This limited format coming up, looks pretty good we have the same cards we have been seeing from Kaladesh but to a smaller degree, and a majority of our cards are going to be from Aether revolt. between the 2 sets and across all levels of rarity we have over 50 different removal spells we could potentially open, some are significantly better then others but in Limited sometimes you just have to play the bad removal. I’ve included all the counter spells in the list of removal as it can be used as such, and thanks to Aether Revolt we have a number of playable counters. This also doesn’t account for all the artifact destruction which could be just as good as a normal removal spell depending on the situation. The plethora of uncommon vehicles that are fairly easy to crew seem good as they can be used in virtually every color assuming we have creatures to crew them with. Improvise could be a good mechanic for limited if we can get enough cheap artifacts that actually do something to power out the Improvise spells such as Barricade Breaker which with the right cards could see this guy on the battlefield turn 4, a bit of a pipe dream for consistency but it is possible. Outside of the uncommon Vehicles there aren’t many uncommon bombs in Aether revolt, there are a couple that could end up being very powerful but are limited and very dependent upon what else you open. As for rares there aren’t too many unplayable cards but then some of them are very situational to what else you have for your card pool.
Here is what each color has to offer for removal from Aether Revolt:
At common, we only have Caught in the Brights which is a decent enough removal card that deals with any creature but slightly limited as it can’t deal with Vehicles. However we do have Decommission which is probably worth running as a one of in your main deck with all the good artifacts in Kaladesh and Aether revolt.
At Uncommon we have a few more options the best being Thopter Arrest which is very similar to Caught in the Brights but can deal with any artifact as well as any creature making this card significantly better. We also have Deadeye Harpooner at Uncommon which as an uncommon feels not so great but it can manage to get Revolt to trigger we can kill a tapped creature while giving us a 2/2 body. Last on whites uncommon removal list is Deft Dismissal which again doesn’t feel great as the card is slightly expensive for what it does especially at uncommon but if your in white and this is in your pool chances are your playing it.
At rare or above we only have Consulate Crackdown which is very powerful if our Opponent is playing a heavy artifact deck which is a good possibility in this limited format, but there are still going to be times where this just doesn’t cut it. I think if Consulate Crackdown cost one mana less I would like it more as I’m sure there are going to be times when you only deal with one artifact and five converted mana cost seems high in that situation.
Most of the removal for blue is at common, and are potentially some of the better removal especially when taking Metallic rebuke into account, this Mana Leak like card I feel will probably see constructed play let alone Limited as with a cheap artifact on turn one turns this into Mana leak. Leave in the dust is the next inline blue removal while perhaps slightly expensive at four converted mana cost it does return any permanent as well as draws a card so for limited removal this card is pretty good. Ice Over is another good limited removal that can deal with any artifact or creature for 2 mana even if they do get one use out of the creature or Artifact. The last common removal spell we have is efficiently costed but only buys us time in the form of Take into Custody, so if your running a slightly more aggressive deck Take into Custody will be fairly good otherwise it will be an OK removal that buys us time into a more permanent solution.
The only other blue removal cards are at rare, while both are good the chances of having them are significantly less then the common removal. We get a very powerful effect from Baral’s Expertise, bouncing 3 artifacts or creatures and getting to cast a card with converted mana cost 4 or less is indeed pretty good for Limited, outside of that I’m not sure but if your in blue at the pre-release events then this is definitely playable. Then we have Disallow which deals with virtually anything, and another counter that I suspect will see plenty of constructed play.
Blacks Removal for Limited seems decent enough, perhaps slightly over costed but they get the job done especially at common with the likes of Daring Demolition and Cruel Finality. Daring Demolition takes care of any creature or vehicle at sorcery speed for 4 mana, in Limited I’ll play these all day. Cruel Finality seems like it does a fine job of removing smaller creatures for 3 mana while also Scrying for one.
At uncommon we have one of the best removal we could ask for in Fatal Push a one mana kill spell with a pretty manageable condition, this card will more then likely see some Standard play let alone Limited. Perilous Predicament while costing 5 mana can kill 2 creatures at instant speed as long as our opponent has an artifact creature and a non artifact creature that is. If we can get 2 creatures with Perilous Predicament then the card it going to have a powerful effect on the game, if we can only get one creature for the 5 mana it wont feel as good for sure but is still probably ok to be playing a couple of these. Vengeful Rebel seems decent if you can trigger Revolt consistently as getting a 3/2 body for 3 mana isn’t bad especially if you can kill an opposing creature at the same time.
At rare or better we have a couple really good removal cards for black in the forms of Battle at the Bridge, Yahenni’s Expertise and what I think could be one of the best potential bombs in the set, Herald of Anguish. Battle at the bridge will be a complete blow out at times for your opponent as the ability to kill a creature while gaining life is going to be a big deal, I only wish this was an instant especially at rare as it can’t deal with Vehicles. Yahenni’s Expertise is going to be great in a midrange/controllish deck, where you have enough 2-3 drops that we can make use of the second part of the card which is casting a spell for free. Herald of Anguish I think is amazing for Limited and if you happen to be lucky enough to open one along with enough artifacts to cast him early and have things to throw at our opponents creatures I think you will be able to do fairly well.
Red has one of the best and most efficient removal spells in the set which is Shock, which deals with a lot of small creatures while also giving us some reach to close out games by burning our opponent. At common we also have Chandra’s Revolution which deals 4 damage to a creature for four mana which is pretty good, but has the added bonus of giving us tempo by tapping down one of our opponents lands for a full turn which in certain situations could be the difference between victory or defeat.
Hungry Flames is another great removal while killing a creature and doming the opponent all for three mana at instant speed, hard to ask for more in Limited.
At rare and for good reason Quicksmith Rebel in limited is going to be nuts, being able to deal 2 damage a turn every turn is just amazing for the limited format. We also have Release the Gremlins which could be good enough since it can take out multiple artifacts while also making us 2/2 Gremlins. At second read of Release the Gremlins I think the card is very good for Limited as even if you don’t have a bunch of artifacts to blow up it still makes Gremlins which for Limited making X tokens can be game winning.
Green offers 2 great removal spells for (for green cards anyways), Prey Upon at common which works well with those Deathtouch creatures that are floating around in the set. As well as Monstrous Onslaught which to me could be an incredible card for green assuming we can build or cast a big enough creature to go alongside it.
The only form of colorless removal we get is Pacification Array, which is no joke and is fairly versatile for limited as it can tap down an attacking creature or Vehicle or be used to tap down a potential blocker to ensure damage gets through. I will definitely be playing every copy of Pacification Array I open during the pre-release events unless I have ridiculously good removal and even then I’ll probably still play them. The only other Removal in the form of an artifact is Universal Solvent, while the card does deal with anything 7 mana to activate is pretty expensive, for me to play it I’d need some good mana ramp or be terribly lacking in removal as it is just such a huge investment.
The Vehicles we get inn this set are pretty good and I expect that Vehicles are going to remain a good way to finish games in this Limited format. Untethered Express is the best uncommon Vehicle we are getting in Aether Revolt hands down, a 4/4 Trampler that gets a +1/+1 counter when it attacks all for the Crew cost of 1 and a mana cost of 4! I’ll Take 5! Daredevil Dragster is another great uncommon Vehicle with a mana cost of 3 and a Crew of 2 for a 4/4 is pretty good and of course the draw back which sucks but 4/4’s for 3 mana are pretty ridiculous.
At common we have two more Vehicles that are powerful considering, we get Irontread Crusher a 6/6 for 4 mana with a crew of 3 pretty intense if you ask me. And of course we get Mobile Garrison a 3/4 for 3 mana with a Crew for 2 with the added bonus of untapping another creature or artifact we have, giving another creature virtual vigilance or getting a second activation out of an artifact. With the right cards Mobile Garrison could prove to be very powerful indeed.
Of course we get 2 near broken Vehicles at rare and mythic, Heart of Kiran basically a 2 mana Serra Angel and Aethersphere Harvester an aggressive Lifelinker?!? Yep I’ll take a Play set of each PLEASE!!! Most people wont get to play with Aethersphere Harvester or Heart of Kiran but for those of you who do just know I’m jealous!!!
Improvise feels like a very good mechanic, similar feel to affinity but a lot less broken. As I mentioned before Barricade Breaker is pretty crazy if your pool has enough low costed artifacts to get him out early. Now it is important to note that unless you have a bunch of improvise cards playing sub par artifacts just for the sake of one Barricade Breaker probably isn’t worth it, but if you have a few more of the blue or red creatures such as Wind-Kin Raiders or Enraged Giant then it starts to become more worthwhile in order to basically turn every artifact you play into a sort of Mind Stone.
Another great Improvise creature is Maverick Thopterist initially over costed but with Improvise built in the card gets a lot more interesting while also producing 2 artifacts that can lead to more Improvisation.
Other cards of note that I like a lot would be things like our new Atog, Ravenous Intruder. Ravenous Intruder could end up being a very powerful limited card especially since we have a bunch of cheap artifacts and is probably one of the best Revolt activators in the set, definitely keep this guy in mind if you have any in your card pool. Tezzeret’s Touch is another Uncommon bomb that could easily run away with games, just think about this on an Ornithopter on turn three suddenly we have a 5/5 flying beat stick. Tezzeret’s Touch is also really good with any of the flying low costed Vehicles as suddenly you also have a 5/5 flying creature that if it dies goes back to your hand. Efficient Construction could also end up being a good card for limited as making a Thopter every time you play an artifact seems really strong.
Overall I think this coming Limited format looks like fun and I can’t wait to open packs this coming weekend, I hope to see Everyone at the Comic Hunter this Weekend, and remember be ready to Improvise!