Daily Digest: The Works

Before Aetherworks Marvel, there was Krark-Clan Ironworks. The KCI has risen again in Modern, and with Trophy Mage hitting the format soon, it may get even better! Ross Merriam goes to work on the ‘works!

Few people will remember Magic way back then, but when Krark-Clan Ironworks (KCI) was first printed, there was some significant hype around it as a degenerate combo enabler. Unfortunately, the dominance of Affinity pushed anything cool or fun out of the metagame in favor of decks playing maindeck copies of Oxidize, so it never got off the ground.

Since then, various attempts have been made to build around it, especially in larger formats like Modern. The deck functions similarly to the Eggs deck from a few years back, using a bunch of cantripping artifacts to tear through its deck before sacrificing them before a Faith’s Reward or Open the Vaults in one big turn.

From there you keep drawing a bunch of cards, hoping to find more copies of your artifact-return effects, each time generating a boatload of mana (a technical term) and eventually sinking that mana into a very lethal and conveniently uncounterable Banefire. Now, you could aim that Banefire at a pesky creature, but I advise you to point it squarely at your opponent’s face, since a boatload of damage is usually lethal.

The advantage of using KCI in this shell is that you can sacrifice cards like Ichor Wellspring and tapped Terrarions to generate more card advantage, and the mana you generate can help you cast extra artifacts from your hand to either dig further or set up an even bigger Faith’s Reward. The end result is that you fizzle less often than you would otherwise, and you probably don’t have to take twenty minutes to execute the combo.

Did you hear that sound? That’s the sound of a thousand judges simultaneously sighing in relief.

A few notes for people who are brave enough to try this one:

1) The deck is named after KCI or Faith’s Reward, but Reshape and Lotus Bloom are your heavy hitters. Every combo deck needs fast, explosive mana and this is the engine here.

2) Faith’s Reward returns lands too, so Ghost Quartering your own lands before casting it will lead to more mana in the long run, and thin your deck slightly so you find your key pieces more often.

3) Learn the difference between Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star. Sphere has to be sacrificed to its own ability for you to get the card; Star does not.

In sum, cool deck is cool. Drawing cards is great. Making lots of mana is great. And casting gigantic Banefires is great. This is Magic as it was meant to be, with none of those weird-looking creatures getting in the way.