Kaladesh Pre-Release


Hello ladies and gentlemen, Harrison (and Matt, and Ben) here with another Magic the Gathering article for you.

Just this past Wednesday, we took part in a media release event for the upcoming set Kaladesh. Featuring steampunk machinery, beautiful scenery and a whole cast of heroes, villains and rogues, Kaladesh promises to be the most exciting, interesting and downright coolest sets since the original Innistrad. And from the point of view of playing games, it’s very exciting as well!

At the event, each member of the team was given a Pre-release kit with which to construct our decks. Many of you would be familiar with a Pre-release kit, but Kaladesh has a few surprises in store even there! While it is probably the most difficult to use kit we have ever seen, it does contain all the great stuff we have come to see. You’ll get a spin down D20, a set of six Kaladesh boosters and the now very familiar stamped rare. Some of us were lucky with them, others … were a little more dubious.

Ben's Rare

Ben’s Rare

In terms of the format, it seems like whichever deck is able to get in front first, and leverage the most power out of their artifacts, wins. Two out of the three members of our team chose to play green, with Matt going with mono brown, splashing red. However, there are still powerful options in all five colours, as well as the splashiest new card type debuting in Kaladesh: Vehicles.

Vehicles occupy an interesting spot in deck building for Limited. On the one hand they offer very high power for mana, and they do it for colourless mana as well. On the other hand, you do require creatures to crew them and it does require you to commit two cards to a single attacker. On the other hand to the other hand, it’s Limited. When don’t you have a board full of creatures?


Favourite card
While an honourable mention must go to Ruinous Gremlin because twice in a row I had two of them on Turn two that never saw Turn three (thanks Matt), my favourite card has to be Aradara Express because it’s a scary train and that’s just really, really cool.


While I initially started in an aggressive RG build, I transitioned to UG very quickly after noticing that my 1- and 2-toughness creatures were not getting there. 3-toughness is a very important number to hit, as a lot of the ground creatures have 2-power.


Thoughts on the format
The format seems reasonably simple on the surface, as the high number of very playable artifacts make it quite a bit easier to find usable bodies. Plus the set is incredibly gorgeous and the flavour is fantastic. Play as many pre-releases as you can, and run, do not walk, to do so.


oviya_pashiriFavourite card
Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter. I was lucky enough to have two in my deck so almost every game I was able to play her in the first few turns. She was able to make a tonne of chump blockers and then when I hit more mana she was able to make an army of huge constructs. I also really liked Tidy Conclusion as a removal spell – it worked really well with all the artifacts I was getting off Oviya.

I built a nice Green Black board stall deck. Oviya helped fill my board and buy me time until I could play my huge vehicles. I also had Ghirapur Guide to help my giant creatures get in for tonnes of damage.


Thoughts on the format
I found the format to be very grindy. While there are some decks that were capable of coming out fast, I noticed that most games went for a decent amount of time. I would put a greater emphasis on flyers and trample creatures as they are able to push through damage more consistently. I would also recommend reading up on all the combat tricks if you don’t want any feel bad moments.

Thoughts on the set
I really love this set so far. The vehicles are a great inclusion and I loved the way they played. I am not the biggest fan of energy and I highly recommend taking along something to use as energy counters as there are no tokens in the packs at the moment.


Favourite card
I may be a little biased when I say this, but that Mox Opal was pretty damn sweet. That said, my favourite card from the actual set that I played with would have to be Whirlermaker. The ability to create a constant stream of tokens for chump blocking as well as triggering a lot of the red cards in the deck was great. At one point I had the game locked down with Whirlermaker, Pia Nalaar, and Weldfast Monitor.


I went with mono red artifacts as my build. I really liked the interaction with the red artificers and the artifacts and vehicles in the set, and the ability to consistently pump out tokens to trigger my dudes and turn on my bigger stuff was great.


Thoughts on the format
Strap yourself in for some looong games. There’s plenty of cards which create thopter or servo tokens upon entering or with an activation, and you need excess creatures to turn on vehicles, so the board gets very stalled very quickly. Prioritise filling your deck with creatures who carry the keywords flying or trample, because you’re going to struggle to push through damage otherwise. Read up on combat tricks as well, because there are a tonne of great ones at one and two mana.

Thoughts on the set
Vehicles are amazing – you are going to want a few in your deck. There’s some cool things you can do with them, including chaining them to activate bigger and bigger things. I’m unsure about energy. It seems like a really cool mechanic, and I had fun using it, but it seems really messy and I don’t really see how it will work with anything else in standard. Wizards also haven’t printed tokens for energy in the first print run, so make sure you take something to keep track of it in your games because it will come up.


We also had time to do an unboxing video of the Kaladesh Pre-Release kit.  Ben manages to open the box without spilling its contents all over the floor in this take.

From all the team at Australian Tabletop Gaming Network we hope you enjoy your Kaladesh pre-release weekend and get some amazing cards. Let us know your thoughts on this release in the comments below.

You can find more information on the official Wizards of the Coast Kaladesh website. Looking for a store to play at? Check out the online Wizards Store Locator. Kaladesh is available for purchase globally on Friday September 30th.

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One Comment
  1. September 22, 2016 | Reply

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