New Mechanic: Undying

  • #1
    New Mechanic: Undying

    Undying
    When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.

    How much better is this mechanic for aggressive decks than a mechanic like Persist?

    For starters:
    Strangleroot Geist GG
    Creature -- Spirit
    Haste
    Undying
    2/1

    Although admittedly, Strangleroot Geist seems very strong as a creature without Undying, the fact that Geist comes back for more is kinda ridiculous.

    I played a ton with Otherworldly Journey back in the day to save my creature from death, maintain tempo, and get value out of 187 (CIP) effects with cards like Eternal Witness and others, but this is just better. Making Otherworldly Journey into a keyword mechanic
    seems really strong to me.

    Nearheath Stalker 4R
    Creature -- Vampire Rogue
    Undying
    4/1

    This creature seems much less effective than Strangleroot Geist (although many creatures probably aren't as effective as Geist), but it will still see Constructed play purely for the Undying ability in Birthing Pod lists.

    How do you break Undying?

    1. Hex Parasite -- this cards just jumped in value tremendously, and it will be a major standard player for the length of Undying in Standard.

    Personally, I would like to see some combination of Metalcraft and the bonus effect of Hex Parasite + Undying in the near future. Ezuri's Brigade can be a monster, if done correctly.

    2. Birthing Pod -- Pod away Undying creatures, return the Undying creature to play with a +1/+1 counter, and search up a second creature with Pod.

    Expect to see a mini-Birthing Pod resurgence, since you can utilize several different effects extremely well with Undying.

    What other effects/cards would you like to see the Undying mechanic with? I anticipate some type of neo-Kitchen Finks, Undying Manic Vandal, but I would really like to see some type of Undying Wood Elves...

    Solid mechanic is very solid.
    Grin Namer of "Gainlands" --
    can't wait to actually use them!:D
  • #2
    Big nerf to removal that doesn't exile as well. Also somewhat beneficial for you to run your own set of sweepers. Slagstorm your Undying guys to make them stronger? Oh geeze!
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  • #3
    I don't see Hex Parasite actually being good, at least not with the cards we've seen so far. The card doesn't do very much. And having to pay GG is tough. For me, the question is: can an indestructible 2/1 with haste compete with UW humans and Moorland Haunt? I don't think so. Now, another undying creature could be printed that makes the situation different.
  • #4
    The one thing why Undying is better then Persist is that the creature comes back bigger of a threat than it originally was. Strangleroot Geist, for example, can be gheistflameed once, but the flashback wont work anymore as it comes back as 3/2.

    The mechanic will be staples in sacrifice/morbid themes (pod always comes up)
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  • #5
    Undying definitely has combo potential. I'm also hoping for a decently costed flier in the right colors to maybe help fight infect. It's actually quite funny to fight your undying creatures against infect creatures. Phyrexia just can't kill these guys.

    I think the other big thing is undying creatures are definitely gonna make it harder for control decks that rely on their 1-1 spot removal and Wrath effects. Having to kill a creature twice is just gonna be a pain for control decks.
  • #6
    @TheLizard
    Completely agree with your point, and I think Geist's mana cost is its main drawback, but the mechanic as a whole seems really powerful. I believe some type of Green/X build is definitely possible, with variations with Dungrove Elder, Metalcraft and Galvanic Blast, and GW Aggro are all definite possibilities. I think it should be a deck that either runs Razorverge Thicket or Copperline Gorge. Anything else is shaky, at best.

    Considering that Hex Parasite takes out Phantasmal Bear and Phantasmal Image, it can't be terrible against Illusions. However, I see Illusions evolving past Phantasmal Bear and Phantasmal Image right now in favor of Invisible Stalker, more interactive spells, and Runechanter's Pike.

    Perhaps the better out against UW will be Gravecrawler + Mortarpod.
    Grin Namer of "Gainlands" --
    can't wait to actually use them!:D
  • #7
    If there are multiple playable cards with the mechanic I think it increases the value of Sever the Bloodline, which was already constructed playable/SB material.

    Bypasses Undying by exiling, and given that multiples are more likely to be in play as a result of Undying, is more likely to two-for-one.
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  • #8
    Unless I'm mistaken, Black Sun's Zenith is going to be useless against creatures with Undying.

    If there's a Strangleroot Geist out with a +1/+1 counter, you BSZ for 2, it removes the +1/+1 counter, the Geist dies, then comes back to the battlefield.

    Or does the toughness check before the counters cancel out?
  • #9
    Khrane, i believe you are correct, which could be a huge design flaw
  • #10
    Quote from Khrane
    Unless I'm mistaken, Black Sun's Zenith is going to be useless against creatures with Undying.

    If there's a Strangleroot Geist out with a +1/+1 counter, you BSZ for 2, it removes the +1/+1 counter, the Geist dies, then comes back to the battlefield.

    Or does the toughness check before the counters cancel out?


    They're both state-based actions and two actions would happen simultaneously: Canceling the +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters, and placing a zero-toughness creature into the graveyard. End result is that yes, it is dead. It had the +1/+1 counter on it when it went to the graveyard.
  • #11
    All state-based actions happen simultaneously. The result is that the last-known information of the dying creature is that it had a +1/+1 counter on it, so undying will not trigger.
  • #12
    Right, we really needed another mechanic that punishes people for playing Infect.

    Tongue
  • #13
    Strangleroot Geist ---> Slagstorm ---> Hunger of the Howlpack

    6/5 With haste and a clear board unless the opponent has undying too.
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  • #14
    The Geist is going into my Junk Pod deck asap. a hastey 2-drop that I get back after going up the pod chain? Yes please!

    Also note, this guy is going to be a top pick in limited, especially with the huge lack of removal in INN. This guy comes back bigger, and if you can grab that giant grwoth-tokenesque spell, its now a 6/5 after it returns.

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  • #15
    Interestingly, both undying creatures we've seen so far are X/1's, which means Virulent Wound kills them dead in one shot (along with contagion clasp, etc.). Of course it's way too soon to know anything about the rest of the set, but I wonder if it will turn out development deliberately kept most undying creatures to 1 toughness to increase the number of efficient answers for them in constructed.
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  • #16
    Quote from Dire Wombat
    Interestingly, both undying creatures we've seen so far are X/1's, which means Virulent Wound kills them dead in one shot (along with contagion clasp, etc.). Of course it's way too soon to know anything about the rest of the set, but I wonder if it will turn out development deliberately kept most undying creatures to 1 toughness to increase the number of efficient answers for them in constructed.


    On the other hand, there may be one or two undying rares/mythics that have greater than 1 tough. It is interesting that the 4/1 has 1 toughness though, good point.
  • #17
    Quote from Dire Wombat
    Interestingly, both undying creatures we've seen so far are X/1's, which means Virulent Wound kills them dead in one shot (along with contagion clasp, etc.). Of course it's way too soon to know anything about the rest of the set, but I wonder if it will turn out development deliberately kept most undying creatures to 1 toughness to increase the number of efficient answers for them in constructed.


    Um. Virulent Wound puts -1/-1 counters on stuff. Undying looks for +1/+1 counters. Hit an X/1 Undying creature with Wound, and it just comes back bigger.
  • #18
    Either Geist is one of the best creatures with this mechanic, or it will be one of the best mechanics ever. It is like Persist, except better in every way. Hopefully they limited the amount of 187 guys with the ability, or it could get out of hand with no Hallowed Burial/Final Judgement around.

    Seems to guarantee that there will be some extremely solid cube cards in this set, from this mechanic alone.
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  • #19
    Quote from coandco
    Um. Virulent Wound puts -1/-1 counters on stuff. Undying looks for +1/+1 counters. Hit an X/1 Undying creature with Wound, and it just comes back bigger.


    You're right, of course.

    I was thinking about the interactions between undying, +1/+1 counters, and -1/-1 counters and somehow got it into my head that this interaction worked. Maybe I was thinking about Persist or something, I don't know. Rolleyes
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  • #20
    Reversed Persist is strong as heck.

    I like it.
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  • #21
    I'm not really impressed with undying to tell you the truth. To me, it's like Persist 2.0. I also don't like how they allowed both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters in standard at the same time. It's gonna be confusing for new players.
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  • #22
    This mechanic has the potential to be completely broken if the right cards are printed.
  • #23
    Quote from Arminion
    I'm not really impressed with undying to tell you the truth. To me, it's like Persist 2.0. I also don't like how they allowed both -1/-1 and +1/+1 counters in standard at the same time. It's gonna be confusing for new players.


    There were both counters in standard when it was Zendikar/Scars. They said they would not put both types in one block but that doesn't mean they have to wait 2 blocks every time they put counters in.
    Dimir
  • #24
    Im feeling a melira combo with undying coming. Anyone else getting that feeling?

    edit: nvm. Melira only works with -1/-1 counters
  • #25
    I hate this powercreep. Im gonna play the green geist, for sure, but I hate it. Persist was already a pain in the ass.
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