Earlier this week I wrote the first part of this article, outlining the first 3 of my top 6 most misleading Kaladesh Draft uncommons, which you can check out below. Today I’m going to finish it off with my Top 3. Last week, I went over 3 uncommons in Kaladesh that are undervalued, so check that out if you missed it.
There are also quite a few uncommons that might be overvalued, and that makes them a little misleading. I’m not saying that any of the cards I’m including are unplayable—in fact, a lot of them even make the cut a good amount of the time. But there are caveats to these cards that might not be present in other formats.
6. Era of Innovation
I know this is likely to be the most controversial card on the list, because it’s a powerful combo enabler, but it also only fits into very specific decks. This combined with Whirler Virtuoso? No contest! That’s some amazing synergy right there.
This, combined with a lot of other cards in the format? Eh.
This card is fantastic in the right deck, but outside of that it’s hard to include. I’ve had decks where I picked this up early and just didn’t have enough incentive to play it—either I didn’t have enough ways to use the energy (outside of drawing the cards) or I didn’t have enough artifacts and Artificers (or cards for that matter) to make the energy. Keep in mind, unlike Durable Handicraft, which only requires you to have creatures in play, if you topdeck Era of Innovation in the late game, it requires you have either specific cards types in hand or a specific resource stocked up to make it useful.
Or maybe this will be the most controversial card. I can, however, count the number of times I have lost to this card on one hand. Conversely, the number of times I have drafted Whirlermaker and kept it in the sideboard is much higher.
In so many other formats, an artifact that pumped out 1/1 flyers would be just ridiculous. But Kaladesh is different. While the format isn’t very fast, it does seem to reward the player who is playing cards on curve and advancing their board presence. So while you are paying 4 mana for a 1/1, your opponent is paying 4 mana for a Peema Outrider. In late-game ground stalls, or for your grindy control decks, sure, include this card or board it in. But for what it is, it ends up on the bench a surprising amount.
4. Trusty Companion
Despite how misleading I think Trusty Companion is, I will almost always play it in my white decks. That being said—it’s pretty misleading. A 3/2 with vigilance is a fantastic rate, which is why I’m playing it. But the problem is that it doesn’t do what you want it to do at the time you expect it to do it.
Okay, so unless you have a 1-drop you want to attack with (which is rare in Kaladesh), the Companion isn’t actually going to be able to attack until turn 4 (and this is assuming you play a creature on turn 3 that survives). At that point you’re probably better off playing a different 2-drop on turn 2, and a 3-drop on turn 3. At least that way you can attack with your 2-drop on turn 3! My biggest problem with Trusty Companion is that he’s a lot like Serra Avenger: they come at an exceptional rate, but they don’t do the thing you want them to do at that rate. Is it still a good card? Of course! Is it a little misleading? Yeah, I think so.
3. Janjeet Sentry
In any Limited format ever, this is an immediate first pick. It’s a tapper and untapper. These creatures are the bread-and-butter of Limited control decks, and any deck that can play them usually will, short of an extremely limiting ability a la Eldritch Moon’s Sigardian Priest. I’m sorry, there are just too many Humans in that format!
Unfortunately, Janjeet Sentry falls into a similar category. Despite being able to tap and untap creatures and artifacts at will, 2 energy is simply too high of a cost for the Sentry to be utilized efficiently. The Sentry gives you 2 energy when it enters the battlefield—and that’s it. So you naturally get to tap or untap one thing? Come on. In the right deck this card can shine, but usually that’s one that can make an excess of more than 2 energy per turn and isn’t doing a whole lot else with that energy.
2. Furious Reprisal
This card is bonkers! 2 damage to 2 different targets in Limited? This might as well be an uncommon Comet Storm—right?
Well, not really. Don’t get me wrong, I will likely always play Furious Reprisal when I have it, but I can’t tell you the number of times I had to simply deal 2 damage to the opponent as one of the targets because nothing else made sense. Nothing makes sense, I tell you!
This format is riddled with 2/3 creatures, and you can engineer situations where you run your 2/3 into their 2/3 but who even has the time? There are a lot of tricks that make this less an ideal, like Subtle Strike, Aether Tradewinds, Blossoming Defense, etc. Is it still a solid removal spell? Definitely, but you’re likely not getting the same kind of mileage out of it that it looks like you might upon first impression, especially at sorcery speed.
1. Hazardous Conditions
Cards like Infest and Flaying Tendrils are usually universally snatched up in Limited formats as mini-Wrath-of-Gods. I thought this would be the case with Hazardous Conditions as well, but I have come to find that this isn’t the case.
This format has not only a ton of creatures that put counters on themselves, but also a ton of ways to get counters put on them, as well as the aforementioned bevy of 2/3 creatures. All of these make it extremely hard for Hazardous Conditions to be a true ace.
Just like Furious Reprisal, there have been more times than not where I would have Hazardous Conditions in my hand, and it would end up killing more of my good creatures than my opponent simply because they had more ways to put counters on them. Well never again, Hazardous Conditions. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… won’t get fooled again.
All of these cards definitely have their places, and there are times where you’ll play them, but on the surface these are all cards that have traditionally been first-pick status. These particular iterations all seem to fall short.
Be sure to let me know what you think or if you have any cards of your own that you’ve found misleading in Kaladesh Draft. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time!