Monday, March 5, 2018

GDS3 Discussions: Alex Werner's Challenge 1 Submission

(These posts are being backdated for administrative purposes. They were not disclosed to nor published on this site prior to their publication on the mothership. You can read the judge commentary on Alex's submission on his official GDS page)

Tribal Choice: Horror

"A Biomancer is a butcher. A Necromancer is a graverobber. Truly harnessing the power of life requires Ichormancy." —Kyrza, Ichormancer Eternal

An Ichormancer is a researcher who modifies the very core of a being, working in the magical space between physical body and psychic essence. But living creatures are complicated, so all too often, the experiments result in twisted nightmarish mistakes—Horrors. Fortunately, any mistake can be broken back down and rebuilt again, in the endless pursuit of perfection.

Horrors in Magic have no pre-existing mechanical identity. Many of them share a flavor of corruption and mutation, a sense of unease, a sense that they are not quite what nature intended. They exist in all five colors, but are mainly blue and black, the colors I chose to work with.

My designs communicate the Horrors' unnatural state, their imperfection, via non-square stats and imbalanced multicolored costs. To that end, I borrowed the 3/2 Horror tokens from Shadows over Innistrad, although mine are black instead of colorless.

Ichormantic Horrors are frightening and unnatural (menace is a perfect fit), but they aren't very large. There is no 7/7 trampling Horror in this block.

The controlling Horror deck grinds out long-term advantage through repeated death triggers and synergies. The more aggressive version uses menace and edict effects to keep an opponent on the back foot while building up a critical mass of Horrors.

1) Corrupted Research (common)
Draw three cards. Then discard two cards unless you sacrifice a Horror.

2) Congealed Construct (common)
Creature — Horror
When CARDNAME dies, reveal the top card of your library. If it's a Horror, draw two cards. Otherwise, draw a card.

3) Abandoned Laboratory (uncommon)
T: Add C to your mana pool.
B, T: When target non-token Horror you control dies this turn, create a 3/2 black Horror creature token. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

4) Malevolence Transplant (uncommon)
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+0, has menace, and is a Horror in addition to its other creature types.
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, each player sacrifices a non-Horror creature.

5) Overspawn (rare)
Sacrifice any number of Horrors. Then create two 3/2 black Horror creature tokens for every Horror that died under your control this turn.

6) Ichormantic Pit (rare)
At the beginning of your end step, you may sacrifice a Horror. If you do, reveal cards from your library until you reveal a Horror card. Put it onto the battlefield, then put all other cards revealed this way on the bottom of your library in a random order.

7) Kyrza, Ichormancer Eternal (mythic rare)
Legendary Planeswalker — Kyrza
You may play CARDNAME's loyalty abilities twice each turn instead of once.
+1: Create a 3/2 black Horror creature token.
-3: This turn, whenever a Horror enters the battlefield under your control, you may return target creature to its owner's hand.
-13: You get an emblem with "Whenever a Horror enters the battlefield under your control, return target permanent to its owner's hand. That player discards a card."

8) Kyrza's Lost Paragon (mythic rare)
(no casting cost, color indicator shows blue and black)
Legendary Creature — Horror Lord
Flying, Menace
Other Horrors you control have menace.
When you would create a Horror token, you may pay 1UUB to put CARDNAME onto the battlefield from outside the game instead. You may play this ability of a card named CARDNAME only once each game.
"It was so beautiful . . . but how did I do it?" —Kyrza

1 comment:

  1. Tough break, Alex!

    I went skimming over the past horrors that have been printed and it's striking how little any horror has to do with any other horror as sharing any sort of mechanical concept at all.

    Ultimately it seems as though, because black is inherently such a tribal color with it's creatures, WotC sometimes uses it specifically for creatures that they don't want to be part of a tribe or connect to tribal play patterns.

    So I think that kind of made it hard to put a stamp on this "tribe" from the start.