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Lukka, Bound to Ruin Preview

Is Lukka, Bound to Ruin Bound To Be Great?

Our first Compleated walker from Phyrexia: All Will Be One has been spoiled! Will Lukka be a force to be reckoned with in Standard or fade into obscurity?

Hello everyone!

Today we just got a sweet new preview of our first Compleated walker in the new set, Lukka, Bound to Ruin. Personally, I find the name rather ironic as the first printing of Lukka was bound to ruin Standard by cheating in Agent of Treachery (ba dum tss). No? Fine, let’s break down the new walker.

So, like all Compleated walkers, we have to be mindful of either cost that it cost be cast for. So, we either have a four mana 3 loyalty walker or a five mana five loyalty walker, both pretty reasonable ratios.

Lukka’s +1 gives you RG, but only allows you to use that on creatures in some capacity. Whether you’re casting a creature or activating an ability, that mana is fair game. This could be a potentially powerful ability as it can allow you to “cheat on mana” by casting this on turn four, plussing it up, then casting a two drop to get a functional two mana planeswalker to work with!

The next ability is probably the one I’m the most excited about, and that’s producing a 3/3 with Toxic 1 as a -1. For planeswalkers to have any real shot at seeing Standard play these days, they really need to defend themselves in some capacity, and making a 3/3 is very reasonable and its functionally Garruk Wildspeaker‘s -1 as I feel the Toxic is rarely going to be relevant.

Finally, Lukka’s ultimate, which can be used immediately if you cast it for five mana, is a functional Monstrous Onslaught which never saw Standard play, but is substantially better when stapled to a planeswalker!

So what do I think of this card?

First off, it’s really interesting as, intentionally or not, this is extremely similar to the aforementioned Garruk Wildspeaker. Both are Green planeswalkers that cost four mana and start at 3 loyalty, both +1s make two mana, both -1s make 3/3 Beasts, and both ultimates are just five mana green sorceries (Garruk’s being Overrun). That said, Garruk’s ultimate is substantially more powerful than Lukka’s as Overrun is an extremely powerful win condition that saw a lot of play back in the day where Monstrous Onslaught was just the simple draft bomb. If that’s all there was to both of these cards, I would not give Lukka a particularly good grade, however, that’s if we’re basing it solely on the four mana version!

Since Lukka is Compleated, the five mana version changes a lot about the card as well. That means it can come in and ultimate immediately, or tick down FIVE times before it dies. Having that utility is rather powerful as just investing one more mana can really change the strength of the card.

Now to what deck would want Lukka, it would clearly have to be a creature heavy deck to make best use of the +1. It doesn’t have to be an aggro deck per say, but at least enough early creatures that the +1 isn’t blank text the turn it comes in. That said, I think the minus ability is the strongest of the bunch as being able to create an army of creatures over the course of a few turns is quite scary and would necessitate an answer right away.

So with all of this in mind, where does that leave Lukka?

VERDICT

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Lukka shows a lot of promise and Garruk Wildspeaker is both an iconic and powerful planeswalker, but I don’t think Lukka holds up. The +1 on Lukka is quite restrictive and obviously leagues worse than Garruk’s ability which just untaps lands, letting you do anything with that mana. While the minus ability is quite strong, Lukka has the Sorin problem where if you play this on a relatively empty board and get your Beast killed, it’s pretty unlikely that you can defend Lukka after that. Spending four mana to buy a Go for the Throat or Lightning Strike from the opponent as well as a few life isn’t a good exchange. Finally, the ultimate is completely reliant on you having a high powered creature on board as, if you don’t, it can be next to, if not completely useless. Even contextually, there aren’t many high power creatures seeing play as the interaction is quite effective right now, so that gates the ultimate ability even harder as something like Defiler of Vigor really isn’t playable right now.

Overall, Lukka may have a spot somewhere as producing an army of 3/3s is quite powerful if you’re ahead or behind, but I think this is going to go the way of Arlinn, the Pack's Hope, which I would bet many of you didn’t even realize is still legal in Standard!

Thank you for reading! Agree or disagree? Come join our Discord community, discuss the new spoilers, and more.

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DoggertQBones
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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