There is a cycle of mythic Gearhulks in Kaladesh, and the ones we’ve seen so far look incredible, including the one I get to preview today. They are all gigantic artifact creatures that come with a keyword and a sweet enters-the-battlefield ability, which is a recipe for success.
To see what black brings to the table, take a look at Noxious Gearhulk:
This Gearhulk doesn’t mess around. It’s a solid body and the ability is extremely powerful, with multiple distinct upsides. First of all, it’s a 5/4 menace, which lets it threaten planeswalkers and opposing life totals with ease. Menace is one of those underrated abilities which matters more often than you might think, and the Gearhulk being menacing is certainly relevant.
The real meat of the card (a card that has zero actual meat on it, by the way) is in the enters-the-battlefield ability. Destroying any creature with zero restrictions is big, and just the presence of Noxious Gearhulk in the format will impact which creatures see the most play. Playing a 5/5 and having a Gearhulk immediately crush it is not the way to win games, and Gearhulk is going to see plenty of play.
The secondary part of the ability, the lifegain, is what pushes this over the top. Not only does Gearhulk remove their biggest creature and add a 5/4 to your board, it gives you some extra life just in case. That makes Gearhulk one of the best comeback plays you can make, while still being great while you are even or ahead on board.
Add all of this up, and you get a card that’s powerful in many different situations, and such cards tend to be great.