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John Shultis on Magic
urza_90@yahoo.com
Precon Recon
"Karn Liberated, Jund style!"
05.23.11

Ever since the spoiler first started making its appearance online, I have been being asked what I thought of New Phyrexia’s sole planeswalker, Karn Liberated. And one reader in particular, Michel Corriveau, asked me to take a closer look and try and build a deck around Karn. So after much thought, and after so much questions about how would I build a Karn deck, I decided I would go ahead and design one, and do it in honor of one of my favorite color combinations, Jund (red, green, black) but keep it Standard. The result is a deck sure to have your opponents life totals liberated! Karn Liberated

So it’s a simple challenge, how do you utilize Karn? The best answer there is can only be described as ensuring that when his ability goes off, you get that bang, end game, right there. And what better to do that than Eldrazi’s? The reason I wanted to design this deck Jund, is that green and red have mana and board control, while black has pest removal and the ability to go in search of things you may need, for example, Karn. These combinations made Jund a deck type to beat for a long time, and now perhaps we can see its return with Karn leading the charge.
SoSo let’s begin. We know what we want now, a Jund based deck using Eldrazi in combination with Karn. But which eldrazi’s help, and which ones hurt? Which card should find a home while others go on their merry way? Let’s take a look!

So perhaps you only have access to one Karn, and for that you should consider yourself lucky, he is definitely going in the deck. The main game plan is to get Karn to bring in the big Eldrazi’s, but which ones? Well, Emrakul is a definite. Nothing says have a good day like a 15/15. I think that if you can land two to three copies, that should suffice, even if you can only get one, one is all it takes. The other two guys are each good in their own way, but I feel that perhaps Ulamog is not as well suited for this particular deck, and Kozilek instead should go in. No more than two copies though. The other main “big” threat should be Blightsteel Colossus. And honestly if you can get two, put them in. But one copy of any of the above cards would suffice, and I will build based on the assumption that you can only land one of each of the above cards, since they can be quite pricey and harder to get your hands on.

So there is the one two punch. Karn into hopefully two of the bigger threat cards, restart the game, and there we go. The restart is short lived due to the fact that once you restart, they are able to attack, and the game should end. But what is our ‘cream filling’? The main deck should be structured around producing tokens so that in the event you do not get Karn, you may still cast the larger creatures, and have blockers for if you do get Karn on the board. But I will start with four copies ofDoom Blade Diabolic Tutor. These will be vital in ensuring you can get either Karn or one of the big creatures into your hand when you need it. Splitting two Doomblades and Go For the Throats is the best way to handle multiple kinds of threats. Sideboarding two copies of each as well, for when you run across either a mono-black, or artifact based deck is also a great idea. The main rest of the deck is comprised of red and green. So allow me to look at the mana set up before we move on. If possible, four copies of Blackcleave Cliffs would be a great addition. If you are unable to go them, than just running a normal mana base can do alright. The main mana base though would consist mainly of eight of each Mountains and Forests, with six swamps. Adjustments of course in the Swamps and Mountains if you can obtain Blackcleave Cliffs. So the rest of the deck should be comprised of mana producers, token producers, and walls. This way you are better able to defend against attacks against Karn, and get mana to drop Karn quickly, or even the bigger threats if need be. I recommend three Alloy Myr’s to help with particular mana problems. I also added four Overgrown Battlements, and two Vent Sentinels. This could deal a fair amount of fast damage if need be, and grant some great blockers. Some Wall of Vines also helps keep airborne threats off of you temporarily. Then, we get to the Eldrazi’s. The Nest Invaders are necessary, as well as Brood Birthing. Then there are Spawning Breaths, Emrakul’s Hatcher’s, Rapacious One, Growth Spasm, and Kozilek’s Predator. All of these make for some great ways of producing lots of tokens to use for mana and blockers. Just remember that the main goal of any deck is to win, and if you can do so without using Karn, you always should. It is fun however to see him go off, dropping into play an Emrakul or even a Blightseel Colossus, and just knowing that the game is over. When all is said and done, the deck should look like this:

Lands=22:
-Mountain x8
-Forest x8
-Swamp x6

Deck=40Overgrown Battlement
-Diabolic Tutor x4
-Doomblade x2
-Go For The Throat x2
-Alloy Myr x3
-Overgrown Battlement x4
-Vent Sentinel x2
-Wall of Vines x4
-Nest Invaders x4
-Brood Birthing x4
-Spawning Breath x2
-Emrakul’s Hatchers x1
-Kozilek’s Predators x1
-Rapacious One x1
-Growth Spasm x2
-Karn Liberated x1
-Emrakul, the Aeons Torn x1
-Kozilek, Butcher of Truth x1
-Blightsteel Colossus x1

Sideboard=15
-Doomblade x2
-Go For the Throat x2
-Spawning Breath x2
-Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre x1
-Rapacious One x1
-All is Dust x1
-Vent Sentinel x2
-Growth Spasm x2
-Blunt the Assault x2

The main reason behind the deck is to get the big guys out, one way or another. If Karn is unable to do so, than you should be able to rely on your creatures to do so. Cards in the side board, such as Blunt the Assault are there for the event that your first game doesn’t go so well, and the lifegain could be helpful when producing so many tokens. While this deck should fair well against many of the main deck types today since it produces so much mana that Mana Leak isn’t a problem, it can have its own weaknesses against infect. Control can be brought down with this deck by utilizing the early game to get some mana producers out. Just don’t fall victim to thinking that you should drop Karn because you have the mana, save up some extra, just in case. When matched up against infect style decks, the tokens will be your best friends. So long as you can keep popping them out.

So there we have it, a Jund style deck, based around Karn, using Standard cards to do so. This deck was a lot of fun to design, and certainly a lot of fun to play. Hopefully it will do well for whoever else desides to take the reins of Karn Liberated, Jund Style!
Until next time, keep safe, and keep gaming!

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