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Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
Image from Wizards.com

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed

- Journey into Nyx

Reviewed May 19, 2014

Constructed: 3.00
Casual: 4.10
Limited: 3.60
Multiplayer: 3.45

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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King Macar, the Gold-Cursed

Its Inspired ability is basically a repeatable Gild-- kill a creature deader-than-dead, and get a coupon for one free colorless mana, redeemable upon demand. The trouble is, to trigger an Inspired ability, you must UNTAP the creature it's on, which means you must first TAP it. King Macar has no tap ability, and in combat he's a vanilla 2/3 for four mana. The only way to actually get his ability to fire, therefore, is to either grant him the combat prowess he needs to reliably swing without dying, or grant him a tap ability. Either way, he's a combo piece, and therefore unsuitable for Limited play-- especially where the cards you'd combo with him there (Witches' Eye, Claim of Erebos) are mostly terrible on their own as well and seeing either combo piece without its partner is as good as a dead draw. In Constructed, you can at least maximize your chances of assembling the combo (and use stronger combo pieces like Phenax) but that's still a lot of resources invested just to kill one opposing creature per turn. A two-card combo in Standard needs a bit more punch to it than that if it's going to be competitive.

But of course, we can no longer discuss any legendary creature fairly without examining its use as a Commander. King Macar's dependence on his "subjects" is less of a concern here, as you can nearly always count on being able to cast the King when you're ready and not before-- neither piece will ever be dead in your hand. But the fact that Macar is monoblack hurts, because the cards you'd most like to combo him with (Freed from the Real, Ocular Halo, Intruder Alarm, etc.) are not black and are therefore illegal in a Macar deck. There are options, of course-- Springleaf Drum, Paradise Mantle, and several other artifacts that offer a relatively benign tap ability. Still, all the awesome stuff would need you to put Macar in somebody else's Commander deck, which means we're back to the Combo Piece Problem.

Constructed- 2
Casual- 3.5
Limited- 1.5
Multiplayer- 3.75

David Fanany

Player since 1995

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed

Midas, who inspired this card, should not be confused with Minos, the king of Crete who was said to have built the labyrinth and owned the suspiciously robotic guardian Talos. Minos was probably inspired by a historical figure or figures, while Midas makes for a pretty good Magic card. Even killing one creature regularly each turn can be tough for some decks to keep up with, and extra mana is absolutely one of the best things you can do in all of Magic. It might have been nice if they could have made some in-game reference to the fact that Midas came to regret his impulsive wish, but that doesn't make this card any less cool.

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is King Macar, the Gold-Cursed which is a four mana Black 2/3 with Legendary and Inspired that may exile target creature to put an artifact token into play that you can sacrificed to add one mana of any color to your pool. The effect of Gild being repeatable and attached to a 2/3 at the same mana cost is a bargain even with the vulnerability of a creature included. With support to grant evasion or effects to tap it, likely from Blue aside from Black having access to Intimidate, this is a major threat in most formats. It will see some play, though not as much in competitive settings due the reliance on support and slightly late arrival to the field.

In Limited this is a first pick in Booster that will control games if enchanted to improve survival. Any effect that can boost it, give it evasion, or tap it gains value for drafting in either setting and with even one this can be the best removal source in the block. In Sealed it depends on the pool as half the mana in the cost is Black, but in a moderately strong pool it can at least be a secondary color as repeatable removal should be enough to carry the color.

Constructed: 4.0
Casual: 4.0
Limited: 4.5
Multiplayer: 4.0


Deck Garage

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed

Clearly derived from King Midas in Greek mythology, King Macar is a a great flavorful fit for the set. As a 2/3 for 4 mana, he's not going to be a powerful offensive threat, of course, but if he can untap even once, you're starting to get some real value. A chance to exile creatures repeatedly can help you take over the game if your opponent can't get him out of the way. The gold token you get from exiling a creature is really just a fun bonus, but is not usually a big deal.

The problem, of course, is how do you get him to untap? By the time he comes out, it's questionable whether he's going to be able to attack safely, so you have to combo something with him. I'm trying him out in a deck using Triton Tactics. Declare you attack, then cast Triton Tactics to untap the King and exile a blocker and give him +0/+3 to help survive combat with any remaining blockers. There are other ways to use him, but are any of these tricks better than simply running a removal spell and a bigger creature? Perhaps not, but it's nowhere near as fun!

In limited, anything that has the potential to get rid of multiple creatures is excellent. He's more likely to be able to survive combat with the smaller selection of creatures, but you're also less likely to have any tricks to help you out. Either way, though, he's worth a high pick.

I've yet to try him out in a multiplayer game, but I can imagine finding ways of untagging him multiple times. There's also probably someone who's left themselves open so he can attack safely. But once he starts doing his thing, that puts a huge target on his (and your) back!

Constructed: 3
Casual: 5
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3.5

Michael Sokolowski

This card is just oozing with flavour.

The story of King Midas - who turned everything he touched into gold, thus the Midas touch - was supposed to be a sad and tragic tale, as he soon realized that turning everything he touched into gold was not really a blessing, it was actually a curse. When you can't touch food, or even your own daughter (as he found out the hard way), you know you've got a problem.

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed suffers from a similar problem, but a problem that you can greatly benefit from. At 4 mana for a 2/3 body, he's not something you're really playing for his combat potential, but fortunately that 3 toughness will come in handy for the real reason you want to play him: his inspired ability.

If removal is good, than repeatable removal is almost always better. Depending on how difficult it is to get the effect to go off, of course. Inspired is a very slow-paced mechanic, so if you're going to work at making it happen it really has to be worth it. Is it worth it here? Absolutely. Exile target creature, AND you get paid in gold/mana for your troubles? You could potentially clear your opponent's entire board just with this one card! But you have to play it right, of course.

As I said, inspired is a very slow way to do things. Assuming you play this guy on turn 4, that means you attack with it on turn 5, and IF it survives, then on turn 6 the ability will trigger and get rid of something. That's a lot of time for your opponent to find an answer. So in order to combat this and use Macar a little more efficiently, you'd ideally want to include something in your deck to make him tap on his own without attacking. Claim of Erebos could work, as would Oracle's Insight or Springleaf Drum perhaps. I've heard it suggested that King Macar is just crying out to have Freed from the Real cast upon him, and that just seems too fun and powerful NOT to try out at some point.

Also note that King Macar seems to have learned to control his powers a bit better than King Midas, and you can see that in the sentence "you MAY exile target creature." His ability is not actually mandatory once it triggers, and that's to prevent you from exiling your own guys (or even himself!) if the opponent has nothing and you still want to attack with him.

Overall King Macar, the Gold-Cursed is a very good card, and with a little bit of support to help him out even becomes a great card. Pick him in limited when you can, try him out in casual for fun combos with tap/untap effects, and enjoy all the gold he makes for you. I've always felt the inspired mechanic was just too slow to see a lot of play in constructed, although if any ability would be worth it to wait for, "exile target creature" would be it.

Still not as good as the Rosewater touch, though. That's the one where everything you touch turns into Magic cards.

Constructed: 3
Casual: 4
Limited: 4
Multiplayer: 3

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