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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Creature — Zombie
, Sacrifice a creature or planeswalker: You gain 1 life and draw a card.
TheOfficialCreator on Card Analysis #1 - Dreadhorde …
7 months 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.
DemonDragonJ on Should I Keep Angrath in …
1 year ago
After deliberating my above list of sacrifice outlets, I have removed several creatures; I removed Gnawing Zombie because Lampad of Death's Vigil is strictly better than it; I removed Gutless Ghoul because Disciple of Griselbrand is better than it in the majority of situations; I removed Skullport Merchant because it cannot sacrifice itself;, and I removed Soulreaper of Mogis and Spark Reaper because their abilities are to expensive to activate; thus, here is my new list of potential sacrifice outlets for my deck:
Sacrifice Outlets Show
Which creature is the most appealing of these?
DemonDragonJ on Should I Keep Angrath in …
1 year ago
seshiro_of_the_orochi, that is an excellent card, but it requires that the stolen creature be sacrificed immediately, and it is also a one-time effect, and I am seeking a repeatable effect.
I think that I shall replace Angrath with Captivating Crew in my red/white/black deck, as that deck already has two sacrifice outlets in the form of Butcher of the Horde and Immersturm Predator, but, as for my red/green/black deck, I have actually found several cards that would work for it, which I shall compile into a list.
Sacrifice Outlets Show
That is an impressive list of creatures that sacrifice other creatures, so I now need to decide which of them I shall put into my deck; does anyone here have any suggestions?
metalrayn on Morbid Opportunist PDH
1 year ago
this looks like fun! why no Consume Spirit ? is Songs of the Damned just for Death Denied ?
now that black has Biblioplex Assistant you can infinite loop Songs of the Damned as long as you have Spark Reaper , Stinkweed Imp and Tortured Existence which is really sick we used to need red or blue. its a lot of cards but if you get imp and tortured you should just be able to combo off.
MrKillStar on B-Waste Recycling
2 years ago
Im blind and cant count, so just ignore the previous comment... :D
I would remove:
Indulgent Tormentor/Lord of the Pit - Tormentor can put a bit of pressure I guess, but it happens only once + cant get him back with Shirei; same with LotP.
Witch's Oven - As I already wrote.
Spark Reaper - Only 1 card and 1 life for 3mana+sac creature is very meh + you cant get Spark Reaper back with Shirei.
Liliana's Triumph - You dont have any Lili walker and some direct removal or board wipe would be more useful.
Thaumaturge's Familiar - Its nice it works with Shirei, but you already have some nice Scry cards.
Anyway, I think the more creatures with 0 or 1 power you get for Shirei, the better it gets. Of course with enough free insant outlets (btw Woe Strider is also nice to use)... and of course cards like Crypt Ghast is very good in most decks with black.
3 years ago
Zombies! I dig it!
Do you play against a meta where swampwalk is usually effective? If not, there are some potential replacements that synergize more with Konrad wanting bodies coming and going from the grave.
If you want more discard to get creature cards in graveyards, Black Cat, Miasmic Mummy, Sibsig Icebreakers and Cackling Fiend work nicely. Returned Centaur and Returned Reveler do something similar with milling.
Other Gravedigger effects like Grave Scrabbler work well with Konrad, as does Gurmag Angler and exiling from your own graveyard. Zombie Scavengers lets you exile every creature in your library at instant speed to zap the table with Konrad if you need to. Herald of the Dreadhorde and Lazotep Reaverget you lots of extra bodies to die.
Wight of Precinct Six can become a big threat once you start to fill everyone's yard (perhaps more threatening than Null Champion).
Lurching Rotbeast is card draw on top of a Konrad trigger, as is Spark Reaper.
A little light on ramp, but your Twisted Abomination combos nicely with your Witch's Cottage to do double-duty.
Requillias on Korvold Commander
3 years ago
To remove: Aggressive Mammoth, Byway Courier Chittering Witch, Footlight Fiend,Gluttonous Troll,Gruul Spellbreaker, Judith, the Scourge Diva,Keeper of Fables, Ogre Siegebreaker, Primordial Wurm, Rapacious Dragon, Rubblebelt Rioters, Sengir Vampire, Spark Reaper, Sphinx of the Guildpact, Spikewheel Acrobat, Vindictive Vampire, Woodland Champion, Zhur-Taa Goblin
To add: Eternal Witness,Squee, the Immortal,Zulaport Cutthroat, Vexing Shusher, Goblin Matron, Munitions Expert, Krenko, Mob Boss, Warteye Witch, Sling-Gang Lieutenant, Goblin Trashmaster, Putrid Goblin, Dockside Extortionist, Arasta of the Endless Web, Creakwood Liege,Dragonlair Spider, Viscera Seer, Ayara, First of Locthwain, Pitiless Plunderer, Poison-Tip Archer, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Deathrite Shaman
To Remove: Thaumatic Compass Flip, Witch's Oven, Bloodsoaked Altar, Golden Egg, Mask of Immolation, Rhonas's Monument
To add: Sol Ring, Arcane Signet,Lightning Greaves, Ashnod's Altar, Haunted Cloak, Skullclamp
To remove: Gift of Paradise, Warbriar Blessing, Wolfwillow Haven
To Add: Necrogenesis,Cindervines, Grave Pact, Grave Betrayal, Attrition
To Remove: Severed Strands, Taste of Death, Victimize
To Add: Unearth, Reanimate, Blood for Bones, Return from ExtinctionTerminate, Dreadbore, Hull Breach, Diabolic Intent
To Remove: Bake into a Pie, Heartfire, Murder, Return to Nature, Shock
To Add: Artifact Mutation, Putrefy, Guttural Response, Veil of Summer, Abrupt Decay, Assassin's Trophy
hydrothermia on Storm the Citadel
4 years ago
I believe that Widespread Brutality would be a good fit here, not only does it amass it also is a board wipe anything smaller than the zombie army token. You have card draw in the Spark Reaper , but it requires and a creature or planeswalker, Soul Diviner would be a good addition here to give another way to draw a card and you're also using Karn's Bastion for proliferate making it where you don't have to use mana, creature or planeswalker.