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Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold, and Lands
Welcome to my Kaladesh Constructed Set Review! I do things a little differently than in the Limited review:
I evaluate only the cards that have a shot at seeing play in Constructed. Sometimes I leave a card off that ends up seeing play, but I try and cast a wide net.
I try and talk about non-Standard formats if something seems applicable, but if I don’t mention a specific format, assume I’m talking about Standard.
The ratings scale is slightly different as well:
5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren. Radiant Flames. Shambling Vent.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat. Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept. Anticipate. Transgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living Guildpact. Naturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing). (I believe it was tech vs. Owling Mine, although fairly suspicious tech at that.)
If small red creatures are all over the format, this is a reasonable response. Smuggler’s Copter does make Aerial Responder a little less appealing, as I suspect the Thopter will be a part of most red aggro decks, but a 2/3 flying lifelink is worth considering.
Aetherstorm Roc looks to me like the kind of card that can crack midrange mirrors wide open. It attacks planeswalkers effectively, and can generate and utilize energy well. It is vulnerable to removal the turn it comes out, which is my main concern.
Angel of Invention
The total power and toughness you get from this is enough to make me pay attention. If you make Servos, even a removal spell leaves you with a couple tokens, and the Angel surviving makes your board quite impressive. Putting the opponent in a “kill it or lose” mode isn’t a bad place to be, and Angel of Invention does that.
Authority of the Consuls
This reminds me of Blind Obedience, which did see some niche sideboard play against a red deck full of haste creatures. Neutralizing haste and gaining life is a nice combo there, and this has some merit if that kind of deck is what you are looking to beat.
Built to Last
This is another speculative card, and it won’t be the last one. The place I see this giving you an advantage is if you have a lot of artifact creatures in your deck and can use this to prevent a removal spell or win a combat. 1 mana is not a lot, and I’m always on the lookout for effective 1-mana cards.
Because both players choose their own side, this isn’t strictly a better Tragic Arrogance. It’s still a beating against any go-wide deck, and that includes decks stacking up artifacts, not just creatures. Because this is an artifact creature, you get to keep it plus a creature, or it plus another artifact, so presumably you aren’t losing much yourself. Getting a 4/5 vigilance makes it pretty easy to get a good deal here—if this kills two of their creatures and none of yours, it was amazing.
There’s the start of an energy lockout deck here where you generate enough energy to prevent any of the opponent’s threats from connecting. You need more permanent sources of energy, but perhaps Dynavolt Tower could be the start of a sweet engine.
This card, like its predecessors, will see a good amount of play. Even though it’s not always permanent, it’s priced to move, and plenty of giant troublemakers are going to see themselves put under arrest by this guy.
I’m mostly excited about this for older formats. A 1-mana Disenchant is big game, and killing almost every relevant artifact or enchantment is a powerful effect.
This wrath is priced to move. I’ve never loved 5-mana sweepers, but they have been playable recently, and gaining a life per creature is a huge upgrade. This lets you slowroll by a turn or two, counting on the extra life to make up for that damage, which is a game-changer. Fumigate will have a big impact on Standard.
Making 2 artifacts for 2 mana is the definition of a role-player. The power and toughness you get isn't amazing, though it works with any mass pump effects, and this mostly will serve as a way to get a critical mass of artifacts.
Paying 3 mana to kill a creature and scry is actually where we are at in Constructed, and this picks off Vehicles quite well. It seems worth taking a shot here, and I like the idea of this in both control and midrange.
Artifact beatdown decks get a Wild Nacatl to go along with Nerd Ape (Inventor's Apprentice), which is exciting. Whether they have the rest of the tools to function isn't clear yet, so I'd look for cheap artifacts like Servo Exhibition and Smuggler's Copter to fill this out.
Top 3 White Cards for Constructed
Fragmentize is a bit of an oddball because it'll see play in older formats, and Fairgrounds Warden could crack the Top 3 if you are looking just at Standard. Getting a great wrath plus a powerful 5-drop in Gearhulk is a good pickup for white, especially once you keep in mind that there are fewer colored cards because of all the artifacts in the set.