Kalain, Reclusive Painter
– D&D: ADVENTURES IN THE FORGOTTEN REALMS
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2021
Commander [EDH]: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It wouldn’t be a Forgotten Realms set without maddeningly attractive half-elves and unique magical abilities, sometimes in the one place at the one time. Kalain’s floor is, unfortunately, somewhat low: if you just cast her, get the single Treasure token, and nothing else happens, you’ll probably feel a little disappointed. But of course, you presumably know she’s in your deck, and thus dug out a bunch of other Treasure-related cards from your collection or picked a bunch more in the draft. A lot of those cards don’t actually need much help to begin with, and a big power/toughness boost from the usual uses of cards like Trove of Temptation puts them some way over the top.
One of the subthemes of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is caring about Treasure more often than not, and Kalain offers a permanent buff to any creatures paid for with Treasure tokens. To his advantage, red is a color that likes playing with Treasure tokens, and you can parley an early investment into a potentially large windfall down the line. He’s not a great creature on his own, but he can be a nice supportive card in a deck built to take advantage of his particular talents, and sometimes a small buff can be enough to get you over the line.
Constructed: 3 (I suspect he’s a touch too weak to leave much impact)
Limited: 4.5 (Limited is often a game of small increments, and +1/+1 can be just what you need to tip the scales)
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