Name: Fire Phalanx
Faction/Purity: 1p DoD/1p FD
Rules Text: All non-unique humans you control on the battlefield gain +x/+y where 'x' is the number of humans you control in the assault zone and 'y' is the number of humans you control in the defense zone.
Flavor Text: When men stand beside one another in brotherhood, their will is indomitable.
The Fire Phalanx has a neat design. Rather than a flat buff like Packleader or an ETB buff like Lucca, this card changes its buff based on where you place your troops, turning Invincible Defenders into formidable attackers and Aspirants into more than just chump blockers if applied skillfully.
Name: Accul, who Buffs with Stats
Type: Unique Beast Character
When Accul, who Buffs with Stats enters the deployed area, all Beast type characters you control get +3/+3.
Are you sure you didn't want Lucca to give all artificials +4/+4 when she enters the deployed area?
Balrik, the Rune Channeler
Unique Character- Demon
If Balrik, the Rune Channeler is deployed, whenever you cast a spell, Demons you control gain +2/+2 until end of turn.
Another interesting twist on the vanilla "+x/+x buff" that most tribal cards give, Balrik turns all of your demons into Channelers, to potentially devastating effect. He even costs the same as Verore Magic Channeler and has similar stats, although a smaller (but increasingly larger) payoff. Only criticism is that this demon seems more like a Verore demon than an Exiles demon.
Name: Adventuring Party
Rules Text: A deck may only contain 1 copy of Adventuring Party.
At the end of turn Adventuring Party becomes 25% more complete for each deployed Unique Character you control. When Adventuring Party is 100% complete choose one Quest!. Adventuring Party transforms into that Quest!.
Flavor Text: "I use to be an adventurer like you..."
(Quests left out for brevity's sake)
While a fantastic and hilarious card, the Adventuring Party's interaction with the Unique Character pseudo-tribe is somewhat minimal. I would have preferred for the quests to have also referenced the Unique supertype in some way. Each is a fantastic reference to both RPG tropes and movies, but the interaction with Uniques is minimal. You could easily trigger this with only one unique character, which is hardly a party.
The Phantom Menace
Type: Tactic (The Tactic card closest to the top of your deck is moved to your hand on turn 2 if you don't have any tactic card in your hand. There can only be 1 tactic active at the same time).
All characters you control with the spirit subtype have +2/+1 and cost 1 less (to a minimum of 1). All characters you control without the spirit subtype have -1/-1 and cost 2 more.
Whenever you deploy a spirit, shuffle a copy of that character into your deck and draw a card.
"There are several reasons to avoid the wrath of the anceistors. Their support is very valuable, but if it ever came to a conflict between us and them, we would be greatly outnumbered." - Gao Han
This is the kind of card that would make a 3 purity DoD spirit tribal deck a force to be reckoned with. The spirits, many of whom have low morale costs, would be able to replace themselves and generate card advantage in addition to the stat buff (which, while it wouldn't make a huge difference on Spirit of the Ancient Guardians, would certainly make any kind of Xi token spam menacing indeed). The tradeoff is, if properly built, not a problem at all. Placing the two Xi's and a Gao Han in command will give you some early presence, your second turn play is guaranteed anyway, and now your Avatars cost 6 and replace themselves in the unlikely event that they are dealt with. All in all, this is a deceptively powerful card, especially without Tactic-targeted-removal. Admittedly, I would love to play a deck based around this card.
Name: Lina, Mother of Giants
Type: Unique Character
Rules Text: Unstoppable, reach
While Lina is deployed all giants you control cost 1 less to play. Whenever you deploy a giant he's moved to the same zone where Lina is (in front of her).When a giant you control dies from a kill effect(non-combat), Lina instead dies. When Lina dies deploy all giants from your hand, command zone, deployed area to the assault zone and every giant gets +10/-5, unstoppable.
A fittingly complex and massive tribal lord for the Giants, Lina's pseudo-haste removes one of the main difficulties of playing Giants: they're big, expensive, and slow. And then you have her death effect. Worried about Mass Death or Oblivion? No more. Admittedly, she's expensive and has a decent chunk of morale damage built in. But deploying Giants for free to the assault zone and giving them a giant stat buff is a huge problem. I'd be tempted to play Lina with a command zone full of enraged Shockwave Giants and a hand full of random giants, place her in the assault zone, and use Assassinate or Called Shot or some other kill effect on her off priority to suddenly swarm the assault zone with death. Would this be hard to pull off? Absolutely. Would it win you the game? Absolutely. I was on board with Lina but the last ability, like I have said, just seems way too over-the-top.
1 Purity WP
Unique Character - Beast
While in play, Spirits gain +2/+2. Chief Shaman starts with 3 counters.
While Chief Shaman has a counter and is deployed, you can deploy from your graveyard a Beast that is not a Spirit for the resource cost of the card and a counter.
Beasts deployed using Chief Shaman become a Spirit in addition to their other types.
Tremble before my 2/6 Brings Life By Passings! The Chief Shaman's an interesting character. In addition to the somewhat vanilla buff to Spirits (I'm guessing that the other 2 purity available would be devoted to the DoD as the main spirit faction), the Chief allows you to redeploy Beasts as spirits a limited number of times, changing them into Spirits in the process. Intriguing design.
Name: Knight Captain Damian
Faction/Purity: FD 2
Type: Unique Human
Rules Text: Haste
Well Damian is in play all characters with vigilance or charge instead have haste and all humans have +1 attack
Flavor Text: A voice of experience can help even the rawest of recruits understand where their help is the most needed and how to make the biggest impact.
Clearly designed to fit into a DoD/FD deck, Damian's ability gives your soldiers the flexibility to deploy where you need them, just like an experienced commander redirecting their troops (the effect certainly wouldn't seem out of place on Bromich). This versatility is deceptively powerful, as it also allows you to place Charge characters in the Support Zone to dodge suicide on the enemy defensive line, or exhaust them for an ability (such as War Machine).
Name: We’re family!
Type: Unique Artifact
Character with the same subtype cannot deal damage to each other.
Sacrifice 2 Characters: Target deployed Character gains all available sub-type.
Flavor Text: I don’t have friends, I got family
This card would be untenable for the same reason that Grotesque Brute cannot block. Having invincible blockers (a flier with all sub-types, for instance) means that no damage whatsoever can break through. And that is a bad thing for balance.
Name: Awaken the Ancients
Type: Unique Ability
Rules Text: The deployment cost of dragons is reduced by 3 and that of giants by 2. As long as Rise of the Ancients is in the graveyard, all transformations into dragons cost X less. X is the combined amount of dragon and dragon-transformable cards in play, in your hand, in your graveyard or your deck, up to a minimum (transformation) cost of 4. (dragon-transformable cards = all AC cards + descension)
Wow. What a design. The Dragons and Coyles are certainly getting some love, but I shudder to think of the Turn-4 Descensions or Coyle transformations. Dragons are expensive yet powerful--the cost requirement alone, however, is usually enough to make them risky or even untenable to play. Dropping their cost so drastically means that they'll be a true terror of the battlefield. The real kicker here is the inclusion of the Coyles, Descension, and the Giants. While thematically linked by the name, it makes the card seem cluttered.
And the winner is...
Ecliptix, with his Fire Phalanx. An intriguing ability with lots of built-in versatility that allows you to manipulate the board in an interesting way.
Second Place: Hiding, with Balrik, the Rune Channeler. It was a tough decision and the tipping point was that I felt the purity was off just so slightly. Still, a strong showing--excellently done.
Third Place: ToxicShadow's The Phantom Menace. Singlehandedly making 3DoD Spirits into a tribe to be feared, this tactic will leave the enemies mauled by clones, without hope of striking back as the spirits return to have their revenge. Something of a rogue one, this entry would awaken a whole new archetype.