Merchant's Top Three Kaladesh-Themed Decks

Posted in Magic Digital on November 10, 2020

By Merchant

Kaladesh is a set that undeniably turned Magic on its head upon release. Standard was upended via the introduction of high-impact mechanics like energy, Vehicles, and an abundance of powerful artifact cards. Many of these cards live on in infamy throughout Eternal formats, and with Kaladesh Remastered coming to Arena, we'll once again get to build around them in an all-new format, albeit sans some of the more concerning prospects.

Thankfully, we won't have to deal with this Rogue's Gallery . . .

Many archetypes are enabled by the cards being added to Historic with Kaladesh Remastered however, and with this in mind, I thought I'd go through a few of my favorite decks from the set's time in Standard. Whether these archetypes emerge victorious in Historic is up for debate, but with the power behind some of these, it's tough to imagine Kaladesh not making a big impact in the format.

Mardu Vehicles Aggro

Mardu Vehicles

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I've opted to highlight a purer Vehicles build, straying away from the blue-red Chandra-infused list we became familiar with toward the end of the set's legality. This list uses a pair of powerful one-drops and highly synergistic creatures in Depala, Pilot Exemplar and Veteran Motorist to turn out aggressive creatures into resources for crewing even mightier Vehicles.

The Vehicles are really what this deck is all about. As you can see above, both with a criterion of "crew 3," Heart of Kiran and Cultivator's Caravan are easily managed by a single Motorist, Scrounger, Depala, or even a Toolcraft Exemplar. This allows us to constantly be converting singular aggressive creatures into far more efficient counterparts.

One of the beneficial aspects of this archetype is not being a one-trick pony. Our powerful lower curve (although, I miss Thraben Inspector) is buoyed by Scrapheap Scrounger, an extremely easily recurred two-drop that forces our opponent to take costly blocks or exile it. Paired with Inventor's Apprentice and Toolcraft Exemplar, the pressure we can put out as early as turn two can be significant, as Toolcraft Exemplar gaining first strike can be difficult for opponents to deal with. This can also help draw out early removal from our opponents hand that we'd rather them use on an Exemplar instead of one of our crewed Vehicles later.

Chandra Ramunap Red

Chandra Ramunap Red

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Mono-red is an archetype many would associate more with Amonkhet than Kaladesh in this era. But I'd argue that with the return of one of the best one-drops and top-ends available to the archetype, Kaladesh and its impression on Red Deck Wins is well worth talking about.

He brings post, and doom. Mostly doom.

Bomat Courier, oh my. One of the most powerful artifacts in Kaladesh is this little one-drop guy who is just supposed to deliver mail. What he delivers instead is a wild one-drop with haste that will provide us with explosive card advantage for the low cost of one mana later in the game. The incredible availability of this card's exiled cards means that we can play it even with a reduced land count, and the marriage of its aggressive pressure as a one-drop, counting for attack effects, and amassing later cards is just too good not to play.

Chandra makes her glorious entrance into Historic. Of course, this is far from the first Chandra card we have, but it's the one I believe has the strongest chance of making a lasting impression on the format. There's just too much on this card to not like it, everything from converting uncastable top-decks into burn damage to an emblem than can finish off over-healed opponents dragging a game out. Chandra, Torch of Defiance pours petrol onto an already efficient burn deck and provides more and more threats each turn to an aggressive archetype. The fact her exiled card doesn't count toward cards in hand means that Hazoret works perfectly with her, enabling us to run the dynamic duo in the four-cost slot.

White-Blue Refurbished Gifts

White-Blue Refurbished Gifts

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Our final deck is cheating a little bit, as the deck's namesake does indeed come from Amonkhet, but it is Kaladesh that gives us the backbone of the deck and makes it work.

Do I really need to say more?

As you can see, this deck is relatively straightforward, we use helpful utility creatures like Minister of Inquiries and Champion of Wits to pitch God-Pharaoh's Gift and Angel of Invention into the graveyard. Also in Historic, we have the powerful addition of Akroma's Memorial to consider.

Perhaps a new target for Refurbish?

Once this is done, we cast Refurbish to bring back God-Pharaoh's Gift and then reanimate Angel of Invention using the fabricate cost to bring it back as a 6/6, as well as buffing everything else we reanimate. This can be done extremely quickly, and if we establish a God-Pharaoh's Gift on the board around turn four, it can be an impossible tempo for our opponent to play into.

So, that's it for my deck showcase from Kaladesh! There's many, many more possibilities with such a diverse set entering the format, so get brewing!

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