It’s Kaladesh time! All the cards from the new set have been previewed, and I’m excited to start looking at some packs. Just remember—I haven’t played the format yet. All of these decisions are based on my intuition. Particularly with a mechanic like energy that’s different from anything we’ve seen before, the format can be much different than your first impression. What I’d recommend is taking the initial picks with a grain of salt, and using the first few articles as insight into how I’d approach the first few drafts of a new format.
Let’s get to the packs:
This card looks pretty strong, though maybe it’s not a bomb rare. It seems like there are a lot of sources of continuous energy in the set, and attacking just a few times with a 5/1 flying lifelinker should be enough. I concede that it’s possible that this card is worse than it looks, or perhaps something like Incendiary Sabotage is better than it looks. But for now, I’d be taking and trying Multiform Wonder. From here, I’d likely look to draft a deck based around the energy mechanic and passive sources of energy to maximize the power of Multiform Wonder.
Honorable Mention: Impeccable Timing.
I could see Creeping Mold being strong enough to be the pick in a set with so many artifacts, also. This set is not quite as artifact-centric as the Mirrodin sets, so all-purpose removal spells should end up being better than cards that only remove artifacts. 2 mana for 3 damage to an attacking or blocking creature is a reasonable rate, and I’d probably play this card in any white deck.
Hard to tell for sure, but this doesn’t look like the best pack. Peema Outrider is a 4-mana 4/4 trample with upside, though. A very strong card at common, you will sometimes also just choose to have a 3/3 and a Servo. There’s not a whole lot to say about this card, other than that you’re just getting a strong creature at a very, very good mana cost.
Honorable Mention: Speedway Fanatic.
A 2/1 for 2 mana with haste is already a decent card, and the upside on this card is big. If you’re able to pick up a couple Vehicles, the ability to give them haste will be even stronger. Look at the copy of Renegade Freighter in this pack, for example. Attacking with that card on the 3rd turn and dealing 5 damage is completely unreasonable. Some of the rare and uncommon Vehicles are even stronger. After taking this card first pick, I’d certainly put a bit of a higher priority on Vehicles.
What a pack! There are a lot of great cards, but this card looks quite good to me. Given the number of artifact creatures in the set, you’re often going to be getting two creatures for 6 mana. They won’t always be the two best creatures on the board but they often will. Given the way the card is worded, I think if you have a great artifact creature in play, you can actually make two copies of it. Also, you will occasionally be able to make copies of a very good noncreature artifact. Another thing is that you can make copies of your opponent’s cards, which will also often be your best option.
Honorable Mention: Welding Sparks.
Welding Sparks seems to be the best of the nonrare cards, dealing 3 damage for 3 mana as a baseline, but very often dealing far more. You can’t use it to damage your opponent directly, but that’s fine as it will very often remove his or her best creature.
I’m sold. This is a little like a Mulldrifter, though not quite as good. It’s true that when you actually cast Cloudblazer, you’re doing better than when you cast Mulldrifter, but Cloudblazer is gold and not as versatile, as it doesn’t have evoke. That being said, 5 mana for a 2/2 flier, draw 2 cards, gain 2 life is just great. This will probably be the card in the format that I continually take earlier than I should because I so badly want to play with it.
Honorable Mention: Revoke Privileges.
This is a great card—a standard Pacifism effect. You do get the added upside of the creature being unable to crew Vehicles, which is actually seemingly pretty important. If your opponent would want to attack with Vehicles, a normal Pacifism would practically make their life easier by making it obvious which creature to choose. Revoke Privileges will probably end up being the best white common as these cards often are, so I’d expect to first pick it out of a reasonable number of packs.
It’s possible Dynavolt Tower is better than this card, but it’s hard to tell. It seems hard to use Dynavolt Tower more than twice over the course of the game, but if you are, it’s almost certainly better. With Furious Reprisal, you’re going to be killing two creatures a high percentage of the time. You have the added upside of being able to do 2 damage to your opponent in a pinch as well. I’d be happy to first-pick this card out of most packs.
Honorable Mention: Dynavolt Tower.
As I said, this could be the best card in the pack. This is the exact type of card that is hard to evaluate by looking at, compared to actually playing with it. This is a pick that could be totally off, or potentially it could turn out that Dynavolt Tower is a card you’re not very happy to first pick at all. A big part of that will depend on how difficult it is to accrue random energy.
Thanks everyone for reading! Please let me know if you think there’s anything I misjudged, overlooked, or simply got wrong in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more packs!