Standard - [DMU] Karnvil

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This is an Oni-Cult Anvilimage deck that makes use of Powerstones. You know, those useless little mana rock tokens that only pay for artifact spells? All those little guys are about to be your best friend. Now, what can we use Powerstones with?

1. Artifacts, more specifically colorless artifacts. The obvious first application of this mana. Some cards we can cast with colorless artifact mana, but not very many. When we can use the mana this way, it's great.

2. Activated ability costs. This is the main way we'll be spending this powerstone mana. Half or more of our deck has permanents with abilities that cost colorless mana, and Karn's +1 creates a token that pays for these costs, for free, every single turn for the rest of the game if that's what does it.

3. Paying for opponent-based incidental mana costs like Make Disappearimage and the like. It happens, albeit rarely.

4. And finally, of course, we can junk our artifact token to one of our many artifact sac effects for that kind of synergy. As a rule this shouldn't be your default use of the token, but if times are tough that's how they should be used in all likelihood. This deck is all about navigating the sliding scale of dealing against aggro vs. control, and adjusting your strategy based on the opposing strategy.


Sokenzan, Crucible of Defianceimage / Takenuma, Abandoned Mireimage: Our channel lands. Takenuma is specifically important to recur our Karn late game. These are the most expensive channel effects, so we're planning on using our stones to help pay the cost of the ability. Both effects are very respectable at instant speed, so think carefully before cycling these away.

Experimental Synthesizerimage: This card is bonkers. Essentially a red Divination that synergizes perfectly with our deck. Crack the synth open with an Anvil and we're in business, or just wait for later on in the game if you know you'll need a 2/2 threat.

March of Reckless Joyimage. This card is probably one of the most versatile draw spells ever printed. Our second red Divinationimage, the march is essentially an adjusted Reckless Impulseimage where you can choose two out of X cards where X is the mana you pay. As a bonus, you get those cards until the end of your next turn, which can help you set up future plays, be it playing a land and a one drop, or digging for the missing piece. Plus, if you're already in the middle of a huge turn, the March can eat up all the useless cards in your hand for even more gas, as mana is most often our limiting factor. This is our panic button if we can't draw our 3rd/4th land, or if we need to dig for an answer in a hurry. Just make sure you know what the card does; you can only play two cards from the ones you exile. I've already made that mistake a few times.

Blood Fountainimage is an insane amount of value for just 1 black mana. Creates Blood tokens of course, which our deck finds endlessly useful. Also allows us to recur creatures against removal, non-exile board wipes, and after we sacrifice our own dorks to the deck's various effects. Good against control, but if the opponent has cards that mess with your graveyard in their maindeck, maybe a little less good.

Voltage Surgeimage is exactly what we want for this deck. It deals up to 4 damage to any creature or planeswalker for only one mana, and enables our instant speed artifact sacrifice strategies. Absolutely no complaints.

Voldaren Epicureimage. Does three things. 1/1, deal 1 to opponent, and create a Blood token which fits perfectly into what we're trying to do. We use blood primarily for Anvil/Smelter fodder, but don't be afraid to use it to junk an extra land card if that's what the game calls for. Use them for chump blocking, or for recurring with Blood Fountain. Much more useful on the Midrange/Control side of things, feel free to board out against aggro if appropriate.

Dragonspark Reactorimage is the first reason this deck can exist at all. It's a wincon awarding artifact ETBs that can snipe down some nasty threats during the midgame if you need them gone and are up to four mana. Note that if you animate this card with Yotia Declares War you're also able to activate the effect in response to removal, as the ability doesn't require the Reactor to tap. Dragonspark Reactor + Oni-Cult Anvil _will_ win us the game given enough time, so resolving both spells should be a high priority.

Oni-Cult Anvilimage is the second reason this deck is able to function the way it does. This card is essentially Hidden Stockpileimage under a different name that goes all in on artifact synergies, also being an artifact itself. This artifact guarantees an artifact ETB every turn as well as a life difference of 2 from the activated ability. We are sacrificing our own artifacts all the time for any reason, so a payoff for that is great.

Yotia Declares Warimage. Absolutely amazing card for what it does, especially in this deck. Create a 0/2 Artifact Creature Body, then deal 2-3 damage to a creature or planeswalker on average, and finally animate one of your artifacts to try and deal 4 to the opponent, ideally in the air. All for two mana. And even better, you're able to choose which mode if the best for you with Read Ahead if you need to rush the second chapter. The final chapter even has a bonus synergy with Weatherlight Compleatedimage.

Sokenzan Smelterimage is fantastic. 2/2 for 2 that lets you pay 1 to sac/animate one of your artifacts into a 3/1 haste when you play it past turn 2. Takes control decks by surprise and lets you deal some serious damage early on with the right tools. Weak against token decks and Wedding Announcement // Wedding Festivityimage.

Weatherlight Compleatedimage is exactly where this deck wants to be. 2 mana artifact that you can pay for with Powerstones, scry 1 on each of your creature deaths. After 4 deaths, it becomes a whopping 5/5 flying beater that can close out the game in seconds, and at 7 or more deaths will straight up draw you cards if it sticks around long enough. Creatures die like clockwork in this deck, so having that scry make a huge difference in smoothing out your draws. Currently considering adding a 3rd one to the deck as the 5/5 can get lost to removal pretty easily.

Braids, Arisen Nightmareimage. You can't really go wrong with one or two of her in this kind of deck. She's cheap, you can recur her with Blood Fountainimage, and she draws you cards for every turn she sticks and you have some junk to pitch. Late game, we can sac lands, creatures, artifacts, and even enchantments. I wouldn't recommending saccing Karn however, he's usually more useful on the field.

Karn, Living Legacyimage. I won't lie, I love this card. Is it good at protecting itself? No. That's what our army of dorks is for. This card is meant to face off against the opponent in the middle/late game by creating Powerstones, digging for cards, and becoming a nuisance that your opponent has to attack into, giving you an opportunity to cache in your 1/1 or 3/1 artifact creatures for some creature-removal value. We can recur it with Takenuma, and at a cheaper cost if we're using powerstones.

+1: Tapped powerstone. Time will tell if these things are truly useful, but by definition they are useful in our deck. The more the merrier as far as we're concerned. This should be our default ability we activate every turn, which sounds crazy except when we consider how much the stones help you in the late game, with all our artifact and ability synergies.

-1: Conditional draw. Be careful you don't spend too much mana with the effect. I've found 1-2 mana spent is a good investment in a pinch, with 3-4 mana being spent reserved for more late game plays when you're digging for gas. Obviously more mana is always better when this situation calls for it. His -1 is mind-bogglingly versatile and incredibly cool from a mechanical perspective, so don't be afraid to use it how you see fit.

-7: End the game. Karn will start at 5 loyalty on the end of his first turn, and will be ready to activate his ultimate at the beginning of his fourth turn. Obviously a weak strategy against targeted removal, but if Karn sticks around and keeps ticking up, this will be extremely relevant. The emblem, of course, is insane and will likely end the game within a few turns or so with enough artifacts.

Karn is the only card in the deck that is as expensive as four mana, so be prepared to hit him off of Experimental Synthesizerimage or your March of Reckless Joyimage on occasion. This may cause disappointment in the early game.


You Are Already Deadimage. I feel like this was slept on a bit in constructed. It essentially reads "Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn, draw a card." With all of our tiny creatures getting in chip damage all the while, it makes sense to have this in our hand against a huge creature likely to block this damage, such as Sheoldred, the Apocalypseimage. Good, cheap removal that synergizes with our deck and draws. Also synergizes with Yotia Declares Warimage, Dragonspark Reactorimage, and Voltage Surgeimage.

Pithing Needleimage is always welcome. This deck loves cheap artifacts, and this one cheaply shuts off a wide range of cards in this format. Always good against a Reckoner Bankbusterimage.

Investigator's Journalimage. Compare to cards like Reckoner Bankbusterimage and Mazemind Tomeimage. This artifact draws you cards based on the most amount of creatures any player has at the time. You can use powerstones to pay for the cost of the artifact itself and the cost of drawing, which is sweet. Good against value piles.

The Meathook Massacreimage. You knew this was coming. For us, either an insane enchant for 2 black which is fundamentally useful to us, or a 5/6 mana board wipe effect against tokens or the like. Plus, if an opponent also has a Massacre, this enforces a parity while you whittle them down with your anvil.

Unlicensed Hearseimage. It's graveyard hate and is an artifact, and an amazing one at that. This deck is actually able to crew this one a lot of the time too. Good for blocking Graveyard Trespasser // Graveyard Gluttonimage.

~~Cards to Watch For~~

Farewellimage. This card ends whatever we're doing on board. Sometimes the graveyards will be wiped too, sometimes not. When this card is resolved, if we don't have any gas we're essentially dead in the water until we find some. If you're up against this, be careful, and try to keep some gas in your hand at all times.

Temporary Lockdownimage. I haven't run into this card a lot, but when I do, it's devastating. Against this, I'd say try to run out only half your value from your hand to bait it out. Notably does not hit Karn, so try and focus on resolving him.


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Last Updated: 05 Oct 2022
Created: 05 Oct 2022
955 97 0

Mainboard - 60 cards (18 distinct)

Creature (5)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (25)
Land (22)
Other (4)
Planeswalker (4)

Sideboard - 15 cards (5 distinct)


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Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
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3 0 8 4 0