Written by John Edmond
Shaggoth-Zora is a level 3, dark creature with the subtypes Undead and Zombie.
Upon looking at his basic stats, you see that he is an eight mana cost creature, with no armor and six life.
He has the attack Mangling Claws, which is a quick attack doing four attack dice of damage.
Upon looking at his traits you see he is much more than your average zombie, and after looking at his ability, you will see why so many fear to dwell in the Darkfeene.
First off, he is legendary. No one knows the dark powers that went into creating the creature known as Shaggoth-Zora, but many know that he cannot be replicated.
His uncontrollable lust for blood drives him to attack any wounded living creature, no matter what the cost. He becomes more vicious from the smell of blood.
Lumbering means he can only move one zone as a move action, but he can make a quick attack if he moves into a zone containing a creature.
With his base six life, you may think that Shaggoth-Zora is nothing to be feared, but with Resilient, critical damage will be the only thing to slow him down. Unless you are knowledgeable, or get in a lucky shot, Shaggoth-Zora will not be stopped.
Psychic Immunity and Nonliving round out his traits as a Undead monstrosity.
His Ability is one of necessary sacrifices, gluttonous growth and overall the forced adaptability that one must have when taking shelter in the Darkfeene.
When Shaggoth-Zora is activated, it may obliterate one friendly zombie creature in its zone.
When you obliterate an object, it is utterly destroyed, leaving no trace. The object is destroyed, then it is removed from the game.
It does not become discarded or get returned to a spellbook. Any ability or effect printed on that object, or attached to it (such as a marker or enchantment), which triggers on destruction, is canceled. Other destruction effects, not attached to or part of the Obliterated object, can still occur.
And in doing so, Shaggoth-Zora can place a Growth marker on itself (up to a maximum of 6).
Growth (Condition Marker)
A creature with a Growth condition marker has grown in size. Each Growth marker provides Melee +1 and Innate Life +3. This marker has no removal cost, and cannot be removed by spells or effects which remove condition markers.
This will make for one amazing zombie creature deserving of the Legendary trait!
At 24 life with resilient and 10 attack dice for his quick attack, he will be the creature no one wants to see on the opposite side of the arena!
Now there are multiple strategies you can use to get him this big. Have your spawn points summon the cheapest zombies you can find and have Shaggoth-Zora waiting beside them to add them to his body as quickly as possible. This is by far the quickest way, as well as being the most action efficient. And the mana that you are paying to summon the creatures he engulfs more than pays off, seeing as the growth markers stack. This strategy has paid off for myself in many, many games, causing my build to act like a well oiled machine.
You can also have Shaggoth-Zora wondering around the Arena, waiting for a zombie ally to be damaged to the point they are no longer useful, and then have Shaggoth-Zora engulf them, ensuring you have gotten the most out of you mana and your creatures actions.
The best way to counter Shaggoth-Zora is a simple one. Destroy him early before he amasses his true strength and destroys you!
If you cannot rid yourself of Shaggoth-Zora in time, there are other methods of keeping him at bay.
Force Crush is a great way to hold Shaggoth-Zora back, while also damaging him every round.
Burn and corrode are excellent methods of getting damage on to zombies, and that includes Shaggoth-Zora, as both conditions are Direct damage and not affected by Resilient.
Keeping your damaged creatures in Shaggoth-Zora’s zone will force him to attack them instead of going after you mage. If one of those creatures has the counter strike trait, or a damage barrier, you can use his Bloodthirsty trait against him.
You can also cut off his means of Growth, destroying the smaller zombies that are needed for his ability. You could even teleport or push Shaggoth-Zora out of his zone to prevent him from growing.
Overall, Shaggoth-Zora is a great asset to the Necromancer, worthy of having an entire Spellbook built around him, and many dark mages, including myself have.
Shaggoth-Zora is one of my personal favorite creatures in Mage Wars, with so many possibilities, so much hidden potential, and so much utter destruction. Be prepared to face many Spellbooks built around supporting him and the undead legion that follows in his wake.