Key to the City

Legality

Format Legality
Modern Legal
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Standard Legal
Frontier Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Kaladesh Rare

Combos Browse all

Key to the City

Artifact

, Discard a card: Up to one target creature can't be blocked this turn.

Whenever Key to the city becomes untapped, you may pay . If you do, draw a card.

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Key to the City Discussion

xenon240z on Whir of Skysovereign

11 hours ago

kts777-

Ceremonious Rejection does sound great at one copy!

The reason I don't like Ballista is because it turns on a lot of removal from our opponents that normally doesn't line up very well (grasp, fatal push, shock). I could see siding in creatures like this for game 2 when they side out their removal though.

Esdeekay-

Great to hear you like the deck! I actually used to play with Gearseeker Serpent in the early versions of the deck. It was mono blue and looked something like this: Mono Blue Improvise. After that, the deck went through a bunch of changes. I didn't give up on Gearseeker Serpent though. I still played with it in an FNM and a Game Day. One of the biggest problems with it though is that it's pretty terrible to have in your opening hand and overall makes hands that include it harder to keep. With improvise decks, consistency is one of your biggest issues. Cards like Pia Nalaar are mainly in the deck to help consistency, giving you a semblance of battlefield presence and an artifact in one card.

That's a lot of jumbled info to take in, so I'll narrow it down to a few points on why the Serpent doesn't make the cut in my list.

  1. Is it better than any of the payoffs in the current list? I believe that 10 payoffs is the right number in an improvise list, so assuming that's correct, we'd have to shave one or more of them to make room for the Serpent(s), otherwise, our draws get unbalanced and clunky. In this list, the payoffs are 4 Maverick Thopterist, 4 Bastion Inventor, and 2 Whir of Invention. IMO, Serpent is far worse than these. Thopterist provides ramp, pilots, and blockers. Inventor is already a 5/6 most of the time thanks to Inventor's Goggles and has hexproof. And Whir is a centerpiece of the deck.

  2. Could we make room for it by taking out a piece of interaction (i.e. Metallic Rebuke or Battle at the Bridge)? Unlikely. I've liked 6 pieces of interaction, especially with the best deck (Mardu Vehicles) being so aggressive.

  3. This deck is excellent against spot removal. Serpent is not. Think about Unlicensed Disintegration.

  4. We already have access to unblockable with Key to the City, and you'd be surprised how few times the Serpent's ability actually feels good to use. 6-mana is a real cost.

With that said, Serpent can be awesome when it lets you double spell with an improvise card, especially with Metallic Rebuke and Battle at the Bridge. If you really want to play it, I say go for it. I would take out a Whir of Invention or the third copy of Battle at the Bridge/1st copy of Unlicensed Disintegration depending on what your list looks like.

I hope this helps! All in all, I like to play cards that I have fun playing. If you have fun with Gearseeker Serpent I definitely think it could earn a spot in your list.

Hipparchos on Feldon. Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

14 hours ago

Yeah absolutely. I'm happy my playgroup is more of the casual battlecruiser one.

I didn't have the chance to draw Key to the City often, but i guess i have to search it with Hoarding Dragon. I guess the card can win you games: Discard the creature you need next turn and make another one unblockable; sweet synergy. :)

Paul.The.Firewood.Salesman on Feldon. Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

14 hours ago

I've had a similar experience. I haven't had to deal with too much graveyard hate, thankfully. I deal with the odd Scavenging Ooze and Bojuka Bog and alike. Luckily I haven't had to deal with Rest in Peace yet. On a side note, I actually find the most powerful card in the deck is actually Key to the City. I figured it would perform well but I'm honestly shocked by how well it does perform. If you haven't had the chance to use it yet, I think you'll be shocked by how good it is when you have a full hand.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 days ago

Ok, all. I am an idiot. I had a realization in play yesterday that should have been obvious, but I had missed it. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim was meant to be both Rattle Snake and spot removal, but the deck was not built around it, so she never got going. I focused on the spot removal, and when she was removed from the deck, I replaced it with repeatable creature spot removal, thinking that would at least come close to replacing the value of Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim. What I didn't fully grasp was that the weakness of slow speed of the removal, along with the durability of the removal was the problem, and that Assassins would never be able to make up for this. I was sitting on one of the best removal spells that are available in Queen Marchesa's colors, and I recognized this at least enough to put it into a sideboard slot because I just couldn't cut it all the way. I think I should just put the good spot removal back in, and skip all this getting fancy with creatures for removal BS. Since my Rattle Snake and Pillow Fort defense is already very strong, I am not sure why I am worrying about it so much, especially since I keep strengthening it with the most subtle of subtle Pillow Fort cards like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, and Key to the City.

Right now, I think I just need to consolidate what I think this deck does best, make sure that I bring enough of both the offense and defense that this deck works off of, ensure that I am optimally countering common deck archetypes in ways that are synergistic with the rest of the deck, and not get distracted with complicated additions.

With that said, I have a sideboard that I have constructed of cards that are meant for tuning this more specifically to different metas, and for including cards for combating common archetypes that my meta does not contain. Even if I don't use this as a common sideboard between games, this is my list of cards to adjust for changing metas as I go between them, likely usually between sessions.

Changes that I plan:

Main Deck changes should be to consolidate the theme of the deck, removing weakness in favor of the strengths.

Out:

Kiku, Night's Flower, Royal Assassin. I love the art on Kiku, but she was a distraction. Neither will be the bomb that I want, neither is subtle enough for a non-bomb card.

In:

Stronghold Discipline - Rakdos Charm is a huge part of my offense, and wins a ton of games. Stronghold Discipline is essentially another copy. Unconventional offensive plays are what this deck does best. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.

Utter End - One of the best spot removal spells available. Control is one of the things this deck does best, especially surgical removal. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.

Sideboard changes should compensate for different metas and allow me to combat the weaknesses in the deck with respect to commonly played archetypes that are just not that common in my usual meta. I am OK with unfairly destroying decks in metas that are not my usual meta.

Out: Utter End - Into the Main Deck!

In: Rest in Peace - The best at what it does, kills a lot of combo, storm, spellslinger, value engines, reanimator, etc...

So, what does that leave us with?

Ramp and Fixing: Lots of Ramp and Fixing that is tuned and synergistic with the rest of the deck, as well as a curve that allows us to bring out early big plays. Gift of Estates and Tithe double as card draw late game, and our unconventional manabase is highly synergistic with the rest of the deck.

Draw and Tutoring: Enough Draw and Tutoring to make the deck consistent and holding enough answers for every threat or weakness, without being obtrusive or conventional enough to be obvious about it. Three all star players in this list are Shred Memory, Key to the City, and Sea Gate Wreckage. Uncommon tutors and draw with huge impact in this deck without ringing any danger bells for most players. This suite makes my already versatile card list even more versatile.

Defense: A 25 card subtle and somewhat unconventional Pillow Fort and Rattle Snake defense with a low curve, the potential to be used offensively, and which is synergistic with itself as well as my offense. Back this up with a nice Fog suite, making my defensive wall extend into my hand so as to not have all of it sit on the battlefield to be effective, and bringing it's own offense in the right circumstances. Add to this a control package that is complete with a very strong and versatile spot removal suite, some reactive board wipes that have offensive uses, and multiple cards to allow us to protect our board state, including counterspells in Mardu colors!

Offense: The offense is structured to take advantage of typical board states and the strengths of my opponents with cards that have outsized effect for their costs. It is designed to be huge Aikido bombs against any Big Mana, Big Creature, Big Army, Big Hand, or Big Attack deck. It is structured in pairs of cards for each of these, including Acidic Soil/Price of Progress, Backlash/Delirium, Rakdos Charm/Stronghold Discipline, Sudden Impact/Toil / Trouble, Deflecting Palm/Comeuppance, with Arcbond, Batwing Brume, and Eye for an Eye all reinforcing this array of counterattacks. This reactive offense is backed up with a couple of big bomb offensive attacks in the form of Master of Cruelties and Hatred, a couple of midrange beaters in the form of Serra Ascendant, Gisela, the Broken Blade, and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, and an army of smaller defensive and utility creatures. Bring in combat tricks and enablers like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, Key to the City, and Rogue's Passage to act as later game silver bullets, and the offense is quite versatile.

Sideboard: Packed with Combo hate, a counterspell suite of my own for Counterspell and Blue Control hate, Graveyard Antics hate, and extra offense in the form of Dark Depths as an uncounterable big beater and Exsanguinate for big burn.

In all, I think I am pretty satisfied with where the deck now sits, and will likely consider this list to basically be the core deck. Testing will confirm, I think I have chased down all the areas that needed shored up, and I feel like this is, at the moment, a completed list.

Despionnage on

4 days ago

Your Key to the City isn't doing much for your deck at the moment. So, I'd say that you can replace some land with that possibly. For the control side of things, I'd recommend to take out your Insidious Will and replace it with a straight counter spell that's cheaper like Broken Concentration. It's cheaper and I think you'd get more use out of it.

I'd also recommend somehow getting your cmc down and finding a way to get Gisa and Geralf in there. He would take advantage of the Prized Amalgam that you have there as well as just being able to cast your zombies out of your graveyard.

If you're going to use Diregraf Colossus, you need more zombies. Right, now his ability is only triggered by maybe two creatures. So, it's either change your plan or get more zombies. It really depends on what you have in mind.

Casper00901 on Tezzeret Artifcat Modified

6 days ago

Cathar's Shield could replace orinthopter. Have you considered Bastion Inventor or Key to the City? A 4/4 hexproof is really good in this deck when you consider it could hit the board turn 3 or sooner. Key to the City would make a creature unblockable and help with draw when used for improvise or Merchant's Dockhand.

oblivionshadowknight on R/B Vampires V 1.1

6 days ago

Asylum Visitor yeah I see where you're coming from, but its conditional draw. Just like Glint-Sleeve Siphoner turned out to be so-so. You're better off playing guaranteed draw such as the Key to the City that you've mentioned or Macabre Waltz which can combo quite nicely. Walking Ballista makes a 2 mana 3/1 that needs to survive a big target and not much else.

collective brutality is good enough to see modern play, it can eat removal spells out of your opponents hand, kill 4C combos Servant of the Conduit and Rogue Refiner and get a little extra damage in.

Aethersphere Harvester is just a good card to play for some extra blocking, lifelink, and makes summoning sickness irrelivant for your first creature each turn which makes a huge difference in damage.

clayperce on Dis-Infect This

6 days ago

GearNoir,
Speaking of Lands, though I'm not sure your manabase would support, Cathedral of War might be worth a look. I play UG and love that Exalted trigger!

I've never tried Key to the City in Modern, but I've found it better than Hot Soup in EDH, so it may be worth a look as well.

Draw well!

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