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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:57 am 
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As part of my exploration of Magic design that isn't related to card sets, I decided to try my hand at making a challenge deck in the vein of Face the Hydra. Over the course of one day, I hammered it out. Welcome to Taramir: The Dark Tide.

The Dark Tide is a special challenge deck for a team of one to four players, inspired by Tevish Szat's Taramir. The plane is in the throes of the Waning, beset by evil on all sides, and you've been tasked to defend the Grand Fortress that holds the last bastion of civilization. Your doom is coming. How long can you survive against the dark tide?

Rules

In the Dark Tide special event, your team of survivors starts with a shared life total of 30 (the integrity of the Grand Fortress). You take your turns at the same time. Before the Dark Tide hits, you get a few precious turns to prepare and set up your defenses. How many you get is determined by the difficulty level you choose:

  • 6 Turns - Roots of the World. A suitable difficulty level for Limited decks or intro decks.
  • 5 Turns - Dreams of Ruin. A suitable difficulty level for kitchen table Constructed decks.
  • 4 Turns - Broken Throne. A suitable difficulty level for Standard decks or event decks.
  • 3 Turns - Nightmares of the End. A suitable difficulty level for Modern decks.
  • 2 Turns - The Doom of Fools. Not suitable for any sane player to attempt.

After the last turn of preparation, the Dark Tide arrives. On the Dark Tide turn, it plays the top card of the Dark Tide deck. (Dark Tide spells can't be countered.) After that card has resolved, each Dark Tide creature attacks the Grand Fortress if able. Then the turn passes back to the survivors.

The Dark Tide isn't a player, but it counts as one for the purposes of cards like Propaganda and Cruel Edict. It can pay an infinite amount of life and/or mana of any color. The survivors make all choices for the Dark Tide. The Dark Tide doesn't have a hand, library, or graveyard. If one or more Dark Tide cards would be put into a zone other than the stack or battlefield, they're put on the bottom of the Dark Tide deck in a random order instead.

If you feel courageous (or sadistic), you can send your creatures beyond the Fortress's walls, to fight the Dark Tide directly or to search for lost knowledge. If you attack the Dark Tide with your creatures, you choose how the Dark Tide blocks. For each unblocked creature, you may draw a card. But none are spared from the toll of night: at end of combat, sacrifice all the creatures you attacked with.

There is no victory condition. The Grand Fortress is doomed to fall. But you have the luxury of going back in time to try again, to see how long you can hold out before the inevitable arrives. Survive long enough, and you might even find your place in Lorekeeper Morgan's Hall of Fame:

  • Survived 4 Dark Tide turns - Glory Seeker. At least your death was swift.
  • Survived 6 Dark Tide turns - Night Watch. You fought valiantly, but were no match for the darkness in the end.
  • Survived 8 Dark Tide turns - Weary Veteran. You made sure the nightstalkers paid in blood.
  • Survived 10 Dark Tide turns - Explorer of the Everdark. You stood against the dark tide without fear.
  • Survived 12 Dark Tide turns - Rasilla's Honor Guard. Your prowess in adversity is unmatched.
  • Survived 15+ Dark Tide turns - Indomitable Light. Taramir dies, but your legacy will live forever.

The Dark Tide Deck (30 cards)

4 x A Myriad Nightstalkers Hunger
1 x Arixomor, Discord's Whisper
2 x Dread Maw of the Abyss
3 x Drown the World in Rot
1 x Echoes of Darkest Corruption
3 x Ebon Wings Blot Out the Stars
1 x Forsaken by Death's Embrace
1 x Glimmer of Fragile Hope
1 x Glimpse Terrible Oblivion
1 x Khavus, the Darkness Unending
1 x Krexidar, Who Paints the Sun Red
1 x Lay Bare Damnation's Wake
1 x Merciless Ravages of Time
1 x Nocterath, Who Kills Unseen
1 x Orvoxis, Who Breathes Untruth
4 x Spawn Countless Worms
3 x The Peaks Weep Tears of Fire

Spoiler


EDIT - Alternate Mode: Survive to a New Dawn

In an alternate timeline of the Multiverse, Taramir's fall to the Eternal Night is not inevitable. It seems impossible, but a new dawn awaits at the end of the impenetrable darkness for the Grand Fortress - if its heroes can defend it long enough. These alternate rules add a victory condition for Taramir: The Dark Tide.

If one or more Dark Tide cards would be put into a hand or library, they're put on the bottom of the Dark Tide deck in a random order instead. If one or more Dark Tide cards would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile them instead. When there are no cards left in the Dark Tide deck, you win the game.



Comments and criticism appreciated.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


Last edited by chinkeeyong on Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:31 am, edited 18 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:10 pm 
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interesting. not sure about the broad appeal of a game you literally can't win, but it's Taramir so it's fitting.

:duel:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:13 pm 
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You can't win Tetris either.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:19 pm 
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You can't win Tetris either.


You can in mode B.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:27 pm 
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Okay, here's a Mode B for this as well.

Alternate Mode: Survive to a New Dawn

In an alternate timeline of the Multiverse, Taramir's fall to the Eternal Night is not inevitable. It seems impossible, but a new dawn awaits at the end of the impenetrable darkness for the Grand Fortress - if its heroes can defend it long enough. These alternate rules add a victory condition for Taramir: The Dark Tide.

If one or more Dark Tide cards would be put into a hand or library, they're put on the bottom of the Dark Tide deck in a random order instead. If one or more Dark Tide cards would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, exile them instead. When there are no cards left in the Dark Tide deck, you win the game.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:12 am 
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This is neat. Will the cockatrice files be available for download?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:24 am 
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Yup.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:48 pm 
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Can I put them in a real deck so I can use burst of inspiration to cast them?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:05 pm 
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What's the deal with the Expanded Multiverse


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Also why is Taramir doomed?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:11 pm 
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Also why is Taramir doomed?

Because Tevish made it.
More seriously, the sun apparently burned out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:14 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:14 am 
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Can I put them in a real deck so I can use burst of inspiration to cast them?

No, they aren't Magic cards. They're oversized, overwrought cards like the Archenemy schemes.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:18 am 
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I have to admit, I'm one of those crazy people who really enjoyed Face the Hydra, so seeing the NGA version utilize Taramir is great fun. I'm not totally sure how you could run it on cockatrice (without an extra player for the Dark Tide), and I can't really tell the balance without looking at it, but the general principle is dang cool. Merciless Ravages looks hilariously backbreaking, but then I think that's supposed to be the case. I mean, Hydra got to be ‼Fun‼ if you got one or more tough elite heads early, before you developed your board, and proved surprisingly vulnerable to Sedge Scorpion. It's just the nature of these things.

As for Taramir itself, there's the in character reason (The plane is grinding to a natural death, something that exists on a scale beyond mortals. There are no out of place McGuffins to put back or Eldrazi to punch out.) and the Out of Character Reason (Taramir's publication history in the M:EM starts with the story in which the plane finally collapses, so it's a foregone conclusion for Tarmir as a whole).

For gameplay purposes, I totally support the "B-type" mode being a thing that exists, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:44 am 
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Rules change: you now always sacrifice creatures that attack the Dark Tide. Also made some of the cards a little stronger.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:08 am 
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Seems like this is really luck-dependent.
Put down an Ensnaring Bridge and it has to draw 1 of 7 cards that can get rid of it.
And even then 3/7 assumes you have no other artifacts, another 3/7 assumes don't have multiple copies/protection, and the last one again assumes you have no protection.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:47 am 
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This challenge deck is designed to compete with decks that play fair Magic. If you have an infinite lifegain combo and an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, you can outlast it forever. That's not the point of The Dark Tide.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:49 am 
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What's the point of playing regular creatures in this mode?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:08 am 
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To block stuff. One Siege Rhino can take out two Nightstalkers, or attack and trade with one of the Dark Tide legends.

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The format of YMtC and the Expanded Multiverse.
YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 pm 
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From what I can actually grasp about this, it's seems like a fun.

What I like most about it is the card names.

I vote yea


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