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Karn Unleashed

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Given the huge spoiler dump yesterday when we has 21 New Phyrexia cards hit the interweb, Magic the Gathering fans have quite a lot to talk about. Please do remember that these are still in the rumour department and coupled with the accuracy of translation from Japanese, one, more or all may be innaccurate or completely fake . . . we do not doubt the authenticity at this time but please do defer to official previews at Wizards of the Coast. Anywhoos, let's tear into some of the new cards which may be making a splash at a games table near you.

First up is of course, the grand daddy of all Golems - Karn. The flavour / storyline summary : Karn was created as a probe by Urza and Barrin to enable their time traveling experiments. Karn retreated to Mirrodin's Core, being worshipped as the new Father of Machines. When Phyrexia grew upon Mirrodin, Karn was trapped in his own mind, battling between his older self and his new role in Phyrexia, and his ultimate choice is tied to who will win the Phyrexian conquest of Mirrodin. Most recently, the very kewl video by Wizards where we see images of Karn ripping free of his bonds. A Phyrexian voice announces Karn as 'the destroyer', while a Mirran counters as Karn 'the Saviour'.

Righto - This would be the first time we see a colorless Planeswalker. We're not sure if this has any impact (other than the board wiper 'All is Dust') but we do know that Karn is NOT an artifact which would have made him ridiculously unfair bombtastic (cheating him into play via Treasure Mage or mana-ramping with Grand Architect). Let's have a look again at the card . . .

Karn the Released, 7

Planeswalker- Karn
+4 : Target player exiles a card from his or her hand.

-3 : Exile target permanent.

-14 : Set aside all non-aura permanents exiled by Karn, then restart the game. After that, put into the battlefield under your control all cards set aside this way.

Seven mana is a bit expensive but if one were able to have Karn stick to the game table a few turns, it could really hurt your opponent's chances. The first ability brings Karn to 10 loyalty which is darn impressive and without a fatty, a Hex Parasite or a Vampire Hexmage, your opponent could take some time to nibble away at it's loyalty to kill off Karn.

The first ability exiles a card from target player's hand face up which remains exiles even after Karn leaves play. Unfortunately the target player gets to choose which card gets exiled but hey, it's still one less potential threat in their hand. The second ability is an echo of the first but Karn's controller gets to target which card on the battlefield gets exiled.

As for the final -14 ability . . .
Yeah - we're certain that most opponent's who witness the final ability go off may just simply concede as the chances of winning the game at that point is slim to none and Slim left town.

The other card from this most recent batch of New Phyrexia spoilers is Puresteel Paladin. We have a dream of a resurgence of a white weenie archetype in standard. Altough this Paladin may not necessarily get us there, we do think that players are carefully considering this card for new and existing decks. There is not much doubt that with all the very excellent equipment as well as Stoneforge Mystic, a deck with an equipment package is strong.

Puresteel Paladin,

Creature - Human Knight
Whenever an equipment enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Metalcraft - equip cost is 0.

Our thoughts turn immediately to cards with a high equip cost such as Argentum Armor, Nim Deathmantle, or even Ogre's Cleaver. Of course this really does shine with the popular equipment at the moment such as Sword of Body and Mind, Sword of Feast and Famine or Bonehoard. Throw in a Whispersilk Cloak to provide your beater with shroud and unblockable, then we're cooking. Alternatively, some may want to stack their build with a bunch of low or zero cost equipment to throw on Kemba, Kha Regent to pump out litters of 2/2 cat tokens - the possibilities are many. Oh yah - the card draw ability on this is really, really good. We want a deck set right off the hop.

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Lily said...

Hmm not to ruin this enlightend post but a smart player will choose him/herself as the target of the first ability.

That way you can exile two perms that you choose to start the game with ( lets say another Karn and a big creature , or two eldrazi for turn 1 win) if done correctly after two times ( which given Gideon is achievable ) you get a turn 1 win on the next game.

The manafix up is quite an issue though ( Green white mana ramp seems like the way to go here)

Shark said...

I'm pretty sure Karn's + ability is designed to exile a card from your hand, eg Emrakul, and his - ability is to remove any of your opponents threats, eg Jace/Titan. That way when you ultimate, you have an unstoppable force when game resets.

Anonymous said...

Using the + ability, the card is exiled by the player, not by Karn, so it won't be available if the ultimate is fired

Anonymous said...

Hmm not to ruin these enlightened comments, but a smart player will read the card text.

That way you'll know that Karn's ultimate says 'cards exiled by Karn' whereas his + causes a player to exile a card.

Anonymous said...

For the record karn forces the player to exile a card so it's exiled because by one of his abilities so technically it's exiled by karn