Earlier this week, I ranked the 10 best cards from Aether Revolt. But maybe the good cards are obvious, what about the ones that are harder to evaluate?
Thopter Arrest is in direct competition with Stasis Snare. Arrest is a tad easier on the mana, but more importantly can take out artifacts—it will see more play if Aetherworks Marvel and Vehicles like Heart of Kiran become popular. One big downside is that Thopter Arrest isn’t an answer to a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, who is looking to beat you down.
I haven’t heard much about Unbridled Growth, but I think it has a real shot at seeing some Standard play. Growth fixes your mana of course, but the other added benefits are what I feel are important. First of all, the ability to turn on revolt is huge. You can use Unbridled Growth to fix your mana early, cash it in for a card, and Fatal Push a 4-drop later in the game. The other unique trait of this card is that it’s an enchantment for delirium. Not only is casting Grim Flayer much easier with Unbridled Growth—it’s much easier to turn on its +2/+2 clause as well.
Hope of Ghirapur
The world is free from Emrakul, the Promised End and Smuggler’s Copter, and we may end up living in a world where control decks are viable. Hope of Ghirapur is a cheap artifact creature that can push planeswalkers through counterspells and prevents the opponent from casting a devastating sweeper on a critical turn. I think Hope of Ghirapur will be an excellent sideboard card, and if artifact synergies such as improvise are relevant, it may find its way into some main decks. It also has some potential to see Modern play as a cheap artifact with the unique effect of “silencing” an opponent on a critical turn.
Whir of Invention
The “artifact Chord of Calling” seems a bit worse than actual Chord of Calling to me. For one, you need to have an important artifact or a toolbox of effective artifacts to search for. I don’t really see either in Standard. For another, improvise is a lot different from convoke in that you can’t tap the artifacts to pay for the blue in the mana cost, making Whir of Invention only viable in blue-heavy decks. This is one card I may ended up eating my words on, because it’s a powerful effect, but I don’t think it quite has what it takes for Standard. As for Modern, this card has the potential to be busted in some kind of artifact combo deck, but won’t see play in a deck like Affinity.
In case you didn’t know, I love Ensoul Artifact. Ensoul Artifact probably made me more money than any other single card. I should probably be the biggest fan of Tezzeret’s Touch, especially with an Ornithopter reprint, but I’m not quite buying in. Adding an additional mana to the cost of Ensoul Artifact, and a lack of Shrapnel Blast, has me hesitant to believe Tezzeret’s Touch can push through enough damage and have the reach to finish off an opponent in an aggressive U/B artifact deck. Smuggler’s Copter getting the ax makes it even less likely. Tezzeret’s Touch might end up in some decks, but I’d be surprised if those decks end up in the top tier.
Sram, Senior Edificer
I saw some talk of this card being placed in R/W Vehicles, but I’m not buying it. A 2/2 for 2 mana isn’t quite efficient enough, even if you get to draw a couple of cards at random times with it. Depala, Pilot Exemplar pumping Sram makes it a little more attractive, but being a legend hurts as you can’t have two in play to draw multiple cards when you cast a Vehicle. I think this one will fall just short of seeing Standard play. The Smuggler’s Copter banning didn’t do any favors for poor old Sram.
I’m really excited to start brewing for the Pro Tour, and can’t wait to get to work. The recent bannings in Standard have me a lot more excited for Aether Revolt than I was previously because Emrakul, the Promised End was too oppressive to the point where I haven’t played a Standard event without it since its printing. I’ll be really excited to try something new this time around.
What do you think are the most overrated cards in Aether Revolt? Which underrated cards do you think I’m missing? Tell me in the comment section below!