Uncommon is my favorite rarity. Commons may be the bread and butter of limited decks, but uncommons are often the spice of the deck. That’s because they’re often well-supported build arounds or just very powerful in their own right, and they’re also more reliable pickups than rares. But which uncommons are the best of the bunch? Today, we’ll count down the top 10 uncommons for limited in Aether Revolt. Pick them early, and pick them often!
One of the downsides of big fliers is that aggro decks can often remove them and swing in for lethal or near lethal. With Revolt on, Airdrop Aeronauts comes with an impressive 5 bonus points of life attached, which is huge for combatting that weakness. Incidental lifegain in this quantity decides plenty of games, and if you don’t believe me, try having your opponent nearly dead when they suddenly drop an Arborback Stomper.
The fact that Airdrop Aeronauts is a 5-drop means that you’ll aim to play it once the board is a bit developed, making it more likely to get the trigger. And the fail case isn’t bad either- if you’ve managed to stabilize enough without the extra life, Aeronauts will help you quickly end the game before your opponent can rally more troops. All in all, this is as close as you’ll get to Baneslayer Angel at uncommon.
Tired of choosing whether to Lightning Strike your opponent’s creature or their face? Now you don’t have to! Three damage for three mana has never let us down. While two extra points of direct damage isn’t awe inspiring, it will be relevant in enough games that it pushes this card from good to really good at times.
Representing a long lineage of creatures that kill other creatures, like Nekrataal, Shriekmaw, and Skinrender, Vengeful Rebel lives up to the its ancestors. You don’t often find card advantage and removal in the same card. When you do, it’s worth paying attention to, and putting in a little work if you have to. The only thing preventing Vengeful Rebel from moving up the list is that it’s not the easiest task to get full value from it on turn 3 (but thanks to Renegade Map and Unbridled Growth, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world either.)
Oblivion Ring variants are always very very good, and Thopter Arrest is no exception. While it can’t hit enchantments or planeswalkers, neither of those types are all that present in the format. You’ll always be happy to nab a juicy creature or artifact with this card, and it’s hard to believe it’s only the third best uncommon removal spell in the set.
6. Fatal Push
It’s no surprise that the card to revive black’s reputation for removal in Modern is also very good in limited. You can look at it as a more versatile Disfigure or a Lash of the Whip at an insanely low price, but either way it’s hard to argue that Fatal Push is anything other than premium removal.
What’s Vampire Nighthawk minus Flight? This, apparently. It’s hard to tell whether shaving one ability and one mana off the card makes it better or worse, but it’s pretty obvious that the card is still one excellent uncommon. With respect to quadrant theory, Gifted Aetherborn is great at all stages of the game, and also whether you’re ahead or behind.
Monstrous Onslaught is so good it feels like you’re breaking the color pie when you cast it. In fact, you might as well be. Magic R&D started giving green one-way fight cards a year ago, bringing it out of red’s territory. They premiered the effects of this decision with Nissa’s Judgment, another uncommon, 5-mana, completely busted removal spell that was better than anything green has ever had, but it still couldn’t nab two creatures at once like this one can. While I disagree with their decision to effectively ignore one of green’s greatest weaknesses, I won’t let my stance on the issue prevent me from windmill slamming this card almost every time I see it.
Untethered Express is the sole artifact on our list, and it is pushed (but not fatally pushed). 4/4 worth of tramply stats (that’s really 5/5) and a low crew cost means that the rhino train comes out swinging fast. While it’s best in aggressive decks, Untethered Express has no trouble playing a role on a grindier team, as it blocks really well and punches hard when you’re ready to finally finish your opponent off.
This is the only card in the set that made me say “wow” when I saw it. It is hard to believe that we have arrived at an age where we get a 3/3 double strike for four with upside at uncommon, but now that we’re here, we need to have a plan to beat this card. Remember to save your shocks if you expect to see Scrapper Champion, and side in all your 3/4s if you ever run into her.
We have our champion! Ridgescale Tusker is the best uncommon in the set, and it has earned its title well. A 5/5 for 5 passes the vanilla test with flying colors, and getting a free anthem is just such an overwhelming amount of value. It’s disgusting. It even synergizes with the strong +1/+1 counter theme in the block, and following it up with an Armorcraft Judge is one of the most busted things you can do in this limited format.
Think I missed a few hits? Is my list spot on? Let me know in the comments!
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