While I may have been pessimistic in my last article, there are some cards that have drastically exceeded my expectations. Something to note is that every knew cards like Dawnfeather Eagle and Hungry Flames were good. The purpose of this article isn’t to talk about the obviously good cards, but rather those that have been surprisingly impressive. These are cards that have gone up since the initial evaluations of the format by me and many other players.

The Winners

Renegade Map


Most people thought the card was going to be just fine, but it has turned out to be actually amazing. This card is not only a mana fixer, but it also enables revolt and improvise, the two main mechanics of Aether Revolt. People have known that Renegade Map is really good for a while, but especially since Aether Revolt is the first pack you open, it’s a great card because you can sculpt your overarching strategy around it. This card is fantastic in literally any deck and is going to help you stay open, which makes it so high in many players’ pick order.

Sram, Senior Edificer


I originally though this fella was just ok, but it turns out he is a guy that wants to do crazy, crazy things in your deck. The three things that trigger his ability are present in so many Aether Revolt decks already, and it’s just straight upside. A 2/2 with upside is never going to be bad, however I don’t think people realized how much upside this guy exactly gives normally. So while this card was evaluated in the preseason to be comparable to a good uncommon, it has certainly earned it’s place in my book as a rare that I’m looking out for.

Shielded Aether Thief


Wow, did this card exceed expectations. I really thought this card was average at best, and most people seemed to think the same at the beginning of the evaluation of this Standard format. However, this card is a whole lot better than people originally thought. It generates so much value for so little cost. At worst it’s a Consulate Skygate, which isn’t that terrible in this format. and at best it’s a great engine. At its best, however, it’s a 1 card engine that pulls you too far ahead for the opponent to ever catch up.

Scrounging Bandar


This card is significantly better than a 2/2 for 2, and people are certainly starting to realize that. It has so many useful synergies, such as being a backdoor revolt enabler and a +1/+1 counter synergy maker. This card makes every single green deck get what they need from their two drop because it works with +1/+1 counters which synergizes well with a lot of green’s cards in both sets. Pick this cat monkey high, before it’s picks up some wins for your opponents.

Welder Automaton


Even though it looks very poor on its surface, this card is just straight value. It’s a sick artifact with the added-on bonus of it’s relevant (albeit expensive) activated ability. Don’t overlook on this guy as a solid improvisor as well, and the 2/1 artifact creature is also relevant with the artifact-throwing cards in Aether Revolt, as well as Pia Naalar and other synergies from Kaladesh.

Implement of Ferocity


This card is the real deal, it is relevant with every keyword, draws a card, and has a ton of synergies. It is probably the best revolt enabler after Renegade Map and this card has certainly skyrocketed in my pick order. I really think that this card is definitely fantastic now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it rise in everyone’s pick order as time goes on.

Fourth Bridge Prowler


Ok, so this card still isn’t good, but it is certainly a lot more playable than I had first thought. The little 1/1 is able to kill a surprising number of cards and will usually at least take out a servo. It is making moves into the black decks where it isn’t facing a lot of competition, and I certainly think that this card has been overlooked and is at least a little bit better than people give it credit for. It’s not an early pick by any means, but it’s definitely playable.

Overall, the Aether Revolt draft format has shown itself to be pretty deep and have a lot of cards which are hard to evaluate, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a limited format. Value these cards a little higher than you might be doing already for some better results. I love the format and hope all of you are having a good time.


This is part 2 of my Aether Revolt limited analysis where I pick out some winners and losers of the format so far. You can read part 1 here, where I go over some cards that have been disappointing me thus far.

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