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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Jan 24 2014 1:00pm
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All right, it's Robot Week here at Pure!  So we're skipping the precons (don't worry, I'll get back to them, I swear!) and getting back to another home brew.  I really had 2 ways I could go when building this week's deck if I wanted to stick with the theme.  Either I could build a deck that primarily focused on artifact creatures, or I could use a deck with Karn, Silver Golem as the Commander.  Pretty recently (wow, has it already been 2 months?) I built a sphinx deck that relied heavily on artifact dudes.  That was recent enough for me that I felt like I didn't want to dip into that well again so I went with Karn.  However, this isn't the first time that I've written about Karn.

Long time readers with good memories may recall that I actually build a Karn deck about 3 years ago(!), which you can find HERE.  As such I figured I could update it with all the new goodies that have appeared since Scars of Mirrodin came out!  Basically I wanted to make it similar to my previous version (no obnoxious combos, no Stax, etc.) and just improve the deck in general.  It's been a while since I've seen anyone play a colorless deck so I'm also hoping that the hate that Karn decks have received in the past will have diminished.  Here's the deck:

Karn, Silver Golem
A Commander Deck
Creatures
1 Arcbound Reclaimer
1 Colossus of Akros
1 Darksteel Juggernaut
1 Duplicant
1 Golem Artisan
1 Jhoira's Toolbox
1 Junk Diver
1 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Lodestone Golem
1 Palladium Myr
1 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Precursor Golem
1 Scarecrone
1 Shimmer Myr
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Steel Overseer
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
1 Wurmcoil Engine
18 cards

Other Spells
1 Batterskull
1 Bonehoard
1 Diviner's Wand
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Arena of the Ancients
1 Blinkmoth Urn
1 Brittle Effigy
1 Clock of Omens
1 Cloud Key
1 Coalition Relic
1 Darksteel Forge
1 Druidic Satchel
1 Elixir of Immortality
1 Everflowing Chalice
1 Expedition Map
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Forcefield
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
1 Guardian Idol
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind Stone
1 Mind's Eye
1 Mirrorworks
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Phyrexian Processor
1 Portcullis
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Serum Tank
1 Sol Ring
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Staff of Nin
1 Temporal Aperture
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Torpor Orb
1 Voltaic Key
1 Worn Powerstone
[Planeswalker]
1 Karn Liberated
[Sorcery]
1 All is Dust
44 cards
Lands
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Blasted Landscape
1 Blinkmoth Nexus
1 Blinkmoth Well
1 Buried Ruin
1 Crystal Vein
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Desert
1 Deserted Temple
1 Dread Statuary
1 Eldrazi Temple
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
1 High Market
1 Homeward Path
1 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Maze of Ith
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Mishra's Workshop
1 Mutavault
1 Mystifying Maze
1 Petrified Field
1 Phyrexia's Core
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rogue's Passage
1 Scorched Ruins
1 Springjack Pasture
1 Stalking Stones
1 Strip Mine
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Temple of the False God
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Urza's Factory
1 Vesuva
1 Winding Canyons
1 Zoetic Cavern
37 cards

Sideboard
1 Karn, Silver Golem
1 cards
Karn, silver golem

 

There we go, a little more streamlined.

Deck Tech

So while the original version was powerful, it was also full of expensive stuff.  The average CMC of the deck was 4.6, which is pretty crazy compared to what I play now!  As such, my main goal was to reduce that number, and I was successful, getting it down to 3.6.  I had to drop some stuff like Akroma's Memorial and Planar Portal to make the deck less "powerful" but now I can interact in the early game and don't have as many mana problems.  I also took out combo enablers like Voltaic Construct and Myr Matrix.  Yes you can make infinite mana with the Construct and it can be very helpful, I just didn't want to be tempted by it.

Basically I added more equipment, including living weapons Batterskull and Bonehoard.  The ability to kill people with Commander damage is not to be underestimated.  I also included more removal, with stuff like Brittle Effigy, Spine of Ish Sah and Karn Liberated, because I obviously had to have Karn in his planeswalker form.  Additional consistent card draw is added with Staff of Nin and Diviner's Wand.  A couple of new beaters like Colossus of Akros were added as well.  With the reduction of the mana cost of the deck, I was able to remove some lands and add more threats.  And then I updated the lands making sure to include Mishra's Workshop, Thespian's Stage and Rogue's Passage.  I also added to the man lands that were already in the deck.  Finally Torpor Orb is a great addition that really hurts opponents but doesn't bother me nearly as much.

batterskull karn liberated rogue's passage torpor orb

A couple of the cards that didn't quite make the cut were Rings of Brighthearth and Strionic Resonator.  Both of these are great, but the deck is already pretty mana hungry.  I also removed all of the token makers.  There weren't a bunch in the deck originally but I just decided they weren't worth it.  As such, Steel Overseer probably doesn't belong in the deck anymore and can be replaced by Arcbound Ravager or something similar but I felt the need to include him since he's in the banner and all.

Don't forget that Karn can actually do some interesting things.  When someone Wraths you can turn an annoying artifact into a creature.  You can make equipment fall off by turning it into a dude.  And you can attack and block with artifacts, or even make an opponent's artifact into a guy to attack with.  I didn't use Karn's abilities nearly enough when I played.

As I said the deck can be pretty mana hungry.  Fortunately I never really had mana issues and could at least participate in the game in the early stages.  Of course, playing a deck with all artifacts means that you can be blown out by stuff like Austere Command, Merciless Eviction, and to a lesser extent Hellkite Tyrant.  Still, even with those restrictions it was fun to play.

Game 1

All right, so in this game we have a Sliver Overlord deck that confuses the crap out of me.  I'm expecting slivers, but instead it seems sort of like a dragon tribal deck?  After looking at it some more it seems like he used the Sliver Duel Deck as the basis and threw a bunch of mana rocks and other stuff in it.  Anyways, it scared the crap out of me because I fear things that I don't understand, and I took him out with some big minions made with my Phyrexian Processor.

Marrow-Gnawer was stalled on 3 lands for too long, and using Rogue's Passage with a big minion took care of him.  Then it was just Prossh.  Unfortunately he got out a hasty Hellkite Tyrant and stole almost all my board.  Luckily I had Inkmoth Nexus to block Prossh and live long enough to use the minion he didn't steal to beat down for the win.

Someone pointed out that I never cast Karn in this game, and that if I had him out I could have used him on my opponent's Lightning Greaves to make it fall off and keep the Tyrant from having haste.  That's something to remember and one of the many times I didn't use my Commander effectively.

Game 2

Here we have a Kozilek deck.  It's funny that I haven't run into a colorless deck in over a year, but then run into this one now.  Anyways, he's a little more dedicated in his game plan, essentially trying to ramp as much as possible into Kozilek.  He actually beat my deck in the game I played immediately prior to this.  In this game I come out the gates strong but unfortunately overextend into Isperia's Austere Command.  Kozilek recovers quickly though with Mirrorworks to aid his ramp.  It's clear he's a big threat, and everyone teams up to take him out.

After Kozilek is gone Isperia is sapped of resources, and can't hold off Endrek Sahr, who has Conspiracy set to Brushwagg.  I'm still getting nothing going.  Endrek has out Fallen Angel and Ashnod's Altar but I'm trying to kill him with Commander damage using Rogue's Passage.  I use Phyrexian Revoker to turn off his Altar, but he forgets about the Angel after he plays Butcher of Malakir and I sneak in for the win.  Basically the Endrek player makes a few mistakes because it was late.  However a big mistake I made was, again, forgetting to use Karn's ability on the Argentum Armor on Endrek to make it fall off.  The game was still interesting to see though.

Game 3

Here we have a 2 Headed Giant game where my teammate is using a modified version of the Devour for Power precon.  We're going up against Rubinia Soulsinger and Erebos, God of the Dead piloted by my boy Elbinac.  I get out an early Phyrexian Processor to make a big minion before it gets dealt with.  I beat down, but Rubinia has a Frost Titan to keep him tapped.  When Rubinia follows up with a kicked Rite of Replication targeting his Titan, I had to stop the madness with Oblivion Stone.  Luckily I already had Colossus of Akros out.  Unfortunately for the Erebos player Rubinia concedes.

Erebos decides to fight the good fight and soldier on, using Duplicant to deal with my Colossus.  Unfortunately 2 against 1 isn't really fair, and he couldn't hold off our onslaught especially once I got Sword of Light and Shadow out.

I'm not gonna lie, I greatly underutilized Karn.  There's a ton of stuff he can do that I either forgot about, didn't consider or discarded.  I could have blown up the Chrome Mox easily here and it just never even crossed my mind.  Similar to playing with Kamahl, Fist of Krosa sometimes you just don't think about all of your Commander's abilities.  If there's one lesson to be learned, it's basically "Be familiar with what your Commander can do!"  The Commander is a resource that you almost always have available and you can't forget about the cool stuff you have available.

So there you go!  Obviously this isn't the most powerful version of Karn you can make, but it was fun and I enjoyed it.  Hopefully you enjoyed my contribution to Robot Week!  Until next time, when we get back to the precons and look at Nature of the Beast.

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com
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CONQUEROR & COMMANDER ARCHIVE