Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kaladesh Overview Review

Now that the full set is available to view, I can weigh in on what I think about Kaladesh.

The Big Stuff:

Energy seems neat but it's a workaround of the mana system and that means it's breakable in potentially unpleasant ways. Whenever WotC does things that ignore the mana system, the potential for problems shoots through the roof. Just something to keep an eye on; if the energy deck isn't there now, when Aether Revolt arrives, it certainly will be.

Vehicles are a good twist on artifacts and I think the flavor of the implementation is very cool.

Fabricate is boring. Yeah, yeah, it offers "options" but I don't think it represents choices. I think that the correct thing to do is always going to be obvious and that doesn't really interest me. Is it bad? No, but is it something I want to try and make a deck for? No: I already have a million ways to use and manipulate +1/+1 counters.

The Gearhulks are all pretty badass, except the Green one. Yes, an 8/8 trampler for five mana is good but there's nothing protecting it from Smelt. It's not terrible, not at all-but the other 4 are strictly better.

In White, the card I actually find most interesting is Authority of the Consuls. A Kismet for the most releveant card type that comes out on turn one is going to be a massive boost to control decks, I think.

For Blue, I see both the Energy theme at a high level (it seems to have the most along with Artifacts, with G, R, W and B in order after that) and once again, it's "affinity" for artifacts showing up. I'm not sure why people fret about the state of Blue in Magic; the color is almost always represented at high level events and this continued partnership with artifacts will almost certainly keep it there. The only difference? Cards feel appropriately costed for their effects.

But the card I find the most interesting is Paradoxical Outcome. The ability to save your relevant permanents and draw a card for the escape seems like a really, really cool thing to me.

Black is a bit narrower this time: I was struggling to find compelling stuff there. I'm happy to see Aetherborn Marauder's effect again but even cards like Gonti, Lord of Luxury aren't getting the gears turning. I suppose Midnight Oil could be cool: I really dig the name but the effect seems so damn weak. Plus, the drawback of the card exists even when it runs out of counters! Two drawbacks, actually: the ping for discard and the permanent setting of your hand to zero. At certain points in the game, this is going to be excellent though: file this under "potential gem".

Red should be particularly interesting in this set, right? It's Chandra's homeworld: let's see some love! But, while I think the introduction of the Gremlin creature type is neat, I'm just not feelin' it this time. It's cool that Red is getting an in with artifacts using Vehicles in a similar way that White does with Equipment, so hopefully that will be an added dimension for the color long term.

I'm not sure how Fateful Showdown is being regarded but I feel the card has potential. A madness enabler, card draw, the ability to get rid of cards that aren't helping you, possible interactions with graveyard mechanics: that's a pretty long list of upsides.

That Green has a lot to do with Energy surprises me, but it shouldn't: resource building is a staple for the color. Dubious Challenge is almost certainly going to go into my Cube. (Which is where I keep terrible cards, for the uninitiated). After that, I'm just not seeing much to run with. Nature's Way looks cool, since it allows a potential 2 for 1.

Multicolored stuff has Rashmi and let's face it, that's kinda amazing.

The Artifacts are where WotC put some of the big, flashy stuff and it shows: Aetherworks Marvel, the Vehicles, Deadlock Trap is the kind of card that's long, long overdue, and I wish was an Uncommon instead,  and Filigree Familiar, which will possibly become the most expensive Uncommon in Magic history. It'll certainly rank amongst the most adorable. Skysovereign is crazy good-Noah told me he went 5-1 over pre-release weekend with that in his deck-and everyone already knows how good Smuggler's Copter is.

I clearly need Inventor's Fair for my Karn Commander deck, and Ghirapur Orrery is waiting to be busted.

That's all folks! I'm looking forward to seeing what cool ideas people come up with.

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