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Spotlight: Syr Konrad, Destroyer of Drafts

Today's spotlight is on one of the best cards you can pull in a draft or sealed event, Syr Konrad, the Grim. Konrad is one of the bombiest bombs I've ever pulled in a draft. Coming in at a reasonable cost of five mana, two of which must be black, he's got a pile of text paired with a not too shabby 5/4 power and toughness. In constructed, it could be a pretty gnarly build around, but the format has plenty of removal and it would be awfully disappointing to have such a distinguished knight get reduced to an elk.

The Devil's in the Details.

The real power of Syr Konrad is in the static and activated abilities. Graveyard synergy here is off the charts. He triggers when a creature dies, is put in the graveyard from anywhere other than the battlefield, or leaves the graveyard. Be sure to understand this includes your graveyard as well as your opponent's. This makes Konrad a very flexible build in draft events, especially on Arena where the draft bot forgets that "mill" is a viable archetype. You may not think it's a good early pick at first glance, but catch yourself on the opposing side of a Konrad, you'll wish you had snatched it sooner. It also has an activated ability to boost the static abilities. For two mana, one and a black, each player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard. This card has it all, a self contained win condition if left unanswered. Whether you are milling your opponent or yourself, you're sure get value out of this card, assuming he isn't immediately nerfed or removed, which should be the case if the opponent is able to do so.

But Professor PureJank, what now?

Well I'm glad you asked. Konrad is a solid beater on his own but not taking advantage of his abilities is a real injustice. There are several cards you can add to your arsenal to really bring out the power of Konrad.

If you're on Arena and in a position to draft the ever cumbersome mill deck, then Konrad can really shine. Cards like Merfolk Secretkeeper, Didn't Say Please, Overwhelmed Apprentice, and the always overlooked Eye Collector are great cards to pair up with Syr Konrad. A traditional Mill deck build can win a game on it's own, but having Konrad on the field means that you might not necessarily have to mill your opponent completely. You'll just need to get enough creatures in graveyards for Konrad's abilities to take care of the rest.

Also, let us not forget the power of a Cauldron Familiar with a Witch's Oven. It's already annoying enough for opponents in constructed, so why not bring some extra salt to the table in draft too? Konrad is adding an extra two damage for every time you cycle through a cat/oven loop. With this added damage, you only need to cycle through the loop 5 times for lethal, maybe less if you have gotten in some damage prior to setting things up.

Two more cards to touch on with good Konrad synergy are Forever Young and Deathless Knight. Deathless Knight recurs from the graveyard when you gain life, say...from a food token or cat drain. Forever Young can be a one-shot kill with Konrad if have enough creatures in your graveyard.

You'll likely want to present some other strong creatures to have a back up plan in the event that Konrad doesn't stick or you can draft cards that can bring him back like Cauldron's Gift or Order of Midnight. If you're on the mill plan then you can probably win without Konrad but it's a excellent addition to the archetype. This has been Professor PureJank's Throne of Eldraine Spotlight. I thank you for tuning in and I hope you swing by for whatever's next and as always, good luck, I hope you lose.

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