Aether Revolt Preview: Baral, Chief of Compliance

Cost reduction is one of the most exciting and powerful of abilities in Magic, and today we get to take a look at a new way to fuel a spell-based engine. Spells in particular are prime targets for cost reduction because let me tell you a secret: some spells draw other spells. And when you make them cheaper, you get to do a lot of crazy things.

Let’s see the man behind the engine, the chief of chiefs, Baral, Chief of Compliance.


Baral has a lot going on, as you would expect from any renowned leader.

First of all, he’s legendary, so dreams of stacking up cost reduction will be limited to those involving Mirror Gallery (which sounds like a lot of work). Still, Baral is powerful enough and will have enough of a target on his head that I could easily see playing 3 or even 4 copies. Plus, his last ability helps you filter through excess Barals, which is a nice bit of internal synergy.

Secondly, Baral makes it trivial to play multiple spells in the same turn. The first place I would look is card draw, though combining him with counterspells is a natural fit given his additional text. The turn-4 play of Baral plus leave up a 3-mana counterspell sounds amazing, and that gives you a good shot of untapping and playing multiple great spells.

Lastly, the looting ability means that every time you do play a counterspell, you get a solid bonus, which is like paying you for something you already wanted to do. As long as you remember to always loot, this ability should play excellently.

Baral is a powerful addition to Magic, and will be even more powerful when combined with his expertise (which is also getting previewed today). Happy looting!


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