The Kaladesh prerelease is coming this weekend. I’m excited to play the set for the first time. Read why I think it could be an all-time great set here. I’ve got my eye on five cards I hope I get to play at the prerelease. But first, we have to send off Eldritch Moon in style.

I really enjoyed Eldritch Moon/Shadows over Innistrad draft and sealed. The format really came together with two packs of the small set and one of the large. Many cards from Shadows blossomed as role players in the combined format. I can see myself drafting this one years into the future. So let’s start with my top five Limited cards from Eldritch Moon!

5. Thermo-Alchemist

No surprise here. I played all the Izzet Lobber Crew decks possible in Return to Ravnica. Thermo-Alchemist is much better, because it comes down earlier, and triggers off more plentiful and cheaper spells. Even in a deck without many spells, it gets in more damage than most two drops in the format can manage. Eldritch Moon encourages blocking. Even if you don’t want to block with the alchemist, it still works into the more successful defensive strategies.

Cards like Thermo-Alchemist are among my favorites for Limited because they pressure your opponent without requiring you to put effort into being aggressive. Control decks struggle, in draft especially, because they apply no pressure. Most draft decks are close in power level. If you let your opponent play their cards unimpeded, they’ll probably find a way to beat you. Pinging a few times a turn passively takes your opponent down in life. Eventually they realize they have to win in two turns or else the alchemists will kill them. And that’s when you spring your traps!

4. Drag Under

When Eldritch Moon drafts began, I always ended up in blue. That’s because I would get three or four copies of Drag Under. These days in the new draft leagues, I hardly ever see one passed my way. What a great hipster card story. And seriously, people think they will kill you with Lunarch Mantle and Faith Unbroken. Sounds like a drag.

3. Lashweed Lurker

Vedalken Dismisser costs six mana and is a mere 2/2. When you curve Exultant Cultist or Foul Emissary into Lashweed Lurker on turn four, how can a reasonable deck deal with that? It’s so hard to ever pass this card in draft, which means I end up drafting blue all the time. Even now after every takes the Drag Unders.

The hardest part of playing with Big Lurky is deciding whether to get rid of a spirit token or take their draw putting an actual card on top. It probably doesn’t matter, but those are the most fun questions to ponder.

2. Savage Alliance

Savage is exactly the correct word for Savage Alliance. A flexible instant that throws damage around in weird ways can create all sorts of sweet blowouts. I love killing Heir of Falkenrath in response to the transform trigger, with a Shock thrown in on something else.

Here’s a picture of a game I won where Savage Alliance was the bottom card of my deck:


Wait for it . . .

My opponent was pretty content to let me deck myself. Fortunately, I had other plans.

1. Ulvenwald Captive

Yes please. Early game mana producer and late game mana sink and 4/6 horror thing? It would be hard to design a more perfect Limited card. It does everything you want. Congratulations, champ!


On from one great Limited format to the next! Here are five fun commons from Kaladesh that you should lok to play at your prerelease, and be prepared to play against. I’ve chosen one from each color, but there’s another special card that didn’t make the top five: Prophetic Prism a.k.a. one of my all time favorite Limited cards.

5. Riparian Tiger

Riparian means next to water. I know this because I’m a lawyer, and “riparian” rights are a common form of water ownership. Basically, if a river touches your property, you can take some of the water out of it. Riparian Tiger does the same thing, except it takes huge chunks out of your opponent’s life total. Riparian rights are more of an East Coast thing in the U.S., so you can expect more to show up at Grand Prix Atlanta than at Pro Tour Honolulu.  Green has a lot of great commons in Kaladesh, but only one that comes with a side of river.

4. Salivating Gremlins

Have you met my friend the fabricate mechanic? Because the Salivating Gremlins sure have! If you ever get to fabricate two with the saliva patrol on board, you will be hitting for a lot. Brazen Wolves maybe have been more reliable, but this new version is more explosive. You get trample to make sure triggering this two or three times in one turn is worth it. And if you get adventurous, you can even pump in response to blocks or a fight.

Cards like this also tend to play well alongside must-kill threats. Your opponent doesn’t know how much damage Salivating Gremlins can send their way, so they will often use premium removal to avoid finding out. That clears the way for your more reliable finishers later.

3. Foundry Screecher

Black often gets a 2/1 flier for three mana. Foundry Screecher gets a bonus third point of power if you control an artifact. That’s a good deal! You can die quickly to this card if you can’t defend the air. Two of the best answers (in green, naturally) are Highspire Artisan and Take Down. Make sure you have those ready in your green sideboard!

2. Gearseeker Serpent

Why hello, affinity for artifacts. Gearseeker Serpent looks a lot like Qumulox, except better. You might also be reminded of Myr Enforcer. I think it will be hard to play without artifacts in Kaladesh Limited, so any blue deck will be slamming this crusher. Common finishers that are hard to kill also tend to dominate sealed. Look out for this one at the prerelease!

1. Eddytrail Hawk

It tells you that the worst is coming. Do you listen?

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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