January 20, 2017

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Magic Release Shenanigans

As most of you know, Wizard's of the Coast will be releasing Aether Revolt this Friday. Aether Revolt is the second and final set in the Kaladesh block. Now that Limited will consist of two sets, as opposed to one, the format will drastically change in the weeks to come.

Personally, release time is by far my favourite thing about playing magic- and not just because Limited is the best format in the game. Release events combine the best of competitive and casual magic. All of the cards are new and have interesting interaction that are not always obvious by reading spoilers. It is for this reason these events bring together large crowds of people who focus on all of the different formats of Magic.

Unfortunately the Pre Release has already passed, but for those of you still looking to participate you can still play in the release this weekend! Your local game stores will be starting release events as early as midnight on Friday the 20th. Here at Wizard's Tower we are will starting new sealed events every few hours for the entire weekend!

This is your chance to get ahead of the curve for the upcoming Limited PPTQ's and Grand Prix.

Somethings To Keep In Mind

With every new set comes new mechanics. Each of these mechanics bring new aspects to the game. These often take the form of new types of resources you need to keep track of, or triggers you really can afford to miss. Aether Revolt is no exception to this typical trend. I have listed below the new mechanics you will encountering in this set, and some of their interactions with other cards in the format.


Improvise states that “Your artifacts can help cast this spell. Each artifact you tap after you're done activating mana abilities pays for (1).” I expect this new mechanic to be far more useful than many players will give it credit for.

As we have seen in Kaladesh, there is a heavy artifact theme in the format, and this appears to be continuing in Aether Revolt. Non-creature artifacts that are already considered useful are becoming even more valuable with the addition of cards that have have the Improvise mechanic. These artifacts are now mana sources in addition to any other benefits it already had. Below are a few of the cards that now have this added value with improvise.


A card that has Revolt is triggered when it enters play, with the stipulation that a permanent must have already left your battlefield that turn. This can be triggered by losing creatures to removal or during the combat phase. However, there are much better was to trigger these abilities, and will prevent you from actually losing anything. Below are a few of the cards in the format to look out for while building or drafting.

Cards I Am Looking Forward To

Aethersphere Harvester - This card is exactly what I want to see in my sealed pools. It is an amazingly powerful card that will not get stuck in your hand for 19 turns while you look for that 6th or 7th land. This card has it all. It is aggressive due to its low converted mana cost. It is also evasive and has the ability to race faster aggro decks because of its lifelink ability. To top it all off it is colourless and can fit amazingly well into any deck. I do not think I will ever be unhappy playing this card at any point in the game. Status: Bomb

Vengeful Rebel - There are so many 2/3's and 3/2's in this format, and they give you value. Games from this limited block are rarely determined by big fat creatures. Vengeful Rebel is now the at the top of this list for this range of creatures. Removal is always extremely powerful in limited, and the “-3/-3” will be able to kill a huge percentage of relevant creatures.

Weldfast Engineer - Okay, for this one I can't claim I am not bias. I am a big fan of turning dudes sideways. TEAM RAKDOS!

Dawnfeather Eagle - This card has value written all over it. And with a rarity level of common I expect this guy to determine the outcome of many games in the weeks to come.

2HG Interactions

Most local stores and every Grand Prix will be running Two-Headed Giant events. This is by far one of the most fun formats to play with friends. It also helps you become a better player because of how closely you get to work with your partner. I highly recommend giving it a try if you haven't already.

Embraal Gear-Smasher - Holy smokes this card is the one to get. In Two Headed Giant you are given 8 packs so the artifacts will be easy enough to get. I can not wait to get to play this with Scrapheap Scrounger in my deck.

Perilous Predicament - 4 for 1 while you partner progresses board state… Seems good.

Gonti’s Machinations - Meh, but still possibly relevant. I am thinking this fits into pauper EDH a bit better.

Herald of Anguish - Where do I even start. This card is just insane.

Consulate Crackdown - This card exiles all artifacts controlled by both opponents in Two Headed Giant. This adds a lot of value to the card when playing this format.

Welder Automaton - Thats right! Every 4 mana is a direct 2 damage to their team. This guy can easily win you the close games.

Next week

In next week's article I will share my thought about the new format and how it will affect the upcoming Limited Grand Prix like San Jose. I will also be doing a step by step build. Over the weekend I will be participating in two Limited Pro Tour Qualifiers and I will be using one of my pools for the article. I will be breaking the pool down discussing each decision I made - especially the incorrect ones. Often it is easy to finish an event and toss the deck in a box assuming you did the best you could with that pool. Hopefully this will help both readers and author become better builders.

Until next time!