I’ve had this card idea kicking around in my head ever since Grand Prix D.C., when I had to take Gallows Road to get to the convention center. I immediately decided it would be an awesome name for a Magic card, and would naturally be a land. But what would it do?
I eventually hit on the “prevent a sacrifice” idea. At first glance, this seems like an effect more suited to white, since it’s “saving” a creature from being sacrificed. With a different name and a different set of justifications, I would buy this as a white land. But this is the Gallows Road, so it clearly belongs in black. I see it as more of a, “fate has other plans for you, so you can’t die…yet. Besides, we’d much rather harvest your friend’s soul at the moment.”
There are some interesting ways to use a card like this. For one thing, if you only have one creature on the board, you tap Gallows Road to save it from Consuming Vapors and similar effects…even All is Dust!
Even better is using it on your opponent’s creatures. Black’s sacrifice creature effects are very strong because they don’t target things, thus bypassing Shroud and Protection from Black. Their weakness is…that they don’t target things. So if your opponent has a couple of creatures out, he’ll always sac the one you least want him to. Gallows Road lets you manipulate that to some extent. Opponent has a Baneslayer Angel and a Wall of Omens? Tap your Gallows Road, target the Wall, then play Consuming Vapors. This works against Great Sable Stag too. Note that, since it’s a land, you can target Protection from Black creatures with Gallows Road, if you wanted to for some reason.
There’s one other way to use Gallows Road. Sometimes your opponent needs to sacrifice her own creatures. You can make that Eldrazi Monument a lot more difficult to use when you can control what can and can’t be sacrificed. There are a lot of other examples of this type (Kalastria vampire decks especially), but I’m sure the Vikings can think of more.
I made this legendary to tone it down a little, but it might be balanced enough to allow multiple copies in play. What do you think?