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By: Adam_the_Mentat, THE WOTC TOOK MY BABY AWAY
Oct 29 2014 11:00pm
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by Adam "Boosh" Clayton


Excelsior, fellow Magic: the Gathering (online) players!

Obviously there is a preview card in this article. Scroll down until you find it, feel the flutters in your heart lessen and your chest tightness decrease a smidgeon as you drink it in-- and then join me back here at the start of the article. It's cool, I've been there, on your end. I'm still there on your end for the rest of the cards.


"It's cool, go for it, I'll wait here."

Thanks for coming back to read the words surrounding the preview card! For those of you unfamiliar with me, I'm Adam "Boosh" Clayton and have been playing this glorious game since its inception all those years ago, known as Alpha, or 1994 for some (are you hearing Jagged Little Pill as I type this?) I still have an Alpha Disenchant floating around my house, kept all these long years.

I began playing the online version in 2009 and have been writing about Magic for PureMTGO.com for over four years. I am a published author, photographer, journalist and illustrator as well.

Shortly after starting to play Magic online, I was introduced to Commander, which would turn out to be my favorite format of my favorite game. As if plucking wishes directly from my skull, Wizards of the Coast began making stand-alone Commander deck sets, and here we are fervently awaiting the third set for Commander -- this time the decks are helmed by Planeswalkers rather than Legends.


Pictured: WOTC gently plucking Adam's dreams.

As if writing about Magic to supplement my addiction to the game, being able to play it whenever I want online, being married to the most amazing woman in the world and making a sweet future-Magic-player son with her wasn't epic enough, I've been given the honor of showing you all a brand-spanky-new card from Commander 2014!



Now many of you who know my work may recall my fondness for duplication in Magic. When Clever Impersonator came out I squee'd out loud (by squee, I mean the 'yay' sound; I don't want anyone to think I nabobbed anything). When Masterwork of Ingenuity dropped into my inbox, I was totally happy to see yet another way to copy something in Magic.

Let's examine it:

Firstly, it's tutorable with Trinket Mage. Always a positive. Leonin Squire and Auriok Salvagers also love the card's CMC.

Secondly, the fact it is an equipment and not just an artifact like Sculpting Steel means you can tutor for it with Stonehewer Giant, Stoneforge Mystic, Steelshaper's Gift, Godo, Bandit Warlord and Quest for the Holy Relic outside of your normal artifact-tutors. It can also cause a card draw with Puresteel Paladin when it is cast.

Thirdly the card's wording is a loophole WOTC often gives cards that can copy things. By writing "any equipment," the text eschews the word "target" thus allowing you to copy anything with Shroud or Hexproof. Privileged Position, Fountain Watch, Leonin Abunas, Indomitable Archangel or any other such card does not block any choices.

Finally, let's take into account that we are, of course, playing Commander. You can only have one Sword of Fire and Ice in your deck, but the Masterwork previewed here allows you to have out a second one when your opponent is rocking Keranos, God of Storms as the opposing Commander.


So, of course, what deck screams "Hey, Include Masterwork of Ingenuity!" in me? 

http://media.wizards.com/images/magic/daily/ftl/ftl116_kha.jpg

Kemba, Kha Regent

Creatures
1 Raksha Golden Cub
1
Kor Cartographer
1
Puresteel Paladin
1 Duplicant

1
Indomitable Archangel
1
Etched Champion
1
Brass Squire
1
Taj-Nar Swordsmith
1
Stonehewer Giant
1
Stoneforge Mystic
1
Sun Titan
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

1
Leonin Shikari
1
Auriok Windwalker
1
Mentor of the Meek

Tutors/Card-Draw
1 Enlightened Tutor
1
Steelshaper's Gift
1
Coercive Portal
1
Staff of Nin

Equipment
1 Godsend
1 Nemesis Mask
1
Champion's Helm
1
Darksteel Plate
1
General's Kabuto
1
Manriki-Gusari
1 Batterskull
1
Sword of Body and Mind
1
Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Light and Shadow

1
Sword of Fire and Ice
1
Sword of War and Peace
1
Shield of Kaldra
1
Helm of Kaldra
1
Sword of Kaldra
1
Umezawa's Jitte
1
Swiftfoot Boots
1
Lightning Greaves
1 Golem-Skin Gauntlets
1 Masterwork of Ingenuity

Mana-Fixers
1 Tithe
1
Land Tax
1
Gift of Estates
1
Cloud Key
1 Caged Sun
1
Gauntlet of Power
1
Sol Ring
1
Mana Crypt

Removal
1 Dispense Justice
1
Dispatch
1
Path to Exile
1
Unexpectedly Absent
1
Return to Dust
1
Saltblast
1
Swords to Plowshares
1
Oblation
1
Banishing Stroke
1
Wrath of God
1
Day of Judgment

Misc.
1 Sculpting Steel

Planeswalkers
1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1
Elspeth Tirel
1
Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Lands
1 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
1
Thespian's Stage
1
Vesuva
1
Terrain Generator
1
Homeward Path
1
Encroaching Wastes
1
Dust Bowl
1
Strip Mine
1
Ghost Quarter
1
Tectonic Edge
1
Flagstones of Trokair
1
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
21
Plains
1
Mishra's Workshop
1
Ancient Tomb
1
Temple of the False God
1
Mistveil Plains


The premise of most Kemba decks is a pretty straight-forward one, and this deck is no exception. It's reliant on the Commander being in play and suffers greatly from a bottom-of-the-library hosing a la Hallowed Burial, Condemn or its ilk. There's not much you can do to brace against a Hallowed Burial, but Darksteel Plate and Shield of Kaldra nullify Wrath effects and the various Hexproof- and Shroud-granting equipment prevent singular, targeting removal.

This leads into a discussion of the various equipment included in the deck. Originally for the article, I was going to try and deduce what the top ten best equipment-includes in a Commander deck are. That, of course, is subject to opinion and even I couldn't really figure out how to stack them against each other. Who am I to say the five "Sword of"s are better to include in a deck than the Jitte? Also, do I count each Sword individually or lump them? Do I count the Kaldra artifacts based on their own merits or take into consideration that they Captain Planet together?

So this Kemba deck has basically all the best equipment, in my opinion, that I both own and frequently use for Commander. All five swords, the Kaldra artifacts, the Jitte-- you can see the Deck list, I won't discuss them all. I will talk about a couple though:

Batterskull is a $36 (as of this article printing) card online for a reason. It's epic. It allows for a creature to be on your 'field if you get wrathed. You can even bounce in response to a Terminus or Merciless Eviction.

Manriki-Gusari, is, in my opinion, an underrated card that warrants more inclusions in decks. Commander is rife with equipment, which is why Masterwork is epic in its own right-- but the Gusari is epic for the converse reason. Copying your opponent's Behemoth Sledge is that much sweeter after you also take the original out.

Nemesis Mask: Here's where Boosh, the Whacky Johnny, tries to include some Johnny-Combo-Fun:

GodsendNemesis Mask
I'll just leave this here...

The Mask can also be paired with Darksteel Plate/Shield of Kaldra, or Sword of Kaldra, or General's Kabuto. It also has merits in its own regard. Just slap it on a Cat Soldier token and let the rest smack around your opponent when his/her whole army has to block just one.

I just thought I'd mention that I really like Champion's Helm in this deck. When you slap it on Kemba, in addition to giving Hexproof, she becomes 4/6, which allows her to survive an overloaded Mizzium Mortars, something I've been on the receiving end of more than once while playing this deck. I mean, heck, I include the Mortars whenever I can. It's a great card.

The tutors, removal, card-draw, the lands, the Sculpting Steel... these things should all be pretty easy to figure out in terms of why I included them.

As for creatures, most of them speak for themselves. A lot of them tutor for or affect equipment; Cartographer searches up a land; Raksasha is so fun if he works out and satisfies both my inner-Timmy and inner-Vorthos; Duplicant is, well, Duplicant... is it not in your deck?

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is awesome in a deck with token-swarming, and is great against a mirror-matchup.

In other versions of this deck, I had included Myr Adapter and Loxodon Punisher, on the off chance Kemba was hosed and I needed a good use for all that equipment, but too often they'd end up as dead-draws, useless and mocking me in my hand. Duplicant and Elesh Norn seemed much more sensible choices, and I stick by them.

How amazing is the combo of the Shikari and the Paladin?

Leonin ShikariPuresteel Paladin

Finally, let's talk Sun Titan: This slot is open to whatever you think should go here. Put in Baneslayer Angel, Serra Ascendant, Avacyn, Angel of Hope... whatever floats your boat, really. I chose Sun Titan because a lot of the equipment in here is under 3 CMC, and your opponents are gonna be hosing 'em, for sure. Also-- my inner-Spike, the one I beat down into the depths of my psyche and keep at bay for fear of his grotesque evil, loves the unctuous possibility that I can recur my Strip Mine with it.

This deck is not a stone-cold killer. It's a fun, conditional deck, and it loves Masterwork of Ingenuity.


Mycosynth LatticeBludgeon Brawl

While this doesn't fit into a Kemba Commander deck, and is probably more suited for Legacy/Prismatic/Vintage for the sake of Johnny chicanery, I thought I would mention the possibilities here. Land duplication at the cost of one mana; and, well, this deck, presented as evidence:

Creatures
3 Kemba, Kha Regent
4
Goblin Gaveleer
4
Loxodon Punisher
1
Myr Adapter
2
Puresteel Paladin
14 cards
Other Spells
3 Mycosynth Lattice
3
Bludgeon Brawl
4
Enlightened Tutor
2
Manriki-Gusari
3 Masterwork of Ingenuity
3
Fling
4
Howling Mine
22 cards
Lands
4 City of Brass
4
Battlefield Forge
4
Plateau
4
Sacred Foundry
2
Arid Mesa
3
Forgotten Cave
3
Secluded Steppe
24 cards

I've sorta written about this before; Attach all your land-equipment to the Gaveleer and Fling him. Score tons of Cats off of Kemba. Use the Gusari to kill whatever you want and the Masterwork to copy random stuff.


Thanks for joining me in exploring the PureMTGO exclusive Commander 2014 preview card Masterwork of Ingenuity! I am sure there are untold combos yet to explore, and tons of fun to be had with it in casual Commander games.

As a Vorthos, I look forward to discovering all the other Time Spiral-esque nostalgia cards Wizards will be including in the decks, like Feldon and a pre-fallen Ob Nixilis.

Have fun storming the castle!


by: Adam "Boosh" Clayton

Find me on MTGO: Screen name AtomicBoosh

Find my articles on PureMTGO.com: adam_the_mentat

Find me on Deviantart.com: theADROCK.deviantart.com


7 Comments

Nice card and great review! by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 00:32
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Nice card and great review! :D While I am not all that gaga over most equipment I do like the possibilities a clone for them gives.

Right! My first thought was by Elbinac at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 01:08
Elbinac's picture

Right!
My first thought was "Why have one Batterskull for five when you can have two for six!"
Also a nice way to counteract an opposing Batterskull on the cheap.

Whereas my first thoughts by magicman at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 06:30
magicman's picture

Yours was batterskull, whereas mine was the equipment that the new white walker makes, +5/+5 double strike for 1 mana with no equipment cost

Nahiri by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:20
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

I absolutely love that Nahiri's ability creates a nonlegendary artifact. It makes it so Doubling Season affects it. Pop her in a token deck; Her first and last ability produces tokens!

Uh, Adam, there's no by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 05:12
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Uh, Adam, there's no loophole. EVERY copy effect can't be blocked by shroud/hexproof. It's part of the basic rule of those effects: None of them targets. "You may have Cardname enter the battlefield as a copy of" is the current template for what once was "As Cardname comes into play, you may choose cardtype in play. If you do, Cardname comes into play as a copy of that cardtype." It was always "choose", never "target". Privileged Position never blocked Clone or Copy Enchantment, on both sides.

This said, congratulations on the preview! It's definitely a good one.

Yeah, there's actually been by Psychobabble at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 19:15
Psychobabble's picture

Yeah, there's actually been more clone effects that target than don't lately (fated infatuation, stolen identity, artisan of forms, cackling counterpart) so it is a feature worth noting particularly for players who have only been around for more recent sets.

Loophole or No... by Fred1160 at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:37
Fred1160's picture

Uh, Kumagoro42, not every copy effect dodges shroud/hexproof. A quick card search reveals several copy creature effects which indeed specify that it copies a "target creature." There are plenty of copy effects that target.
So, in this case, it actually is a loophole that allows this to work.