As promised when I covered the overrated cards in Kaladesh Draft, here are 10 underestimated cards that deserve another look.
1) Consulate Skygate
I was surprised to see that this card was actually good—it’s so good that I actively want at least 2 in all of my blue decks. As long as your deck isn’t aggressive, this should be one of your best 2-drops, and you don’t even need to be blue.
But for blue to be great in Kaladesh, you need to build your deck in a defensive fashion, because there are no good 2-drops that can attack. In fact, there are only a few that are playable. Aether Theorist should be prioritized highly, then Consulate Skygate should be next on the list. It blocks extremely well in this format full of 3/2s, covers the air, and pairs super well with the following card:
2) Gearseeker Serpent
One person who clearly does not underestimate this card is Shota Yasooka. On his way to victory at the Pro Tour, Shota first picked Gearseeker Serpent in his first pack of the 2nd draft, over Key to the City, Underhanded Designs, Shrewd Negotiation, and Chandra’s Pyrohelix. To be fair, I disagree and I would have selected Key to the City there, but there is still something to learn from his preferences.
I enjoy drafting blue in Kaladesh and I quickly found that it was hard to close games without the Serpent in your deck. Not only is it a great blocker, unlike Long-Finned Skywhale, but it’s probably the most reliable way to finish a game.
Shota must have been forcing blue or something because generally, there aren’t many blue drafters at a table since the color has very few ways to pull you in on pure card quality. The one guy that ends up being blue often just gets it all, tabling Malfunctions and Serpent left and right. At least that’s been my experience, but who knows? Everyone might start forcing it now that it’s being talked about!
3) Minister of Inquiries
In specific decks, Minister of Inquiries is unreal. Of course, I’m talking about heavy-energy decks. These decks tend to durdle a little too much and not actually do much. Well, this little guy will mill your opponent very quickly.
There’s another archetype that has flown under the radar: Blue-White Control. Consulate Surveillance is great there. You play Aether Tradewinds, Disappearing Act, and Acrobatic Maneuver to stall the game, and generate card advantage with enters-the-battlefield triggers. Closing games has proven to be a problem, though. Gearseeker Serpent should do that job, but you don’t always see them. The Minister is absurd in this deck because not only does it kill them, it allows you to have a cheap permanent to bounce and the energy he produces can be used elsewhere.
4) Key to the City
I’ve been getting passed this card way too often. The format has a major lack of mana sinks and Key to the City fixes that, while most likely getting your opponent dead. Sure, it’s not exactly as good as a looter, because early in the game spending 2 mana to do so every turn is a huge downgrade, but at just 2 mana and an insane upside late game, you can sign me up.
It should be your first pick more often than not, especially because it is colorless.
5) Inventor’s Goggles
The problem I encounter the most with Inventor’s Goggles is not that it’s bad, it’s that I always have too many noncreature cards that I need to cut in that category, and Inventor’s Goggles often gets the axe for that reason. It’s possible that I was wrong to cut them so many times, because they are amazing in action. They’re at their best in white-red, because that’s where you find most artificers. Still, even without that creature type in my deck, turning your 3/2s into 4/4s is great and makes it hard for your opponent to block.
Mana flood is an issue in this format because there are so few mana sinks. Well, here’s one.
6) Night Market Lookout
People are not exactly wrong to throw this card into their unplayable pile, but there is one specific archetype in which it’s good and you should consider it: Red-black, alongside Spireside Infiltrator, Sky Skiff, and various Vehicles (hopefully Renegade Freighter).
You want to draft a regular red/black aggressive deck, except you end up using these last-pick Night Market Lookouts to great success. They help immensely in getting the last few points of damage in once your opponent stabilizes, and they can be great on turn 1 if uncontested. You don’t have to go out of your way to make this deck happen, just draft Sky Skiff a little higher than usual. You don’t have to pick the Lookout until it comes to you for free.
7) Rush of Vitality
This card wins combat and makes racing a piece of cake. I think people are starting to understand that it is a great combat trick, but around GP London, I was still seeing people talking about it as if it were bad filler.
8) Harsh Scrutiny
Despise, despite being printed in 2 sets, was never a good Limited card except perhaps as a sideboard card against bombs. Harsh Scrutiny has the good fortunate to be in a format where curving is every deck’s top priority. If you can catch your opponent’s only 2- or 3-drop and they don’t draw another one, you’re ahead on tempo and it only cost you a single mana.
Scry 1 is also key for making this card miles better than Despise. The late-game topdeck is not as catastrophic anymore.
9) Paradoxical Outcome
I’m coverering a lot of corner-case scenarios in this article, but it’s good to be aware of them instead of thinking a card is straight up unplayable. The blue-white deck I talked about above featuring Minister of Inquiries would love to have Paradoxical Outcome in it.
Benjamin Weitz went 3-0 at the Pro Tour in a draft where he had Paradoxical Outcome, 3 Minister of Inquiries, and Consulate Surveillance.
10) Attune with Aether
I just want to make this clear: I doubt anyone thinks this card is bad. I just want to point out that it’s more than “good.” In the right decks, this is a dual land that reads “when it enters the battlefield, draw 3/4 of a card.”
Some members of East West Bowl are avid energy drafters and think that this is the best green common and honestly, as much as I like Thriving Rhino and Peema Outrider, I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s true.