Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => Spells => Topic started by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 05:31:41 AM

Title: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 05:31:41 AM
The new The Embalmed card is super cool, I am excited to abuse this particular mechanic. At a glance it looks different than all other creature cards, but despite appearances it is still an Undead Creature, which means that you can summon it from a Graveyard or Libro Mortuos, and it interacts with everything as a normal creature would.

I believe it warrants it's own clarification thread, it is a tricky card because we have a Necromancer mage in Arena that can interact with it in a cool way, discussed heavily in the recent stream. I think they did hit on the accurate interpretation of the card at the end, and when I read the card it makes sense, so am going to write it out here in detail. Other interpretations could be made but I feel confident that this is what the card would do in RAW.

The card: (

The image was shamelessly ripped from the stream.

When you play the card you are supposed to remove a living non-epic creature in any discard pile from the game. I would recommend that you keep the cards together to avoid confusion. For all intents and purposes, however, The Embalmed card is now switched with a card identical to the creature selected and summoned to the board, with a few exceptions. The summoned creature gains the subtypes: Undead and Mummy, and it gains the trait: Nonliving.

Example for clarity: A Feral Bobcat is in any discard pile and Egyptians likes cats, so you want to embalm it and add it to your horde. Feral Bobcat for reference: (

Now we remove the Bobcat from the discard pile (effectively obliterating it but for some reason this terminology is not used, this may be intentional). The caster pays 7 mana, and for all intents and purposes "The Embalmed" card is also removed from the game and is then replaced with this homemade updated Feral Bobcat card: (

If Mage Wars was a digital game, I believe that, for clarity, the "The Embalmed" card would simply morph into the updated Feral Bobcat card above. Again, when playing with cardboard we have to keep the two cards together to keep track, though neither of them effectively exist in the game anymore. When the embalmed cat dies, we put the updated Feral Bobcat in the discard pile (this means our two cards, still attached together (and only for reference), should move together to the discard pile). In the discard pile there is nothing you can do with a Nonliving creature, but understanding this mechanic is important because:

When summoning The Embalmed and following the procedure above, creating our updated mummy cat, the Necromancer can place his Eternal Servant marker on it, thus making sure he will never lose his new pet. When the creature is killed, he may reanimate it just as he normally would any other Undead, paying 5 mana to do so (the cost on the updated Feral Bobcat card). If he does so, you still keep the two cards together and reanimate the Feral Bobcat again as a Nonliving Undead Mummy. This means that, in effect, you are not reanimating the "The Embalmed" card and choosing a new creature for it every time you reanimate, which is a very important distinction.

Anyways, this is pretty cool! I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of creatures will be embalmed, effectively it means that almost every creature can now be reanimated forever. I'm thinking creatures like Combustion Demon, Messenger of Bim-Shalla or maybe even a Dragonclaw Wolverine, give me your best ideas! And hey, you can have 4 copies of The Embalmed in your book, if you're worried that someone manages to obliterate your first Eternal Servant.

And let me know if you think I missed something or have other interpretations of the mechanics.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Biblofilter on April 11, 2019, 06:14:23 AM
Anything with a possibility to do a poison condition:
Darkfenne Asp, Darkfenne Bat and larger ones

But even something like:
Darkfenne Owl :)
Infernian Scourger
Dawnbreakers Intiate

Looking forward to these cards :)

Thanks for making this  8)
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Arkdeniz on April 11, 2019, 08:10:57 AM
I've just watched the card reveal video (good job, guys! Everyone else, go watch it!) and was about to post about this card as well.

I've reached a different conclusion, keejchen.

My reading is that if this creature (The Embalmed) is made into an Eternal Servant, then it is the vanilla 'The Embalmed' card that is reanimated following destruction, and each time it is so reanimated it needs to take a fresh discarded creature to copy. That is, the first copied creature is not a permanent form. 

I base this conclusion on the interaction of the following three excerpts of rules:

1) The 'The Embalmed' card says: "When Summoning The Embalmed, remove a non-Epic living creature from any discard pile from the game. This creature [The Embalmed] becomes a copy of the removed creature, gaining The Embalmed's traits and subtypes." 

2) Eternal Servant says "should the servant be destroyed, the Necromancer may Reanimate it"

3) Reanimate says: "at the end of the round the creature is Summoned into play."

So if Reanimate Summons a creature into play, and if the 'The Embalmed' has to copy a discarded creature each time it is Summoned, then each Eternal Servant use has to utilise a fresh body from a discard pile, and the Necromancer needs to pay 2+the casting cost of the dead creature as the casting cost of the Eternal Servant.

To use keejchen's example:

The 'The Embalmed' comes into play. The Necromancer chooses to have it copy a dead Feral Bobcat, spending (2+5=) 7 mana to do so, and makes it his Eternal Servant. Later in the game the 'The Embalmed' is destroyed. The Necromancer chooses to bring his Eternal Servant back, reanimating 'The Embalmed'. At the end of the round the 'The Embalmed' is Summoned back to the arena. Part of this Summoning process requires the removal from the game of a discarded living creature, so the Necromancer looks through his opponent's discard pile and finds a Timber Wolf he killed earlier. He decides that his newly Summoned 'The Embalmed' will take the form of that Timber Wolf, so he pays the casting cost of the 'The Embalmed', which in this case is (2+9=) 11 mana. His Eternal Servant now functions as a Timber Wolf with Undead and Mummy traits.   


If so, perhaps it might be appropriate to think of 'The Embalmed' as some form of spirit that animates corpses, rather than as a physically chemically treated corpse.   

TL/DR: Each time an Eternal Servant is brought back into play it is a fresh Summoning, and every time the The Embalmed is Summoned, it needs to take the form of a dead creature from a discard pile. It cannot be the same creature it copied in its initial summons, since that creature is removed from the game and is no longer in a discard pile.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 08:29:28 AM
This is the other main interpretation. I understand where you are coming from.

It comes down to the phrase "becomes a copy of", how much of the The Embalmed stays and how much of the card in the discard pile is used.

I believe that to create the effect that you are describing Arkdeniz, the wording on The Embalmed should have been:

"When summoning The Embalmed, remove a non-Epic Living creature in any discard from the game. The Embalmed gains the life, armor, attacks, subtypes and traits of the discarded creature."

This way the roles of the creatures are reversed. The Embalmed retains its name and mana cost but would otherwise function as the discarded creature.

But this is not the case. Instead we have a copy of Feral Bobcat, with everything that implies, that is given the traits and subtypes of The Embalmed and (implied by the lack of further wording) nothing else from the original (The Embalmed) card is retained.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Arkdeniz on April 11, 2019, 09:08:34 AM
I see where you are coming from, but I think that to obtain the effect you postulate it would have been much more efficient just to introduce an incantation named "Embalm" with text something like "take a discarded living creature and summon it into play. It retains all its own powers, traits and subtypes and gains mummy and undead. Casting cost 2+ the cost of the discarded creature."

It is important to note that The Embalmed is a Creature in and of itself, and it is the only card that remains standing after it copies the discarded/removed creature card. That card is formally gone from the game (even if you keep it on the board as an aide memoire). It can't be summoned again, but the 'The Embalmed' creature card is and reverts to its neutral state.

Don't forget the Magic Rule of the game: if there is conflict between a card and another rule, the card takes precedence.

I don't know. I think my theory makes more sense, but I can see where you are coming from. Are there any playtesters (or heaven forfend a designer!) around to tell us how they interpreted it?
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 09:11:21 AM
We still disagree. I'll just throw in that your incantation version would not be able to come from a spawnpoint and it would also function on a mage wand, so there is a massive difference.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 09:20:26 AM
Let's approach it from a different angle. I hope you agree that my re-wording of the card reaches the same conclusion that you are arguing for.

So if you were to rewrite the card, how would you make it do what I currently think it does?
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Arkdeniz on April 11, 2019, 09:43:11 AM
Probably something like:

“When The Embalmed is Summoned for the first time, remove a non-Epic living creature from any discard pile. Obliterate that creature. For the remainder of the game The Embalmed gains the life, armor, attacks, traits, abilities, and subtypes of the obliterated creature.”

The key would be to demonstrate that the initial summoning is materially different from any re-summoning that may occur (from, for example, the Eternal Servant power), and indicate clearly that once a creature form is taken, that it is permanent.

We both at least seem to agree that the card’s actual wording is sloppy and imprecise. So that’s something!
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 09:49:35 AM
It's at least close, I like your clause about "first time it is summoned", that would be very helpful.

Off the top of my head, there is still one thing that separates them. What happens if I land a stagger on your mummy Bobcat?

My version would not be allowed to attack or guard because it copied the level off the removed creature.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 09:56:25 AM
I have another one! I know I'm nitpicking but that's why we're here :D

If my mummy Alandell stands in your consecrated ground, does he take a damage? He can never heal of course, since non-living, but only non-holy is damaged by it.

I know you could just expand your list with level and school, but at some point it seems like it would just be easier to write "becomes a copy of".
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Karadox on April 11, 2019, 10:08:42 AM
As it written on the card, Alandell remains a holy creature.
It would makes more sense that he become a dark creature as a mummy.

I like the concept of the card but the implementation raises too many questions.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 10:12:09 AM
School does not change when you reanimate things with Animate Dead or Rise Again. We can argue over theme and sense, but so far in MW, holy creatures have had no problem coming back as Undead.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Knabbmaster on April 11, 2019, 10:14:48 AM
Arkdeniz, there are 2 things that I think you should understand.

Firstly The Embalmed copies a creature, this means that any previous info on the card is overwritten, which would mean that it's old effects will no longer trigger.

Secondly I do think it makes sense to have this as a creature spell. It has to do with consistency and future card interactions. To keep the game cleaner they probably did not want noncreature spells to summon creatures the instant they are played.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Karadox on April 11, 2019, 10:16:38 AM
You were right, I had not thought about Animate Dead and Rise Again turn them only to Zombies.

Well in MtG there are also white zombies.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 10:28:24 AM
While I agree on your first point Knabb Master, we already have incantations that summon creatures. Animate Dead and Resurrect both summon creatures from the discard pile.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Nonsense on April 11, 2019, 12:41:34 PM
What happens to effects that are executed by summoning the original creature?
If a Sanguine Hunter is chosen, it deals 2dmg?
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: keejchen on April 11, 2019, 12:46:08 PM
Creatures with summon effects always trigger their effects again regardless of how they are resummoned. So yes.

Which is why Combustion Demon and Messenger of Bim-Shalla are interesting choices (assuming my interpretation holds).
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Kharhaz on April 12, 2019, 12:17:09 AM
So during playtesting my favorite creature to embalm was the Affliction Demon.

Since it is nonliving the weak tokens fall off and he is primed at 5 dice out of the gate.
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Arkdeniz on April 12, 2019, 02:59:27 AM
So during playtesting my favorite creature to embalm was the Affliction Demon.

Since it is nonliving the weak tokens fall off and he is primed at 5 dice out of the gate.

Ah, a playtester!

Kharhaz, did you ever see it turned into an Eternal Servant, and if so, how did it work?
Title: Re: The Embalmed
Post by: Kharhaz on April 12, 2019, 03:44:15 PM
I thought I posted a reply; weird

The copying happens in Step 2 of casting a spell. When the additional cost is paid, the embalmed spell becomes a copy of the creature selected.

So when you Eternal Servant the mummy bobcat, it will reanimate that bobcat and not the embalmed.

On summon effects happen the creature spell resolves and so they happen after step 4, which is why a mummy messenger's effect still happens.

Also the creatures school get's copied over. So a mummy messenger is holy. If that mummy messenger is destroyed, the creature does not change back to the embalmed. It would still count as a holy creature for triggering Gloranna's holy water sprinkler effect for example.