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Top 7 Aether Revolt cards impacting Modern

Check out the cards that didn’t quite make Zane’s list, here.

Down with the Consulate! Down with Tezzeret’s corruption! The plane of Kaladesh is in full-scale revolt, and that means we’re getting a new batch of powerful cards to experiment and build with. Aether Revolt will be legal as of January 20th 2017 (Coincidence?) and offers 184 cards with a lot of Modern potential. Some of these cards will see kitchen table or FNM play, some will see competitive fringe play and some will stick around and may even become a Modern staple.

I’ve examined the cards in this set and the Modern format in order to bring you a list of 7 Cards (Ornithoper aside) that I believe will be the most likely to impact Modern after Aether Revolt becomes legal to play. It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that the Uncommons in this set are extremely pushed, and some of them are simply revolting.

7) Heroic Intervention– I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been waiting for WOTC to print this card for a while now. In my opinion, its been a long time coming. No longer will green players have to choose between a card that gives their creature hexproof and dies to boardwipes, or gives their creature indestructible and gets exiled by Path. Now they can have both! But wait, there’s more! Not only does it save your creatures from just about any threat (There’s a reason Liliana of the Veil is $100), it protects ALL PERMANENTS you control. Think about that for a second. Creatures, lands, artifacts, enchantments, Planeswalkers. Surely, this card will have a much wider impact than just Monogreen stompy, even if it’s just in players’ sideboards.

6) Whir of Invention– If Reshape and Chord of calling got together, Whir of Invention would be their lovechild. This card is just asking to be abused by Modern players! I’m going to go ahead and predict the artifacts this card will be tutoring up in Modern: Crucible of Worlds, Wurmcoil Engine, Ensnaring Bridge, Lotus Bloom, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek. You figure out the rest.

5) Sram, Senior Edificer– This card quite possibly gets me more giddy for Aether Revolt than any other! Those of you in my playgroup know that I have a fun Modern deck I pull out every once and a while known as Cheerios, or Puresteel Paladin combo. I’ve gone through various iterations of the deck, and now it looks like I will be changing it once again. (Look for a Cheerios Modern deck article from me in the near future!) Essentially, Sram works just like Puresteel Paladin to draw you tons of cards for all the 0-cost equipments in your deck until you can draw into a Retract. Then you do it all over again. Playing equipments, drawing cards and chaining together Retracts until you can Storm them out with a Grapeshot. The deck is super fun to pilot and can win even on the second turn. Its problem has always been its lack of redundancy for its essential card, Puresteel Paladin. But not anymore! I believe Sram could turn Cheerios into a much more powerful contender in Modern, and he could even see play in other enchantment/artifact heavy decks.

4) Vengeful Rebel– The flavor on this card is simply beautiful, shout out to the Aether Revolt Design team! From the art to the name, to the abilities of the card, it all just works. Vengeful Rebel is Revolting against the Consulate to get revenge. As you can see, he gets that revenge by slashing an opponent’s creature with a -3/-3. Seem familiar? That’s because it’s essentially a non-Eldrazi Wasteland Strangler. Upside is Vengeful Rebel is much easier to trigger in Modern, downside is he doesn’t have the advantage of Eldrazi Temple’s ramp. Still, I think his two-for-one value will help it see some play in the Modern format.

3) Expertise Cycle–Being able to cast any spell for free should never be overlooked, even if it’s limited by CMC. Some of the Expertise spells in this five-card Sorcery cycle may look a lot more powerful than the others, but I can assure you, even the weaker ones can be potent in the right deck. A lot of people have been brewing these with the Fuse cards from Dragon’s Maze because just like Goblin Dark-Dwellers, the Expertise cycle will allow you to cast both halves FOR FREE. If you thought Beck/Call or Breaking/Entering were bad, look again. Whether these brews will catch on or whether playing Yehenni’s Expertise with a free Terminate or Ancestral Visions is better than just running Damnation is something that is difficult to see, but something to keep in mind. I personally will be picking up a playset of each before someone breaks them.

2) Renegade Rallier–This human warrior is definitely Modern playable. Renegade Rallier nets us sheer value and is extremely versatile. Following in the footsteps of staples like Kitchen Finks and Eternal Witness, this guy brings back any permanent with CMC 2 or less. He can bring back another threat like Tarmogoyf or Voice of Resurgence, a valuable sideboard card like Relic of Progenitus, an integral combo piece like Melira, or even just grab the fetchland in your graveyard to ramp yourself a turn ahead of your opponent. I think Abzan Aristocrats and Abzan Company decks just got another great card in Renegade Rallier.

1) Fatal Push– Say hello to Black’s new go-to kill spell in Modern. Without triggering Revolt, this card hits a little more than 50% of the top 50 most played creatures in the format. That includes any creature that an aggro deck is going to throw down in the first few turns. With Revolt, you’re now hitting 90% of these creatures. This card was undeniably designed with the Modern format in mind. Most of the time Revolt is going to trigger off a fetchland leaving the battlefield, but sacrificing, exiling, bouncing and killing things will all get you there as well. Fatal Push is going to replace cards like Disfigure and Dismember in decks splashing black because it’s efficient, it’s instant-speed, and as it’s as cheap as they come.

All this being said, we need to keep in mind there’s a few notable creature cards that Fatal Push will never be able to kill, these include: Drowner of Hope, Reality Smasher, Wurmcoil Engine, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Gurmag Angler, Bedlam Reveler, Stormbreath Dragon, Primeval Titan, Thragtusk, World Breaker, Emrakul, and Ulamog.

And there you have it, seven cards from Aether Revolt that I predict will have the most impact in Modern. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll see just how close or far off my predictions were. Thanks for stopping guys, and feel free to comment on how accurate you think this list is/isn’t or anything I may have completely overlooked!

I’m Zane, bringing you deck brews tier two through twenty-two since 2011. I won’t bore you with all that tier one nonsense!


© 2017, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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