K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth
– Commander 2019
September 2, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.38
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
K’rrik is a delightfully obscure reference to Magic’s history. He appeared in some of the novels about Urza’s years at the Tolarian Academy. Yawgmoth had sent him as a sleeper agent, and he was present when Urza’s experiments fractured the island into areas where time moved at different speeds. K’rrik found himself in an area where years passed in minutes from the outside world’s point of view, as indicated on the card No Mercy, and he took advantage of this to create an extremely powerful Phyrexian force and launch a devastating attack on the survivors. That was the only episode of the Weatherlight Saga to which he contributed, but I should have known that he wouldn’t be forgotten by designers. After all, he was known for existing outside of time!
Apparently, time was not K’rrik’s only advantage, as he has a mastery of Phyrexian mana that he can extend to spells from other planes. This is an extremely dangerous ability for any format with high life totals, and this is about the part where we remember that he’s in a Commander supplement. With the right spells in hand, you can easily burn through your entire deck in one or two turns, and black isn’t short of combo cards to power out. I’m not sure how often he’ll be used for his lifelink or his +1/+1 counters, but don’t forget they’re there. You might need a plan B, and his Phyrexian mana cost makes him playable out of the command zone as a “fair” card.
If there’s anything as dangerous as Phyrexian mana in terms of a mechanic, it’s giving the ability for all of your mana costs to be Phyrexianized. You usually have a lot more life at your disposal than actual mana, and this is where K’rrik comes in to help.
K’rrik’s body is a nice upside and way to recoup the life expenditure, though a 2/2 with no real protection is vulnerable to a lot of things. Of course, his passive ability is the real draw, and it’s possible to start doing a lot of degenerate things with it. Because while you still have to pay generic mana costs, black is arguably the color with the highest concentration of colored mana symbols, and there are ways to chain together things like Dark Rituals into a massive nightmare.
K’rrik is a card that’s going to get attention outside of Commander, because that ability is really powerful. It’s not a cheap card (you still have to come up with four generic mana, which black can do by turn 1 in Legacy if you believe in yourself, and 6 life), but there’s enough going on to where I would be more surprised if K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth wound up a bust in Legacy.
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