by Zane Rowland
Well guys, it’s that time again! A new set, a new plane, and lots of new cards! 264 of them to be exact! Last weekend a lot of you probably got a chance to participate in the prerelease and experience the power of some of these new cards in sealed.
In just a few more days, Kaladesh cards will be legal in every format, so once again I’ve scoured the full set and come up with a list of my top cards that have potential in the Modern format. The list goes from cards that have a lower Modern potential to very high Modern potential.
7. Paradoxical Outcome– I’m going a little bit out on a limb here with this first one. By splashing blue though, you can save your team from nearly any boardwipe and get ridiculous card advantage. I’ll even go so far as to say I also think any number of new Modern decks could be built around this card. WU Enchantments? A new Eggs deck? Puresteel Paladin Cheerios? Affinity Variant? GU Elves? I think Paradoxical Outcome has some serious potential in Modern, time will tell.
6. Gearhulk cycle– I’ve grouped this mythic artifact creature cycle together because I see potential in each one. Cataclysmic and Torrential are probably the most playable. Cataclysmic could fit into Abzan decks or most WX decks. It could start seeing play in Abzan Evolution decks along with Noxious Gearhulk. Torrential Gearhulk is evocative of a Snapcaster Mage on steroids. He may have lost some versatility by not being able to cast sorceries but the guy is a beast! Easily a one-of in control decks.
5. Ceremonious Rejection– It’s cheap and efficient. I expect this to be ran in a lot of sideboards. Colorless spells are all over Modern right now, with Affinity, Eldrazi Aggro and Tron being three top tier decks that boast the most. However, as an Eldrazi Aggro player, I can tell you that this card may not be as impactful as some people think against a deck that is currently running four Cavern of Souls in the Main.
4. Blossoming Defense– This card is undoubtedly going to see some sideboard action in Infect. Some have said it’s just a better Ranger’s Guile, and while I can’t dispute that claim, I still say I can see it making the cut in the 75. The fact that your opponent can’t redirect this to their own Spellskite is a big enough advantage that Infect players will want it as part of their arsenal.
3. Chandra, the Mind Sculptor, er, I mean, Torch of Defiance– In the past we’ve seen that when it comes to planeswalkers, the more abilities it has, the more powerful it is. Granted maybe we’ve only seen it once, but it is also Magic’s most powerful planeswalker. As many have pointed out, this new Chandra is very versatile. She ramps, she is removal, she defends herself, she gives you card advantage, she hurts your opponent, and her ultimate wins games. If you can cast her turn four, +1 to add RR and play a blocker or bolt their creatures. She’ll be sitting at 5 Loyalty counters and your opponent will probably have a hard time dealing with her. While I personally don’t believe new Chandra is totally busted like her compatriot JTMS, I think she could easily see play in Jund, Skred Red, Control, RG Ponza, etc.
2. Cathartic Reunion– This card is sure to see play in Dredge. It’s better than Tormenting Voice for dredge because it helps you get through your library a lot faster. You’re discarding two cards and drawing (or dredging) three, verses discarding only one and drawing two for the same mana cast. Getting through your library faster equates to getting more dudes out, which equates to killing your opponent faster.
1. Fast Lands– I don’t think I need to go into much explanation here. We’ve seen the fast lands as modern staples for years. They’re great lands, and if they’re in your colors, and you’re playing a lot of spells before turn four, you’re probably going to be running some of these. Thank you, WOTC!
Filigree Familiar– I’m loving this little fox and I think it’s better than people think. It’s like Solemn Simulacrum went to the pound and picked up this little guy as a pet! Aggro players are going to hate seeing this fox, it’s lifegain and card advantage on a decent body. Its mana cost makes it extremely versatile, the question is, in what deck would this go into? As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been running Eldrazi Aggro the past few weeks and I plan on bringing this guy in from my Sideboard when I get matched against the fast aggressive decks. I can grab it with Ancient Stirrings, I can play it early, gain some life, get a block in and replace it with a card when it dies.
Kambal, Consul of Allocation aka “The Punisher”- He’ll punish your opponent for not playing enough creatures, but with the shortage of combo decks currently in Modern I think his use will be very limited. I like his colors and the fact that he’s a human, but overall I think he’ll see limited SB play.
Madcap Experiment– A lot of people have talked about this card’s potential, and while I’ve shared in that enthusiasm and I’m sure there will be a lot of fun decks running this on kitchen tables everywhere, I can’t see this becoming super competitive in the current format. Play it with Soulfire Grand Master on the battlefield to avoid the life loss, or simply reveal a Platinum Emperion to get an 8/8 for four mana. Not too shabby for Johnny players.
Authority of the Consuls– This card reminds me so much of Blind Obedience. Blind Obedience was a great card in standard control decks when your opponent was coming at you too fast, but at the same time, you could gain life and ping your opponent every time you played a spell and extorted. Authority of the Consuls works in much the same way, and it’s nice you won’t have to worry about it after playing it down, but the lifegain is limited and it’s not going to get you closer to victory over your opponent. I think it could see some play in enchantment based decks, but not a lot beyond that.
Harsh Scrutiny and Select for Inspection– I like the different options these two cards offer us for their effects and feel like they may see a little play here and there because Magic players LOVE to Scry, but ultimately I think their limitations are too great for the long-term.
Other Modern combos at a glance:
Scrapheap Scrounger + Eternal Scourge + Prized Amalgam
Night Market Lookout/Spireside Infiltrator + Paradise Mantle + Freed from the Real
Saheeli Rai + Liquimetal Coating + Altar of the Brood/Grinding Station
Dramatic Reversal imprinted on Isochron Scepter + 2 Birds of Paradise + Cunning Sparkmage
T1 Relic of Progenitus T2 Fellwar Stone/Coldsteel Heart T3 Hedron Archive T4 Metalwork Colossus
Electrostatic Pummeler + Ghor-Clan Rampager
Verdurous Gearhulk + Hardened Scales
Dubious Challenge + Cloudshift
Aerial Responder + Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Ovalchase Daredevil + Riddlesmith
Panharmonicon + Burning-Tree Emissary/Priest of Urabrask or Stonehorn Dignitary or anything really…
Thanks for stopping guys, and post any combos of your own using Kaladesh cards below, as well as comments on how accurate you think this list is/isn’t or anything I completely overlooked!
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.