Aether Revolt: Playing To Your Weaknesses – Multicolor and Results
NOTE: “Playing to your Weaknesses” is a series of articles I have been doing on my own blog since Avacyn Restored that cover all of the uncommons and commons in a new expansion and which ones I would choose to use as one of the 23 cards in a 40 card limited deck. For those of you uninitiated to limited, it simply means sealed and booster draft, where you open packs and then proceed to make a deck out of them. I’ve purposely left out the rare cards because it is much more likely that you’ll see multiples of uncommon and commons in your packs/pools.)
As for my rating system, I’ll be using a new format this time around. After a lot of feedback, I’ve decided to abandon my 3 tier scoring system of Low-Medium-High and I will instead be moving onto a 5 star ranking system. The system is as follows:
- 1 star = a card that is barely playable, even as filler for your deck
- 2 stars = this card could be a strong sideboard card, but is highly conditional and not always effective
- 3 stars = a 3 star card is a solid role-player. These cards could be less than amazing removal effects, or a creature that is a glass cannon (high power, low defense). They could be good except for a few flaws.
- 4 stars = Here’s where we get into the powerhouses. 4 Stars could be good finishers, or cards that can end a game if left unchecked. They also have multiple effects, and are all around good value for you. The only thing holding them back is restrictive costs or some small drawback.
- 5 stars = you won’t see a lot of these at common and uncommon. These will usually be your rares and mythics because they are incredibly bonkers. Planeswalkers, massive creatures, etc., these are the cards you could build a deck around.
Today’s article won’t be too long as there aren’t a lot of cards to talk about, so it should be easy reading. There are no lands at uncommon or common, so we’ll be focusing solely on multicolor. As for the results portion of the article, I’ll be adding key cards from the rest of my pools of each sealed deck I made to see what you think I could have done better, so I would appreciate if you could leave some comments afterwards. If you want to see my article from Kaladesh, please click on this link.
Players have been comparing Renegade Rallier to Eternal Witness and there is talk that it could even see play in modern. If you can activate Revolt with a 1 or 2 mana card, you can easily put it back into the battlefield with his enter the battlefield ability. In eternal, this could also mean getting back a fetch land. All this on a 3/2 body makes him an incredibly capable addition to your GW deck. The only thing you need to worry about is playing enough cards you can remove from the battlefield so his ability triggers. Most players will simply sit back and take damage from your 1/1 tokens so that you can’t take advantage of Revolt.
RATING: 3.5 Stars
With all of the vehicles and artifact creatures in this format, having a card that turns your regular artifacts into 5/5 can be crushing to your opponent. While I haven’t had too much experience with animation effects, I believe that if you put this on your Vehicle that your vehicle will retain its stated abilities like flying or trample. If your opponent is playing a few main board artifact hate spells it might be risky to use, but otherwise turning a card like Pacification Array into a 5/5 that can also tap an opponent’s creatures is a powerful effect. Being able to get the artifact back after it dies is also useful. Blue/Black isn’t that great of a combination, but it’s not horrible.
RATING: 3 Stars
In this right GB deck alongside Fabrication effects and cards like Ridgescale Tusker, Winding Constrictor is an absolutely bomb. Besides already being an aggressively costed creature, his dual abilities makes him an amazing fit for both energy and +1/+1 counter decks. If the synergy is there and you play it quickly, Winding Constrictor will give you an overwhelming advantage in your match ups. I’d be tempted to build around this synergy in limited.
RATING: 3.5 Stars
Outland Boar seems like a good beater. It forces your opponent to block with their bigger creatures instead of chump blocking with 1/1 tokens, which leaves them open to getting 2 for 1’d with combat tricks. If they decide not to block, you’re getting in 4 damage a turn and they can only do that for 2-3 turns before blocking becomes a necessity. GR Energy decks are already pretty aggressive, and Outland Boar adds to that theme. Good card.
RATING: 3 Stars
Against slow decks that don’t play anything early on, Renegade Wheelsmith could do some serious damage. Taking their powerful blocker out of the equation means attacking at an advantage. They’ll be forced to team up with smaller creatures which means you can get a lot of value out of him with combat tricks. If you opened a Depala, this card gets even better as a 4/3. The biggest advantage of this card is that you can use it to pilot a vehicle it, and if that vehicle is a Mobile Garrison, you can untap it with the vehicles ability and tap it again to make it so 2 of your opponent’s creatures can’t block. Extremely powerful in limited. Worth a splash I think, and should be a high draft pick.
RATING: 3.5 Stars
I’m not sure how strong UG will be in limited, but the card has value written all over it. I think the best fit for Rogue Refiner would be in a RUG energy deck that’s splashing blue. GR already has a lot of energy enablers and cards that abuse energy, and the Refiner would be a good fit. Getting energy and drawing cards on top of a 3/2 creature is playable. If you don’t have the synergy, I wouldn’t force him into a deck, but if he’s in your colors go for it.
RATING: 3 Stars
While his casting cost might seem high, is Maverick Thopterist any different from Whirler Rogue (ORI)? I see a lot of power here, especially in a deck running a decent number of artifacts. Casting it for 3-4 mana makes it more than worth playing, and if you have some kind of blink effect (or choose one of the bounce effects from blue like Aether Tradewinds) you can make a lot of flyers very quickly. UR isn’t that bad of a color combination either.
RATING: 3 Stars
UW flyers is already a good deck, and adding a tempo effect on a medium sized flyer makes it better. Blue/White gives you some decent blink/bounce options, so it could end up being a good target for that while fueling your Revolt triggers. Probably not worth a splash outside of UW decks though.
RATING: 3 Stars
Pretty much the only way you can make this card work for you is if you’re sacrificing the token you make every turn. It actually doesn’t do much by itself, but can act like a resource if you have cards that can benefit from sacrificing a token each turn like Defiant Salvager. You most likely won’t be using it’s scry ability that much, so don’t count on it fixing your draws for you. Could be good in the right deck, but I wasn’t too impressed with it at the pre-release.
RATING: 2.5 Stars
I had an absolutely horrible time on pre-release weekend. While I feel like I built competitive decks that had a good curve and removal, I don’t think I fully understood the new mechanics, or to be more precise how to utilize and create synergy with the new mechanics correctly. Here are the decks I used at the pre-release, along with my record and match ups, why I lost, and other cards that I had in that pool which I didn’t use and why.
I did alright at the first pre-release at midnight. I used GW which had some good synergy with Sram’s Expertise, Chief of the Foundry, some good vehicles to activate the exiling effect on my white Caught in the Brights card, and a top end that was able to punish with anthem effects turn after turn. Synergy was pretty good.
I went 2-1, beating 2 green/black decks thanks to Sram’s Expertise and Chief of the Foundry, as well as hitting my curve in both of those games. I lost my last game against BW flyers by keeping a slow hand game 1 and getting overwhelmed by flyers in game 2.
As for cards I didn’t use, I had another 6/6 Colossus I could have played but I thought it was too much. My other rares were a Spire of Industry, Battle of the Bridge, and Paradoxical Outcome so they didn’t help me that much. Blue had some decent Improvise creatures and Gearseeker Serpent, but lacked any kind of removal or tempo, while black had some good removal but only 2-3 creatures. Red was in the same boat. It had a few pieces of removal but most creatures were at 2-3 mana and weak.
I think I built one of the best decks I could with this pool, and the synergy was definitely there which helped out a lot. The only think I wish I had more access to in this pool was removal. It was kind of hard to get rid of bombs my opponents had.
I think this tweet says it all. I went 0-3 drop in my second pre-release with this BW Deck. Not a lot of synergy but I thought the removal was great in these colors and the curve was pretty good. No bombs and few beaters, but I thought I had a chance. I was very wrong. I lost to a UW deck that simply outdrew me and had more resources, a GB deck that had the 5/5 Demon which destroyed me when I couldn’t produce any removal for it, and a BR deck that lots of flyers which I couldn’t deal with such as Freejame Regent.
The curve got me ahead in the short game, but I had no way to deal with a long game. If the board stalled, I was usually going to lose because I couldn’t go toe to toe with real bombs and beaters. It didn’t help that my promo was a Baral (not like I’m complaining, it’s an expensive card). My red had Kari Zev, but the rest of it was removal and combat tricks which made it worthless. Blue had a good amount of tempo cards and a few creatures but no beaters/finishers, and green only gave me a pair of Silkweaver Elite, Dubious Challenge, and a pair of Fabricate elves.
Splashing a 3rd color (red possibly) might have made this deck a little better, but I think all around the pool was rather weak. Perhaps I should have gone all in on a more aggressive build that focused on dealing damage quickly and using combat tricks. The synergy definitely wasn’t there in these 6 packs, and that seems to be rather important in this limited format.
My last deck seemed to finally give me everything I wanted. I had a decent curve, I had some removal, and a lot of finishers/beaters such as Lifecraft Cavalry and Aetherwind Basker. What could go wrong? I won my first match against a RW deck thanks to my curve and to having a lot of threats that were able to put and KEEP pressure on my opponent. In round 2, I fought a hard battle against a GW deck, building up my army and hitting him hard to gain the upperhand, but being a little too aggressive in game 3 led to my downfall when my opponent was able to pump up his creatures for lethal. I thought I could at least finish 2-1 with this deck, but another GW deck built around Revolting showed me just how powerful having synergy could be. Time and time again he cracked artifacts, used cards like Renegade Rallier to get them back, and triggered his Revolt mechanic again and again. While I was able to make some favorable trades earlier, the number of incremental advantages he had was simply too much for my removal and creatures to handle.
Perhaps I could have build the deck a little differently. Black didn’t really have a lot of removal, but did have some good creatures like Gifted Aetherborn, and white had a good curve and some flyers. Blue seemed to have a lot of synergy based cards centered around Improvise and energy, but I don’t think I had enough to make it work. Most of my rares and bombs were in my color, so I think what I was missing was some kind of card advantage and removal. If I had a way to get a few more cards, or to take out some of their threats more efficiently, it could have been quite a different turn out.
So I ended up 3-6 for pre-release weekend, which is heartbreaking when compared to the 10-1-2 record I had at the end of Kaladesh limited. Where did I go wrong? Well, like I said up above, my biggest mistake was underestimating synergy, and also building my decks with the new mechanics without really understanding how to best utilize them. I had expected to rely a little more on my Kaladesh cards and previous strategies, but those didn’t work as well as planned. I’ll have to do some reading up on AER limited strategy in order to improve. I think I did an alright job of evaluating the cards in the set, but I missed a lot of the nuanced interactions that allow you to get the most out of the cards in this environment.
How did you all do during the pre-release? What advice would you have about deck building in this format? What worked and what didn’t work for you? I’d like to hear your thoughts and comments, so please feel free to comment down below.