Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kaladesh EDH Set Review - Artifacts & Lands

Today we will conclude our Kaladesh EDH set review by taking a look at the Artifacts and Lands. For this review series I’ve tried to reduce generic, repetitive comments like “Probably great in Limited, but bad in EDH” that used to come up over and over when I was following my old format of reviewing every single mythic, rare, and uncommon. Going forward I think I will adopt this new format, but we’ll see. Something better may occur to me.

Anyway, my expectation, should I stick to this format, is that I will always cover every mythic, most rares, and only touch on the uncommons and commons that really warrant a mention (by whatever metric I happen to choose – sometimes I might throw in a shout out to a crap common just because the art is terrific – but I’ll try to stick to cards one might conceivably play in EDH). That said, just because I don’t talk about a card doesn’t mean I necessarily think it’s garbage or unplayable in EDH.

For example, in the last segment, I skipped over Veteran Motorist. I skipped this not because it’s bad, but because it’s painfully obvious. Are you playing a Depala, Pilot Exemplar deck with lots of Dwarves and Vehicles? If so, you probably don’t need me to tell you to run this. If you’re not running that exact deck, you probably don’t need me to tell you not to run it. Simply put, if I can’t think of anything to say beyond “Good in R/W Vehicles, bad elsewhere” then I’m probably going to skip it. But, recognizing my own biases for a moment, I still might mention the occasional card that is only good in one archetype if that’s an archetype I happen to play, or is an archetype that I happen to know is widely played.

Narrow cards that only fit in one or two decks are still going to be widely played if those decks are super popular. I don’t expect R/W vehicles to be a format-defining deck. So if they print a card that just happens to be a perfect fit for your favorite oddball deck, don’t be offended, but do feel free to let me know in the comments if I overlooked something you think deserves more credit. I am more likely to write off a common or uncommon at a glance, so occasionally I underestimate lower-rarity cards.

Moving on, then…


Aetherworks Marvel
Well, let’s kick this off with a bit of a bang, then. True, this isn’t the kind of card you just smash into any ol’ deck and have it be amazing. But it should be well worth a slot in almost any deck where you see a ton of your own permanents die. Even just a tokens deck that frequently sees its battlefield of 100+ saprolings go bye-bye might consider using this as a hedge against sweepers. Also seems good in many sac-for-value decks like Ghave, Prossh or Meren. This is also almost certainly the easiest way to get absurd amounts of Energy, if you’re looking to really build around that mechanic.

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
I’m just not a fan of Vehicles. It’s just corny and feels very un-Magic-y to me. That said, there are one or two of them I might consider playing, and this is one of them. It does a reasonable impression of a flying Inferno Titan, and has fairly discounted casting and crew costs. This might just be one of those things where I have to get used to playing them. I hated the double-faced cards when they debuted in Innistrad, and while I still mostly avoid them, I will play them if they’re good enough (Origins flip-walkers, Lord of Lineage, maybe one or two others).

Aetherflux Reservoir
I’m not sure if this is a good card, per se, but it’s certainly flashy and attention-grabbing. I am sure there are a lot of Karlov and Oloro player out there who are quite pleased to see this. It could also be a win-condition for U/R spells decks that aren’t looking to just combo off. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in multiplayer games, though. Paying 50 life to just kill a player is powerful, sure, but if that player is not your last opponent standing, you’re probably going to be in a bit of trouble. Oh, sure you can do “cute” things like combo this with Exquisite Blood or Sydri and just kill everyone, but that’s a bit easy-mode. I think in general the tension this creates will keep it safe and help regulate it. You can probably take out one player alarmingly quickly with this thing, but that leaves you at a very low life total against two other opponents who are likely to want to kill you before you can recharge your laser beam of doom. So I’m thinking it’s best to slow-roll this thing, until you can safely use it to just take out the last opponent and end the game. I love it, but I also fear it.

Bomat Courier
This is one of those cards like I mentioned above, where I’d probably have just skipped this except there is a small chance this sees nice play in Feldon, maybe Daretti. The big obstacle to even that niche playability is that this is likely to be a dead draw if you don’t drop it early, T1 or T2. Of course if Daretti draws it late, he can just loot it away, no big deal. All told, this is not an EDH card, plain and simple, but maybe it sees a tiny bit of play here and there.

Cultivator’s Caravan
Not bad, for a vehicle, but not great for a rare, three-drop mana rock. I can see playing this in a Boros beatdown deck that wants more ramp but doesn’t want to dilute its offensive power. I might throw this in Aurelia just to see how it plays. Here’s one thing I’m wondering about Vehicles – and I really don’t have a clue – but would a deck like, say, King Macar want Vehicles, not as a way to temporarily buff an attacker, but as a way to safely tap your creatures without needing to attack with them? I’ve never used King Macar, and only barely played anything else with Inspired, but outside of Theros block there are lots of cards in Magic that do things when they become tapped or become untapped. Like, how sweet would it be to use Fallowsage to crew a vehicle every turn? Somewhat sweet, I reckon.

Dynavolt Tower
Triggers of you casting Instants and Sorceries, so clearly the first thing that jumps to mind is the typical Izzet deck, i.e. Melek or Mizzix or whatever. But once you get all that Energy, what, you get a free Bolt once per turn, at best? Seems… mediocre. Mediocre cards can get better through synergy with other cards, so if you have other ways to generate energy and ways to untap artifacts, this might get some work done. Maybe it helps mono-Red burn decks get just a little more reach/card advantage? Buy three burn spells, get the forth one free? Nah, if this does get played, it’s probably as a way to generate buttloads of Energy to be spent on something more impactful, and in that respect it seems serviceable.

Ghirapur Orrery
Seems like a group-hug kind of card and in many respect it is just that. But, there are probably some cases where you dump your hand way faster than anyone else and get that draw three trigger to work for you. Might be a bit optimistic but I can see this being a real boon for, like, White Weenie EDH decks or something like that. As a cheap, colorless source of card draw, it’s got to be good somewhere, right? Just saying, if you have that one deck where you’ve noticed that you almost always run out of cards, while everyone else has full hands? Might wanna give this a shot. (Again, looking at you, mono-White decks…)

Key to the City
Not sure where or if this will be good, but it is yet another colorless way to (sort of) draw cards. I am actually considering this for Olivia because at least then  I can occasionally pitch a Madness card and then cast it for Madness, so it’s not actually losing me a card. Making one of my Vampires unblockable is a sweet perk, too, as it is an aggressive deck. But that seems like one of the most ideal spots for this card, and even there I’m not certain this will pan out. Even in the right deck, it still might just be “okay”.

Metalwork Colossus
If only this thing had Trample or Indestructible or something else to make it a little less generically-big... I mean, it should be easy to get this out at a ridiculously-discounted cost, and it has built-in recursion so it’s kinda hard to get rid of permanently. In light of that, I think this is an acceptable EDH card, but I’m not over the moon about it. I liked it a little more when it was first spoiled but my enthusiasm has since dimmed. I’ll almost certainly run it in Feldon, because, duh, but I’m not real high on this card elsewhere.

Well, that’s just stupid. And I love it! So, yes, the main thing this does is double those Enter the Battlefield triggers. So you draw four cards off a Mulldrifter and regrow two cards with Eternal Witness. But it also doubles the triggers on things like Wild Pair, Aura Shards, Flameshadow Conjuring, or Purphoros (!). However, one should note that it doesn’t double “cast” triggers… so Panharmonicon will give you twice as many squirrels when you play Deranged Hermit, but it won’t double your Kobold pleasure when you cast Prossh. It also does nothing for “dies” triggers.
So, this card is pretty redonkulous but it’s not going to be great everywhere. You really need to have a critical mass of triggers that this will actually double, or have a commander that it interacts with (Sharuum seems pretty good for one, Purphoros for another). If the best thing you can hope for is to occasionally draw a couple of extra cards, or kill and extra artifact with an Indrik Stomphowler, this will probably be too low-impact and situational. But there are plenty of decks where this will just consistently give you value and in those decks it should be very powerful.

Filigree Familiar
            Solemn Simulacrum has a pet fox! Cute.

Perpetual Timepiece
So, as a Sidisi player, I can think of many times I’ve self-milled and then said, “NO! I didn’t want to mill THAT!”, and in that context I appreciate this card. I also really enjoy how, on the surface, this card is very confusing, weird and doesn’t appear to do anything. What, you just mill yourself a bunch, then undo it all later? WHY? I mention this more for the WTF factor than anything, but I suppose if Mesmeric Orb is just too hardcore for your Sidisi deck you could consider this as an option.


There are only a few non-basic lands in Kaladesh and most of them are the enemy-pair continuation of the “fast lands” originally seen in Scars of Mirrodin. I’m not a big fan of these lands in EDH as they will simply be Guildgates a high % of the time, and I try to avoid running Guildgates where possible.

That said, enemy-colored duals tend to be a bit better than their allied counterparts simply because the allied pairs have more dual land choices available. For enemy-color decks, you sometimes have to make do with “meh” duals. I have a few two-color decks that are running guildgates currently, and I’m pretty sure they’re all enemy-pairs. So in cases where I’m actually stooping to run the actual guildgates, I’ll happily upgrade them to these lands, which will just be better than a guildgate oh, what, 3% of the time?

Anyway, it’s great that they finally completed this cycle, and I hope to see them complete other unfinished land cycles in the near future, but this one isn’t a huge boon to EDH players. They’re nice to have, but something you’ll only run when you have to.

Aether Hub
Eh, maybe some 3+ color Proliferate decks or Energy decks will want this? Overall, pretty lackluster for EDH. One-shot mana fixing is pretty terrible in most cases. I don’t even like the Vivid lands much, though that also has to do with them coming into play tapped. But if you have ways to keep fueling this with more Energy it’d be fine.

Inventor’s Fair
A pretty solid land for Artifact decks, though obviously only useful in Artifact decks. The life gain is nice, but incidental. The ability to play Fabricate in an land slot is better.

Sequestered Stash
And a worse version of Inventor’s Fair, but still playable in most of the same decks. It’s kind of bad, but can be useful for setting up Feldon or Sharuum reanimations. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kaladesh EDH Set Review - Green & Multicolor

We nearing the end stretch, this being the penultimate segment of our Kaladesh set review. Today we’ll cover Green and Multicolor, before wrapping up with Artifacts and Lands in the next section.


Nissa, Vital Force
This is how I see Nissa playing out most of the time: you cast her, +1 her to make a 5/5 to help defend her. Then you spend the next two turns -3’ing to Regrowth something useful. Or, you +1 her, then immediately ultimate her to get that sweet Landfall trigger. The second scenario is probably the better outcome overall, unless it’s late game and you have a ton of sweet stuff in your Graveyard. The things I like about this Nissa are the incredibly short fuse on her Ultimate, and the fact that her Ultimate isn’t something your opponents will just scoop too. It’s really good, but it’s not like Venser or Tamiyo’s ultimates, for example. All in all she seems pretty good, but unless you’re on some form of lands matter – Gitrog, Omnath, Karametra, etc. – I don’t think she’s all that exciting. Good, but not exciting.

Verdurous Gearhulk
At worst, this is an 8/8 Trampler for 5 mana. That’s really efficient, but just a tad boring for EDH. Generically big beatsticks don’t usually do much unless they’re like Lord of Extinction huge and have some additional synergies. Fortunately, being generically huge is just the worst case scenario. +1/+1 counters are a well-established theme in EDH across a variety of color scemes, though almost always involving Green. Counters

Architect of the Untamed
Building up Energy off of landfall triggers is pretty sweet, but I feel like you’re only going to want this if you need Energy to fuel other things. You need to make 8 land drops to get one 6/6 token, when you could just play Rampaging Baloths and get a 4/4 for each land drop. So yeah, this probably sees play in dedicated Energy decks, primarily as an Energy generator, but occasionally an outlet to spend excess Energy, if that’s even a thing. Time will tell, but unlike some of the other self-sustaning Energy cards we’ve looked at (like the Demon and Leviathan) this one just doesn’t do enough on its own, efficiently enough at least, and really needs more Energy synergy to be playable (been waiting this whole review to make that rhyme!).

Cultivator of Blades
Ignore for a moment that this has Fabricate and it’s basically a mana-cheaper Win Goat (Pathbreaker Ibex), sans the Trample. So, anything that’s already playing things like Win Goat, Champion of Lambholt, or Bloodspore Thrinax have a reasonable chance of playing this. Not sure this is better than any of those options, however. I guess if you’re heavy in the +1/+1 counter theme, this might actually be a tiny bit better than Pathbreaker Ibex, as the synergies with Doubling Season, Hardened Scales, etc. may well make up for the loss of Trample. Most likely to be played in Ezuri 2.0, Vorel, and other U/G flavors of +1/+1 counters matter decks, but stuff like Anafenza, Ghave and Marath are more likely to give this a pass.
Wildest Dreams
I always enjoy Regrowth effects. This one seems a bit costly though. I like it and I’m sure it’ll get played. I’m sure I will play it myself. But I also think you need to be paying attention to this card, and if you are casting this for 7 or more very often, I then have to ask why you are playing this over Season’s Past or Praetor’s Council, while if you are usually just casting this for 3, you should just be playing Regrowth or Witness. Scalability is the only real reason to pick this over the others. If you are casting it frequently at all kinds of different costs and find the variability is working for you, then it’s probably the right card for the job, but if you are always casting it for the same X value, then there is almost certainly a better option out there.
Arborback Stomper
Not something I’d normally consider for EDH, as it’s just a  bit to vanilla, but worth noting as a budget alternative to Thragtusk in, like, Roon deck maybe. Fine card for a very casual, very budget Stonebrow deck as well. A newish player should not feel embarrassed to play this, but seasoned players will likely just shrug at it.

Armorcraft Judge
Just another option for those +1/+1 counters decks. Not super exciting for Simic decks, since Blue already allows for robust and reliable card draw, but something like Ghave or Anafenza might be willing to supplement their draw package with this.

Durable Handicraft
Here is yet another card that is only going to appeal to you if you’re all in on the +1/+1 counters theme, and even then it’s probably a low-powered card for many of those decks. Like the Judge above, I think Abzan decks might be a bit more willing to play this than the Simic decks, but even then this is on the lower end of playable. Far too slow/weak for something like Marath.

Nature’s Way
That’s one hell of an upgrade to Prey Upon! This seems pretty close to a must-run in any mono-Green or Gruul stompy deck with big creatures and a dearth of efficient removal. I also like how this helps you get past annoying deathtouch blockers like Vampire Nighthawk. On the flipside, this seems pretty good to run alongside your own deathtouch creatures. I know G/B is not a color pair that is exactly starved for removal, but the fact that this allows small deathtouchers to take down huge threats is worth noting at least.


Dovin Baan
Hmm, not bad, but not something I’m clamoring to play. If I open one, I’m pretty sure I’d be happy to squeeze it into GAAIV somewhere, but while all of his abilities are useful none are amazing. I do like that his +1 is just a bit more pushed that the typical -1/-0 or -2/-0 we see most often. -3/-0 is might actually matter in EDH, and the bonus of shutting down activated ability is nifty if circumstantial. This guy could be a nightmare against things like Teysa 1.0 or other commanders that highly depend on their own activated abilities. The ultimate is a bit of a bummer… very powerful, but very unfun. That’s pretty typical of W/B and mono-Blue ‘walkers though, so nothing new there.

Saheeli Rai
I’ve actually cooled on Saheeli since she was spoiled. I initially thought she was really good, but now I just think she’s good “for a 3-mana Planeswalker”. She’s no Dack Fayden, that much is for sure. But, Dack is sort of the outlier for a 3-mana ‘walker, not the baseline. The main thing keeping me on the fence about her is, she has no inherent protection ability. The +1 does absolutely nothing to defend herself, and the token she makes with her -2 is not going to be around to block. That is, unless she’s making copies of, like, a Wurmcoil Engine or something. Circumstantially, she ought to be pretty good, but if you just run her out T3 and +1 her for incremental value until she dies to attacks, well, then she’s not that impressive, but not terrible. But even if she’s not the most impressive ‘walker, I’m positive she’ll get tons of play in U/R artifact decks. I’ll happily run her in Jori En.

Mulldrifter is just an absurdly good card for a common. This… doesn’t impress me quite as much. The flexibility of Evoke is one of the key reasons Mulldrifter is so darn good, and this trades that wonderful flexibility for a much more restrictive mana cost and a measly amount of lifegain. If Karlov could play this, I’d windmill slam this so fast it’d make your head spin, but obviously this is not an Orzhov card and has no reason to be. I guess maybe some Oloro deck will run it, and I could definitely see it being decent in Ephara. GAAIV might also be a good home, as he lets you cast this for 1WU, effectively making it an Evoked Mulldrifter that you get to keep!

Contraband Kingpin
Cheap scry guy for Esper decks seems… fine. I doubt you’d see this in the competitive/combo versions but probably just fine and dandy in a casual build. A 1/4 Lifelinker for 2 mana doesn’t make a terrible early game blocker either.

Empyreal Voyager
It is perhaps a bit too early to say for sure, but I feel pretty certain that if there is going to be a deck emerge with a major Energy theme, it’s going to be U/G or U/G/x. And if such a deck does turn out to be viable, this will almost certainly be a key component. It’s innocuous enough that opponents likely won’t be scrambling to stop you from connecting, at least in the early game. If you don’t have any real Energy-dependant bombs, this should just fly under the radar, then by the time you drop something truly scary you will already have a nice little stock-pile of Energy built up. Drawing this late game does seem pretty bad, but step 1 is getting to the late game with an Energy deck, so let’s just focus on that for now.

Restoration Gearsmith
A slightly better Gravedigger doesn’t seem thrilling, especially when for 1 more mana you could upgrade this to the much-better Orzhov’s Aid. Still, I’ve seen all kinds of cards doing bad impressions of Eternal Witness see play in this format, so I wouldn’t rule this out. Instead I’ll just relegate this to “niche play” status, with the acknowledgement that I have 24 decks currently built and none of them really want to play this.

Unlicensed Disintegration
Terminate with a conditional Lightning Bolt tacked on for a 1 surcharge. Certainly playable, but even if I am in R/B and running lots of Artifacts I’d probably still prefer to have Terminate, though that certainly doesn’t preclude running both! Thinking about this from another angle, if you’re running something like Rakdos Lord of Riots, then maybe you want this as some direct damage that does double-duty.

Whirler Virtuoso
At this time, I don’t rate this guy very highly, but neither is he unplayable. If you just assume the Energy will always be used to just make a Thopter and has no other use, he’s still comparable to some of the thopter-producing creatures we saw in Origins. But some of those were pretty mediocre, so, yeah. That said if you are going deep on both Thopter tokens and Energy as dual themes, he’s a starting point for bridging the gap between them. Right now I think he’s borderline unplayble but if Aether Revolt produces even a few more cards in U/R that help cross-synergize between Artifacts and Energy, this guy’s stock could go up a bit. Imagine the print something, an Artifact or Enchantment, that says “whenever an Artifact creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, gain 1 Energy counter”. That, along with just one or two other good Energy producers and one or two good Energy outlets, and this guy probably becomes very playable. But I don’t think Kaladesh alone offers quite enough for him to get there just yet. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Kaladesh EDH Set Review - Black & Red

And we’re back with another segment of our Kaladesh EDH set review. Last update covered White and Blue, so as you might guess, today’s update covers Black and Red. Lots to discuss, so let’s get going.


Demon of Dark Schemes
If you’re in black and you can’t make this generate lots of Energy, you’re probably playing black wrong. Snarky condescension aside, this should produce a LOT of Energy in the right decks. I’m thinking about basically any MBC style deck, and of course things like Meren or Savra – anything that either kills lots of opposing creatures or sacs lots of tokens could probably do some nasty things with this demon. Oh and he’s also got that Massacre Wurm thing going on; it does hit your guys too, but that just makes even more Energy! If he kills something important, well, he’s got a built-in reanimation ability ready for you to get it back. Big fan of this guy, and I expect to see him get a fair amount of play.

Noxious Gearhulk
This might seem like a boring utility creature at mythic rare, but I’m actually pretty pumped for this one. He’s a decent attacker, removal and life gain all in one package. Plus, being an Artifact makes him a bit more exploitable. Definitely foresee this guy getting a lot of EDH play.

Eliminate the Competition
This one is a bit tough to judge on theory alone. I can see a ton of potential here, as it looks like a very versatile removal spell, basically a customizable sweeper, really. Kill key threats, but leave inconsequential or useful things alone. You need fodder to sacrifice, but a lot of decks with black already have a Sac For Value thing going on. Savra, Meren, Prossh, Shattergang, Kresh, etc… That said, most of those decks already run Grave Pact and it’s kin, along with Barter in Blood and many more such effects. This might just be overkill, I don’t know. I really like the design of the card, and I feel like it should be solid, but at the same time, I worry that most decks that could put it to use already have so many good removal options already. I’ll definitely be trying it out.

Marionette Master
I think that mana cost really hinders this card’s likely playability. It’s just too expensive for a deck like Sharuum, and it’s not an artifact itself, so yeah. Stick with Disciple of the Vault, folks. That said, I admit I would be absolutely terrified to see this wearing a Cranial Plating with oh, say, 9 or 10 Artifacts out. Losing 10 life every time Sharuum chumps with a Thopter does not sound like good times. So maybe it’ll get a bit of play, and occasionally it will be devastating. Still, I wouldn’t expect to be consistently impressed by this.

Syndicate Trafficker
This, on the other hand, I’m pretty keen on. A sac outlet attached to a hard to kill threat that grows bigger? Cool! Like many cards in this set, it does depend on having an artifact-centric deck, but that’s just par for the course in these theme-heavy blocks.  If you have a deck that wants to sac artifacts, this is probably a great pick. If you don’t want to sac artifacts, then this ain’t for you. Dunno what else to say.

Fretwork Colony
No idea if this is good in anything, but it’s certainly a unique card. If it has a home anywhere, it’s probably not in EDH. Just thought I’d mention it for the weird factor alone.

Morbid Curiosity
Potentially undercosted card draw for Black? Sign me right the hell up! I’ve been enjoying Disciple of Bolas ever since she was printed. This might actually better, at least in some decks. I can’t wait to sac Solemn Simulacrum to this. Or even better, sac Solemn to Disciple of Bolas, then sac Disciple to this. ALL THE CARDS! Anyway, this is definitely a welcome departure from the typical “Draw some cards, lose some life” formula that most Black draw spells cling to. Especially like this for Meren decks.

Underhanded Designs
Give your artifacts Extort and occasionally just kill something? Not bad for two mana. I can definitely see this in Esper artifact decks of the non-competitive variety. May even be good enough for some of the more competitive ones, but I’m not at all sure about that. Where I really think I’d like this, though, is if that B/R Artifact deck hinted at by the new Daretti from Conspiracy 2 ever actually becomes a thing. I’d love to see a Rakdos deck built around playing and sacrificing artifacts for value, and I think this would shine in such a deck.
Basically, I pulled a Daretti from CS2 and I really wanna play him but none of my decks really warrant his inclusion. And Rakdos really needs some new deck space opened up anyway.


Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Well after years of mediocre versions, Chandra finally gets an actual, real good version. I have used other versions of Chandra to acceptable results before, and I’m pretty sure her BFZ incarnation is great, I just never opened one so I haven’t had the pleasure of finding out for myself…  but this one seems poised to be the definitive best-ever Chandra card. She might not be the best version for EDH specifically; guess it depends on the deck. But while I can’t think of any decks in my roster that are screaming out “Give me Chandra!”, I think I could just slot her into almost any of my decks with Red and she’d perform well. She’s a little like OG Garruk that way – doesn’t necessarily belong in any particular deck, but is generally good or even great in almost any deck. Definitely liking this one, but I hope I open like 4 of her, because I’m sure her price tag is going to be painful for a long time to come.

Combustible Gearhulk
I’m having a hard time evaluating this Gearhulk objectively, because as a Feldon player this is probably my favorite of the cycle. But I’m not sure if it’s any good outside of mono-Red artifact decks like Slobad, or Daretti. So I imagine if you’re playing any of those, you are almost certainly thrilled to see this. If you’re playing anything else, though, I have no idea. I’m having trouble envisioning myself playing this outside of Feldon, so maybe it’s super niche, or maybe I’m just so focused on that ideal use of it that I can’t see past that. I do know this, though. As a general rule, cards like Browbeat (called “punisher” cards, I believe) that make your opponent choose what effect your spell has are generally terrible, and even more so in multiplayer. Even Browbeat has its niche uses – burn your opponent down to a low life total, then reload with Browbeat is a classic. But in multiplayer games, there’s always someone who is perfectly willing to take 5 to stop you drawing 3 cards.
But this seems a bit different, at least in decks that don’t really mind dumping stuff in the graveyard. This is basically Browbeat on steroids – either they let you draw 3, or they take an unknown amount of damage, but is likely to often be more than 5. But in the right deck – like Daretti, for instance, you don’t really care which mode they choose. If they let you draw 3, great! If they dump stuff into your ‘yard for Feldon to reanimate, great! Then you get this guy into your ‘yard and keep Feldon-ing him back making your opponent make this choice over and over. I just don’t know how many decks will be equally happy drawing three or milling three and doing some damage.

Fateful Showdown
This is such an odd, interesting card! I can’t tell if it’s good or not, but it’s basically Tolarian Winds with some direct damage thrown in for an upcharge of two more mana.  I mean, that sounds good, right? Kill a threat, get a new hand. Yeah, I have to believe there are decks that can work with this. Actually I know one for sure: Arjun. There’s an Arjun deck in my group that I am pretty sure can just one-shot a player trivially easy with this, and can probably Fork it a couple times without much more difficulty. I also have to at least consider it for Feldon, as I’m already running all the Wheel of Fortunes I can get my hands on in that deck.

Madcap Experiment
I don’t think this is good. I seriously doubt I would even run this in Feldon, which is basically 50% artifacts. But I mention it here because it’s one of those cards that isn’t good but someone out there will find a way to make it look like a good card. I hear through the grapevine that Platinum Emperion is spiking because of this card. Clever, but not sure how that little trick might translate to 100-card singleton world.

Skyship Stalker
Small, cheap Dragon. Lots of abilities. Not terribly impressive, but probably a good curve-smoother for Dragon tribal decks. We need more playable Dragons that sit lower on the curve. This ain’t a great one, but it’ll do.

Quicksmith Genius
Again, if you’re in mono-Red or Red/x Artifacts, this is probably decent at worst. Seems really good for Feldon in particular. I will be trying him out there for sure.

Cathartic Reunion
It’s not often that my favorite card in a new set is a common, but this just might be the time. I am, perhaps, getting sentimental in my old age, but a huge reason why I like this card is the art and flavor of it. It’s one of the most touching and moving Magic illustrations ever. I love how Chandra is usually presented as this badass, pyro-maniacal chick with attitude to spare, but this one picture captures a whole different side of her; intimate, vulnerable, loving. Happy.
WotC is always telling us that Red is the color of passion and strong emotions, not just fire and anger. This is one of the very few examples where they actually show that. I love how WotC has typically shied away from putting this sort of thing on cards, but here they just lean into it as hard as they can. “You know what? Screw it. Magic isn’t ALL just wizards slinging fireballs at each other and sending random creatures to attack and maim their rivals. Sometimes a wizard just needs a hug from mommy.”
I just love it. I love that they printed this amazing artwork on a card, and I especially love that the card is actually playable!
I also really appreciate them not increasing the mana cost to three. While that would have been pleasing from a symmetry/pattern-recognition standpoint, keeping the CMC at two really makes it significantly more playable. Once again, I’m mainly thinking of Daretti and Feldon here. But I can see this being broadly playable in a variety of decks, especially those that are already running Alhammaret’s Archive.  
I love this card, but I hate that I’m sentimental about it. Ugh.