As promised, here’s the next five color pairs, followed by my top 5 cards from Kaladesh that improved with Aether Revolt!
That is my favorite archetype.
Maverick Thopterist is the card that pulled me in here and I haven’t regretted it. You play a ton of Implement of Combustions and build yourself an Affinity-like strategy. It takes a lot of pieces to get this deck right, so make sure nobody else is trying to do the same thing in your Draft. Be careful to read signals.
Inventor’s Goggles from Kaladesh is phenomenal here, acting as an accelerator, a mini-anthem since most of your Aether Revolt creatures are Artificers, and later, a mana sink.
It has my vote for the deck with the highest ceiling. It can be a total train wreck if there’s someone else interested in improvise, but if no one else is and you also get a bunch of Maverick Thopterists, you’re unbeatable.
Looking at the Aether Revolt cards, I got confused as to what this deck was supposed to do. The answer seems to reside in Kaladesh cards.
From the new set, you’ll pick up generic good cards and splash enablers like Unbridled Growth and Renegade Map, then you’ll likely end up with the energy cards that no one else wants such as Shipwreck Moray, Rogue Refiner, Skyship Plunderer, and Shielded Aether Thief.
Then the real energy payoffs will be in Kaladesh. Hopefully you’re able to splash the ones not in blue or green, and then you’ll get Dynavolt Tower, Aethersquall Ancient, Minister of Inquiries, Era of Innovation, Whirler Virtuoso, and whatnot.
It’s a risky strategy to be in because it’s very hit or miss—those cards might not be in the Kaladesh pack.
Similar to blue-black, you’ll have a little bit of improvise, but even less, and instead you’ll be more focused on the artifact sacrifice theme. Ravenous Intruder combines with Defiant Salvager, and Wrangle becomes somewhat of a playable card as you can steal and sacrifice their creature.
The only black-red deck I drafted was basically mono-removal and a few vanilla creatures, which was great, but you just can’t count on it since every drafter takes removal highly. That’s not really representative of what the archetype should be, but I got to see other people draft it and a sacrifice/artifact-themed strategy was clearly the way to go.
I haven’t drafted this deck yet. Winding Constrictor clearly pulls the the color combination toward +1/+1-counters-matter, but it can go in different directions when you don’t see the Snake. Black has good removal and green has solid creatures—mix them together and you’ve got yourself The Rock. That can’t be bad.
R/G doesn’t have any particular synergy besides a touch of energy and some revolt effects, mainly Lifecraft Cavalry. Outland Boar doesn’t have a ton of text, and that pretty much sums up the archetype: Simple beatdown.
One card that impressed me a lot throughout the 3 times I’ve drafted red-green was Destructive Tampering. Tons of Limited formats have had Falter effects that you can’t justify maindecking because of how narrow they are. This one has an alternate mode that is very potent to maindeck in this format.
Your guys are big, you have combat tricks, and solid removal. A recipe for success.
5 Most Improved Cards from Kaladesh
This card was already decent in Kaladesh thanks to the number of enters-the-battlefield triggers, but now with Aether—Revolt—Yeah, OK, I’m not good at puns, but you get the point. White doesn’t have that many revolt cards, but green does, and flickering something like a Vengeful Rebel in black is pretty sick.
Underhanded Design could range from extremely greedy to very good in the past format, depending on your number of artifacts. While this is still true, the artifacts in Aether Revolt tend to be enablers more than actual artifact creatures like Bastion Mastodon and Dukhara Peafowl—instead they’re cheap artifacts like Renegade Map, the Implements, Universal Solvent, and the Servos created by the Aether creature cycle. Because they’re cheaper, it makes Underhanded Design’s first ability a lot easier to pay for.
There are a lot more playable 1-toughness creatures in Aether Revolt than in Kaladesh, like Aether Poisoner, Aether Chaser, the Servos that come with them, Skyship Plunderer, and Audacious Infiltrator to name a few. Plus, it’s in a small set, and we draft two packs of them, so you’re even more likely to face these! Chandra’s Pyrohelix was a fine card a month ago, but now I consider it a great removal spell.
Durable Handicraft was a high-variance card in Kaladesh. Having it on the play and drawing it in the early turns would often be a massacre, but on the draw I would find myself never having an extra mana to put into it.
Nowadays, things are different. The format is slower than it was, which gives you the time to pay for Durable Handicraft. You also get crazy synergy with Winding Constrictor as a bonus.
Similarly to Chandra’s Pyrohelix, creatures have lower toughness on average now—in fact they are just smaller in general, power included. That’s because we see fewer Thriving Rhinos and the rest of the cycle, creatures that snowball into gigantic threats. Naturally, that means that the lucky person to get a Thriving Rhino in a world of other small creatures will be king.
That concludes my Draft Camp experience. I was able to 2-1 both my Drafts at GP Prague this last weekend, and I’m hoping for nothing less than a 6-0 at the Pro Tour this weekend, wish me luck!