Wizards of the Coast has done it up right at PAX the last couple of years, with huge Eldrazi breaking through buildings last year, and an entire Inventor's Fair this time around.

Even without the set fully-revealed, I want to look at some of the cards from Kaladesh and see how they fit with some of the old reliable cards we see in multiplayer games.

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter brings two things to mind. The first is Sensei's Divining Top. Sensei's Divining Top will allow you to look at the next three cards in your library, setting up Rashmi, Eternities Crafter's cascade-like ability. I'm already not a fan of Sensei's Divining Top, as games tend to stretch long when people constantly look at the top three cards of their library. However, considering how well it works with Rashmi, Eternities Crafter when you have the opportunity to use them together, it would be insane not to do so.

The second thing to consider occurs when the ability fails. This "failure" results in you drawing the card! When the worst you can do when casting a spell is to draw another card, Rashmi, Eternity Crafter's power becomes obvious. Since almost every deck is happy to draw more cards, Rashmi, Eternity Crafter would fit in almost any deck that runs Simic colors. I'll be looking to add Rashmi, Eternity Crafter into my Vorel of the Hull Clade deck. It doesn't add any counters and doesn't fit the theme of the deck but the ability to draw more cards and occasionally play spells for free would make it a great fit for the deck!

I love that Boros colors are getting a new commander, particularly one that doesn't involve some kind of attacking bonus! Unfortunately, Depala, Pilot Exemplar will not be a great commander for at least another three or four months. Right now, there really aren't enough dwarves and vehicles to be able to put together a Depala, Pilot Exemplar commander deck. I like the bonuses that it gives to Dwarves and Vehicles and the ability to get more cards into your hand, but the numbers just don't add up right now. I'll be looking to pick up my copy of Depala, Pilot Exemplar, but I think she will sit in my collection for a little while.

This is the part where you, the reader, tells me how foolish I am and lays out some ridiculous decklist showing how crazy a Depala, Pilot Exemplar deck can be, even with the limited number of dwarves and vehicles available. I'd love to see your suggestions in the comments, since I desperately want a Depala, Pilot Exemplar deck to be good!

I love the idea of energy counters! This alternative permanent mana source will make for interesting games. Aetherworks Marvel will likely work well with all sorts of cards from Kaladesh, but when I saw it I remembered one of my favorite old-school cards: Tombstone Stairwell.

Decks that involve Tombstone Stairwell inevitably find themselves with several creatures in the graveyard. With Tombspawn tokens entering and leaving the battlefield on each player's turn, Aetherworks Marvel will add enough energy counters on each turn to pay for its ability. If you add in a way to untap Aetherworks Marvel on each person's upkeep you will be getting a free spell on each person's turn!

Remember what I said about Tombstone Stairwell? Those tokens die! Demon of Dark Schemes loves when creatures die. In most of my games with Tombstone Stairwell, I could expect somewhere between 10 and 20 tokens to die on each player's end step. In a four-player game, you can expect to have 40 energy counters accumulated from one turn until your next turn. With enough mana, Demon of Dark Schemes can get 10 cards out of graveyards on each of your turns! With those kind of results, you won't have to pay the cumulative upkeep on Tombstone Stairwell for very long. You'll also be able to include other cards that you that require energy counters and be able to use them practically for free. We all love free!


The deck loads its graveyard using Thought Courier, while Jace, Memory Adept gets opponents' graveyards full of creatures. Once there, Tombstone Stairwell starts making Tombspawn tokens, and Blood Artist and Falkenrath Noble can usually bring the opponents to zero without even attacking with the tokens! With Demon of Dark Schemes out instead of Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble, you'll accumulate energy counters to power Aetherworks Marvel or Demon of Dark Schemes itself.

Most of the other creatures in the deck help the theme along in some way or offer some basic protection. There are times when an opponent will be happy you are filling their graveyard, so Bojuka Bog and Withered Wretch are there to spoil their plans. Wonder can give Tombspawns flying, so if you need to attack for the win, they'll probably be able to get through. Drake Familiar is there to reset the cumulative upkeep on Tombstone Stairwell. You shouldn't need to do it often, but if the graveyards are particularly low, it may take a little work to get things done. Finally, Murder of Crows is often just a push of necessary card draw. It can draw more than Consecrated Sphinx when you are getting started.

I'm not sure what I think of vehicles. Generally they appear to act as a way to double your creature's power. Most of them have a crew number that is roughly half of the vehicle's power. When you consider the need to be crewed, you invoke the phrase "this creature cannot attack alone." I'm just not sure if doubling power is enough of a benefit to make it worth it to have to cast two cards just to attack with one. On top of that, you'll rarely want to equip vehicles. Since they stop being creatures at the end of the turn, equipment and auras fall off. I'm not a fan of paying an equip cost every turn if I want my vehicle to hold a Loxodon Warhammer.

On the other hand, there are significant benefits to cards that can become creatures. Much of the time they are not vulnerable to targeted removal or mass removal. Most other permanents that can become creatures have some sort of mana activation cost. For vehicles, the activation cost is simply tapping a creature or several creatures.

On top of that is the crazy flavor. I can't wait to crew my vehicle with another vehicle. What about a Germ Token? Gideon driving seems like a cool image! Perhaps a Blinkmoth creature so your land is crewing? Emrakul crewing a Sky Skiff would probably never happen, but the image seems awesome!

Given the restrictions, I'm still a fan of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. When a card can deal three damage to a creature or Planeswalker any opponent controls, it gets my attention. I like that I can choose to attack a player who doesn't have a way to stop the flying Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, but do the damage to another player's creature or Planeswalker. This can lead to some interesting plays in multiplayer formats.

I also like the evasion that Skysovereign, Consul Flagship offers. A 3/2 creature on the ground can crew a 6/5 flying creature. That flexibility should not be underrated.


If a card produces a +1/+1 counter or a creature token, you know someone somewhere will add Doubling Season to the mix. I try not to dwell on Doubling Season too much since by now, everyone understands the brokenness that is Doubling Season. But Kaladesh really breaks Doubling Season.

Fabricate offers you a choice: double your counters or double your tokens. Cultivator of Blades can give +4/+4 to attacking creatures when Doubling Season is out, and this is without any shenanigans beyond Doubling Season. I expect Cultivator of Blades and many other cards from Kaladesh will find their way into my Vorel commander deck over the next couple of months!

How do you intend to work Kaladesh into your decks? I'd love to hear from you in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!

Bruce Richard