Our guest today is Nikita Tarima with his article about mechanics in War of the Spark.
Magic development is impossible to imagine without new mechanics and rules improvement, however everything new is additional rules, which lead to an increasing amount of interactions. This is brutal for the new players, who recently started playing Magic and it is becoming harder for them to start playing each year. However, if we think about it, this brutality is only making survival of the fittest. To help you survive we will tell you about what is Amass mechanic, which appeared in War of the Spark. Let the Widespread Brutality help us out.
Card`s text is brief. Shorter, then the explanation text in parentheses. Remember, that cursive text is just a rules reminder, thus let us turn to the source:
“Amass” means, that we have a keyword. All keywords are hiding in CR section 701. For Amass we have two subsections: 701.43a and 701.43b. We will start with a description:
701.43a To amass N means “If you don’t control an Army creature, create a 0/0 black Zombie Army creature token. Choose an Army creature you control. Put N +1/+1 counters on that creature.”
As you can see, all the actions are applying in an exact order, they do not have any triggered abilities and (from the first sight) no ways to intervene. Moreover, if your Army cannot be a target for some reason, you should not worried, because there are no targets in Amass: you choose a creature with an Army type among creatures you control. The one and only important thing is that Army has to be a creature and you need to be its controller.
And another thing before we start with examples: Zombie Army is not one creature type, its two. If for any reason you need to choose a creature type, you have to choose between “Zombie” and “Army”. You cannot choose “Zombie Army”.
On the other hand, all that tokens have a name “Zombie Army”. Maybe that will be helpful for you some day. :)
However, let us come back to Widespread Brutality. After you accumulated, your Zombie Army this spell will make your Army to deal damage, equal to its power to all creatures that does not have an Army type.
Rule 701.43b tells us, that the Army you amassed, refers to the creature you chose, whether or not it received counters.
Death Baron will make you Zombie Army a decent weapon, because as well as all creatures, that does not have an Army type will be dealt damage from a source with deathtouch, even if you could not put any counters on your Zombie Army. The only downside is that Death Baron will also be dealt damage, because it does not have an Army type and it is not protected from deathtouch.
Feel the difference with Pestilent Spirit: the source of damage is not Widespread Brutality itself, but a Zombie Army token. Pestilent Spirit would not speed up an apocalypse.
- ⇑ It is possible to have an Army type to a permanent that is not a creature, but has a Tribal type. For instance, Bitterblossom, which gained a fix of type from Faerie into Army because of Artificial Evolution. As the Widespread Brutality resolves, you cannot put +1/+1 counters on it, because this Enchantment is not a Creature.
Translated by Aleksandra Ladygina