Sperling’s Sick of It: Kaladesh Edition

Kaladesh looks pretty awesome overall. Steampunk India with Dwarf pilots and infinite trinkets—there’s a lot going on. Most of that stuff is cool. I’m here to talk about the rest.

1) No Returning Mechanics

“You haven’t seen any of the (named) Kaladesh mechanics before.”

-Mark Rosewater

People got pretty hyped up after reading this—the Reddit post declaring “all new mechanics” had almost a thousand upvotes. Impressive work. How did he do it?

And what does that “(named)” qualifier mean?

Turns out the (named) part of that sentence was where the action was.

Let’s discuss some mechanics you won’t see in Kaladesh.




Affinity for Artifacts




MaRo quote or no MaRo quote, what the hell is going on here? The slight tweaks on old mechanics alongside unnamed mechanics that work the same adds even more complexity but wow, look at the volume. Is this someone’s Cube? Nevermind, when I play Cube I can at least read the name of a mechanic instead of the rules text.

2) “Mechanic E” (Energy)

GET HYPE! Drum roll… arbitrary persistent resource! Wait what? This was the cool mechanic that had to lay dormant for a few years?

Now, instead of generating and spending mana or life, you can generate and spend wingdings (averaging 1 new type of wingding per block is the ultimate goal here). Like a $25 Applebee’s gift certificate, I have  in my Wingdings pool I can only spend on activating permanents from the Kaladesh block. Exciting stuff fellas—I’m surprised you could keep a lid on it for so long.

3) MaRo Tells His Fans He Learned a Deep and Valuable Lesson from Chaos Confetti

Market research proved that Chaos Confetti is extremely unpopular. I mean, who wants to use their card once and then have it become totally worthless other than a cardboard reminder of that one experience?

These cards are completely vanilla rares. Lesson learned.

(Back to Kaladesh now.)

4) Sol Ring at Ultra-Mythic

What awesome card should we make into an ultra-rare invention card next? I got it! The one card every single Magic player already owns!

Jon Finkel was worried about losing to turn-1 Sol Ring in draft at the Pro Tour until they spoiled Demolish—now he knows there is an easy answer.

5) Dwarf Artificers

This set is actually pretty cool. I have no beef with Dwarf Artificers. This card would make more sense if damage to Vehicles was persistent, but I actually agree with not changing the Magic rules engine to make this card more flavorful.

I like the Gremlins too. This concludes Sperling’s Not Sick of It.

6) Vehicles and Summoning Sickness

Here is an exercise for you, the reader: Find a player who hasn’t been playing Magic more than 18 months. Hand them this card:

Ask them if they think it can be tapped for mana the turn it comes into play. Then ask them if it can attack the turn it comes into play. Then ask them if other creatures can be tapped to activate the crew ability the turn those creatures came into play. Now ask again if it can be tapped for mana now that it’s been activated.

The best part is that this is not the hardest rules puzzle in the set for newer players!

7) Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter

This card is so confusing—players who have been playing professionally, for years, couldn’t figure out what it did without asking a judge.



They put flavor text on this card instead of reminder text!

8) Fateful Showdown

“Red should get more self-windfall.”


9) Armorcraft Judge

“Were she not a judge, she’d win the division herself.” From the makers of, “If my high school coach didn’t hate me, I’d be starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.”

10) Gearshift Ace

“Some people say, ya know they can’t believe,

Jamaica we have a bobsled team.”

11) Trusty Companion

“Camels can’t pilot vehicles, that’s what Hyenas are for.”

-Tim Aten

Having sharp teeth makes you a better driver, going berserk makes you twice as good a driver, holding an axe makes you much better at driving, and most importantly, eating a unicorn makes you a better driver.

12) Hightide Hermit

If you asked someone in 2000 to guess what Hightide Hermit does, they would not have guessed 4/4 defender that makes wingdings.

13) Nimble Innovator

This set’s fortune cookie flavor text.

14) Gonti, Lord of Luxury

This set’s Ice Cauldron Award winner for wall of text.

15) Live Fast

Is this flavor text the first draft of a really bad pop song? Seriously, what is it?

16) Skywhales and Skyships

The whole sea just moved to the sky? The Skywhale evolved to eat plankton by the look of it—are there skyplankton? Just make the setting the damn sea at this point.

17) Highspire Artisan

How exactly does this diplomat-looking dude block a Skywhale?

18) Longtusk Cub

“It won’t be small forever.”

Is that how it works? I never would have guessed.

19) Cloudblazer

This is what my pothead roommate named our WiFi in college.

20) Dovin Baan

The debut of a new planeswalker and… +1: protection, -1: draw a card. I predict nobody even remembers this card exists in 3 years. The set needed that 4th planeswalker though.

21) Aetherworks Marvel

I prefer Aetherworks DC, but I admit that only Aetherworks Christopher Nolan has been able to really bring what I like about it to the big screen.

22) Wily Bandar

“Please draw a hybrid between a cat and a monkey.”
“The Grinch, got it.”
[Hangs up] “Wait, did he say ‘The Grinch?’”


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