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Magic The Gathering: What Is Amass?

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  • What Is Amass?
  • How To Use Amass
  • What Colour Is Amass?

The war for the entire Magic the Gathering multiverse has begun. With every Planeswalker brought to Ravnica and trapped there through the powerful Immortal Sun, the elder dragon Nicol Bolas is in the perfect position to harvest all of their sparks – the innate power that makes somebody a Planeswalker – and ascend to godhood.

To help with his plans, Bolas has assembled the Dreadhorde. An undead army from Amonkhet, these zombies march through the streets of Ravnica, harvesting sparks and recruiting new corpses to their ranks wherever they go. In War of the Spark, the Dreadhorde represented through the Amass keyword. But what is it, and how does it work?

What Is Amass?

Amass is a keyword action, which means it's simply shorthand to instruct the player to do something at a specific time. Sometimes it's a triggered ability, like on Aven Eternal or Grim Initiate, while other times it's just an added extra, as seen on Callous Dismissal or Honor the God-Pharoah. It's very rarely an activated ability, with the only time it's been used as such so far being on Angrath, Captain of Chaos.

Amass does one of two things, depending on whether you already control a Zombie Army creature token. If you don't have one yet, you create a Zombie Army creature token and then put however many +1/+1 counters are listed after the Amass keyword (so an Amass with a two after it makes a Zombie Army token with two +1/+1 counters on it).

If you already do control a Zombie Army token, you just put that number of +1/+1 counters on it instead. Unless you find a way to copy the token, or make a Zombie Army creature through any other method (Changeling, for example), you should only have one Zombie Army token at a time.

Amass is found on all kinds of spells, such as the creature Dreadhorde Twins and the Planeswalker Angrath, Captain of Chaos. If you're Amassing through an instant or sorcery, that spell needs to resolve before you Amass – if it's countered, or you don't have a legal target for it, you won't Amass.

How To Use Amass

Amass is a bit of a flavour fail for War of the Spark, as armies are usually associated with go-wide strategies that like lots of smaller creatures. Instead, Amass makes one creature very big instead.

That doesn't mean it isn't helpful, though. Amass fits nicely into Zombie tribal decks where they can be the spearheads to push through your opponent's defences. They're also relatively easy to build back up if they get removed – just Amass again and you'll make a fresh token ready to build up.

Don't forget that Amass doesn't care about which Zombie Army you put the counters on. If you control a Changeling that has all creature types, it counts as a Zombie Army and can benefit from Amass.

If you're playing in blue, you have both Proliferate (choose any number of permanents with counters on and give them another of that kind of counter) and Amass available to you, which can be a gnarly synergy that speeds up your Dreadhorde considerably.

What Colour Is Amass?

As Amass is meant to be the mechanic of Nicol Bolas' armies, its exclusively found in his core colours of blue, black, and red (also known as Grixis).

There are 23 cards with the Amass keyword on them. Of the mono-colour cards, seven are blue, six are black, four are red. There are no Amass cards found in white, green, or colourless.

On the multi-colour cards, three are Dimir (blue and black), two are Rakdos (black and red), and one, Invade the City, is Izzet (blue and red).

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