TheOfficialCreator on Card Analysis #1 - Dreadhorde …

2 months ago

Hello, everyone!

I thought I would try my hand at creating an article series centering around the beauty of different card designs, as each card truly is unique in its own way, and I wanted to make my appreciation of that into a tangible form so that everyone could experience it.

A general outline of how this article series will go is this: a basic introduction (similar to what you’re reading now), cost versus effect, the flavor of the card, how the card interacts with its limited environment, cards that are similar to it and a short little blurb on what makes them different, a custom card inspired by the analyzed card and a short explanation of the process used to create it, the legacy of the card, and finally, a conclusion to round it all out.

That being said, let’s begin!


The card of today’s analysis is Dreadhorde Invasion, a card I chose to kick off the series with not only because War of the Spark is my favorite set, but also because it will give us a good platform to walk through the steps of this article series.

Dreadhorde Invasion is an oft-overlooked card that provides its user with a Zombie Army (a mechanic introduced and incredibly localized to War of the Spark, excluding a few exceptions such as Lazotep Chancellor) at the cost of a single life each turn. Obviously this adds up quickly, and the Army that is produced is rather clunky, as it is easier to remove (a la Fading Hope), non-evasive, and rather small even in its beginning stages. For it gives you a 1/1 creature on turn 3. That’s not a great payoff, especially for more advanced formats.

This is where the second clause comes in. If your Army can make it to six power, then Dreadhorde Invasion rewards you handsomely with an added lifelink, allowing you to gain back all that lost life and quickly breaking symmetry with your life versus your opponents. It’s not incredibly cost-effective (heck, a Forced Adaptation is more cost-effective in general), but it’s very fun to play with and can provide a lot more when juxtaposed with the rest of the game. But we’ll get into that later.


The flavor of Dreadhorde Invasion is perhaps my favorite part of the card. The Eternals are probably one of the most unique MTG villains (I mean, come on, they’re blue metal zombies that can cross between worlds and steal planeswalker sparks), and definitely one of my personal favorites. The idea of Dreadhorde Invasion is that Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is executing his plan to become Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, invading the plane of Ravnica with his army of Eternals empowered by The Elderspell in order to steal the sparks of the planeswalkers, trapped there by The Immortal Sun and invited there by the Interplanar Beacon. The invasion is eventually quelled by a joint effort by Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Gideon Blackblade, Ugin, the Ineffable, God-Eternal Oketra, and God-Eternal Bontu, with the defeat of Bolas wrapped up in the brilliant card Despark. Dreadhorde Invasion more than anything flavor-wise represents the whole of War of the Spark, perhaps better than any other individual card in the set (except maybe Enter the God-Eternals). And that is why I love it so much; it is a testament to my favorite set of all time.


As far as Dreadhorde Invasion’s performance in Limited goes, I must say that it has quite an unitive feel to how it operates in multiple deck strategies, similar to how it unites the flavor of the set. It has the keyword amass on it, which is the new ability introduced in the set, and which synergizes well with proliferate. Zombie Armies themselves receive gracious tribal support in the form of Gleaming Overseer, Eternal Skylord, Widespread Brutality, and the like. Beyond this fairly obvious synergy, however, there are many more options for how Dreadhorde Invasion can function in this set. For example, the creation of a creature every turn lends itself very well to sacrifice strategies revolving around Spark Reaper, Ahn-Crop Invader, and Spark Harvest, or even Liliana, Dreadhorde General and God-Eternal Bontu. In addition, the lifelink that can be attained on later turns goes well with Ajani's Pridemate and fits into a subtheme of life gain that the set has.


Dreadhorde Invasion-style effects are somewhat rare, but there is precedence for their existence. The most obvious example is Bitterblossom, an enchantment well-known for its splashes in Modern and which creates small flying threats every turn at the cost of some life. However, there is also Ophiomancer and Endless Ranks of the Dead, or more recently Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. The thing that sets Dreadhorde Invasion apart from these other cards is its unique combination of losing life and gaining life alongside its ability to make a token larger versus just creating a new token.


Here is a custom card that I made that was inspired by Dreadhorde Invasion.

enter image description here

The process I went through to design this card went something like this.

1) Look at Dreadhorde Invasion and think about what the card is wanting you to do. What's the general theme of the card?

2) Build a general shell around the idea of losing life to gain life, pulling in inspiration from cards like Bloodghast.

3) Adding a tribal element to make it feel like a Dreadhorde card.

4) Adding a fitting name. "Vowmage" gives a feel of some kind of sacrifice to fufill an obligation, especially to a being like Bolas.

5) Adding flavor text that is both quippy and fits the situation. In this case, I chose to show who the Vowmage's vow is to.

6) Finding some art from DeviantArt that fit the theme. This art is from user Ryushadow, and is the only Eternal art I could find.


Dreadhorde Invasion, like most of its amass kin, is largely forgotten especially in competitive play where it is not a contending strategy. Zombie Armies are incredibly weak to removal and usually aren’t very cost-effective, so their weakness of being a single lone creature that just gets bigger and can be chump-blocked can’t really be ignored. War of the Spark as a whole is a largely forgotten story arc, and despite its misgivings it’s still a shame. Dreadhorde Invasion does not truly have a legacy, though it was reprinted in the Midnight Hunt commander set as a part of Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver’s commander deck. Hopefully, one day, we will see Amass return in a future set with greater support so that Dreadhorde Invasion may one day be viable.


Alright, everyone! That is the end of my article for today. Please let me know what worked for you and what didn’t so that I can sculpt this new article series to your feedback!

Speaking of user feedback, I would like to have every tenth card be voted upon by the community. If you want to submit an idea for what card we will go over, just let me know in your comment. The comment with the highest number of upvotes will have their card in the tenth article of the series.

Thank you all for the wonderful community we’ve made together! See you soon.

squiGGhetti on Beyond the Grave (Abzan)

2 months ago

lhetrick13,

I'm not quite sure what you mean by using Nameless Inversion over and over again. It's a one time use spell. Sure you have a full playset, but... it only effects one creature, and even then only does a reduction of stats. Fatal Push destroys based of CMC. Could you explain?

As far as your lands are concerened, I know what you mean when it comes to being on T2 or T3 and only having colorless mana. Never a good feeling. I also understand your hesitation with going down to 20. However, when you have consistent means of thining your deck with cards like Marsh Flats, Windswept Heath, and Pyre of Heroes (as you will later read, I'm gonna really push it) neither finding land nor creature becomes a problem. Which actually goes into why Unearth and Knight of the Reliquary are good for your deck. The dual use of Unearth allowing you to resurect a creature or cycle and draw a card is money. The ability of Knight of the Reliquary allowing you to search for any land (including fetch lands) is OP. Because of such I would even recommend removing any land that doesn't say forest or plains on it (with fetch lands being the obvious exception). Deck thinning/tutoring is HUGE! Effectively, your odds exponentially increase to draw cards you want by removing the cards you don't want to draw from the deck.

And now my case against Aether Vial lol

Considering how easy it would be to get Haakon, Stromgald Scourge onto the battlefield with Pyre of Heroes, I'm actually more curious as to why you aren't looking for more self discard/mill mechanics. Especially after the recent reprint of Liliana of the Veil. In all honesty, with something like her, you could change your removal spells to target more permanents with things like Assassin's Trophy, Despark, or Rite of Oblivion. That way you already have answeres for people who run graveyard hate in the sideboard, and you will run into them. Sure Aether Vial is great for getting out a creature from your hand for free, but let's say you're top decking and you draw a land. Three Pyre of Heroes would not care. They would only care about the creatures you have on the battlefield. Getting Haakon, Stromgald Scourge out is easy, and that land is more usefull to you than having three stagnant Aether Vials.

Zoni on Junk Rhino

2 months ago

Cheap-o flicker shenanigans with two beast of cards (quite literally). Basic idea is to get either Siege Rhino or Thragtusk on the field, protect them with flicker effects from Restoration Angel and Ephemerate or use them offensively. Removal in form of Despark and Mythos of Nethroi to get rid of basically anything. Grisly Salvage to fuel the graveyard, dig for a Rhino or Thrag (most of the time) or early game land drop to stay on the curve. Unburial Rites to make use of the Salvage's graveyard part. Turn 3 is the weakest, which we hopefully either skip with Fertile Ground or make use of with Underworld Connections

DawnsRayofLight on But, it's no sacrifice No sacrifice

2 months ago

With your mana curve being so low, 38 lands seems like WAAAAYYYYY too much. I think you can get away with 33. Killing Wave is really good for suicide/aristocrats lists. Serra Ascendant could be really strong. It would also be good to consider removal, since you have some of the best colors for it:

Despark

Anguished Unmaking

Damn (just noticed you had it but still good to note it should stay)

Winds of Abandon

Damnation (might as well run board wipes)

Vanishing Verse

Fracture

Fateful Absence

Generous Gift

Westvale Abbey  Flip is another good sac outlet, maybe consider some more token generators like the various X token spells like Secure the Wastes and the like to help give more fodder for the large sac outs.

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