by Zane Rowland
So we’re still a few months out from Aether Revolt, but today I thought I’d write about something that got the Magic community very excited with the release of Kaladesh, and is sure to have everyone blowing gaskets again when the Aether Revolt spoils start rolling out. I’m talking about the Masterpiece Series, and today I’m going to be speculating on the Kaladesh Inventions we could see in Aether Revolt.
First, what do we know? Mark Rosewater informed us that, “The number of Masterpiece Series cards may fluctuate, but roughly speaking we expect each Masterpiece Series to be around 50 cards for the whole block. Kaladesh Inventions, for example, will have 30 cards in Kaladesh and 24 cards in Aether Revolt. The large set and small set in a block will have different Masterpiece cards.”
And furthermore, “The Masterpiece Series, both in presentation and card selection, will be tied thematically to the world appearing in the block. For Instance, all of the Kaladesh Inventions will be artifact cards presented as Kaladeshi artifacts.” Knowing all these things, we can begin to make some speculations.
Some have speculated that the Phyrexians could be back in Aether Revolt. If that were the case, we could easily see cards like Batterskull, Phyrexian Metamorph, Spellskite, Phyrexian Revoker and some other exciting things. While I do believe we haven’t seen the end of the Phyrexians, I don’t think Aether Revolt will include a full-scale Phyrexian invasion. We know the set symbol doesn’t reveal anything about Phyrexians, and the name of the set and its catchphrase “It’s Time to Take the Power Back,” essentially tell us that the citizens of Kaladesh are fed up with The Consulate and rise up against it in Aether Revolt. For this reason, I have not included any of these cards in my speculations.
Honestly, WOTC really hit a home run with the artifacts they chose to reprint as Masterpiece Inventions in Kaladesh. These artifacts spanned every format from Modern to Vintage, and included cards sought by competitive and casual players alike. In fact, it seems a lot of the big money artifact cards not on the reserved list saw a reprint with Kaladesh. So, although I don’t believe Kaladesh Inventions in Aether Revolt will carry some of the high price tags Kaladesh had, there are still some very exciting possibilities! Without further ado, here are my 24 picks for Aether Revolt and why.
1 thru 5 Aether Revolt Inventions. Why? Just as Kaladesh featured 5 set-specific Inventions to be Included among the Masterpieces, it stands to reason so too will Aether Revolt. It’s difficult to speculate on what these could be, but I think there’s a good chance that they will be colored artifacts just like the Gearhulk cycle.
6 thru 7 Sword of Body and Mind/Sword of War and Peace. Why? WOTC loves printing cards cycles (We love them too). We only saw three of the five swords in Kaladesh, and we know the Kaladesh Inventions Masterpieces are being split into two sets, it would be a crime for them not to reprint the rest of this cycle in Aether Revolt.
8 Vedalken Shackles. Why? There are Vedalken on Kaladesh and they build stuff. We also know there are criminals and traffickers like the Aetherborn who break the law, and The Consulate who enforce it. The Consulate needs reliabledevices to hold those criminals, and those kinky dwarves need them for when the sun goes down. Thematically, this card is a shoe-in. Additionally, it’s a great card that has always seen a fair amount of competitive play.
9 Coalition Relic. Why? We saw a lot of great Commander cards among the Kaladesh Inventions last set. Coalition Relic is a powerful artifact used by a lot of Commander players to fix their mana, and a lot of those players would love to get their hands on a Kaladeshi premium version of this card. There were a lot of mana rocks last set and the five colors featured on this card would be so gorgeous on Kaladesh. Thematically speaking, it could be from an ancient Kaladeshi Coalition, but that may be a bit of a flavor stretch!
10 And 11 Sword of the Meek/Thopter Foundry. Why? This is another combo that has seen a lot of Legacy play, and with the unbanning of Sword of the Meek in Modern, it now sees Modern play as well. Thopters are prevalent on Kaladesh as you would expect, so flavorfully I think these cards fit well. One interesting thing to note however, Thopter Foundry is the first colored artifact I’ve chosen to include in this list, but it won’t be the last!
12 Mesmeric Orb. Why? Wizards of the Coast is going to try and hit as many niches, formats and players as they can with the Masterpieces because ultimately they want to sell boosters. By appealing to everyone, including the casual mill player, WOTC is insuring that the entire MTG community will be buying packs in hopes of playing the lottery to get their preferred Masterpiece. I see no reason why Mesmeric Orb could not thematically be included as a Kaladesh Invention.
13 and 14. Chalice of the Void/Engineered Explosives/Ensnaring Bridge. Why? Because these are some of the big money artifact cards in Modern that see a lot of play and are in need of a reprint. You’ll notice I’ve allotted three cards to only two slots here, that’s because I’m really only counting on WOTC giving us two of the three. While I would be thrilled to see all three, I think at least one of these could be saved solely for Modern Masters 2017. I could see all three of these blending into the Kaladesh world, but if I had to guess which one won’t be included-sorry Ensnaring Bridge, you’re it.
15 Oblivion Stone. Why? Oblivion Stone is an extremely powerful card used by Tron players in Modern as well as by many Commander players as a restart button available in any color(s). Reprinting it would be like killing two birds withone stone, and allow people to bling out their favorite decks a little more. Thematically I could see it see it fitting into Kaladesh and it’s hard to see WOTC not wanting to take advantage of this reprint.
16 Platinum Emperion/Angel. Why? For starters, both these cards combo with Madcap Experiment for some fun Johnny potential. Secondly, both angels and golems exist on Kaladesh as we’ve already seen. A Premium Kaladesh Invention for Platinum Emperion would make my day, and could you imagine the epic ensuing battle between Metalwork Colossus and Platinum Emperion if they found themselves on opposite sides of the Kaladeshi revolt? Please, Wizards of the Coast, please!
17 Gilded Lotus/Lotus Bloom. Why? More mana rocks! We saw Lotus Petal as an invention in Kaladesh, surely whoever invented it worked their way up to constructing a full-blown artifact lotus flower right? The Suspend on Lotus Bloom could mean it doesn’t flavorfully fit into Kaladesh, but either way I think we’ll see one of these as a Kaladesh Invention.
18 Trinisphere. Why? It’s a staple in older Eternal Formats and is a card many of us love to hate. Flavor text on the FTV: Exiled version reads, “Designed to restrain petty thoughts, but used to repress entire empires.” Could this be a confiscated invention used by The Consulate to keep its citizens in check?
19 Master of Etherium/Shardless Agent. Why? Interestingly enough, The Gearhulk Constructs were the only colored artifacts in Kaladesh before, but I think that could change. One of the repercussions of the revolt in the next set could be that many artifacts become imbued with the different colors of mana. Shardless Agent could very well be too thematically tied to Alara and therefore unable to be included, but I think WOTC could swing it if they wanted to. Whether the inventors of Kaladesh would be able to come up with a vedalken or human artifact hybrid remains to be seen, but it sure is fun to speculate on!
20 Baleful Strix. Why? It’s another popular card that is a colored artifact with a plausible hybrid in Kaladesh. We saw an artifact fox, bird, lizard, snake and elephant in the last set, so inventing a colored artifact hybrid bird would just be going one step further.
21 Skullclamp. Why? It would be a nod to Commander and Vintage players, a super-broken artifact that has actually seen quite a few reprints over the years. A third art depiction as well as a premium Masterpiece for this card, would be a great way for these players to personalize their decks, and thematically speaking there’s no qualms that I can see.
22 Grindstone. Why? In my opinion, there were two Kaladesh Inventions that seemed a little out of place in the last set. One of these was Painter’s Servant. Don’t get me wrong, the art was absolutely gorgeous and I was glad to see it included! But a Scarecrow on Kaladesh? Outside of a select few sets in MTG history, Scarecrow as a creature type is virtually non-existent, so who would’ve thought Kaladesh of all planes? Additionally, the “master” of the Painter’s Servant is the Reaper King, so if he isn’t in Kaladesh why would his servant be? Anyways, that’s my short rant. Regardless of what I think, Painter’s Servant is a Kaladesh Invention and we all know Painter’s Servant combos off with Grindstone. Despite the fact that Grindstone is a key combo piece in a Legacy deck it has never seen a reprint or had a premium version. I think a lot of people would be very excited to see Grindstone in Kaladesh.
23 Cranial Plating. Why? Cranial Plating is the glue that holds Modern Affinity together. It makes any creature in the deck a potential finisher and is probably the most-played equipment in Modern. Besides, Affinity got two Masterpieces from the last set, so why not another one? Flavorfully, it’s an equipment that gets more powerful the more artifacts you control, so it seems like the perfect Invention for such an artifact-themed plane.
24 Adaptive Automaton. Why? Nearly 30% of the artifacts printed in Kaladesh had the Subtype Construct, the same Subtype that Adaptive Automaton has. Frankly, I was a little surprised it wasn’t included as one of the Masterpieces from the last set. It’s a colorless lord that can benefit a lot of tribes who don’t already have great lord effects. Kaladesh has some great tribal potential including dwarves, vedalken, aetherborn, humans and even pilots or vehicles, so Adaptive Automaton is an easy inclusion for me.
Well, those are my 24 picks for Aether Revolt Masterpiece Speculations. I’m sure I have probably overlooked a few things, and WOTC will undoubtedly include cards that few people will have expected (I never would of guessed Cloudstone Curio in the last set).
Please comment below and let us know what you think of this list! I’m sure everyone is hoping for something in particular, let us know what you want to see as well! Until next time!
Zane Rowland is the crazy brewer/speculator for The Forge Herald. He is a long-time Magic player and collector.
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.