Last updated on April 30, 2024

Smuggler's Copter | Illustration by Florian de Gesincourt

Every foray to a new plane brings fresh settings, new stories, and interesting mechanics. Kaladesh, the home plane of Chandra Nalaar first referenced in Magic Origins, brought all three—with an emphasis on interesting mechanics!

Kaladesh shall be remembered forevermore for its incredibly pushed cards centered around new mechanics. Energy’s impact on Standard is infamous and this set introduced us to vehicles in the splashiest way possible with the swiftly banned Smuggler's Copter.

But what else did Kaladesh bring to Magic? Let’s explore the set and find out!

Kaladesh Basic Information

Fateful Showdown - Illustration by Chris Rallis

Fateful Showdown | Illustration by Chris Rallis

Set Details

Set SymbolKaladesh set symbol
Set CodeKLD
Set Hashtag#MTGKLD
Number of Cards264
Rarities15 mythic rare, 53 rare, 80 uncommon, 101 rare, 15 basic land
MechanicsCrew/Vehicles, Fabricate, Energy

Important Dates

Previews StartSeptember 2, 2016
PrereleaseSeptember 24, 2016
Set ReleaseSeptember 30, 2016
Game DayOctober 22-23, 2016
Available on Draftsim's Draft SimulatorYes!

About the Set: The Story

Kaladesh is a remarkable set. It introduced vehicles to the game, a card type utilized to this day. It introduced the beginning of the Bolas arc that saw the Gatewatch prepare to battle one of Magic’s most iconic villains. And, perhaps most notable, Kaladesh printed one of the most broken, parasitic mechanics in recent memory.

Energy counters looked like a strange but engaging mechanic that allowed players to accumulate and spend counters. Kind of like the friendly cousin of poison counters! Then Aetherworks Marvel ripped through Standard, casting Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger horrifically early. Marvel caught a ban, but Temur Energy rose to prominence in its place.

Temur Energy was a 3-color midrange deck—mostly. Attune with Aether, Aether Hub, and Servant of the Conduit let the deck play pretty much anything it wanted. The deck’s mid-game got bolstered by threats like Rogue Refiner and Whirler Virtuoso, and its closers included Glorybringer and The Scarab God, though it took a few sets to get the latter. There were also Sultai versions of the list leveraging Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and 4c piles WotC pretended were distinct from Temur Energy splashing The Scarab God. These variants often shared a large card base and energy decks dominated the format until a series of bannings that included staples like Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner.

Aetherworks Marvel wasn’t the only marvelous thing Kaladesh introduced us to. Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch introduced Expeditions, incredibly rare lands with a unique border treatment. Kaladesh expanded this with its Inventions, a selection of the most iconic artifacts throughout Magic’s history that received stunning new art with an orange filigree border. These were incredibly rare and thus quite valuable, not to mention utterly beautiful.

As for the storyline, Kaladesh brought Chandra Nalaar back to her home plane. The planeswalker Dovin Baan approached the Gatewatch, requesting their aid on Kaladesh to guard the Inventors’ Fair from renegade trouble. When Chandra and Liliana arrive, they find the rebels led by Chandra’s mother, Pia, who the planeswalker thought was dead. The situation is further complicated by the planeswalker Tezzeret, the Fair’s head judge and frequent enemy of Liliana and Jace. The ensuing conflict sets the stage for the Gatewatch versus Nicol Bolas. It doesn’t quite reach the heights the Ixalan story does a few sets later, but it’s well done and engaging.

On a personal note, I’m a big fan of the white-aligned Consul being the primary villains of the story; the color pie is defined in such a way that any color can be villainous should its ideals be taken too far, yet I find Magic stories lean on villains aligned with black more than necessary.

Kaladesh Mechanics


Vehicles are an artifact sub-type. Vehicles have crew costs, which are typically paid by tapping creatures with total power X or greater, where X is the crew cost. Doing so turns the artifact into an artifact creature. While they’re commonplace these days, Kaladesh first introduced the mechanic.


Energy counters are a type of counter players receive from spells and abilities. Players retain energy counters throughout the game and can spend them on cards that utilize energy; Whirler Virtuoso is a great example of a card that both produces and spends energy.


Fabricate (not to be confused with Fabricate) appeared on creatures. When a creature with Fabricate N enters the battlefield, its controller can either make N Servo tokens or put N +1/+1 counters on the creature.

Kaladesh Card Gallery









Notable Cards

Attune with Aether + Aether Hub

Temur Energy had a death grip on Standard until heavy bannings. The deck had numerous cards from Kaladesh but Attune with Aether and Aether Hub always stood out as lynchpins of the deck. They allowed it to adapt its mana effortlessly to always play the best cards, with some lists slotting in The Scarab God with no concern for bad mana.

Dramatic Reversal

Sometimes cards don’t need to be flashy or have remarkable utility. Dramatic Reversal has become an EDH staple alongside Isochron Scepter to create infinite mana with mana rocks or dorks. It does little else, but how much more do you need?

Paradoxical Outcome

Paradoxical Outcome is a fun card that’s never been fair. It’s often paired with 0-cost artifacts in Vintage Storm decks that bounce all their moxen to ramp, draw cards, and rack up a massive storm count.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury

Gonti, Lord of Luxury is a personal favorite of mine because I love casting my opponents’ spells, but it’s a notable card as it introduced the modern template for spell-theft effects we still see used today.

Aetherflux Reservoir

Alternate win conditions are always fun, and Aetherflux Reservoir does it better than most. Many decks pair it with Bolas's Citadel and Sensei's Divining Top for an easy win, but it’s a perfectly respectable payoff in many lifegain decks.

Aetherworks Marvel

Part of why Kaladesh sticks so firmly in my mind is the era of Standard bannings it led into with some utterly egregious cards. Aetherworks Marvel was one such design, banned for the obscene power of casting Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on turn 5 or 6.

Smuggler’s Copter

As messed up as Aetherworks Marvel was, it had nothing on Smuggler's Copter. This card took the introduction of vehicles and pushed the card type to new, utterly broken heights. A 2-mana 3/3 flying creature that smooths out your draws via looting is already incredible before you account for every deck getting to play it at no cost and dodging sorcery-speed interaction. Yikes.

Enemy Fastlands

Kaladesh had a couple of cycles but the enemy-colored fastlands are the most exciting and notable. The fastland cycle began in Scar of Mirrodin and was finally completed eight years later. Like their predecessors, these are staples in many Constructed formats.

Available Products

Booster Packs

Kaladesh Booster Pack

Kaladesh was sold in 16-card packs; they included the traditional 15 cards plus a marketing card. This set predates Project Booster Fun, so only one type of[ amazon title=”booster” link=”B01LRTZCSM”] was sold; there were no Set Boosters or Collector Boosters.

Wizards of the Coast Kaladesh Booster Pack
  • "Invent your Tomorrow" as we explore the plane we first caught a glimpse of in Magic OriginsChandras home plane of Kaladesh.

Booster Boxes

Kaladesh Booster Boxe

Booster Boxes contained 36 sealed Kaladesh booster packs.

Magic: The Gathering MTG-KLD-BD-EN Kaladesh Booster Display Box (Pack of 36)
  • Release: 30.09.2016
  • Age: 13+
  • The new expansion: Kaladesh

Fat Packs

Kaladesh Fat Pack

Kaladesh fat packs straddle the line between individual boosters and boxes; each bundle contains 10 booster packs, a bundle of 80 basic lands, and a spin-down life counter.

Magic: the Gathering - Kaladesh Sealed Fat Pack PRE-ORDER Ships On September 30th
  • This item will be ship on September 30th
  • 10 booster fat pack
  • This is of sealed Fat pack from the Kaladesh set.

Planeswalker Decks

Kaladesh Planeswalker Decks

The planeswalker decks were products that replaced the Intro Packs of previous sets. Kaladesh had two planeswalker decks.

The first was a Boros brew with Chandra, Pyrogenius as the face card. This aggressive deck showed off the brand-new vehicle mechanic with cards like Sky Skiff and Fleetwheel Cruiser supplemented by support cards such as Veteran Motorist and Speedway Fanatic.

The second deck had Nissa, Nature's Artisan as its marque card. This creature-heavy Simic deck showed off energy in all its broken glory, leaning on creatures like Thriving Rhino and Bristling Hydra to convert energy into +1/+1 counters and a dominant board state.

Wrap Up

Tidy Conclusion - Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

Tidy Conclusion | Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

Kaladesh will go down in Magic history as an infamous set loaded with busted cards and a parasitic mechanic. But its legacy isn’t all bad. Kaladesh Inventions were a hit; Smuggler's Copter may have taken the concept of vehicles too far, but the card type has spawned plenty of interesting cards, and the completion of the fast land cycle has had a lasting, positive impact on the game.

What’s your favorite card from Kaladesh? Do you like vehicles and energy? Let me know in the comments below or on the Draftsim Discord!

Stay safe, and keep thriving!

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