Since the release of Kaladesh, I’ve learned a great deal about the format. One important aspect about Kaldesh limited is how to correctly play creatures with the mechanic Fabricate. Fabricate, a new Kaldesh mechanic, allows a creature to either create a number of 1/1 Servo artifact creature tokens or place that number of +1/+1 counters on itself when it enters the battlefield. Since you’re given the choice of whether or not you’d like to buff up your creature or have it enter the battlefield with one or more Servo friends, it’s valuable to know in what situations you’d choose to create Servo tokens or to place +1/+1 counters on the Fabricate creature. Although, on the surface, it might seem best to always create Servo tokens to have an extra bit of value if the Fabricate creature is dealt with, there are many instances when placing a number of +1/+1 counters on the Fabricate creature will be the stronger choice.
To begin, some important notes on Fabricate:
Insurance – When evaluating a mechanic such as Fabricate, it’s important to keep in mind the inherent value of getting an amount of 1/1 Servo tokens over +1/+1 counters. Creating Servos gets a little more bang for your buck, since if your Fabricate creature dies to a removal spell, you’re able to get some amount of value even though your opponent has traded a card for one of yours. However, although getting a Servo might be more common than choosing +1/+1 counters, it’s important to stay open minded.
4 Toughness Matters – When looking at this set as a whole, it’s important to note the amount of creatures with 3-power across the colors and to look at the small number of creatures with 4 or more toughness. Since decks in Kaladesh seem a little more low to the ground than recent sets, it’s important to note how valuable 4-toughness on a creature is when put against the various 3-power and less creatures of the format. That’s why Peema Outrider, for example, is most often a 4/4 with trample for 4, since a bigger body with 4-toughness matches better against 3-power creatures than a 3/3 and 1/1 do.
Being Flexible – Sometimes you’ll put +1/+1 counters on a creature you usually make Servos with. It’s not always set in stone which option you’ll be choosing. A lot of times your decision to make a Servo or not will come down to the board state and how your creatures match up against your opponents. It’s important to know why some cards want +1/+1 counters than others, but it’s equally as important to be versatile.
With that, let’s look at what each color has to offer in terms of Fabricate cards.
Whether you make a Servo token or place a +1/+1 counter on Pioneer seems to be reliant on what the board state is like when you cast this card. A 2/1 flier is a nice evasive creature and an extra 1/1 creature can help block on the ground. However, a 2/1 in the air matches up poorly against many other fliers in the set; cards such as Glint-Nest Crane, Long-Finned Skywhale, Sky Skiff, Eddytrail Hawk, and Highspire Artisan. I think in most cases I’d prefer to have a 3/2 flier for 4-mana, a powerful body with evasion at a good rate, but there are board states in which you’d definitely want both bodies. I think Propeller Pioneer is one of the harder Fabricate cards to evaluate and the mode you choose will be dependent on the board state.
A 2/1 with two 1/1’s servo seems much better to me than a 4/3 body since a 4-mana 4/3 does not line up well with many of the 3-power creatures at 2 and 3 mana. Augmenter also fits with the various “flicker” effects at white at common, such as Aviary Mechanic and Acrobatic Maneuever, meaning you’re usually going to be making servos with this card.
This is another Fabricate card that depends on what kind of strategy you’re playing him in. In a “flicker” strategy, I like making a 1/1 body, but perhaps if I’m Red-White, and I’m packing a sizable amount of combat tricks into my deck, I’d rather have a 3/3 body. I think in most cases, however, two bodies is how you want to go when casting this card.
This card won’t be showing up in my sealed pools and drafts as often as I’d like, but when I get the chance to cast it I’m likely to be creating some 1/1 Servo tokens. I like the insurance of creating Servos when casting an expensive card such as Angel of Invention, especially when my team is getting a +1/+1 buff across the board.
To start off talking about the Black Fabricate cards, it’s important to note that Black’s strategies revolve around having artifacts in your deck and on the battlefield. Cards such as Underhanded Designs, Dhund Operative, Foundry Screecher, and Ovalchase Daredevil all rely on having artifacts, so in most cases when casting your Fabricate cards, you want to be creating Servos in Black. Another note about these Black cards that benefit from you having artifacts is that when you’re paired with Blue or Red, colors with no Fabricate cards, it’ll be vital to be creating Servos rather than placing +1/+1 counters in order to maximize the amount of artifacts on the battlefield.
You’ll be unlikely to have a 6-drop creature in your limited decks often, so Marionette Master does a nice job of either being a 4/6 at the top of your curve, or a 1/3 with a relevant ability. For the reasons listed above and the fact that it’s triggered ability, I’m more likely to make Servos with this card. This card will match up nicely against the Peema Outriders in your draft pod as a 4/6, but I’d stick to making Servos for the most part.
As stated above, Black relies on having artifacts in play for various cards at common and uncommon, so I’m inclined to make Servos rather than put +1/+1 counters on this creature. A vanilla 2/3 for 3 is not an exciting body for that amount of mana, and you’ll want to be creating Servos to combo with your other artifact synergy cards in your deck.
I’m almost always creating a 1/1 Servo when casting this card. In a format where board states can get cluttered by small creatures, I’m not excited about trading off a 4/2 for two of my opponent’s worst blockers. I think this card shines most as a 4/2 when an opponent only has two or three creatures on board, but when their board is filled up with smaller creatures there isn’t much difference between a 4/2 and 3/1, so you’ll usually want the extra body.
As stated in my introduction, 4-points of toughness seem to matter a whole lot in this aggressive format of 3-power creatures, so adding a +1/+1 counter is what you’ll most likely be choosing with this creature.
I’ve yet to play against or cast this rare, but how I choose to Fabricate with this card will rely on the current board state and how many attackers I have available to me. I think overall giving my attacking creatures a +3/+3 buff is more impactful than giving my team only a +1/+1 buff, alongside two more 1/1 bodies. Again, how you fabricate with this card will depend a lot on the current board state, but I’d prefer the +1/+1 counter mode just to give my attacking creatures a huge buff over my opponent’s.
6 mana is a hefty investment in Kaldesh limited, so on the surface it might seem best to create Servo tokens when this card enters the battlefield. However, since this creature can’t be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less, I’m more inclined to make it a 5/6, so to combat your opponent’s larger creatures that will end up blocking it in combat. If you simply make this creature a 3/4, it can get eaten by a 4-power creature with ease, which is why a 5/6 that can’t be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less is what I’ll be looking to do with Elegant Edgecrafters.
This card is a perfect example of when you’d rather place a +1/+1 counter than making a Servo. 4-toughness is the name of the game in Kaladesh, and a 4/4 trample for 4 is much better than creating a 3-toughness creature with an additional 1/1 body. I never want to trade a 4-mana creature for my opponent’s 2 or 3-drop, so adding a +1/+1 counter is what you should probably be doing with Peema Outrider.
Are you getting tired of the 4-toughness matters argument? Too bad! When thinking about this card I think back to pre-release where I decided to make a Servo with this card instead of making it a 1/4 with reach, while I was protecting my Chandra, Torch of Defiance. I was quickly run over by my opponent’s oppressive 3-power creatures and promptly lost that game. A 1/4 is way more relevant than having an 0/3 reach and a 1/1. A 1/4 reach matches up very well against Servos and any 1-toughness creature. It also matches up well against aggressive 3-power creatures. As a 1/4, Artisan also blocks 3-power fliers, such as Propeller Pioneer, Weldfast Wingsmith, and Snare Thopter with ease.
This card has the same power and toughness and Fabricate number as Glint-Sleeve Artisan, except for an additional mana you get a haste creature. Since you want to be attacking with this creature in an aggressive deck, I usually want to get the extra point of damage in while attacking for 3 the turn I play it. Depending on the deck sometimes you’ll want an extra artifact lying around, but when you’re a devoted aggressive strategy, a +1/+1 counter is what you’ll want to be Fabricating.
There are few cases where I don’t even want this card in my deck at all. Kaladesh is shaping up to be a format about being aggressive and successfully curving out the first couple turns of the game. If you find yourself having to play this creature, I’d recommend making an extra Servo as insurance and since there’s not a huge difference between a 5/7 and 6/8 in this format.
Again, there’s never a strictly right or wrong way to Fabricate, but it’s important to know which mode is better in certain situations and why. I hope you found this guide to Fabricate helpful, and always be thinking which mode will be most beneficial to you when playing games of Kaladesh limited. Remember, it’s important to be versatile and to be thinking about what choice will yield the best result.
Cheers and happy Fabricating!
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