How do I beat Karn, the Great Creator
@vaughnbros Eh, I thought so. I just really, really, really want data from that time period. It was kind of crazy how many people kept yelling "play more lands, stupid" even win Shops became a turn 3 aggro deck...
@moorebrother1 How many of these threads have we had? Didn't we have one for "beating Mentor"? What did it accomplish? There is a pretty significant issue with trying to beat specific cards or even specific decks in isolation as you lose sight of the metagame as a whole. The Karn deck runs four Karns, which means they will have Karn on 40% of their 7s, 35% of their 6s, 30% of their 5s... But they don't need Karn to win. Do you know what I lost to in the only match against Karn in the challenge? Ugin, the friggin Spirit Dragon (thanks Saturn).
You can't always get pigeon-holed into focusing on one card, even if that card is putting up absurd results. Just like Mentor. Because again, it's not like the rest of the deck is bad...Shops and Eldrazi both have done reasonable things and if you land a turn 1 Pithing Needle and then get Reality Smashed, well, you still lost... And if you play Assassin's Trophy and have to hit Narset and then they use the extra mana to cast Dig...Well, crap. I guess, you didn't lose to Karn in either case, but you aren't winning matches.
One of the cards that can beat Karn that hasn't been mentioned yet is The Elderspell. It lets you kill all four of their Karns at the same time while simultaneously boosting the loyalty of your own Karn.
@Shopsaholic It will be hard to hit four Karns with The Elderspell when there is only three versions of legendary Karn planewalkers.
The probme is that paying BB to destroy planewalkers when most of them cost 3 or 4 and have already use at least one of their abilities is a bit slow. And when they do not play planewalker, its a completely dead card.
@cuikui that was sarcasm
@chubbyrain So, lets talk strategy then, because none of the threads that I have read so far have actually gone into strategy.
You make some excellent points about how you lose. The Eldrazi version is an Eldrazi deck. It gives the deck an addition tutor to offset the lack of search and card draw.
The prison version works with idea that they can get you off balance with lock pieces then win the game with Vault/Key or lock you out entirely.
Some cards that work are traditional artifact hate cards and hard counter magic. But let's be realistic, this is not working because the decks are succeeding with this card and what is it about this card that pushes these decks over the top?
They can play Spark Double so it is not completely absurd sarcasm. My bad.
@moorebrother1 bazaar into multiple hollow ones and vengevine works pretty well at stopping karn and the decks he is in. I'm a fan of assassin's trophy and fast aggro myself.
Gamma_Frog last edited by
I don´t have the cards to test, but I think Chubby's "4c Zenith Value" list can do something against Karn if we update it with Ouphe/Gaddock. And we can rethink Humans and Survival too.
I mean, the survival matchup is bad, two experts of the deck told you so and I lost both my matches against it 0-2 tonight on stream.
But I know you won't listen, which is the frustrating part of this. I'm really not sure what purpose TMD serves any more.
@chubbyrain I can honestly see your frustration. I have been looking for more discussion about the shifts in the format beyond this card sucks or this card is great.
The interesting thing about Karn is he slotted into a deck that just OK and made it very good. He also was put into a new Workshop shell that on it's face does not look good but that deck is awesome.
I would like to understand how to break those synergies. It is hard to find good discussion as of late.
Power creep has killed Vintage. No one enjoys topdeck wars to see who hits thier bomb first. I'm hopping on the BPK train and thinking maybe we need a banned list.
My 2 cents.
boerma last edited by
@moorebrother1 I don’t think it’s hard to find good discussion, but you won’t find it in these “omg the sky is falling again” threads.
@cuikui @moorebrother1 The unspoken implication was that the first Karn was used to find and cast Mirror Gallery.
@boerma That is a fair point. I did not want a thread about the meta-game in general. I found it interesting that this one card changed 2 deck shells so much and has impacted the format so fast.
I expected Karn to have an impact but I was expecting something a bit different. My basis for discussion why these shells for Karn?
What are their strengths and what are their weaknesses?
I am not all consumed by a card or a deck, I seek to understand.
@moorebrother1 said in How do I beat Karn, the Great Creator:
I am not all consumed by a card or a deck, I seek to understand.
That is kind of the opposite of what this thread title and the original post is about, but it's a much better position.
Both decks have the required mana bases to play Karn. Shops plays Karn as it solves what was otherwise a difficult or even matchup in PO and is backbreaking in the mirror. Eldrazi runs Karn because it's always wanted a one-sided null rod effect to deal with Shops and for its prison effect (that's literally why I put it in the deck in the first place). Both decks are also able to protect Karn with a smattering of creatures like Ballista, TKS, other Karn, etc. And Karn does so much if you've played with him - tutoring for dredge hate, oath protection, winning the game...
It's a symbiotic relationship. Karn covers many of the deck's vulnerabilities and the decks cover many of Karn's vulnerabilities. It's why it's so frustrating to play against. It's why it's so frustrating to listen to people who just don't get it talk about it on TMD. "Just play creatures". Opponent led with a Thought-Knot Seer in play...It stole my big creature and bricked my smaller ones. Or bought enough time with a Sphere of Resistance so by the time I cast my creature and attacked it was too late. And don't get me started about Trinisphere into friggin Karn...
Marland_Moore last edited by Marland_Moore
@chubbyrain Thank you for this. Looking at this analysis is very useful. I don’t play as much as you.
Aside from the just counter it answer, or play more creatures, what are the best ways to attack this?
I have been trying Oath decks right now and they do an OK job against these decks. And I think BUG decks do alright against these decks. The main reason appears to be a diverse set of removal.
You can always play Storm, hope you win the coin flip, and just kill them before they get to play. Always been a good answer for me.
@ChubbyRain I wonder if now would be the time to brew some sort of Lands deck as typical Eldrazi decks have terrible mana bases, allowin you to attack them from their most glaring weakness that is not immidiatly solved by Karn. Additionally, Lands could rely a lot less on artifact mana and resolving spells, helping make the Spheres one sided against Eldrazi rather than the other way around. I know you have tried Sultai Depths but I for this endeavor I think a more typical Lands shell would be needed. I have been paying more attention to the Super-Staxy shells that @vroman has been brewing and the seem more and more land oriented so maybe that is the direction to go. Thoughts?
@chubbyrain I get that you don't see survival or creatures as a viable way to beat karn. Maybe I'm wrong and all my testing has been a fluke. I'll bite. I'll pin my view of survival/creatures vs karn on your experience and your 0-2 stream.
So what's your solution? Ban Karn or quit Magic? Are you suggesting it's unbeatable unless you run something specifically to beat karn and the have a 5% win rate vs any other deck in the format?
I guess I'll have to agree with that. You played with survival on stream and went 0-2 vs Karn. I suppose it's certainly time for WotC to pull some immediate action.
I don't think people aren't considering your experience or "not listening," but you seem to be doing the opposite. You are only considering your experience as well (or maybe you + 1 other). And you go so far as to imply that if you're not playing on MtGO, you're a noob and experience outside of Vintage Superleage or MtGO doesn't count for shit. That's not true.
@chubbyrain said in How do I beat Karn, the Great Creator:
I mean, the survival matchup is bad, two experts of the deck told you so and I lost both my matches against it 0-2 tonight on stream.<
Last time I checked, there were more than 3 MtG players around.
To the rest of the thread, for sake of being productive...
Assassin's trophy is not a bad answer. Maindeck artifact hate is solid as well, especially of the instant variety. Karn/mycosinth/vault isn't so hot with an ancient grudge in hand.
Sorcerous Spyglass has been very good to me as a broad answer to a lot main deck. Dack, fetches, wastes, ballista, survival, bazaar, karn, etc. Hitting 2 mana for spyglass (and dodging misstep) is at the least as easy as hitting 4 non-shop mana for karn + the mana to play lattice or combo with key/vault in one turn.
Creatures like hollow one have been solid as they cost 0 even through a sphere off a bazaar and at least trade with TKS to draw you back a card. Eldrazi may be some of the best creatures to fight karn (and revoker is solid here too), but that often leaves you with few instant speed answers. My Eldrazi deck is GW and nature's claim is solid vs karn when they try to pull the combo. RG would allow grudges, and those are great in the matchup. If Karn makes RG more attractive/playable in the meta, that's extra great imo.