January 10, 2017

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Daily Dose of Aether Revolt – Legendary Creature Cycle

Welcome all to the second week of the Daily Dose main previews and we now have been blessed with the full set of cards! Now that we have all of the cards, I can talk to you about a new cycle of legendary creatures and spells which will shape Standard play for months to come.

Magic has become very story driven with many cards whose role it is to immerse us into the story. In Aether Revolt, there are five legendary characters represented by a legendary creature card and a spell card with their name on it. These five spells allow you to cast an additional spell without paying its mana cost. Let’s have a look at the first character and their spell. Here is Sram, Senior Edificer and Sram’s Expertise.

Scram SramExpertise

I love seeing more Dwarves that I can put onto the battlefield. Sram, Senior Edificer fits right into a Red/White Vehicle deck and will help you gain some card advantage for every Heart of Kiran that’s cast. I can see this being a must have in Vehicle decks from now on. Sram’s Expertise provides some great value. It gives you three separate creatures that you can use how you want to crew Vehicles or even power cards with Improvise as well. Being able to cast a free removal spell, Vehicle or Depala, Pilot Exemplar off of Sram’s Expertise will mean that this card will get a lot of value for four mana.

Next we are going to be having a look some green cards. Here are Peema Renegade and Rishkar’s Expertise

Rishkar RishkarExpertise

The more I look at Rishkar, Peema Renegade, the more I fall in love with the card. Being able to make one of your two drop creatures bigger and have it tap for mana as well is so good. There are so many ways to get counters on creatures in this block that it may be possible to have all your creatures tap for mana. The mana ramp part of the ability means that you can go from a three mana spell on turn three into a six mana spell on turn four. Speaking of a six mana spell, Rishkar’s Expertise fits that mold. These two spells work well together as you will be making your creatures bigger with Rishkar, Peema Renegade, which means you will be drawing more cards and have more spells to cast for free with Rishkar’s Expertise. An interesting wording part of Rishkar, Peema Renegade, is that it says “with a counter on it” and not “with a +1/+1 counter on it”. We will have to wait and see what possible impact that could have in the future.

Next up is some impressive black cards in the form of Yahenni, Undying Partisan and Yahenni’s Expertise

YahenniUndyingPartisan YahennisExpertise

Yahenni’s Expertise is no doubt an amazing sweeper card that will obliterate many a battlefield, but it also obliterates Yahenni, Undying Partisan as well. If you are able to build up with some +1/+1 counters to make it a 4/4 or greater, it will then get very large once you remove all of your opponents creatures. I was on the fence about Yahennia, Undying Partisan, until I kept reading the card and saw that you were able to protect it by making it indestructible. Black definitely possesses the tools to make you able to generate a lot of +1/+1 counters. I think that the Haste ability seems like a non-starter for me, as you often won’t be able to make it grow the turn it comes onto the battlefield, so attacking with a 2/2 Haste on turn three isn’t the greatest. The potential though to get quite large, quite quickly is what makes this a scary card.

KariZevSkyshipRaider KarizevsExpertise

Yes, they made a card that creates a Legendary 2/1 red Monkey creature token. Once again they made a pair of cards that work well together. You are able to play Kari Zev, Skyship Raider on turn two, and then Kari Zev's Expertise on turn three. This will mean you are taking away probably their only blocker and you will have three creatures attacking on turn three. Don't forget that you will also be able to play a free spell with casting cost of two of less as well. I think that Kari Zev, Skyship Raider and Kari Zev's Expertise are two cards that will spawn a very aggressive Mono Red deck. Adding menace and first strike to Kari Zev, Skyship Raider also makes it harder to kill, which means you will be attacking with that Legendary monkey all day long!

BaralChiefofCompliance BaralsExpertise

These two cards are ones that pair together quite nicely. Once again, thanks to Baral, Chief of Compliance's ability you will be able to cast Baral's Expertise on turn four. Getting Baral, Chief of Compliance out on turn two could lead to some great turn three plays. Being able to play Disallow or other counterspells for only two mana, will also gain you some card advantage as well. There are lots of card draw spells, like the new Reverse Engineer, that will help you fill up your hand. Baral's Expertise is the ultimate tempo card, that will allow you to bounce three of their permanents while being able to cast a powerful spell like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Dovin Baan, or the new Tezzeret, the Schemer. Baral, Chief of Compliance could also see play in a Red Blue spell deck similar to what we saw in the previous Standard format.

So which of the pair of cards do you find the most impressive? I really enjoy cycles of cards and I’m glad that they were able to have a cycle pair this time around. Thanks again for reading more of the Daily Dose of Aether Revolt and join me tomorrow as I go over the Top 10 Commons that you want to be playing at prerelease weekend for Aether Revolt.