TotL – 10 Cards from Aether Revolt that I’m Excited for
This week’s Top O’ the Lot is a little different. Wizards of the Coast newest Magic the Gathering set, Aether Revolt, will be released this Friday. As an avid player of the Elder Dragon Highlander (Commander) format, I am excited to share which new cards from this set I plan to add to some of my EDH decks.
10. Exquisite Archangel
Outside of the EDH format, the 7 converted mana cost (CMC) would be a little steep for a creature. But this is a 5/5 body with flying, which is respectable. However, it is the other ability on this card that makes me go “say what now”. If you’re about to lose the game, you can chose to exile the Exquisite Archangel and reset your life total. Which in EDH, the starting life total is 40. This negates nearly any reason you were about to lose the game, or at least buys you another round. Can not draw another card from your library? Exile the Archangel. Life total at zero? Exile the Archangel. On the receiving end of 21 commander damage? Exile the Archangel. Yeah, this card is good for one use only, which is good, because I bet if it didn’t get exiled, there’d be a bunch of graveyard shenanigans to abuse it. Thank goodness for that.
9. Perilous Predicament
With both Kaladesh and Aether Revolt being artifact-heavy sets, this is perhaps one of the better removal spells currently in the Standard format. However, EDH is a multiplayer format, so when a card says “each opponent”, that means it’s suited for the format. This card is basically a two-for-one creature removal spell. The best part is that it forces your opponents to sacrifice creatures, which gets around certain mechanics that might normally prevent a creature from being killed off. That can make a huge difference in some games. For example, one opponent only has one creature and it’s the biggest threat on the battlefield, it goes away and, hopefully, can’t be recurred immediately. Yeah, I like Perilous Predicament, and it’s definitely has a spot in a few decks of mine.
8. Maulfist Revolutionary
There is a keyword mechanic called “proliferate”; each allowed a player to add an additional counter to a permanent on the battlefield with counters already. Maulfist Revolutionary is basically proliferate without the keyword. This card is definitely best suited for decks that run a counters-specific strategy, like Superfriends or Infect. There are so many ways to abuse this effect that my head is spinning. Any decks with a blink-effect (where a creature leaves the battlefield and then returns) can certainly find a home for this one; Roon comes to mind. Plus, it’s a 3/3 body with trample for 3 mana, and that’s not half bad either. The effect happens twice, once when it enters the battlefield and the second when it dies. So bring your graveyard hate, because you’re going to need it. There are other cards from Aether Revolt that have similar abilities, but Maulfist Revolutionary stands out over some others.
7. Baral, Chief of Compliance
Any card that lowers the cost of an instant and/or sorcery by one is always a good thing in my book. Added to that, Baral has a looting effect whenever you counter a spell or ability! He basically replaces whatever you’ve just spent in order to counter something. Not too shabby. Baral is one of the 6 new legendary creatures in this set; 5 are mono-colored and the other one is on this list. I don’t see Baral at the helm of any decks, but he will definitely take his place among the 99. I’m thinking any Tarland and Izzet players will welcome him with open arms. Aside from that, I’m a bit underwhelmed by Baral. The story that revolves around him makes him to be more intimidating than he actually is.
6. Consulate Dreadnought
Vehicles are the real deal, thanks to Kaladesh and Aether Revolt! For 1 mana, you get this … a 7/11 vehicle! What a great deal! Hold on… you need Crew 6 to use it. That would be a bad thing, but luckily token decks exists in abundance in EDH! Myr players just got a second Myr Battlesphere. Consulate Dreadnought might not be a great Turn 1 drop, however in the late game it’s just what the Planeswalker ordered. This thing is an absolute beast once it can be crewed. All this and it’s a card of the Uncommon rarity!
5. Heart of Kiran
What can I say, the vehicles of Kaladesh and Aether Revolt are some pretty stellar cards with amazing abilities. For 2 mana, you get a 4/4 Legendary vehicle with flying, vigilance, and it only requires Crew 3 to activate it. But that last ability is insane! Sacrifice a loyalty counter from a Planeswalker you control, to pay the Heart of Kiran’s crew cost. The Superfriends just got a sweet new ride. You can sacrifice a loyalty counter from a Planeswalker, activate the Heart of Kiran and still use your Planeswalker. This card is an auto-include for any Superfriends decks, it’s just that good.
4. Hope of Ghirapur
3 Words. COLORLESS LEGENDARY CREATURE. Sure, Battle for Zendikar and Eldritch Moon gave us colorless legendary creatures, but those three have a high mana cost to cast. Hope of Ghirapur is a one drop; it only needs one mana to play it! Meaning, it can be played on the opening turn. It’s the Hope of Ghirapur’s second ability that makes it great however. Whenever it deals combat damage to the target player, you can chose to sacrifice it and prevent an opponent from playing anything other than a creature until your next turn. To make matters worst, if you chose Hope of Ghirapur as your commander, you can do that over and over again, as long as you have the mana to cast it. I like this card…I really do…but deep down in my gut, something is telling me that it could get banned from play at some point in the future. That ability is just too good and there are a lot of ways to abuse it in EDH.
3. Mechanized Production
This is a personal favorite of mine from Aether Revolt. For 4 mana, Mechanized Production creates a copy of the enchanted artifact you control. I play a Temur clones deck, which can make copies of just about anything on the battlefield, which makes that alternate win condition easier to attain. My Temur deck also has a Wurmcoil Engine in it, a prime candidate to play this enchantment on. This card is just screaming “add me to the clones deck, and you’ll not regret it”.
2. Oath of Ajani
While adding +1/+1 counters to each of your creatures is great, it’s the second ability of Oath of Ajani that catches my attention. Reducing the casting cost of your Planeswalkers is good, and I believe this may be the first card to do so. I know I keep bringing up Superfriends in this TotL, but seriously, that deck type is getting some major toys to play with from Aether Revolt.
1. Ajani Unyielding
Ajani Unyielding is the Superfriends new best bud. This guy can replenish your hand, protect itself and buffs all your creature and other Planeswalkers. The 6 mana casting cost might be a little high in Standard, but in EDH, 6 mana is nothing at all. Not too mention, with cards like Oath of Ajani and Oath of Nissa in play, Ajani Unyielding might hit the battlefield a little early. His ultimate ability puts a target on his back, but should that thing ever trigger… well, that would be fun.