Ankheret

Author: Ber Current version: Version 2.2 Last change: 2017-05-04 21:06:33 Stage: Finished Download for desktop

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Wield the power of pharaohs

DISCLAIMER: Despite similarities in naming with the official Wizards of the Coast 2017 set Amonkhet, work on Ankheret started in 2014. This project was in no way or form influenced by Amonkhet.

Ankheret (ANK) is a top-down set based on Egyptian mythology and culture, as well as depictions of Egypt in popular media. It is a large set with 264 cards, and the first set of a two-set block.

The set is developed first with Limited in mind, and Constructed (specifically Block Constructed) second.

Egyptian mythology is about the interconnectivity of all things, including between mortals and gods. Differently from Greek mythology where the gods are arrogant and abuse their devotees, Egyptian mythology is about the gods helping humanity and teaching them agriculture and science; in turn, humanity gives them worship. It's also about the cyclicity of the universe, about birth, death and rebirth—the sun for example is said to die every evening and is reborn every dawn. So the mechanics are meant to invoke this sense of how everything is interconnected, everything is a piece of a greater puzzle, and death and life are two sides of the same coin.

Somewhat perpendicular to this, pop culture involving Egyptian mythology (like the 1999 film The Mummy) is often about journeys through the desert and exploration of ancient ruins, so I want to capture this feeling similar to Zendikar.

Mechanics

Worship

Worship is a keyword that appears on creatures. It shows up in all five colors, but it's concentrated in white, black and blue. Worship highlights the connection between mortals and deities on Ankheret: belief strengthens the gods, but also empowers the believers.

Worship {cost} ({cost}, : If this isn’t devout, put a +1/+1 counter on both this creature and target creature without worship, then this becomes devout. Worship only as a sorcery.)

While a creature can be devoted to only a single target, multiple worshippers can focus their belief on a single target, allowing you to create massive threats to dominate the battlefield. Look for cards with "flickering" effects that exile then return a creature to the battlefield. These allow you to restore your worshippers, so that they can worship again.

Remember: worshippers can't worship other worshippers. They need an idol worthy of their adoration. Keep that in mind and try to strive for a balance when building your deck.

Expedition

Expedition is an ability word that can appear on any card type, though it's found only on permanents in Ankheret. It appears mostly in blue and green. Expedition encourages players to embark and follow Tamiyo on a journey across Ankheret, looking for distant ruins or mysterious locations. The mechanic provides a bonus as long as you control five or more lands with different names. For example, if you control three Forests, two Islands, a Desert Temple, an Unknown Shores and a Tranquil Oasis, your expedition bonus will be active. The kind of bonus depends on the card.

With expedition on the table, the importance of non-basic lands changes. Clever players will also want to splash other colors, as the additional basic lands can help you achieve expedition. And don't forget cards like Shortcut or Expedition Map to help you reach your final destination quicker!

Decipher

Since the dawn of time, the people of Ankheret have recorded the world's history with magical glyphs, and now these secrets are yours to discover. Decipher shows up on instant and sorceries and mostly in blue and red.

Decipher {cost} (When you cast this spell for its decipher cost, copy it for each instant or sorcery card in your graveyard. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

Decipher combines past mechanics such as storm from Scourge and spell mastery from Magic Origins with its own graveyard-based twist.

Returning mechanics: Unearth and Traps

Unearth (last seen in Alara Reborn) returns in Ankheret. It connects to the graveyard theme of the set and can be found in all mummies, as well as some other creatures. A new focus for unearth in Ankheret is "flickering:" an unearthed creature that is exiled then returned to the battlefield can stay around.

Traps (last seen in Worldwake) return in Ankheret. Exploring an ancient tomb or forgotten pyramid simply wouldn't be the same thing without a deadly trap ready to end a careless adventurer's journey. Ankheret introduces Trap sorceries which look for a given game state rather than event, so that you don't need to have mana ready at the exact moment the opponent makes his or her fatal mistake.

Limited Archetypes

Ankheret follows a traditional set of Limited archetypes, one for each color pair. Each color has two common cards that are each associated with an archetype and require access to another color to function fully. At uncommon, a cycle of ten uncommon gold cards further reinforces the archetypes' themes.

               Archetype                Description
Worship fliers Stabilize on the ground, then use worshippers to boost your evasive creatures.
Example cards: Archive’s Loreblade, Sandborn Seeker, Recorder of Stories, Scholar of Enigmas, Sphere of Faith
Mill Erode your opponent's library.
Example cards: Drowning Trap, Lurking Mummy, Royal Archaeomancer, Scribe’s Fetich, Cryptic Reversal
Unearth Play aggressively using unearth creatures to finish your opponent.
Example cards: Undead Ainok, Slumbering Pharaoh, Rotting Giraffe, Ash Akhu, Mummified Mortician
Ramp Get more lands quickly to play larger threats.
Example cards: Shortcut, Desert Colossus, Nutkeb’s Titan
Enchantments Play enchantments (specially Auras) together with the cards that reward you for them.
Example cards: Glintsand Cloak, Boon Magnification, Glintsand Gatherer
Worship tokens Spirit tokens provide ample targets for worship. Flicker your worshippers to refresh them, or just send them to a sacrifice outlet once they are no longer useful.
Example cards: Remember the Names, Blood Offering, Priest of Echoes, Bloodrite Priest, Underworld Escort
Self-mill Use your graveyard as a resource.
Example cards: Desert Guide, Servant of Erises, Mastaba Defiler, Origin of Life
Expedition Complete your journey by searching for five different lands to turn your expedition cards into lategame threats.
Example cards: Shortcut, Nutkeb’s Explorer, Tiphsu’s Emissary, Serpent of Myth, Cartographer of Kariro
Decipher Put as many instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard as you can to decipher explosive spells.
Example cards: Incandescent Hieroglyphs, Tomb Robbers, Lighthouse Pirates, Secrets Forgotten, Electrify
Hound tribal Let the dogs out.
Example cards: Champion of Ainorek, Lawmage of Kismut, Pack’s Sandlancer, Ainok General

Planeswalker's Guide to Ankheret

Story

Story Spotlight cards: Sun God’s Ire, Collapsing Underworld, Planar Lockdown, Tamiyo’s Voyage, Heart of Erises

Millennia ago, two gods ruled over Ankheret: Atun, god of the sun and the overworld, and Erises, god of the moon and the underworld. What was once friendship grew into animosity and finally enmity as civilization flourished on the plane. Atun believed mortals should be taught medicine and agriculture so they could prosper, but Erises feared such progress would extend mortals' lifespan and deny the underwold of souls. The two eventually clashed, and Atun destroyed Erises.

But the plane of Ankheret is dependent on the cosmic balance. Without Erises to maintain the underworld, its dual—the overworld—will collapse and by extension the entire plane as well. Atun does not know this, but Sentesh, god of secrets, does. He wishes to see Erises restored, not out of compassion, but to save himself. However, he dares not openly defy Atun.

Tamiyo has arrived on Ankheret, after hearing legends of the plane's moon. She is tracked down by Sobki and the two fight (see Sobki's Planeswalker profile). In the end, Tamiyo tries desperately to planeswalk away, but fails due to Sobki's planar lockdown spell.

She barely escapes with her life. Sentesh sees her as an opportunity to enact his agenda, and informs the moonfolk that the pieces of the lost moon, intrinsically tied to Ankheret's leylines, could be used to undo Sobki's spell. Tamiyo embarks on a journey to find the five pieces, though Sentesh surreptitiously refrains from mentioning they are actually the pieces of a god. She is joined by Dack Fayden, whose magic of subterfuge let them travel without Sobki's knowledge.

In time, Tamiyo reunites the five pieces of Erises, restoring the god to life. Moon and sun will clash in a divine war as Atun will not accept the return of his old enemy. The conflict is resolved in the second set, Gods' Eclipse.

Planeswalker Profiles

Tamiyo

Ankheret's story takes place some time before the events of original Innistrad block. At some point, the moonfolk Planeswalker from Kamigawa learns of Ankheret and its fabled lost moon, and decides to visit and research the effects that removing a moon could have on a plane. Curious and inquisitive, Tamiyo always take the opportunity to learn more about Ankheret, even when her studies become a matter of life and death due to Sobki's involvement. Tamiyo uses a unique form of magic that allows her to channel the power contained within stories, which proves particularly potent on Ankheret as the inhabitants painstakingly record the plane's history, believing that should the past be forgotten, the souls of the dead will cease to exist.

Sobki

Sobki is a petsuchos, a race of crocodile people native to Ankheret. After an encounter with hunters, Sobki's spark ignited, catapulting him to the plane of Dominaria. Most Planeswalkers see the wonders of the Multiverse with curiosity and excitement, but Sobki had only contempt. He saw all the destruction caused by Planeswalkers, not only on Dominaria, but in multiple other planes across the Blind Eternities. He concluded that the spark is an unnatural aberration, an abomination that only brings disharmony to planes visited by these interlopers. He retreated to Ankheret and decided he simply wished his world could be left alone. Using knowledge obtained from the remnants of the ancient Shard of the Twelve Worlds on Dominaria, Sobki wove the leylines of Ankheret to sever it from the rest of the Multiverse. Currently, he can only track Planeswalkers who arrive in Ankheret and prevent them from leaving, which allows him to stalk and ambush them. His objective is to eventually sacrifice his spark and complete this lockdown, blocking Planeswalkers from entering Ankheret as well.

Dack Fayden

Dack Fayden from Fiora is the self-entitled best thief in the Multiverse. And what kind of thief could resist a plane full of ancient tombs overflowing with riches and treasure? He encounters Tamiyo in such a ruin while she's fleeing Sobki. Dack's skills at trickery and subterfuge let him avoid Sobki's ability to track Planeswalkers, making him an essential ally to the moonfolk if she wants to travel across Ankheret to undo Sobki's planar lockdown. Dack, not wishing to remain trapped, joins her.

Version 2.2

Date: 2017-05-04 21:06:33

Change log:

  • Wayfarer Giant: is a 4/4 now (was 3/3).
  • Sentesh, God of Secrets: the life payment thing is now 2 (was 3).
  • Treasure Room of Akhamesses: the trigger now costs XX (was X).
  • Cryptic Reversal: Now can only target an opponent (it's a color break if you target yourself).
  • Burial Chamber: Now mills two (was three). (rebalanced for custom Standard due to Dreamscape's premonition)
  • Firstborn's Demise: If multiple creatures are tied for highest cost, the player chooses only one to sacrifice.
  • Duality of Passion: Last mode is now rummage 2 (was rummage up to 3).
  • Duality of Destiny: Second mode is now draw a card for each creature you control (was put a creature with power 5 or less from your hand onto the battlefield). It's also now a sorcery, since none of its modes need to be instants and I don't want instant card draw in green. (This Duality got changed due to formatting issues; once I fixed the Plant tokens' missing characteristics, it caused a line break and the font became too small, so I needed a shorter mode somewhere else.)
  • Temephis Promenade: The creature now gains lifelink, in addition to vigilance.
  • Mass Decrypt: Now costs 2BB but gives unearth B. (was 1B, 1B).
  • Mind renamed to Thought and Electrify renamed to Electrify the Soul.
  • Watermark added to story spotlight cards.
  • Minor text fixes.

Version 2.1

Date: 2017-02-20 20:20:14

Change log:

  • Unexplore fixed to intended version; can only target your lands.
  • Plea Bargain now costs B instead of 1B because Reuben changed it in Tesla.
  • Duality of Passion now costs 1R because one mana rituals are too swingy. Also, the card wasn't very fun for the opponent since the choices offered were too rigid. Now, the opponent can add three mana of any color (was RRR), or can discard up to three cards then draw that many cards.
  • Acolyte of Coils now affects Wurms.
  • Wild Camelicorn is now 2/3 (was 2/2).
  • New art: Heart of Erises (matches the moon better), Planar Lockdown (matches the event better) and Part the Sea (old art was also used in Dreamscape's Reality Wave).
  • Other minor text fixes.

Version 2.0

Date: 2016-12-31 17:46:37

Change log:

Release version

Version 1.26

Date: 2016-09-01 22:57:05

Change log:

  • Fixed decks containing cards with apostrophes not exporting correctly to Cockatrice.

Version 1.25

Date: 2016-09-01 19:44:30

Change log:

  • Flamehollow Phoenix changed from 5RR to 4RR.
  • Opener of the Way does stuff now.
  • Underworld Escort now lets you choose how many to sacrifice.
  • Firstborn's Demise: Changed wording, functionality the same.
  • Plaguetouch Mummy costs 3B (was 2B).
  • Excavate now self-mills 7 and retrieves 1 (was sellf-mill 2 retrieve 2).
  • Hatseket is now 4/2 (was 2/5) so it's easier for her to die (which is good for her ability).

Version 1.2

Date: 2016-08-11 15:40:25

Change log:

COMMENTS

  • Some cards had a name or art change without functional changes. They won't be mentioned here.
  • Changes to common creatures were mostly focused on curve smoothing, better P/T distribution, and reduced color intensity.

WHITE

BLUE

BLACK

RED

GREEN

MULTICOLOR

ARTIFACT

LAND

Version 1.17

Date: 2016-08-06 23:07:20

This is the first version of Ankheret published on WebDrafter. Apostrophes and commas in card names have been replaced with ".." until the final version.