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Karn, Living Legacy Art by Chris Rahn

Karn, Living Legacy Card Analysis and Theorycraft

The final planeswalker reveal is Karn, Living Legacy! DoggertQBones breaks down the abilities and how good he thinks the newest iteration of the beloved robot planewalker is!

Hello everyone!

Dominaria United is right around the corner, and with it, we’re getting a slew of sick cards to look at! I don’t know about you, but to me, these are some of the most exciting spoilers I’ve seen in a long time. Between super cool designs and beloved callbacks, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being one of the best sets of all time.

Today I’m going to be looking at the mechanical planeswalker, the Living Legacy itself, Karn!

Let’s break down Karn.

First off we have a colorless four mana planeswalker with four loyalty which is more or less the going rate nowadays.

To start off, Karn’s +1 makes a Powerstone token which enters tapped and can’t be used to cast nonartifact spells. This is a strange token, but we need to clear one thing up. Upon multiple glances my brain shortcutted this to that the token can only be used to cast artifact spells. However, you can use this mana for anything you want except for casting nonartifact spells (reading is power!) so this isn’t as restrictive as it may seem.

Karn’s minus is very weird as it’s the first walker I’ve seen that asks for a mana investment as well as a loyalty one. For however mana you put into it, you can dig that deep for a card and put it into your hand.

For the ultimate, you get an emblem that is functionally a better Ghirapur Aether Grid as it only requires one artifact to get a ping.

So Karn’s +1 is pretty tough to evaluate right now. For Standard this effect doesn’t seem great as there likely aren’t enough playable artifacts to be worthwhile, but in older formats this could be mitigated.

The -1 is probably the most interesting part of the ability as it can allow you to dig pretty deep in your deck. Plenty of planeswalkers have card selection on them, but Karn is the first to dig as deep as your mana will allow.

Finally, the ultimate may seem underwhelming at first glance, but in the right deck, this will easily be game winning whether it’s decimating the opponent’s board or just killing them outright.

So where would we play Karn in theory?

(H) Azorius Affinity
by DoggertQBones
Buy on TCGplayer $357.6
best of 1
3 mythic
32 rare
15 uncommon
10 common
Planeswalkers (3)
Creatures (15)
Esper Sentinel
Ingenious Smith
Thought Monitor
Instants (3)
Metallic Rebuke
Artifacts (23)
Portable Hole
Lands (16)
Deserted Beach
60 Cards


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, but this seems incredibly weak for my taste. The +1 is alright, but not just getting a mana rock is pretty annoying. While card selection is nice on a planeswalker, requiring a big mana investment for it to be any good on top of a loyalty investment is pretty rough as that’s a lot of resources for little payoff. The ultimate can be nice, but you need Karn to survive a full 3 turns after you cast it and have a lot of artifacts for it to do anything. Considering this doesn’t protect itself and is relatively restrictive, I don’t think this is going to see much if any play.

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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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