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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Feb 16 2017 1:00pm
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Hello again everyone, welcome back to Limited Edition. I am going to take you through another Aether Revolt draft this week, but this time I am not doing the normal (or, Intermediate, as it is now called) Swiss League. Instead, I'm, going to try the Friendly Single Game Match League to see what it is like.

Now, this is my first time drafting this League, and the first thing I noticed was the wait time in the queue. Admittedly, I joined the queue at 8.30pm Australian Eastern Time, which is not a peak traffic time for MTGO, but there were already 4 people in the queue when I got in and I still had to wait eighteen minutes for it to fire. This is easily the longest I've ever had to wait for a draft, and I draft at that time most nights. Not a great first impression, but I hung in there and eventually the draft started.

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Kicking things off, we have a pretty good pack here. There are lots of good cards: Aether Chaser, Daring Demolition, Lifecraft Cavalry and Maverick Thopterist all stand out. I considered the Thopterist, but decided I wanted to avoid blue due to having drafted it in the last two articles. Out of the remaining three, Daring Demolition is the best card, so that was the pick. Unconditional removal is hard to go past.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I went from a good pack to a pretty bad one. The two cards that stood out were Dawnfeather Eagle and Lifecraft Awakening. Again, on the basis I was white last week, I took the green card.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This pack is okay, with nothing hugely powerful. I like Renegade Wheelsmith a lot, but having not picked a red or a white card yet, I was hesitant to take it. I don't mind the green Implement either, but I ultimately decided on Mobile Garrison for the flexibility of fitting into any deck.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

For me, this pick was out of either Alley Strangler, which is an okay creature, or Druid of the Cowl, which is pretty good. I took the Druid


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

I wasn't really interested in any card other than Aetherstream Leopard here, which is a good beat down creature.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

This pack was quite bad, with Enraged Giant being the best pick. I took it, though if this had been a normal best-of-3 draft, I probably would have considered Natural Obsolescence for the sideboard.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Renegade Map was a pretty easy pick in the end here, though I did consider Alley Strangler. The reason I didn't take it was I realized I had only taken one black card so far, and that black may have been getting cut pretty hard. I hedged my bets and took the mana fixer.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Shock was a pretty easy pick and seeing it this late indicated I should be in red, not black. Time to switch colours.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Immediately, I am paid off by getting Outland Boar back from the first pack. I'm certainly going to be in red green now, so we can focus on that archetype.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

I had a couple of choices here: the new Atog in Ravenous Intruder, or the five-drop in Lathnu Sailback. I'm likely to play neither, but based on what I had so far the Sailback was more likely (as I had no real artifact synergy going on).


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:

The drawback on Frontline Rebel is real, but a 3/3 for 3 mana when I am trying to beat down is good.

Here is the rest of pack 1:


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

The picks after pack 1:

I certainly won't be playing the black artifacts and spells, as black was either really poor in all the packs or it was getting cut. I believe I will be able to get into a decent red/green deck, and will be looking to beat down. I'll be picking up cards to further my goals in pack 2.


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Well this was an extremely easy pick. Aethersphere Harvester is a straight out bomb, and will go very nicely in my deck.


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Hoo boy, Harvester and now Untethered Express? Getting hooked up here! The Express is one of the best aggressive cards in Aether Revolt, so this was again a very easy pick.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Now that I've established that I'm going to be a red beatdown deck, I don't mind taking a combat trick, and Precise Strike, whilst not powerful, is decent enough due to granting first strike. I could have taken Aether Herder here as well, but went with the trick.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Another Aether Herder here, but I had eyes for the red cards. Sweatworks Brawler, Scrapper Champion and Siege Modification are all cards I'd be happy to have in my deck. In the end, I settled for the Champion for two reasons; I think it is the most powerful out of the three, and I hadn't had a chance to play with it yet!


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

There were four cards here that I could have taken: Destructive Tampering, Implement of Ferocity, Renegade Map or Natural Obsolescence. The last card is, in my opinion, more of a sideboard card (which I am not interested in for this league), and is outclassed by Destructive Tampering anyway. I ended up taking the Tampering; a Falter effect is decent for a beat down deck, and the fact that it doubles as artifact removal is good.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

I considered taking Daredevil Dragster here, but with three vehicles already I was a bit less interested in it. Instead I took the green Implement.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Wow, this is a late Aether Chaser. This is a good red creature and I am very happy to see it this late, indicating the red is indeed quite open. 


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

And another eighth pick Shock! Right now I'm feeling very good about red!


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:

And another Aether Chaser! My decision to move into red earlier is certainly paying off for me!

Here is the rest of pack 2:


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

Right, that's Aether Revolt done, so let's have a look at what I am looking to play at the moment:

I'm reasonably happy with the quality of the red cards so far. I do note that I am a little light on creatures so need to prioritize those in Kaladesh.


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Well, there is only one red or green creature in this pack, and it's not great. The best card in the pack is Welding Sparks and it's in my colours, so it was an easy pick.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Hunt the Weak is probably the best card here, but I was really looking for creatures and had some good removal already. I ended up looking at either Weldfast Monitor or Ghirapur Guide, but the Monitor works better with Lifecraft Awakening, so it got the nod.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Kujar Seedsculptor was really the only card I was interested in here, so it was an easy pick.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Another Monitor, or I could have also taken the Eager Construct. In the end, the Monitor won out, though in hindsight the Construct may have been better for my mana curve.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Another Welding Sparks, and I am so very, very happy with my red!


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Again, I think I probably should have taken Thriving Grubs here in hindsight to lower my mana curve, but instead I took the Spireside Infiltrator.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I could have taken Sage of Shaila's Claim here, though it's not a very exciting card. Instead, I took Larger than Life, though I don't know if I will play it.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Salivating Gremlins is quite a good aggressive creature, and I have a few artifacts to trigger its ability, so I took it.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

There was only Ornamental Courage or Giant Spectacle in this pack. I like the fact that the aura gives menace, which could be quite helpful in a beatdown deck, so that was the pick.

The remaining picks were:


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:


THE DECK

In the end, I realized I had made a bit of a mistake with my picks, as my mana curve is way too heavy at 3. I should have taken a couple of the 2 mana creatures and am kicking myself for not doing so. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.

THE MATCHES

Game 1

Versus: Black/Green

Result: Win

I wasn't able to make a play until turn 3, while my opponent played creatures on 2 and 3. Thankfully, my turn 3 play was Aethersphere Harvester, and I had other creatures to crew it with the following turn. It eventually died to a Daring Demolition, but not before I had gotten my opponent down to 10 life. I had drawn a bit of removal and was able to control the board, eventually winning with a Siege Modification on a Weldfast Monitor.

Game 2

Versus: White/Green splashing Blue

Result: Loss

I started out the aggressor, playing creatures on 2, 3 and 4, and after a few removal spells, was able to clear the board and hit my opponent down to 11 life. I was, however, only left with one creature at this stage. My opponent was able to stabilize with some removal of their own, and started to beat me down in the air with a Ghirapur Osprey. I was able to get out an Untethered Express as well as the Enraged Giant, but I was simply a turn too late.

Game 3

Versus: White/Green

Result: Loss

I was on the draw, and this is where my curve hurt me. My opponent played creatures on turn 1, 2 and 3, while I had to wait until turn 3 for my first creature. I was on the back foot from the very start and never recovered, with my opponent moving all the counters from a Scrounging Bandar onto an Aetherstream Leopard and attacking relentlessly, forcing me to block to stay alive. Unfortunately they were eventually able to use a Caught in the Brights on my only remaining blocker to take the game.

Game 4

Versus: Blue/Red splashing Black

Result: Win

I kept a sketchy hand of one land and a Renegade Map, but thankfully it worked out as we both got off to a slow start, playing no creatures until turn 3. The game was back and forth, with both of us landing heymakers; me with Aethersphere Harvester, and my opponent with Heart of Kiran. The game swung when I got a hit in with the Harvester enchanted with Siege Modification and a +1/+1 counter from Implement of Ferocity, though my opponent took care of that with an Ice Over. However, my opponent was only on 3 life at this stage and I was able to close the game out with tramplers in Untethered Express and Aetherstream Leopard.

Game 5

Versus: White/Red

Result: Win

This game did not take long. I curved out, with Aether Chaser into Kujar Seedsculptor into Untethered Express, while my opponent played a Solemn Recruit (which died to a Shock) and a Mobile Garrison they couldn't crew. When I drew Siege Modification, the game was over.

Game 6

Versus: White/Red

Result: Loss

This game didn't take long either, but not in my favour. I was able to get first blood, with a Spireside Infiltrator enchanted with Siege Modification, but when my opponent killed it I was suddenly way behind. They were able to get an Airdrop Aeronauts down with revolt and follow up with a Skyship Stalker, and with no answers, I was suddenly very dead.

Game 7

Versus: Black/Green

Result: Loss

I was finally on the play after losing the die roll for the last four games, and I had a great opening hand, playing Druid of the Cowl into Scrapper Champion on turn 3 and following up with two Aether Chaser the following turn. Things were looking good until my opponent surprised me with Yahenni's Expertise. I lost my board, and didn't draw another creature for the rest of the game.

CONCLUSION

I ended with a 3-4 record, which is not great, and only got 20 play points for it. Much of this is my fault due to not having a low enough mana curve. As for the format of the draft itself, you really get punished for bad draws and your opening hand is even more important, as you don't have a game 2 and 3 to come back. I'm not sure I like it, but for those wanting a quick game on a lunch break, it is ideal.

I'll be back again next week with another look at Aether Revolt!

BONUS: SEALED POOL

Here's another sealed pool for you to look at; let me know what you would build in the comments!