I’m back! Every set, I go over the top cards that pique my deckbuilding interest. The cards I focus on are good ones that fly a little below the radar. Sometimes I’m way off and the cards I pick are terrible. On the other hand, sometimes I’m right on the nose, and those cards end up being ridiculous hits.
What I try hardest to accomplish is to provide you guys with perspective on some cards that you might not have. Maybe you’ll see a card in a new light or discover an application you might not have thought of—if so, then I consider these articles a success.
If you’re looking for a list of the straight-up best Kaladesh cards, you’re in the wrong place. The following are what I perceive to be as some of the unsung heroes of the set that I would personally like to build around.
Without further ado… let’s begin!
8. Metalwork Colossus
I have a tendency to put a card that I really like, but that is also being widely discussed, at the top. This time it’s Metalwork Colossus. Not only is the Colossus super resilient and able to be brought back from the graveyard, but I can only assume we’re going to see multiple copies of these guys entering the battlefield for free at some point in the near future. I would definitely keep an eye on this beast (er, Construct), as it has “bomb” written all over it and it’s a card that only gets better the more artifacts are printed.
7. Scrapheap Scrounger
Despoiler of Souls was my preview card for Magic Origins. It wasn’t great, but it looked like it had potential, especially with devotion in Standard at the time. The card never saw much play, but Scrapheap Scrounger seems to get right what Despoiler got wrong.
For one, it has an additional toughness. Secondly, it’s significantly easier to cast. Thirdly, its ability is easier to activate, requiring only 1 black mana and 1 creature exiled. In fact this is a strict upgrade in many ways—but not entirely, since it’s an artifact, which leaves it open to a wider variety of removal. Despite that, its resiliency (I’m noticing a theme here) should definitely cause it to see some amount of play somewhere.
6. Aethersquall Ancient
Okay, sure, this one may be a bit of a stretch, but maybe not. For one, this is a huge 6/6 flyer for only 7 mana, which isn’t actually terrible. Another perk is that if you already have 8 energy lying around, you get to bounce everything else on the board for free. And if you don’t, then you’ll consistently accumulate 3 extra energy every single turn.
While I will be the first to admit that 8 energy is a lot to activate the Leviathan’s ability, this card does a lot and at reasonable rates. If there is a blue-based control deck in the format, I’m not completely opposed to playing a huge flyer with a built-in Evacuation.
5. Fateful Showdown
I think this card is actually a lot better than number 5—it just isn’t that “exciting.” This might be the perfect card for U/R Burn, a deck that had already received plenty of tools from Kaladesh. Being an instant and allowing you to cast this on your end step—after drawing your cards from Fevered Visions—to deal a ton of damage to your opponent could be game-winning, especially when they’re going to untap and take more damage from said Fevered Visions on their own turn.
If you manage to have cards like Fiery Temper or Alms of the Vein in hand to discard, things are looking even better. Considering this card could single-handedly manage to deal some 6 or 7 damage in a deck that already has a pretty easy time burning out their opponent, it seems like kind of a no-brainer.
4. Bristling Hydra
Now this card strikes my interest, even though it takes a lot for a 4-mana card to really shine nowadays. Again, this is another card that gets significantly better if you have other ways to make energy. One of the things I love about cards like this is that you don’t need to keep any mana up to protect it. You can feel free to kill the creatures standing in its way, then pay your 3 energy to counter a removal spell by giving the Hydra hexproof. The counter making it a 5/4 is just gravy at that point. While this guy is no Polukranos, World Eater, having its own built-in shield can definitely be better at times.
3. Dynavolt Tower
For 3 mana, this could be an amazing bargain. While it doesn’t provide any energy off the bat, for every 2-and-a-half spells you cast, you get a free Lightning Bolt. This could be huge in the U/R Burn decks. Being able to deal an extra 6 damage for every 5 instants or sorceries you manage to cast is pretty powerful, and that’s not even taking into account if you manage to accumulate energy from other sources. Keep in mind that this means cards like Glimmer of Genius are going to net 4 energy and Confiscate Coup is going to net 6 immediately. Those perks alone are pretty sweet.
2. Cultivator’s Caravan
Cards like Chromatic Lantern and Coalition Relic frequently see play in the formats in which they’re legal. The Caravan here is not only a mana rock that can produce any color of mana, but it can also become a 5/5.
Vehicles are pretty interesting as they have a certain opportunity cost associated with them as well. If you tap a 3/3 to crew the Caravan, you’re only netting 2 additional power. So in that respect. Vehicles are almost like equipment that grant a buff equaling the difference between their crew’s power and their own power. All that being said, this one is still quite versatile, and you could always tap three 1-power creatures to fire this bad boy up.
1. Confiscate Coup
This is such an innocuous card, but let’s try and remember the last time Wizards gave us an enchantment that could steal practically any creature, let alone a sorcery that doesn’t run the risk of being destroyed by something like Naturalize. In the right deck, or even in kind of the right deck, Confiscation Coup is going to be able to steal anything shy of an Emrakul, the Promised End. If you’re able to nab 2 energy outside of this card, it’s going to start taking Gearhulks.
Oh, what’s that? You can also take artifacts as well? This card is ridiculous. Short of bouncing their own permanent back to their hand, they’re never going to be getting it back either. Compare this to recent Standard legal spells like Exert Influence or Welcome to the Fold and I think you’ll get a good idea of how pushed this Control Magic is.
And that’s that! As always, I know some of you are going to disagree with some of my choices, and maybe some of you are going to think a few of them are obviously good—that’s fine! Like I said in the beginning, these are basically the cards I’m excited to build decks around or try out in competitive lists, so hopefully you’ll be excited to play with some of them too.
Either way, I hope I’ve given you some things to think about and maybe you’ve seen some of these cards in a new light. Maybe comparing them to older cards might have helped, or maybe you just think they‘re all junk! (But that’s not very nice. Cards have feelings too.)
Be sure to let me know in the comments some of your favorites that you feel aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!