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April 2, 2019

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Daily Dose of War of the Spark – It’s time to Angrath and Amass

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of War of the Spark, where today I’m going to be talking about a returning Planeswalker as well as a new mechanic. I love seeing what new mechanics are in new sets and with War of the Spark, there is a new mechanic Amass, that centers around Nicol Bolas and its three colors of blue, black, and red. Amass is as follows:

Amass N – (Put a +1/+1 counter on an Army you control. If you don’t control one, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token first.)

What this means is that if you don’t have an Army creature, you get to create one with N +1/+1 counters on it. If you already have an Army creature on the battlefield, you get to make it even larger by adding N +1/+1 counters on to it. This is a go large instead of a go wide strategy as it looks like unless you are copying a creature, there isn’t a way using simply the mechanic to get multiple Army creatures onto the battlefield. Throughout the game you can use all your spells with Amass though to creature a huge creature that can overtake the game.

Before I go showing you some cards with this new Amass mechanic, I want to talk to you about another returning Planeswalker that just happens to have the new Amass mechanic in one of its loyalty abilities. Here is Angrath, Captain of Chaos.

Let’s break down the abilities of this card.

Creatures you control have menace. – If you are playing an aggressive Rakdos deck, this will help you get more damage through thanks to the evasion that menace provides. It makes your opponent have double the creatures needed to block. When it comes to getting damage through it is probably better than giving them all first strike for example. Any type of evasion you can put on your creatures gives you an advantage over your opponent when attacking.

[-2]: Amass 2. (Put two +1/+1 counters on an Army you control. If you don’t control one, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token first.) – Making a 2/2 creature with menace is not bad for an uncommon planeswalker. If you can end up using the ability a second time the following turn, you are in pretty good shape. The following turn you can either make another 2/2 Zombie Army if it died or turn it into a 4/4 Zombie Army with menace. These are both solid options.

In its base state you will be able to activate Angrath, Captain of Chaos twice, but it does leave a solid static ability behind in the form of creature evasion.

Next is a card that is going to fit quite nicely into an Izzet Drakes deck in upcoming Standard. Here is Invade the City.

Currently in Standard, Izzet Drakes is the deck where this card will shine, but more decks could arise using this card. In a deck where you are trying to get instants and sorceries into your graveyard at a fast pace, having this spell be able to get out a 4/4, 6/6, 8/8 or even higher makes this card powerful. Will it be powerful in a regular deck or in Limited play? Probably not. This is a build around card for sure. I would probably only end up playing 2-3 copies of this card in a deck, but with the right support, look out for this card in a Standard decklist near you. I like the fact that it fuels the next copy of itself to make the Amass number just a little bit larger. Be careful though, as it doesn’t count exiled spells.

Finally, Bitterblossom was a card that players have been loving for years. War of the Spark brings its own version of the card to the table. Here is Dreadhorde Invasion.

Let’s look at the meat of this card, and that is the ability that makes you lose 1 life and Amass 1 each upkeep. This can either be something where you build up a 5/5 over 5 turns and lose 5 life or an ability that gives you a new creature every turn since you build a deck that uses the 1/1 creature to your advantage. I’m in favor of the latter myself. Here are some cards that you can use to help you take advantage of getting a 1/1 creature every turn.

Demon of Catastrophes – You now have the fuel to bring out this 6/6 Demon without sacrificing a creature card to do so.
Priest of Forgotten Gods – The Zombie Army will help you use this ability to gain some mana and draw a card.
Torgaar, Famine Incarnate – Use your Zombie Army to be able to cast this creature just a little bit sooner.
Vraska, Golgari Queen – By far the best use is sacrificing that creature to gain back your 1 life lost and draw a card as well.

Its now time to amass an Army and take over the game! I find Amass a unique design space that will be interesting to play around with. There will be a lot of gameplay decisions that will truly show how powerful Amass could be as a mechanic. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of War of the Spark. Join me again tomorrow as I continue to investigate new cards from War of the Spark!