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Aether Revolt Spoilers: Limited Review for January 4


Welcome to more spoiler discussions ofAether Revolt! Today we get to talk about a whole bunch of multicolor Uncommons, a cycle of Common artifacts of debatable value, and weird Rares to top it all off.

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

Call for Unity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Flash was a big part of what made Dictate of Heliod great, and Call for Unity doesn't have that surprise factor. It does have a snowball potential like Aid from the Cowl and is also more consistent. If you get three triggers from Aid from the Cowl, you might get three good creatures, but you might also get some lands. If you get three triggers from Call for Unity, all your creatures are gigantic and unbeatable.

Exquisite Archangel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

If Exquisite Archangel wasn't enough to keep you alive, how well do you think you'll fare once you're in the exact same situation but have lost your 5/5 flyer? Sometimes this will stop an opponent from doing an awful all-out attack just to get the last few points of damage in, but if your opponent has board control and that's why you're losing, this may not buy you more than a turn's worth of time after it triggers. Still, a big flyer that sometimes saves your life and sometimes gives you an extra draw or two to stabilize is great, and I'd love to have this in most white decks.

As a side note, how odd is it that this triggers on losing the game and not on your life total reaching zero? It will exile itself and reset your life total if you die to poison or drawing a card with an empty library, but you'll just lose anyways.

Solemn Recruit

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

Solemn Recruit is a three mana creature that is good on its own and grows into an unstoppable force as the game progresses. Save your removal folks because you're going to need it.

Blue

Aethertide Whale

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Aethertide Whale is a huge flying win condition that should theoretically never die to removal. What is there to dislike? Four toughness is a good amount for a flyer, and it will usually take a double block to bring this whale down. If the opponent doesn't have a trade available, they'll have to race it or die very quickly to its evasive damage. 

Skyship Plunderer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

At worst, Skyship Plunderer is always a good creature for blue decks given its evasion. At best, you get energy or +1/+1 counters for free a few times. This card is really, really good and comes at almost no deckbuilding cost whatsoever.

Baral, Chief of Compliance

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Spells aren't that common in Limited, and counterspells are even less common than that. Baral, Chief of Compliance is going to be a Maritime Guard too much of the time to be very exciting.

Baral's Expertise

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

The amount of extra mana you pay for this effect is so much less than the tempo gained by the one-sided Evacuation that it's absolutely insane. I still remember the blowout potential of Sea God's Revenge, and it's a little hard to believe Baral's Expertise only costs five mana, while also letting you cast another spell for free.

Black

Gifted Aetherborn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

A card that costs BB might as well cost 1BB in a typical two-color deck, but three mana is still an acceptable cost for this card, and when you can cast it on turn two that will be a nice bonus.

Thanks to Conley Woods for the incomparable nickname of Vampire Nightwalk.

Secret Salvage

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F+

If you happen to be in the rare situation where you're already drafting black and already have 4-6 copies of an above average card, you'll know it's time to make Secret Salvage shine. Don't touch it in any other scenario.

Vengeful Rebel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

It's like a Renegade Rallier, except you don't have to be in a specific two color combination to get value from it. It's also like a Silumgar Butcher but with a cheaper (albeit somewhat inconsistent) trigger effect.

Red

Indomitable Creativity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Most two-color decks wouldn't be able to cast Indomitable Creativity until turn five or six, and once you get there, it's not clear you'd even want to select more than one of your opponent's biggest creatures. Due to the risk of giving them something good, you may just want to target your opponent's 4/4s and larger and spend the rest of your targets shuffling away your own 1/1s and Prophetic Prisms. It's obviously inconsistent, but it also is somewhat good removal and somewhat good value, so I expect it to be played in most red decks.

Lightning Runner

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

If your deck isn't energy focused, don't change it to try to get the extra combat trigger. Lightning Runner is perfectly fine if you ignore that part of it. Of course if you do get up to the energy required, your opponent has to be extra careful since at any time they could die to a massive doubled up attack step during your turn.

Shock

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Cheap removal in Limited is premium, has always been premium, and will always be premium. Take this early and often and be thankful it's a Common.

Multicolor

Hidden Stockpile

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Once Hidden Stockpile gets started, it's effectively a free Scry 1 and revolt enabler every turn you're willing to pay the one mana. That's not incredible payback for a multicolor enchantment, but since revolt will also sometimes trigger for free, it will probably be worth a card in value by the time the game is over.

Outland Boar

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Gruul smash! The legacy of Red-Green decks being all about the red zone continues, and Outland Boar is a fine addition to any Limited strategy.

Renegade Wheelsmith

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

As its name suggests, Renegade Wheelsmith works as well with vehicles as it does on its own and offers a nice payoff to players in the aggressive Red-White archetype that has vehicle synergy.

Spire Patrol

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Frost Lynx grew wings. Or Lyev Skyknight grew up. Whichever story fits your fancy. Spire Patrol is obviously a great evasive threat that can gain you a nice temporary board advantage by shutting off a creature for a turn.

Weldfast Engineer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

There are Servos and Vehicles and other artifact creatures aplenty to target with Weldfast Engineer, and if you can't find a target for its ability, you still pass the vanilla test so no harm done.

Colorless

Cogwork Assembler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Reminiscent of the invokers (such as Valakut Invoker), Cogwork Assembler provides a reasonable body early in the game and a large advantage in late game board stalls. There's not a lot of reason to play more than one in a deck, but as a one-if it's good insurance for flooding out.

Implement Cycle

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

As Commons in a small set, you're going to be seeing a lot of Implements passing you by in drafts. They don't do a lot by themselves, but they work well with revolt and improvise, and they all pay you back a card for the trouble of using them so they have a high floor to their power level.

The white and red ones are obviously the worse in that they don't affect the board or create card advantage. I'd put them at more of a C-. I won't play them unless I have a lot of revolt and improvise cards, but I expect to have those types of cards in most decks. The others have a more reasonable effect on the game and are more like C+'s. You still don't want too much in your deck as it could hurt your creature count, but having a few is probably good.

Walking Ballista

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Walking Ballista is a win condition and a pinger, and you can get it onto the board and started for just two mana. Given that it has no evasion and the damage ability is at odds with building it up to a huge attacker, it won't win quickly, but it can definitely provide an advantage. Additionally, the threat of just dumping all the counters into damage to your opponent gives a nice bit of reach in the end game or can trigger revolt on a turn that you really need it in the midgame.

Conclusion

Only one more day and one more article of regular Aether Revolt spoilers and then the full spoiler drops on Friday! I hope you're as excited as I am about the Prerelease next weekend. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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