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Magic: The Gathering (MTG) will launch its newest set, Kaladesh, starting September 30. With prerelease festivities set to begin for the weekend of September 24 and 25, now is a good time to take a look at Kaladesh’s new mechanics. Interestingly enough, despite being a big set boasting more than 250 cards, Kaladesh will only bring three extra mechanics into the mix (the keyword for “create” is just a revised term for token creation rather than being a different mechanic).

Having played some less-than-stellar sets in MTG with mediocre mechanics before, I appreciate the idea of less being more in this case. I would rather have excellent, nuanced gameplay elements than subpar ones. With this in mind, let’s preview what Kaladesh has to offer!

Rev Up Those Engines
First off, we have the use of vehicles and the ability to “crew” them.

I just love this mechanic. You use your creatures to act as drivers and pilots for various vehicles in Kaladesh’s world. This notion alone brings a refreshing spin on stuff that would otherwise be hunks of metal in MTG’s world.
Fleetwheel CruiserUsing your imagination in these types of games is half of the fun, right? Well, for me, I can picture my creatures all hopping into a random vehicle and shouting, “Ramming speed!” as they crash into my opponent’s side of the board. Good stuff.

Look out, mana. There is now a new resource in the game called energy vying for attention.

I am on the fence about this mechanic for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I have always enjoyed the idea of MTG utilizing its mana system to pay for most of its card effects. Incorporating a separate and alternative resource goes against this idea. However, energy could be kind of interesting as well.

Because energy is its own resource, this frees up the possibility for further plays in a regular match. A skilled player will store up their energy and make use of the counters at opportune times. We will have to see how popular this mechanic will be in the long run or if it is just gimmicky.

Make Something Special
I love getting options in card games. Fabricate promises some in-game flexibility.

The mechanic is rather easy to grasp. A creature with the fabricate mechanic can either get you: a number of +1/1 counter based on its fabricate strength or it can instead create that many tokens when it enters play. In other words, you will end up with a bigger creature or possibly an army of tokens to work with after a while. Not bad.
Propeller Pioneer
As MTG is all about reading the ever-changing game state, being able to do different things at different times is naturally essential. Again, I like having options. Fabricate may not be a flashy mechanic, but it has practical elements.

Overall, I am looking forward to Kaladesh’s mechanics as a whole. With fewer mechanics in this set, players should have an easier time just hopping right into the gameplay without any fuss. See you on the Kaladesh plane near the end of September, fellow MTG players!

Magic: The Gathering card images and video content belong to Wizards of the Coast.

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