Kano is the first class released for the new upcoming set Arcane Rising. He is a Wizard that utilises arcane damage which is a new damage type that cannot be blocked by conventional means (such as defending with cards from hand or defense reactions). The link below provides more information on the class itself and how arcane damage works.
In this article I will be evaluating the currently released wizard cards and scoring them out of five based on how well I think they will perform in limited, primarily sealed. The ratings are loosely based on the following:
5.0: The best card available to the class.
4.5: A powerful card worth playing the class for.
4.0: A good high rarity card.
3.5: Top-tier rare or common cards.
3.0: Good cards that will almost always be playable.
2.5: Solid cards that rarely get cut.
2.0: Good filler cards.
1.5: Filler cards
1.0: Bad Cards
Starting with the hero itself:
I personally feel the hero itself will not be the strongest in limited, starting with five less life than the other classes is a significant handicap to playing the hero. Having said that, the ability to play a five card hand against your opponent and then immediately draw four cards and fire off more spells at instant speed before they get to play is a powerful way to finish the game.
Now to the cards themselves:
The red version of this card is one of the best rares available to the class. Blocking for four has been proven to be a powerful effect (Red Sink Below) and the ability to add 2 to an instant speed actions is a pretty good tag on effect although might not be used all of the time. Blocking for three with upside is still a good effect and good blue cards are always welcome.
The red version of this card is likely the most powerful common in the set. Threatening six damage for one resource is pretty powerful and turns this into a must block card. Without access to a full suite of null armor (unless you get a godlike pool!) means you will rarely be able to block all of the damage from this card. The yellow and blue versions are much weaker offering only four and two damage.
The blue version of this card gets the nod here as it is able to set up a subsequent turn via opt as well as block and pitch for three
Kano’s signature card is clearly made for constructed. With no base damage and only pitching for one, most of the time this card will just block for three in limited.
In my opinion, this is by far the most powerful card available to Kano in limited, for four mana you get six damage (by using his weapon) however when preceded by Stir the Aetherwinds or Aether Flare this card can do some serious damage. On top of that it also blocks for three.
Lesson in Lava:
A very powerful card which allows you to put any Wizard on top of your deck. Can be used to put a card on top to play at instant speed or draw for your next turn. In addition it also pitches for yellow in a pinch and blocks for three
The blue version of this card is probably the best blue common currently available to Kano. Typically your blue cards will either be pitched or discarded as Kano however the best ones are able to be played when you randomly flip them off the top using his ability. Being able to force an opponent to block one damage or risk you playing an additional card from hand is a decent reward for one resource.
An argument could be made that this is better than forked lightning but I like the ability to be able to do a large amount of damage more than the chance of being able to play a random card from the top of your deck for free in limited. A very versatile and powerful card which also blocks for three and pitches for two in a pinch.
Stir the Aetherwinds:
The red version of this card is by far the best and most important rare in the set. It does everything you want, gives your next action instant and three additional damage. You pay a premium for this at two resources but I would not consider Kano in as he currently stands in limited without some of these cards in my pool.
Tome of Aetherwind:
Likely the best card for Kano in constructed, in limited it is not quite as strong as having enough action points lying around to play this might be difficult to achieve. Having said that, if you ever flip one of these off the top of your deck you are going to be massively ahead on that turn.
Up there with reverberate for the best blue card in Kano, being able to fire this off at instant speed for three damage is not a bad return for a blue card. The red version of the card offers the highest amount of damage from a single card available to Kano and is almost always worth playing.
Some final thoughts on generics that I think pair well with Kano:
Whisper of the Oracle:
This is by far the best blue in the set for Kano, not only does it block for three, it also provides an additional action point when flipped off the top using his ability. All three versions of this card are good and I would look at playing most copies of it available to you in your deck
Moon Wish/Sun Kiss:
These two cards are very powerful when paired together in a Kano deck. Moon Wish allows you to put a copy of Sun Kiss from your hand on top of your deck. From there you can use Kano’s ability before the on hit trigger resolves to ensure you can play the card and generate and action point, gain life and draw a card. In limited I do not think Kano is a viable class without a number of these cards in your pool as the life gain assists with boosting your low starting pool while the cycling effect thins your deck so you can find your more powerful card combinations.