Kurkesh is a 4/3 Legendary Ogre Spirit for 2RR, with an impressive ability. You can copy the activated ability of any artifact by paying R. Just 1 red mana lets you copy any artifact’s ability.
This automatically leads to all kinds of shenanigans, Gilded Lotus and Voltaic Key along with this guy produce infinite mana of any color after a certain point.
He also has very good synergy with Mimic Vat, which lets to make copies of creatures imprinted onto it.
Now, the question is, is he playable in standard?
Well, that’s to be left up to whatever artifacts will be in limited or standard.
As far as limited is concerned, we haven’t seen a whole lot of fantastic targets for this guy. In fact, at the moment the only target we have is Grindclock.
Now, as far as standard is concerned, we run into mostly the same problem. It just doesn’t have very mana relevant targets. The 5 weapons of the gods are the only really relevant ones in Theros, and the ones in Return to Ravnica block aren’t all that impressive. Unless there is more in Khans of Tarkir, this guy won’t see standard play.
Most likely, he’ll see a ton of commander play. Personally, I have a mono-red artifact deck headed by Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer that I play from time to time, but I think I just found my new commander for that deck. Plus, you can use Mycosynth Lattice to make all of your permanents into artifacts, letting you copy your creatures, planeswalkers, and land’s activated abilities too. I’ll leave that to my commanding opinion article, however.
If there are any other interesting interactions with him that show up in M15, I’ll revisit him sooner, and otherwise we’ll see him again when I talk about his Commander playability.
Until next time,