Welcome back to Kaladesh. Is this your first time visiting? No worries, this Kaladesh Remastered Draft Guide will help you master the newest draft format on MTG Arena.
Our first stop – mechanics, how they work and how they affect the format. Followed by the trip down the memory lane and what we can expect from the format based on our past experience, including some general tips.
Then we’ll move on to the best commons for each color, followed by examination of archetypes and what they’re trying to do. Our trip concludes with a ranking of all the colors and archetypes in the Kaladesh Remastered Draft.
As you see, there’s plenty of stuff to see, so buckle up and let’s discover Kaladesh.
UPDATE: If you’re looking forward to drafting the newest set, you can find Forgotten Realms Draft Guide here.
Kaladesh Remastered Draft Mechanics
Kaladesh Remastered Draft features five different mechanics.
Let’s take a look at each of them.
Energy counters are a completely separate resource. Various cards can give a player energy counters. Most of these cards can also use energy counters to pay for various abilities. Once a player gets an energy counter it doesn’t go away (like mana would between phases) until it’s used.
Various creatures in white, black and green have the fabricate mechanic. Fabricate always comes with a number. Let’s say you have a creature with Fabricate X. When this creature enters the battlefield you have the option of putting X +1/+1 counters on it or to make X 1/1 Servo tokens.
Yet another decision to make. This mechanic can support various go wide strategies.
If a spell has improvise, you can tap any number of artifacts to reduce its cost by one generic mana per artifact tapped. If you’re building around the improvise mechanic you want plenty of cheap (yet useful) artifacts.
Cards with revolt get better if a permanent you control left the battlefield that turn. Some card’s effects happen once like Airdrop Aeronauts. There are also some that could trigger multiple times, like Hidden Stockpile.
Vehicle is an artifact type. Vehicle isn’t a creature at first. When you crew it, it becomes a creature until the end of turn. To crew a vehicle you have to tap creatures with total power X or more, where X is the vehicle’s crew cost. You can tap creatures with summoning sickness to crew a vehicle.
There’s various interesting interactions with vehicles. Once you crew a vehicle, it can crew another vehicle. For example, you can use a Servo token to crew Aethersphere Harvester, which can then crew Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. Flavor fail, but it works.
Learn From the Past
In autumn 2016 we drafted triple Kaladesh. It was a very aggressive format and blocking was usually a losing preposition.
In January 2017, Aether Revolt joined the mix, and we drafted two packs of Aether Revolt and one pack of Kaladesh. There was some new stuff in the format, the format slowed down a little, but still stayed quite fast and aggressive.
Although, there are plenty of cards in both Kaladesh and Aether Revolt that aren’t in Kaladesh Remastered draft, that won’t change the format that much. Most of the stuff that was cut is either at higher rarities, or there’s a duplicate effect in the set already. We probably don’t need both Fragmentize and Decommission in the same draft environment.
However, there’s one very big omission. Renegade Freighter, the best common in the set isn’t here. This might make aggressive decks weaker, but it probably doesn’t change the format as a whole.
There are still multiple creatures with on-attack triggers, like Aether Chaser. Revolt creatures promote attacking as well – the easiest way to trigger revolt on your turn is to simply attack.
So we expect the format to remain fast and aggressive. With that in mind here are some general tips to keep in mind when playing and drafting Kaladesh Remastered.
Kaladesh Remastered Draft Tips
- Be aggressive. Take advantage of attacking and don’t plan to block much.
- If you do decide to be more controlling, play enough cheap interaction. Removal is usually better than random blockers.
- There are a lot of artifacts. You can safely play one artifact removal in your main deck. Sometimes you can play even two.
- Format often ends up in a race. It’s great to have a card that can turn a race around. Those are cards like Rush of Vitality that give you a big life swing or Dawnfeather Eagle, which gives your creatures vigilance for a safe attack.
- Don’t pass Untethered Express. You’ll play it in every deck and only the most broken rares are worth picking over it.
- Don’t let the uncommon symbol on Ridgescale Tusker deceive you. It’s a mythic Verdurous Gearhulk in disguise.
Best Commons for Kaladesh Remastered Draft
Commons are the cards you’ll see the most of in a draft, so it’s important to know which are the best ones.
1. Dawnfeather Eagle
Dawnfeather Eagle will be amazing in every white deck. There are a lot of white creatures with fabricate, which allows you to go-wide. Once you have a bunch of Servos and random creatures, you slam down the Eagle and attack for a bunch of damage.
Vigilance is actually very relevant, as many games and up in a race. So getting an attack in, while not leaving yourself vulnerable is great.
You’ll want as many Eagles as you can get. If you have multiple of them, you’ll just cut all your other cards that cost 5 or more, and you’ll curve will work. Turn 5 Eagle into turn 6 Eagle is hard to beat.
2. Glint-Sleeve Artisan
Both second and third best white common work great with Eagle. Glint-Sleeve Artisan is solid. It’s pretty cheap and you’ll get two bodies most of the time. You’ll pick a +1/+1 counter when your opponent has 2-powered attackers and is beating you down.
Getting 3 power on the board can also be relevant, as there are some vehicles with Crew 3. It’s yet another white card that you can’t have too many of.
3. Propeller Pioneer
Propeller Pioneer also works towards the go-wide plan. This will probably get the counter more often than Artisan. 3-powered attacker is a real clock. One additional point of toughness, comes in handy when an opponent has a random Thopter token lying around.
Revoke Privileges is a type of card that’s usually the best white common in the set. However, in this set it has some problems:
- it’s bad against the go-white decks
- there are some maindeckable effects that can destroy it, like Appetite for the Unnatural
- it can’t target vehicles
- it doesn’t do anything against creatures with abilities like Whirler Virtuoso
Nevertheless, it’s still a playable card, just not as good as it was before. For example, while completely different card Impeccable Timing is of a similar power level.
Aviary Mechanic is another card that can save creatures from opponent’s auras. It can reuse creatures with enter-the-battlefield abilities, while being a serviceable play on turn two. Great card to have in such aggressive format.
Some other cards that we should mention are:
- The first copy of Fragmentize is maindeckable.
- Cogworker’s Puzzleknot can do some work in a go-wide deck.
- If you’re missing Dawnfeather Eagles, you can use Inspired Charge.
- Built to Last is a solid combat trick.
As you can see white has many solid commons. Let’s see how the blue color holds up to that.
1. Aether Swooper
1/2 flyer for two is pretty mediocre, but the abilities are what make this card great. It provides enough energy to activate itself once, and it can also spend energy from other sources pretty efficiently.
Servo tokens can help you go wide, or cast improvise cards. They also come in handy with the next great blue common.
2. Gearseeker Serpent
This Serpent has a high mana cost, but in a correctly built deck, you can easily get its cost down to 4 mana, at which point it’s an amazing deal!
Even though the ability is expensive, it often becomes very relevant. If your opponent can’t kill you quickly by going wide, the Serpent win you the game, especially since they always come in multiples.
When you’re drafting blue, keep Serpent in mind and pick up some artifacts, even if you don’t have the Serpent yet.
3. Aether Theorist
Aether Theorist might be a somewhat controversial choice for the third best common in blue, but it really does some things nicely.
Many decks can utilize energy counters and Theorist provides nice chuck of energy. It’s a serviceable blocker early on, and scrying is very relevant in the late game, when you don’t need additional lands.
When you’re looking for the third land drop – don’t forget that you can activate it in your upkeep (just set a stop there), so you can scry closer to it.
Both Malfunction and Ice Over suffer from the same problems as Revoke Privileges. However, they’re still totally playable. Which one is better? Usually Malfunction, but sometimes you’d prefer the two mana discount.
1. Daring Demolition
Unconditional removal spells are always good. This one suffers from being a sorcery, but at least you get to kill a Vehicle, even when it’s not crewed.
You’ll want to get your Demolitions, when you’re drafting black in the Kaladesh Remastered draft.
3. Aether Poisoner
Deathtouch is great against big green creatures, and against vehicles too. You can expect a lot of both, which makes Aether Poisoner a very relevant card.
If you don’t have a great attack with it simply use its energy for something else, like Die Young.
2. Subtle Strike
Subtle Strike is very well positioned in this environment. Creatures are often similarly sized, and there are quite many with only one toughness.
A well-timed Subtle Strike can really turn the game in your favor. While you always want one, and maybe even two, don’t play more than that. If you’re playing a traditional Kaladesh Remastered draft, you can include additional copies in your sideboard – but that’s a topic for a whole new article, which will come in a few days. (Update: Hey, the article is now up, you can find Traditional Draft Guide here.)
Fen Hauler is a big bug that you’ll want to include in all your black improvise decks. It certainly doesn’t fit in every deck, but the deck that wants it, really wants it.
Another great combat trick is Rush of Vitality, it’s a counterspell for removal spells, it makes your creature survive combat and it swings a race into your favor with lifelink. When your opponent is playing black, and they make some weird attack, you’ll have to consider both this card and Subtle Strike. Think carefully.
Finally, there are two (potentially) 3-powered flyers. Both Foundry Screecher and Night Market Aeronaut can be a real beating, as well as fine crew for your vehicles. However, the Bat is pretty weak against Thopters.
1. Welding Sparks
Three damage for three mana at instant speed is already a good deal. However, you’ll often have an artifact or two lying around, even if you’re not trying and Sparks could very easily deal 5 damage, which takes care of most creatures in the format.
You’ll want as many as you can get in your red decks in Kaladesh Remastered draft.
2. Aether Chaser
Same is true for this powerful two drop. 2/1 first striker is well positioned in the format and the ability to get Servos is very relevant. As we said before it enables both improvise and go-wide strategies.
3. Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Pyrohelix deals cleanly with both Aether Chaser and its token. The card is pretty cheap and quite versatile. You can kill a two toughness creature, or finish something bigger after the combat.
Now and then it’ll even deal the last two points of damage to your opponent for the win.
Chandra’s Revolution is a serviceable removal spell. It suffers from being a sorcery and being unable to destroy attacking vehicles. The land tapping stuff is mostly just flavor text and won’t matter much. Nevertheless, you’ll still want to have a copy of two in your red decks.
Destructive Tampering can look like a mediocre card at first sight, but you always want one when you’re playing red. Artifact removal is very useful in this format, so it’s almost never a dead card. Second option won’t always be useful, but when it is, it just wins you the game on the spot. Combine both options and you get a perfectly playable card.
There are three more red commons worth mentioning:
- Sweatworks Brawler can be good in an improvise decks.
- Built to Smash is a very strong combat trick and can steal some games. However, you can only cast it on an attacking creature.
- Salivating Gremlins is a great beater – if you have enough artifacts.
1. Thriving Rhino
Thriving Rhino is simply amazing. It attacks well and it attacks hard. You’ll often want to use energy from other sources, as once you make it a 4/5 it’s really hard to deal with. And it only costs three mana!
2. Peema Outrider
Great green creatures continue with Peema Outrider. 4/4 trampler for four is always great and this is true in Kaladesh Remastered draft as well.
You won’t often make a Servo, but when you do have a Ridgescale Tusker in your hand, you’ll be happy to have an option to do so.
3. Hunt the Weak
What to say about the green fight card that wasn’t said before? It’s still good and powerful. Green creatures are big enough that you’ll be able to take out most of your opponent’s stuff. However, it doesn’t deal with vehicles, which can be annoying.
Green has lots of playable commons:
- Lifecraft Cavalry and Riparian Tiger are great beefy five drops, that will rule the top of your curve. Druid of the Cowl can help you get there faster, although it’s a bit weaker than it was in some recent sets.
- Highspire Infusion is a solid combat trick. The two energy counters are also very relevant in most green decks.
- Kujar Seedsculptor can enable attacks that you couldn’t make otherwise.
- You always want one Appetite for the Unnatural in your main deck. Sometimes even two.
- Unbridled Growth fixes your mana, gives you a card back and enables revolt.
All in all, green is a really strong color in the Kaladesh Remastered draft.
Kaladesh is an artifact set, so we should probably mention some artifacts.
This is our favorite one. It replaces itself and fixes your mana. Besides, it can help you cast your improvise spells. Pretty neat.
Kaladesh Remastered Draft Archetypes
Two color archetypes in the Kaladesh Remastered draft are pretty interesting, since you could separate them into three major ones:
- Go wide
Improvise or artifact-matters theme is focused in Grixis (blue, black, red) color pairs. You take advantage of cheap artifacts to cast improvise cards for cheap.
Energy theme is the most present in Temur (blue, red, green) color pairs. You have various cards that make and spend energy counters.
Let’s take a look at the specific two color pairs and what they’re trying to do.
Blue – White: Go Wide Flying
- Major Archetype: Go wide
First four archetypes that we’ll take a look at are white and support the go wide strategy. The following plan is basically mono white, so you can do it in any of the combinations. We’ll talk about it only here but you can deploy it in any of the following three archetypes as well.
First you use cards that make multiple bodies like:
Then you pump your team with Dawnfeather Eagle or Inspired Charge. If you didn’t manage to win this turn, repeat once more for the win. If you’re relying on artifact tokens, you can also use Chief of the Foundry to buff your army.
With blue, you get access to various flyers and value cards. Besides the two you see above, you’re also really happy with Aether Swooper, as it can support your go wide plan even further.
You can also take advantage of your various enter-the-battlefield triggers with cards like:
If you like value, this is a great archetype to try.
Black – White: Go Wide Revolt
- Major Archetype: Go wide
Black gives you more fabricate creatures to support your go wide plan:
Besides, you have a small sacrifice and revolt theme, but you’ll really want to get Hidden Stockpile to go in that direction, otherwise your deck won’t do much. If you do have it, then you can get some nice value train going.
Green – White: Go Wide & Big
- Major Archetype: Go wide
This archetype just pairs the two best colors together. You go wide with white and big with green. Both colors are so powerful, that your gold uncommons seem somewhat weak in comparison. Engineered Might might (see what I did there) just be a worse Dawnfeather Eagle, while Rallier is just a medium card.
One card that really shines in this archetype is Eddytrail Hawk. Big green creatures will welcome flying.
Red – White: Go Wide Vehicles
- Major Archetype: Go wide
The last white archetype also goes wide. This one has some vehicle synergies, as you can see from the gold uncommons.
- Bomat Bazaar Barge – replaces itself immediately
- Daredevil Dragster is an interesting one that turns itself into two cards after two uses
- Ballista Charger is a fine five drop
Of course, you can always pick up the common ones, if you didn’t manage to get anything better. Just don’t pick too many vehicles – you’ll still need creatures to crew them.
Black – Red: Improvise Vehicles
- Major Archetype: Improvise
Red-Black is another archetype that utilizes vehicles, but it also cares about improvise and just having artifacts around.
It also features the following two cards:
These both work really well with vehicles. Even when the board is clogged, you can just crew a vehicle to deal some damage to your opponent. That’s why this archetype is the best home for Sky Skiff, cheap evasive vehicle with low crew cost.
You can take advantage of artifacts entering the battlefield with Reckless Fireweaver and Salivating Gremlins to get some additional damage in. Don’t forget to pick up some Built to Smash as well, as this deck really wants to attack.
Blue – Black: Improvise Control
- Major Archetype: Improvise
This is the most controlling archetype in the format. You’ll want plenty of cheap artifacts such as:
- Consulate Skygate
- Eager Construct
- Pacification Array – doh
- Prophetic Prism
- Renegade Map – can replace a land
Contraband Kingpin is obviously very good as an early blocker, which can set up your next draws. Prakhata Pillar-Bug is probably worth mentioning here. It’s an okay blocker, that has the ability of getting you some life back. Besides, it’s an artifact for your artifact synergies.
So if you’re looking for a slower deck, this is as slow as it gets in the Kaladesh Remastered draft.
Blue – Red: Improvise Energy
- Major Archetype: Improvise, Energy
Red-blue is an interesting archetype, as it features both energy and improvise mechanic.
Both of the golden uncommons are insanely strong. Flying Thopters are the real deal. Virtuoso is probably the best energy sink you can get (outside a few rares), and Thopterist is a great card even if you don’t get any improvise discount.
You can expect this archetype to be quite strong in the Kaladesh Remastered draft.
Blue – Green: Energy Midrange
- Major Archetype: Energy
This is the purest energy deck in the format. You’ll use various cards to generate energy and then you’ll use it for value. Both blue-green uncommons are insanely strong. Even though, they don’t spend the energy they make, they are already solid cards.
Thankfully, you have plenty of cards that you can spend your energy on, like:
- Aether Swooper
- Confiscation Coup – if you’re lucky
- Longtusk Cub – already great, but shines here
- Riparian Tiger
With Attune with Aether, you’ll also easily splash red, which will give you access to some other good energy cards like Whirler Virtuoso and Harnessed Lightning. You should often try to do so, when you’re in blue-red, as the payoff is quite big.
Red – Green: Big Creature Energy
- Major Archetype: Energy
This is similar to blue-green, except that you’re more aggressive and have some bigger creatures. Once again you can splash, this time for blue color to get access to other powerful energy cards.
Not much else to say here, really.
Black – Green: +1/+1 Counters Energy
- Major Archetype: Energy
Black-green is somewhat of a lone child here. Sure, it has an energy theme, but it doesn’t really fit with blue, red, green combination, where the most energy cards are. The biggest focus here are certainly +1/+1 counters.
We could also call this deck the Winding Constrictor deck. Deck goes from medium to very strong, once you add this Snake to the mix. If your opponent doesn’t manage to get rid of it, your board can quickly get overwhelmingly big.
One of the most insane things you can do in Kaldesh Remastered draft is to have some random creatures in ply, including the snake and then follow-up by casting Ridgescale Tusker. That’s just game over and so is our archetype overview.
Kaladesh Remastered Draft Guide: Power Rankings
It’s time for the power rankings! Let’s start with colors.
Green has the most strong commons and is all around a deep color with many playables. It also has the mythic uncommon Ridgescale Tusker, which is on par with Verdurous Gearhulk. White is very close second. Red follows somewhere in the middle, with black and blue being weaker.
However, even though green is clearly the best, blue is far from unplayable. You can easily win the games with various blue decks.
Best Archetypes in Kaladesh Remastered Draft
Once again, each draft archetype is at least playable. However, some decks will preform slightly better than the others and this is how we’d rank them:
- Green – White: Go Wide & Big
- Blue – Red: Improvise Energy
- Red – Green: Big Creature Energy
- Blue – Green: Energy Midrange
- Black – Green: +1/+1 Counters Energy
- Black – Red: Improvise Vehicles
- Red – White: Go Wide Vehicles
- Blue – White: Go Wide Flying
- Black – White: Go Wide Revolt
- Blue – Black: Improvise Control
End of the Trip
In with that our trip to Kaladesh is concluded. Don’t want to leave just yet? Well, you can check all Kaladesh Remastered cards here. This will give you even more edge in the Kaladesh Remastered draft.
Want to see something nice? You can find the list of original Kaladesh Inventions here. (However, those aren’t available on MTG Arena.)
If you want something more Arena based, you should check all currently available Arena codes. There you’ll get various free stuff such as cards, cosmetics and more. Apparently a free Kaladesh Remastered Pack will also be available.
That’s it for today, hope you enjoyed the trip to Kaladesh and may you never run out of energy in your Kaladesh Remastered drafts.