Hello friends! A new set release is just around the corner, and that means it's time for another exciting preview season with weird and wonderful cards. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend checking out all of the awesome content that came from this year's PAX West. In addition to giving you an initial look at a bunch of the new mechanics and cards from Kaladesh, you'll also be able to catch all the excitement that culminated with the 2016 Magic World Championship.
Now that you're all caught up with that (You did go and watch the coverage, right?), let's jump right into today's preview card: Syndicate Trafficker.
The Aetherborn are a new creature type that you'll find in Kaladesh. While they generally Live Fast and Die Young, the most powerful of them find ways to prolong their life and increase their powers. In a world where invention and innovation are the figurative and literal keys to success, the Aetherborn have learned to thrive on destruction and theft. Aether is a magical energy found throughout Magic, and it's this same energy that is used to power most of Kaladesh. Because they are harnessing the energy found within both machines and living entities, the Aetherborn have a penchant for darkness and depravity. Syndicate Trafficker certainly fits that bill.
In Draft or Sealed, a 3/1 for two mana would often be seen as filler, yet Syndicate Trafficker thrives in this world where artifacts are abundant. Very rarely do we see creatures with the capability of becoming indestructible—it is an ability that often seems too good. While sacrificing an artifact is necessary to activate this ability, growing your Syndicate and making it indestructible can often lead to very troubling times for an opponent. How abundant are these aforementioned artifacts you'll need to activate your Syndicate Trafficker? Well, because you read through and watched the coverage of the Magic World Championship, you'll be fully aware of an awesome new ability called fabricate! No, you don't get to search for an artifact like the actual card Fabricate, but you do get to either put some number of +1/+1 counters on a creature or create that many 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creatures instead! While fabricating is the most obvious way to create extra artifacts, you have to remember that this set will also just have more artifacts in general.
Whether playing with artifacts or, my favorite, the newly introduced Vehicles, Syndicate Trafficker looks to be a Limited powerhouse. Instead of being relegated to Devilthorn Fox status we have ourselves an extremely potent two-drop that can quickly end the game with a powerful ability that you can activate multiple times, given enough artifacts to sacrifice.
As is most frequently the case, cards that are good in a Limited environment don't always translate very well to their Constructed counterparts. Syndicate Trafficker seems like it's slightly below the necessary power level for 60-card play, and with the loss of Hangarback Walker from Standard in the coming weeks, it will be hard to find an adequate replacement to such artifact value. I'm hoping that someone will prove me wrong, but for now I would stick to playing this card in your Draft and Sealed decks.
Hopefully you've all been enjoying the continued previews of Kaladesh, a set that looks to add some thrilling cards and new mechanics. I know I say this with every set (because it's true), but I'm hoping that you all are just as excited to play this new expansion to the greatest game in the world.