Previous Set Reviews
There’s a lot going on in this set, and how all the pieces interlock makes it somewhat complicated to review. Vehicles, Energy, and more all rely on other cards in order to get full value, but I’ll try and factor that in as much as possible during the reviews.
I also want to mention, as usual, that the description of the card’s value is more important than the grade. The grade is a guideline, but the explanation will give you context, so use both when reading the review.
Let’s get to it!
Here’s the grading scale we will be using:
Retired and inducted into the Limited Hall of Fame: Pack Rat. Umezawa's Jitte.
5.0: The best of the best. (Archangel Avacyn. Sorin, Grim Nemesis.)
4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (The Gitrog Monster. Descend Upon the Sinful. Jace, Unraveller of Secrets. Avacyn’s Judgment.)
4.0: Good rare or top-tier uncommon. (Burn from Within. Devil’s Playground. Elusive Tormentor.)
3.5: Top-tier common or solid uncommon. (Duskwatch Recruiter. Breakneck Rider. Fiery Temper.)
3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Graf Mole. Dauntless Cathar. Niblis of Dusk.)
2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Nephalia Moondrakes. Stormrider Spirit. Reduce to Ashes.)
2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Expose Evil. Inspiring Captain. Lamplighter of Selhoff.)
1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Fork in the Road. Convicted Killer. Militant Inquisitor.)
1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Moldgraf Scavenger. Vampire Noble. Seagraf Skaab.)
0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Invasive Surgery. Ethereal Guidance. Open the Armory.)
0.0: Completely unplayable. (Harness the Storm. Vessel of Volatility.)
Limited: 4.0 (But I really want to give it a 4.5)
Cloudblazer is excellent, provides tons of value, and even gains you a little life if you are behind. This does work with blink and bounce, but honestly, you don’t need any of that for it to be amazing. Just cast it, and profit.
It doesn’t take much before Contraband Kingpin earns his keep, and even if you have zero artifacts I’d still run him. A 1/4 lifelink is worth 2 mana, and free scrys sounds awesome.
Depala, Pilot Exemplar
Depala seems like the real deal. She’s a 3/3 for 3, meaning she can never be awful, and works very well with many of the red and white cards in the set. None of these abilities dwarf the others, but they all combine well enough to make her a flagship card that’s worth building around.
Dovin may not be Chandra, but he does a decent job protecting himself and draws you a stream of cards once you stabilize the board. That’s about all I ask from a planeswalker, and he’s worth going for.
An aggressively-costed flier that generates 2 energy a turn is great in energy decks and good outside them. That makes this an easy hit, and a card I’d be happy taking early and building around.
In the green-white go-wide deck, this is a good finisher. Outside of that, it’s nigh-unplayable, as paying a bunch of mana for a sorcery-speed pump is not where you want to be.
I’m very skeptical of this card. Between Vehicles, opposing +1/+1 counters, and giant creatures, what exactly is this killing? Servos? I’m going to hazard a guess and say this is closer to a sideboard card than a main-deck one.
Kambal, Consul of Allocation
One trigger from this and you’ve gotten a good deal—two or more and you’ve stolen an incredible amount of resources. I’d always slam Kambal, and be very happy doing so.
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Updated Rating: 4.0
As much as I like drawing extra cards, it takes some work for this to pan out. You have to play a card that uses about half your mana, and hope to hit something that costs less, with lands or expensive cards being a miss. That’s a few too many misses for my taste, leaving Rashmi at playable rather than amazing.
Author's Note: I misread Rashmi, and thought you had to pay for the 2nd spell. The rating has been adjusted accordingly.
It’s not hard to get a card out of this, and when you do you end up with a fantastic deal. That, combined with a “fail case” of a 4-mana 3/3, leaves you with a solid early pick.
There aren’t many mediocre planeswalkers in Limited, but they do exist, and Saheeli is one of them. None of her abilities protect her, unless you are cloning things with fabricate, and the payoff isn’t huge. 3-mana planeswalkers are a lot stronger in Constructed, where games are faster and mana is more important.
I’m going to ask “who licensed that disintegration” every time this gets cast, but there are plenty of other good things going on too. This is an unconditional removal spell with upside, and for only 3 mana, making it a clear early pick.
I like everything that’s going on here. This is a great Vehicle engine, and even in a deck without them, more than pulls its weight. A 3/1 with scry 2 is great, and you aren’t paying much for any of these abilities.
A 2-mana 4/3 trampler is absurd, and this isn’t much short of that. You don’t need other energy cards to make this tick, but they certainly can’t hurt.
A 3-mana 2/3 that comes with a 1/1 flier is a good amount of stats spread among two creatures, and one any deck is interested in. You aren’t all that likely to make additional Thopters, given the steep energy cost, but stranger things have happened.
I wouldn’t play this in a 2-color deck without energy, but in a 3-color deck or an energy deck, this is solid.
The normal caveats apply—don’t pick these over much, but if you are in those two colors, you should play them.
If you have a ton of artifacts, this is fair, but not amazing. It gives you a solid amount of late game without using a spell slot, and just asks that you play a colorless land.
Putting an artifact back on top makes me very sad. It’s not drawing a card, and not usually worth destabilizing your mana.