[WAR] Karn the great creator

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The plus ability is pretty bad but not useless.

It’s more the 1 sided null rod effect (which is tough to get off the board for paradoxical) and the ability to wish for any card from your sideboard that screams vintage playable to me.

The only drawback is 4 mana is at the top of the curve for a lot of decks.https://media-dominaria.cursecdn.com/avatars/272/954/636897515540632309.jpeg

last edited by Brass Man

I see this as WotC again trying to push "turn dudes sideways" as the preferred method of playing magic. Plow and bolt won't off this guy, but swinging with X critters will. It's in one way the EASIEST null rod to handle. To non-creature decks, it may be the hardest.

This opens up so much design space for Stax.

I've been trying to make Stax work for the last couple of years, and I've been torn between lists that do and don't play Null Rod.

Every time I play Stax lists with Null Rod, I feel like I'm weighed down. The card is burdensome in so many ways--there is serious dis-synergy with cards like Smokestack and Tangle Wire (these cards need to be doing something other than tapping down or sacrificing dead moxen), it increases the rate of dead draws (bad in multiples, and dead moxen, but ours this time, and Stax lists already suffer from rough top-decks), makes it harder to ramp to higher CMC spells (dead moxen again, reluctance to play Lotus and Crypt etc.), and it freezes rather than eliminates the opponent's artifact ramp (a single Ancient Grudge topples the house of cards).

For these reasons, I've much preferred playing without Null Rod in favor of maximizing synergies, like using Bomb/Keg to clear the board to magnify the effects of Smokestack/Tangle Wire. Of course, this comes at a cost-- Null Rod does so much for so little, and playing it dramatically increases the odds of making an impactful turn-1 play (all the more important after losing Thorn).

But this card is close to the best of both worlds. You get to play your ramp, since it doesn't do anything to yours. You get to play cards with activated abilities like Keg/Bomb. And you can even use an Expedition-Map toolbox . Hell, you can even go all out with a Serum-Powder build and retrieve exiled artifacts with the -2. And it's a win-con.

This is a good day for Stax.

last edited by Zias

@zias said in [WAR] Karn the great creator:

Hell, you can even go all out with a Serum-Powder build and retrieve exiled artifacts with the -2. And it's a win-con.

I missed the interaction with Serum Powder. Seems pretty cool.

Also, you can -2 for crucible if you put one in the SB. That way you run less dead multiples main, but have even greater access to it when you get smokestack online and plop a karn.

Using the +1 to blow up moxen in synergy with smokestack/tangle is also hot.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

This card is fantastic, but doesn't look like it slots into existing Shop decks very easily. The fact that it has an immediate, powerful impact on the two most powerful decks (other Shops and PO) makes me think that we'll see Shop pilots taking a wrench to their manabase to make it work.

Im definitely running at least 2 of these Karn in my Colorless Eldrazi. Making it virtually 6 null rod main is sweet. Then again, I also run a single Inspiring Statuary in there, lol

last edited by Ten-Ten

I am much less hot on this card than most it seems.

  • The fact that the null rod is one sided does not do much for a list running this card, since in all likelihood you are a null rod list to begin with and constructed as such. You probably do not get the benefit.
  • Cannot be accelerated into like null rod can and with the same things (single sol lands specifically), which decreases its usefulness by a substantial amount.
  • The +1 can eat an opponents mox, but they were already shut off. Not sure what big artifact you are using on your side to animate? Immortal sun does not work as it is a nonbo with Karn. Staff of Nin?
  • The -2 is interesting, but how many slots did you have available for wishboarding? Last I checked everyones SBs were packed already. Obviously if your a Null rod deck you want your rods in the main board, same with Cotv and 3sphere. So I guess you can get Grafdiggers cage which would likely still work in a null rod list, but crypt and Relic would not. Likewise Tucking away Vault key is probably not a combo for a null rod list.

@protoaddict

The 1-sided nature lets you play it in more than just Null Rod decks though, and the ability to grab Dredge hate from your sideboard will probably become incredibly relevant with the onset of the new mulligan rule.

So while the +1 is pretty marginal, the other abilities are strong enough that this card should probably be given strong consideration in most decks that are able to cast it.

@protoaddict said in [WAR] Karn the great creator:

The fact that the null rod is one sided does not do much for a list running this card, since in all likelihood you are a null rod list to begin with and constructed as such. You probably do not get the benefit.

You can play this in PO which is absolutely not a Null Rod deck.

Can and would are 2 totally separate things. On its face it seems decent for PO but in context with the rest of the set:

  • Is it better than Tezz or any number of other cards
  • Is it better than Karn from Dom
  • Knowing that there are now 8 Null rod effects like this plus Dovin's Veto, is PO going to be strong enough a strategy to see play on the same level that is does now, and if it does how much room will it even have mainboard to play with stuff like this.

Not saying the card does not have a place, but I see it as an occasional player at best and not a format shaper like Null Rod has been.

@protoaddict I don't get why every card needs to be a "format shaper" though. Is anyone even arguing that? It's a good card that makes Null Rod playable in decks that couldn't play it and, by chance, also have a bunch of mana to actually be able to play this (Stax and PO). That's it. Karn from DOM also didn't "shape" the format but got where it needed. That's it, and only it.
It's not that it needs to be "better" than other cards, just needs to serve a role other cards can't serve, and this does exactly that. Dovin's Veto is also a card that won't be played in PO at all, since it's shitty at protecting your spells and PO is way more worried about that than controlling the game.

@fsecco said in [WAR] Karn the great creator:

@protoaddict I don't get why every card needs to be a "format shaper" though. Is anyone even arguing that? It's a good card that makes Null Rod playable in decks that couldn't play it and, by chance, also have a bunch of mana to actually be able to play this (Stax and PO). That's it. Karn from DOM also didn't "shape" the format but got where it needed. That's it, and only it.
It's not that it needs to be "better" than other cards, just needs to serve a role other cards can't serve, and this does exactly that. Dovin's Veto is also a card that won't be played in PO at all, since it's shitty at protecting your spells and PO is way more worried about that than controlling the game.

Exactly. It's another asymmetric "Look I got it first LOL K" for PO. Having a win condition attached to a non-Hurkyl's Null Rod is just gravy.

I will be really happy if it helps stax being a thing again. On the other hand the "i got it first" effect looks not very exciting in shop mirror.

I don't think Shops will run new Karn. They haven't stuck with any Karn for quite some time, and very few abuse Null Rod, which Workshop can play. New Karn shines as a wishboard/toolbox enabler, especially with Serum, as @zias noted.

I'd love to see a resurgence of MUD Prison decks a la Stax, but there aren't enough hate pieces to lock someone out like the days of 4 Trinisphere or 4 Chalice of the Voids. The hate pieces that are available you already run, and you can't power a Karn through those via Workshop like the rest of the hate pieces. So, I'm not sure it fits in any current shell.

It is extremely powerful and the +1 is nothing to scoff at. You can go aggro, and you can pick off opponent Moxen. You can even get rid of your own Mana Crypt in a pinch.

@theactualsaturn I think the fact that it is asymmetrical null rod and locks out decks 1 turn after is notable, in comparison to traditional null rod adoption. This card is very good.

To be noted, the +1 is until your next turn, so you can transform a random artifact to block and protect this if needed.

This is a great PO mirror breaker. I can stop my opponent and still win.

This card is so good. Even works with painter grindstone.

last edited by covetousrat
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