With any new set release, it’s important to have a full grasp of every single card in the set. One of the most important aspects of Magic is concealed information, not knowing what your opponent could have at any given time. Knowing the combat tricks, removal spells, and other cards to look out for can help you pull ahead in games where you’re able to read your opponent and have the most control over the game.
Without further ado, here are the cards from Aether Revolt to look out for, sorted by tricks, sorcery-speed removal, and general cards to look out for.
In white, we have Deft Dismissal and Alley Evasion as the main two combat tricks. Alley Evasion seems like a great way of triggering Revolt, while being able to bounce important enter the battlefield creatures for just one mana. +1/+2 also seems to be a great trick since most creatures in Kaladesh frequently matched up in power and toughness. At sorcery-speed, we have Thopter Arrest and Caught in the Brights, one at common and one at uncommon. Dawnfeather Eagle definitely seems scary – many games of Kaladesh Limited went to wide board stalls with opponents having multiple 1/1 Servos – Dawnfeather Eagle looks like a sure way to end a game quickly when you have multiple creatures available to you.
Blue doesn’t have a ton of tricks at common and uncommon. Illusionist’s Stratagem and Leave in the Dust are great ways to trigger revolt while saving your creatures from removal or bouncing a pressing threat. Ice Over looks to be the best common and sorcery-speed removal spell. There’s not a ton of cards to look out for in blue, but Take into Custody can be important in removing their best blocker from combat, but overall it’s not a powerful effect that I’ll want in my decks most of the time.
Tricks: Perilous Predicament, Fatal Push, Renegade’s Getaway, Cruel Finality
Sorcery-speed removal: Yahenni’s Expertise, Battle at the Bridge, Foundry Hornet, Daring Demolition, Vengeful Rebel, Fourth Bridge Prowler
What to look out for: None.
Black has a bevy of removal available to it in Fatal Push, Perilous Predicament, Daring Demolition, and Cruel Finality at common and uncommon. The only true combat trick Black gets is Renegade’s Getaway. The rest of Black’s removal cards are all creatures that give -1/-1 effects, perfect for finishing off a creature in your second main phase or taking out pesky servos.
Tricks: Invigorated Rampage, Hungry Flames, Precise Strike, Shock
Sorcery-speed removal: Chandra’s Revolution
What to look out for: Kari Zev’s Expertise, Gremlin Infestation, Siege Modification, Wrangle, Destructive Tampering
Red gets a cheap first-strike trick in Precise Strike. Invigorated Rampage seems like a great way to trample over 4 damage, or just a way to trade your smaller creatures into their big blockers. We have Shock, Hungry Flames, and Chandra’s Revolution as red’s common and uncommon removal spells, and two “Threaten” effects in Wrangle and Kari Zev’s Expertise. Is it just me or is Gremlin Infestation the new Stab Wound? This is one card to watch out for if your opponent is in red – there aren’t a lot of non-creature artifacts this hits, minus vehicles, so most of the time you won’t be living the dream of enchanting your opponent’s Prophetic Prism and riding it to victory. But no matter what artifact creature you target with this, it’ll give your opponent an incentive to get rid of it – you also get a 2/2 Gremlin out of it too! What a deal!
Tricks: Heroic Intervention, Lifecraft Awakening, Lifecrafter’s Gift, Natural Obsolescence, Highspire Infusion
Sorcery-speed removal: Monstrous Onslaught, Prey Upon
What to look out for: Ridgescale Tusker, Peema Aether-Seer
Green has a lot of tools available to it at instant-speed. Lifecraft Awakening and Lifecrafter’s Gift are two huge instants that revolve around +1/+1 counter synergies and can give multiple creatures an extra boost in combat. Monstrous Onslaught is an interesting sorcery-speed removal spell, but the catch is that you have to have a solid creature already in play for it to be viable. I’m curious to know how big a creature you’d need to be make this card good. I think the minimum would have to be 4, to either clear multiple small creatures or one 4-toughness creature.
Prey Upon will always be included, but Hunt the Weak wasn’t always amazing in Kaladesh Limited, since most creatures matched up similarity in power and toughness. Ridgescale Tusker is another “anthem” effect at sorcery-speed, which seems extremely powerful in G/W strategies. With Dawnfeather Eagle and Ridgescale Tusker, cards like Cogworker’s Puzzlkenot go up in value when drafting your Kaladesh pack. Peema Aether-Seer is another card to look out for – you can wind up losing your whole board if your opponent is able to make good trades with your creatures! The fact that the ability costs energy instead of mana is powerful as well, since you get to use a less-pressed resource to activate such a powerful ability.
Pacification Array is an auto-include in every deck and will end up being a high pick since the effect is very powerful in every kind of strategy. Universal Solvent might not always be an auto-include, but it’s also a mana sink, which adds to its value.
Sorcery-speed removal: Spire Patrol
What to look out for: Tezzeret’s Touch
Again, two more powerful cards here. Spire Patrol is a great tempo effect tacked onto a 3/2 flying body and if I can, I always want to be enchanting my Prophetic Prism with Tezzeret’s Touch. Adding a 5/5 body to your board for 3 mana is pretty good, but being able to give your Renegade Freighter or Sky Skiff the extra boost seems incredible.
Aether Revolt has me excited, and I’m ready to dive head-first into drafts. What cards are you excited for? What tricks are you scared of your opponent having? Let me know!
Cheers and good luck at Prerelease!
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