It’s time for the Kaladesh super duper post-PT card notes spectacular! Last week I recorded my thoughts on cards after GP Atlanta, but before the PT. Since then, I’ve had a lot more time to play with the cards and see them in action. Today, I’m going to use the same format as last week. I’ll review some cards I covered last week, some new ones, and leave some off where I don’t have anything new to add. For the cards that I mentioned last time there’ll be a drop down to what I said before so you can assume I didn’t mention the card last time if there’s no spoiler for a given card. I’ll also at least quickly mention any rare/mythic I didn’t get to last time since some of you asked about them in the comments. Let’s get talking about Kaladesh cards!

A

Aerial Responder

Last Week’s Evaluation

As busted as advertised.

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The more I play with and against this card the more annoying it is. It stops enough tiny creatures that it actually gains life on defense even if it can’t block larger creatures. It also heavily incentivizes you to include an extra combat trick or two in your deck since any time you win a combat with this guy it’ll lead to a huge life swing that is basically unraceable. I’m taking Longtusk Cub over this P1P1, and Freighter because it’s colorless, but this card is just very scary.

Aether Meltdown

Last Week’s Evaluation

This is a strong draw to blue, but I try to avoid the color, so I’ll take this lower than I might otherwise (I think I might take Hunt the Weak above it, for example, as of now). Blue often tries to win via flyers, which makes this card even better, and the color is interested in energy so this does it all. It does get a bit worse if you’re trying to attack on the ground, but even then this card will be great.

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Last week I said blue was bad. I’ve effectively pulled a 180 since then. I think blue is good as long as you’re focused. Energy decks are real as are blue artifact-based decks, though those you have to prioritize the actual artifacts since blue and red lack fabricate creatures.

Aether Theorist

Last Week’s Evaluation

This card looked amazing but actually underperformed. The main problem is that 3 toughness actually isn’t enough to block after turn 3. There are just a ton of 3-power attackers and creatures that quickly grow. You’ll always play this because it is really nice to scry and get energy with, but it’s not a card I’m looking to take early.

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The blue decks I’ve tended to play do make the game go long and so this guy adds a lot of value over the long game. I do mostly agree with what I said before, though I think Aether Theorist is just a bit better because I like drafting blue combo and control decks more. It’s important to know when you actually want to scry with the Theorist. Burning an energy every turn is practically free in some decks because they don’t have many good places to use that energy, btu I’ve found that isn’t too common. The most common play pattern I’ve enacted with the Theorist is to get a point of damage or two in early and start scrying later because that way you save a little energy and more importantly you don’t know what you’re looking for early on (unless you keep a very land light/heavy hand. Then scry away!)

Aetherborn Marauder

I think this card is very good. It pulls off a pretty easy Baneslayer Angel impression because there are usually a couple counters it can steal, especially if you draw this card later in the game. But this entire format is clogged with amazing 4-drops and so this creature’s value is less to me than in a different format where the 4s are less good. Sure, Maulfist Squad is a lot worse than the Marauder but it is a creature that can replace it whereas clean answers like Tidy Conclusion are less replaceable even if they’re expensive. For that reason I really like to think about what my deck already looks like and where it’s headed when deciding if I want to take this creature. I’m also much more likely to take it early if I’m in B/G since it’s so +1/+1 counter centric.

Aetherflux Reservoir

This card is just bad in Limited. There’s a dream there but if sought after it quickly turns into a nightmare.

Aethersquall Ancient

I’ve been surprisingly impressed by the Ancient in a relatively fast format mostly because it brickwalls a board when it comes down. 6/6 is just very large and won’t be contended with outside of the biggest creatures/Vehicles or in a combat without pump spells. That’s still quite a few qualifications, so I think the better uncommons outclass this creature but it’s a solid rare. The one thing I don’t understand is how a Skywhaler’s Shot takes this out, especially when this could just pay energy to bounce the creature with the harpoon. Flavor fail.

Aethertorch Renegade

I’ve been really impressed by this guy to pick off Servos and also to team up to take down creatures later. 4 energy is also a lot and he uses energy well from other sources. One nice combo is the combination with Spontaneous Artist, which lets you take down a bigger creature unexpectedly post-combat (I attacked a 4/4 into a 4/5 once then pulled this off).

What’s interesting to me is that this guy is cut from a different cloth than many of the energy cards. The reason is that the most common energy deck is U/G/x and so under that mold the Renegade becomes a splash. While that’s fine, he’s clearly best on curve, which can lead to some problems if you can’t cast him soon enough. All that said, the card is still fantastic so you’ll want it in any energy deck, some of which are R/G Beatdown where this can really shine, and you’ll still pick it early out of many packs. If you do have heavier splashes in U/G, be sure to pick mana fixing highly because many drafters will want your Prophetic Prisms simply as cantriping artifacts.

Aetherworks Marvel

I actually drafted with the Marvel recently and thought it was quite reasonable. It’s not quite busted like in Constructed and can be a bit hard at times to get multiple uses, but it really doesn’t take much for this card to be good in a dedicated energy deck. Hightide Hermit alone almost gets the job done on turn 5, and if you have a few expensive threats in your deck worth hitting, even something as simple as Accomplished Automaton, then this card is worth building around. I’m not in love with windmill slam first picking it out of a good pack but I do think it is worth picking pretty early.

Ambitious Aetherborn

This card looks a bit weak but many decks just want the servo. He trades across with important 4/4s like Peema Outrider and I’ve found it to be a simply fine card.

Angel of Invention

A pretty busted rare for Limited but her incredible upside does come stapled with a hidden downside. Watch out for removal spells on the Angel in combat, thus making all your creatures smaller such that they lose each fight they’re in. I’ve seen that happen more than a few times and it’s always a bloodbath.

Animation Module

The card does stone nothing on its own but is trivially easy to turn on. The usual use is 4 mana to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature with a counter and make a servo but there are tons of uses for the module. I think my favorite is with Ninth Bridge Patrol, which lets you pay 1 to make a servo any time a creature dies, including servos you’ve already created. At that point you can just chump attack with servos to grow the patrol until he’s big enough to rumble into the red zone by himself.

Appetite for the Unnatural

Last Week’s Evaluation

I like the first copy main. I’ll usually board in a second depending on how many targets I see (2+ makes me strongly consider it) and my opponent’s archetype (I’d almost always board a second versus U/W, and I’ll almost always board out my main-deck copy against U/R).

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I’m still a fan of the main deck copy, but I’ll go a bit further. Your green energy decks really want the first copy of this card. The reason is that they function as combo control decks that have low power big toughness creatures. But they aren’t big enough to ever block a Vehicle and thus this card is essential to staying alive, especially when it comes to the dreaded turn 3 Renegade Freighter.

Arborback Stomper

There was a lot of debate during PT testing between Arborback Stomper, Nature’s Way, and Servant of the Conduit (with Longtusk Cub well ahead of all of them). We pretty quickly dismissed Nature’s Way since it’s mana efficient but you can find a very similar effect in Hunt the Weak and you still need a big enough creature to battle with. Servant has a unique effect on ramping your game plan, but it is among a class of good 2-drops and is less necessary for this reason than if it were a card of a different color. Arborback Stomper has a similar issue in that it’s just an upgraded Riparian Tiger but after playing the format enough, I’m on the side of the Stomper. The 5 life just immediately stabilizes you and green decks really want a good 5-drop to close games with. Sure, the Stomper is just a good Tiger, but you really really want Tigers.

Architect of the Untamed

Watch out—Landfall is out of control! That’s probably why it wasn’t printed on the card. Jokes aside this rare is just very average. I like all the good green uncommons more than it, and you can decide whether it’s better than the commons based on the type of deck you’re drafting.

Attune with Aether

Last Week’s Evaluation

There are a few places I like this. The first is any energy strategy that really wants 2E. I’ll simply cut a land for it as long as my curve is situated to do so. Usually, that means extra 3-drops, so I can play a 3 then cast this turn 4 and play another 3. Splashing, specifically if I’m Temur (usually for Whirler Virtuoso in base U/G), is another good reason. I think it looks a little freer than it actually is, and I wouldn’t always want to run it. Attacking is great, and staring at this and a 4-drop you want to cast on turn 4 when you have no lands and a 5-drop in hand is exceedingly awkward. Be aware of that downside and value this lower if you’re pretty aggressive even if you have uses for energy.

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I already thought this card was decent but it’s actually just excellent. I’m a little afraid it will eventually become overrated but that day certainly hasn’t come yet. Every energy deck wants a pair of these to jump start the curve and help with splashing.

Authority of the Consuls

I already regret saying I’d talk about every rare.

B

Ballista Charger

Last Week’s Evaluation

This is the one good expensive common/uncommon Vehicle. Pinging usually takes down a Servo, which makes chumping this much harder, and 6 toughness makes it hard to block and also difficult to attack into. I like it less than the best commons but I think it goes right after.

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I overrated this card. I was in the phase of “every Vehicle is better than I thought,” which made me think I wanted to pick this early. That’s not true but the card is still fine. Crew 3 is low enough that it will always be impactful, but it’s worse than Bomat Bazaar Barge, Sky Skiff, and Renegade Freighter, to name a few comparisons.

Bastion Mastodon

Last Week’s Evaluation

Another card I like more than Tiger in W/G. 4/5 vigilance is huge and I think this cycle of artifact creatures all play very well. 4/5 also blocks the 4/4s in the format, and for this reason I’d consider another Appetite post-board versus white decks. I was also informed on stream that when this gets locked down by an Aura it becomes Irrelephant.

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Some people were arguing over the joke rating last week. I’ve thought long and hard about it and concluded that I’m not LSV and will let the universe ponder its definitive rating for the rest of eternity.

Blooming Marsh

When your opponent is dead on board and you play this before attacking, it’s total BM.

Bomat Courier

Certain decks actually want this, but it should always fall into their laps. Key to the City, good pump spells, and removal all make the card better but you’ll never pick it early and will know if it’s worth taking on the wheel.

Botanical Sanctum

These lands are merely fine, but I’d be fine to never pick one at a high level event. The only real time they’re worth taking is over medium playables you might cut anyway. The blue ones are slightly more valuable because those color pairs are more likely to splash than the others.

Bristling Hydra

It can be tricky to determine when you should spend energy to pump the Hydra. In a way it’s risky since now you can lose to removal. Ideally, you’ll shorten the clock by a turn when you do, but you should also consider whether there are more ways to produce energy in your deck, since you can sometimes afford to wait so that you can pump and then have extra energy in the bank for added hexproof.

Built to Smash

Last Week’s Evaluation

Very good but also can be pretty awkward that you can’t pump on defense. It is in the best color for these types of effects though and notably combines really well with the big Vehicles to just finish the game. Good luck beating this on an Aradara Express.

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Some decks like an aggressive U/R deck with artifacts might prioritize this more highly because the other tricks available are horrible. R/W and R/G have multiple 1-mana tricks, so this card remains great but replaceable, and that should impact your drafting.

C

Captured by the Consulate

Last Week’s Evaluation

Played it in U/W. It was good, but can’t deal with every type of card like Vehicles or annoying utility creatures like Oviya. Still, it will usually be your first pick, but I don’t think it’s way better than Revoke Privileges.

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A deck like W/G doesn’t want this card very much because the fact that the creature can block is a huge downside. That leaves me picking the card early, but not as a first-pick like I thought before, except out of weaker packs.

Cataclysmic Gearhulk

I wish I had good things to say about this card, but I really don’t. The issue is that if you’re losing to an evasive threat, you’ll still just be losing to the same threat after you play this. While a 4/5 is nice, it’s nothing special and literally is the same size as Bastion Mastodon for the same converted mana cost. If you see this 3rd or 4th pick, don’t freak out because that’s honestly when the card should be picked most of the time.

Chief of the Foundry

Last Week’s Evaluation

Fine to very good, depending on the deck. Will usually perform best in W/B and W/G, though the bar is pretty low to make this a good card. Watch out for mid-combat blowouts when this dies and shrinks all your other artifact creatures.

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I think many of the artifact creatures in the set are just good and consequently find this card to be quite good as well. You just don’t need many artifacts creatures in play for it to impact the board in a big way. I like it much more than Foundry Inspector, which I have a hard time getting enough of a mana reduction out of to justify an early pick.

Cogworker’s Puzzleknot

Last Week’s Evaluation

The only time I want to play this is when I have Shrewd Negotiation in U/W.

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This card is actually kind of awesome even though it doesn’t look like it at first glance. It combines well with white go-wide decks that are interested in flooding the board with Servos and winning with Inspired Charge. Where I like it even more though is in conjunction with Gearseeker Serpent. Playing this on turn 2, and cracking it on turn 3 leads to a turn-4 Serpent, which is pretty fantastic. In addition it really helps Quicksmith Genius fire on all cylinders and proves itself as an effective role-player.

Combustible Gearhulk

Unlike the white version, I’ve been impressed by this. A 6/6 first strike is just pretty reasonable for 6, but it combines well with Built to Smash, and it’s also reasonably easy to hit for a good amount of damage since most Limited decks are midrange and have a high curve even including lands. I hit for 9 once, which let me start attacking way sooner than I thought I’d be able to, and while that’s atypical, it goes to show the power of this card.

Concealed Courtyard

This is a nice sounding Magic card and teaches you about alliteration!

 

Confiscation Coup

A friend of mine wisely countered this with a Revolutionary Rebuff on turn 5 in a draft game at the PT. Next game his opponent waited until turn 7 then played Confiscation Coups on back-to-back turns. You can guess who won which games.

Consulate Skygate

Last Week’s Evaluation

4 is the magic toughness to block most attackers so this card has overperformed. I’ve also discussed the dearth of strong 2-drops, which means 1 of these can often make the cut. I don’t even hate it in decks that want to attack because it blocks while you attack or crew with your other creatures. True aggro decks don’t want it, of course.

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In addition to the strengths I mentioned, this is an easy way to get an artifact in blue decks that are defensive, care about artifacts, but lack fabricate. Remember to sideboard it in against decks with 3-power creatures or cut them against decks with many 4+ power creatures.

Consul’s Shieldguard

This card looks pretty awesome but is really a glorified Prakhata Club Security and should be treated as such.

Cultivator of Blades

I haven’t actually seen this make Servos yet, but I imagine on an empty board that could be okay. The card is high variance, but I think it wins the game often enough that it’s just good.

Cultivator’s Caravan

I seem to keep opening and getting passed this during my Magic Online drafts. That’s okay though because this card is quite good as shown during its time so far in Standard. Dumping your hand then attacking for 5 is powerful, and opening up splashes is icing on the cake.

D

Deadlock Trap

This card looks a lot like Tumble Magnet, which was an absolute Limited all-star, but entering the battlefield tapped is a huge downside in a fast format. In addition, 2 taps is very few in a deck that can’t reliably fuel the Trap, and thus you end up with more of an archetype card that looks better than it actually is.

Decoction Module

Last Week’s Evaluation

I think you usually only want this when you also have Fabrication Module because spending your turn 2 with this rather than getting on board feels pretty bad. The decks that have a ton of energy can play this, though they don’t even necessarily need to because they have so much energy naturally. It also is very good in combination with Whirler Virtuoso and sometimes you assemble the dream of this, Virutoso, and Era of Innovation.

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The lack of mana sinks in the format make weaker mana sinks like Decoction Module better. Some games come down to giant board stalls where one player tries to topdeck better than the other. But that becomes a moot point if one player has a mana sink. Thus, this card shines in energy decks, but you really don’t need many energy cards before this becomes a strong inclusion. Be sure to board it out in fast matchups when you aren’t full-on module combo.

Demon of Dark Schemes

This is easily one of the biggest groan-test cards of the format. I’ve been in games I thought I could never lose only to face down the Demon and die a few turns later. It is truly absurd against some decks like W/B or W/R, which tend to have a lot of high-power, low-toughness creatures.

Depala, Pilot Exemplar

Constructed cards either shine in Limited because they’re broken or are overrated because of a context shift. Depala is a case of the latter because she needs you to meet a few conditions to really shine, and when that happens she provides a bonus, but nothing truly game breaking. Most Limited decks will have a few Vehicles and a few Dwarves simply because that’s what R/W wants, but picking Depala early and forcing R/W is a good way to trainwreck a draft (and not in the good Renegade Freighter way).

Dhund Operative

Last Week’s Evaluation

One of the easiest ways to dream curve in the format. I’ve consistently been impressed by this card and think it’s a very high pick. I like it better than Foundry Screecher early because good 2s can be hard to come by, and it can always sit back and trade up when it’s no longer crashing in for 3.

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One thing that happens a lot with the Operative is it pushes back against the aggressive nature of the format. There will be games where it hits for 3 a few times creating a big early advantage, but any time the Operative faces down another 2/2, it’ll be time to sit back because that’s such a trade down with a 3/2 deathtouch. What this means is that a deck with Operatives plays the typical Limited midrange role very well. They can provide early beats when possible, but are well suited to a long-game transition and this one little cards helps provide that pivot point.

Diabolic Tutor

You should almost never have this card in your deck except when you need a game to go a certain way to win. Sometimes you have to draw your one true win condition like Demon of Dark Schemes to take over a game and then this is fine, but don’t include Diabolic Tutor just because you have a bomb, but do so because it fits your all-in Draft plan.

Die Young

Last Week’s Evaluation

I like the first one in any deck because -2/-2 is fine as one copy, but it can be clunky if you have multiples and no support. Shines best in U/B where you have a bunch of energy creation. Haven’t seen a good U/B Control deck, but I think if there’s a control deck it’s due in part to this card.

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I’ve enjoyed the combination with Live Fast in black decks and I’ve paired it with Glimmer of Genius for some extra energy. Those circumstances really take a medium playable to a genuinely good card but I think you need them to make it shine.

Dovin Baan

I’ve played with Dovin, and one of two things happen. Either he’s too hard to protect and becomes a glorified life gain spell with a little extra value, or your opponent can’t attack through your board to pressure Dovin and you just tick up until you minus a ton or ultimate.

I think the latter happens enough of the time that I’m happy to first-pick Dovin and risk picking a 2-color card early.

Dubious Challenge

I like a good challenge, but no thanks.

Dukhara Peafowl

This is secretly just one of the better blue commons. Its stats are great and it attacks in the air reasonably well. It’s just another reason why Wind Drake is somewhat embarrassing in the set.

Dukhara Scavenger

I think the uptick in card quality this provides makes it a reasonable include in most black decks, and it of course improves if you have bombs. Sometimes you just go off and put a on top of your library. Then your opponent kills the Scavenger and you play the Gearsmith, at which point you’ve demonstrated a nice loop.

Dynavolt Tower

I was off this card initially because there’s just no way you’re going to draft a deck with 12 instants and sorceries in it. But I’ve come around on the Tower because it’s just a good energy sink. I’ve had a few games where I had 20+ energy and nowhere to put it, and the Tower helps solve that problem. Of course, the instants and sorceries you do have are also quite nice with it.

E

Eddytrail Hawk

Last Week’s Evaluation

I was surprised by this card. The format is about racing so getting airborne is great and there aren’t a ton of good ways to stop flying creatures.

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The important thing here is that 2 activations are usually enough, and this will often get in a good chunk of damage before you even start flying other creatures. Storm Crow lives on!

Elegant Edgecrafters

Last Week’s Evaluation

I’ve been pleasantly surprised here. It just puts enough stats on the board and has enough evasion that it punishes certain attacks, importantly the ones where you’re attacked by big creatures with small creatures back on defense. I’ll also note that most decks have a default plan for fabricate, but it really is fine to base your Servo/counters decision on the board. There’s not usually a right answer for a given deck, but rather a right answer for the given game you’re playing.

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More than 1 fabricate is a lot, and makes a card good to very good. The Edgecrafters are also unblockable a surprisingly large amount of the time.

Eliminate the Competition

Last Week’s Evaluation

This card is messed up. I recommend playing a Weaponcraft Enthusiast the turn before you cast it. It’s better than all the uncommons and commons p1p1 even at the risk of ending up with few Servos (but of course you can draft around it).

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This is the type of card that enables a Diabolic Tutor engine since your plan all game is to clog the board, then cast this and win.

Era of Innovation

Last Week’s Evaluation

Good build-around, especially when combined with Whirler Virtuoso or Fabrication Module. I think successful blue decks are either aggressive using blue for bounce spells and support, or built around key uncommons like this. The combo decks that only get there halfway are quite bad though because you need multiple specific pieces, and thus I’m not too keen on picking blue build-arounds until midway through the pack when you are picking them above medium playables like Spontaneous Artist.

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If you’re using this for the card draw, you’re doing it wrong. As an energy combo card though, the Era is fantastic.

Experimental Aviator

I’ve been very impressed with this every time I’ve cast it. It happens to pair well with Decoction Module because it both makes a ton of energy and is an incredible bounce target. In addition, it’s really sweet with Panharmonicon. I need to go jump in a queue—I’m ready to do all that again.

F

Fabrication Module

This is one of the real energy payoff cards and I like aggressively drafting it. The ability to pump a creature for 4 mana is really just the tip of the iceberg. You do have to take a turn off to cast it, but the next energy creature you cast will be big enough that it outsizes the competition and then you can take over with the Module.

Fateful Showdown

This card is truly awkward and ranges from the best possible card you can draw to a true blank. When it’s in your deck you need to be conscious of how many lands you’re holding onto because you want this to be a better draw, but it also draws a bunch of cards, so you want lands in play to cast the new spells you draw. I think it’s best in a more aggressive deck with no 6+ drops so that you can just sandbag lands in case you draw this. I think it’s roughly a 4th pick out of most average packs.

Fireforger’s Puzzleknot

I’ve found the first of these to be pretty reasonable. The rate is clearly bad but you can usually engineer a situation to pick off a bigger creature post-combat. There are also enough reasonable X/1s like Propeller Pioneer and Maulfist Squad that you can sometimes be way up. It also is way way better in a Panharmicon deck. Okay, you already knew that but I wanted to remind you anyway.

Fleetwheel Cruiser

BEEP BEEP!

Foundry Inspector

Last Week’s Evaluation

This card is both great and terrible. I’m not in love with the body but I can imagine playing a Bastion Mastodon a turn early and phew, that sounds great. I think that potential makes this a reasonably high pick (around 3rd-5th)—prioritize it more if you just have a million artifacts (be careful since fabricators don’t count).

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I still haven’t gotten to pull off turn-3 Inspector into turn-4 Self-Assembler and that makes me sad. In fact, I haven’t had a 3-Self-Assembler deck yet and that makes me more sad.

Fragmentize

Last Week’s Evaluation

I think I like maindecking one. Almost everyone will have 1 Sky Skiff or Renegade Freighter and it also hits U and W enchantments. Also works versus Modules, so it has a lot of range.

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I like having a Fragmentize but I’m not sure I like always starting one. White is pretty aggressive and a dead draw is truly punishing, whereas Appetite is in a color that can wait longer for a target and is also more versatile. The more midrange/controlling your white deck, the more I like maindecking a Fragmentize.

Fretwork Colony

A good card turn 2 on the play and usually bad on the draw, this is one of the highest variance cards in the set. I like boarding it in on the play from the sideboard, much like I do with Village Messenger. Additionally, it’s fine if you have enough synergies like Aetherborn Marauder or Fairgrounds Trumpeter, or are very aggressive.

Fumigate

Last Week’s Evaluation

Truly insane even though there are Vehicles. Everyone just dumps all their creatures in play to try and win. Paul kept 6-land Fumigate at Draft camp, which I think isn’t keepable, but it’s close.

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It’s worth it to play around Fumigate a bit more than normal wraths, simply because the added life gain it provides makes it even harder to close games after you redeploy a board. Obviously you shouldn’t play around it if you can’t beat it or when the game is at all close, but it is worth playing around once you’re far enough ahead.

Furious Reprisal

Last Week’s Evaluation

Worse than it looks. Sometimes it takes out 2 creatures but that doesn’t happen all that often because the 3+ drops virtually all have 3+ toughness. Often you have to get scrappy and use it to take out a small creature and trade up post-combat but that’s awkward because that small creature can potentially block first.

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The times when you 2-for-1 still make this worth taking early, but don’t get too excited over it. It’s still clunky a lot of the time.

G

Gearseeker Serpent

Last Week’s Evaluation

When I mentioned blue aggression, this is what I had in mind. It’s a reason to have some random artifacts lying around and lets you play some board stalling cards like Consulate Skygate because you actually have a plan you’re building toward. Obviously it gets better the more artifacts you have, which makes it actively bad in U/R where there are no Servos. In fact, I think U/R is so bad partly because it can’t use this, one of blue’s best payoffs.

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Sometimes you want blue energy cards and sometimes you want Gearseeker Serpent. It’s basically an archetype in and of itself so value it highly if that’s the deck you’re in.

Gearshift Ace

I’m a bigger fan of the text on this card than Speedway Fanatic since some of the good Vehicles already have haste but always lack first strike. Giving Ovalchase Dragster first strike is just absurd. That said, white has better 2-drops than red and so again it’s a matter of context, and the reason I don’t pick the Ace particularly highly. He’s also quite bad without a critical mass of Vehicles, because any of the various X/3s stop him completely.

Ghirapur Orrery

Certainly you can build a deck where you are more able to abuse this than your opponent, but it’s still too unreliable in Limited.

Glassblower’s Puzzleknot

Last Week’s Evaluation

You really need the artifact count and energy to matter to play this, so that often means U/G with some Serpents. If that’s you, have fun, but never pick this before the wheel.

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I almost never want this card. It’s okay to include if you really need more energy.

Glint-Sleeve Artisan

Good but overrated. The 2/2 mode is just a very small body. Yes, this is Nessian Courser with upside but not enough where you should be going crazy when you see it 2nd or 3rd pick.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury

Gonti does some pretty absurd things and at a minimum offers up a 2-for-1. Early on I was worried that Gonti wouldn’t be worth taking over good removal spells because it costs 4 mana, but I think the upside is just too great here. At GP Atlanta I took Skywhaler’s Shot over Gonti P1P1 and now I think that’s just a mistake.

H

Hazardous Conditions

I’ve found that the best uses for these are in a green midrange deck against some of the smaller creature decks. It really isn’t a synergy card, and generally underperforms, so I like it best in the sideboard. Maindecking it is fine, but it’ll very rarely be Plague Wind.

Herald of the Fair

Last Week’s Evaluation

Bad card because of creature sizing. There are ways to make creatures permanently bigger in the set, so this really pales in comparison.

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Fair as in “Herald of the Mediocre.”

Hightide Hermit

Last Week’s Evaluation

Good all-around creature for energy decks, but it does compete for the 5-drop slot and so can easily get outclassed by better creatures like Tiger or Skyswirl Harrier.)

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Happy to play it, but much more so when I’m using the energy elsewhere.

I

Incendiary Sabotage

Last Week’s Evaluation

Go home Sulfurous Blast, you’re drunk. (Sideboard card)

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I actually think this is a reasonable build-around out of R/B and U/R decks. You can build both of those decks in a way where this doesn’t kill too many of your creatures, or you just have few enough creatures that it doesn’t end up hurting you too much. You need a lot of artifacts to fuel it, but blue-based control decks often need to prioritize cheap artifacts like Prophetic Prism anyway, and that makes me think this card is something to look for when playing these color pairs and to watch out for when playing against them.

Insidious Will

Expensive? Certainly. Blowout potential? Definitely. I won’t pick it early but I’ll play it in my blue decks because the upside is so high. My favorite interaction is against Eliminate the Competition. If your opponent sacrifices their whole board you just counter it, and if they sacrifice half you just redirect to the other half of their creatures!

Inspired Charge

Last Week’s Evaluation

Good in W/B Go-Wide, but not necessary for that color combo to function. W/B can be super low to the ground with many Servos or more of a grind engine based around blink and recursion. In between also works.

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Just a reasonable card to play one of in most white decks. Dedicated decks want an additional copy.

Inventors’ Fair

If we were on Mirrodin this card would be quite good. As is, it’s quite hard to get to metalcraft. It does combine super well with Cogworker’s Puzzleknot, and also gains value in heavier artifact-based decks that have a bomb they want to search up. Thankfully Contagion Engine isn’t in the set as a tutor target.

Inventor’s Goggles

Last Week’s Evaluation

All the non-Angel-of-Invention, colored fabricate cards are Artificers. In addition, the list is: Aviary Mechanic, Master Trinketeer, Toolcraft Exemplar, Experimental Aviator (which turns these into aviator goggles), Nimble Innovator, Padeem, Consul of Innovation, Weldfast Wingsmith, Inventor’s Apprentice, Pia Nalaar, Quicksmith Genius,Reckless Fireweaver, Architect of the Untamed, Armorcraft Judge, Oviya, , and Whirler Virtuoso. You really don’t need that many Artificers to make the Goggles great but obviously having some will help. The nice thing about it is it’s a mana sink in a format more focused on power sinks (tapping for Vehicles) and energy sinks, so there are fewer mana sinks than normal, thus enhancing the ones that do exist. Add to that the curve-out potential the Goggles bring, and you have a card that is currently underrated in my opinion.

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I just want a Goggles in all my non-energy decks. You’ll usually have an Artificer or two, but it just does enough work even without those synergies. Sometimes you’ll even put it on a defensive creature like Consulate Skygate to hold down a big flyer like Long-Finned Skywhale. It does just enough each time and plays well on offense and defense.

Iron League Steed

I’ve never had this card in any of my draft decks. I value it much lower than everyone else it seems. The card is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a 4-drop, and if you compare it to something like Spontaneous Artist, you’ll see it’s merely fine. I don’t think the fact that it’s colorless makes it worth taking it over a better card, unlike a more powerful artifact such as Snare Thopter.

J

Janjeet Sentry

Last Week’s Evaluation

I’ve seen this card in play a few times and have not been as impressed as I thought I’d be. It can only tap a few times without a bunch of energy fueling it, and blue decks usually take a bit longer to win, thus making that a bit worse. I do still think it’s a fine card but neither a high pick nor a build-around.

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I have threatened an untap with this and other large creatures, and giving my best creature vigilance has been at times more powerful than tapping a creature. In addition, the threat of activation keeps you from actually having to use energy. That part of the card has made me bump it up in my rankings slightly though I still think it’s just a fine middle-pack pick (around 5th or 6th).

K

Kambal, Consul of Allocation

Kambal often drains twice over the course of a game because your opponent just has to play into it. Additionally they’ll often need to kill a creature that’s actually killing them, letting Kambal sit in play and be incredibly annoying. I’ve been very impressed every time I’ve seen it in action, but I wouldn’t pick it particularly highly because it’s a gold card.

Key to the City

I’m very high on this card. I’ve mentioned the lack of mana sinks and this provides value there, fixes your draws in a format where that’s difficult, and just kills your opponent. I think it might just be better than all the commons, including Renegade Freighter, though that pick is close.

Kujar Seedsculptor

Last Week’s Evaluation

This card is just great. I’ve found it performs much better when you put the counter on a different creature so you can punch through when you otherwise couldn’t, though of course there’s nothing wrong with making a 2/3 on turn 2 if that’s what you need. Green also has great late-game, but a paltry selection of 2-drops, which makes this a higher pick than it would be otherwise.

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It’s worth noting this card is worse in U/G where you’d rather your 2-drops be Sage of Shaila’s Claim and Aether Theorist.

L

Lathnu Hellion

Beatdown decks really want this and it’s actually pretty easy to keep it around for extra turns. Your opponent never really wants to trade for it because it will eventually die, but if that happens you can just invest your energy here, which makes for a win-win rare. It’s worse than premium removal spells but better than clunkier cards like Tidy Conclusion.

Long-Finned Skywhale

This creature is absolutely huge but is ultimately just a big generic beatdown creature. Make sure your blue deck actually wants that before taking it. Early on it’s still a reasonable speculative pick but it usually shouldn’t be the first pick out of a pack.

Longtusk Cub

Last Week’s Evaluation

I’ve affectionately nicknamed this little tike Snowball. The card is also stupidly strong and you should take it.

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I really hate this design because the card single-handedly wins the game turn 2 or doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s also super play/draw dependent and just leads to swingy games.

Lost Legacy

Don’t play this card. If you have… no, just no. Don’t even think about it. It’s in your sideboard. Are you reaching for it to board it in? Stop. Take a breather. Just start shuffling for the next game. This card is the opposite of the Nike slogan. Just don’t do it.