Casual Encounters- Top 10 Casual Cards from Aether Revolt
Hi everyone and welcome back once again. Aether Revolt is just around the corner and everyone is counting down the top cards to be excited for. Well, I’m no different except that I’m not looking at Limited cards or Constructed cards. No, what I want is some fun new toys to splash around with in some Casual decks and to really spice things up when I get to sling cards with my buddies around a kitchen table. So, with Casual decks in mind, let’s look at the top 10 Casual cards that I’m eyeing from Aether Revolt.
- Ajani, Valiant Protector: I usually don’t put Planeswalkers on my lists because they are typically very good and clearly geared with Constructed decks in mind, but this one is just my style. Ajani, Valiant Protector is the face of one of the Planeswalker decks meaning he is undoubtedly under powered because the product is geared for new players and as introductory product to playing Magic. However, he plays ideally into a recurring Green/White theme and that’s namely +1/+1 counters on creatures. With a pair of plus abilities that are likely both very relevant in decks where he is featured he provides both +1/+1 counters AND card advantage without losing any loyalty. That’s big because you can steadily march him upwards to his Ultimate and likely use that to end the game in a quick and decisive way. Is he flashy the way some Planeswalkers are? No. Could he be on theme and very useful? Absolutely. Casual decks all over are going to love this new addition.
- Kari Zev, Skyship Raider: Kari Zev makes the list for the sole reason that she makes a Legendary Monkey Token whenever she attacks. She makes a Legendary Monkey Token when she attacks! How awesome is that? Her casting cost is very favorable at a mere 2 mana, but really, who cares? It is all about that Monkey Token.
- Rishkar’s Expertise: I took one look at this card and wasn’t really worried about the second clause on this card. The card had me hooked at “Draw a huge pile of cards”. Let’s face facts. If you are playing Casual Magic and you are playing green you likely have some very large creatures which essentially means you get to draw a big old pile of cards when you cast this. The second clause is potentially very relevant too because you just might want to slam a second play after playing this, but I’m all in on the card draw effect in my Green decks anyway. Can you imagine this in a deck with Ajani, Valiant Protector after a couple of activations? Oh, that sounds like FUN to me!
- Whir of Invention: Hello Chord of Calling for artifacts! I’m not going to suggest any combos because everyone will likely have their own, but the power level on this just can’t be missed. Go find that big awesome artifact at the end of your opponent’s turn and then reap the benefits (end of turn Blightsteel Colossus anyone?) EDH decks love tutors and this one is going to be able to do some very powerful things in short order. It might see Constructed play to allow you to go and fetch a Gearhulk or something, but in Casual decks where the sky is the limit, this is going to be very spicy.
- Exquisite Archangel: The life swing on this alone is kind of nuts. I can imagine this finding an immediate home in an EDH deck where this is used as a way to totally negate all the damage you’ve sustained at the hands of your opponent by giving you back your starting life total AND to give you a powerful flying blocker to help secure the battlefield. At 7 mana it is undoubtedly too expensive for a Constructed format, but this will have a very bright future around the Kitchen table for years to come.
- Maulfist Revolutionary: This one is a little understated but the interaction it could have to in a deck interested in +1/+1 counters just can’t be missed. However, the fact that it could potentially net you loyalty counters on your Planeswalker, or add to the Poison or Energy Counters in play is extremely interesting. It gets even MORE appealing when you start to blink this guy in and out of play resulting in a whole bunch of triggers. Sure, it is a little slow and potentially a little durdly, but it is exactly the sort of card a Casual player is going to scoop up and put to good use on some Saturday night slinging cardboard with his buddies.
- Trophy Mage: This may as well read “Go tutor up your Sword of X/Y”. EDH decks are going to love the ability to tutor up their Swords and so there is little doubt that this will see fairly steady Casual play. Oh, it gets better if you can blink it and go and find more goodies in your deck. Really, what isn’t to love?
- Aethertide Whale: This giant flier is a solid creature, but what really gets me excited is the amount of Energy this thing produces. You get a whooping 6 energy whenever this enters the battlefield and that could be super important. You can even return the Whale to your hand for 4 energy and then re-cast it meaning that each time you do you are netting 2 Energy. You could see yourself scoring a whole pile of extra Energy and doing some really powerful things There are whole bunch of really neat things you can do with that sort of Energy production like Aetherworks Marvel or Gonti’s Aether Heart or casting a very large Harnessed Lightning. Whatever you like, there are lots of fun options that this creature will enable making him likely a slightly under appreciated card heading into the pre-releases. If you are looking to make use of Energy in a deck this is the sort of creature you are looking to include.
- Paradox Engine: This just screams to be abused. The ability to untap ALL your nonland permanents when you cast a spell is hugely powerful. I’m sure that there are people out there looking to break this card already, but the potential is dead obvious that you can’t miss it. I kind of hope I get my hands on one of these in my pre-release so I can take it for a spin too!
1.Planar Bridge: This is a very potent card for EDH decks. As a repeatable creature tutor that activates for 8 mana, this is an amazing way to go and find that big bomb you have lurking in your deck and dump it straight on the battlefield. However, the other thing this does is it allows your deck to go and play more like a “Tool Box” deck that is so acclaimed in other formats. Now, R & D has assured that at 8 mana to activate this that it is not a Constructed card, but in EDH, if you need an answer to eliminate that terrifying artifact, creature, or enchantment, you now have a tool to allow you to go and find it at Instant speed. It may not be the most efficient way to answer something, but if the alternative is you dying then I would rather take my chances with the expensive creature tutor. The one thing I am glad of is that Planar Bridge puts them on the battlefield rather than “casting” them and thus avoiding all the nasty “When Cast” triggers like on Emrakul, the Promised End. This is going to make EDH very interesting. Also, the Masterpiece version of the art of this card is stunning and one of the few times I might be prepared to shell out for the premium version rather than a simple non-foil version. A very fun and beautiful card and in my estimation the top pick for Casual Players from this new set.
Well, there you have my top 10 Casual Cards. As always, these lists are highly debatable and there is no doubt that I could have added another 5 cards easily. However, I have to draw the line somewhere and 10 feels about right. What has caught your attention from Aether Revolt? If you’ve got something that has captured your attention or something that you are really looking forward to playing let me know in the comments down below or find me on Twitter. As always, thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop in next time for another Casual Encounter.