1) Lifecraft Awakening
I had to read this card approximately 6 different times, and half the time I said “oh my god it’s so insane” thinking it was basically Untamed Might, but completely busted, as it adds counters and animates an artifact.
It turns out you have to target an artifact, which was the first part I got wrong, and it doesn’t animate a Vehicle, which I thought it did the second time I read it.
Essentially, after playing the format, the card is still powerful, but the problem is its color. Green decks don’t play many artifacts, so it’s hard to find a target for it, which means it never makes your deck.
2) Lightning Runner
For a mythic, I expected better game play. The ability is unique and game-breaking, but its power and toughness are too low, and the energy cost too high.
I consider it close to unplayable, except in red-green where the ability is at its best since you’re a beatdown deck and those colors generate a reasonable amount of energy.
3) Kari Zev
As much as I wanted this card to be an insane 2-drop for Constructed, I got the chance to play with it a few times in Limited first, and it really is underwhelming.
If the Monkey had menace, then we’d be talking. As it stands, the token gets brickwalled too easily, and a 1/3 first strike, menace doesn’t do a whole lot of damage and won’t attack for very long before getting double-blocked.
I would still play Kari Zev, Skyship Raider in all my red decks—it’s a better 2-drop than almost anything you’ll find at common or uncommon, but it’s nothing more than a slightly better 2-drop, so pick it accordingly.
4) Peema Aether-Seer
I wasn’t yet playing Magic when the provoke ability first appeared back in Onslaught. What I do know is that there were no Vehicles back then. Let me tell you, they make Peema Aether-Seer’s ability look a little foolish.
It’s also narrow, since it only really does something on a small board, like when you’re attacking with just 1 or 2 creatures and they also have only a few creatures. But, be aware that if you have a menace creature and you activate the lure ability from the Seer, your opponent has to block with the targeted creature and something else. That’s a corner-case, but good to know for the future!
5) Dispersal Technician
During my initial ranking of the set, a few days before the prerelease, I legitimately thought this would be one of the best blue cards. Little did I know that the majority of targets in this set are either Servos, Implements, or Automatons. The best you can get is a Vehicle or a card from Kaladesh, which makes Dispersal Technician nothing more than an okay sideboard card.
If this card were printed in Kaladesh, in a world of good Vehicles, Bastion Mastodon, Dukhara Peafowl, and Prakhata Pillar-Bug, it would’ve been a much better card for at least the duration of the triple-Kaladesh format.
6) Heroic Intervention
I’m shocked by how many people put this card in their decks. It’s not bad, but I always find myself struggling to play noncreature cards that aren’t artifacts, removal, or synergistic spells like Unbridled Growth.
A narrow combat trick that doesn’t pump my creatures just doesn’t cut it. I get that it can also save creatures from a removal spell, which makes it a little less narrow, but I’d guess that it should make your deck 50% of the times you have it, considering you’re not picking it highly.
7) Gremlin Infestation
Unfortunately, Aether Revolt packs too many cheap artifacts that are enablers for improvise, which makes this Aura a little awkward. Not to mention the number of artifact sacrifice outlets like Embraal Gear-Smasher and Defiant Salvager running around.
If you’re playing against Consulate Skygate control, then you’ve got yourself a sweet sideboard card. Otherwise, let it get to you as a 14th pick.
8) Airdrop Aeronauts
All right, let’s not get too excited—Airdrop Aeronauts is clearly good. I’ve just been disappointed because I’ve had it in green-white often, and my opponents never block when I have access to 5 mana. Why? Lifecraft Cavalry is a common punishment for blocking.
A 4/3 flyer for 5 isn’t horrible. Still, that 5 life is always welcome in a racing situation. Make sure to have revolt enablers in your deck to avoid the same disappointment I had. Implement of Ferocity, Renegade Map, Scrounging Bandar, and Unbridled Growth being the most common options.
9) Caught in the Brights
Generally, Aura-based removal was never my thing back in Kaladesh because of the blink and Naturalize effects. While most of those faded away with the inclusion of Aether Revolt, Caught in the Brights, unlike Revoke Privileges and Malfunction, doesn’t stop people from either crewing their Vehicles or improvising.
That wouldn’t be much of a problem if the Vehicles were better in the new set and more frequently made my deck. For those reasons, Caught in the Brights still makes most of my main decks, except I don’t pick as highly as other people do. Dawnfeather Eagle and Audacious Infiltrator are higher priorities on my list.
10) Call for Unity
Insert puke emoji here. I never actually thought this was good. I’m against clunky, expensive Magic cards in general and this was no exception, but other people that I respect felt differently, so I decided to give it a try—and god, was I ever right.