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Top 10 Underrated Kaladesh Cards

Written by John Cuvelier on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

Kaladesh is one of the better sets in recent memory. Some highlights include a whopping six planeswalkers (including introductory decks), tribal Dwarves, Vehicles, Energy, Gearhulks and plenty of build around cards. With all the flashy new stuff, a lot of powerful cards are pretty unappreciated and being overlooked. In no particular order, here are my top 10 most underrated Kaladesh cards that people aren’t really talking about.

Diabolic Tutor

Dark Petition saw a lot of play for good reason when it was in Standard. It was mostly in control decks that could utilize the free mana when you obtained Spell Mastery. During the early parts of the season it was used to find Seasons Past to bring a near insurmountable card advantage engine. Towards the end of the format the Cat Pact deck used it to find the missing half of the two card combo. I believe either option is still viable moving forward. If there’s a combo deck that needs a certain card to win or Seasons Past makes another comeback expect to see some quantity of Diabolic Tutor to see tournament play. There is a real cost to playing a four mana card that doesn’t impact the board immediately. But if you’re searching up a Fumigate to catch back up or a combo piece to win a game I could see this finding a home in a few different style decks.

Confiscation Coup

The most recent comparable card to this is Exert Influence. Exert Influence saw a decent amount of play given how restrictive it was on the mana. Confiscation Coup does a good job of mimicking that effect without the cost of playing a bunch of colors. It also combines nicely with other energy cards which allow it to scale up very nicely. I don’t suspect this to be in very many main decks, but I certainly see this card ending up in a lot of blue mages sideboards for midrange matchups which is similar to the role Exert Influence had when it was played.

Blossoming Defense

The talk of this card has all been about Modern Infect. Well I’m here to tell you it’s going to be great in Standard as well and I’ll tell you why. Smuggler’s Copter is making a big impact on the format in preliminary testing. This is forcing decks to adapt with instant speed removal. This falls perfectly into Blossoming Defense playbook and I can see numerous aggressive green style decks utilizing Blossoming Defense for huge tempo swings. I’m sure a great home for this would be the new RG energy deck or maybe in GW humans. Even if this ends up being a sideboard card I think it’s just terrific and will find a home in Standard.

Weaponcraft Enthusiast

Three bodies for three mana is a great rate. Eldrazi Skyspawner sees a ton of play and that’s only two bodies for three mana. Going wide has traditionally been a GW thing in recent memory. It’s possible that BW or GB might be the new way to go. Weaponcraft Enthusiast works great in tandem with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and I’ll be interested to see what sort of token themed decks arrive in new Standard.

Servo Exhibition

Speaking about tokens here’s another token maker that I haven’t heard much buzz about. Yes this is a worse Raise the Alarm. However Raise the Alarm was a Standard staple throughout its existence and I suspect Servo Exhibition will fill a similar roll. Playing Servo Exhibition into Weaponcraft Enthusiast and follow that up with a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and that’s a scary thought. Chief of the Foundry and Master Trinketeer offer even more anthem effects for your tokens. I’m not sure if tokens are ready to be a contender yet or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this card being played sooner rather than later.

Glint-Nest Crane

Impulse is a mighty strong magic card. This is Impulse on a flying body if you’re in the market for an artifact. I could see this finding a home pretty easily in any artifact combo or aggressive style deck. It also crews Smuggler’s Copter just fine along with finding it. Three toughness is also pretty solid at shutting down aggressive decks as well.  I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of these in the coming months.

Night Market Lookout

This card is deceptively powerful. It reminds me of the somewhat played Pulse Tracker from Zendikar but is so much better than that. This will fit nicely into any aggressive black shell like Pulse Tracker. It also turns on your Smuggler’s Copter with the added bonus of draining your opponent. The best thing of all is it will be great in a Cryptolith Rites shell. Getting free drains on your opponent is not something to be underestimated. I can see this giving an 8-10 life swing in a game. I can’t imagine how silly it gets in multiples if left uncontested.

Aetherworks Marvel

How do you feel about turn 4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger? What about a turn 4 Emrakul, the Promised End? That’s what I see when I read Aetherworks Marvel. There are a lot of strong energy cards that can support Aetherworks Marvel. Six energy sounds like a lot at first to activate this, but there are plenty of cards that give you that with relative ease. Just a single Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot gets you to six energy while providing a cushion against aggressive decks with six life. I’m not positive Aetherworks Marvel is going to be ready for week 1 of new Standard or not. It may new a few more tools but I could see it being very competitive when the next set is released and is possible that it’s good enough right now.

Key to the City

When I first read this card I thought it said target creature can’t block and immediately dismissed it. What it actually says is target creature can’t be blocked. That’s just an insanely powerful effect. Pushing through for large chunks of damage every turn is an easy path to victory in an aggressive deck. This is also a free madness outlet for something like Fiery Temper or Voldaren Pariah. It also allows you to dump cards you actively want in your graveyard such as Prized Amalgam, Kozilek’s Return or Scrapheap Scrounger. To top that all off it lets you draw a card when it untaps for 2 mana. Key to the City is just fantastic and flexible card that will see play in multiple forms of aggressive centric decks.

Dovin Baan

Chandra and Nissa have got all the attention for obvious reasons. Dovin Baan does exactly what you want a planeswalker to do while fitting in a control shell. Dovin Baan protects itself very well and can even shut down a creature card entirely. Gaining life and drawing a card when things are stabilized is also a great option for a control deck. The ultimate is pretty unreachable in most scenarios and I’m not even sure you’d like to given the option in most scenarios. If I’m a control deck I’m perfectly content drawing an extra card every turn or locking up a creature. Locking up a creature is going to force your opponent to overextend the board to kill your Dovin Baan which opens them up to a Fumigate. All of these reasonable scenarios suspects me to think this will be a staple in UW control decks.

Those are my 10 sleepers for Kaladesh. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working with team #NRN for SCG Indy as there was a reasonable consideration for me to go. Unfortunately ticket pricing along with my tight work schedule didn’t cooperate so I did not end up attending. I have learned that the new Standard format is going to be fun and exciting. I can’t wait to see what people bring to the table.

John Cuvelier

Gosu. on MTGO

@JCuvelier on Twitter

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