Specialization Reveal: Incarnate

Siv had been away from the group when the warnings began. Loud shouts to flee found their way to her ears, and on reflex she ducked behind a thick batch of Winter Crystal, her knuckles white as she gripped her axes. A light flashed and the warnings became screams, high-pitched squeals of fear. She found herself frozen, desperate to see what was happening to her friends and far too afraid to find out.

There was a sound of footsteps and Siv hunched lower. She tried to make herself as invisible as a woman clad in green cloth surrounded by white crystal and snow could possibly be.

Ari, one of the more experienced Survivalists in the group, ran past. There was another flash and Ari stumbled, rolled on the ground, and ended up facing Siv. Small holes—cauterized by whatever force had created them—dotted his arms and legs, and he breathed a single word as his eyes widened in fear.

“Incarnate.”

She met his eyes, and a blast of power tore through the air and into Ari, ripping the life from the man and splattering it across the ground in sizzling splotches.

Crackle jpg
Crackle by Wojtek Depczynski

Behind her, the screams were being silenced. Some of them ended abruptly; others trailed on for horrifying lengths of time. Siv knew that to stay and hide was to embrace death, and to flee would probably do the same, but she had to at least try. Her body was barely her own, fighting against every command she gave it, trying desperately to curl up in a ball and shut it all away. The Survivalist couldn’t allow that to happen, not now.

There was another flash, but this one lingered on, and several screams were elevated to new frequencies of pain. Siv took it as her chance to gauge her surroundings.

When she looked, she saw Skjold, one of her closest friends, standing upon an outcrop of Winter Crystal. The skin of his hands seemed to have been burned away and revealed an almost blinding white light, similar to what poured out of his eyes. His once-green outfit glowed with power, and had become white as bone. His face was a stoic wall as arcs of energy poured onto a group of writhing bodies, as if the act were simply another daily chore.

Splinter jpg
Splinter by Nikita Volobuev

Suddenly, the outpouring of energy ceased, and the air was still. Siv slipped behind the Winter Crystal once more. Running was no longer an option.

“Oh Siv, why don’t you come out?” The man who had once been Skjold asked, his voice echoed with power and malice. “I know you’re out there. Skjold here cared deeply for you, he was too busy watching you split away from the group to pay attention to what Winter Crystal he touched. Not that I’m complaining, of course.”

She tried to be as still as possible while she dug into the snow with one hand, hoping to submerge herself out of sight.

“I don’t really have time for these games; I think I may have overexerted Skjold here when I was killing all his friends. Come on out and I’ll be quick about it.”

Siv gripped her knees tightly and hoped. It was all she could do.

“Hard way, huh? Suit yourself.”

White energy lashed out and carved a path between several clusters of Winter Crystal. Another blast followed, trailing away from her.

For just a moment, Siv allowed herself to breathe.

“I’ve got to say, if you’re trying to blend in, don’t wear green in the snow.”

There was a buzzing noise, and suddenly the incarnate was before her. What was left of Skjold was tatters: the top of his head and his right eye, a streak of skin on his shoulder, and a good chunk of his belly. What remained was crackling white energy that formed a humanoid outline.

The incarnate reached towards her and Siv screamed, it was all she could do at this point. Its finger brushed the tip of her nose, and a spark of cold static ran down her body. The incarnate flew apart, Skjold’s body no longer able to take the strain. It disappeared in a flash as bright as the one it had arrived in, and all that remained was a beautifully carved piece of Winter Crystal.

Siv sat for a long time, simply staring into the air, and once she began to rise, she heard something echo within her.

You have a strong will, and a good body. Yes, you’ll do just fine.

Power flowed into her, and searing pain followed as it found its way into every nook and cranny of her body and mind. Siv watched helplessly as flecks of her skin began to simply evaporate under the stress of containing such raw power. The piece of carved Winter Crystal glowed with power and floated next to her head, the true body of the Incarnate.

Disperse jpg
Disperse by Nikita Volobuev

Her body climbed to its feet, no longer in her own control. She watched her arm stretch out and flex, as if getting used to new clothing.

Now, the voice whispered. You wouldn’t happen to know where the nearest village is, would you?

Incarnate is a white specialization that wants to strip bare the mind of their enemies and annihilate their body. Incarnates are eauath, spirits born of Winter, who see humans as the greatest threat to their race. They prey upon wayward travelers and eager Survivalists who try to harvest Winter Crystal, forcefully possessing their bodies and using them as vessels to wreak havoc on nearby human settlements. To these eauath, it’s us or them, and they show no mercy while unleashing mystical assaults capable of
leveling entire towns. Of course, wielding such immense power often destroys their hosts, which only furthers their genocidal goals.

While playing as an Incarnate, you’ll quickly understand that while the power they wield is enticing, the cost to your health is steep.

Power Incarnate jpg
Great power comes at a heavy price.

The power Incarnates gain each turn gives them room to maneuver when building decks, lending itself equally well to a breakneck aggressive deck and a greedier control-focused deck. Depending on your playstyle, you may think it better to offset the inherent downside of Incarnate through cards that heal, or you may want to ignore the downside completely and attempt to kill your opponent before it kills you.

Incarnates often seek to override any defenses their opponents could muster through sheer force, and their primary mechanic Breach reflects that. If there’s even a single card revealed in their opponent’s hand, Incarnates become almost twice as deadly as before.

Cease to Be
The sheer force an Incarnate musters rips their foes apart.

Of course, the main thing Incarnates do is cause destruction, and in order to do that they need to unleash power on an epic scale. Because of this, they have access to some cards that are able to potentially do more damage than any other card in Ivion. While one card is all they need revealed in order to trigger Breach, revealing more can set the stage for utter annihilation.

End jpg
A revealed hand represents defenses entirely broken.

Turn the world of man to ash as the Incarnate!

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Check out this post or this video to learn more about the gameplay of Ivion.

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