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Saturday, July 14, 2018

M15 Core Set Review – Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient Creators of the Chain Veil

July 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

The Chain Veil

Powers from Beyond

Part of the back story for M15 was the continuation story of the downward spiral to madness of Garruk’s curse caused by the Chain Veil. This Legendary piece of Artifact seems to be the core focus and downfall of many Planeswalker. Thus far all the Planeswalkers known to be associated with it had been rather unpleasant experiences; Garruk was cursed by it by Liliana and is slowly losing his sanity; Ob Nixilis was turned into a demon after using it. Thus far only Liliana, the current user of it, was able to keep it together but unknown for how long she could hold it before it finally controls her too.


The Chain Veil

Onnakke Catacombs

Power in the Lost

The Chain Veil is like a conduit of power. It enhances the magic capabilities of its user, vastly increasing their power. But it is not without its flaw, as it slowly consumes into the sanity of its user. It was created by the Ancient Onakke, a tribe of Ogres from Shadalar. They are now all obliterated by a magical spell, casted by an unknown source. Now their bodies lie in the Onnakke Catacombs while their spirits haunt the user of the Chain Veil. Below is what it looks like In the game.

The Chain veil

Card Name: The Chain Veil

CMC: 4

Types: Legendary Artifact

Card Text: At the beginning of your end step, if you didn’t activate a loyalty ability of a planeswalker this turn, you lose 2 life.

4, T: For each planeswalker you control, you may activate one of its loyalty abilities once this turn as though none of its loyalty abilities have been activated this turn.

As you can see, the Chain Veil is a Legendary Artifact which allows you to make your Planeswalkers work overtime for you. Planeswalkers, aka the Super Friends, are powerful permanent cards which are like extra allies to you. As a balance, they were made to only able to activate one loyalty ability each of your turn at Sorcery speed. That being said, The Chain Veil breaks that rule; allowing you able to activate your Planeswalkers one more time. This is significantly powerful in many ways. Firstly you are one step closer to using the Planeswalkers’ ultimate. There are also instances whereby you only have just enough loyalty counters to activate the ultimate after using the plus loyalty ability; with The Chain Veil you can now use the ultimate straightaway. Regardless of how you use it, adding The Chain Veil to your battlefield when you have a full rank of Planeswalkers is a much recommended choice. 5c Planeswalkers EDH decks are common nowadays. The Legendary Artifact is a nice addition to those decks.


The Creators

Now enough about The Chain Veil, let’s all have a look at the Creators of it. The Onakke Ogres are a tribe of ancient ogres who once lived on the plane Shadalar. They specialized in the dark arts and artifice; and are experts at creating magical Artifacts. As mentioned earlier, they were all wiped out by an unknown magic spell and only their dead bodies lied in the Onakke Catatombs. It is here where Liliana found The Chain Veil and met our reviewed and featured Red Commander of M15 Core Set, Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient. Below is his basic card stats.

Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient

Card Name: Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient


Types: Legendary Creature – Ogre Spirit

Card Text: Whenever you activate an ability of an artifact, if it isn’t a mana ability, you may pay R. If you do, copy that ability. You may choose new targets for the copy.

P/T: 4/3


Rings of Brighthearth

One more for the Ability

At first glance, Kurkesh reminds me of Rings of Brighthearth, another Artifact which does almost the same thing. The difference here is that Kurkesh can only copies Artifacts’ abilities, but the Rings can copy any abilities. Although having that little restriction there, Kurkesh is still pretty strong in his own right. Artifacts are like the bridge in between colors in EDH. Since the rule for EDH decks building, if your Commander’s color identity does not have it, you cannot use it in the deck. Due to this, some EDH decks might not be able to do some things. For instance, a mono Black or Red Commander will not be able to deal with Enchantments that easily. Artifacts fill in those gaps there and help the colors to be able to do things out of their nature. Thus Artifacts, beside mana rocks, are common in EDH decks, and that is how Kurkesh can be use.


Artificer’s Intuition

Regardless of as a Commander or common Creature, Kurkesh’s obvious use is in an Artifact heavy deck. If your deck doesn’t use a lot of Artifacts, then it is really pointless to include him in the deck. If your game plan is to abuse your Artifacts a lot, then Kurkesh is quite the obvious choice of Commander since you get two effects out of your Artifacts with him on the battlefield. Some Artifacts have high activation costs but powerful abilities. Adding in Kurkesh into the equation allows you to get double the abilities from these Artifacts. Below are just some examples of Artifacts which you may consider putting into your deck with Kurkesh.

Altar of Shadows

A personal favorite. This Artifact destroys Creature and charges up Charge counters and produces B for each Charge counters on it. To be noted, Altar color identity is Black.

Mimic Vat / Prototype Portal / Soul Foundry

Get two tokens out of the activation of these Artifacts.

Tower of Calamities / Tower of Champions / Tower of Eons / Tower of Fortunes / Tower of Murmurs

A cycle of Towers which originated from Mirrodin set and came a full cycle at Scars of Mirrodin. They cost only 4 to cast but a whopping 8 and tap to use, which becomes rather reasonable given the huge effects they dish out. Add a R to that activation cost and you get double the effect of each Towers. That will be 2x 12 damage to two target Creature(s) for Calamities; 2x +6/+6 to two target Creature(s) for Champions; gaining 20 life with Eons; drawing eight cards with Fortunes; milling eight cards off two target player(s). The targets could even be the same one.

Sacrifice Artifacts

As long as the ability is not a mana ability, Kurkesh can also copy the ability, allowing you to reap double the effect out of the sacrifice.


Dark Arts

Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient

Remains of an Ancient

Kurkesh is a very straight forward build around Commander. His main theme is base on Artifacts. If your deck is not Artifact heavy or uses a lot of Artifacts, it is really pointless to even use him as a common Creature. However if your deck does and especially heavy with those Artifacts with activated abilities; then it is very recommended to use Kurkesh as the Commander. The main reason here is that Kurkesh can stay in the Command Zone while you build up your Artifact board and bring him in when you are ready. Thus far the only other Commander which I see could surpass Kurkesh as the Red Artifact Commander would be Daretti, Scrap Savant as he deals not just with Artifacts with activation ability but with all Artifacts in general. Kurkesh requires more customization to the deck to have more Artifacts with activated abilities to be more powerful; on the other hand Daretti as a Planesawlker has his own sets of abilities to provide advantages for you. Either way, I can see the two of them working together just fine. You can put both of them into the deck interchanging them as Commander; although as mentioned before, if your deck does not has a lot of Artifacts with activated abilities then Kurkesh will become very useless. Thus the choice of Artifacts is crucial here.

How would you use Kurkesh? What Artifacts will you pair him up with? Tell us in the comments below. And thus with that we have come to the end of today article. Till the next article then…..


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.


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