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Aether Revolt Spoilers: Limited Review for January 2


Welcome to the spot for Limited spoiler discussions for Aether Revolt! Spoiler week has started in full force, and there's a lot of new things to talk about, including the new mechanic revolt and how easy or difficult it will be to achieve in a typical game.

I'll be reviewing these cards from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. We can't rate the cards completely accurately without knowing the entire set, but we can evaluate the cards in an "average" limited format. You can find all the latest spoilers on the Aether Revolt page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official spoiler for it has not been released yet.

Grading scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Gisela, the Broken Blade, Verdurous Gearhulk)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Murder, Aerial Responder)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Thraben Foulbloods, Lawless Broker)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Prophetic Ravings, Curio Vendor)
F: This card will have little or no impact on the game if I draw it or is strictly sideboard-material. If I cast this card, please stage an intervention for me. (Deploy the Gatewatch, Madcap Experiment)

White

Decommission

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

I suppose now you have to work the get the lifegain off your Appetite for the Unnatural. There will be plenty of these floating around in drafts, and if you want one, you'll be able to get one. Even if you miss, you can probably pick up a Fragmentize from the Kaladesh booster which will usually be better due to being more mana efficient.

Sram, Senior Edificer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Turning your Revoke Privileges and assorted vehicles into cantrips is a pretty huge advantage to put on a 2-drop and Sram, Senior Edificer can certainly get out of hand with value. I'd caution against putting too many below average vehicles and equipment into your deck just because you have Sram though - during the games that you don't draw Sram or enough creatures, those could easily be useless cards.

Sram's Expertise

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Sram's Expertise is everything Visionary Augmenter wanted to be and more. It's a great way to quickly develop the board at a very reasonable cost, and in the rare situation that you can't cast a card for free with it, you're still not overpaying by much for the effect.

Blue

Shipwreck Moray

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Four energy for a single four mana card is a fantastic rate, and a 0/5 that can easily morph into a 2/3 or 4/1 as needed is a pretty useful creature to have on the battlefield. I predict that Shipwreck Moray will be the foundation of any Limited energy deck playing blue.

Whir of Invention

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

I have a hard time envisioning a deck playing enough Islands and enough cheap artifacts to want Whir of Invention. Maybe if Skullclamp were a Masterpiece in Aether Revolt, but luckily for Limited, it is not.

Black

Fatal Push

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

In Limited, Fatal Push is a nice utility spell against small things that turns into larger removal with a bit of work. It's a little awkward to enable since losing a permanent may require a chump attack or chump block into the large creature you're trying to kill. Evolving Wilds would be great for triggering revolt, however the cheapest consistent enablers we have in the block are currently the lowly Puzzleknot cycle.

Night Market Aeronaut

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

Night Market Aeronaut is too inconsistent for too low of a payoff to interest me. If you can't trigger revolt, you're overpaying by a full mana for a Wind Drake.

Red

Sweatworks Brawler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

If Weldfast Monitor wasn't exciting in Kaladesh, I don't expect Sweatworks Brawler to make waves either. Sweatworks Brawler is better in some very niche scenarios where you have plenty of artifacts, but Weldfast Monitor is more consistently easy to cast, and synergizes with artifact matters cards better by being an artifact itself. Sweatworks Brawler will make it into red decks more out of necessity than anything else, and not because of insane one-mana Sweatworks Brawler plays.

It's worth again mentioning the Puzzleknot cycle. Between turning on revolt by sacrificing themselves and being able to be tapped for improvise, the entire cycle gets a bit better, and you might want to pick one or two up if you see them in the Kaladesh booster in a draft.

Green

Greenbelt Rampager

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Most energy producing cards give you less value up front for the promise of good things to spend your energy on later. Greenbelt Rampager speeds up that payoff for you by giving you a cheap, aggressive creature you can play as soon as you acquire a small amount of energy from some source.

In a mono-green or heavily green deck, you can cast it three times to build your own three mana 3/4 with no other energy sources at all. You can also pay for it in installments which means you can resolve it as early as turn two with three Forests.

Greenwheel Liberator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Greenwheel Liberator looks like a two-drop creature, but of course it will very rarely be played on turn two. It's enough of a payoff that you can just hold it in hand until your opponent finally decides to block and trade one of your attacks, and when that finally happens you'll be rewarded.

Silkweaver Elite

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Similar to Greenwheel Liberator, the correct strategy is likely to save Silkweaver Elite in hand until such a time as you can draw a card with it. During the times that you're losing by a lot, and you have to cast it for no value as a blocker, you're still not doing horribly because at least it also can block flyers.

Colorless

Consulate Dreadnought

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D-

Aradara Express and Demolition Stomper each had their own form of evasion and were still pretty awkward to try to make work. Consulate Dreadnought has a higher crew cost and no evasion whatsoever, meaning that it can be blocked by a single lowly Servo token, or even worse a Narnam Cobra. Tapping your entire team just to crew this will rarely be a useful endeavor and thus Consulate Dreadnought will very rarely be worth drafting in the first place. I'd probably only play this with a Peacekeeper Colossus.

Foundry Assembler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

Now you finally have something to do after casting your fifth Self-Assembler: tap them all and drop a free 3/3. Value?

Jokes aside, I think the number of tools and enablers that would be required to turn Improvise into a great mechanic in Limited and Foundry Assembler into a consistent two or three mana card is more than Wizards is going to provide us with.

Gonti's Aether Heart

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Extra turns are nice, but paying six mana plus six additional energy is a heavy cost. It's not all that difficult to get to eight energy in Limited, but doing it without finding something comparably good to spend that energy on seems unlikely. Still, an extra turn does give an extra card and extra attack step, and this card can be turned on with just a single Woodweaver's Puzzleknot. It's hard to tell exactly whether Gonti's Aether Heart will end up being a little better or a little worse than other energy payoffs but I don't expect it to be polarizing either way.

Metallic Mimic

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Hey look, it's Adaptive Automaton with counters instead of a static +1/+1 anthem. The creature types are fairly well varied in Kaladesh, but you probably can still get multiple counters from this if you choose Human or Servo.

Peacewalker Colossus

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Despite being a rare and an artifact that can go into multiple deck types, Peacewalker Colossus isn't that exciting for limited. Without its animation ability, it's comparable to other vehicles and probably worse than Renegade Freighter, a common. If you do have access to white mana, you still won't get value out of the ability without first having two Vehicles on the table. This is a dangerous position to try to put oneself in since having too many vehicles and not enough creatures is a great recipe for a do-nothing board state.

Planar Bridge

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

In addition to being a Masterpiece, Planar Bridge has been revealed to also be a Mythic in the set. This is much too expensive and slow an effect for most Limited environments, but if your deck is controlling enough, you could just make it work. If you do, please send me a screenshot.

Conclusion

I'm excited for Aether Revolt's changes to Limited and am eager to see if improvise and revolt can prove to be impactful mechanics in the new draft environment. Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review tomorrow. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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