Kaya, Ghost Assassin



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    Confirmed: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-story/tyrants-2016-08-10

    This card seems totally insane. It's like an unkillable super-Bob.

    Now, first things first: I don't think it's good if you're running Blue. If you are running Blue, you have Jace, Dack, Tezz, maybe even Narset, and those might be better. This is a card for a deck that does not want to be Blue. So, take all my comments in that light.

    She protects herself. Not in a direct way, no, but her 0 ability resets her loyalty to 5 and hides her during your opponent's turn. You can literally play this on turn 3 against a hostile board and just blink her every turn until the situation improves. Once you deploy her, your opponent must be aware that any time the shields are down, out she comes.

    She protects you. If you're facing down a tinker bot who is not named Inkwell, or a lethal attack from a giant Ravager or even just some Eldrazi beats, she stops one of them from attacking -- forever-- for a cost of 2 life per turn.

    She gets rid of sphere-y creatures like Thalia or Golem for a turn if that's what you need.

    The -1 ability is a win condition. It's not the fastest, but it cannot be blocked and it helps race weenies. It's an ability that is just nice to have in case the game stalls out.

    The -2 ability is hilariously good. "Draw a card" are the three best words in Magic, and when you are also making your opponent discard at the same time, it's the Value Train to Value Town.

    Think of what happens to your blue tempo / control opponent if you bust this out in an aggressive white or black or shops or eldrazi type list. Suddenly you have a source of card advantage that disrupts while you draw. They cannot let that survive. But, the options for removing it unless it was countered are slim; they will need a bolt after you -2 to kill it reliably. Good luck sculpting your perfect hand with this in play.

    It's expensive. Yes. At 4 mana, it's not as easy to slot in somewhere as baby Jace may be. But, holy cow, its powerful.

    EDIT: Also, I completely missed her applications as a blink engine initially.

    She's a machine gun with Containment Priest, without any mana investment (sorry, Displacer).

    She recurs enters-the-battlefield effects like Snapcaster Mage.

    She lets you cheat creatures into play with Surprise Deployment or Aethermage's Touch, two cards that no one but me and my casual decks thinks are good.



  • I don't know if she is good enough for vintage (for 4 mana one expect some kind of clear win effect) but the design is original and she has lots of potential as an engine. Her BW color might not be the best ones (no competitive BWx deck that could use her easily) but i will give her a try at least for the fun of it.
    edit : yes, she can protect herself but only in sorcery speed and while doing this she just does nothing so is not really a threat.



  • I'll totally play this in a Gush deck. Take from that what you will...



  • @albarkhane I'd agree that she doesn't have a home except that we've seen a surge in white weenie style decks recently. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for someone to be tempted to try out black instead of shops/eldrazi to supplement. Heck, the five-color Humans deck could run this walker pretty well, too.

    @ChubbyRain said:

    I'll totally play this in a Gush deck. Take from that what you will...

    Can you explain? At a glance, I don't see why a deck with access to two islands would run this little lady instead of Big Daddy Jace.



  • @MaximumCDawg said:

    @albarkhane I'd agree that she doesn't have a home except that we've seen a surge in white weenie style decks recently. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for someone to be tempted to try out black instead of shops/eldrazi to supplement. Heck, the five-color Humans deck could run this walker pretty well, too.

    I did not follow vintage very closely recently so i will have a look at those Humans decks. My point was that the effect one might want to combo with her are mostly blue not BW (with the very notable exception of containment priest).

    One would want is use the -2 as often as possible that means draw +2 /discard -2 in three turns since you need to reset her. That is a correct effect but not amazingly quick so i guess her real power is to abuse from her 0 capacity.



  • @albarkhane Yeah, she's pretty grindy. I don't see her in a Blue shell, not just because she competes with possibly superior Walkers, but also because it feels like she's at her best AGAINST blue decks.

    Imagine you've got a White Trash style list, maybe with some Duresses and Dark Confidants tossed in or something. This card attacks your control or tempo opponents on a whole new axis those decks do not traditionally have. You'll grind them out with card advantage while disrupting them if they don't deal with you now.



  • Her colors are unfortunate. If she was all white or all black I actually think she would see more splash but right now that is a tough pair.

    She synergies really well with Balance though.

    Ramp her out with moxen losing your hand, balance, start using her to draw cards and keep your opponent off cards. Alternately you can tuck away a creature, balance, get your body back next turn.

    I cant see her in any current shell though, since white decks want to run Null rod effects and black decks wanna storm, but the power level is there.



  • @Protoaddct said:

    Her colors are unfortunate.

    I mean, maybe, but printing cards at this power level in traditionally underused color pairs in Vintage is exactly what you need to do if you want to diversify the field. This particular card might not make a new archetype on her own, but if you keep tossing good cards into those colors, eventually one emerges. I'm a fan of printing cards this strong in weird colors for exactly that reason.

    It's like Rich Shay was saying about Mishra's Workshop before they restricted Golem: Vintage gets diverse when you have powerful cards that are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE with other powerful cards. (Workshop =/= Force of Will, for example).



  • @MaximumCDawg said:

    @ChubbyRain said:

    I'll totally play this in a Gush deck. Take from that what you will...

    Can you explain? At a glance, I don't see why a deck with access to two islands would run this little lady instead of Big Daddy Jace.

    1. Playing random win cons in Gush decks is kind of my thing right now.
    2. Wildcard
    3. Many of the points you mentioned are applicable to Gush decks...she blinks Thalia or Golem for a turn, letting you spew Tokens onto the board, she functions as a Forcefield against a single creature, the creatures you want to blink for value are generally Blue like Snapcaster Mage, Vendilion Clique, Baleful Strix. Heck, you can even get cheeky and blink out a Mentor to protect it from Supreme Verdict.
    4. Gush decks have trouble interacting with planeswalkers - they have Force of Will and the token generators but Force of Will in a battle of attrition is often a liability and you won't always have a token generator online by the time this hits. Pyroblast is the preferred card for dealing with Walkers but only hits the blue ones. Medium-sized Gideon and Nahiri, card I played but can't remember the last name, have both exploited this weakness in various decks to some degree of success. Is Kaya weaker than those two? Part of being a successful brewer means attacking the metagame from a slightly different angle. You just have to work within the format's constraints, which right now means playing Gush.

  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain said:

    I'll totally play this in a Gush deck. Take from that what you will...

    Something this card has in common with a surprising number of other cards.



  • The 0 ability is deceptively good as it can be used to easily set up multiple Walkers in play at one time, kills tokens, fogs creatures, actives CiP effects, ect. ect.
    The -1 ability is marginal, but it has its uses.
    The -2 ability is obviously the bread and butter. Immediately nets you a 3 for 1 just by resolving.

    I think the mana cost will be a limiting factor, mostly the BW portion, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this card making the cut. Probably the best non-blue Vintage walker.



  • I'm gonna go ahead and take the other side and say that this card is fringe playable; similar to the Narset planeswalker. Part of what makes Dack and Jace, TMS the clear best Planeswalkers is that they loot through multiple cards (not just one), are blue, and have significant board interaction (Jace bounce, Dack steal)

    This card is like a slow Phyrexian Arena, that costs more mana.



  • @desolutionist Fringe playable is still playable and Narset won the last TDG. It should be noted this card gets better when Gush ultimately gets restricted. The discard effect is not amazing given Gush's ability to put +3 cards in your hand.


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