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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Feb 04 2015 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

> summary <

 Fate Reforged, or Sarkhan's Quantum Leap. The epic tale of our favorite dragon-crazed ex-Tarkir warlord and ex-Bolas agent trying to save the giant flying lizards of his native plane by jumping a thousand years in the past to help Ugin ("save the Dragon Spirit, save the world") made for a small but compelling set, full of truly great cards (it only misses a new Bolas iteration; but we can wait a couple more months for that, right, Dragons of Tarkir?)
 Without further ado, let's take a look at all the new creatures and their tribes from the second set in the last three-set block ever. As always, the focus is on all the Constructed applications, the tribes are listed alphabetically, and you'll find a hyperlinked list at the end.


  • Cards: 180 (plus 5 duplicate basic lands)
  • New cards: 161
  • New creatures: 86
  • Reprinted cards: 19
  • Reprinted creatures: 1 Typhoid Rats
  • Creature types affected: 35
  • Tribes with more than 5 additions: Human (+31), Warrior (+17), Monk (+13), Dragon (+11), Orc (+7), Shaman (+6)

Archer: +2


> summary <

 Two ethnic Archers in Fate Reforged: one is a Naga, the other is an Orc. The former is totally unremarkable, the latter is kind of powerful for an uncommon, since you can do some serious damage to your opponent's board the moment you generate, say, a bunch of tokens all at once, but even just a steady flux of creatures will get rid of all those pesky 1/1s, or even 2/2s. Indestructibles included.

Artificer: +1


> summary <

 So, what's happening here? I mean, aside from getting a Human Artificer that tries and steals the Vedalken's thunder at being a good artifact enabler, with a great body/cost ratio to boot, especially considering it's just an uncommon. This guy also searches your deck for one of two equipments, one from Khans of Tarkir, and the other very likely for the third set Dragons of Tarkir, a.k.a. the new future Sarkhan will have reforged – not to mention, a set that will be drafted along with this one, never with the first set; this is how time travel works, but that means Renowned Weaponsmith won't get to choose his trinket in Limited. We can't tell right now what Vial of Dragonfire will do (an educated guess: it'll burn stuff), but we know Heart-Piercer Bow is a fairly decent small-time removal, maybe not something you would ever play on its own, but with a fetcher that's also a good accelerator and a solid early blocker? Running one copy of that bow seems a serious possibility in a deck that runs this guy.

Assassin: +1


> summary <

 Whoa, Fate Reforged certainly values its lower rarities. This guy is just a common and can do a Nekrataal impression? (Actually, even less conditional than Nekrataal, if we're in a meta where aggro is a thing). And in a pinch, it's a 2/3 for 3, which is almost honest. Granted, it has more chances to be something that you may not want to play outside of Limited, but it's still a sound design.

Beast: +4


> summary <

 The two common Beasts from FRF are just vanilla, but the uncommon ones are both noteworthy enough. Arashin War Beast is expensive, sure, but that ability is very annoying to face, because if you block the big vanilla dude, you're just giving your opponent more dudes: best case scenario, the bad guy will get a free 2/2 colorless, but with a serious chance to actually be a 2/2 colorless that later turns into direct card advantage. Manifest is a very powerful mechanic, never to underestimate. And so is any universal bonus to the team, and Battlefront Krushok's block restriction can create board statuses difficult to handle, especially if coupled with several fatties that bear counters on them (which is a definite possibility in any green-based deck, and in Beast tribal in particular).

Berserker: +1


> summary <

 Goblin Heelcutter's ability is sort of a classic for Berserker that's also a Goblin (Frenzied Goblin docet). Enter the dash mechanic, turning it into a hasted 3-powered guy for 3 that you can't kill with sorceries. Having to spend the cost every turn is not a good thing, and will probably take the Heelcutter away from any serious Goblin or Berserker build, but we can't say this screaming guy doesn't know what he's doing.

Bird: +3


> summary <

 Nothing special to say about Fate Reforged's Birds, a sad trio of perfunctory commons. Abzan Skycaptain is a simple illustration of the bolster mechanic, but it's too expensive and the trigger too conditional to mean something. Aven Surveyor could have been a good Man-o'-war variant, but at common it gets too high of a CMC, which relegates it to Limited purposes only.

Boar: +1


> summary <

 Red vanilla Boar. That's pretty much it. It'll see play in Limited as a middle to late pick, though.

Cat: +1


> summary <

 That is a pretty strong ability that saves your midrange beater from (most) removal while ideally getting value out of some ETB creature (or more, if you run Temur Ascendancy in its namesake, brand new Standard combo deck). The body is slightly underwhelming for current creature standards, but 4 CMC makes it widely playable, if not exactly a must. You can try and combo a bit with it, though. And it's a curious addition to the Cat family, where usually everybody is fast and fragile.

Cleric: +2


> summary <

 A functional reprint of Temple Acolyte is moderately interesting in the Standard meta (it's still a solid 2-drop, after all). Qarsi High Priest is more intriguing, as he comes early, blocks some, and then pairs his sacrifice outlet with an always alluring manifest effect, essentially reading as, "Sacrifice a creature: put a 2/2 colorless token on the battlefield, occasionally draw a card". The activation cost could have been cheaper (were the card of higher rarity, presumably), but you might want take notice of this 1-drop if manifest is your thing. I know I'll do.

Construct: +1


> summary <

 Did Ugin himself build this thing? (On Nahiri's suggestion, apparently). Well, okay. That gets us a 4/5 for 4, I guess. But did a 4/5 for 4 need such a downside? Even in a deck that wants to sacrifice stuff like Child of Alara this Construct seems a bit pointless, as there are better way to accomplish that in pretty much any format without wasting 4 mana and a slot. I suppose in your average artifact deck, you won't have to sacrifice anything, but I'm not sure the 4 CMC slots of those builds can really use this guy. Sure it's better than Grid Monitor. But is it better than Su-Chi, Synod Centurion, most of the times Silent Arbiter, or even Peace Strider/Pierce Strider? Maybe it is. Time will tell.

Demon: +2


> summary <

 Here's two new Demons, just to make my Demonpedia immediately out-of-date (eh, that's bound to happen more frequently, since when they definitely abandoned any qualms in printing demonic cards). Of these two, Soulflayer requires not just a deck with some dredging ability, but one filled with creatures with major keywords, that you're throwing away in order to enhance what at the end of the day remains a 4/4, not to mention an absolutely dreadful draw early on; I know it's already been played in Standard, but I for one am unimpressed. In my midrange book, Archfiend of Depravity is the stronger one, seriously competing for the same slots with cards like Bloodgift Demon (with which the Archfiend shares everything but the last ability) either in Demon tribal or pretty much any Rock-style build. Its main ability is not always relevant, but a free way to stop enemy swarms from happening? Sign me in.

Djinn: +2


> summary <

 Both the new Djinns are blue Monks, reinforcing the wuxia theme of the Jeskai clan, with prowess massively returning as the clan's mechanic (whereas Abzan and Mardu have a new one, bolster and dash respectively). In the case of Lotus Path Djinn, that's all he has to show on top of being a French vanilla flyer. The rare Sage-Eye Avengers adds a scary-looking, improved Sigil of Sleep effect. Yes, it's Titan-mana, and it's not evasive, but a free Unsummon per attack is kind of a big deal, I'd say even more than what Frost Titan does, at least after the first turn. It's an interesting addition to both its tribes, and a solid blue fattie in general.

Dragon: +11



> summary <

 There they are: the oh-so-iconic Dragons of Tarkir, soon to star in their very own eponymous set. In the meantime, we welcome 11 new specimens at once, which is a big, unprecedented boost for the tribe. The more immediate, albeit expected, characteristic of this group of Dragons is that they cover the entire range of colors. The only concession to the traditional draconic color is the addition of a red one at common, which is mostly notable for being, indeed, one of just two common Dragons (the other being Dragon Hatchling). And look, it's a 5/5 flyer for 5 with haste and trample! Yeah, too bad it shuffles itself back into the library every time you happen to draw into it and dare to actually play it. Combo with Sundial of the Infinite much?

 This little extravaganza aside, we have two full cycles of Dragons, one monocolored at uncommon, and one made of five legendary rares from the allied-colored pairs. The uncommon ones are all unremarkable Titan-mana 4/4s with a minor ability that doesn't warrant the bother. The legendary ones, however, are all various shades of appealing. All linked together by being Dragon Lords, exploiting the very typical Dragon mechanic of "when a Dragon attacks". (Check their back story here, along with their gender, since three of them are actually dragonesses).

 Ojutai, the Azorius-colored one (from the Jeskai clan) is a flying, vigilant Frost Titan, who also extends his ability to your other Dragons. He costs 1 mana more and he's more easily targetable, but his impact on the board is felt, although not immediately. So at the end of the day, he loses a few points on the Titan, but he's right there with him.

 Silumgar, the Dimir-colored one (from the Sultai clan) is particularly resilient for his colors: toughness 7 and hexproof makes it very hard to get rid of him. And while the opponent fails to do so, he may wreak havoc on their board. To be fair, he's only really scary in a Dragon deck, when his trigger can hit something more than just 1/1s, but even that way, he's worth considering as a protective finisher for control decks.

 Kolaghan, the Rakdos-colored one (from the Mardu clan) is all about aggression. You can play her as a surrogate Thundermaw Hellkite for her dash cost (it might get annoying having to pay the mana again every turn, but protecting your big lizard lady from sorcery-speed removal is certainly something to account for). But of course she excels at boosting swarms, possibly as part of a token strategy. That's been usually seen in white so far, but Bitterblossom and Goblin Rabblemaster exist.

 Atarka, the Gruul-colored one (from the Temur clan) is a huge double striker and trampler, who also gives double strike to any other Dragon you happen to have. She's expensive, but she's essentially the Dragon tribe's Gisela: you drop a couple Dragons, then you drop her, and if she gets unanswered, you win. She even has red hair! I mean, scales.

 Dromoka, the Selesnya-colored one (from the Abzan clan) has the best power/cost ratio as a 5/5 for 5. And she may actually attack as a 7/7 if alone on your side of the battlefield. And in a Dragon deck, multiple instances of bolster 2 become crazy very soon. Continuing with the Angel comparison, she probably doesn't hold a candle to Sigarda, but she's flashier, potentially more of a "deal with this or die" situation.

Efreet: +1


> summary <

 A red Grizzly Bears, with an annoying downside, just because it's red? As important within the (not exactly large) Efreet tribe as it's unremarkable anywhere else.

Elemental: +3


> summary <

 I hereby declare the Elemental tribe the big winner of the Fate Reforged lottery. I mean, 3 cards, 2 mythics? And even the uncommon one is not bad, as a 4/1 for 2 with an Illusion downside which hardly matters, since you'll be trading against pretty much everything the next combat. Plus, the power level 4 makes it an early ferocious enabler.

 But of course the two mythics are where all the goodness is at. I'm particularly happy with them because, in a world where Elemental is mostly spelled as red burn, I use to play them as midrange green. And Torrent Elemental is one blue splash away from being a green card, since the second ability is payable with green mana. And that makes it the second creature after the underplayed Misthollow Griffin that's able to come back from the exile on its own, something especially relevant in a delve-heavy environment. But that's just part of the appeal (and possibly a reference to downloading Torrent files? I won't delve into that). For the high midrange mana, you get a flyer that, admittedly, doesn't hit too hard, but essentially makes all your creatures impossible to block. With a side serving of other possible shenanigans, like the juicy interactions with Sunblast Angel, Gideon Jura, or Tamiyo.

 And then we have Whisperwood Elemental, and Whisperwood Elemental is just a blast. Look, maybe it won't find a home anywhere else but in my Elemental decks (and some midrange Modern decks of mine, too). But on paper, it's a massive card advantage machine, that also doubles into a kinda sorta token generator. All for free and starting immediately (perk of the mythic rarity). And on top of that, it kinda sorta gives your team one save roll against sweepers (unless you're running short of cards in your library), also for free. Plus assorted shenanigans, of course, because manifest plus topdeck manipulation plus Flicker effects equal to semi-free Emrakul or something of the sort. And all this magnificence is carried by a very honest 4/4 body for 5, which is sort of the golden ratio for midrange dudes with additional abilities.

Elephant: +2


> summary <

 Two honest, if not super-exciting, additions to the Elephant tribe, in the form of setting-friendly mastodons. Frontier Mastodon is a simple ferocious guy that almost never actually comes on turn 3, unless you really really need that board presence. Sandsteppe Mastodon can be a 10/10 reach for 7, which is not something you would seriously play, or more interestingly, a 5/5 reach that turns something else on your board into a fattie. Maybe one those lifelink Vampires from Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, since we're theoretically in Abzan colors? Still not very likely to see play, but it's a casual grand move.

Fish: +1


> summary <

 This Fish is a Zombie! That's all I will say about it.

Goblin: +2


> summary <

 Only two Goblins in Fate Reforged, the Berserker one, and this Scout, which is a nice pick for Limited, but nothing more. I mean, it's a 3-powered hasted 2-drop, for sure. But I feel like the kind of deck that would want it already has better options across the formats.

Golem: +2


> summary <

 There's very few artifacts in this block, only 6 in this set, of which 3 are creatures, these two Golems and one Construct. Pilgrim of the Fires is certainly an improvement over stuff like Razorfield Thresher. Then again, anything is: it still remains an unplayable dork. However, Hewed Stone Retainers might have a place in some affinity build? A 4/4 body for 3 doesn't look bad, and that clause is laughable in affinity. It's very easily a 2-drop in those decks. Will we see it around?

Hound: +2


> summary <

 The newly devised humanoid version of our canine breed keeps coming. Abzan Beastmaster does its best to be the tribe's Dark Confidant. It's slower, and the condition is hard to meet early on, and easy to disrupt, but it's not that bad. While Ainok Guide would be good if it were at least able to put that land into your hand. Losing its Grizzly Bears status AND a draw is too much to ask.

Human: +31

> summary <

 Human count: 1 Artificer, 1 Assassin, 2 Clerics, 10 Monks, 2 Rogues, 3 Shamans, 1 Soldier, 10 Warriors. Plus this mythic guy with no additional subtype, who's green's Figure of Destiny. Or more correctly, some combination of Selesnya and Golgari, or even Orzhov. In fact, he's easily splashable in decks where green is not dominant, but white, black, or both are. This said, is he good? The comparison with his Kithkin precursor is inevitable: Warden of the First Tree's first stage is stronger, since he can swing for 3 on turn 2. Then the second stage is hard to evaluate: he loses one point of body on Figure of Destiny, but in exchange for two relevant abilities, particularly lifelink, which seems a crucial aspect of this card. He needs 4 mana to get there, though, which is also an important distinction. Then in the final stage, he merely grows in size, since, unlike the Figure, he already had the abilities from his second stage to build on. All in all, you spent 2+4+6=12 mana to turn your 1-drop into a 8/8 trampler with lifelink. With Figure of Destiny, the grand total would have been 1+3+6=10 mana, to get a 8/8 flyer with first strike. One detail shouldn't be missed, though: the Warden is able to grow further, because those five +1/+1 counters are a repeatable boost. A 13/13 trampler with lifelink, if left alone, may decide the game's fate in one swing. He'll certainly see play.

Insect: +1


> summary <

 Cumbersome Insect is cumbersome (even if at least it's not forced to bounce itself).

Monk: +13




> summary <

 The very iconic Monk tribe from the Jeskai clan counts as new members 2 Djinns, 1 Efreet, and 10 Humans. It's easy to catch which ones are the highlights of the bunch: those with the red rarity symbol, of course, possibly the two main stars of the entire set (give or take one certain colorless dragon).

 Monastery Mentor is an improved Young Pyromancer. He's one bit slower, but when he does his thing he'll swing for 3, and the tokens have also prowess, which is not irrelevant, as it can quickly get out of hand in the right deck. A deck that is similar, but not quite the same of the build that wants to play Soulfire Grand Master. Both seem to spell the grand return of a Boros Deck Wins kind of deck. The Grand Master is more of a burn helper, bringing massive lifelink to this side of the barricade (you might think that's crucial in the mirror, but how long can she last in such a matchup?). She also provides a universal buyback for instants and sorceries, which becomes relevant in late game. Regardless, both these white weenie Monks are incredibly powerful, and seem capable to command new directions to whole archetypes across several formats.

 As for the rest, the only Monks not designed exclusively for Limited are the two blue rares. Jeskai Infiltrator is clunkier than he looks, as he essentially just draws you one card via manifest (half the times, the process just gives you a 2/2). I imagine you can find a way to repeat the process, but it seems awfully complicated. Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, the Jeskai Khan from the past, is more straightforward, giving you a strong option of double strike for 2 mana whenever you activate the prowess. Which means on his own he can strike for 8, which is remarkable for a 3-mana creature. He also seems to be at home in a Boros deck, although a blue splash doesn't sound very likely in that kind of build.

Naga: +2


> summary <

 The five original Nagas from Khans of Tarkir only got raised by two, and what's worse, they're both forgettable commons. Let's hope the third set will give us something meatier in this department, because we don't know if we'll see the Naga again after this block, at least until we'll go back to Tarkir.

Ogre: +1


> summary <

 There's a cycle of modal creatures in Fate Reforged. The red one, i.e. this Ogre, is possibly the worst. Six mana to kill an artifact? It's also particularly terrible in the block's meta. And when a card is bad for its Limited environment too, it's really bad.

Orc: +7



> summary <

 The Orc tribe keeps growing (finally!), and it even gets not one, but two mythics (did this set pair the mythics within a tribe on purpose?). And great ones at that. Brutal Hordechief is a Hellrider variant, trading haste for a Drain Life effect instead of mere damage. He also gets an interesting ability to mess up with the blocking, somehow expensive to activate, but indeed brutal in late game, particularly if you get yourself some deathtouchers. Haste is a feature of Shaman of the Great Hunt, however. He has a universal version of the Innistrad vampires' ability to grow counters after connecting, and an application of ferocious that may likely result in a potential Harmonize per turn, if not more. Both are delightfully playable in my beloved midrange slots, with the Hordechief more apt as a curvetopper/deal-sealer for fast aggro decks, while the Shaman might like actual midrange builds better.

 Among the other new Orcs, a special mention for tribe relevance goes to Merciless Executioner, for being a very significant Fleshbag Marauder functional reprint.

Phoenix: +1


> summary <

 The FRF Phoenix is smaller than the mythic Ashcloud Phoenix from Khans of Tarkir, but I think I like it better. Haste is always an important factor in good Phoenices, and resurrecting it for just one red mana is the cheapest cost ever appeared on such a card. Of course, there's a catch, but controlling a creature with power 4 isn't that hard. Or maybe it is in a red-heavy deck, as the double red mana in the casting cost would suggest; so maybe you're actually better off playing this Phoenix within a deck that aims to dump the fiery bird into the graveyard, then cast it for 1?

Rogue: +3


> summary <

 The two non-Orc Rogues are both kind of interesting. Granted, Humble Defector looks more like a Commander card, but it could be a fun political tool at a multiplayer table. And Marang River Prowler is a 2-powered unblockable beater with a chance to recur ad nauseam. I've seen worse.

Scout: +3


> summary <

 The FRF Scouts are a Bird, a Goblin, and a Hound. And all unremarkable.

Shaman: +6


> summary <

 Other than a Hound, a Naga, and an Orc, we have three other Shamans (of the Human kind), and they're all noteworthy to different extents. The old Khan of Sultai, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, is clearly the stronger of the trio, a delve guy that can hit the battlefield early enough, and then he'll have a very creative way to draw you cards, exploiting the delve mechanic as a selection aid, and alternatively fitting the dredge mechanic as an enabler. The sizeable body doesn't hurt, too.

 Curiously, the other rare Shaman, the green Temur War Shaman, has the same cost and body as Tasigur, but without delve is harder to cast. It works as a "manifest lord", though (or morph, actually), giving you the option to have any face-down creature perform a round of fight when turned face up. It's a powerful tool for sure, and one that comes with at least one manifested dude of its own to exploit that way, but I'm not sure it's worth the initial mana investment for what's otherwise a 4/5 vanilla.

 Last and maybe a little bit least, Whisperer of the Wilds is the main mana dork of the set, exploiting the ferocious mechanic to double its mana production. Cute, but not indispensable.

Soldier: +2


> summary <

 Other than the one Bird, the Soldier tribe only gets this new guy, which is decent, but too slow to be actually taken into consideration in Soldier decks, and probably elsewhere. Still, it does set the table for an irresistible alpha strike, if your team has +1/+1 counters all over the map.

Wall: +1


> summary <

 Even after the defender keyword was created, the Walls, that were a big part of the earlier sets, never entirely went away. So we occasionally still get things like this, which is a nice defender take on Whitemane Lion: it can't attack but it doesn't need to bounce a creature.

Warrior: +17




> summary <

 We already know Warrior is the "class" of choice on Tarkir, and as such, it gets a lot of love in Fate Reforged. The grand total goes like this: 1 Bird, 1 Ogre, 4 Orcs, 1 Zombie, and these 10 Humans, a group which contains a quantity of legendary cards due to the presence of three of the old-time Khans.

 Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, the Mardu Khan from the past, is able to recur a creature with power 2 or less per attack. To fully exploit her ability you need to make sure she survives the attack, but being a 3-powered first striker surely helps. The low casting cost and combo potential (think of all the creatures that have "0" written on the card, but actually enters the battlefield with counters) probably make her the strongest Khan of the set. Did I mention that the resurrected creature comes into play tapped and attacking, all Hero of Bladehold style?

 Daghatar the Adamant, the Abzan Khan, is just a 4/4 for 4 that can move counters around. Solid, but non-essential. He can be recurred by Alesha, though!

 Yasova Dragonclaw, past Khan of the Temur clan, gets to cast a limited Act of Treason per turn, based on his power. It's lethal on occasions, especially early on when the opponent has only one creature, or in late game when there's some decisive target on the battlefield (and maybe you increased Yasova's power). He's also a beating if paired with a sac outlet, of course. Like a cheaper Dominus of Fealty. Pro: he can start stealing stuff the turn you drop him (but then you'll need a total of 6 mana). Con: that low toughness can easily be his undoing. All Khans also have the issue of needing a double activation of a different color, so the decks you put them in can't be based on their actual colors.

 The other rares are: Dragonscale General, which is a nicely automatic bolster source: the more creatures you send into the red zone, the more they'll grow; Flamerush Rider, that does a Kiki-Jiki routine each attack (the token is forced to attack, but then what else would you do with the Kiki-Jiki tokens?), and can use dash to start copying critters from the get-go, and prolong his life where sorcery-speed removal is concerned; and Mardu Strike Leader, which "merely" generates a 2/1 per attack: can't compare with what Alesa and Flamerush Rider do, but hey, it's still a free 2/1.

Yeti: +1


> summary <

 This Yeti is part of another cycle, which asks for permanent of their clan's other colors to get an ability. It's not a great cycle. This is not a great creature. Why do they keep printing rarely seen subtypes only to give them unsavory cards?

Zombie: +4


> summary <

 All the Fate Reforged's Zombies (including the Fish one) have delve, because they come from the graveyard, you know. Except for Sultai Emissary, which has a manifest death trigger. They're all mostly Limited fodder, anyway.


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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.

(click on them to go to their main tribe)



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 We have known of him (and his eye) since Zendikar. Along with Sorin Markov and Nahiri, the Lithomancer, he was part of the trio of planeswalkers that managed to imprison the Eldrazi titans. He's the master of the very unusual colorless magic. He's very old. Fellow ancient dragonwalker Nicol Bolas killed him. Sarkhan has gone back in time to save him. And what's more important, Ugin is now the proud owner of a powerful card. It's sort of a complement to the other colorless walker, Karn Liberated: where Karn hits single targets, Ugin sweeps entire boards. His plus ability casts Ghostfire; his minus ability activates a hybrid between Pernicious Deed and Perilous Vault; and his ultimate is the opposite of Bolas's, and potentially even more devastating. Indeed, in many regards, Ugin has been designed as the anti-Bolas, except, flavorfully enough, Bolas still kills him while Ugin can't kill Bolas right away.

 This said, the question is: which decks are bound to invite Ugin in? I suppose we'll see him show up in slower control decks in Standard, but otherwise, we'll have to search him in ramp deck, because 8 mana are still a lot to handle, even when they're colorless (I feel like the Titans moved the conceivable curvetopper to 6, then cards like Karn, Elesh Norn and Hornet Queen upped the ante to 7; now will Ugin be able to add one mana more to this escalation?). Problem is, most ramp decks in Modern rely on permanents that Ugin would just blow away, like creatures or auras. However, Amulet of Vigor decks would have their signature enabler survive Ugin's minus activation. But do they need him? I honestly don't think so. Which brings us to THE ramp deck in Modern: Tron. So, will Tron adopt Ugin as an alternative to Karn? I'm not sure. 7 mana is golden for Tron, because it's exactly what an Urzatron triplet generates. On top of that, an early Karn is able to disrupt the opponent's mana, whereas an early Ugin can only burn for 3 while waiting for stuff to blow up. I think Ugin will be played as a sideboard card against swarm strategies like token decks or white weenies. I can't see him replacing Karn main deck any time soon, or even partnering him, although a combination of 3 Karn and 1 Ugin may be a reasonable main deck for RG Tron.

 As for Legacy, that's hard to say. There are Legacy decks capable of generating crazy amount of mana, especially colorless, and Ugin is definitely a safety valve against a number of permanent-based strategies, the same way Pernicious Deed is. What I know for sure is that artifact decks will love him. In Tribal Wars especially, I can already see 12-Post Golem or Construct decks using Ugin as a new and improved All Is Dust. I can see them, because I'm going to build them myself!