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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Iwamori of the Open Fist
Betrayers of Kamigawa

Reviewed February 24, 2005

Constructed: 3.42
Casual: 3.75
Limited: 3.93

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

Jeff Zandi

5 Time Pro Tour

 Iwamori of the Open Fist

Iwamori is an AWESOME creature, but it's not because of the beautiful but deceitful artwork, nor is it because of this creature's unique "drawback"
ability. This Legendary Human Monk, simply put, is the green version of one of Magic's most storied creatures of all time, --- Djinn. Iwamori is a 5/5 Trampler for 2GG, which is simply sick good! The drawback is just dangerous enough to worry about a little in limited play. In constructed, this creature is even better, because your opponent is not likely to be running very many legendary creatures in his constructed deck most of the time. Even if your opponent is able to play their legendary creature "for free" when you play Iwamori, your opponent is not gaining actual card advantage. Before you worry about this card's drawback, remember that this card would be far worse if it allowed your opponent to draw a card when it came into play, ACTUAL card disadvantage for you. The only question about this card in constructed formats is whether or not you want four casting cost creatures in your streamlined, mana-efficient green deck. I think for 5/5 and trample, you just might! By the way, I think it's funny that his name is Iwamori of the OPEN FIST and the very nice Paulo Parente artwork shows this Legend with both of his fists clenched tightly shut.


Ray "Monk"
* Level 3 DCI Judge
*DCI Tournament Organizer
 Iwamori of the Open Fist

Hurmm, Its the new Hunted Wumpus! A 5/5 trampler for four mana is a pretty amazing deal, at least in limited where the odds are low that your opponent will have a legend to put into play on the turn that you play this guy. Even if they do put a legend into play, this guy is better than some of those legends anyways, so who care. In short, always high pick this guy in limited. In constructed, he may actually see play in type two if they need a beater for the four slot, but in block there will be too many times you will play this card and your opponent will play a big black dragon for free because of it, and that makes me sad inside. In casual, this guy will make you friends and enemies alike, but hey, he'll always make the game more interesting.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4
Limited: 5


* game store owner (The Game Closet - Waco,TX)

2/24 Iwamori of the open Fist

I like this guy a lot.  He's a very large body for a very small cost.  I think in standard play he is OK.  The worst thing that is going to happen is that your opponent may drop Keiga, Kokusho, Meloku, or Kiki-Jiki.  That seems quite OK.  He will be big enough to fight against the other large creatures, so it's not as scary as it would seem.  However, in block constructed play, when everyone is playing legends, I would be very careful about playing him.  I'm talking, like so careful that he's not even in the deck so there are no tough decisions to be  made.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 4
Limited: 3
Iwamori of the Open Fist --

I absolutely love this card. It can be extremely risky, but it can also be a quick, powerful drop. I think Iwamori's 5/5 body (with trample!) for a reasonable cost might outweigh the disadvantage of letting your opponent sneak a creature into play. Be careful of large dragons showing up, though. You might hold off on this card if you are running against a G/B deck and there's a decent chance of their bigman hiding in hand.

In limited, I think you still run this card and take the risk. It could wind up costing you the game, but he can easily win it if your opponent doesn't find a solution quickly.

Constructed Rating: 3.0
Casual Rating: 3.0
Limited Rating: 3.5


* game store owner
(Shuffle and Cut)

Iwamori of the Open Fist
Wow...a very interesting card, especially if you know your opponent's decks. If you play with a regular group of people, and you know that they usually don't play Legends, this guys is great.  A likely turn 4 or even turn 3 four drop, this guy can wreak 5/5 havoc until dealt with.  Great in casual, and really nice in limited, though slightly more risky. 
Constructed - 3
Casual - 5
Limited - 4


Iwamori is like a low risk version of Hunted Wumpus. Once again, a very solid undercosted creature with a ‘drawback’. Seriously though, if you are playing Iwamori in your deck you have enough removal to deal with the opposing Legend (assuming your opponent has one in hand). You were paying attention when you built your deck, right? There is rarely a situation where I would look at a solid fatty and not take the risk of my opponent dropping something. That is a bet you will win more often than you lose. The fact that Iwamori comes out early only sweetens the deal even more, less time for your opponent to draw into their horrible nasty Legends.

Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 2.5 (NOT good for group games)
Limited: 4.0
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