Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Keldon Warlord: Terror of the playground.

"Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It's a whim of circumstance, and barbarism is ultimately triumphant"--Robert E. Howard

"Battle is our religion. This fortress is our temple"--Latulla, Keldon Overseer

As we've grown as players, and as people, we realize some cards, no matter how cool, just aren't good. The number of bad ass creatures of yesteryear are numerous. In the larger MtG, this can be attributed to power creep, with creatures getting flashier as time goes on. However, in this format, in theory these former power houses should be able to shine in there glory, and for some, they do. Mahamoti, Serra, Sengir, Shivan, all bad ass creatures in there own right, shine on once again, as if it was 1994. Other former popular creatures haven't fared so well. One of these creatures is Keldon Warlord.

The Keldon's are a group of Conan the Barbarians. Living for battle, they are actually separated into two races, the 'pure' Keldons who are hulking massive brutes who worship War as a religious act. Then there are the Gathan's, genetically engineered rogues who was made by a wizard that felt Urza's bloodlines project didn't go far enough into making the perfect warrior. Skyshroud Elves also appear among their ranks post Phyrexian Invasion.

Numerous Keldons appear throughout the lore, including Maraxus, Latulla, and Radha, however, this is talking about the original Keldon, Keldon Warlord.

What if they threw a war and everybody came?

I remember as a kid, he was a common sight among many red decks. After all, in a time where cards were scarce (especially when in the country), you didn't always have a playset of Shivan Dragons, and you filled spaces. Secondly, he can in theory, be HUGE, even if on average he's probably only a 2/2 or a 3/3. Even on the gatherer comments, people talk about how cool he was as a kid, leading your army of Orcs and Goblins into battle, being just generally huge.

I can honestly say, I didn't see him in the Winter Derby, nor did I expect to, after all, while he holds a place in my heart, there are better options. It can be argued that Hill Giant with it's consistent power/toughness is better. Even if it isn't, Mountain Yeti certainly is, with it's protection and landwalk ability.  Sedge Troll is better in B/R. Stone Giant is even better, being able to give creatures flying (and juggle trolls). In a time when every card is at our finger tips, both visually and limited only by our finances, the Warlord just can't compete.

However, there is no doubt that he is hands down cool. He's art would find a place on any 80's metal album, he looks like he's riding a nightmare, and Mr/ Bockschmidt's ability to exaggerate leaves a good mental mark. He's also the one lord of way back when that doesn't have the 'lord' ability, instead leading by example by being stronger (and thus attacking).

What if they threw a war and everybody came?

The Art is easily his best feature. As said earlier, he would look fitting on the cover of an old pulp fiction comic or metal record. The warrior has exaggerated features, having the muscles of someone who been weened on red meat, pure iron, and steroids since he left the womb. Even his sword is over the top, not only being unpractically large, but containing over the top decorations and gems.

Even the surrounding atmosphere works, with the flaming castle being the major focus point, showing his latest conquest, which obviously he drew no quarter. Even his helmet is unpractical, but also extremely awesome, and the shoulder bad is just icing on the cake.

The only issue is the tiny leg (which isn't that tiny) below the sword. It's as if he's skipping leg day.

 Kev Brocksmidt revisited this art and has stated it as one of his most popular.

Art gets a solid 4/5.

Playability: As said earlier, where he excels aesthetically, he doesn't work as well on the battlefield. Not only is his fluctuating power risky and inconsistent. It can be lethal, as damage can kill him later in the turn as card remove from the battlefield. Sure, in a token deck he can get stupid big, but honestly, how many of those are there, especially in this format. I've debated running my beta one as a one of in mono-red aggro, because as I said, I like him, but I'll admit his playability is not good.


Flavor: This is where he makes it. The fact he doesn't check walls just adds to this (because how do walls give moral). Instead, his power increases with his prestige, and decreases as his prestige declines. That's probably his most redeemable feature. He just feels so, right. It's one of those cards you could pull out of a pack and not only enjoy, but think how you could make him good, and that is the type of card that allowed Magic to thrive throughout the 90's 3/5.

A solid 3/5 overall. It's nothing special, but it's a good addition to have in the card pool, even if it's just in the box.

Check out Kevcartoons.com to see what he's been up to.
Also Kev has made two new arts, the one for the art book
Revisited, I'd actually like to see this on cardboard.

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