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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Nov 02 2016 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

> summary <

 Welcome to Kaladesh, a world where we will finally see all colors of the spectrum, rather than just those evoking blood, darkness and decay!
 Based around India and the steampunk genre, Kaladesh is renowned for being the native plane of feisty planeswalker Chandra Nalaar (so now we get where that name came from: she's your typical Hindi girl with red hair and freckles.)

 The main theme of the set (and block) is "inventors and their inventions", and this of course leads directly to a massive presence of artifacts and their builders, with indeed Artificer being the largest tribe (even larger than Human!) and Construct receiving a considerable boost (while its Golem cousin was totally ignored, though). We also see the return of those "races" traditionally associated with artifacts, including Dwarf, Vedalken, and even the entirely forgotten Gremlin, yet, strangely enough, the Goblin tribe seems to be entirely absent from the plane.

 The topic and setting also spawn an unusual number of new tribes, particularly Aetherborn and Pilot. The latter is thematically and functionally associated with the new artifact type, Vehicle, which appears on cards that turn into artifact creatures on the battlefield, but unfortunately don't feature the "creature" type directly on their type line. Not that it would have been an easy tribe to run on its own, considering they can't do much without other creatures to "pilot" them, but it could have been fun.

 Anyway, let's have a look at the new creatures and their tribes. As always, the focus is on all the Constructed applications, the tribes are listed alphabetically, but you'll find a hypertextual list at the end.

 Infodump

  • Cards: 264 (+10 duplicated basic lands; it includes 10 new cards from the Kaladesh Planeswalker decks)
  • New cards: 246
  • New creatures: 128
  • Reprinted cards: 18
  • Reprinted creatures: 2 (Chief of the Foundry, Wind Drake)
  • Planeswalker deck-only creatures: 3 (Guardian of the Great Conduit, Renegade Firebrand, Terrain Elemental)
  • Creature types affected: 47
  • Tribes with more than 5 additions: Artificer (+27), Human (+25), Construct (+15), Dwarf (+12), Elf (+12), Rogue (+11), Vedalken (+9), Aetherborn (+8), Druid (+6), Gremlin (+6), Soldier (+6)

Advisor: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 43 (online: 32)

 Related Tribes: Human, Vedalken

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Kaladesh is a plane with strong political roots (it's ruled by the benevolent but strict and potentially corrupted Consulate), so it's only natural a couple Advisors show up in its creature menagerie. Too bad they're not exactly crucial specimens. Kambal, Consul of Allocation is decently costed, but he only does one situational thing that's going to be relevant only against storm build, or at least Delver.dek. So maybe he's bound to become a sideboard card against those archetypes? Not even sure about that. And Minister of Inquiries (the third minister in the game after Minister of Impediments and Minister of Pain, although the latter sounded more like a figurative title rather than a real one) is this article's first introduction to the ubiquitous energy mechanic, but unfortunately only in service of some trite milling.


Aetherborn: +8

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 8

 Related Tribes: Artificer, Rogue, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme

 Highlights: Aetherborn is the first, and largest, of the new creature types introduced in Kaladesh for the first time. They're essentially sentient aether, chunks of the omnipresent magical energy coalesced into humanoid form. They don't eat, they don't sleep, they don't have genders, they burn through their short lifespans fast, and for some reason, they're mostly black-aligned, which if you ask me is a bit confusing: why should self-aware magic result in black creatures only? I get that, by their very nature, some of them can absorb other beings' life energy (or so says their backstory), but how does that make them selfish and, I don't know, linked to the forces of death?

 Anyway, this first time around we get two rare ones, of which one legendary, Gonti, Lord of Luxury, who gives its controller a single Nightveil Specter effect, but disregarding the color of the required mana. Note that it says "cast", though, not "play", so that excludes the lands (I'm pretty sure a lot of people will do that wrong). Essentially, Gonti steals one random spell from the opponent's library, then leaves behind a deathtouch body for 4 mana. It's not the quickest trick, but it's versatile enough, can swing for 2 in a pinch, trades with most land-based enemies, and you still get to cast the stolen spell even when it's gone. It's a cute one.

 The use of the other rare, Syndicate Trafficker, seems more straightforward, even while it does a couple different things. You can look at it as a fast attacker with a frail body but the ability to ignore it by turning indestructible for 1 mana. You'll need artifact fodder for that, which means you'll need a deck with cheap, returning artifacts or artifacts you're fine with sacrificing for added value, a la Prophetic Prism. Both things aren't particularly esoteric.

 The other Aetherborns range from vanilla dudes to serviceable lifelinkers. A few of them have fabricate, which is the set's only new keyword that goes on creatures, and allows to choose between making those creatures larger or creating tokens ("create" is also finally an in-game term that sends "put onto the battlefield" to deserved retirement). So far, the only Aetherborn featuring a different color from black, Contraband Kingpin (why are so many of these guys ordinary criminals?!), is a lifelinker who benefits from a lot of artifacts being played. But that's bound to be a theme in Kaladesh, you can bet on it.


Angel: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 133 (online: 132)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Even the Angels on Kaladesh care about contraptions: Angel of Invention is actually a cool one, if maybe a bit too high on the rarity totem. Finding new meaningful combinations of vigilance, lifelink and a specific ability is becoming harder and harder, but fabricate helps. For 5 mana (which is one too many for a mythic of this power, in my opinion), you can have a small flying vigilant lifelinker and a couple 2/2s, or you can opt for a single critter with more of a punch. Of course, she'll still be no tougher than 3, which is always a problem. In her defense, the +1/+1 boost is not limited to the fabricated Servos, so I can see her being moderately useful in a midrange aggro deck. She fulfills a few roles, giving you life back, populating your board, and setting up a big strike one way or another, but maybe she's not enough of a player to definitely feel like the better choice over her many white 5-mana contenders. And vigilance on a small butt seems particularly pointless.

 Wispweaver Angel is just junior varsity Restoration Angel. She costs more and doesn't have flash, which is crucial. She can flicker other Angels, though, so there's that.


Artificer: +27

   

  

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 79 (online: 75)

 Related Tribes: Aetherborn, Druid, Dwarf, Elf, Human, Vedalken

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: On Kaladesh, Artificers take the roles that Wizards have elsewhere (the Wizard tribe is completely absent as a result, even if renegade pyromancers do exist in the lore). All kinds of machines and automatons are created and powered by aether, and as a consequences, these guys are the most common type in the set, which I believe is a first for the tribe, boosting its population by a whopping 50%.

 All the five humanoid races have Artificers, and looking here at the Human ones first, we find a bunch of Limited fodder (unsurprisingly) and three rares.

 Pia Nalaar is the first that strikes the eye, being Chandra's mom and all (alas, daddy Kiran is already dead by now). She provides you with two bodies, a 2/2 and a 1/1 flyer, that in turn becomes sort of a Dragon Whelp in her company. She also functions as a sacrifice outlet for artifacts, while messing with the combat phase a bit. I'm not clear how she's supposed to be played, but it seems like she can self-sustain her own aggro strategy, provided she's surrounded by some degree of artifact-heavy environment, which is something we should pretty much considered a requirement of every card from this set.

 The other legendary lady is Oviya Pashiri (saluted by the community as the first openly gay female character in the game, since her backstory is apparently all about her late wife), who's a veritable robot factory, if not a cheap one. Sure, she drops quickly, but then she needs 3 mana per turn to generate a humble 1/1, and 5 for a larger Construct, which may even be what you'd want her to create most of the times. Token generators are typically great, but she seems more of a Commander card to me.

 Marionette Master is great flavor but a strange design; it feels like you'd always want to play her as a 4/6, except when you're desperate to chump-block (or you're setting up an enhanced alpha strike of some kind), because you really want to drain 4 life per sacrificed artifact rather than 1. Of course, if you have a combo in place that allows you infinite sacrifices, then the number of life you drain becomes irrelevant, while her Servos are possibly the igniting fuel to the sacrifice.


Assembly-Worker: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: Well, the impact is high because this is the second creature card ever with the Assembly-Worker type. The previous one is the eponymous Assembly-Worker from Time Spiral, which incidentally has the power to boost other Assembly-Workers, reminiscent of the very first Assembly-Worker in the game, i.e. the creature state of Mishra's Factory (the fourth card that ends with the player controlling an Assembly-Worker is Urza's Factory). So now the tribe has its own tutor a la Aurochs Herd, which might be cool. what exactly it means, we'll only find out once the total number of Assembly-Workers grows a bit larger, but it's certainly a shame that it can't search for the more celebrated land, isn't it? Can't they retroactively give Mishra's Factory the Assembly-Worker type? I, for one, feel like they should. This guy would be less of a dork that way, but still dorky enough to be safe. (But then I realized they specifically worded the tutor ability as "creature card". Oh well, there's no escaping the dorkiness, I guess.)


Bat: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 17 (online: 15)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Well, it's a Bat. That likes artifacts. Surprise surprise.


Beast: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 335 (online: 330)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: This lush thing might just be one of the best uncommons in recent memory. It's basically an uncommon Thragtusk! Sure, it doesn't replace itself, but it's more resilient and it has trample, which makes it scary for the opponent in a way that Thragtusk sometimes is not. All right, maybe I wouldn't take Thragtusk out of a deck to make room for this one (also because it's less splashable), but still, it's a simple yet powerful design.


Bird: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 202 (online: 195)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Birds deal with energy counters because they fly through the part of the Kaladeshian atmosphere where the aether circulates, right? Most of these are not particularly striking, but Aetherstorm Roc is a solid energy generator for energy-based decks, and its ability is generally useful (it grows bigger and taps things). And Glint-Nest Crane is the kind of 2-mana digging effect that's bound to see play in the right kind of deck.


Camel: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 3 (online: 2)

 Impact of the New Additions: High?

 Highlights: The first Camel was "the" Camel from Arabian Nights. 12 years later came Dromad Purebred from Ravnica. Another 11 years passed, and here's our brand new vanilla guy with 0 power. By 2040, maybe Camel will have 5 members. Can't put a guarantee on their general relevance, though. Man, this is possibly the lamest tribe in the game.


Cat: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 139 (online: 134)

 Related Tribes: Monkey

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Of these three new Cats, Longtusk Cub seems playable outside of Limited. You can either accumulate energy for other uses, or treat it as a Whirling Dervish kind of attacker, or even make it big right away if you already have some energy stored. For two mana, it's a good uncommon.

 Also, for some reason, one of these Cats is part Monkey. So this happened.


Construct: +15

   

   

   

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 99 (online: 98)

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: Play some robo-fanfare (so probably something by Stockhausen), because Construct is definitely Kaladesh's centerpiece tribe. They get a mythic cycle that encompasses one third of all the mythics of the set, and for the occasion they hit 99 members and get ahead of their Golem cousins, unexpectedly absent (see what I did there?) from Kaladesh, therefore stuck at 95.

 Two of the mythic Constructs are also the two more valuable creatures in the set, and we can see why. Torrential Gearhulk is a gigantic Snapcaster Mage (if limited to instants only), and there's no need to say more about it to convey how great it is. It's titan-rivaling great. Similarly, Verdurous Gearhulk appears as a discount Force of Nature (where the discount also takes care of the silly upkeep cost), but it's even more than that, because you can easily settle for a 4/4 trampler and distribute the surplus 4 power between more tactical targets, like flyers, hexproof guys, and whatnot.

 The third most valuable creature in the set is still a Construct, and still a (less celebrated) member of this cycle: Noxious Gearhulk is a big, non-conditional Nekrataal; 6 mana is maybe too many for that (ask Dark Hatchling), but then you get menace on a big body, which may reveal to be a pain for the opponent.

 The last two in the cycle are a bit underwhelming compared to their brothers, but still strong: Combustible Gearhulk gives the opponent the choice to let you cast Ancestral Recall or potentially suffer a lot of damage (the fact that this damage might even amount to 0 is the real downside here). And Cataclysmic Gearhulk casts, well, a Cataclysm. Which is going to be particularly attractive in Commander, where I bet this guy is going to be the most popular of the bunch. It's also cool that they're basically giant robots a la Pacific Rim, but reworked around the five colors of mana. However, their being colored (requiring double colored mana, to boot) might be the only issue when one tries to make them work within existing artifact archetypes, but it's not an insurmountable problem.

 The greatness of Kaladesh Constructs is not confined to the Gearhulks, even. Scrapheap Scrounger (what a fun-sounding name!) is another valued card in virtue of being the Constructs' own recursive little dude in the tradition of Horrors, Spirits or Zombies. You'll need black mana and another dead guy, but you can put the instant-speed resurrection ability to good use, even just by swinging for 3 again and again.

 A bigger revenant is Metalwork Colossus, which also has sort of built-in affinity for artifacts to help him being recast, while cards like Multiform Wonder and Electrostatic Pummeler generate and spend energy to variable results.

 One of the new Constructs more likely to show up in classically-built artifact decks is of course Foundry Inspector, which is perfect in its simplicity, reducing the curve's weight of such decks while also providing a solid early beater.


Crab: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 17

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Guess the aether is in the water, too. A 5-mana defender is telling us it's less easily extracted.


Crocodile: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 14 (online: 13)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: I feel like there's never been a Crocodile worth playing, was there? C'mon, Wizards, crocodiles are cool!


Demon: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 84 (online: 82)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Well, this might be an upper curve dweller, but he certainly has a lot going on: he casts Infest upon arrival (excluding himself, even, so there's no trying funny moves with Lightning Bolts), and he's bound to provide some energy, which in turn fuels resurrections, and not just from your graveyard, thus taking advantage of his former victims. And, you know, among all this, he's still a 5-powered flyer. This guys is the complete package, might even give Grave Titan a run for his money.


Dragon: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 161

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Meh. Kaladesh's obligatory Dragon is a boltable mana-hungry midrange dork? Pass.


Druid: +6

  

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 141 (online: 137)

 Related Tribes: Artificer, Elf

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Druids on Kaladesh deal in energy. Also, they're all Elves. And one of them is an Artificer, too. It's the only creature with three types in the set, and the first Druid Artificer combo to appear in the game ('cause it's normally sort of antithetical, you know. Nature vs. technology and all that.) It's called Architect of the Untamed, and it's actually one of the most interesting Druids here, able to steadily provide energy without requiring to spend other resources, and then converting it into big dudes. Still, a Druid that creates robots is very very strange.

 The other notable card here is of course the one with the red rarity symbol and the legendary moniker, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter, who does something quite un-Druid-like as well, which is basically a more controlled cascade trigger up to once per turn. Pretty powerful effect, although you can't really count on it early on.


Dwarf: +12

   

   

   

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 50 (online: 43)

 Related Tribes: Artificer, Pilot, Soldier

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: So, apparently there are Dwarves on Kaladesh, which means that another one of the most MTG-neglected of classic fantasy tribes gets a 33% boost (the way it happened with Orcs on Tarkir). However, they underwent a bit of a flavor transformation in the process. First of all, now they're mostly white, whereas they've been mostly red in the past (even the three previous white Dwarves were red hybrids. No monocolored white Dwarf ever existed before Kaladesh.) And they now trade in artifacts, as the setting prescribes, but while that's something you don't generally have a hard time to picture Dwarves doing, the truth is, only two Dwarves in MTG ever had anything to do with artifacts before, and that includes Duergar Hedge-Mage destroying them, while we have to go all the way back to Antiquities' Dwarven Weaponsmith to find a Dwarf that put artifacts to some use, and even then, it meant sacrificing them.

 I'm not particularly criticizing this new approach, but it kinda feels like they could just use Kithkin at this point. And taking away red from the Dwarves deprives them a bit of their characteristic quick temper.

 Anyway, the Dwarves of Kaladesh are Artificers, Pilots and Soldiers, including their own version of Fiend Hunter. Noteworthy are Depala, Pilot Exemplar, who acts as a lord to both Dwarves and VehiclesMaster Trinketeer, who does the same for Servos and Thopters; and Toolcraft Exemplar, who's just a potentially very aggressive 1-drop in artifact decks, since he can potentially attacks as a 3/2 on turn 2.


Elemental: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 366 (online: 362)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Both these new Elementals aren't actually from Kaladesh proper, but from the Kaladesh Planeswalker decks (the new intro packs), specifically the green one with Nissa, Nature's Artisan at the helm. Given that those decks are designed to be entry level, these guys were forced not to be anything too complex, although Guardian of the Great Conduit is pretty decent when he fights alongside his elven mistress (any version of her, which is nice).


Elephant: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 45 (online: 44)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Nothing says India like bejeweled Elephants, even when they're actually clockwork automatons. The flesh and blood one, Fairgrounds Trumpeter, has sort of a parasitic relationship with +1/+1 counters; it's a decent mechanic, but probably not decent enough to make it playable in Constructed's higher echelons.


Elf: +12

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 310 (online: 299)

 Related Tribes: Artificer, Druid, Scout

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Other than all the set's Druids, the Elf tribe features a few Artificers that nicely exploit the fabricate mechanic. Cultivator of Blades complements all that fabrication with Wild Beastmaster's ability, but seems a bit overcosted to be effective outside of Limited. All in all, the uncommon Armorcraft Judge may be the most playable, if mainly in larger-than-life formats like Commander, due to the massive amount of card drawing it's able to generate under the right conditions.


Fox: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 22 (online: 21)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: This cute little mechanical guy is the perfect artifact to use as sacrifice fodder: cheap enough, boasting a significant presence on the board, and useful triggers both on its way in and on its way out. Why is it a Fox, though? I mean, once an Artificer builds something, does it even matter what form it takes? What's the difference between this and any other Construct? How is a simulacrum of a fox related to actual, living foxes? (Repeat these questions for any occurrence, past present and future, of artifact versions of living things being conflated with their normal species. Yes, I'm still baffled by that Sable statue.)


Giant: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 132 (online: 126)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Not a memorable Giant by all means, but it's a good pick in Limited.


Goat: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 8 (online: 6)

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: Goat is not a large tribe, nor a powerful tribe, so even a midrange guy that's one of those guys able to use energy to grow is kind of a big deal. Plus, it's the first white Goat ever. Everything is lighter on Kaladesh.


Gremlin: +6

  

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 8 (online: 7)

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: Okay, so, did you remember Gremlin was actually a thing in Magic: The Gathering? It turns out, back in 1994, we got these dudes.

 From Phyrexia, no less. Back when Phyrexians were more Joe Dante than Clive Barker, apparently. And then a whole 17 years later, we got another one.

 Still a Phyrexian! Now, both these old Gremlins were black, but the original ones were at least already eager to mess with artifacts. The new ones are all red, ichor-free, and, uhm, they look like aardvarks (which are an African thing, not an Indian thing, so I don't really get it.) They sort of took Goblin and Devil's place in the set, but most of them are truly unremarkable, except for their member of the Thriving Cycle, maybe Salivating Gremlins, and the rare Territorial Gorger, which might become a pretty big trampler in an energy deck. On second thought, even that one is not really that remarkable, considering you have to start by paying 4 mana for a 2/2, which is almost always a big no-no in my book.


Hellion: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 12

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: So, this is basically a hasty 4/4 for 3 that last for two turns. It can last more in an energy deck, of course. All in all, it's decently aggressive.


Human: +25

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 1846 (online: 1678)

 Related Tribes: Advisor, Artificer, Pilot, Rogue, Scout, Warrior

 Impact of the New Additions: Irrelevant

 Highlights: As usual, Human is scattered among all the "jobs" featured on the set. Then there's one, Herald of the Fair, that's just a Human, no additional descriptors. But he doesn't do much. Lots of fairs on Kaledesh, eh? It looks like a festive place.


Hydra: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 33

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: This is a good Hydra, low on the curve (for a Hydra), can conjure hexproof at instant speed, and when it does, it grows, so it's not really ever boltable. Of course it's been made for being played within a deck that can further produce energy, to fuel more hexproof reactions and more growth. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen in a Hydra deck, so Bristling Hydra doesn't jibe very well with its polycephalous fellows.


Hyena: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 2

 Impact of the New Additions: Severe

 Highlights: The second Hyena after exactly 20 years, following Gibbering Hyenas from Mirage. Why, is the question that immediately comes to mind. Also, in what universe a hyena is a "trusty companion"? "It shows affection"? What do they think a hyena is?


Insect: +2

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 145 (online: 141)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Not much to say about these two new Insects. Fretwork Colony is a flavorful design, along the lines of other spontaneously growing Insect swarms, like Scute Mob. I can't see myself ever playing it, though.


Leviathan: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 18 (online: 17)

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: All right, it might be a creature designed for Commander, but this is one juicy Leviathan. At 7 mana it's not cheap, but it's a big flyer, a free energy factory, and it can repeatedly clear the board. If you time it right, you should be able to at least activate the effect while forcing the opponent to use some removal. Definitely a good design.


Lizard: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 49 (online: 47)

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: It's a golden mechanical gizmo in the form of a Lizard, that shouldn't be classified as an actual Lizard. Also, it's mostly useless.


Monkey: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 4

 Related Tribes: Cat

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme, unfortunately

 Highlights: Oh my God, they really couldn't sleep at night thinking of the grave scientific inaccuracy of baboons being classified as Apes. So they introduced this stupid Monkey so that they could resurrect the old, extinct type and give it back to such important cards as Ravenous Baboons, Tree Monkey and Zodiac Monkey. Couldn't they at least create a proper Monkey for the occasion rather than this demented Cat Monkey? "Part feline, part primate, all trouble"? Seriously?


Pilot: +5

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 5

 Related Tribes: Dwarf, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Extreme

 Highlights: Pilot is essentially a dedicated tribe, as they're the creatures that are meant to crew the Vehicles (this is not a great premise for the future of the tribe.) In fact, most of them have an ability that makes their Vehicle better, while the legendary Depala makes every Vehicle better. There's really not much else going on with them.


Rat: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 50 (online: 44)

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Another member of the Thriving cycle.


Rhino: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 27

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Yet another member of the Thriving cycle.


Rogue: +11

  

 

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 205 (online: 195)

 Related Tribes: Aetherborn, Human, Vedalken

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: All common, lukewarm Rogues. Some of them exploit the energy mechanic, others feature the "tapping matters" mechanic already seen on Theros.


Scout: +3

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 112 (online: 106)

 Related Tribes: Elf, Human, Vedalken

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Two of the new Scouts are multicolored, and those are also the more conspicuous: Cloudblazer is double draw and double life for 5, which is pretty good, even if the body left behind is underwhelming, even for a flyer; Empyreal Voyager is an energy producer upon connecting with the opponent, but being a flying trampler helps achieving that. The cost is even very reasonable, considering it's just an uncommon.


Serpent: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 28 (online: 27)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Now, that's some blatant affinity for artifacts in disguise! Even there, this guy is a bit clunky, compared to older big affinity dudes like Qumulox or Broodstar.


Snake: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 71 (online: 64)

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: It's a bronze mechanical gizmo in the form of a Snake, that shouldn't be classified as an actual Snake. Also, it's mostly useless, except in Limited.


Soldier: +6

  

  

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 563 (online: 507)

 Related Tribes: Dwarf, Vedalken

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Nothing much to say about the Dwarven Soldiers, except maybe to note that Fairgrounds Warden gives the tribe a Fiend Hunter, while Aerial Responder sports quite a few combat abilities for 3 mana. The Vedalken ones are possibly even less remarkable, with a random prowess guy and a tapper that needs energy to operate.


Thopter: +1

> summary <

 New Tribal Total: 10

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium to High

 Highlights: There's definitely fewer Thopters in the game than there should be, what with Magic Origins having a strong Thopter theme, and yet not even a single Thopter creature card, and now Kaladesh, whose sky is literally filled with flying contraptions, only featuring a meager one.


Turtle: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 10 (online: 9)

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Even Turtles get power-drunk on aether.


Vedalken: +9

  

  

  

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 New Tribal Total: 47

 Related Tribes: Advisor, Artificer, Rogue, Scout, Soldier

 Impact of the New Additions: Medium

 Highlights: Where there's aether, you can be sure the Blue Man Group will show up. Unlike their Esper brothers, these Vedalkens don't actually put aether inside their bodies, but they manipulate aether energy well enough. For instance, Aether Theorist is one of the cheapest ways to acquire three energy counters, and Empyreal Voyager can potentially provide a lot of those. Their use for the energy is less effective, though. The Theorist's scry is okay, and Whirler Virtuoso creates Thopters at instant speed, which is good.

 Padeem, Consul of Innovation is the real big kahuna here (after all, he's Kaladesh's premier). He protects your artifacts, all Guardian Beast style (but with a less complicate wording), and if you're resourceful enough to please him with big artifacts, he'll give you a free card. How cool is that? He also screams new go-to commander for artifact-based Commander decks.


Wall: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 114 (online: 93)

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: It's a freaking hangar door.


Warrior: +5

  

 

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 New Tribal Total: 528 (online: 513)

 Related Tribes: Aetherborn, Human

 Impact of the New Additions: Low

 Highlights: Basically, not a single one of the Kaladesh Warriors is noteworthy. Just a bunch of low-level applications of the set's mechanics, or less. Renegade Firebrand is Chandra, Pyrogenius's boytoy from her Planeswalker deck.


Whale: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 5

 Impact of the New Additions: High

 Highlights: So, turns out Whales on Kaladesh are flying creatures. Okay. This dude brings the tribe to five members. It's even the cheapest-costed one, go figure.


Wurm: +1

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 New Tribal Total: 81 (online: 77)

 Impact of the New Additions: Null

 Highlights: The irrelevance made vanilla beater. Although, it's still better than Craw Wurm.


SUMMARY

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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here.


BEST IN SHOW
(click on them to go to their tribe)

 

  

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THE GEARHULK CYCLE
(All Constructs)

  

 

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THE THRIVING CYCLE
(click on them to go to their tribe)

  

 

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THE LOST TRIBE: VEHICLES

   

   

  

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KUMA'S TRIBAL EVALUATIONS

 

5 Comments

Kambal, Consul of Allocation by ML_Berlin at Sat, 11/05/2016 - 23:49
ML_Berlin's picture

Kambal, Consul of Allocation is decently costed, but he only does one situational thing that's going to be relevant only against storm build, or at least Delver.dek. So maybe he's bound to become a sideboard card against those archetypes?

I'm confused, are sideboards permitted in Tribal Wars now?

Not if it is still Tribal by Paul Leicht at Sun, 11/06/2016 - 00:51
Paul Leicht's picture

Not if it is still Tribal Wars...

"the focus is on all the by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 11/06/2016 - 10:05
Kumagoro42's picture

"the focus is on all the Constructed applications"

These articles are not about Tribal Wars. That's one format that utilizes tribal strategies (the one that makes them the focus of the format). But you can use tribal strategies in Legacy, in Modern, and so on. And even in Limited. When they build tribal themes within sets, they certainly are not thinking of Tribal Wars.

Plus, this is also a review of all the creatures in the set, divided by creature type rather than by color or CMC.

It amuses me that the 'Best by AJ_Impy at Sun, 11/06/2016 - 16:08
AJ_Impy's picture
5

It amuses me that the 'Best in show' are also all constructs. I'm thinking of trying out Kambal in Orzhov Advisors, he's got some pretty nice synergy there.

It amuses me that the 'Best by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 11/11/2016 - 08:56
Kumagoro42's picture

It amuses me that the 'Best in show' are also all constructs.

It was sort of an in-joke, but it's also more or less true. :)