Aether Revolt in Modern

Written by Joshua Claytor on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern

Aether Revolt in Modern

Joshua Claytor

Joshua is the current content manager of Legitmtg.com and Puremtgo.com.

Yesterday on PureMTGO.com I talked about the nine cards (and some fringe cards) that I believe will see play in Modern from Aether Revolt. Why do I focus on Modern though? Well that is because Modern is the best format. Also I believe that set reviews skew towards Limited and Standard formats, and sometimes Modern gets looked over because Pros hate it and Frontier is the new hotness. Which is fine, like I said yesterday, I want people to be able to play Magic how they want, and to have the most fun doing it.

For me, it’s Modern, and that is also fine, it may have lost the Pro Tour, but it made up for it with the Sunday Super Series (That’s sarcasm, because the SSS ended after this past weekend, to be replaced by something else) and I guess the Magic World Cup and a series of PPTQs and an RPTQ, so there is a lot of WotC supported Modern even without the Pro Tour.

I talked about White, Blue and Black yesterday on PureMTGO.com, and today my plan is to finish up the set. I’m not going to talk about every card in the set, because well, a lot of them will not even see Standard play, and if something like Lathnu Sailback does not see play in Standard, it would take a miracle for it to see play in Modern.

Let’s start off with the Red cards.

Kari Zev’s Expertise is Threaten with a free spell stapled on to it, and that seems to be a pretty good card, but I am unsure of where it will see play in Modern. In the burn deck this could be a neat spell to have, but Threaten effects are not already a thing that they play, but taking their best creature, and burning the face and attacking with their dork may be worth looking in to.

Hungry Flames is a weird card, it’s close to Searing Blood, but costs a mana more, and flipped the damage that it deals, as it goes 3 to the creature and 2 to the player. While this card will be great in Standard, it’s less the optimal in Modern because of the amount of cheap efficient burn already in the format. Heck Searing Blood already rarely sees play.

Pia’s Revolution is a card I like in very limited cases. I think it’s great in the sideboard of Krark-Clan Ironworks. I think it might be okay in Lantern Control, and it might be okay in Affinity. However is this card better than Ghirapur Aether Grid? It might be. They both cost three, involve artifacts to deal some damage, and can take over if left unanswered. Maybe Revolution makes the most sense in the Ironworks deck, and I know I am going to take a look at in the board.

Release the Gremlins can be a neat artifact removal spell, but I think Smash to Smithereens or the other playable Red artifact removal spells may be just better than it is. At three mana you destroy an artifact and get a 2/2, but as the game goes later you can pump more mana in to the spell for extra gremlins. At five mana you get two artifacts and 2 gremlins, but is that really any better than Shatterstorm, which destroys all artifacts in play at four mana? I am sure that there is a deck that wants this, but it feels weak in the format otherwise.

Overall Red feels underpowered for what it might bring to the Modern format. Yeah Expertise is super cool, and Revolution might be a win condition, but the cards I mentioned do not really show off how weak I feel Red is in this set.

Moving on to Green we start of with Aid from the Cowl. This is not going to plug in directly to any existing deck, but it might be a pretty cool toy in a Green Devotion deck. This Enchantment is something that I think could see play, but I would not be surprised if it did not make any impact in the format. It feels like this would be good in a deck like the Through the Breach Titan deck, where you are cheating fat monsters into play.

Greenwheel Liberator is a 4/3 for 1G that might see some play as an alternative to Tarmogoyf, on budget decisions alone. 4/3s (if you have a fetch land for revolt) are nothing to scoff at, and I believe that this would fit in well in a zoo deck.

Narnam Renegade seems like it should see play, as a 2/3 with Deathtouch for G does not seem like a terrible deal. It’s a 1/2 without a fetchland on turn one, and that’s where it becomes almost unplayable in my mind. 1/2 is not great at all. Wild Nacatl seems like it should be the default one drop in aggressive decks.

Natural Obsolescence is cute, and in the rare cases where you want that Cranial Plating to be on the bottom of their deck it will pay off, but there are a lot more options for artifact removal in the format, and most of them are more flexible, considering that they can also hit enchantments as well.

If Abundant Growth saw any play at all, I would feel like Unbridled Growth would be an upgrade, but it does not see play in the Modern format. Utopia Sprawl sees some play in the RG LD deck and in Tooth and Nail, but Sprawl adds two mana to the mana pool, which makes Unbridled Growth less awesome.

I would like to make a note of Rishkar’s Expertise as well. I don’t think this card is going to see play, as dropping Primeval Titan into play seems like a better use of your mana than drawing some cards and maybe making a Thragtusk.

Next up are the Multicolored cards of the set.

Oath of Ajani is the first card that I think could see some Modern play. Super Friends sees some fringe play in the format, and making your Planeswalkers cost one less seems to be pretty fine.

Tezzeret the Schemer is next, and I think it could fit in in a Tezzarator style control deck. He’s not the best Tezzeret, but making a stream of 5/5s with the ultimate seems great, and the removal side of him seems really useful as well. Not really sold on the make a Lotus Petal ability, but it is a thing that could potentially become a 5/5! Maybe with Ensoul Artifact and Tezzeret’s Touch, we can get some Ensoul Aggro going on in Modern!

I don’t think that is a thing that is going to happen.

Let’s get right on to the artifacts.

Cogwork Assembler in Tron seems neat, and when you use it’s ability to copy a Wurmcoil Engine that might be amazing, but no way does the card see play. I just wanted to make a note of it, and it’s ease of use with the full tron in play.

Hope of Ghirapur is the Xantid Swarm that the format needed that we had no idea that the format actually needed! Great play before you try to combo off with whatever combo you are using, much needed protection there, but it’s not much of anything in non combo decks in the format.

I love Metallic Mimic, and I love it over Lord of Atlantis. While you don’t get Islandwalk from this lord, you’re also not giving it to your opponent’s merfolk in the mirror match, and the bonus from Mimic stays around. That counter is going to stay on, and that could potentially mess up combat math. The downside is it is two less pips for Master of Waves, but with Fatal Push in the format, Master of Waves might be reigned in a bit. I am really high on Metallic Mimic.

Tron gets a new toy with Planar Bridge and I am sure that will not be super annoying when the deck gets to untap with that artifact in play.

Paradox Engine I am sure will create some infinite combo deck, but I am not really sure what it will do in Modern.

Walking Ballista is the last artifact I like in the set for Modern. I see some Tron decks that run Hangarback Walker, so a version that deals damage for counter removal seems pretty good here.

So there you have it, the cards that I think might have some sort of impact on the Modern format. I actually talked about more cards than I intended to, because I guess I needed to hedge and cover myself in case I missed on. Let me know what you think in the comments section? Did I overlook a card that is sure to see play? Maybe, you should let me know!

Thanks for hanging out here at Legit, yesterday was my three year anniversary of managing content here, and I hope the site has been as great for you as it has been for me!

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