Kaladesh has a lot of interesting cards with whacky abilities, which is something to be expected from an artifact based set. It reminds me a lot of Mirrodin, which put out some very powerful cards, with very real drawbacks. While some artifact cards from Mirrodin were underappreciated at the time (and others outright broken in Standard), many of them later found a valuable place in eternal formats. Will Kaladesh cards prove to create crazy combos, broken synergies, or more? Here are my picks for the most fun cards from Kaladesh:
(You can read more about Kaladesh here)
Midnight Oil is a flavorful card taken from the phrase “burning the midnight oil”. For 4 mana, drawing an extra card every turn is a powerful ability. Midnight Oil has a significant drawback of reducing your hand size every turn. On the upside, the later the game progresses, the more likely you are to have an empty hand anyway.
In an EDH brew, this card could be fun. You could also play it in a Harmless Offering/Donate type of deck.
I don’t expect Midnight Oil to see a lot of play, but it is a fun card with a unique combination of effects.
Spark of Creativity
The designer of this card deserves a lot of credit! It is one of the most elegant and beautifully designed cards I have seen. Red loves to take gambles, using coin flips in the past to adjust for power. Spark of Creativity allows red players to take a gamble without having to roll dice or flip coins. Sometimes it’s going to deal a lot of damage for 1 red mana, and other times its going to draw a land for turn. One of the ideal ways to play this card is to not play your land for turn, cast it on a creature you want to kill. If you hit a land, play it for turn. If you reveal a high enough CMC card, kill the creature.
This card will definitely be fun to play, with each exile potentially being great value, a great “draw”, or simply a do nothing cantrip for 1 red mana. Despite its varying power level, even at its worst, it isn’t all that bad. Another way to think about it is as a 1 mana “draw a card/land” with the upside of potentially destroying a creature on the opponent’s side of the field instead.
Spark of Creativity could potentially see some play in constructed formats, but will certainly see good play in limited.
Rather than specify a single new Vechicle card, let’s appreciate the concept as a whole. Vehicles bring something new and exciting to Magic that is flavorful and works in a way that makes intuitive sense. While it may add some complexity to the game, it is much more simple than previous concepts, like enchantment creatures.
I look forward to test driving this new sub type.
Madcap Experiment is a card combo players everywhere will love. It provides an explosive amount of power with a huge drawback. For only 4 mana, you can tutor an artifact from your library into play at any CMC; however, you might die in the process.
Madcap has some potential in Standard, perhaps not tier 1, but potentially powerful enough for an FNM brew. He combos well with cards like Noxious Gearhulk, which can gain back some of the life you will lose casting Madcap Experiment. The biggest downside of Madcap is not the damage in Standard, but the fact that their aren’t enough high CMC artifacts yet, or top deck manipulators. If we see a Blightsteel Colossus like card printed in set #2 of Kaladesh, Madcap could potentially make a very strong deck.
Modern is where Madcap Experiment can make some very interesting brews. For example, if your deck runs Platinum Emperion, Madcap can tutor Platinum into play before the damage effect resolves, which means you will lose no life, and paid only 4 mana to tutor in the 8 CMC artifact into the battlefield. Platinum Emperion is still easily destroyed with removal, so you will need other pieces to complete a deck utilizing these cards. Cards like Intervention Pact can also gain you the life you would have lost as well, which has combo potential. It’s still too early to see if Madcap Experiment is a viable tournament level card, but it looks like one could be possible. Since the card was announced, the cost of Platinum Emperion has doubled, which could be an indicator of things to come.
The power level on this card is huge. Ancestral Recall every turn is an insanely powerful ability (given you have no cards in hand). It is also an artifact, which means an artifact based commander deck that can play their hand out quickly could get an incredible draw engine from this card. It also works nicely in a ramp deck, letting you play additional land to cast your big spells, while also giving you the draw you need to finish the match. It could also work well in a madness based deck, which lets you discard/play your hand quickly.
Kaladesh has no shortage of powerful new cards. There have been some complaints recently about instants and sorceries being underwhelming. While Fateful Showdown is no Damnation, it does have some good play for control and combo builds. Destroying a creature at instant speed is good, but discarding your hand can help with Delirium and getting cards like Kozilek’s Return into your graveyard.
4 CMC will make it hard to combo with Madness cards when you discard, but I look forward to seeing what Delirium decks can take advantage of this kind of ability.
While not on par with Grave Titan, Noxious Gearhulk is still a very powerful 6 mana black creature with an enter the battlefield effect. Menace means this guy is going to get in for damage more often than not, or at least take out a few good blockers. Topdecking this card is going to make or break a lot of games. Nothing seems as sweet as drawing this to destroy an Emrakul, The Promised End.
Noxious also works well with Madcap Experiment, although you’ll need to add a few other powerful artifacts to avoid taking lethal damage before Noxious gains some of your health back.
Depala, Pilot Exemplar
A Dwarf Legend? Sign me up! She is solid as a 3/3 and pumps both Vehicles and Dwarves. Her 3rd ability is great for tutoring additional threats and creating card advantage.
Metallurgic Summonings begs to be put in a instant/sorcery brew. Costing a valuable turn 5, it is most likely too slow for Standard. For Commander formats, this card could find a home in Melek, Izzet Paragon builds. Returning all Instants and Sorceries from your graveyard to your hand is a powerful ability, and with the insane number of powerful spells in Commander, it can provide an additional win condition for non-creature heavy decks.
This card is crazy! I can’t believe they printed this! Commander just got a whole lot tougher. Aetherflux brings the politics of Commander to a whole new level. If I attack, will he or she kill me in response? Aetherflux can warp a game without even being used, as it can affect the actions of others players. Certainly this card will make Krosan Grip that much more relevant in the format.
As a side note, it will be hilarious to witness the few interactions of this card where dealing 50 damage to a creature, rather than a player, is the better action.
Inventors' Fair is another flavorful card with some great abilities. Being able to tutor any artifact from your library to your hand is a tremendous ability, with the downside of needing 3 artifacts in play to do so. I can think of quite a few decks that would take advantage of this land, including Memnarch and Daretti Commanders.
Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
A Rhy’s the Redeemed styled card, Oviya will definitely see some commander brews. I look forward to seeing what people can come up with. The biggest downside is that this card is green, and most of your commander decks would want to run blue to combo with artifacts. Other than that, a 1 mana Commander that can put tokens into the battlefield can probably find a way to be abused.
Browbeat on a 6/6 stick. The red gearhulk is going to make for some wild situations. In a ramp deck, you can reveal some huge creatures for massive damage. On the other hand, drawing 3 cards in ramp can be just as good.
Panharmonicon is the new best friend of all gearhulks, allowing double triggers. It is also another card for Commander shenanigans. An interesting addition to this card is that it will create an extra trigger for artifact cards, not just creatures. At 4 mana, Panharmonicon is a reasonably big investment, but there are plenty of ways to cheat colorless cards and artifacts into play early.
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Rashmi deserves her mythic status. Its ability reminds me a lot of cascade, but provides a questionable amount of value due to its variability in revealing the cards you need. Turn 5 onward, you should be getting either a free draw each turn or a free spell, which will add up to some nice incremental advantages. As a Legendary creature, Rashmi will be fun to build a Commander brew around.
You can view all of the Magic: The Gathering Kaladesh cards by clicking here.