The thing to keep in mind about Mesa is that it's guaranteed and requires no setup; Mesa + Ephara means 8 mana makes 3 flying bodies and 4 cards, which is pretty solid. Most of the time that becomes the best thing to do (make a dude and draw a card). The mana cost is definitely the worst part though because as you say we often wind up wanting to do other things.Driemer84 wrote: ↑11 months agoWhile I understand the comparison to Sacred Mesa, I think retreat is better by quite a bit.. I don't think keeping 6 mana up to draw 3 cards and create 3 1/1s over a turn cycle Is worth it. I think Mind's Eye would be a better comparison. A bit more expensive up front, but half the activation cost over turn cycles.
Felidar Retreat allows you to in a typical scenario make 2 bodies and 2 cards as long as you draw a fetchland or can recur it somehow each turn, along with some life loss most of the time. Most of the time you will need some kind of enabler to make it work (e.g. blinking Solemn Simulacrum) or something. That said, its ceiling is definitely pretty high if you get some real engines going (multiple blinks of a land tutor, Walking Atlas etc.).
From playing with Nadir Kraken I can say that there's a lot of value in cards that just do the magic all on their own with no to minimal setup.
I would love to hear back how it works out for you as I definitely see the potential ceiling of making 10 5/5 cats and killing people explosively.