Full Force drafting is a series dedicated to forcing archetypes in draft formats. Join me every Thursday as we learn the ins and outs of the most recent Magic draft formats.
As we delve deeper into Kaladesh and the format becomes more known, I’m not at all surprised that the decks people would like to see are mainly Blue. You may have already heard from other streamers, Youtubers, and pros that Blue is the weakest color in Kaladesh and you might want to know if it’s true, or if it’s possible to still make a great Blue deck. Well, I’m here to tell you “Yes”.
But there were two questions! Well, the answer remains the same. Yes, Kaladesh has a problem with Blue being weak. It has a lack of depth in the common slot that we previously reviewed in the UR Energy article. Blue just quite simply relies too heavily on artifacts that are playable in most colors and uncommons or rares. However, the answer to the second question is also “Yes”. You can definitely make a good Blue deck and win with it. This is not Battle for Zendikar. Blue is not the trash-pile that Green was in that set, an unplayable dumpster fire. In fact, you should play Blue. Play it now, while it’s still at it’s peak!
You see, everyone right now has the same idea; Blue = Bad. They’re not wrong. Except they are. Magic is not played in a vacuum. You don’t get equal amounts of all colors in your packs, you don’t play by yourself against perfect thinking computers. Right now, the idea that is planted in everyone’s head about Blue has made Blue good again. It won’t always be this way, but you get a rare opportunity to take really solid cards late in Blue because nobody else wants them.
This manifested itself in a very obvious way in our draft video for the archetype. I went in expecting to lean heavily on Black to build the base of our deck and fill it out with Blue cards where necessary. In fact quite the opposite was true. Blue cards came to us very easily and late; We easily wheeled cards like Aether Theorist, Dukhara Peafowl, and even Malfunction. In my regular streams I’ve often found Blue to be similarly open and more telling, I’ve often found myself not in Blue when I’ve noticed. It’s easy to be affected by what others are telling you about the format and pick cards based on those assumptions rather than the actual facts in front of you. My advice with all of the hate against Blue right now is not to ignore it, but to be aware as to how it clouds your own judgement. Are you picking an Eager Construct over Shewd Negotiation because you think you’re White and there are no more White cards in the pack? Maybe you’re missing the signal because your subconscious is telling you not to go Blue.
So what cards should you look for in the Blue Black artifact build? Well, I’m not going to include Renegade Freighter, because as always, you can take it in any archetype. It’s the best common in the set and I’ll have to keep including this note in every article for the rest of Kaladesh, I think. Besides that, the top 5 commons I’m looking for in this archetype are:
1. Tidy Conclusion
Blue often doesn’t get good removal, and it’s no exception in Kaladesh, so Tidy Conclusion is going to be an important pick up. It’s nice that the life gain is at it’s best in this deck.
2. Dhund Operative
Operative is just a nice, efficient creature that plays decently on offense and excellent on defense. It’s ability to stall a game has been important to me in my UB builds as they tend to be slower, more control-focused decks.
Self-Assembler has been a bit of surprise to me and it keeps moving up in my estimation. In this deck, it’s an excellent finisher, especially with three copies. Resolving one on a stable board probably means the game. A 4/4 for 5 isn’t amazing, but can be playable, attaching a draw to it makes it good and this is much better than that when you have enough copies.
4. Foundry Screecher
Foundry Screecher feels like the bread and butter of most Black decks. Flying is important in the format and it beats down very aggressively. It’s worth noting too that 3 power is important to crew a lot of vehicles like Ballista Charger
A hole in the Blue/Black deck is the inability to deal effectively with artifacts. Malfunction is very mediocre as a removal spell, since it can be removed with cards like Fragmentize or foiled with a Aether Tradewinds or Acrobatic Maneuver, but it’s the only real way for the deck to stop cards like Renegade Freighter so it is a necessary evil.
There are a few other cards to mention here, in addition to the top 5. Pay attention to your deck, a card like Consulate Skygate can play a key role in slower decks, despite looking very bad generally; It was important to the success of this week’s deck. The last powerful card to mention is Gearseeker Serpent. On sheer power level it could easily crack the top 5 commons, but it plays a very niche role and you won’t ever need multiples so it’s easy to pick up at will.
Next week, there is no Full Force episode as the Pickle Challenge charity event for Doctors Without Borders kicks off Wednesday Nov. 2. With over a dozen special guests and a ton of prizes for donors from Numot Gaming and Inked Gaming, it’s guaranteed to be a blast! Check out all the details at Tiltify.com/events/pickle-challenge-fall-edition.