Let’s Draft Kaladesh (While We Still Can!)

Standard is in a holding pattern, and you know what that means: Everybody’s drafting! Do you agree with the way Ross has navigated these packs?

This weekend is the #SCGPC, which features the three most relevant Constructed formats: Standard, Modern, and Legacy. But that doesn’t mean draft has gone away. For you 40-card fanatics I have two freshly opened, never-before-seen packs of Kaladesh to pore over and dissect, hopefully satiating your thirst for Limited Magic before the weekend’s Constructed extravaganza. And away we go:

Pack 1, Pick 1

I think a lot of people would snap off the Filigree Familiar here. It has the feel of a premium uncommon, often acting as a two-for-one, supplementing any artifact synergies, and leaving you open to any color combination. But in my experience, the little Fox hasn’t been that effective, since the 2/2 body, if it trades for a full card, often trades down, very much mitigating its effectiveness.

As such, I’m inclined to look further into the pack and see Salivating Gremlins and Tidy Conclusion. Again, it’s the removal spell that typically stands out, but in an aggressive format like this one, a five-mana removal spell loses some of its appeal. The first copy is a nice resource to have so you can answer a large swath of threats, but you don’t want your hands to get bogged down with expensive reactive cards when your opponents are curving out, so taking the first copy this early can lead to a clunkier deck later on.

Salivating Gremlins, on the other hand, is a card I’ve been continually impressed by. It’s not hard to make it a 4/3 trampler with consistency, and those stats are well above the norm for a three mana creature. This late in a set’s lifespan, it’s very common for players to develop specific preferences, and artifact-centric aggro is certainly one of mine. If you’re more comfortable with an archetype that is conducive to one of the other cards, that’s fine, but I’m going with the red creature here.

Pack 1, Pick 5

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The picks following Salivating Gremlins have been quite fortunate, all powerful cards supporting the same archetype, but this is the first pick in the draft where we have to commit even further. Sky Skiff is the best card that keeps us open, but it’s generally weak and there are two cards, Cloudblazer and Rush of Vitality, that are significantly better.

Cloudblazer is the best of the group but commits us to an awkward three colors or splash. I’ve been rather pleased with Rush of Vitality, especially with Renegade Freighter, which most players are all too happy to trade for in combat, or at least attempt to trade for. Given that R/B is the best combination for artifact-centric aggressive decks, I’m willing to commit in that direction with our current set of cards. Ending up R/B is the best-case scenario, but we’re still flexible enough to pivot should a strong signal come later in the draft.