Kaladesh Remastered Constructed Set Review
Hello to all of you inventors and artificers! The second Remastered set for Historic is on its way and I’m excited to rate cards for you guys that I feel like will have a chance to play. If there are some reprints that are already on Arena like Rishkar, Peema Renegade, I will not talk about them. I will evaluate these cards based on these criteria:
- “Visible” power level: This basically just means if I am able to slot a card into an already existing deck or archetype, without changing the original deck too much. It’s probably easier to fit these cards into Historic, as most Standard sets are rotating with Zendikar Rising.
- “Potential” power level: This will be the more speculative section as it’s tougher to evaluate power of some cards without knowing their right home. It is also very much possible that cards are very strong, but need some more support to get going (remember Wilderness Reclamation? That card saw little to no play until it got stronger with every new set, ultimately getting banned).
This article is inspired by Drifter and I will be using his rating system as it is pretty much perfect:
- 5★ All Star in many different decks and archetypes, including top tier ones (e.g. Llanowar Elves, Teferi, Time Raveler, Field of the Dead)
- 4★ Great and important to multiple different good decks, or defines an archetype (e.g. Burning-Tree Emissary, Curious Obsession, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria)
- 3.5★ Good in many different decks or important in at least one good deck (e.g. Mox Amber, Wildgrowth Walker, Phyrexian Obliterator)
- 3★ Good in at least one decent deck or filler in multiples (e.g. Lava Coil, Vivien Reid, Rotting Regisaur)
- 2★ Likely to see play in some fringe decks at least (e.g. Thrill of Possibility, Gates Ablaze, The Gitrog Monster)
- 1★ Might see play somewhere but definitely not a sure thing (e.g. Discordant Piper, Hadana’s Climb, Keep Safe)
Before we start…
- Do not forget that creating this article has a lot of speculation: There is a good chance that I will be wrong about some cards and will even miss some good ones. If you find some of those examples later, let me know in the comments and don’t forget to tell everyone how stupid I am!
- You will quickly notice that a lot of cards are only good in specific strategies or decks, rather than being allround all-stars like Bloodchief’s Thirst out of Zendikar Rising. Keep in mind that my rating will evaluate these cards if their archetypes exist potentially if not stated otherwise.
- I will mention this a bit more often later, but I don’t think the decks that rely on the Energy mechanic will be good enough. They were good back then when they were legal in Standard, but Historic’s just a completely different beast if you compare the power levels. While I share the same sentiment with Vehicle aggro, I believe that artifact aggro can become good in the future. The reasoning for that is the fact that Wizards most likely won’t support Energy or Vehicles on the same level again – but artifact creatures will always get implemented and therefore there is always room for improvement.
Angel of Invention
Well, this doesn’t seem all too powerful. The reason I am mentioning this is that it used to see play with God-Pharaoh’s Gift, which might become better now that we get Refurbish. I still think that we got much better things to do in Historic, but that will not stop people from trying!
Authority of the Consuls
This is sideboard tech, and with all sideboard techs this has too prove itself first. This did prove itself already in the time when it was Standard legal though, where people brought it in against mono-red to gain some health and punish creatures with haste. When I look at Historic, this could do some real work against Gruul – but it also stops the Neoform combo decks and Goblins from one-shotting you in their key turns, so you can survive until your next turn and maybe Wrath of God them afterwards. That’s good enough reason for me (in theory) to rate it highly and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s even better than I rate it right now.
The effect of this card is powerful, but also pretty narrow. There aren’t a lot of decks that want this kind of effect and it’s always bad to let your opponent choose what they want to be left with. At the very least the fact that you can get this off Karn, the Great Creator makes me interested enough that I’m not ready to write this off.
This is definitely one of the cards that has “potential”. I already mentioned this card above, because it just works so well with God-Pharaoh’s Gift. 4 mana is a lot in Historic, so it’s definitely possible that this is just a fringe card. It’s important to note that this can get you the likes of Great Henge, The Immortal Sun, Chromatic Orrery or Akroma’s Memorial, just to name some, so it could definitely find other applications and it will only get better when we get more and more artifacts. I do think that it has tons of potential because of that reason, so don’t overlook this card.
Sram, Senior Edificer
I expect this to almost immediately see play. One of Azorius Auras’s weakness is the fact that they are kind or reliant on drawing Kor Spiritdancer – and now you sort of have 7-8 copies of it (you probably don’t want to play all 4 because it’s a legendary card). Sure, it’s worse because it doesn’t get bigger and because it’s legendary, but if you’re playing Auras you’ll take this any day of the week.
I mean, this card certainly doesn’t seem weak, but I feel like this is pretty narrow and I’m not sure if 4 mana isn’t too much for this effect. I’ll say this though: Imagine playing this and getting Tempered Steel into play – that sounds great for an artifact aggro-.deck. This line of play has followed me in my dreams, so I really don’t want to have this card unmentioned.
Much like Sram’s Expertise, this can see play in artifact aggro-decks. The reason why I’m rating this a bit higher is that strong 1-drops are always much more valuable than fringy 4 mana cards – and having a 1-drop that hits for 3 and is resilient in combat is just great. If Toolcraft Exemplar finds a home it will be a strong beater and probably deserve 4 stars – and if not, it’s probably a 1.
Baral, Chief of Compliance
Baral will not slot into many decks, but it will be instrumental in these decks. This is sort of redundant with Goblin Electromancer and it’s nice to have multiple effects like these. Electromancer doesn’t see much play right now and I doubt that’ll change as the spellslinger shell for that is not exactly there right now.
This can always see some fringe sideboard play, depending on the meta. Right now, there are not many colorless decks or cards running around, but that could always change in the future; and it’s just nice to have that as an option.
It’s an expensive counterspell, but decks that play a lot of them usually like having choices when choosing counterspells. I like that this can be a weaker Absorb while at the same time being able to counter a Shark Typhoon token, which is – quite honestly – pretty big in control mirrors. It will take 1-2 slots in a deck at best – but that’s already good enough for counterspell options.
If you’re playing a toolbox combo deck that involves artifacts, this can be a fine 2-drop that’s able to block while finding you additional pieces. Even then, I think this card will just be too weak given Historic’s power level.
This is another narrow card because there aren’t many decks that can play it – but it’s going to be so strong in the right ones. Again, if you have an aggressive artifact deck this can be incredible at protecting your board from removal or sweepers, but even outside of that in decks that make use of a lot of artifacts this can become handy. This only fits into specific decks, much like Soaring Thought-Thief only fits in Dimir Rogues, but in a fitting shell this will become powerful.
This is at least as narrow as Sram’s Expertise, but it’s much more powerful. This requires an extremely specific shell: It needs to have tons of cheap spells (probably with CMC=0) and you need some sort of payoff for playing a lot of spells in one turn. We have Mox Amber and Ornithopter as cheap spells that come into my mind right now and the payoffs that immediately cross my mind are something like Sai, Master Thopterist and Aetherflux Reservoir. Now, I will say that these are probably not good enough right now, but this card has the potential to be completely absurd for combo-ish decks. It will depend on what more stuff comes in the future to support this.
This can be great for any control deck, because it’s a late game threat that also lets you recast all of your valuable spells that you’ve cast this game already. That can have a large variety from just being simple counterspells or removals to recasting your card drawing elements at the end of your opponents turn. We’ll have to see if it’s worth the high mana cost, but people enjoyed playing this card in the past and they will certainly try again (I know I will).
Whir of Invention
I’d put this in the same category as Paradoxical Outcome. It’s extremely narrow, but the effect is so powerful that you just can’t write this off. If you have enough artifacts lying around (remember: those can be food tokens or treasure tokens!), this can easily be a: Pay 3 blue, get any artifact out of your deck. Remember how strong Bolas’s Citadel is for example? Again, the shell might not be there yet, but just the potential of this card deserves this rating.
Much like Bloodchief’s Thirst, this is just amazing, cheap removal. Personally, I think that Thirst is a bit better, because Planeswalkers are important to hit; which means that you can play main deck removal that’s not a blank against decks that play them. It’s not strictly better though, because there can certainly be situations where you don’t want to pay 4 mana to destroy a 3 or 4 mana creature. This is where Fatal Push comes in, and it will at the very least see sideboard play against creature decks. Imagine you’re playing Jund Food in Historic and sacrificing Cauldron Familiar into the Witch’s Oven already triggers Revolt: That’s just great and it’s certainly a strong addition to the removals we already have.
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
As much as I love this card (and have loved in the past), I think this is just slightly too expensive for Historic. It feels like a card like this needs to already cast this card for free nowadays, especially when you compare this kind of 4-mana value generator with cards like Winota, Joiner of Forces for example.
This is more of an honorable mention from my side, because people tend to overrate these kinds of effects. Essentially, you don’t want to pay 3 mana to not impact the board or the resources at all (remember they draw a card when you exile something from their hand). The only way you want to use this is to punish some glass cannon combo decks that rely on one specific card to win, but decks nowadays spread their threats and win conditions so much that it’s practically impossible to find a purpose for this. We also have Unmoored Ego and Necromentia as other options.
This could be some sideboard tech if you’re playing against creatures, while playing creatures yourself. Sweeping the board and then getting something back on board might be good, although 4 mana for this effect is probably still too much.
I really want to give this a higher rating, but then I remembered that we have Ravenous Chupacabra in Historic and that barely sees play already. Sure, you get some life back and a good beater, but you pay 2 more mana. This might be sweet to get back in these mono-black God-Pharaoh’s Gift lists, though! In that deck this might honestly be a straight up better card because you’re looking to reanimate this anyway, making the cost irrelevant in that aspect. The last thing I want to mention is the fact that it’s an artifact, so it has multiple different applications such as getting it with Karn, the Great Creator or Refurbish – and for that reason I at least want to give this card some nod of appreciation.
Built to Smash
This is a lot of power for not a lot of mana, so it might at least be a solid addition to some hyper-aggressive builds that use some artifact beaters.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
I’m not kidding, this card incredible. Mono-red players try to play some Planeswalkers to diversify their threats and not lose to mono-removals – but what options did they have? They are playing Chandra, Fire Artisan right now, but let me tell you: Chandra, Torch of Defiance is much, much better. This card just does a large variety of things that you are interested in and is much more flexible. Even if you look past the aggressive decks, this is just such a strong Planeswalker on it’s own that other decks that play red will sure try to fit this in. If you’ve never played this card before, you can definitely get excited about this!
This fits into the same camp as Paradoxical Outcome for me, potential wise. If that’s too much text for you, you essentially want to use this on your own creatures or artifacts to get something huge like an Ulamog, Ceaseless Hunger out of your deck (just to name one). Sure, it’s extremely narrow, but the effect is quite strong and we will only get more and more powerful creatures that we can try to cheat out early.
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
This is a solid beater for 2, but I think we have enough strong options already and this one might just fall a little short.
Kari Zev’s Expertise
Jund Sacrifice needed an additional “steal” effect and played Act of Treason instead – and this is just so much better. You steal something, sac it to Witch’s Oven, and bring a Priest of Forgotten Gods in play? That sounds like you’re going to become an “expert” by playing this, so I’ll rate this highly here.
Much like Kari Zev, I think this is just a bit too weak to have a huge impact on Historic.
This is just a better version of Ranger’s Guile and that card is already pretty good. Don’t underestimate cheap cards that protect your creatures. Nice addition!
Even if Energy midrange should become playable (which I don’t think it will), this will not even be that strong of a card, because there’s just so many better things to do in Historic – and this doesn’t even have a keyword. This will not be the menace that it once was in Standard, so don’t get your hopes up too much.
Same reasoning as with Bristling Hydra, as it would slot into the same archetype. At best this will come down on turn 2 and be a 3/4, which is decent, but not great, and the fact that it only slots into this archetype doesn’t make me too excited about this one.
Nissa, Vital Force
Honestly this isn’t even a bad card, but the other Nissa is just better. But maybe you can play this alongside it’s stronger form?
This card only slots into decks that care about +1/+1 counters, but even then this is just too much mana to pay for.
This is massive card advantage when it hits and it gets to 6 loyalty immediately. My biggest problem is that It’s just massively expensive and it’s in colors that usually don’t play the long game too well. Maybe the 4-Color Midrange decks want this as a sideboard option for the grindy matchups?
Depala, Pilot Exemplar
This is narrow and probably also too weak in its specific archetype, as 3 mana lords in Historic usually are, deserving its low rating.
You should rather call this Dovin Banaan, as this card doesn’t have enough loyalty or impact for 4 mana.
Another narrow card for narrow archetypes (there surely are a lot of them now that I think of it), but it might do some serious work in these decks. I’m thinking of either Orzhov or Mardu Sacrifice or something like that, as this seems to work pretty well with Cauldron Familiar + Witch’s Oven and Cruel Celebrant. There might also be some artifact decks that can make use of the excess artifacts – and don’t forget that sacrificing Fabled Passage works as well here. This is a cheap card that you shouldn’t underestimate for sure.
Kambal, Consul of Allocation
This will be another fringe sideboard card that can be good in specific metas, but when I look at all the incidental life gain that the slower decks have (hello, Uro), then I’m not too excited about this one – but it could shine against specific archetypes for sure (which don’t exist yet, but it can always happen).
Oath of Ajani
This isn’t bad at all if +1/+1 counters become a thing (which, to my disappointment, didn’t happen yet) and if that deck wants to play Planeswalkers as well. But – and you’ve heard me say this a couple times now – it’s just super narrow. We certainly see some similarities in these cards – they don’t fit in many decks, but should they find a home they can be quite powerful.
Tezzeret the Schemer
This is just a solid Planeswalker for U/B based artifact decks and it’s nice that specific archetypes can get specific Planeswalkers. You do need to have some sort of use for the Etherium Cells that Tezzy makes, so I wouldn’t play this elsewhere.
Does this slot in every Rakdos deck? No. Will this be incredible in Rakdos artifact aggro? Yes! The trend with the narrow cards continues – but it’s another strong card if you’re in the right archetype.
If Abzan +1/+1 counters becomes a thing you have 8 2-drops that have this effect (thinking of Conclave Mentor) and this will be instrumental there. It will make the deck much more solid because you can rely on this type of effect a lot more, so I like the potential of this card a lot.
More of an honorable mention, because people love to mess around with a card like this. I already mentioned this one above in the context of Paradoxical Outcome, so keep your eyes peeled!
This is just such a good sideboard edition when you’re playing creatures yourself against other creature decks. The fact that this flies makes it pretty easy to get through with lifelink and it’s tough to race. Add to that that it’s colorless and can be played in every deck makes it just awesome.
Okay this is definitely just potentially 4 stars, because it’s either playable and good or completely unplayable. 2 things need to be checked: Is the Energy build around good enough to survive in the meta? Is turn 4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger strong enough? My first inclination is no because Energy can’t get really get better (unless they reprint the mechanic), so I will be cautious here. It’s either a 4 or a 0,5 and nothing in between so I’ll just give it a 4 I guess.
This is a sweet little Artifact to support the +1/+1 counters archetype again. This will work well together with The Ozolith and will give you some options to have in the later stages of the game.
This is so much power for a 1-drop. It’s not insane immediately, it does need some work and it needs to survive, but if your opponent ignores it you’re going to get a lot of cards back. Don’t underestimate the value of strong 1-drops for aggressive decks as this is their bread and butter and just so crucial for their game plan.
At the very least this can one-shot some people with a dedicated build, but I think this is just too cute overall.
This could be instrumental if this cheap spell archetype should become a thing. This can be great with Paradoxical Outcome because all your 1 mana artifacts can suddenly cost 0. I don’t really see it anywhere else, though.
Heart of Kiran
This card’s just great. It’s a lot of power for just 2 mana and Crew 3 isn’t much in the right deck. Since you can also remove loyalty counters to crew it, it works well with cards that we have already like Gideon, Blackblade, just to name one. The good thing about this is also that will survive your opposing Wrath of God and other sorcery speed spells, making this tough to deal with.
Hope of Ghirapur
The card is extremely narrow and even then it’s not that great. I guess one upside is that it’s a 1 mana artifact that can attack, so it could be useful for artifact aggro decks again, but I can’t see too many applications for this card, since you always need to wait a turn.
This is just awesome tribal support – and don’t forget that you can name “construct” as well. It’s a bit volatile and tribal decks haven’t been the most prominent, but the fact that this slots into any of these is just great. My problem is that Historic just seems to be a place that’s not made for stuff like this, so I am a bit cautious before getting excited.
I’m sure some decks will revolve around this, but paying 4 mana for something that doesn’t do anything immediately is just not where you want to be in Historic.
I’m split on this, so I’ll take the 3 stars. My gut immediately tells me that a 5 mana artifact is just way too expensive, considering Historic’s power level. But the effect is so strong on this, that it could actually be worth it playing a deck that tries to delay the game until it finds this. Don’t expect this to see play immediately, but definitely keep your eyes peeled.
Unless something like an endless combo gets introduced (see: KCI endless loop) I don’t see this being too useful. It was part of one of the strongest decks in Modern a while ago, but it needed a very specific card pool for that to happen.
Yeah, talk about strong 2-drops. This is just an extremely potent aggressive 2-drop, because not only does it hit hard, but it also comes back again and again. Unless your opponent is playing Extinction Event, this will make sure that you are resilient to sweepers (don’t forget that you can use this in your opponent’s end step). Of course, you need to be playing specifically black, but that won’t stop me from giving this the high rating it deserves.
This can become a powerful role player if you’re in the right deck, although I don’t quite see the place for it yet.
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
This card means business and will help you control most board states that are about creatures, while also hitting hard in the air. Another added bonus here is that you can get it with Karn, the Great Creator.
This card’s not impressive, but at the very least it will be a crucial early play if you want to make Aetherwork’s Marvel work.
This land is actually fine: it will fix your mana once, and if you’re in some kind of Energy shell this will just fix you in multiple colors. As mentioned a couple times now though, I don’t think Energy strategies will be too potent.
These lands are just great and are just what we needed in Historic. Decks that want to play quickly in the early turns still struggle with their mana bases (yes, Gruul as well, even though the deck is still good) and this can be a game changer for a lot of these decks. It’s just so nice that we have 8 guaranteed double color lands in the first 3 turns now (counting them together with the shocklands like Sacred Foundry) and these lands will see play for sure. If not, you can call me a moldy bean.
In artifact decks this can be incredible, as it will be land value basically for free! I don’t think that we’re at that point yet with colorless artifact decks in Historic – and it will probably take a long time until we are – but if we get there, this will become playable for sure.
Spire of Industry
This is awesome fixing for artifact decks, although with the addition of so many lands in Historic now I feel like this won’t be super necessary.
Top 5 Kaladesh Remastered Cards for Historic
I am sure I missed some cards here and there and if you think I did, let me know in the comments! This topic is always a bit speculative and you can never be right about everything, so thank you so much for reading through all of this – it is a pleasure to write for you guys over and over.
With that being said, have fun with Kaladesh Remastered and see you soon, you crazy inventors!