Draft Pick Order: Kaladesh

Hello Everybody, the list I’m about to provide ranks all cards in Kaladesh from high to low for the first pick, first pack decision. This means that multicolored cards are ranked relatively low (because they leave you with less flexibility to maneuver during the draft) and artifacts cards are ranked relatively high (because they go into every deck and keep your options more open). For instance, if it was pack 2 and I knew I was drafting blue/white, then I would typically pick Dovin Baan over Revoke Privileges, and I’d pick both over Bomat Bazaar Barge. My list, however, has the complete reverse order because it’s meant to aid the first pick, first pack decision. I broke the list down into separate categories to make it easier to read and to allow me to intersperse some comments, but you can think of it as one continuous list if you like.

If you’d like the visual list, click the spoiler drop down below.

 

Visual List

 

The Best Rares/Mythics

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Smuggler’s Copter
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Verdurous Gearhulk
Noxious Gearhulk
Nissa, Vital Force
Demon of Dark Schemes
Angel of Invention
Confiscation Coup
Cataclysmic Gearhulk
Aetherstorm Roc
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Skyship Stalker
Combustible Gearhulk
Torrential Gearhulk
Multiform Wonder
Cultivator’s Caravan
Fumigate
Bristling Hydra
Pia Nalaar
Saheeli’s Artistry
Key to the City

I would take all of these cards over any common or uncommon. The Flagship is the best card to open in my opinion, and the rares/mythics are roughly ranked in order of how good they appear to me.

I didn’t include the masterpieces because this list doesn’t take monetary value into account (I only consider the quality of a card during gameplay), but let’s be real , if you open a masterpiece and you’re not drafting at a premier event like the Pro Tour, then you’ll be glad to take it over everything in the pack. Most of the time, it’s an insane addition to your deck, too!

The Best Uncommons to First-Pick

Bomat Bazaar Barge
Snare Thopter
Chief of the Foundry
Filigree Familiar

As I mentioned, I like starting a draft with an artifact, and these 4 uncommon ones all seem great to me, with the Barge being the best one. It can always make my deck and it leaves me open to take whatever colors are flowing my way. In this set, artifacts matter even more because there are plenty of cards that get better when you play artifacts or have artifacts on the battlefield.

Other Cards That Are Better Than Any Common

Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
Master Trinketeer
Harnessed Lightning
Fairgrounds Warden
Skywhaler’s Shot
Aerial Responder
Furious Reprisal
Gonti, Lord of Luxury
Aethersquall Ancient

These are impactful creatures and removal spells. I see lots of good white and red uncommons here, and the best white and red commons are great too. So if my assessments are correct, drafters may start with a white or red card a disproportionate amount of time.

The Best Commons to First-Pick

Renegade Freighter
Welding Sparks
Revoke Privileges

These look like the best 3 commons to first pick. The Freighter is mainly in here because it’s an artifact, but it’s one of the better Vehicles, and I would be fine starting my draft with it.

Great Non-Common Cards That I’d First-Pick Just Behind the Best Commons

Nature’s Way
Dovin Baan
Eliminate the Competition
Captured by the Consulate
Essence Extraction
Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
Arborback Stomper
Servant of the Conduit
Wispweaver Angel
Longtusk Cub
Cultivator of Blades
Marionette Master
Depala, Pilot Exemplar
Incendiary Sabotage
Shrewd Negotiation

Here you see more situational or restrictive removal spells that all come with some kind of drawback, as well as the first gold cards. I don’t love starting my draft with a gold card, but I’ll do it if it is much better than the next best card. My ranking reflects this.

The Next 10 Best Commons and Cards of Similar Power

Underhanded Designs
Aether Meltdown
Prophetic Prism
Aether Hub
Peema Outrider
Long-Finned Skywhale
Ovalchase Daredevil
Armorcraft Judge
Aetherborn Marauder
Ballista Charger
Foundry Inspector
Fateful Showdown
Tidy Conclusion
Architect of the Untamed
Padeem, Consul of Innovation
Aethertorch Renegade
Glint-Nest Crane
Visionary Augmenter
Glimmer of Genius
Brazen Scourge
Unlicensed Disintegration
Cloudblazer
Iron League Steed
Scrapheap Scrounger
Thriving Rhino
Aether Theorist
Glint-Sleeve Artisan
Lathnu Hellion
Dhund Operative
Hunt the Weak
Malfunction
Embraal Bruiser
Syndicate Trafficker
Wildest Dreams
Sky Skiff
Spontaneous Artist

The Prism and the Hub may be high, but I like consistent mana, especially when the cards work with the themes of the set. In terms of commons, you see expensive removal spells and the best 2 drops, 3 drops, and 4 drops here. Spontaneous Artist isn’t actually super great, but the alternative 4 drop common in red (Terror of the Fairgrounds) is so bad that I want to prioritize the only playable red 4 drop for curve purposes. The best blue commons are ranked decidedly lower than the best commons of the other four colors. As a result, blue is probably the worst color.

Good Gold Cards

Voltaic Brawler
Whirler Virtuoso
Contraband Kingpin
Restoration Gearsmith
Veteran Motorist
Empyreal Voyager
Blooming Marsh
Inspiring Vantage
Concealed Courtyard
Botanical Sanctum
Spirebluff Canal
Saheeli Rai
Kambal, Consul of Allocation

These are all great cards, except that they’re gold. Two other gold uncommons were ranked higher because they seemed much better than the rest. The final 2 gold uncommons don’t feel as powerful to me, so they are ranked lower.

Situational Removal Spells and Artifacts

Metalwork Colossus
Die Young
Fabrication Module
Animation Module
Chandra’s Pyrohelix
Impeccable Timing

These artifacts probably don’t fit everywhere, but could be powerful in the right deck. The removal spells don’t always kill the creatures that matter.

The Bread and Butter of Your Creature Base

Riparian Tiger
Thriving Grubs
Gearshift Ace
Ovalchase Dragster
Consul’s Shieldguard
Experimental Aviator
Elegant Edgecrafters
Salivating Gremlins
Self-Assembler
Toolcraft Exemplar
Propeller Pioneer
Dukhara Peafowl
Eddytrail Hawk
Gearseeker Serpent
Foundry Screecher
Weldfast Monitor
Skyswirl Harrier
Wind Drake
Narnam Cobra
Maulfist Doorbuster
Kujar Seedsculptor
Inventor’s Apprentice
Aradara Express
Janjeet Sentry
Maulfist Squad
Territorial Gorger
Thriving Ibex
Weaponcraft Enthusiast
Fairgrounds Trumpeter
Thriving Rats
Weldfast Wingsmith
Aviary Mechanic
Prakhata Pillar-Bug
Fretwork Colony
Bastion Mastodon
Wayward Giant

I think it will be rare for me to first pick any of these creatures, but I also think that they will make my main deck the majority of the time. The white 4 drops are kind of the opposite of the red 4 drops, both white creatures are very good, so there is less need to put a premium on them if you want to end up with a good mana curve.

Good Tricks and Naturalize Effects

Blossoming Defense
Make Obsolete
Subtle Strike
Appetite for the Unnatural
Fragmentize
Insidious Will
Built to Last
Ornamental Courage
AEther Tradewinds
Acrobatic Maneuver
Engineered Might
Inventor’s Goggles
Rush of Vitality

In my initial estimation, it’s fine to play 1 Naturalize effect in your main deck. Looking at the number of playable common artifacts and enchantments, I would expect that most decks will contain around 4 targets (not counting Servos). The combat tricks and pump effects fill Vehicle slots, so you can’t play too many of them. I generally don’t like playing more than 3 cards in my Limited deck that don’t do anything without a creature on the battlefield. As a side note: When you play Kaladesh Limited, you should remember all of the combat tricks.

Good Filler Cards

Deadlock Trap
Hazardous Conditions
Speedway Fanatic
Trusty Companion
Live Fast
Midnight Oil
Tezzeret’s Ambition
Quicksmith Genius
Highspire Artisan
Select for Inspection
Attune with Aether
Eager Construct
Whirlermaker
Decoction Module
Lawless Broker
Vedalken Blademaster
Wild Wanderer
Sage of Shaila’s Claim
Reckless Fireweaver
Demolition Stomper
Spireside Infiltrator
Herald of the Fair
Ghirapur Guide

Almost all creatures here are 2/1 or 3/2. Because most 4 drops trump 3/2s, I don’t like that size in this format. If your 3 drop trades down for your opponent’s 2 drop and doesn’t trade up for their 4 drop, then you are bringing the wrong size to the table. Congruently, I don’t like most 2/1s. They can’t even attack into Servo tokens on the other side of the battlefield.

Situational Build-Arounds or Weak Filler

Ambitious Aetherborn
Prakhata Club Security
Nimble Innovator
Metalspinner’s Puzzleknot
Durable Handicraft
Servo Exhibition
Cogworker’s Puzzleknot
Thriving Turtle
Spark of Creativity
Harsh Scrutiny
Electrostatic Pummeler
Inventors’ Fair
Built to Smash
Cathartic Reunion
Pressure Point
Ruinous Gremlin
Inspired Charge
Hijack
Aetherworks Marvel
Fortuitous Find
Glassblower’s Puzzleknot
Hightide Hermit
Dukhara Scavenger
Cowl Prowler
Accomplished Automaton
Renegade Tactics
Refurbish
Creeping Mold
Bomat Courier
Era of Innovation
Metallurgic Summonings
Panharmonicon

There’s a place for everything, but all of these cards feel below the curve to me. They offer not a great cost for their size and/or too situational to work in most decks.

Very Weak Cards, Sideboard Material, and Unplayables

Dynavolt Tower
Workshop Assistant
Morbid Curiosity
Disappearing Act
Ninth Bridge Patrol
Diabolic Tutor
Revolutionary Rebuff
Torch Gauntlet
Fireforger’s Puzzleknot
Curio Vendor
Night Market Lookout
Consulate Skygate
Ceremonious Rejection
Minister of Inquiries
Sequestered Stash
Tasseled Dromedary
Terror of the Fairgrounds
Failed Inspection
Mind Rot
Paradoxical Outcome
Demolish
Giant Spectacle
Start Your Engines
Consulate Surveillance
Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot
Take Down
Authority of the Consuls
Commencement of Festivities
Larger Than Life
Wily Bandar
Dramatic Reversal
Perpetual Timepiece
Ghirapur Orrery
Madcap Experiment
Aetherflux Reservoir
Lost Legacy
Dubious Challenge

Well, that’s my ranking for Kaladesh Draft.

Which cards would you rank higher, and which ones would you rank lower? Let me know in the comments below!

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