Let’s Draft More Kaladesh!

Draft Digest returns with new picks, new analysis, and new reasons for you to pick up the Kaladesh format with seven of your friends! Do you agree with Ross Merriam’s breakdown?

It’s been a while! Due to some extenuating circumstances the Draft Digest has taken a bit of a hiatus, but today it’s back and better than ever! We have cake, balloon animals, and even a bouncy castle. It’s going to be the best eighth birthday party ever.

Okay, okay. In reality we have none of those things. Bouncy castles are more expensive than you think. But we do have two more packs of Kaladesh, so leave those childish things behind and come play some Magic.

Pack 1, Pick 1

This is an interesting pack because the most powerful card, Unlicensed Disintegration, is gold. It’s generally a poor idea to take a gold card so early because it is too much of a commitment. You’ll often end up either not playing it, because you moved into other colors that were open, or ignore those signals and end up with a weaker overall deck so you could play your first pick.

So what are the next-best options? In no particular order, I see the next tier of picks being Dhund Operative, Aethertorch Renegade, and Kujar Seedsculptor. This is where the pick gets awkward. Two of these three cards share a color with Unlicensed Disintegration, so while they represent a lower commitment, the only time taking one of those cards here is going to work out best is when you play either red or black but not both. Given that red and black pair nicely together, I’m not sold on that situation happening often enough to justify taking a weaker card.

That leaves us with Kujar Seedsculptor. It’s a fine two-drop, and you know how I like cheap creatures, but it’s not something I’m going to really miss so long as I fill out my curve appropriately. Thus we have a case where I think it’s best to take the risk and pick a gold card first.

Pack 1, Pick 2

And our awkward first pick is followed by a similarly awkward second pick. The best card in this pack is Arborback Stomper and it’s not particularly close. But playing it alongside Unlicensed Disintegration will be tough. If you took Kujar Seedsculptor first, then this pick is easy, but let’s look deeper.

To stay on color, our options are Aethertorch Renegade, Prakhata Pillar-Bug, and Foundry Screecher. None of them is particularly exciting, although I’d lean toward the artifact so you can safely build on that theme.

But taking a weaker card here is a recipe for disaster. If R/B dries up, your deck will be very weak. Taking Arborback Stomper keeps your options open, including the potential for splashing the Unlicensed Disintegration with something like Prophetic Prism or Attune with Aether.

Yes, it’s likely that we’ll have to give up on one of our first picks, but the risk-reward equation here was favorable enough that I’m fine doing so.