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For the plane, see Kaladesh (plane).

KLD set logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Swirling aether
Design Mark Rosewater (co-lead)
Shawn Main (co-lead)
Doug Beyer
Scott Van Essen
Mark Gottlieb
Adam Prosak
Ben Hayes
Drew Nolosco
Jonathon Loucks

Erik Lauer (co-lead)
Ian Duke (co-lead)
Doug Beyer
Ben Hayes
Gavin Verhey
Tim Aten
Melissa DeTora

with additional contributions
by Matt Tabak
and Eli Shiffrin
Art direction Jeremy Jarvis
Release date September 30, 2016
Plane Kaladesh
Themes and mechanics Energy counters, Vehicles, Colored artifacts
Keywords/​ability words Crew, Fabricate
Set size 264 cards
(101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, 15 basic lands)
+10 Planeswalker deck exclusives
(2 commons, 2 uncommons, 2 rares, 2 mythic rares, 2 common dual lands)
Expansion code KLD[1]
Development codename Lock
Kaladesh block
Kaladesh Aether Revolt N/A
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis Kaladesh Kaladesh Inventions

Kaladesh is the 72nd Magic expansion, and the first in the Kaladesh block. It was released on September 30, 2016,[2] and is a large expansion. It is set on the plane of the same name.

Set details[ | ]

Kaladesh contains 264 cards (15 basic lands,[3] 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards.[4] The expansion symbol is a Far Eastern-inspired floral motif, representing the aether of the plane. Kaladesh premieres Planeswalker decks, which replace Intro packs. These contain 10 additional cards that are considered to be part of the set (2 mythic planeswalkers, 2 rares, 2 uncommons, 2 commons, and 2 common dual lands). These are numbered #265/264 to #274/264). The Fat pack for this set was reimagined as the Kaladesh Bundle.[5]

Although Wizards of the Coast used the ligature Æ — the A and E combined into one letter — for aether since the beginning of the game, this was changed for Kaladesh, which features the stuff heavily. According to Blake Rasmussen, it caused way more issues than it was worth (particularly in translation).[6] The set introduces create as a new vocabulary word. Create is used when a card or effect puts a token onto the battlefield.[7][8][9]

Storyline[ | ]

“  Invent your Tomorrow  ”

Kaladesh (first glimpsed in Magic Origins as the birthplane of Chandra Nalaar) is a plane where natural mages are rare.[10] Work that would be done with magic on other planes is instead accomplished through devices.[11] The automatons, thopters, and other artifact creatures of the plane are fueled by aether, which is heavily trafficked. Artifacts are built as much for beauty as for function. Fire magic is strictly banned, and pyromancy is punishable with a death sentence.[12] Chandra returns to Kaladesh and saves her mother from her nemesis Baral. The Gatewatch unexpectedly is confronted by the scheming Tezzeret.[13]

Kaladesh is ruled by the Consulate. Their forces and works are nearly omnipresent.[14]

Pivotal story moments are now marked with Story Spotlight at the bottom of the card accompanied by an iterator and the total number of spotlight cards. They all have a planeswalker watermark to help signify that they are Story Spotlight cards.[15] The cards that represent the Story Spotlights in Kaladesh are: Inventors' Fair, Captured by the Consulate, Deadlock Trap, Fateful Showdown and Confiscation Coup.[16] They also refer to the new storyline url

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
Homesick Chris L'Etoile 2016-08-29 Ravnica The Gatewatch (Jace Beleren, Nissa Revane, Chandra Nalaar, Gideon Jura and Liliana Vess), Lavinia, Dovin Baan
A Time for Innovation Kimberly J. Kreines 2016-08-31 Kaladesh Rashmi, Mitul, Saheeli Rai, Zara, Padeem
Torch of Defiance Doug Beyer 2016-09-05 Kaladesh Chandra Nalaar, Liliana Vess, Tezzeret, Pia Nalaar
Renegade Prime Mel Li 2016-09-14 Kaladesh Pia Nalaar, Dhiren Baral, Tamni, Venkat Dasai, Nadya, Kari Zev, Viprikti, Dovin Baan, Chandra Nalaar, Liliana Vess, Nissa Revane, Tezzeret, Oviya Pashiri
Born of Aether Alison Luhrs 2016-09-21 Kaladesh Yahenni, Nived, Depala, Crankshaft, Oviya Pashiri, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane
Bottled Up James Wyatt 2016-09-28 Kaladesh Oviya Pashiri, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Dhiren Baral
Release Chris L'Etoile 2016-10-05 Kamigawa, Kaladesh Ajani Goldmane, Nashi, Umeyo, Hiroku, Rumiyo, Tamiyo, Genku, Vatti, Dayal, Tamni, Mihir, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Oviya Pashiri
In This Very Arena Doug Beyer 2016-10-12 Ravnica, Kaladesh The Gatewatch, Ral Zarek, Oviya Pashiri, Ajani Goldmane, Kambal, Pia Nalaar, Dhiren Baral, Rashmi, Tezzeret, Saheeli Rai
A Grateful Consulat James Wyatt 2016-10-19 Kaladesh Dovin Baan, Ranaj, Tezzeret, Dujari

Marketing[ | ]

Kaladesh is sold in 16-card boosters (one card being a marketing card), two planeswalker decks, the Kaladesh bundle, a Deck Builder's Toolkit, Booster Battle Packs and a Gift Box.[17] The boosters feature artwork from Saheeli Rai, Dovin Baan, Demon of Dark Schemes, Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Angel of Invention. Prerelease Events took place on September 24, 2016.[18] In addition to the normal spindown life counter and stamped premium foil promo card, Prerelease Packs contain a little make-your-own-thopter insert.[19]

Kaladesh Inventions[ | ]

Building on the success of the Zendikar Expeditions, Wizards of the Coast expanded the product in the Masterpiece Series.[20] For the Kaladesh Block they are called Kaladesh Inventions.[21] These are all premium foil cards with a special Kaladeshi card frame and a separate expansion symbol. Thus, they are not part of the set. Kaladesh Inventions are all artifacts, include all new art and flavor text set on Kaladesh, and appear slightly more often than premium mythic rares. These cards are playable in limited and formats where they're already legal. 30 Invention cards are appearing with Kaladesh and 24 more cards appearing in Aether Revolt.

Main article: Kaladesh Inventions

Promotional Cards[ | ]

Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion[ | ]

KLD Buy a box promotion

As a holiday promotion, starting November 26, purchasers of a booster display box of Kaladesh received two bonus holiday packs.[22] These boosters contain:

This content is the same as that of the previously announced Standard Showdown packs.

Tokens and emblems[ | ]

Kaladesh features 9 tokens and 3 emblems.[23]

  1. {C} 6/6 Beast for Architect of the Untamed
  2. {C} */* Construct for Metallurgic Summonings and Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
  3. {C} */* Construct
  4. {C} 1/1 Servo for any card with fabricate as well as Animation Module, Cogworker's Puzzleknot, Master Trinketeer and Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
  5. {C} 1/1 Servo
  6. {C} 1/1 Servo
  7. {C} 1/1 Thopter with flying for Experimental Aviator, Pia Nalaar, Whirlermaker, Whirler Virtuoso
  8. {C} 1/1 Thopter with flying
  9. {C} 1/1 Thopter with flying
  10. Emblem for Chandra, Torch of Defiance
  11. Emblem for Nissa, Vital Force
  12. Emblem for Dovin Baan

Energy Reserve markers were inadvertently omitted from the initial print run of Kaladesh. They do appear in subsequent print runs,[24] such as Kaladesh boosters included in Aether Revolt prerelease packs.[25]

Misprints[ | ]

Two cards exclusive to the Nissa Planeswalker Deck had their illustration credit swapped.

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

KLD Energy Reserve

Kaladesh is a set with less complexity than some of its recent predecessors.,[26][27][28] as there are only two new named mechanics:

There are no returning named mechanics (save evergreen ones).[30] However Inventors' Fair notably utilizes Metalcraft,[31] and Gearseeker Serpent has Affinity for artifacts.

Energy counters (marked with an {E}) are a new resource, placed on players in form of a counter.[32] They are used to pay the cost to activate abilities. Energy counters represent aether, magical energy that is found throughout the Multiverse, and is an integral part of the ecosystem on Kaladesh. Most cards that give you energy counters also give you a way to spend them. Energy counters that you get from one card can be saved up and spent on the abilities of other cards. Energy counters don't go away as phases or steps end, or as the turn ends. The only way for you to lose them is to spend them.

Kaladesh features the following limited archetypes:

Card types[ | ]

Kaladesh introduces the Vehicle artifact subtype, the Aetherborn, Pilot, and Servo creature types, as well as the Saheeli and Dovin planeswalker subtypes.

The set also reintroduces the Monkey creature type, which had been erased in the Ninth Edition.

Card frame[ | ]

Vehicle cards have a special bronze and grey blocked card frame.[33]

Cycles[ | ]

Kaladesh has seven cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Gearhulks Cataclysmic Gearhulk Torrential Gearhulk Noxious Gearhulk Combustible Gearhulk Verdurous Gearhulk
Five mythic colored artifact with MM in their mana cost, each of which has a keyword ability and an Enter the battlefield effect.
Puzzleknots Cogworker's Puzzleknot Glassblower's Puzzleknot Metalspinner's Puzzleknot Fireforger's Puzzleknot Woodweaver's Puzzleknot
Five common colorless artifacts with a cost of {2}, each of which has an enters the battlefield effect that can be repeated by spending 2M or 1M (depending on the knot) and sacrificing it.
Thriving creatures Thriving Ibex Thriving Turtle Thriving Rats Thriving Grubs Thriving Rhino
Five common creatures that enter the battlefield with two energy counters and may pay two energy counters to get a +1/+1 counter
Activated artifact creatures Bastion Mastodon Dukhara Peafowl Prakhata Pillar-Bug Weldfast Monitor Narnam Cobra
Five common artifact creatures that have an activated ability costing one colored mana that gives them a color-aligned keyword
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Enemy-colored fast lands Concealed Courtyard Spirebluff Canal Blooming Marsh Inspiring Vantage Botanical Sanctum
A new set of enemy colored taplands was introduced, finishing the cycle started in Scars of Mirrodin

Double cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W} {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Gold signpost uncommons Cloudblazer Contraband Kingpin Unlicensed Disintegration Voltaic Brawler Engineered Might Restoration Gearsmith Whirler Virtuoso Hazardous Conditions Veteran Motorist Empyreal Voyager
Ten uncommon gold cards, each supporting a draft archetype.

Mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Rare color artifacts Peacewalker Colossus (Aether Revolt) Merchant's Dockhand (Aether Revolt) Scrapheap Scrounger (Kaladesh) Bomat Courier (Kaladesh) Lifecrafter's Bestiary (Aether Revolt)
Five artifacts that have an activated ability require a color, one for each color.

Triplet[ | ]

Modules Description
Fabrication Module Animation Module Decoction Module Three artifacts that all have triggered abilities that lead into the next, in a very valuable (but not infinite) loop. The three artifacts, when all on the battlefield, are capable of producing a servo, one energy, and a +1/+1 counter for one mana, as long as the player can cause one of the modules to trigger in the first place; for example playing a creature to trigger Decoction Module or activating Consulate Turret to trigger Fabrication Module. Note that having multiple Decoction Modules multiplies the output of energy and +1/+1 counters per mana, as does the Fabrication Module, except only with +1/+1 counters. (Having multiple Animation Modules does not provide any benefit.) The modules have activated abilities that can get the cycle started by themselves, but they are relatively expensive to activate. After the cycle has started, however, any amount of mana can be paid to get that many of each resource. The art is continuous and the flavor text refer to each other.[34]

Pairs[ | ]

Kaladesh has one mirrored pair and one matched pair.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Built to Last
Built to Smash
A white and a red combat trick respectively, each giving a boost to the target creature and indestructible or trample respectively if it's an artifact. The art and flavor text both appear to be in sequence as well.
Matched Pairs Description
Live Fast
Die Young
Two black cards whose names form a famous unofficial slogan of rock&roll and punk subcultures. These cards also represent a short life of aetherborn and have a synergy between them

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Uncommon to Common[ | ]

Functional Reprints[ | ]

Card comparisons[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Saheeli Rai was seen originally as a below-par, Johnny-centric planeswalker that was the face of the set. However, with the release of a complementary card in Felidar Guardian in Aether Revolt, a two-card instant-kill combo known as Copy Cat was now present in Standard, and one that R&D had not foreseen. A perfected decklist, formed in the later stages of the Aether Revolt standard, was powerful enough that only one realistic counter-deck of Mardu Vehicles could stand against the combo. Adding to this the fact that R&D did not have the deck in playtesting, and it would take eighteen months to rotate, meant that Felidar Guardian needed to be banned.
  • Inventors' Fair is a land with powerful upside in artifact decks and has become a staple in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.
  • Authority of the Consuls proved to be a valuable tool for white control decks in Standard as a bulwark against aggressive decks.
  • Panharmonicon is the first card to "double" triggered abilities, lending its name to later cards with a similar effect and being a favorite of creative deck-builders.
  • Aetherflux Reservoir is a popular card for casual Commander decks focused on gaining life, but eventually found success in the Pioneer combo deck built around Amalia Benavides Aguirre and Wildgrowth Walker which could gain enough life to use the ability in a single turn.
  • Kambal, Consul of Allocation has seen play in a variety of competitive decks as a sideboard plan and threat against control and combo decks.
  • Chandra, Torch of Defiance was a Standard defining card and among the most powerful Planeswalkers ever printed, and still sees consistent play in aggressive decks in Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, and even Vintage. She is particularly strong in older formats where she can be combined with prison strategies to prevent the opponent from playing while slowly burning them out with her loyalty abilities.
  • Skysovereign, Consul Flagship appeared in numerous Standard decks in every color but has performed especially well in Pioneer where it is both an aggro finisher and a combo piece with Greasefang, Okiba Boss.
  • Paradoxical Outcome is the key combo piece in the eponymous Legacy and Vintage Paradoxical Storm decks, where it can be used to replay mana rocks to generate mana also while drawing dozens of cards.
  • Torrential Gearhulk is a common win condition for control decks in Standard and Pioneer, where it can flashback a counterspell or removal spell while adding a massive body to the board.
  • Fumigate was the boardwipe of choice for over a year in Standard because of its ability to stabilize a control deck from a low life total.
  • Cultivator's Caravan combined mana fixing and aggressive stats to see play in multiple Standard aggro decks like Mardu Vehicles.
  • Bomat Courier and Scrapheap Scrounger were aggro deck staples while in Standard, even seeing play in Rakdos decks together.
  • Electrostatic Pummeler, Bristling Hydra, Harnessed Lightning, and Voltaic Brawler combined in various combinations to form an aggressive red-green aggro deck in Standard which also translated into success in Pioneer and Historic.
  • Servant of the Conduit, Aether Hub, Woodweaver's Puzzleknot, and Whirler Virtuoso were a key part of the Standard decks built around Aetherworks Marvel that would eventually be banned out of the format, with the first two cards and Attune with Aether providing incredible fixing for the multicolor deck.
  • Cathartic Reunion has proven a powerful method of filling the graveyard in decks like Dredge in Modern.
  • Toolcraft Exemplar is a cheap aggro creature that is easily enabled by artifact decks in Standard and Pioneer.
  • Fleetwheel Cruiser has seen unexpected play in Vintage since being printed, particularly because of its ability to be cast off of Mishra's Workshop as early as turn 1.
  • Unlicensed Disintegration was a staple removal card for red-black decks in Standard, combining removal with direct damage.
  • Lost Legacy sees sideboard play in every format where it is legal as a way to dismantle combo decks.
  • Despite its weak appearance, Appetite for the Unnatural was a heavily played sideboard card for green decks in Standard.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Smuggler's Copter is an artifact vehicle that allowed for blisteringly fast attacks on turn 3 while providing card selection at a low cost. It was banned alongside Emrakul, the Promised End (from Eldritch Moon) and Reflector Mage (from Oath of the Gatewatch) on January 9, 2017, in an attempt to fix and increase the variety of Standard decks. When the Pioneer format was created in 2019, Smuggler's Copter was preemptively banned, only to be later unbanned in late 2023.
  • Aetherworks Marvel was the centerpiece of Marvel, a standard deck based on collecting large reserves of energy and using them to free-cast high-impact, expensive spells on turn 4. Thought to be the premiere combo deck in Pro Tour Kaladesh, the all-in version proved to be unreliable and easily disrupted. An aggro-hybrid version emerged in the later stages of the Kaladesh standard, but due to the bannings of Emrakul, the Promised End and the superior combo of Copy Cat, the Marvel strategy was suppressed until the banning of Felidar Guardian after the release of Amonkhet. While the deck was not overwhelming unlike Copy Cat, the experience of occasionally losing on the fourth turn through Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger proved to be damaging to Standard, leading to the ban of Marvel on June 14, 2017.
  • Following rotation and the release of Ixalan, the new Tribal set did not instill any amount of creativity into the meta-game, with the disruptable synergies not coming close to base-rate cards in the Energy or mono-Red decks. Analysis from the Magic Online results showed that the Red deck had absurdly good matchups against anything in the format that was not Energy-based, resulting in a similar field to the Mardu vs Saheeli duality after Aether Revolt. These results were cited for the bannings in January 2018; Attune with Aether was chosen alongside Rogue Refiner to be banned to weaken the Energy deck, while Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon were banned from the Ramunap Red deck.

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Kaladesh has two planeswalker decks:

deck name
Colors Included Planeswalker
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Chandra W R Chandra, Pyrogenius
Nissa U G Nissa, Nature's Artisan

References[ | ]

  1. Product information
  2. Wizards of the Coast (May 16, 2016). "Announcement Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Blake Rasmussen (September 12, 2016). "The Basic Lands of Kaladesh". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (September 16, 2016). "Kaladesh Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (May 16, 2016). "Ramp of Approval". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Blake Rasmussen (May 16, 2016). "The May 16, 2016 Update". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (July 26, 2016). "Can you talk about the changed wording ("Create a token...") on the recently revealed FNM promo?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. Matt Tabak (September 2, 2016). "Kaladesh Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Eli Shiffrin (September 30, 2016). "Kaladesh Update Bulletin". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Doug Beyer (June 11, 2015). "Many players have noticed...". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  11. Magic Creative Team (July 9, 2015). "The Worlds of Magic Origins". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Doug Beyer (June 10, 2015). "Chandra's Origin: Fire Logic". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Chas Andres (November 16, 2016). "Recapping the Kaladesh Story". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Kimberly J. Kreines, Alison Luhrs and Chris Peeler (November 23, 2016). "Messages from the Consulate". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Mark Rosewater (September 05, 2016). "What is the significance of the watermark on Inventors' Fair?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Magic Creative Team (November 2, 2016). "Planeswalker's Guide to Kaladesh". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Kaladesh Product information for retailers
  18. Gavin Verhey (September 19, 2016). "Kaladesh Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Blake Rasmussen (September 6, 2016). "Kaladesh Packaging, Promos, and Planeswalker Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Mark Rosewater (September 12, 2016). "Masterpiece Series". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Wizards of the Coast (September 12, 2016). "Masterpiece Series: Kaladesh Inventions". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Blake Rasmussen (November 21, 2016). "Magic Holiday Gift Guide and Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Blake Rasmussen (September 15, 2016). "The Tokens of Kaladesh". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Wizards of the Coast (September 15, 2016). "Energy Counter Token". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Trick Jarrett. (January 7, 2017.) Yes, and so will Kaladesh boosters in pre-prerelease packs. Community Manager's Twitter account.
  26. Mark Rosewater (August 29, 2016). "State of Design 2016". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Mark Rosewater (August 29, 2016). "How many mechanics there are total in Kaladesh?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  28. Mark Rosewater (September 19, 2016). "Kaladesh Ingredients, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Matt Tabak (September 2, 2016). "Kaladesh Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Mark Rosewater (September 04, 2016). "I just noticed there's no returning mechanic in Kaladesh. Is this a new paradigm?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  31. Mark Rosewater (September 09, 2016). "Why didn't the "if you have 3 or more artifacts" cards just use "Metalcraft -" instead?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  32. Mark Rosewater (September 5, 2016). "Kaladesh Ingredients, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater (September 03, 2016). "Why were Vehicles given a new border when other Subtypes don't have unique ones?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  34. Meghan Wolff (September 6, 2016). "Madcap Modules". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]