Karn, Legacy Reforged
Karn, Legacy Reforged

Karn, Legacy Reforged – Aftermath

Date Reviewed:  May 19, 2023

Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: N/A
Multiplayer: 3.75
Commander [EDH]: 4.0

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below: 


I’m old-school enough that Karn becoming a creature again makes him seem much more familiar to me. Of course, that could also have something to do with the way his new abilities reference Urza’s Saga cards associated with him. First of all, he was originally a big strong artifact guy in his Silver Golem form – you’d be surprised how many games Workshop decks won in Vintage by attacking with him when an opponent had no blockers. And this version of him can potentially get much bigger than that original card, especially in conjunction with the kind of big plays Commander decks like. And second, his triggered ability is an actual Tolarian Academy reference, albeit a limited one; but even a limited Tolarian Academy is strong. If I’m reading it correctly, you can still use the mana to activate abilities, and if nothing else, casting a Blightsteel Colossus ahead of schedule wins games. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Karn gets tested in Vintage for the second time in Magic’s history.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4
Limited: N/A
Multiplayer: 4
Commander [EDH]: 4

 James H. 


It’s been a long while since Karn was a proper creature, with his Urza’s Saga outing being the one that captured the time before the silver golem started planeswalking. He’s an interesting card this time, leaning more into his artificer inclinations and support.

The main thing he offers is a lot of mana. He generates one colorless for each artifact you control at your upkeep…and while he counts himself, he also counts all of those delightful artifact tokens, like Treasures, Powerstones, Clues, Food, and Blood (to name a few). If you untap with him, you may well accelerate the game out of reach if you have enough resource, though he can provide a small spike on the way there if you don’t explode.

Size-wise, Karn is going to hit play as a 5/5 at worst, but do note that his power and toughness are continually modified while he’s not in play, so you might be able to chat him in with things that care about power or toughness. No keywords is a bit awkward, but he resists damage-based removal and can even threaten alongside bigger, badder artifacts.

Karn doesn’t seem like he’ll be great in Constructed unless artifact decks have enough time to get him out; a five-mana combo extender is a tall ask, but he has enough intrigue between his Blinkmoth Urn-like effect and his modifying stats to make for fun at tables where fun is the paramount goal.

Constructed: 3 (probably going to be very format-dependent, at best)
Casual: 4
Limited: N/A (probably a 3.5 or so; he is, at worst, a 5/5 that makes one extra mana each turn)
Multiplayer: 3.5
Commander [EDH]: 4 (maybe not the paramount artifact leader, but I could see him helping out Eldrazi or other artifact-based decks in a pinch)

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