Bang for your Buck: Investing in Cards for Aether Revolt – Red, Green, and Artifact
Disclaimer: I can not be held responsible for any poor decisions I make in regards to any cards you might buy in response to my article. I’m going to post my thoughts and plead my case for each card I recommend, and if you agree then by all means head out to your local gaming store or buy cards online and try to snap up some good deals. I’m basing my information off of months of standard gaming experience as well as prices in my area and how they’ve reacted to the ever changing metagame. I can only hope that the decisions I make are good ones and that my gamble pays off after buying the featured cards. Prices I used are based on the iMTG IOS app, using TCG player.com’s mid-level price range.
The first first week of AER standard is done, and we’re heading into week 2 with 2 limited Grand Prix and a few other smaller events before the Pro Tour. Saheeli combo proved itself at the SCG Open last week to be a contender, and GB decks of all types showed that they were still boss even though their delirium brethren lost Emrakul, the Promised End. GW tokens showed up as well, but didn’t have as good of an outing as people were most likely expecting it. We’ve already talked about half of the color in those decks, but today I’m going to cover the remaining half. Before that, let’s see how I did last time.
Previous Red, Green, and Artifact Suggestions
- Hanweir Garrison – Miss. I think this is a great card still and underrated, but not everybody seems to share that feeling. Down to $1.50 from $1.75.
- Mirrorwing Dragon – Miss. Another card that I think is underrated. Down to about $1.25 from $1.75. Seems like Smuggler’s Copter pushed it out of most standard decks. Everybody wants speed more than power.
- Oath of Nissa – N/A. Oath of Nissa stayed the same price as before, which I said was a possibility depending on the meta.
- Worldbreaker – Miss. I really thought it would see play as another target in Aetherwork Marvel decks that would be good in the mirror, but since the deck died so did it’s chances. Ulamog was picked up instead to replace Emrakul. Down to $3.25 from $4.
- Brain in a Jar – N/A. This was my longshot so I don’t really think it should be counted in my count.
Ouch. Really hurt by Marvel and Delirium’s dominance of the metagame. I mean, there aren’t even people out there playing jank decks for fun anymore it’s become so competitive in standard. Maybe I’ll do better this time due to the increase in power level from Aether Revolt.
Now that Smuggler’s Copter is gone, perhaps Chandra, Flamecaller ($4.75) will see more play. It’s already a decent sideboard card in a few red decks, and she saw play in Aetherworks Marvel decks, but that deck’s fate seems to be up in the air at the moment. I personally believe she’ll show up in some Grixis control decks, and maybe in some other planeswalker based decks with Oath of Ajani. Her tokens are also great at activating Revolt on some cards. I don’t think she’ll go up too much if see see’s play, but $6-7 is possible.
Bedlam Reveler ($2) seems like it could make a comeback in UR Thermo Alchemist/Dynavolt Tower decks, but it will be up to the players. I’d expect its price to double if players pick up that deck again. Between RW Humans and possibly RW tokens, I think Hanweir Garrison ($1.50) has a chance of doubling up during this metagame. I personally love it now that Reflector Mage is gone, and you can play it off of a Sram’s Expertise.
Lathnu Hellion also seems like a good pick up at $.50. The GR Energy midrange deck could see a resurgence with more casual players, and the card could be good with the revolt mechanic as well. Speaking of cards that enable Revolt, Pia Nalaar ($.75) not only gives you a creature when she enters the battlefield, but she can also help you to sacrifice an artifact. This could be a good ability to have in a BR deck with Fatal Push, or in a GR beatdown deck using the numerous Revolt cards like Liberator and Narnam Renegade.
Radiant Flames has been seeing a lot of play in the sideboards of Frontier decks, and I think it will have a home after rotation in the fall. Good card to have in your collection, and it’s only $1. Might be a better investment to get in foils at $2.
She isn’t that bad of a card, she just hasn’t found a home yet. Nissa is good for green decks to have against control decks, and that’s one reason why I think having a couple of her in your collection is a good idea. She’s around $5.75 now, and I don’t think she’ll go down that much further. Plus the more I look at her -6 ability and revolt, the more I think Fetchlands will be back with her still in standard. If that happens, her price will skyrocket. She’s also pretty darn good in Frontier Jund alongside Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Liliana.
Sylvan Advocate still has a lot of life left in him. Aside from being good in GB Elves in Frontier, I think the Advocate will match up well against cards like Grim Flayer on the ground and Heart of Kiran in the air (when you attack). Also a good target for Renegade Rallier to get back late game. Even if it doesn’t see much more standard play, you can’t go wrong for a Frontier playable Elf for $2.50.
While player’s can’t search up Emrakul anymore, there are still tons of good targets for Traverse the Ulvenwald ($2.50) to find. GB Delirium is still around with Ishkanah, but I think this could show up in non-delirium focused decks as well. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see other colored Delirium decks show up like GR or GW. Definite possibility of it hitting $4-5 again before it rotates in fall.
I like Bristling Hydra ($1.50) going forward if only for the hexproof trigger if you have energy. Unless GR energy sees more FNM semi-competitive play, I don’t think it will move that much over the next few months. Decent beater in any GR deck though.
Another card with Frontier applications and possibly playable in standard is Woodland Wanderer. It’s a powerful card in multicolor decks, and at $.25 it’s incredibly undervalued. Thanks to Spire of Industry and Aether Hub, it’s become easier than ever to take advantage of Converge. Perhaps we’ll see it show up with Reality Smasher in a new beatdown deck this spring or summer?
Scrapheap Scrounger ($2.25) is still buy listing for 400-500 yen ($4) here in Nagoya, and I don’t think it will go away any time soon. It should find a place in GB delirium/aggro, but also do well in Grixis Ensoul with Tezzeret’s Touch. It also saw play in dredge before. With all of these viable decks, plus a few in Frontier, I think it’s currently undervalued and has a chance to double up by the summer. Grab them now while they are cheap.
Although Smuggler’s Copter is banned in standard, I think there is still life in the card, especially in Frontier where it’s seeing tons of play. I don’t think $5 is it’s bottom, but around $3-4 you’ll want to pick these up. There’s going to be a golden time before Frontier takes off where you’ll be able to get these for super cheap before they reach $15 levels again. It might be some time before that happens, but you’ll be happy you got your playset at $3-4 each.
Aetherflux Reservoir combo seems to be rather popular with the casual crowd in Japan at the moment, and who knows, maybe it will become competitive in the future. I’ve played against it, and lost to it so I think it has potential. Reservoir is now $1.25, so if you’re thinking of playing the deck now’s a good time. Could hit $3 if it can hit tier 2 or 1.5 with some tweaking.
Without Smuggler’s Copter, Bomat Courier ($.50) doesn’t really have the power to carry BR aggro, but that doesn’t mean the deck is dead. I’d be looking for it to make a resurgence in future metagames, so grabbing a playset super cheap now is a good idea. Dynavolt Tower ($1.25) could also see more play now that Emrakul and Copter decks are out of the picture, so keep an eye on the metagame. A switch back to burn could send this card up to $3-4. Speaking of Smuggler’s Copter, just because it’s gone doesn’t mean that vehicle decks are gone. Between Heart of Kiran and Siege Modifications, there might still be some life left in Fleetwheel Cruiser ($.50). It’s a solid beater and doesn’t necessarily have to be in a vehicle strategy. Look for it in sideboards and in beatdown decks.
Coming up Next
Green has the most to gain from GB doing well this season, and I think it won’t let you down. It should have a good showing at the Pro Tour next weekend and a lot of these penny stock choices could get a jump as well. In my final article I’ll be looking at the colorless, multicolor, and land cards, and also be talking a little bit about how Aether Revolt will affect Frontier and the card prices in the format. If you have any suggestions or comments about the colors I covered today, please feel free to leave them down below.