Tag: aether-revolt

Bruce Gray - January 27, 2017

Brewing with Aether Revolt

Casual Encounters- Brewing with Aether Revolt


One card that I overlooked in my survey of the set was Baral’s Expertise. Now, I knew the whole cycle was good, but I didn’t realize just how good the card was until I sat down for my pre-release.  Every time I was able to cast it I won the game handily and the extra free spell was truly back-breaking.  The fact that it made things SO lopsided suggested that I might want to try and brew with this.

As I sat down to brew looking at Baral’s Expertise, the second clause, where I can play a spell with cmc 4 or less, jumped off the card at me. Inverter of Truth is quite possibly the biggest thing you can do for 4 mana right now in Standard and landing a 6/6 flier on the table puts your opponent under a ton of pressure.  Yes, it has a significant drawback, but it is seriously undercosted for what you are getting.  In addition, in the later stages of the game, when you have a number of solid creatures and removal spells already in your yard, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to ensure you draw only gas. 

So, Blue and Black looked like a fun direction to take the deck but I wanted to do a little more.  Inverter of Truth was good, but it couldn’t be a 4 of because the drawback on the card is even worse in multiples.  I was looking for another big scary Black creature to run along with Inverter and then I got my hands on Herald of Anguish.  Oh baby.  Through a little wheeling and dealing I managed to get my hands on a couple of Herald of Anguish and my spidey-sense was off and tingling.  This gave me another big scary flier that even came with a powerful cost reduction mechanic in Improvise meaning I was all in.  Sure, I had to play some artifacts, but I was sure I could find some very suitable candidates to make the deck take shape.  

I started with asking myself if there were any cheap artifact creatures that would be useful to play to reduce the improvise cost on Herald of Anguish but could be decent to help to help slow down an opponent.  Consulate Skygate could just be that annoying little artifact creature because for a mere 2 mana you get 0/4 defender with Reach.  4 toughness allows the Skygate to do a pretty reasonable job of holding the ground in the short term and can even tangle up a few of the fliers like an Aethersphere Harvester.  

Our gameplan goes something like this: Renegade Map on Turn 1, Consulate Skygate on 2, and something like a Weaponcraft Enthusiast on 3 and you can have your Herald online for turn 4 and really setting the tone of the game early.  Now, this does all seem a little like Magical Christmas land, but it also doesn’t seem totally unrealistic, and apart from the Herald, reasonably affordable on the old pocket book.  Let’s have a complete look at the decklist:


U/B Expertise


This deck is nothing really fancy, but a few of the card choices are a little unusual.  Gifted Aetherborn is just a very solid 2 drop.  Yahenni, Undying Partisan is a super-interesting card with far too much text to not be a strong card and so trying it out a pair of copies seems reasonable. Weaponcraft Enthusiast gives you yet another target to hit off Baral’s Expertise and gives you a couple of Servo tokens to help with making use of Herald of Anguish. Gonti, Lord of Luxury  gives you yet another target for Baral’s Expertise and a super relevant ability to get yourself a little more card advantage and a relevant on-board creature with Deathtouch. (Editor’s Note: to see just how much Bruce loves Gonti, check out this article.)

The spells are pretty straight forward.  Die Young and Live Fast are likely the two most unexpected choices, but both offer unexpected sources of Energy to be used to power the Glint-Sleeve Siphoner for additional card draw, or to make sure that Die Young takes out something that is a little more difficult to handle.  The final piece is making sure you can turn on the Revolt mechanic on Fatal Push.  With no fetch lands in the format Evolving Wilds and Renegade Map will have to do.

The final piece is the cost to assemble all these cards.  The lands are reasonable in part because Sunken Hollow at $3.62* is reasonably prevalent because so much of BFZ was opened on account of the Expeditions. Spire of Industry is another versatile choice and if you can keep an artifact in play  then you can have access to the mana you need when you absolutely need it.  Otherwise, basics and the Wilds are cheap.  

Now, compared to many of my other decks I have built, this is a little bit pricier, but I would expect that if you wait a number of weeks that this will come down in price and be far more reasonable.  I would honestly expect that Herald of Anguish (at $17.99* on Three Kings Loot) will drop in price significantly in the next few weeks.  Yes, there could be a break-out deck at the Pro-Tour, but I expect that the card will likely drop shortly.  Inverter of Truth continues to sink in price and is a mere  $0.75* and the rest of the cards are all reasonably priced as they are Rares and not Mythics.  Finally, Noxious Gearhulk for $7.99* continues to see modest play but the price is hardly outrageous.  

So, there we have it.  A bit of a helter skelter deck that could really be fun.  Now, while I’m happy to share my ideas for brewing with a new set, I’m always happy to hear what other people are brewing up for their next fun night.  So, feel free to share with me what you’ve got brewing for your next casual game by leaving a comment down below or finding me on Twitter.  

Thanks for reading and please stop in next time for another Casual Encounter.


Bruce Gray


*Editor’s Note: All prices quoted are subject to change according to the whims of the multiverse.

Bruce Gray - January 13, 2017

Top 10 Casual Cards From Aether Revolt

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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!


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.  


  1. 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?


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

Bruce Gray



Three Kings Loot - December 13, 2016

Aether Revolt Spoilers

Aether Revolt Spoilers- Release Notes, Cards & Artwork Gallery


Card Gallery

aetherchaseraetherherderaetherinspectoraetherpoisoneraetherswooperheraldofanguishkarizevsexpertisekarizevskyshipraidermidnightentourageefficientconstructionuniversalsolventhopeofghirapurmetallicrebukeravenousintrudertreasurekeepergiftedaetherbornhiddenherbalistsnight-market-aeronautrenegadewheelsmithspirepatrolimplementofmaliceimplementofimprovementimplementofferocityimplementofexaminationimplementofcombustionexquisitearchangelcogworkassemblerbaralsexpertisebaralchiefofcomplianceaegisautomationaeronautadmiralaethergeodemineraetherwindbaskerconsulatedreadnoughtcountlessgearsrenegadedecommissionfatalpushfoundryassemblerfreejamregentglintsleevesiphonergontisaetherheartgreenbeltrampagergreenwheelliberatorhungryflamesindomitablecreativitymechanizedproductionmetallicmimicpacificationarraypeacewalkercolossusreleasethegremlinsrenegademaprenegaderallierreverseengineerrishkarpeemarenegaderishkarsexpertiseroguerefinersecretsalvageshipwreckmoraysiegemodificationsilkweaverelitesramsenioredificersramsexpertisesweatworksbrawlertezzeretstouchuntetheredexpresswhirofinventionwindingconstrictor1yahenniundyingpartisanquicksmithspytezzerettheschemeroathofajaniajaniunyielding battleatthebridge consulatecrackdown darkintimations disallow heartofkiran piasrevolution quicksmithrebel1 scraptrawler1 trophymage1 yahennisexpertise1


paradoxengineplanarbridgearchboundravager blackvise chaliceofthevoid defensegrid duplicant engineeredexplosives ensnaringbridge extraplanarlens grindstone meekstone oblivionstone ornithopter pithingneedle platinumangel sphereofresistance staffofdomination sunderingtitan swordofbodyandmind swordofwarandpeace trinisphere vedalkenshackles wurmcoilengine

Release Notes

Set Name – Aether Revolt

Block – Set 2 of 2 in the Kaladesh block

Number of Cards – 184

Prerelease Events – January 14–15, 2017

Release Events – January 20, 2017

Launch Weekend – January 20–22, 2017

Game Day – February 11–12, 2017

Magic Online Prerelease Events – January 27, 2017

Magic Online Release Date – January 30, 2017

Pro Tour Aether Revolt – February 3–5, 2017

Pro Tour Aether Revolt Location – Dublin, Ireland


Official Three–Letter Code – AER

Twitter Hashtag – #MTGAER

Languages – English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish


Initial Concept and Game Design

Mark Gottlieb (lead)
Mark Rosewater
Ken Nagle
Gavin Verhey
Adam Prosak
Ari Levitch

Final Game Design and Development

Ben Hayes (lead)
Sam Stoddard
Ethan Fleischer
Adam Prosak
Yoni Skolnik
Tim Aten

Kaladesh World Design

Doug Beyer (lead)
Sam Burley
Kelly Digges
Jenna Helland
Jeremy Jarvis
Colin Kawakami
Kimberly J. Kreines
Matt Knicl
Liz Leo
Ari Levitch
Melissa Li
Dawn Murin
Cynthia Sheppard
Mark Winters
James Wyatt