Top 10 EDH Cards from Kaladesh
By Dante Boey
22nd September 2016
Hail Duellers! Pre-release season is upon us and soon it will be time to visit the wondrous and technologically advanced world of Kaladesh. The full spoiler for Kaladesh is already up. If you haven't done so already, you can observe it here (hyperlink http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-image-gallery/kaladesh). Kaladesh is a flavourful set that offers the Commander / EDH format many powerful options. Combo pieces, finishers, and value generators, they're all found here. For the purpose of today's article, we'll be looking at the top 10 cards debuting in Kaladesh that will shine in a 4-player EDH game. I'll confess right now that my skills at assessing cards are limited, and the ranking given is based merely on my personal opinion, so bear with me as I explain to you reasons for my selection.
Depala, Pilot Exemplar
Depala is the first Dwarven tribal lord printed in Magic! Shocking isn't it, to learn that Wizards finally printed a (legendary) creature from a mainstay race in popular fantasy culture who gives others of her kind a +1/+1 boost? Up to the release of Kaladesh, there were only 38 creatures in Magic with the subtype "Dwarf", with 2 having a Black colour identity and 1 with a Blue identity. Kaladesh introduces us to more Dwarves in the White and Red domains, so that a Dwarven tribal Commander deck is no longer a pipe dream. Depala also buffs Vehicles, a new artifact sub-type debuting in Kaladesh that can transform into creatures, and she even possesses the means to draw into them (and her brethren Dwarves) when she gets tapped and you pay a cost!
It's the quiet workhorses that do the most work in your EDH deck. Like the humble Mulldrifter, Cloudblazer allows you to draw 2 cards when she enters the battlefield. It's just that she also gifts you 2 life. And just like Mulldrifter, a card draw engine attached to a flying 2/2 body, she will be a mainstay in UW decks. With cards like Venser, the Sojourner; and Conjurer's Closet, you can blink her to draw 2 cards (and gain 2 life) every turn!
Blue deals with her problems by controlling them, as opposed to destroying them. Shrew Negotiation allows you take control of an opponent's most threatening artifact or creature, by giving up control of what should be your most dispensible artifact. For irony, cast Shrewd Negotiation to take control of an opposing player's Memnarch by giving up a Servo token.
The ability to counter / change the target of a spell / copy an instant or sorcery and choose new targets for it is extremely helpful in Commander. With the flexible Insidious Will, you can choose the most appropriate response in any situation. A dangerous spell gets casted? Counter it. An opponent targeting your creature for removal? The biggest threat on board gets removed instead. Another player drawing 20 cards with Stroke of Genius? You draw 20 too and you draw them first, thanks to Insidious Will.
For 4UU, you can copy the most useful artifact you can find, which can be a mana rock or draw engine or combo enabler, as well as the strongest creature on the battlefield, say one with a casting cost of 6 and above. This spell is a good deal, so why not?
This is the Snapcaster Mage for Timmies and Johnnies. Torrential Gearhulk ups the ante with the impact it brings to the table once you succesfully cast it. Use it to recast instant spells that bring you the most value. Sharing or belonging to the identity of Blue are spells that allow you to choose 2 or more modes. These spells, like Cryptic Command, Mystic Confluence, Ojutai's Command and Silumgar's Command are already useful cards by themselves, but with Torrential Gearhulk's "enter the battlefield" (ETB) effect, you can now double their impact! Other instants you can recur with the Gearhulk are those that let you draw a bucketful of cards or counterspells that steal the cards they negate, like Commandeer and Spelljack.
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Reshmi has the potential to let you cast one free spell every turn. And let's be honest, we want a free spell as oppposed to just drawing a card. The problem is in order to do that you have to cast a high-cost spell as your first spell every turn, and your deck, if curved normally, should contain 20-25 % of spells of casting cost 6 and above. This presents a conundrum. You want your top-deck to be a spell of a lower casting cost than the one that you just played. How do we consistently make that happen? Thankfully Green allows us access to Sylvan Library, an enchantment that lets us manipulate the top 3 cards of our deck every turn. Likewise, Blue has many cards to fix our draws like Brainstorm and Ponder. Sensei's Diving Top is an artifact that can fix our draw as well. Otherwise, you can use Momir Vig, Simic Visionary to tutor your top-deck. Use Reshmi as your Commander and exploit her free spell-casting ability.
Nissa, Vital Force
Kaladesh's iteration of Nissa is a highly efficient card that can trigger her ultimate ability the turn after she's cast! And this ability promises value: you get an emblem that allows you to draw a card every time you lay a land. Her ability that adds a loyalty counter transforms one of your lands into a 5/5 Elemental that can protect her, while her second ability that subtracts 2 loyalty counters allows you to bring back one permanent card from your graveyard to your hand. Use Nissa in conjunction with Eternal Witness to value loop.
The latest addition to Magic's pantheon of planeswalkers costs just 1UR. But what she brings to the table is sublime value. Her second ability allows you to copy an artifact, albeit for just one turn. The copy gains Haste. Use her to double the mana output of a mana rock or duplicate a deadly artifact creature like Blightsteel Colossus. Use Liquimetal Coating to change Saheeli into an artifact. Now you can duplicate herself infinite times, sending artifact copies of herself to the graveyard infinite times too. Then cast Disciple of the Vault or Altar of the Brood to win the game.
This card is so sick it vomits value! With Panharmonicon in play, Duplicant exiles 2 creatures, Wood Elves put 2 Forests into play, Sun Titan reanimates 2 small permanents from your graveyard, Mulldrifter draws 4 cards, Rune-Scarred Demon tutors for 2 cards and so on. Basically this 4 mana artifact doubles all ETB triggers of your creatures and artifacts.
I believe a 2 card infinite combo with Panharmonicon is just waiting to be discovered. One thing is for sure, the value this artifact gives you in EDH is unbelievable. Let's hope players will not be asking for a "BANharmonicon" anytime soon.
Kaladesh is a plane of innovation. I wish the cards featured in this set will arouse your creativity and inspire you to brew decks of wonderful intricacy.
[Want to be the first to hold Kaladesh's marvels in your hands? Pre-register now at the Dueller's Point website for the chance to participate in the Pre-release event from 24 to 25 September. The more pods you join, the more bonus packs you'll get!]