The first week of Kaladesh play is behind us, Planeswalkers, and already the world of Standard play is exploding with new decks, combos and favorite cards. What are the best cards in the set? Which new card types and abilities are working well? What are the best combos and color pairings? Already the pros are feverishly at work, burning the midnight oil to answer these questions.
Lucky for us, they like to write down and share their experiences and analysis, and we’ve got them gathered here in one place for you. So, if you’re heading out to a Kaladesh Sealed Draft or just a casual night of Friday Night Magic, we’ll help you make the most of those new booster packs you’ll be opening. Let’s get started.
The New Standard:
As with the release of every new set, the most powerful decks in the game are massively altered or just thrown by the wayside to make room for new favorites. If you’re new to the game, Standard format is what you’ll encounter at most Friday Night Magic events and Magic tournaments, and uses only cards from the most recent sets. Sadly, we’ll be saying goodbye to some popular cards from Magic Origins as the new Standard shifts from Battle for Zendikar to Kaladesh. Let’s bid a fond farewell to Magic Origins:
I wouldn’t weep too much though, as Kaladesh has already shown enough flexibility to fit into most any deck. With powerful new combos, abilities that fit well with previous sets, and a popular new card type I don’t think it’s any stretch of the imagination to say Kaladesh is a huge hit among the Magic community. So, where do we even begin to analyze its impact?
How about we start with actual tournaments. After an entire weekend worth of play, one former pro player has analyzed deck lists from tournaments all across the country and compiled a list of the Top 8 Decks of the Kaladesh week one Standard. While these might not be the top decks that emerge at the Pro Tour, they’re certainly the ones that have won the most so far and the ones you’re likely to see variations of at your own local Friday Night Magic events.
But maybe you don’t give a flying thopter about Standard. You have some decks using older cards that you love and refuse to disassemble. Maybe you’re more familiar and comfortable with the Modern format which uses cards dating all the way back to the Mirrodin block of 2003. Maybe you only like to play casually, with friends, and don’t even care what cards they use. It’s okay, because Kaladesh still has some useful cards for you. Check out this list of awesome combos with the new cards and advice on making your own.
So, we’ve got the most popular decks out of the way, but you’re not always going to be lucky enough to get the most powerful cards or have enough cash lying around to buy them individually. Well, Kaladesh certainly isn’t lacking in powerful cards, and some are great enough to build an entire deck around. Instead of a whole deck’s worth of powerful cards, you only need a few copies of one card and some of your own inventor’s ingenuity to sabotage your opponent’s creations.
Drafting With Color:
Any player who has attended multiple Magic events knows that it’s not always about the decks you build. Some stores do something called a Sealed Draft in which you make and compete with a 40-card deck made out of cards from booster packs you receive at the event. In other words, what deck you make is entirely random and up to chance-
Or is it?
While you can never know exactly what cards you’ll get, each set does have a basic strategy and useful cards for each color pairing. You may not know what colored cards you’ll get the most of, but knowing what each color pair excels at can be a tremendous help when building your deck. That knowledge can be the difference between bottom 5 or top 8. You can find the analysis of each color pair along with the essential cards and strategy here.
So, we know how to make the most out of our color pairings, but it’s not always that easy. Say you have powerful cards in multiple colors or no color significantly stands out to you? What if you have more artifacts than anything else? Picking the most powerful cards may not always be the best option if you don’t have others to support it. No worries. You can check out this list of best cards to draft organized by rarity and chosen not only by how powerful they are, but also their flexibility within multiple decks. Now, no matter what your boosters are hiding, you’ll be able to pick out the best.
By Land, Air or Sea:
But there is one type of card we haven’t mentioned yet that is turning out to be one of the most popular types in the set. It’s already being utilized in almost every new deck created since Kaladesh’s release. Know what it is?
If you guessed Vehicles, you’re correct. They’re artifacts that can help trigger a multitude of card abilities while also having the ability to turn into an awesome creature at any time. They’re shift from artifact to creature to artifact again makes vehicles difficult for control decks or anti-creature spells to deal with making for a dangerous threat in any deck.
Of course, the catch is that you need creatures to, “crew,” the vehicle which requires some strategy when building a deck with them. Do you count them as creatures or artifacts? What should the ratio of creatures to vehicles be? Well, you can find the answers in this Vehicle Deck Building Guide as well as strategies and advice on how to best make use of vehicles.
That’s all for now, Planeswalkers. Hopefully I’ve given you the ideas and confidence to go out there and play your best! Don’t forget, it’s still only the first week of release and there are plenty of inventions still hidden in the cards, waiting for the right player to make the most of them. Have fun out there, thanks for reading!