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Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine spoiler season started just yesterday and earlier today we saw the return of a fan favorite, Garruk. The newest expansion has already shown off a new mechanic in Adventures that has an interesting twist on dual-use cards. However, this latest spoiler of Syr Konrad, the Grim promises to be one of the most interesting Legendary Creatures in the set.

Syr Konrad

The breakdown

Syr Konrad is a black Human Knight Creature. He costs two black and three generic mana for his five power and four toughness, a respectable stat line for a creature of his mana cost. Konrad also allows his controller to pay one black and one generic mana to put the top card of each library into its respective graveyard. This effect mimics that of Ghoulcaller’s Bell, but it can be repeated multiple times in a turn, given you have the mana. Finally, Syr Konrad, the Grim also carries a massive block of rules text.

From Grim to graceful

Magic is known for being a game where, if you can read, you can play. Simplification of text boxes has been of extreme importance to the design team at WotC. From the simplification of Channel to the constant inability to fix the rules text of Oubliette to fit into the text box, it is apparent that Wizards is trying to make the game easier to pick up and understand. This makes it much more difficult to understand why Syr Konrad has such a grim text box.

The rules text on the card states that the card does one damage to each opponent whenever one of three conditions is met. The three conditions are as follows:

  • A creature other than Syr dies.
  • A creature card enters a graveyard from anywhere other than the battlefield.
  • A creature card leaves your graveyard.

Players have seen similar effects in the past like Cruel Celebrant. However, this is the first time the effect triggers off of such a variety of conditions. The first condition allows the effect to trigger off of all creature deaths including tokens. The second condition allow for the effect to trigger off of mill and discard effects. The final condition lets the effect trigger on reanimation and Gravedigger effects.

Mill is back baby

Syr Konrad, the Grim reinvigorates one of the oldest alternate-win conditions in the game, again. After the addition of Ashiok, Deam Render and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries in War of the Spark bolstering the mill, self or otherwise, power of Dimir, this card looks to give mill another advantage with a tough creature that can consistently ping the opponent while milling.

Konrad will probably be seen mostly in mill decks across the formats. However, it would not be surprising to see him appear as sideboard or 1-offs in sacrifice and reanimator decks.

The verdict

Despite the horrendously large text block and headache that it induces, Konrad appears to be an extremely strong card. He is a little on the costly side at five mana, but for the effect he can have on the board and game state, it is definitely worth it. Be cautious during attack and block phases however. Syr’s natural four toughness makes him a great target for creatures to trade up into.