Crash Test Magic – Apocalypse Ink


After a bit of a hiatus, Crash Test Magic returns with a new hypothetical Magic card for you to break, abuse or otherwise form insidious combos with. Or you could simply discuss the pure genius that surely must be behind the design of Apocalypse Ink.

When I first designed this card, it offered an alternate win condition. It was also pretty much unworkable. It cost more, but if all creatures had the counters, you’d win the game. You could also place a counter by sacrificing lands or enchantments. The problems were numerous. Saccing lands is way too easy when it will lead to an automatic win, so that had to go. But no one plays with enough enchantments to power a card like this. That “all creatures” thing was a problem, too. What if there were no creatures in play? You could just Wrath of God and win. I thought about adding a minimum number of creatures, but then it just started getting too bodgy. I realized I had designed a card that fit its name all too well (the working title of this card was, “That’s Just Not Fair”).

So I downgraded it to a sort of slow-burn Wrath of God effect. I dropped the cost a lot, because you have to go through a lot of steps to get the effect. As it stands, this card would be difficult to play effectively. It should probably be an uncommon, a poor man’s mass destruction card. I like that it offers a sort of “balanced” mass creature death, because you can’t wipe out your opponent’s creatures without losing some of your own. Also note that it will stick around after the effect takes place, so you get to start handing out Tattoo counters all over again.

Can you break it?

8 Responses to Crash Test Magic – Apocalypse Ink

  1. It would combine obscenely well with Fecundity, Ashnod’s Altar, and Saproling Burst. Of course, that combo itself is good enough to fuel a deck on it’s own, but this would add a bit of mass destruction, making the saproling onslaught even stronger.

    Fecundity has you drawing a card each time a creature of yours dies. Saproling burst lets you pay 1 colorless and discard a card to create a creature. Ashnod’s Altar lets you sac a creature for 2 colorless. Combining this all with Apocalypse Ink would let you sac all your creatures for mana, cards, and tattoo counters on your opponents creatures. Then it’d wipe the board of the opposition, and let you turn your mana and cards back into a creature attack. So broken, but it’s a 4 card combo.

  2. Nice. Although you can’t sac to both the Altar and Apocalypse Ink with the same creature, so you’d need a lot of creatures out to make that work. Still, just adding Fecundity is a great idea. Anything else is just icing.

  3. The_Boy had the same trick I thought of, but my only thing to add is that you could find something that moves counters around. I can’t think of the name off the top of my head, but it was something about moving counters and didn’t specify a type of counter. I see this as being crazy awesome early game as a sort of recurring Innocent Blood. Using it late game means you need to have equal or greater amount of creatures than your opponent to go nuclear, and in that situation it’s often your opponent who wants to blow up the world. I’m fuzzy on Friday’s rules, but would you still be able to sacrifice a blocker after it’s declared and not take damage? That would be a great way to neutralize an alpha strike.

  4. As far as I can tell, and I could be wrong, but you can still sac a blocker after blocking has been declared. The attacking creature ends up blocked, but doesn’t take damage from the now absent blocking creature.

    Of course it was much cooler when you could sac the blocker after damage went on the stack. For this reason alone, the new combat rules hurt black more than any color.

  5. They hurt oh so much. Black, Red, heck, even Spawning Pit got the short end of that straw. I’m fine with losing mana burn, if only because I can finally use the Cathodians that came in my first pre-con, but I don’t like the change of combat rules. Not one bit.

  6. This looks a lot like Grave Pact to me, just more complicated and delayed. Well, sort of. It has that same “eye for an eye” feel, but only kicks in rarely. They can play more creatures to get around it, or just sacrifice existing ones. And a creature with shroud stops it from popping forever, which would be very frustrating to the controller of the Ink.

    Actually, rereading it, what happens if the only creature on the battlefield is indestructible and has a tattoo counter on it? It is a state trigger, so it would keep triggering over and over, and if neither player had a way to stop it, would draw the game. I am not sure this is what you want. (Yeah, I am a templating fiend.)

    A good fix for all of this would be changing it to put counters on the Ink instead of the creatures. Something like:
    Sacrifice a creature: Put an ink counter on Apocalypse Ink.
    When the number of ink counters on Apocalypse Ink is greater or equal to the number of creatures on the battlefield, remove all ink counters from Apocalypse Ink and destroy all creatures.

    Still not perfect, as it leads to degenerate and repeated game states, but a little more interesting and less frustrating to play.

  7. If i were to design a similar card I think I would move more towards selective destruction instead of a field wipe.

    Something like:

    Saxrifice a creature: put a tattoo counter on target creature.
    Remove Apocalypse Ink from the game: remove all creatures with tattoo counters from the game.

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