Monday, 3 October 2016

MTG: Casual Cogitations on Kaladesh

Image result for KAladesh
While I usually do a post about the 10+ intriguing casual cards from the new set, Kaladesh just hasn't inspired me as much. Strange, given that this is the set of inventions.

The vehicles and energy feel a little gimmicky to me, to be honest, but I am loving the India-inspired atmosphere of the set AND appreciate the fact we're not facing more big tentacle monsters.

Although life has been busy and I haven't been in a brewing mode, there are still some cards that casual players will definitely want to keep an eye on, and a few cards that have piqued my interest



#VALUETOWN


One thing I've noticed from this set is how many cards are similar to past casual all-stars. These are the sorts of cards that can fit into many decks I own.

Let's see what clones Kaladesh has brought us.

Torrential Gearhulk / Snapcaster Mage

Torrential GearhulkSnapcaster Mage

Torrential Gearhulk does a great imitation of Snapcaster Mage. Granted, it costs four more mana, and gets only instants, but the gearhulk DOES allow you to play any instant from your graveyard at no additional mana cost.

Noxious Gearhulk / Nekrataal

Noxious GearhulkNekrataal

There have been a few different Nekrataal-type creatures over the years, but one that GAINS you life and is a big beater? This was one of my prerelease MVPs.


Arborback Stomper / Thragtusk

Arborback StomperThragtusk

Stompypoo, aka Baby Thragtusk, might not leave behind a kid when it dies, but it does have trample and a bigger butt!

Cloudblazer / Mulldrifter

CloudblazerMulldrifter

Mulldrifter belongs to my Top 10 cards of All Time list, and Cloudblazer is smoking it own path to valuetown.

Now, Mulldrifter is common (pauper!) and can be evoked, if need be, so it will almost always win out. Cloudblazer does have the nice life gain tacked on, and why not have four of each on your deck? *cackle*

Filigree Familiar / Solemn Simulacrum

Filigree FamiliarSolemn Simulacrum

Robopup is the cutest card in the set, and is built to be used in the same way EDH-MVP Simulacrum is... in almost every single bloody deck!


TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER


After opening a box and attending a prerelease, a few cards caught my eye and will have to find their ways into my grubby hands. Here is my Top 5:

5. CHANDRA, TORCH OF DEFIANCE


Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Could it be? A Chandra with four different abilities?

Card advantage? Ramp? Protects itself?

What makes her intriguing is how hard it is to know just how good or bad she will be, and what kind of decks she can fit into best.

Some planeswalkers are definite build-arounds (Nissa Revane) and others are just good all of the time (Jace, the Mind Sculptor). Chandra's flexibility suggests that she'd be good in a variety of decks, but is probably most at home in a mid-range creature-heavy strategy.


4. METALLURGIC SUMMONINGS


Metallurgic Summonings

The most build-around of build-around me cards, this converts any instant or sorcery, good or not, into a useful creature.

Turning a 5-mana Tidings into a 5/5 on top of drawing four cards? Cute, but I want more.

Imagine packing this into a blue-red storm shell?

Combo off with your mana producing spells like as Seething Song and Manamorphose, create an army of tokens, and then use the mana to get back all of your spells and do it again?

ManamorphoseSeething Song
Rite of FlameBrainstorm



3. FUMIGATE


The one downside of playing a board-stabilizing Wrath effect is that you are probably already down a big chunk of life, and your opponents have first crack at filling up the board with more threats. If I wrath the board, and am down to 5 life, I am still teetering on death, and have just delayed the inevitable. 

Thankfully, Fumigate solves that problem. 

Getting to clear the board AND gain back some life will really help against the most aggressive decks. In a multi-player game? Sure, I'd love to gain about 10 life on top of my spring cleaning.

2. PANHARMONICON


Panharmonicon

What better way to get more value out of your value cards than getting twice the value? VALUE!

Cloudblazer? Draws me four cards and gains me four life.

Primeval Titan? Sure, I'll go and fetch four lands out of my deck.

This card requires very little effort and asks only that you play creatures that you are already playing with. I expect this will see extensive EDH and casual play in any deck with creatures utilizing 'enters the battlefield' triggers.

1. AETHERFLUX RESERVOIR


Aetherflux Reservoir

I used to have a deck that did almost nothing but gain life. The 'win' condition was Storm Herd and Felidar Sovereign.

The deck was great at gaining thousands of life, but then my win conditions would be dealt with before I could actually bloody win the game! I took apart the deck because it really never did much but turn me into a big meatsack.

This card, however, has me contemplating rebuilding that deck and taking out multiple opponents with the thousands of life I've stored. Just imagine the look on their faces when you whip this out and 50! 50! 50!


(Spam HADOUKEN!)

These are just some of the Kaladesh cards I will likely tinker with. What cards are sparking the creativity in your head?