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 Post subject: Selvala of Pern
AgePosted: 2015-Jun-13 12:33 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
ImageImage
(Image by Robin Wood, 1988)

The Dragonriders of Pern book series by Anne McCaffrey isn't my favorite book series, but it captured my imagination and a child-like delight I've missed in reading for quite some time. It was only until I noticed the similarities between this image and Selvala--who I'd been eyeing for a good deck for a while now--that I finally found a new theme deck.

Spoilers ahead! Don't read unless you want the books spoiled!

Lessa of Pern
Lessa is a main character of the Pern series and the focus of this deck. In the books, she is the child of tragedy: her entire bloodline wiped out by an invading tyrant, and only survived by hiding with her family castle's guardian wher (lesser dragon). She was given a premonitory sense of the impending catastrophe due to her future self arriving quite accidentally in her former self's timeline, causing a ripple which both selfs could feel. I know...complicated.

By surviving, she was able to grow up and obtain perfect revenge in directly causing the tyrant's death. But due to this, she was marked by dragonriders as being a likely candidate for becoming the Wyrewoman--queen of the dragonriders. In this, she is most capable, as she has the ability to talk telepathically to all dragons (dragonriders at the time can only speak to their dragon).

Dragons of Pern
Monstrous and capable of teleportation (I know, because dragons weren't cool enough already), and bonded to one human for the rest of the human's life. Once the human dies, the dragon commits suicide. Incapable of breathing fire without the help of a special rock that, when eaten, mixes with the dragon's stomach to produce a flaming breath. Dragonriders and their dragons spend their whole life fighting against a planetary menace known as the Thread.

Thread
The Thread is a hostile, non-sentient fungus/spore which rapidly consumes all organic matter is comes in contact with. It is not natural to the world of Pern, but grows on a nearby planet named "The Red Star." Every two hundred years, the Red Star remains close enough to the planet of Pern for the Thread to pass through space between the two and land on Pern. This pass lasts for fifty years.

Relevant Plot for this Deck
Due to a quirk in the planetary cycles, four hundred years passed without Threadfall. The end of these four hundred approaches as Selvala is learning to be a dragonrider after having killed her family's murderer. Also, after the last Threadfall (four hundred years ago), four of the five dragon Weyrs--strongholds where dragons and their riders live--suddenly disappeared without a trace. Selvala, while learning to teleport with her dragon, discovers their capability to not only transport between places, but also times. Using this, she fulfills her fate by going back in time 400 years to bring forward the four Weyrs which suddenly disappeared in order to have enough dragons to save Pern from the current Threadfall.


Spoilers ahead! Don't read unless you want the books spoiled!

Champion of Lambholt --> Lessa, made a lowly servant in her own royal family's heritage home by a tyrant, is able to take revenge on the tyrant through the dragonriders
Dragonscale General --> Lessa, as queen of the dragonriders after her redemption
Selvala, Explorer Returned --> Lessa, returned from time jumping with the reinforcements necessary to fight off the Thread, and immortalized in legend forever

In the beginning of Pern, dragonriders protected the rest of Pern from the threat of the Thread (Contagion Clasp, Contagion Engine, All is Dust, Return to Dust), a disastrous plant-like lifeform which devours all other life and leaves the earth barren. In times past, though, a large portion of these dragonrider's sudden disappearance caused their fate forgotten...and the terror the Thread was slowly forgotten.

In time, the people began to hate the tithe-ing the remaining dragonriders demanded of them, and tyrants rose up to seize the land. A particular family resisted these tyrants, though, and tried to quell the people from revolting and subsequently falling into complete slavery. This royal family failed and all were slaughtered, save one little girl. In time her strength grew, and Lessa's hate for the tyrant grew until she found a way to have his life ended by the famed dragonriders. Manipulating the circumstances, everyone learned of the retribution of the meek that day. Except the dragonriders were not fooled by her humble appearance. They could feel her innate dragonic power coiling inside of her.

A congregation at dawn decided Lessa's fate to join the dragonriders, likely as the queen they've been searching after for so long. And thankfully, the triassic Egg chose her from within the shell to ride the powerful dragon queen. The dragonriders helped Lessa cultivate her powers, and she soon learned of the dragons' ability to astral slide from place to place. Lessa's powers grew even further, giving her command (Dromoka's Command) over the other dragons through her mind (Wurmcalling).

Without more dragons though, all of this would be for naught. The Thread was coming, and there weren't enough dragons to fight it off. In time, the dragons would lose and everyone would perish. So Lessa sought the ancient ways of the dragonriders, searching desperately for a solution, a way to fend off the Thread or escape from it. A tapestry of the ages, one she knew hung in her ancestral home in years past, caught her eye again. She had a shamanic revelation. Dragons aren't just capable of teleporting from place to place, but also from time to time! Her quest renewed (Quest for Renewal), Lessa went against the wishes of the other dragonriders and jumped backwards hundreds of years in time...

...a time where seventeen dragon queens stood their ground against the Thread and were ready for battle. Having gathered the reinforcements necessary to save her people in her own time, the new army marched forward to search for tomorrow.


Commander
Selvala, Explorer Returned

Creatures: 23
Dragons: 17
Alabaster Dragon
Arashin Sovereign
Clockwork Dragon
Destructor Dragon
Dragonlord Dromoka
Dromoka, the Eternal
Enduring Scalelord
Eternal Dragon
Foe-Razer Regent
Herdchaser Dragon
Jugan, the Rising Star
Shieldhide Dragon
Steel Hellkite
Sunscorch Regent
Teeka's Dragon
Wardscale Dragon
Yosei, the Morning Star

Non-Dragon Creatures: 6
Champion of Lambholt
Dragonscale General
Fyndhorn Elves
Krosan Tusker
Llanowar Elves
Skyshroud Ranger

Instants: 13
Cycling: 6
Akroma's Blessing
Angelsong
Decree of Savagery
Gleam of Resistance
Radiant's Judgment
Wipe Clean

Non-Cycling: 7
Congregation at Dawn
Dromoka's Command
Fate Forgotten
Reinforcements
Return to Dust
Swords to Plowshares
Tithe

Sorceries: 12
Cycling: 4
Akroma's Vengeance
Break Asunder
Decree of Justice
Edge of Autumn

Non-Cycling: 8
All is Dust
Cultivate
Rampant Growth
Retribution of the Meek
Search for Tomorrow
Shamanic Revelation
Sudden Disappearance
Wurmcalling

Enchantments: 7
Assault Formation
Astral Slide
Citadel Siege
Frontier Siege
Invigoration Boon
Quest for Renewal
Sight of the Scalelords

Artifacts: 4
Contagion Clasp
Contagion Engine
Tapestry of the Ages
Triassic Egg

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Last edited by Segrus on 2016-Feb-27 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Selvala of Pern
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 4:10 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Are you still working on this?

Not all the GW dragons are great, but Foe-Razer Regent is pretty good. You already have ways to blink it and make it fight stuff too. Hardened Scales and Sight of the Scalelord are a good fit too; they're Dragon-flavored and +1/+1 counter themed.

Invigorating Boon is another way to make your cyclers do work. I'm assuming you're running all the cycle lands... you might think about adding Radiant's Judgment too.

This might be a good deck for Birthing Pod; it's a good back-up for Yisan, the deck's already got a couple cards that shuffle back into the deck when they die, and you could also throw in a Repopulate.

Maybe proliferate cards for a Thread-theme mechanic?

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 Post subject: Re: Selvala of Pern
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 5:56 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'd replace Den Protector with Champion of Lambholt for all your "unblockable by creatures less than 'x'" needs ;)

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"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

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 Post subject: Re: Selvala of Pern
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-24 10:40 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Kemev wrote:
Are you still working on this?

Short answer is yes, I'm still working on this. Long answer is...

Well, there's a lot to this deck. I was really excited about it as I was going through some of the Pern books. I posted this decklist so I could help keep track of where I was in the deck design process, as I almost immediately realized how slowly the deck can play out sometimes, but also how terrible of a decklist it can be when trying to finish out a game. It doesn't always seem to do enough to close out--more on this below. I was also hoping to garner a little attention by posting it, but it never seemed to get any interest. So I paused in working on it until I had some new ideas. That pausing has lasted...well, what, since basically the time I posted the decklist in June?
Kemev wrote:
Not all the GW dragons are great, but Foe-Razer Regent is pretty good. You already have ways to blink it and make it fight stuff too. Hardened Scales and Sight of the Scalelord are a good fit too; they're Dragon-flavored and +1/+1 counter themed.

Invigorating Boon is another way to make your cyclers do work. I'm assuming you're running all the cycle lands... you might think about adding Radiant's Judgment too.

This might be a good deck for Birthing Pod; it's a good back-up for Yisan, the deck's already got a couple cards that shuffle back into the deck when they die, and you could also throw in a Repopulate.

Maybe proliferate cards for a Thread-theme mechanic?

It's true, not all of the dragons are great. There are a number of really good ones though. I guess my main concern with Foe-Razer is the real lack of fight mechanic in the deck to make him really shine. I suppose I could look into what other cards I might add to create more fights.

I should be running every cycling land. I'll having to think about how Birthing Pod fits in thematically.

As for proliferate cards...I suppose Contagion Clasp and Contagion Engine work well enough. All is Dust is definitely the closest thematically to the Thread, but these two proliferate cards probably work well enough I can ignore the card art (or modify them later) to work. Thanks for the suggestions!
Viperion wrote:
I'd replace Den Protector with Champion of Lambholt for all your "unblockable by creatures less than 'x'" needs ;)
I considered Champion, but Den Protector works quite well as a creature who fights to protect the Weyrs (dens) from Threadfall. Also, being able to return a card to my hand is quite a big deal in the world of cycling cards. Maybe there's a place for both somewhere. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Selvala of Pern
AgePosted: 2016-Feb-27 2:39 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I've finally gotten this decklist finished, and everything sleeved up. It's been a long time in the making, honestly, so I'm glad it's done (well, at this point). I've changed up a lot of the cards in the original list, but I don't recall offhand all of them. I do believe I'll need to consider a tutor or two to help get the list flowing properly, but I don't have those changes figured out yet (specifically to get Astral Slide and Invigorating Boon out quicker).

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