MTG Arena Zone’s Limited Tier Lists rank all the cards from the set, to assist with picking cards for your draft deck or building your sealed deck. Full written updates will be recorded in the changelog at the bottom, but Drifter regularly makes minor grade changes on the fly as well, so the Tier List will always be up to date for as long as Kaladesh Remastered is out!
- S: Ridiculous bomb: has a huge immediate impact on the game and threatens to dominate it if unanswered. Always 1st pick. (Baneslayer Angel, Emeria’s Call, Sublime Epiphany)
- A: Very powerful card: approaches bomb status, pulls you strongly into its colour. Usually easy 1st pick. (A+: Leyline Tyrant, A: Felidar Retreat, A-: Nullpriest of Oblivion)
- B: Great playable: happy to pick early, pulls you into its colour. After the first few picks, a signal. (B+: Bloodchief’s Thirst, B: Emeria Captain B-: Rabid Bite)
- C+: Good playable that rarely gets cut. On the wheel, can be a signal, especially in multiples. (Gnarlid Colony, Into the Roil, Thundering Sparkmage)
- C: Fine playable, sometimes gets cut. A few in the last picks of a pack can form a signal. (Tajuru Blightblade, Tazeem Raptor, Synchronized Spellcraft)
- C-: Mediocre playable or decent filler, gets cut around half the time. (Nirmana Skitter-Sneak, Fissure Wizard, Blood Price)
- D: Medium to bad filler, gets cut a lot. (D+: Resolute Strike, D: Sneaking Guide, D-: Disenchant in most sets)
- F: Mostly to totally unplayable cards. (Roiling Vortex, Forsaken Monument, Negate in most sets)
- This tier list tries to capture “overall power level”. For more details, check out the mission statement.
- This tier list is primarily intended for Draft, but should still be useful for Sealed, with some adjustments. For more info, check out my General Sealed Strategy Guide!
- Two colour gold cards should be taken lower early on – you won’t be able to play them unless you’re specifically in those colours. The amount lower varies – as a general rule, take them about one grade lower if they’re splashable, or two grades lower if they’re not splashable (so a B-tier card becomes a C+ first pick). C+ is the hard limit for any cards in the B range, since C-level and below cards are very interchangeable, so a B- would still be on the lower end of C+. As always, it’s contextual though!
- Colourless cards should be taken about a grade higher early on, because they can go in any deck.
- Sideboard-only cards are rated as though they would go in the maindeck i.e. they usually receive bad ratings. Make sure to check out the sideboarding guide if you’re playing best-of-three!
|Angel of Invention||2|
|Authority of the Consuls||14|
|Countless Gears Renegade||10|
|Herald of the Fair||11|
|Sram, Senior Edificer||7|
|Built to Last||10|
|Depala, Pilot Exemplar||6|
|Kambal, Consul of Allocation||8|
|Oath of Ajani||8|
|Rashmi, Eternities Crafter||6|
|Tezzeret the Schemer||7|
|Baral, Chief of Compliance||10|
|Era of Innovation||9|
|Glimmer of Genius||9|
|Leave in the Dust||10|
|Minister of Inquiries||11|
|Padeem, Consul of Innovation||8|
|Select for Inspection||13|
|Shielded Aether Thief||8|
|Whir of Invention||13|
|Bomat Bazaar Barge||8|
|Chief of the Foundry||6|
|Heart of Kiran||2|
|Hope of Ghirapur||12|
|Implement of Examination||11|
|Implement of Malice||11|
|Key to the City||7|
|Pendulum of Patterns||14|
|Skysovereign, Consul Flagship||1|
|Demon of Dark Schemes||2|
|Fourth Bridge Prowler||12|
|Gonti, Lord of Luxury||4|
|Herald of Anguish||3|
|Night Market Aeronaut||12|
|Night Market Lookout||11|
|Rush of Vitality||10|
|Yahenni, Undying Partisan||4|
|Spire of Industry||12|
|Built to Smash||11|
|Chandra, Torch of Defiance||1|
|Kari Zev, Skyship Raider||7|
|Kari Zev's Expertise||12|
|Appetite for the Unnatural||11|
|Attune with Aether||8|
|Commencement of Festivities||14|
|Druid of the Cowl||8|
|Hunt the Weak||8|
|Nissa, Vital Force||2|
|Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter||5|
|Rishkar, Peema Renegade||5|
|Sage of Shaila's Claim||11|
|Servant of the Conduit||7|
Should I splash? The two cardinal rules:
Splashing is when you play cards outside your main colours, and adjust your mana base to account for them – such as playing two red cards in your Blue-Green deck.
Is my fixing good enough? The better your fixing, the more you can splash – if you can splash two colours relatively freely, then go nuts – this usually means three or four sources for 1-2 cards; four is better if your main sources aren’t that demanding but you can get away with three. If you have as many as 5 or 6 sources, you can even splash earlier game cards i.e. I would not splash Lightning Strike often on three sources but I would on five. If your mana base is better, then the risk is lesser so you can afford to do greedier things (but remember that playing too many taplands has its own costs, especially for more tempo-oriented decks…). You can only really splash cards with a single cost outside your main colours e.g. it’s impossible to splash 3BB in a Simic deck, but you can splash 3BG, because needing two sources of mana at the same time is incredibly hard while splashing – the number of sources you need on average soars from 3-4 to 6-7 (7-8 in Draft, but Sealed is slower so you can incorporate a little more risk).
Is the card actually worth splashing? Remember that cards you splash likely won’t be played on curve, so they need to be good in the late game and they need to be good enough to incur some risk to your mana base. Is the card you’re splashing significantly better than the card you would be putting in instead? It needs to be, or it needs to fill a hole in your deck i.e. if your Simic deck isn’t good at removing stuff, that makes splashing Secure the Scene, usually just an okay card, a lot more appealing.
EDIT: I’ve now fleshed this out and written an entire article on the subject, so check that out here!
Generally, if you’re playing best-of-three, you should take sideboard cards over D-tier cards, assuming their good case is pretty common and you’re not low on playables. Sideboard cards tend to get worse in multiples, unless the “good case” for them is quite common. You might be surprised at how much can constitute a sideboard card – a 1/3 can be a useful sideboard card against a deck full of 2/1s, for example. Remember that after each game, you can click the top right button to view the board again, and check their graveyard and field for what cards they’ve played.
I obviously can’t list all the situations for sideboard cards here, but let’s go over some common cases:
Do not maindeck artifact or enchantment removal in this format unless you are desperate – there are more artifacts than in a normal set, but still not enough. Board in Appetite for the Unnatural if you see a lot of targets for it, or several high-value ones, and Creeping Mold only if you see several high-value ones – expensive and sorcery speed means the latter isn’t worth it otherwise. Only count cards that are worth removing as targets – if they’ve already had their effect (like the Puzzleknots) or are weak, there is no reason to board stuff in against them. Board in Fragmentize only if you see lots of artifacts that cost 4 or less that are worth destroying – it is doubly conditional, so it is a much worse sideboard card unless you run into that specific case.
Negate is generally bad in Draft, but can be useful to sideboard in against decks with a ton of noncreature spells – I would need about half the cards they played in previous games to be noncreatures before I’d be happy to have Negate. Consider whether your deck is good at holding up mana too – if you have other ways to use mana at instant speed or other counterspells already, then Negate gets a bit better. Duress (not in this set) suffers from the same rules, but is a bad topdeck instead of requiring you to hold mana up – if you expect to be playing a really slow, grindy mirror then Negate will be better than Duress (which might not even be worth boarding in unless they have card draw), but Duress will always be a better early play.
Try to pay attention to what creatures your opponent plays, what size they are. If they have lots of x/1s then Chandra's Pyrohelix, Fireforger's Puzzleknot, and cards that make Servos all get much better.
If they don’t have much instant-speed removal and you’re on the offensive, that is the best time to board in tricks like Precise Strike and Built to Smash, or auras like Siege Modification. Remember not to trim too many creatures though, or important curve plays.
Decide on a plan for each matchup – if your opponent is slow, are you going to go fast and try to overwhelm them, or are you going to try to fight them on the same axis and outvalue them? If your cards aren’t good at producing value or you don’t have much high end, the latter isn’t going to work. If they have a lot of good blockers or lots of lifegain or your deck doesn’t have that many 2 drops, the former probably isn’t going to work. If you’re trying to go slow, random 2 mana 2/2s are not going to do much for you and you should instead try to board in card draw or expensive impactful cards. If you’re going to go fast, then you might want to board in more 2 drops and cut some of your more expensive cards.