#4 – Karn, Scion of Urza
December 26, 2018
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was ranked 4th on my Top 11 list.
You’ve probably seen the “turn three Karn” memes about Modern, right? This season, people get to do the same thing in Standard. It’s perhaps slightly easier, as all you need is a Llanowar Elves or Elfhame Druid, and you get a repeatable mini-Fact or Fiction effect where you can save the cards you didn’t take for later. That seems like a pretty good deal for many different decks, and Karn’s high loyalty means that you’ll have a pretty good chance of getting a long-term advantage out of it. The fact that Karn is colorless means he keeps the cards moving for control, midrange, and even some aggro decks alike, which is something you can’t say about most planeswalkers.
As one of Unstable‘s biggest fans, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that his -2 ability that creates a Construct has some insane synergy with Contraptions and the likes of By Gnome Means. I’d say that more than makes up for it not being a “true” ultimate!
This card was ranked 10th on my top 11 list.
The value of Karn is that, more or less, he’s a card draw engine that can protect himself in a pinch. By alternating between his +1 and -1 abilities, you will see a lot of cards off the top of your deck, functionally drawing an extra card each turn. One nifty wrinkle is that Karn’s -1 hits any exiled card with a silver counter…so, unlike other variations on this effect, Karn plays well with another copy of Karn. His “ultimate” is the emergency protection; it plays well with artifacts to maybe create a threat to finish the game, but even just a 1/1 is enough to maybe buy Karn more time to keep doing his thing.
While other cards are better at ending games, Karn is good at making sure you get to where you can ultimately win the game, and being a colorless planeswalker gives all decks that want it a solid form of card advantage. He’s not even the best planeswalker from Dominaria, but he’s good all the same, and his strengths earned him a lot of play at top tables all year long.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Magic the Gathering Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉