Exploring Aether Revolt

Lukas Blohon

Hello everyone!

With Aether Revolt released next month, some cards are already spoiled. Today I will look at those cards to see if they could be good and how they can affect Standard. Not all of those cards are great, so I will look at their potential or place in decks or metagame they could have to make them good. Let’s start right away!

Consulate Crackdown

If an artifact deck is a thing in Standard, this will see some play. The problem is, even if this is good against it, if they have single 《Naturalize》 effect, they can just kill it for this to have no effect. They even get to trigger they enter the battlefield triggers if they have some. If they don’t draw it or don’t have access to it, this effect is indeed very powerful. If those conditions are met, I can see it being played.

Quicksmith Rebel

This card (and the rest of this cycle if there is more) has one big disadvantage. It is a 4 mana creature without a enter the battlefield ability, if it is killed right away (if it gets killed with the trigger on the stack, the targeted artifact will never have that extra ability). So it matches up pretty poorly against cheap removal spells. Good thing is, if they don’t have it right away, you will get value out of it. And if they don’t kill it you can easily win the game with it. You also need artifacts for it, so that is a lot of conditions that need to be met for it to be good.

One thing I like about 《Quicksmith Rebel》 is that he can be used to Crew 《$Heart of Kiran》. So at 4 mana you play 《Quicksmith Rebel》, boost your 《Heart of Kiran》, attack with it and also kill something. That is a good sequence, but you also need your opponent have something worth killing. This card is pretty powerful and can win a game on their own, if left unchecked, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it see play. But for now I think it is not good enough, considering how many conditions have to be met for them to be good.

Scrap Trawler

《Scrap Trawler》 is cheap, with reasonable stats and value attached to it. This could be a pillar of a new artifact deck, if there is one. It brings back 《Smuggler's Copter》 by itself and depending on how many good 2 or 1 mana artifacts get spoiled, it could get really good. Especially artifacts that get into graveyard easily (《Smuggler's Copter》 dies a lot) work perfectly with this. Either cheap ones that you can back with 《Scrap Trawler》, or expensive ones like 《Hedron Archive》, that you can sacrifice when you have him in play so you can get something back. Solid card, very dependant on other artifacts.

Trophy Mage

Depending on how many good 3 drop artifacts are there, this could be good, but I am skeptical. You can go this for 《Scrap Trawler》 to get virtual three for one, but there have to be some good tutor targets that you can play as one of those. I don’t think this card will be good enough just for value, you need to use the tutoring aspect too.

Yahenni’s Expertise

I like this card. I have no idea how good it is, but prospect of free spells is just amazing. If you look at it that you are paying one mana for [-3/-3] to everything, it sounds pretty good. There is potential for some combos with it, like 《Ancestral Vision》, should they print something similar. I definitely think the power level is here, and if people play small creatures this card could be great. You can also play it with bigger creatures that survive it, like 《Grim Flayer》.

《Heart of Kiran》

Another 《Smuggler's Copter》? I don’t think so. But I also think it is really good, but doesn’t fit into every deck. Right now I can imagine it in classic Mardu vehicles but also in some kind of planeswalker deck. Ability to animate it for one loyalty is just so appealing, especially with high loyalty planeswalkers, like《Nahiri, the Harbinger》. It defends them well and most of the time you don’t even need to use the loyalty counter, just the threat of you animating it will stop them from attacking.

《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》 [ +1 ] for RR and play 《Heart of Kiran》, now you have planeswalker with 5(4) loyalty and 4/4 flyer to defend it. It is not that easy to get through that, especially if you can play it on turn three or have good plays before it. I can see this card being very good, but in less decks compared to 《Smuggler's Copter》. Crew 3 is pretty steep requirement so you can’t just put it in any deck.

Oath of Ajani

《Gideon, Ally of Zendikar》 turn 3? Yes, you can just play mana guys instead, but they can’t kill 《Oath of Ajani》 with a regular removal spell. I think that is important difference, because planeswalkers are hard to interact with and now you are making it even harder to interact by making them cheaper by a card that is hard to kill.

By first look it seems to be a bit lacking with its trigger, but it is possible that having it stronger would be just pushing it too much. I can see this in some kind of Naya planeswalker deck, with good 4 drop planeswalkers. Turn 2 《Oath of Ajani》, turn 3 《Chandra, Torch of Defiance》+ 《Hear of Kiran》 seems pretty hard to beat.

Ajani, Valiant Protector

Having my six mana planeswalker giving [ +2/+2 ] to one creature seems pretty underwhelming to me. You can also draw a ceature card, but for six mana I expect more. Maybe with 《Oath of Ajani》 making it cheaper this could be good, especially if you can make some good use of those [ +1/+1 ] counters, but I am not a fan. One thing I like is that you can use its [ +1 ] ability as a tutor, especially if you play only one creature, like 《Emrakul, the Promised End》. But what else are you doing with your planeswalker then, I do not know.

Ajani, Unyielding

I like this one more than the last one, but that doesn’t say much. At least it has un-condition removal spell attached, with the possibility of exiling your creature for some extra life (I think this will be used more than people think). Plus ability is going to draw more than one card on average with some good upside of hitting three (or zero, but you can sometimes count lands as hits because you don’t need them and at least you didn’t draw them). The thing is that six mana is a lot and I think you can do better with your finishers, but maybe there is the planeswalker deck with 《Oath of Ajani》 like I was talking about.

Tezzeret the Schemer

Four mana planeswalker starting at five loyalty, I already like it. Making 《Lotus Petal》 for [ +1 ] seems ok, mainly because it helps with the [ -2 ] ability and I assume there will be more cards counting your artifacts. Going to six loyalty right away seems great with 《Heart of Kiran》, an artifact to go in our artifact deck.《Tezzeret the Schemer》 doesn’t seem flashy to me, but it has high loyalty and fine abilities depending a lot on rest of the cards, and that is a good starting point for me.

Tezzeret, Master of Metal

Well, this just seems bad. [ +1 ] for one card on six mana planeswalker? That is not really what I am looking for. What does this [ -3 ] do, nothing? Will there be cards that make a lot of artifacts? It doesn’t even drain, just straight life loss, so I assume there is reason for that and there will be cards to go with it. But right now, it looks unplayable.

So many synergistic cards around!

All in all, I am really excited about Aether Revolt. From those cards, we can see that artifacts will be huge in this set. Lot of those cards are very synergistic as well, so their power really depends on what gets printed to go with them.

Thanks for reading and let me know on 【twitter】 what cards do you disagree with!


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