As of last Wednesday, I had no plans to got to any Aether Revolt prerelease. With most new set releases, I find myself signing up for four jam-packed events over the course of the weekend, but this time around I knew I wouldn’t have it in me to overload on Magic for two days in a row. Maybe it was the Winter cold getting to me or the fact that in just over a week I’d have to have a script written for a short film I’m shooting in the Spring. The January blues had got me down.

On a whim I messaged Kenny – “Would he want to prerelease? Doubtful,” I thought to myself. Kenny was my high school best friend, the one who had taught me how to cast my first spell. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year and who knows the last time we went to a tournament together. Any plans this weekend?” I texted him. “No, why?” A couple days later I found myself sitting in the community room of a mall waiting to open my sealed packs.

As far as prereleases go, I’ve somehow never put up a good record. Maybe it’s the unfamiliarity with the cards or morning grogginess that gets me, but I usually walk away unsatisfied with my result. This event was much, much different.

W/R by Roman Fusco at Prerelease

Creatures (15)
1 Weldfast Monitor
1 Bastion Mastodon
1 Scrapper Champion
1 Freejam Regent
1 Frontline Rebel
1 Wispweaver Angel
1 Lathnu Sailback
1 Visionary Augmenter
1 Herald of the Fair
1 Countless Gears Renegade
1 Aether Inspector
1 Renegade Wheelsmith
1 Bastion Enforcer
2 Ghirapur Osprey

Non-Creature Spells (8)
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Renegade Freighter
1 Shock
1 Release the Gremlins
1 Decommission
1 Caught in the Brights
1 Thopter Arrest
1 Hungry Flames

Lands (17)
8 Mountain
8 Plains
1 Spire of Industry

Lesson learned: Skysovereign, Consul Flagship is a good Magic card. I had a solid R/W deck, stacked with old goodies such as Renegade Freighter, but Renegade Wheelsmith was the real MVP – many good attacks were made on his behalf. After round 7 (yes, a 7 round prerelease!) I found myself sitting in first. Top 8 was about to begin shortly. “Are you going to play it out even if the rest of top 8 wants to split?” Kenny asked. “Of course!” I exclaimed. I was eager for that first place finish, I was locked into the “How to Win a PTQ” mindset and with my eyes on the prize I was determined to finish. “It’s a prerelease, Roman” Prerelease? Bah! Humbug!

image-14 image-15

As soon as the top 8 met, my eyes scanned the other players. “Does anyone object to an 8 person-split?” No response. I waited, sighed and gave no reply. It was time to go home. As Scrooge would scoff, “My generosity has always been my greatest weakness.” All Christmas Carol joking aside, it was one of the most fun I’ve had at a Magic event in awhile. Even if I had 0-2’d, I would’ve left the event with a smile on my face. Getting to play Magic and reconnect with your best friend from high school? That’s a win-win if I ever saw one.

Aether Revolt Limited Deck Skeletons

With the addition of Aether Revolt, it’s important to start getting an idea of how your Limited decks are going to end up looking. Here’s a quick glance at the color pairs of Aether Revolt and what commons and uncommons you should be poised to look out for for each strategy.

W/U

Key Commons: Ghirapur Osprey, Countless Gears Renegade, Hinterland Drake, Aether Swooper

Key Uncommons: Airdrop Aeronauts, Deadeye Harpooner

 

W/B

Key Commons: Dawnfeather Eagle, Aether Poisoner, Defiant Salvager, Caught in the Brights

Key Uncommons: Hidden Stockpile, Thopter Arrest, Restoration Specialist

 

W/R

Key Commons: Aether Chaser, Countless Gears Renegade, Shock

Key Uncommons: Renegade Wheelsmith, Aeronaut Admiral, Enraged Giant, Reckless Racer

 

W/G

Key Commons: Lifecraft Calvary, Prey Upon, Dawnfeather Eagle, Scrounging Bandar

Key Uncommons: Renegade Rallier, Ridgescale Tusker, Monstrous Onslaught

 

U/B

Key Commons: Bastion Inventor, Metallic Rebuke, Fen Hauler

Key Uncommons: Tezzeret’s Touch, Wind-Kin Raiders, Sly Requistioner

 

U/R

Key Commons: Aether Swooper, Hinterland Drake, Sweatworks Brawler

Key Uncommons: Maverick Thopterist, Wind-Kin Raiders, Enraged Giant

 

U/G

Key Commons: Shipwreck Moray, Aether Swooper, Aetherstream Leopard

Key Uncommons: Rogue Refiner, Shielded Aether Thief, Maulfist Revolutionary

 

B/R

Key Commons: Alley Strangler, Defiant Salvager, Sweatworks Brawler, Aether Chaser

Key Uncommons: Weldfast Engineer, Invigorated Rampage, Enraged Giant

 

B/G

Key Commons: Scrounging Bandar, Prey Upon, Night Market Aeronaut, Defiant Salvager

Key Uncommons: Winding Constrictor, Maulfist Revolutionary, Lifecraft Awakening, Foundry Hornet

 

R/G

Key Commons: Aether Chaser, Aetherstream Leopard, Sweatworks Brawler, Prey Upon

Key Uncommons: Outland Boar, Scrapper Champion, Peema Aether-Seer

 

As the release week unfolds, I’m excited to draft Aether Revolt and help friends test for the upcoming Limited Grand Prix in San Jose. With time comes experience, and I’ll be sure to share my lessons learned after I’ve gotten a couple drafts in. What color pair is shaping up to be the most powerful in your opinion?

For more Aether Revolt Limited analysis, read this article from Ben Pall, where he discusses the themes that you’ll want to take advantage of when playing the format.

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