Today, on Modern History, we take a look at a card from everyone’s favorite block: Kamigawa! Here’s a little rare from Champions of Kamigawa that is not only the first rare alphabetically in the set, but an interesting one as well!
While you won’t be seeing this card in any top 8 decks, Akki Lavarunner is one of those crazy flip cards. The interesting thing about this one, besides costing 3R for a 1/1 Goblin with Haste, is that whenever he deals damage to an opponent, you get to flip it right away.
Tok-Tok, Volcano Born, his flipside, is an interesting Legendary Creature. He’s a 2/2 with Protection from Red, and if a Red source would deal damage to a player, it deals that damage plus 1 to that player instead. It’s a pretty decent effect, and in a Goblin deck, having a creature like him would certainly be welcome.
There’s only one downside here. You have to have him deal damage to a player before you can get his effect. In a Goblin deck, he could be well more than a 1/1 though. And if you do get his flip side, your Goblin Grenades can become 6 to the face to a player, and suddenly a card like Hellrider makes those declare attack triggers hit twice as hard.
Yes, the damage +1 can hurt you, too, but in the right Goblin-centered deck, that sort of ability would be devastatingly good. Were this not a flip card and instead just Tok-Tok, this would actually be very playable. While Wizards was probably right to make this a flip card, it’s interesting to think what might have been were Tok-Tok his own man…