Hi everyone! Welcome back for another edition of What’s the Pick? Pack 1 Pick 1 with Aether Revolt. Let’s get straight to the packs.
This is one of the best rares in the set, and an easy first pick out of basically every single pack. A 4/4 flyer that can, optimistically, attack on turn 3 is going to win you an absurd percentage of games when it’s in your opening hand, while also being great later in the game. I’d be thrilled to open this pack.
Honorable Mention: Monstrous Onslaught.
Monstrous Onslaught is a card that I really, really liked when I first started playing with Aether Revolt. I thought the upside was high, and there was a lot of potential for getting 2-for-1s, or even 3-for-1s. After playing a lot with the card, I think I was overvaluing it. 5 mana is a lot in this format, and keeping a giant creature in play is not always easy. Many of the larger creatures are not efficient enough and not cards that I love to put in my deck. That being said, Monstrous Onslaught is still a good card, even if it’s not truly great, and I’d take it here out of what is otherwise a pretty weak pack.
I am actually pretty high on Consulate Dreadnought. This card over-performed for me quickly in Aether Revolt, and has continued to do so. It’s not an ideal first pick, but still, I would take it here. This is a terribly weak pack, and you don’t even really have another option. After first-picking a Dreadnought, I would be looking to play R/W Vehicles, but only as a preference, and would certainly stay open to all my options.
Honorable Mention: Welder Automaton.
It’s rare that in writing this series that I’m forced to first pick, even as an honorable mention, a card as weak as Welder Automaton. This is one of the worst first picks I could ever imagine, and if I were ever forced to take Welder Automaton first in a competitive tournament, I would be extremely disappointed. Even though it is technically an artifact, it is sort of a red card, and red is the best color in the format. It’s also a cheap creature in a format where cheap creatures are at a premium.
With so many artifacts running around, this is really a bomb-level rare. Casting Release the Gremlins for 5 mana gives you what is effectively a 4-for-1. It’s impossible to beat that rate. It’s not unheard of, and frankly not even that uncommon, to cast Release the Gremlins where X=3, which is almost impossible for an opponent to come back from.
Honorable Mention: Vengeful Rebel.
Vengeful Rebel is a premium uncommon. The biggest challenge for making Vengeful Rebel into a bomb-level card is simply making sure that you’re able to turn on revolt. The best ways are probably Renegade Map, Implements, or in a best-case scenario, a card like Hidden Stockpile. I would be inclined to take cards that trigger revolt slightly higher after taking such a great revolt card first pick.
Mythic uncommon. One of the top 5 cards in the set. I would be ecstatic to open this card, and would take it nearly every single time. I will be even happier in the very rare instance where I get to take a card over it, though it hasn’t happened to me yet.
Honorable Mention: Hungry Flames.
One of the most efficient removal spells, and one of the better uncommons in the set. Not nearly as good as Untethered Express, but better than the powerful Aethergeode Miner or Daring Demolition. I’d expect to first-pick Hungry Flames out of the majority of packs where I open it. 3 mana for 3 damage to a creature at instant speed is already a great card, and the incidental damage makes it that much better.
I can see an argument for taking Aether Poisoner over a gold card first pick, but like most of the other gold uncommon cards, Renegade Wheelsmith is just so good. I actually won a game at the Pro Tour on my sixth turn where my opponent played Arborback Stomper on his fifth turn. I was able to abuse Renegade Wheelsmith’s ability big time by combining it with a Mobile Garrison, and prevented two creatures from blocking for a couple of turns. The upside of Renegade Wheelsmith is so high that I’d go ahead and take it and try to draft W/R aggro.
Honorable Mention: Aether Poisoner.
Aether Swooper might be better than Aether Poisoner. But black is a much better color than blue, so I’d go ahead and take the Poisoner. Aether Poisoner is not a card that I’m particularly happy to first pick, but it is a card that is much better than it looks on paper.
Thanks for reading. As always, let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more. See you then!