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Reusing Enter-the-Battlefield Effects in Kaladesh Limited


Kaladesh has a number of ways to trigger enter-the-battlefield effects multiple times. This deck is usually assumed to be White/Blue because of the white "blink" effects and blue "bounce" effects. However, in a recent draft, I had a White/Black deck with two Aviary Mechanics and a Panharmonicon, alongside five creatures with Fabricate (including a Marionette Master), two creatures with other enter-the-battlefield abilities (including a splashed Cloudblazer), and three artifacts with enter-the-battlefield abilities. I also had two Acrobatic Maneuvers that I left in my sideboard. Let's take a closer look at the cards that have enter-the-battlefield abilities and the cards that let you reuse those abilities, to see whether this is an archetype we should be trying to draft, and what colors it is most likely to be draftable in.

Reuse Effects

Here are the cards in Kaladesh that let you trigger enter-the-battlefield effects multiple times:

The cards needed are primarily in White and Blue, but each of those colors has enough cards to support the archetype, which means the deck can sometimes be White/X or Blue/X instead of White/Blue.

In addition to these cards, there are also cards in White, Black, and Green that let you recur dead creatures (Refurbish, Fortuitous Find, Dukhara Scavenger, Nissa, Vital Force, Wildest Dreams, Restoration Gearsmith, and Workshop Assistant). I am not counting those cards here because your creature has to die before you can reuse their ability.

Enter-the-Battlefield Effects

There are a number of permanents that either produce energy counters when they enter the battlefield or that have Fabricate, so I'll list them separately. All lists below include cards that have an ability that triggers when you play another creature also, since the blink and bounce effects do allow you to retrigger those abilities too. Non-creature permanents are listed separately, since Acrobatic Maneuver and Select for Inspection can only target creatures.

Energy Counters

The following creatures give you energy counters when they enter the battlefield:

The following non-creature permanents give you energy counters when they enter the battlefield:

Every color other than Black has a number of permanents that provide energy counters when they enter the battlefield, so if you have other cards that can make use of energy counters, then you may want to pick up some of the reuse effects to enable those cards.

Fabricate

The following creatures have Fabricate, and thus can create 1/1 Servos when they enter the battlefield:

In addition to these, White has Cogworker's Puzzleknot (Common), which also produces a 1/1 Servo when it enters the battlefield.

White, Black, and Green each have an average of six creatures with Fabricate. However, blinking or bouncing a creature with Fabricate 1 doesn't seem like sufficient payoff, so let's just focus on creatures with Fabricate 2 or more. Those creatures are all Uncommon, Rare, or Mythic, so there are an average of only 1.1 in White (not counting Cogworker's Puzzleknot), and 1.3 each in Black and Green.

Other

The following creatures have enter-the-battlefield abilities that don't produce energy or Servo tokens, or do something in addition to that:

The following permanents have enter-the-battlefield abilities that trigger on non-creature permanents entering play, and that don't produce energy or Servo tokens, or do something in addition to that:

I'm not counting cards like Fairgrounds Warden and Revoke Privileges in these lists since they can only affect one target at a time, even though it is sometimes beneficial to be able to bounce and recast them on a new and more threatening target.

Green has the most creatures with non-energy and non-Fabricate enter-the-battlefield abilities, followed by White, Blue, and Black. Red has almost none, but does instead have a number of cards that trigger when an artifact enters play, so Aviary Mechanic can still be useful in a Red/White deck that has artifacts and cards that trigger when artifacts enter play.

Conclusion

While there are a lot of cards with enter-the-battlefield effects, there a much smaller number that I'm specifically interested in recurring:

Blue and Black have the most number of effects I really want to recur, followed by Green. Interestingly, two of the three Commons on this list are artifacts and so if you're drafting this archetype, you'll want to prioritize cards like Aviary Mechanic and Aether Tradewinds that let you reuse the enter-the-battlefield abilities of non-creature permanents.

The other thing to note is that there are actually slightly fewer of these cards than there are cards that let you reuse enter-the-battlefield abilities, so you should look to draft cards from the former category first, because recurring Maulfist Squad is just not as much fun as recurring Cloudblazer, both of which I did several times.  I'm speaking from personal experience here smiley

White/Blue offers the most ways to reuse creatures, and recurring Cloudblazer is an amazing feeling, but this archetype can also be played with other color combinations. White/Black has Metalspinner's Puzzleknot and Restoration Gearsmith, while Green provides Arborback Stomper (and Armorcraft Judge, if you have the right deck). Red, on the other hand, is not a good second color for this deck, since its enter-the-battlefield effects mostly trigger when artifacts enter play and so don't work with Acrobatic Maneuver and Select for Inspection. Also, the Red cards listed above tend to be aggressive, while a deck that's blinking or bouncing creatures for value is more likely to want to play a slower game.

I prefer White/X to Blue/X for this archetype, since the White reuse spells leave with you with a creature in play, whether it's the original creature or a replacement one, while the Blue reuse spells leave you with one less creature on the table (although Aether Tradewinds results in your opponent having one less permanent too). Consequently, I think White/Blue, White/Black, and Green/White are the best color combinations for this archetype.


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