Posted on January 6th, 2017
With all the new spoilers coming out rapidly this week, my brew cap is starting to over heat, but there looks to be a huge amount of interesting cards that might find them selves put into existing decks or ones yet to be created which we can only hope as diversifying the standard metagame would be nice. The deck that looks like it has gotten the most so far is probably the vehicles lists, but there are some very interesting cards that might make control hopefully good enough but time will tell.
I will definitely be trying to pilot a Vehicles list out of the gate to see if I can come out ahead especially with Spire of Induustry, which in this kind of deck is basically City of brass which gives us up to 8 lands that can produce any color of mana if we include Aether Hub. This also allows us to cut Cultivators Carivan for Heart of Kiran and not feel like we are hurting our mana base for the splash colors of Blue and Black.
With all of that said, there are a lot of cards that look like they have potential now, and the more cards that get spoiled the more Tezzeret, The Schemer looks interesting. Some of the more interesting cards I want to brew with are cards like, Mechanized Production in conjunction with a bunch of Clue producers could easily become a one turn win condition or team it up with things like Sram’s Expertise and try and make 8 Servo tokens to win the game. Speaking of Sram’s Expertise I feel like this card could be a contender for constructed play, and actually so far the entire cycle of Expertise’s seem really good. I also think Mechanized Production could be broken with some of the Gearhulks, Noxious Gearhulk and Vurderous Gearhulk to be more exact alongside some counter magic for protection and I doubt we will need 8 copies of either Gearhulk to win the game. Inspiring Statuary is another card that could be really good giving all our Non-Artifact spells Improvise, making those clue tokens even better.
We also get a great early and mid game removal in the form of Fatal Push, which can deal with a majority of the creatures in the format, not the most problematic ones(Ishkanah, Emrakul) but everything in Vehicles other than Gideon including all the vehicles, I feel Fatal Push will see play in constructed. At last we get Shock back a card that originally was supposed to be the unbroken version of Lightning Bolt, and a card that I am sure will see play in Standard as it deals with all the small creatures efficiently as well as the added bonus of being able to dome the opponent for the last few points of damage. I can see the aggressive strategies running a full play set of Shocks, as for control or midrange decks we probably already have the removal we want and fatal Push will probably simply be better in those instances anyways over Shock.
The new Legendary creatures for this set all seem playable in a vacuum and definitely warrant play testing. Baral, Chief of Compliance seems incredibly powerful, reducing the cost of all of our instant and sorcery spells while potentially giving us the ability to loot a card when we counter a spell definitely feels pretty good to me. Yahenni, Undying Partisan feels very strong in an aggressive strategy running a bunch of removal, if black red aggro re-enters the fray I imagine Yahenni will find himself in that list pretty fast. Rishkar,Peema renegade feels almost broken, kind of has that Elvish archdruid kind of feel to him except that if you already have 2 creatures this guy effectively costs you one mana the turn he comes out leaving you with 2 additional usable green mana sources. Rishkar in a tokens deck running Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and other cheap creatures into Oath of Ajani could make incredible amounts of mana pretty fast. To make Rishkar good I think that it needs to be able to ramp out fast and into something powerful enough to combat against the already hard to deal with format, again Gearhulks come to mind, but if we are on the token strategy Ishkanah could be the go to creature if we can manage Delirium. Sram, Senior Edificer also has potential to draw a bunch of cards and in the vehicles lists what more do you want but a way to draw cards to keep the pressure on our opponent. However its hard to say if Sram can take up a spot in the deck or not, potential sideboard for maybe the control match up. Kari Zev, Skyship Raider is another one I’m not so sure on, the fact she is attacking for 3 damage on turn 3 is interesting, but so does Smuggler’s Copter so I’m not sure if there is a place for this Legendary creature.
Now for those of you who haven’t yet seen this next card you might want to sit down because if Hangerback Walker and Triskelion had a love child this would be it:
I am very excited to try and build a deck with Walking Ballista especially in a deck making huge amounts of mana like the one I was talking about when using Rishkar, create a huge guy that can Ping any creature or our opponent just for removing a +1/+1 counter… And for 4 mana it can put another +1/+1 counter on itself I will definitely be trying to brew something in Modern and or standard for this guy, Grand architect Pili-Pala auto win?
These are just a few of the cards that I am liking from this set, there looks like there could be lots of innovation from cards coming out in Aether Revolt and here is hoping it can produce some new decks that compete with the old ones for this coming standard environment. I know I will be brewing for a while with what is already spoiled so stay tunes for those lists as I come up with them. Also stay tuned for my thoughts for the Pre-release and the limited format including Aether revolt.