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September 20, 2016

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Daily Dose of Kaladesh – Top Uncommons for Kaladesh Limited

Welcome to the ‘Daily Dose of Kaladesh’ where today I’ll be continuing my talk on the Kaladesh Limited format. Yesterday I talked about the top Commons you will want to make sure are in your Limited deck and today I’m moving on the top Uncommons that are must plays. When you are playing Limited with only the large block of a set, it is even more important to find an archetype that works with the cards you have opened or drafted. A lot of players like to draft around the rare or mythic in the first pack they draft, which at times can be an okay strategy. No matter what your strategy to start off a draft, or finding a deck to build a card around, you will need to find some strong cards to support your strategy. Often uncommons from the set can be the most powerful cards in your deck. Here are the Uncommons that you want to watch out for when your crack open your Kaladesh packs.

Aerial Responder

This card is getting a lot of comparisons to Vampire Nighthawk, with the switch out of Deathtouch for Vigilance. Vigilance in the Limited format is usually much stronger than anywhere else. The combination with lifelink will mean unless dealt with, Aerial Responder will be gaining you a lot of life throughout the game while being able to protect you from your opponents attack as well.

Fairgrounds Warden

It’s great to have another Banisher Priest creature in the format that can allow you to temporarily take care of a threat on the battlefield. How Fairgrounds Warden works better than Banisher Priest is that it can be played in more decks and is easier to cast. With removal in Limited format being limited, this makes Fairgrounds Warden even better.

Aether Meltdown

This is the closet you will get to blue removal with a lot of upside. The fact that you are able to target a Vehicle even when it isn’t crewed makes it quite strong. The fact that you get a bonus two energy when it enters the battlefield as well is just pure value.

Glimmer of Genius

This card is just great value all around. Scry is an underrated evergreen mechanic that allows you to filter what you will be drawing, and being able to Scry before you draw your two cards makes it similar to Read the Bones. Instead of losing two life though, you will be able to cast this as an instant and also get two energy to boost.

Aetherborn Marauder

Lifelink in combination with evasion as seen with Aerial Responder is quite strong. Based on how your deck is built, you could also make Aetherborn Marauder quite large if you have some +1/+1 counters. Early creatures with Fabricate could give you those +1/+1 counters you’re looking for. If you can get a 4/4 or larger Flying creature with lifelink, it will make it quite difficult to deal with.

Essence Extraction

Removal spells are always something you want to be looking for when opening your Kaladesh packs. Essence Extraction is a Lightning Helix that can only target creatures, but that’s okay. Creature removal and combat tricks are often what makes the difference in the Limited format and the life gain you can get from Essence Extraction will be very much welcome.

Harnessed Lightning

Like Essence Extraction, Harnessed Lightning is a creature removal spell, but exchanges lifegain for some energy and versatility. Thanks to the great design of this card, this removal spell can deal anywhere from 0, 1, 2, 3, or more damage to a creature based on how much Energy you have accrued up to that point in the game. Sometimes you will just need the Energy from the card as well for another Energy outlet you have, and getting three Energy off of Harnessed Lightning will help.

Speedway Fanatic

I’ll get to the ability of this card in a moment, but just having a 2/1 Haste creature for two mana already makes this quite strong in an aggressive deck strategy. Another great use of this card is in conjunction with the multitude of vehicles that will exist in Kaladesh. One of the great drawbacks of Vehicles is that even if crewed, most Vehicles do not have haste. This is where Speedway Fanatic will come in to save the day.

Arborback Stomper

This is a great classic green creature. You get a large 5/4 Trample creature for five mana that will be able to get in for lots of damage. If you build a green deck with lots of large ground creatures that will take over the game after turn five, it is nice to be able to gain back 5 life, which you probably lost in the early game.

Blossoming Defense

Combat tricks in the Limited format are often what makes the difference in who wins the match. Blossoming Defense not only allows you to pump up your creature to win combat, it can also be used as a counterspell against removal spells by giving your creature hexproof as well.

Servant of the Conduit

A lot of times you are going to be playing two colour decks in Limited, but cards such as Servant of the Conduit will allow you to help branch off to three or more colours if there are some sweet cards that you want to splash into your deck. If you decide you don’t need the coloured mana than you can use the Energy you receive with another of your Energy outlet cards.

Contraband Kingpin

This card gets value on three fronts. First you get Lifelink which is always a nice way to prevent your opponent from attacking into it. Secondly, you get four toughness on a creature. There will be a lot of two and three power creatures attacking in the early game of Kaladesh Limited and having four toughness will be very important. Lastly, if you have some nice artifacts in your deck, you will be able to Scry and filter your draws for the rest of the game.

Unlicensed Disintegration

Cards like Murder and Terminate have always been great removal cards and Unlicensed Disintegration is no different. Even if you don’t have any artifacts to be able to deal three damage to your opponent, having such a cheap blank removal spell makes this quite strong. It does get stuck in decks that have to be playing red and black, but the strength of this card in Limited is quite strong.

Veteran Motorist

All of the Pilot creatures in Kaladesh seem to be quite strong. To start off you get a 3/1 creature for two mana which can be quite good in an aggressive red/white deck. Being able to Scry 2 when it enters the battlefield is not something to overlook in an aggressive deck in which you want to make sure you are constantly drawing threats. With three power it should be able to crew most vehicles and will give that Vehicle a +1/+1 bonus until end of turn as well.

Whirler Virtuoso

Everyone remembers how popular Eldrazi Skyspawner has been in the past year and Whirler Virtuoso is even more powerful that that. What you lose in a mana making Eldrazi Scion token is gained in gaining three Energy and the possibility to make at minimum one or more 1/1 Flying Thopter tokens. Also being a 2/3 rather than a 2/1 creature will mean that it will survive a little bit longer.

Chief of the Foundry

This is a great reprint that fits so well into Kaladesh. Not only does it pump your artifact creatures, but it also pumps your Vehicles as well once they are crewed which means this could see play in Vehicles decks. Being able to crew vehicles itself while making them larger is a good fit.

Filigree Familiar

This is by far my favourite card in the entire set of Kaladesh. It is strictly a value town card. Comparisons have been made to cards like Kitchen Finks and Solemn Simulacrum. Couple things of note is that is works very well in Emerge decks being the key three mana needed to curve into a turn four Emerge creature such as Elder Deep-Fiend. Another is that it is an Artifact Creature that allows to work well in Delirium decks by hitting two different card types as well. Being colourless also allows it to be played in multiple decks, which I believe it will.

Ovalchase Dragster

This is by far one of the best Vehicles in the set. Being one of the few Vehicles with haste and having such a low Crew cost, it should be easy to crew and attack with it when needed. Thanks to Ovalchase Dragster having Trample it will be hard to not block it and kill it so it doesn’t continue to deal damage to you, so you will get some chump blocks with it, but still get some damage through.

Aether Hub

This uncommon land is very versatile and will allow you to branch out into possibly three and four color decks for Limited. Being compared to Tendo Ice Bridge, Aether Hub is a strictly better upgrade thanks to the versatility of being able to use multiple times if you gain Energy from other sources. If you don’t need coloured mana as well, you can use that Energy for other Energy outlets. Coming into play untapped is also noteworthy, as previous cards such as Crumbling Vestige came into play tapped.

Are there any other uncommons that you want to be playing at your local game store this weekend? Thanks for reading today’s edition of the ‘Daily Dose of Kaladesh’ where hopefully you have an idea of what Commons and Uncommons you want to be seeing at your local prerelease. Join me the rest of the week when I start turning the corner from preview season and the Limited format and start talking about Standard deck techs for the new Standard season.