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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Whenever you cast a planeswalker spell, you gain 1 life.
: Add .
, : Add two mana of different colours.
11 months ago
This deck needs Interplanar Beacon color fixing and life gain can't go wrong! :)
1 year ago
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.
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.
1 year ago
lagotripha Those are great suggestions for the mana base, and I appreciate it : ) Field of Ruin and Interplanar Beacon in particular look really great for the deck and I might try to get a few to play around with. I do find the mana fixing is more of a problem for aggressive decks that need to hit gears 1-2 every time. Generally in this one as long as I have red to start I can be picking off threats and eventually get into some draw or into Big Score to get some fixing treasures.
I'm always super worried about going more than 2 colors on a budget, but your lands will definitely help it. Big thanks! Honestly I just really like it when one of those, cards I had, kind of decks actually does alright when I test it : )
1 year ago
This is a nice list, superfriends/tokens is a neat strategy. I have a number of failed decks built around Blood Funnel to that effect - (its fun but I don't reccomend it).
On the playing 3 colours in budget modern; the reason Opt/Serum Visions effects are good is they help find lands in hands that would otherwise have problems. If you can play 'mono blue' until you hit three lands, you can go hard on islands and draw power as a kind of fixing.
You don't need to break the bank if you want to improve the manabase. It just takes a little tinkering.
If you can afford to delay coloured mana, Field of Ruin is both untapped, disruption and searches a basic turn 3+. Terramorphic Expanse is extra evolving wilds copies, but being all taplands is a major drawback. Aether Hub fixes mana once, before becoming colourless. Exotic Orchard has cheap copies out there, Prairie Stream is good if you are otherwise running/searching lots of basics, Interplanar Beacon does a lot in superfriends.
2 years ago
Glad you liked my suggestions! Ive got a couple more fore you. Djeru, With Eyes Open is a nice card, as it cushions your walkers a little bit AND lets you tutor for one. Speaking of which, Ignite the Beacon is another walker tutor that lets you fetch two of them! And a land suggestion, Interplanar Beacon is a staple in superfriends decks, as that life is very important.
2 years ago
Your mana doesn't work for Counterspell . I'd include 4x Shivan Reef (cut 3 mountain 1 island). I'd also cut 3 swamp 1 island for 4 River of Tears . Obviously there's better lands, but I'm suggesting based on a low budget.
I'm assuming since you're playing casual, you can afford the taplands in Crumbling Necropolis . If your friends are running taplands as well, they're the absolute best thing in that slot.
Beyond that, Interplanar Beacon is . . . fine. I wouldn't run it in 3 color, honestly.
Also, Sarkhan the Masterless is the single best win con for a superfriends list. Actually, I used it alongside Elspeth, Sun's Champion in a deck as a one of to tutor with Fae of Wishes . I did have a few walkers, but that was mostly because it was a Oath of Nissa Narset, Parter of Veils deck.
2 years ago
Hello! I have recently built and purchased a Grixis superfriends deck in casual (our playgroup is casual). It works pretty well at the moment, but I think it needs some upgrades.
Here is the deck: Grixis Superfriends
First of all, I think I need either three or four copies of Interplanar Beacon because I was dumb enough to not put it in in the first place. Second of all, I think The Royal Scions also might be an option but I don't know what to take out. Any help is welcome. Thanks.
2 years ago
No Interplanar Beacon? There are a couple of other great planeswalker synergies from war of the spark that would look nice here.