I want to start this article off with a guided group meditation to ensure that we reign in our emotions, access our rational minds, and collectively approach the topic at hand from the same vantagepoint. Imagine: you are in a cold, dark, dank place. The air is stale, walls envelop you, and you haven’t had a decent meal in weeks. You are covered head-to-toe in welts and bruises, lice, and bodily wastes. Worse: you are bound hand and foot, your limbs are stretched to the four winds on the rack, and your captor stands above you mocking your every breath. You can’t move, you can hardly breath, and every time you try to sleep or escape into the recesses of your mind your captor turns the wheel yet another notch. There is absolutely nothing you can do but suffer… and, eventually, die.
Welcome to the hell that is Krark-Clan Ironworks.
Before I go any further, I want to apologize to you and my dear editors for my erratic submissions over the last year or so. It’s been a tumultuous time for me personally as I’ve been spending every available moment looking for a better job, a better place to live, and a woman who can put up with my insistence on”gaming with the guys” a couple times a week. Alas, it doesn’t seem to be happening… hence, I’ll keep plugging all my date money into cardboard crack.
So… I’m back, and happy about it as long as Gertrude doesn’t need patching (I’d give her a prettier name, but I’m afraid to apply oil-based makeup).
To get back on course, I should reveal that our esteemed editors”commissioned” this piece and that I am writing it at a friend’s house while on vacation… and I haven’t seen but a single Fifth Dawn card. I have, however, already been subjected to the hell that is the subject of this article, even though it was in proxy form. First, an excerpt from Sir Knutson’s e-mail, detailing my task:
All:Everyone take a look at Ironworks and try to come up with your own twist on how to break this card. It’s about as obvious as it gets, but there’s a strong chance that it will make a dent in nearly every format.
In addition to Ironworks, find some sort of fun/quirky combo(s) to write about from 5D.
As I fear Sir Knut’s expertise with the Cat-O’-Nine-Tails and the Ferrett’s”fetching raisins in tight places” trick, I’ll go ahead and commit my thoughts on the Ironworks here – but since I have no experience with other 5D cards, I’ll hold off on trying to provide further insight into 5D combos until I have played with the set.
First, however, I want to unleash some expletives in the general direction of the designer(s) of Krark-Clan Ironworks:”What the F!@# were you $%^&* thinking? Is the dope really that good in Washington? Do you stand out in the rain looking up with your mouth open? Why do you hate casual gamers so much?”
Folks, they should have called this card”Masturbation Station.” It’s so combo-licious that even the blindest Onanist will shave his palms every Sunday just so he can grip this card in ecstasy. Let me start by describing my initiation to this card: it was at a pizza parlor in Eureka, CA on the second of June. Some dude had a proxied Type II deck he wanted to try out, so I agreed and broke out my Raffinity deck – which was basically the version [author name="Jim Ferraiolo"]Jim Ferraiolo[/author] listed recently, but with four Blinkmoth Nexii in place of the recently banned Skullclamps. I had a bad draw with only one land and three Ravagers, but kept anyway because we were only play-testing, but he came out so fast it wouldn’t have mattered. All I know is that by turn 4 I was dead; and it involved the Ironworks, four artifact lands, Fabricate, that new black Impulse, Myr Incubator, and Fireball – for eighty-plus. He was actually disappointed, because he could have ended the game a turn earlier if he had drawn one of his eight talismans. Boo-freakin’-Hoo. Type II? Turn 3? Come on. Yeah, that’s me crying in my beer. It provides the salt for my Corona, and the Ironworks gives it that crucial tart taste. That’s at least a combo I can respect.
So, Knut, you want a casual gamer’s perspective on the Ironworks? Well, here’s mine: it’s broken like my poor G.I. Joe even in multi-player formats. The Magic head’s been severed, its arms and legs are shooting across the room, and that rubber band that held it all together can’t be repaired. I miss you so, G.I. Joe. You were one tight little man. At least I still have your head in the fridge…
“Cold Ethyl…cold cold Ethyl…”*
The refrigerator light is shining on the body of multi-player Magic, but I think I can still find a way to enjoy her frozen corpse. If you can, visualize for a moment a pile of Krark-Clan Ironworks cards being liberally tossed onto an open fire, providing the necessary heat for a truly satisfying embrace… and once the last kisses the flames, the object of your lust – Magic in all her glory – jumps back to life, a rosy color in her cheeks, a bounce in her step… but only once the last Ironworks card in existence is removed from this earth. That has become my new goal, as I believe the card unbalances the game of multi-player Magic that much. Witness a couple of deck ideas:
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Myr Moonvessel
4 Rocket Launcher
4 Goblin Cannon
4 Magma Mine
4 Enduring Renewal
4 Bringer of the White Dawn
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
Are you salivating? Do you relish the thought of dishing out infinite damage? Well, go hog wild! It’s never been easier! Merely build Overkill and season to taste! And it’s so easy to use, no explanation is needed! It’s the perfect gift for autistic kids – they never have to acknowledge anyone else’s existence! And to think – I didn’t even include Blasting Station! What’s that? Don’t like that one? Well, how about this one, where I actually use Blasting Station:
Myr Emerging Seas
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Genesis Chamber
4 Shrieking Drake
4 Blasting Station
12 search cards and alternate kill cards – it doesn’t much matter at this point!
24 Artifact lands and some islands
Are you really having fun? Really? Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t enjoy the thought of watching strangers whip out their decks and fondle their cardboard jewels in front of me [still a family site]. They can have their Boo cake and eat it, too. I don’t want to have to throw Shatterstorms and Rack and Ruins into every deck I own just to have a sometimes-answer to the Ironworks… but it looks as if I’ll have to for a while. All I can hope for is that it will get banned and people will actually develop a conscience and not let that infernal card ever see the light of day.
* – Alice Cooper, Welcome to my Nightmare, 1975. His best work (but close with Flush the Fashion), it includes an unparalleled Vincent Price monologue that will leave you arachnid-shy for the rest of your life.