Monday, November 24, 2014

Multiplayer Monday: Karn, Silver Golem

Welcome to the first Multiplayer Monday. This used to be titled Commander Mondays, but I'm changing the name so there will be a place for the planned Archenemy and Planechase articles. I also have managed to make most of the other articles have alliterative names and wanted to do the same with this article. Enough about article names and more about this week's Commander deck!

A colorless EDH deck is something I've been wanting to do for some time. Now actually buying the cards would be a huge expense which is something I cannot do right now, but the theory and principles of this deck are sound. Everything colorless with a focus on artifacts and Eldrazi.

Colorless EDH

Before we get to the actual deck, I want to go over exactly what a colorless EDH deck looks like. To date, there have only been six colorless legendary creatures ever printed, and here are the only five legal in EDH (Emrakul is banned in the format):

Karn, Silver Golem  Kozilek, Butcher of Truth  Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Bosh, Iron Golem  Memnarch

Now, only three of these can be used in a truly colorless deck. Bosh and Memnarch have to be used in red or blue decks respectively. Well, you don't have to, but the point of even having a commander/general is to use their abilities with the deck. Without mana abilities, Bosh is a 6/7 Golem with trample for eight mana which isn't bad, but Bosh can deal Commander damage to an opponent by sacrificing artifacts using red mana. Memnarch is a terrible vanilla 4/5 for seven mana if you ignore blue, and stealing things from opponents is totally awesome! I don't see why you'd use either in a purely colorless deck since they have potential in other decks especially with their color identity.

Now, as simply as possible, a commander's color identity is every colored mana symbol that appears on the card, both in the mana cost and abilities. If it shows up in reminder text of an ability word of keyword, then it is not counted. Like with Extort from Gatecrash, the reminder text specifies paying white or black mana, but if the card was just printed without the reminder text, only the word Extort would appear so it could fit in a white or black deck without a problem.

Choosing between Karn, Kozilek, and Ulamog is easy for me. I have both Ulamog and Karn (thank you From the Vault series), but I also have the oversized Karn from Commander's Arsenal. Now, people can remove commanders easily from the game through exile, damage, or tucking (which is when you put the commander into the deck either via a card that specifies where to put it, or through putting it on top of the owner's library in response to the player searching a library for a card either by use of a fetchland or some other search ability). For exile and damage/destruction, the commander goes back to the command zone where it will cost 2X + CMC where X is the amount of times it has been cast this game. Kozilek and Ulamog are already kind of costly, but what draws me to Karn is the connection with artifacts. He temporarily changes artifacts into creatures and is relatively cheap. With artifacts being the main colorless category, it seems a simple choice as to which creature to choose. I will, however, utilize Kozilek and Ulamog as supporting players, but Karn will lead the deck.

Basic Lands

When building an EDH deck, you have to use lands that produce the colors in your commander's color identity. For instance, if you build a deck using Nahiri, the Lithomancer as your commander, you can't use Glacial Fortress or a Mountain as lands because they produce colors other than your commander's color identity.

Nahiri, the Lithomancer  Glacial Fortress  Mountain

Now, in a colorless deck, we don't have colorless basic lands to use. Sure, there were plans a few times over the years, with a couple examples during development of Conflux:


We don't have one at the moment, but during a recent panel, it was announced that Wizards has figured out how to make a colorless basic land work well. In the mean time, here is my build for a Karn, Silver Golem EDH deck prior to the release of a colorless basic land.

Karn, Silver Golem


x1 Karn, Silver Golem

Legendary Creatures (2)

x1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
x1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Creatures (18)

x1 Arcbound Crusher
x1 Arcbound Ravager
x1 Artisan of Kozilek
x1 Colossus of Akros
x1 Darksteel Colossus
x1 Darksteel Gargoyle
x1 Darksteel Juggernaut
x1 It That Betrays
x1 Memnite
x1 Myr Battlesphere
x1 Ornithopter
x1 Pentavus
x1 Phyrexian Revoker
x1 Scuttling Doom Engine
x1 Signal Pest
x1 Solemn Simulacrum
x1 Soul of New Phyrexia
x1 Wurmcoil Engine

Eldrazi Spells (4)

x1 All is Dust
x1 Eldrazi Conscription
x1 Not of This World
x1 Skittering Invasion

Artifacts (40)

x1 Adventuring Gear
x1 Akroma's Memorial
x1 Argentum Armor
x1 Basilisk Collar
x1 Chimeric Egg
x1 Cloud Key
x1 Crawl Space
x1 Conjurer's Closet
x1 Crucible of Worlds
x1 Darksteel Forge
x1 Darksteel Garrison
x1 Dreamstone Hedron
x1 Elixir of Immortality
x1 Energy Chamber
x1 Eternity Vessel
x1 Everflowing Chalice
x1 Expedition Map
x1 Fireshrieker
x1 Ghostfire Blade
x1 Grimoire of the Damned
x1 Hedron Matrix
x1 Helm of Awakening
x1 Helm of Kaldra
x1 Lightning Greaves
x1 Loxodon Warhammer
x1 Mindslaver
x1 Oblivion Stone
x1 Pithing Needle
x1 Ring of Three Wishes
x1 Scroll Rack
x1 Scythe of the Wretched
x1 Seer's Sundial
x1 Sensei's Divining Top
x1 Shield of Kaldra
x1 Skullclamp
x1 Sol Ring
x1 Sword of Kaldra
x1 Swiftfoot Boots
x1 Trailblazer's Boots
x1 Umezawa's Jitte

Lands (35)

x1 Ancient Tomb
x1 Arcane Lighthouse
x1 Blasted Landscape
x1 Blinkmoth Nexus
x1 Blinkmoth Well
x1 Buried Ruin
x1 City of Traitors
x1 Crystal Vein
x1 Darksteel Citadel
x1 Desert
x1 Encroaching Wastes
x1 Eye of Ugin
x1 Ghost Quarter
x1 Ghosttown
x1 Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
x1 Haunted Fengraf
x1 Homeward Path
x1 Inkmoth Nexus
x1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
x1 Mishra's Workshop
x1 Mutavault
x1 Mystifying Maze
x1 Reliquary Tower
x1 Rogue's Passage
x1 Scorched Ruins
x1 Strip Mine
x1 Tectonic Edge
x1 Temple of the False God
x1 Tespian's Stage
x1 Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
x1 Urza's Mine
x1 Urza's Power Plant
x1 Urza's Tower
x1 Winding Canyon
x1 Zoetic Cavern

Colorless decks are pretty hard to design, but there are a couple important cards in this deck:

It That Betrays  Crucible of Worlds  Ghostfire Blade

All Eldrazi are good for this deck. A bit too strong for politics, but still pretty powerful. Crucible of Worlds is here for returning powerful lands from the graveyard to the battlefield. There is a ton of land destruction, so returning lands is useful. Ghostfire Blade is a great addition to colorless decks as it makes the creatures much more powerful.

Buried Ruin  Mikokoro, Center of the Sea  Scorched Ruins

Buried Ruin is important for getting those important artifacts back. Crucible of Worlds can put it right back onto the battlefield, so it's reusable, Mikokoro is here strictly for politics. You give everyone free cards, so they won't want to attack you. Scorched Ruins gives you four colorless mana. Aside from the Urza lands, this is the best one available.

There are many powerful artifacts and creatures in this deck, but it's pretty straight forward and relies on Karn's ability to make other creatures while equipments are used to boost his power and toughness or boost those of other creatures.

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