Conflux – Knight of the Reliquary

A quick review on Conflux rare, Knight of the Reliquary.

Aesthetics:

My friend Luis Neiman (aka Luis Not Vargas) asked me last week what I thought of this card, but I hadn’t seen it yet. He described it as a 2/2 for three mana (which it is); to which I said, unexciting. Then he explained how Knight of the Reliquary is basically a progressive Tarmogoyf (or Countryside Crusher) while fixing mana, thinning out lands, or even drawing extra cards!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. You can only sacrifice a Forest or Plains, but you can get any kind of land you want. So for instance in Extended you can get a Flagstones of Trokair and then another Flagstones of Trokair and they can kill one another, netting you both more lands, and more lands in the graveyard.
  2. You can tutor up specialty lands, such as Academy Ruins, Ghost Quarters, Riptide Laboratories, or even Urza’s parts (though I have doubts about those in any deck that would be willing to play a 2/2 like this one)
  3. Knight of the Reliquary hasn’t got vigilance; so if you want to play searcher, you are either playing defense or simply forgoing your Red Zone rights. It’s not just a free giant monster on the cheap; on the other hand…
  4. In a format like Extended, you might have a gaggle of lands in the graveyard anyway, charging up Knight of the Reliquary from the get-go.

Where do I see this fitting in?

This card can go in a couple of places. First of all, it can be incorporated into any creature deck that can play it. It’s just a good card. Worst case scenario, it should be a serviceable Gnarled Mass, that is, an automatic PTQ winner 🙂

Secondly, Knight of the Reliquary can go into a specific creature deck with a bunch of Forests and Plains and specialty lands, serving much the same function as “any creature deck” but with a more specialized function. It can beat. It can be good. But it can also perform surgery. It can be Dwarven Blastminer, grabbing Ghost Quarters to kill the opponent’s special lands. It can be a slow and inexorable Demonfire, finding Vitu-Ghazi, the City-Tree, eventually killing the control opponent… but it might take a while. It can even be a kind of Platinum Angel, finding Prahv, Spires of Order to force the opponent to commit more and more resources to the board even as it grows out of easy control.

Then there are the “Karoo” interactions, where Knight of the Reliquary is a kind of Benalish Heralds.

And of course the process of putting lands into the graveyard can give it a synergy with Life from the Loam or Crucible of Worlds (in this case you can call it a Terravore in a pinch).

Finally — that is “finally” in the context of things that I have thought of off the top of my head — Knight of the Reliquary can be a specific puzzle piece that finishes a deck strategy. Maybe it fills the role of a flexible Reap and Sow in a deck that needs to stick two or three different kinds of lands together like Legos.

Snap Judgment Rating: Role Player (high) to Staple (low-medium)

LOVE
MIKE

All Conflux

P.S. While you’re here, in case you haven’t read the previous post The Hidden Value of MTGO Ringers, check it out. The comments section is one of the most awesomest ones in the short history of this site, and includes an opening line by GerryT that is the equal of any strategy article that has been written this year. Do yourself a favor and check it out 🙂

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12 comments ↓

#1 KZipple on 01.27.09 at 8:05 am

I think this card is manifestly awesome. Imagine a G/W midrange aggro deck that somehow, I don’t know, stalls the board with this out. Are they ever going to lose? Well, probably sometimes. But it seems like a tremendous boon. At first I wanted to say, “But what if it gets Terrored…” but then I realized that I could just draw a second copy. I think this card is overrated now, but will prove to be a strong role-player if the right kind of deck can play it.

#2 Anth0919 on 01.27.09 at 8:09 am

Since KoR has zero built in evasion and will take a few turns to beef itselt up, I personally don’t see much value for this guy in the redzone, but I don’t think that’s where his immediate impact is intended to be anyway. His ability to smooth out your mana is obviously huge. I just think it leaves the question if there is a deck that plays enough Forests and Plains to abuse him. Since it’s Extended season much of the focus is there, and unfortunately I am hardly the extended guru to leave a worthwhile opinion… I’ll leave that to the more qualified. But KoR plus Noble Hierarch are really tempting to explore a Bant control deck that can maybe even splash for a 4th color.

And Bant seems really strong for block. Turn 1 Noble Hierarch, turn 2 KoR or Rhox, turn 3 Rafiq or Elspeth. Attacking with a turn 3 5/6 dbl striker w/ lifelink or a 7/8 flier w/ lifelink might be good. Granted, it’s probably like about a 20% chance that you’d be able to play a turn 1 Hierarch, followed by a Rhox turn 2, and then have Rafiq or Elspeth for turn 3, but it sure is fun to think about.

#3 GRat on 01.27.09 at 5:30 pm

Cute!

#4 wrongwaygoback on 01.27.09 at 6:29 pm

Between Ancient Ziggurat & Reflecting Pool, it’s time to come out with the 5CCC Deck – Five Colour Creature Control. Because, hey, you can!

Philosophy – Efficient Creatures (Rhox, Doran, Rafiq, KotR) backed by anti-anti-creature spells & drawing engines (eg. negate, guttural).

#5 Rerepete on 01.28.09 at 10:04 am

The interaction with Flagstones is amazing….tap the land, sac. it to KoR, fetch another Flagstones, (and get a bonus plains)…You net out with WW in your pool, KoR is +1/+1 and you have more fodder for the next turn (unless you enchant with Freed from the Real but that is a different story…)

Chances are that you already have one or more lands in graveyard before KoR hits the board anyhow (Terramorphic Expanse, fetch land) which would probably put it out of burn’s 3 point range.

I was thinking that it will fit in Zoo deck, or UWG control deck as a great land tutor giving both board position (defensive mostly). Just think what a mid-game Armageddon would do for her (It looks to me like it is an image of Elspeth, herself, in the artwork).

#6 GavinV on 01.28.09 at 6:28 pm

Rerepete, unfortunately Flagstones is not a plains. You can’t sacrifice it to the Knight. Too bad, because that’d be pretty nifty.

#7 Burn1nMyLight on 01.29.09 at 1:15 am

Why is this not Flagship, even if its a bit leaky? It’s begging to be built around, and there is tons of synergy waiting to be tapped.

#8 KZipple on 01.29.09 at 2:27 pm

I wouldn’t call it a flagship because while it does cool things, they aren’t really the kind of things worth building your deck around, at least not in this format. If you could, I don’t know, untap it for G…we’re talking flagship. But is it really going to inspire new decks to be built? Especially in Standard? Maybe this is an Akira Asahara Flagship.

#9 bk on 02.01.09 at 9:34 pm

I don’t get the hype. I think this is one of those cards that is just under the playable line in constructed. It does a lot of cute things, but it is still 3cc and takes many turns to actually get going much of the time. I guess he might be good in extended or maybe even legacy with all the sacklands, but it seems like there are more consistent fatties to turn to. also most aggro decks really don’t want to spend 3 mana on anything nowadays. At least he makes an extra mana every time you use his ability.

This set is just Banefire and a bunch of other cards that are barely worth looking at. (Ok Path of Exile is also the nuts) I see people getting way too excited about uncounterable pyroclasm, 6cc do nothings and 1/2 elves that are supposed to counteract bitterblossom.

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