Fabricate is one of the flagship mechanics of Kaladesh, so it’s no surprise that it has a big effect on Limited play. In first looking over the set, however, I don’t believe I fully understood the ripple effects that the abundance of 1/1 artifact creatures and counters would have on the format. After playing a handful of Kaladesh sealed pools, I’ve come to believe I consequently underestimated a handful of cards that interact especially well with or against fabricate cards.
So below I’ve highlighted one of those cards in each color and discussed why I think it’s slightly better than it at first appeared. I don’t want to oversell these. They aren’t the strongest commons in the set. But they are cards that have exceeded my expectations, helped me better understand some of the interactions in the format, and get more out of my sealed pools.
White: Ninth Bridge Patrol
While reminiscent of the recently reprinted Unruly Mob, the Patrol is deceptively stronger. It’s already clear that the Patrol is strictly better, since it grows from creatures flickering or returning to hand, as well as dying. What I underestimated, I think, is just how much synergy the set offers for this card.
Since there are so many cards with fabricate at common—with both Glint-Sleeve Artisan and Propeller Pioneer in white alone—it’s not hard to turn your pool into a “go wide” token strategy. Whether you’re throwing away Servos into chump attacks to push through damage, or using them to gang-block larger creatures, the Patrol is going to grow much more quickly than in a less token heavy format.
The Patrol also plays very nicely with the common Aviary Mechanic—a card that was more obviously strong when the set was spoiled. The combo of Aviary Mechanic, Patrol and any of the fabricate creature can cause the “Ruly Mob” to get out of hand quickly, and you do not want to see what it looks like when a mob gets too orderly.
Blue: Select for Inspection
Perhaps you will yell at me for doing so, but I seriously underrated this card at first. The drawback of only being able to Unsummon a tapped creature seemed like too big of a sticking point, even with a free scry attached.
As it turns out, this card is, I think, just great. It plays very nicely with fabricate cards, as well as other strong enter-the-battlefield effect cards like Cloudblazer or Glint-Nest Crane. The abundance of enter-the-battlefield effects in Kaladesh make the ability to Unsummon much stronger than usual.
Unsummon effects also get stronger when you consider the high cost that must be paid by your opponent to attack with vehicles. Attacking with any vehicle requires the tapping of at least two cards—if not more. Returning an attacking Renegade Freighter or Bomat Bazaar Barge to your opponent’s hand for a single blue mana can leave them in a seriously disadvantaged position.
To top it off, Malfunction is one of the more popular removal spells in Kaladesh sealed, I’ve found, as it is one of the few pieces of unconditional removal at common. It conveniently relies on tapping your creatures, allowing you to bounce them back to hand and take a free scry for your troubles.
(As usual, I also underestimated just how good a single scry can be. Scry=good.)
Black: Dhund Operative
The Operative was a little more obviously strong than some of the other cards on this list, but it’s still over-performed in my experience. I slightly underestimated the role fabricate would play, as well as how often people would put the odd Puzzleknot or two in their deck (in Sealed at least). Between Servos, Puzzleknots, and all the Vehicles zipping around, this is a pretty consistent 3/2 deathtouch for two. It can attack without fear into Servos and large creautures alike, or trade for your opponent’s largest ground creature on defense.
Red: Reckless Fireweaver
This card is closer to Thermo-Alchemist than it may at first appear. Which is to say: still not especially close, but warmer than when you first saw it—much like the relationship between the protagonists midway through a romantic comedy.
Thanks to the production of Servo tokens by fabricate cards, and the general preponderance of artifacts on Kaladesh, the Fireweaver is usually good for something like one-third to one-half of damage per turn for free.
That’s not equal to the types of damage Thermo-Alchemist was able to churn out in Eldritch Moon/Shadows Over Innistrad, but the Fireweaver does have a few advantages. It has a point of power built in, which the Alchemist did not, and it can itself attack. It isn’t strictly synergy dependent. That one point of power is also helpful on defense, since it helps to hold off swarms of Servos.
Green: Highspire Artisan
For the same reason the single point of power is helpful on Reckless Fireweaver, it’s helpful on the artisan as well. This is one fabricate creature where you’re much more likely to choose the counter than the Servo, as a zero-power reach creature for three mana is not the most enticing.
The +1/+1 counter helps not only against Servos, but against a number of strong, flying commons that you are likely to come across over the course of sealed tournament, such as Foundry Screecher and Propellor Pioneer. It also helps hold off—thought it can’t destroy—Sky Skiff, another strong flyer that, being colorless, shows up often.
Artifact: Decoction Module
I single out Decoction Module only to mention that, in certain decks, it doesn’t actually require you to have much to do with the energy. It’s a bit better than it looks–even without energy support cards. The ability to repeatedly bounce and replay fabricate creatures is a win condition in its own right and a very strong late game ability. I’d be very happy to run this alongside a single high-end card like Experimental Aviator and three or so common fabricators—no lie.
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/spellsnare_
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/spellsnare