Wizards of the Coast had a plethora of reveals yesterday for the upcoming set, Kaladesh. Yes, players are travelling to Chandra Nalaar's home plane. Players will remember we were teased with this bright and colourful plane in some of the artwork depicted in Magic: Origins.
Kaladesh is a plane where natural mages are few and far between. Where magic would be used to get work done, devices are where Kaladesh flourishes. Familiar artifacts like thopters, constructs and automatons are fueled by Aehter. Another interesting fact about the plane is that fire magic is strictly banned and that any act of pyromancy is punishable by death.
As you've probably seen from the announcement art and promotional work, there is a new Planeswalker advertising this new set. Saheeli Rai was revealed yesterday, with a UR colour identity. For 1 and Red and Blue, you can cast Saheeli who starts out with three loyalty counters. Her +1 ability lets you scry 1 and ping for 1 to each opponent; the text is important because it opens the door for multiplayer pods of EDH/Commander. Her first -2 ability lets you create a token of a target artifact or creature you control, and it becomes an artifact with haste in addition to its other types, only to exile it at the beginning of the next end step. Her ultimate ability lets you tutor for three artifacts with different names and put them onto the battlefield.
One of the new mechanics WOTC have released for Kaladesh is the Crew mechanic. If for example a card has Crew 1, it means you may tap any number of creatures with power one or greater as an activation cost to make vehicles creatures until the end of turn. The first legendary vehicle revealed was Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. It's a 5 mana 6/5 with flying, an ETB effect that bolts target creature or Planeswalker an opponent controls which also triggers whenever it attacks and has Crew 3. This seems nuts, and even if you aren't running a token-heavy deck there's still loads of potential with creatures power 3 or greater. Lupine Prototype is a cheap casting 5/5 that can be utilized for this if it's Hellbent ability isn't activated. This Flagship seems nuts; it enters the battlefield, bolts a target creature or Planeswalker of your choice, then repeats the same triggered ability when it attacks, and to top it all off it's a 6/5 flyer for 5. Coupled with the vehicles are pilot creatures that give an added bonus if they are used to crew a vehicle. Speedway Fanatic gives a crewed vehicle haste. So that crewed with any 1/1 token and now this 6/5 flying ship of doom also has haste.
Another new ability is Fabricate. Fabricate offers players a choice whenever a creature with Fabricate enters the battlefield you may either put a +1/+1 counter on said creature, or you may create a 1/1 colourless Servo artifact creature onto the battlefield.
Energy is the new symbol we will be getting used to in the format. Similar to poison counters, they are counters for the player and not for the cards with energy generating abilties. Most cards that are printed with energy counters also have some way to spend them. Demon of Dark Schemes is 3 of any colour and 3 black for a 5/5 with flying. When it enters the battlefield, all other creatures get -2/-2 which is already a great ability. Then, when a creature dies, you get an energy counter. And finally, if you pay 2 of any colour, black and an addition 4 energy counters you may put a creature from any graveyard onto the battlefield, tapped. I could see this having a home in Meren of Clan Nel Toth Commander decks, not that she really needed any help.
Create is a new rules terms for cards in Kaladesh. Rather than other cards from past sets that state you may "put" something onto the battlefield, it instead says you create one. It fundamentally doesn't change the past rules, as tokens still enter the battlefield in the exact same way; it just adds more flavour to the lore and the idea of creating mechanical workers and devices.
Next up is something that has the potential to be seen in just about every format. Ceremonius Rejection is a one blue mana casting counter spell that hard-counters a target colourless spell. With the insane deck techs in Eldrazi decks shaped around Matter Reshaper or Thought-Knot Seer in standard and modern, and not to mention having another answer to things like, oh I don't know, Black Lotus in Vintage. I really predict this will be a highly sought after card.
We were given a tease of a few legendary creatures, so EDH/Commander players: start brewing. First up is a really strong Boros card. Depala, Pilot Exemplar is a 1 of any colour and one red and white for a 3/3 Legendary Dwarf Pilot. It gives other dwarves +1/+1 making it great for tribal Dwarves, and on top of that it gives other vehicles +1/+1! Her last effect is that whenever Depala becomes tapped you may pay X. If you do, you reveal the top X cards of library and put all Dwarf and Vehcile Cards into your hand. So she not only lords two types, but she also has great card advantage.
Next up is Rashimi, Eternities Crafter. She is 2 of any colour and one green and blue for a 2/3 Legendary Elf Druid. Her triggered ability is ridiculous; whenever you cast your first spell each turn you may reveal the top card of your library. If it's a non-land card with a converted mana cost less than the CMC of your first spell, you may play it without paying its mana cost. If you don't cast it, you put it into your hand. I'll let that sink in for a moment. Needless to say this is a heavenly pairing for Sensei's Diving Top. It's like a pseudo-cascade ability, and there's no drawback; your revealed card either goes onto the battlefield for free, or into your hand.
I'm really looking forward to the new rare land cycles this set as well. It seems we're getting fast-lands again, previously seen in the Scars of Mirrodin set; but rather than allied colours, we're getting enemy colours. These lands enter the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer lands. It's a great way to get ideal colours out early on.
The final reveal I'm going to talk about is the rare artifact, Panharmonicon. It's a 4 mana artifact that states if an artifact or creature entering the battlefield causes a triggered ability of a permanent you control to trigger, you get an additional trigger. Brago commander players are having a field day right now.
This was a small glimpse of what to expect in this new set and I'm all aboard. The vehicles and crew mechanic seem pretty neat, the enemy fast lands are a crazy inclusion, and there's are some crazy additions that will definintely see play in other formats. If that wasn't enough, the artistry in some of these cards are just jaw dropping. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Kaladesh on September 30.