Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy
– Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths
June 1, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 4.33
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Kinnan is another boost to Ikoria‘s non-Human tribal theme, and a rather more straightforward one than Winota (who, as you’ll recall, needs Human creatures in some number as well). It has no limits on what you can get with it, so there’s going to be a lot of unexpected Emrakul in certain metagames. I think that mana-boosting ability might actually draw even more attention in Commander. You can never seem to have too much mana-boosting in Commander. Plus, the ability to throw a non-Human directly into play and presumably evolve your Gyre Sage, then have Kinnan boost its mana production even further in some kind of bizarre Simic-themed feedback loop is pretty funny.
The ability to draw more mana from artifacts and creatures makes Kinnan pretty dangerous at face value, and the activated ability to dig out more creatures is just proverbial icing on the cake (especially when paired with his conditional mana-boosting). A 2/2 Human body isn’t great on its own (since you can’t mutate onto Humans), particularly with no protection, so the key is to keep Kinnan from going “splat”. He’ll draw a lot of removal if able, but untapping with him is going to feel pretty good. Paired with being in one of the best color pairings, and you have someone who can do a lot of damage if you’re able to keep him alive.
Hello and welcome to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re looking at one of the combo-tastic Simic Cards, Kinnan, that should have had the partner mechanic and a partner named ‘Kell’! But before we take a look at this card I’m gonna need a Grim Monolith, a Basalt Monolith, and a Doubling Cube! Awww, here it goes!
So good ol’ Keenan and Kel flashbacks aside this card is the real deal. This guy screams ‘Johnny Combo’ with me and there’s a couple of artifacts that do just that. In Ikoria Draft he’s got the cycling rocks that he can use to double up on some mana giving you a juicy turn 3 play that allows you to put down another 2 drop on the board, but he’s also got a really fat late-game ability that can be absolutely backbreaking in both ways. 5UG and you take a peek at the top 5 and put a non-human creature into play, it’s a pretty legit mana-sink towards the end of the game and can allow you to churn through your deck if you’re drawing tons of lands.
Commander is pretty excited to have him as another method of infinite mana with only 2 cards needed, him and Basalt Monolith get the gravy train going and as early as Turn 3 without any ramp! While there’s plenty of amazing things that you can do with the mana, and he’s definitely one of them, I’m sure there’s something game ending you can pump out on Turn 3 with your deck.
My favorite place for this guy has to be Cube though, U/x artifact decks can be incredible to play with, and this guy turning your Thran Dynamo into a free cast is pretty good, not to mention the infinite with Basalt Monolith or just really hammering out value with your Soul Ring and Mana Vault. All that excess mana means a great upheaval with recasting your artifacts and maybe dropping a Myr Battlesphere to close out the game!
The other thing about him is that he also works in Green Mana Dork Decks, it’s gonna be a tough splash so you definitely want Breeding Pool and Tropical Island so you don’t muss with your Turn 2 Rofellos, but this guy turns all your 1 drop dorks into Sol Ring and that ain’t half bad!
He’s UG which can be a little bit restricting in the draft portion, but there are two strong decks that you can slot him into which increases his versatility as a pick. Simic has gotten quite a boost in the past year with Oko and Uro to really change the scope of what that guild can do in a cube draft and I think this guy is definitely going to make the cut!
Standard 2/5 – We’re getting ban changes today but Standard doesn’t currently have the super broken artifacts to make him work.
Commander 5/5 – Anything that lets you 2 card combo for infinite mana is legit in this format, especially at 2cmc.
Limited 4/5 – He’s a sharp color turn in one direction and you need some good rocks to make him work but he’s a fine 2 drop in a slow format.
Cube 4.5/5 – 2 Card Infinite Combo? Check. Late Game Mana Sink? Check. Turns Birds of Paradise into Bird Sol of Paradise Rings? …Yeah I guess o_O
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