Aether Revolt is here! While the last few weeks of cubing has been fun, it's good to have some new cards to sink my teeth into.
Before this draft, I have only drafted the set once; I ended up in a green-blue aggro deck of all things, that had a bunch of two mana flyers in Aether Swooper and Skyship Plunderer, as well as the requisite beefy green creatures (man, Ridgescale Tusker is a beating).
I also played in two pre-releases, where my pools dictated that I would play black-green in both, and both decks revolved around +1/+1 counters and, to a lesser extent, the revolt mechanic.
So, with that limited (pardon the pun) experience, let's draft!
Note: please excuse the backwards facing card. I am not sure why, but the draft converter I use has put all basic lands like that.
Pack 1 pick 1:
Pack one was not an overly interesting pack, to be honest. There is only one real standout card: Caught in the Brights, plus an okay one in Renegade Map. I took Caught in the Brights.
Pack 1 pick 2:
Whoever opened this pack took a common, and they took it over Daring Demolition, so it must have been good! I'm going to take it here, as I value it higher than the next best card in the pack, Maverick Thopterist.
Pack 1 pick 3:
Ugh, this pack is terrible. All the picks are mediocre at best, filler cards you don't want to be seeing for your third pick. I ended up taking Night Market Aeronaut due to the fact I had taken a black and a white card, two colours that can do a revolt deck.
Pack 1 pick 4:
This pack I was tossing up between Renegade Map and Alley Strangler. Normally, I would take the creature, and the Strangler is decent; but, if I was looking to move into a revolt deck, the Map would be better. So Map it was.
Pack 1 pick 5:
The white and black cards in this pack were really not that good here (I've also noticed that, apart from pick 1, I have not seen anything worth taking in white). I almost took Filigree Crawler but, having seen how good flyers are I took Aether Swooper. If white wasn't going to be open, perhaps blue is and I could move into an improvise deck.
Pack 1 pick 6:
Now that I had thought about shifting gears, I'm interested in more artifacts. There are two Implements here plus another Renegade Map; in the end I went with Implement of Examination.
Pack 1 pick 7:
Another Aether Swooper here. It's possible I overvalue this card, but I do like it and it does some good work. Defiant Salvager and Alley Strangler were also considered, but I like flyers in this format.
Pack 1 pick 8:
Another blue Implement, and another Swooper. Also an Ice Over, which is mediocre removal that I didn't want to take just yet. However, I was more interested in the Hinterland Drake; a 2/3 flyer for 3 mana is a good rate and, while it does have downside, it can still block quite a few creatures.
Pack 1 pick 9:
A third Aether Swooper, and I'm starting to think a blue flying beat down deck might be on the cards. I was also considering the Map here again, but if I'm going to be mostly blue beatdown flyers, it loses some value.
Pack 1 pick 10:
I've heard some people say Dispersal Technican is quite good, but I'm not too sure about that. Regardless, I didn't want any other cards here, so I took it.
Pack 1 pick 11:
Another Drake with the 11th pick and I'm feeling pretty good about moving into blue.
The rest of pack 1 went like this:
Pack 1 pick 12:
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
Here are all the picks after pack 1:
I am solidly in blue now, but could still go with either white or black depending on what I open next.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Well, this one was pretty easy. Whilst there are some good cards here for me in Aether Poisoner, Hinterland Drake, Daring Demolition and Reverse Engineer, Aethersphere Harvester is just a bomb.
Pack 2 pick 2:
While Ice Over is not great as I mentioned earlier, I only had one piece of removal (depending on if I went black or white). I took it in case I ended up needing it.
Pack 2 pick 3:
Aether Poisoner has impressed me in the games I have played so far, gumming up the ground while allowing me to attack in the air. I also thought about Bastion Inventor which is probably the better card; however, I went with the Poisoner as it is a great defensive card that will allow my flyers to attack without worrying about blocking.
Pack 2 pick 4:
I was impressed with Shielded Aether-Thief in my previous draft and, with all the incidental energy I might have lying around from Aether Swoopers, figured this might be a very handy card. Plus, it's another defensive 2 drop to gum up the ground.
Pack 2 pick 5:
Yet another Aether Swooper here, but my eyes lit up seeing Wind-Kin Raiders. This thing is a great beater and won me a few games in my paper draft.
Pack 2 pick 6:
Pretty happy to pick up the blue-black uncommon pay off card in Tezzeret's Touch. While I don't have a lot of artifacts yet, I do have a lot of servo makers and, while that is not an ideal target, it is possible to go turn 2 Aether Swooper, turn 3 make a servo and enchant it, to have a 5/5 early in the game.
Pack 2 pick 7:
Not a lot in this pack. I already had a Dispersal Technican, so took Resourceful Return as a maybe sideboard card in case I face a removal heavy deck.
Pack 2 pick 8:
I may or may not play Shipwreck Moray, but it was better than the other options.
Pack 2 pick 9:
I'm not unhappy to see this come back, and took it happily.
Pack 2 pick 10:
Another Drake; I'm going to be relying a lot on flyers in this draft!
Here's the rest of pack 2:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Pack 2 pick 12:
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
Now, after pack 2 and cutting out the cards I'm not likely to play, I am left with this:
I have a total of eight flyers, six of which cost 3 or less mana. There is also an artifact sub-theme going on, with improvise cards and Tezzeret's Touch. I'm also light on removal so I would like some more of that, if possible.
In pack 3 - Kaladesh - I'll be looking for more good artifacts, and more good defensive, low mana cost creatures. Let's see how I go.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Immediately I'm given a tough choice, based on what I said I was after: there is a good artifact (Renegade Freighter), a good, cheap defensive creature (Thriving Turtle), and a removal spell (Die Young. In the end, I decided Freighter wasn't what my deck was about, and the Turtle may come back, so I took Die Young.
Pack 3 pick 2:
And now I am presented with two good artifacts that can help me: Glassblower's Puzzleknot and Prophetic Prism. The Prism is one of the best commons in Kaladesh, and I took it happily.
Pack 3 pick 3:
Another cheap defensive creature, and a flyer and artifact searcher to boot. There was nothing else here I really wanted, so Glint-Nest Crane it was.
Pack 3 pick 4:
Another Glassblower's Puzzleknot and Die Young. The removal spell is still what I want.
Pack 3 pick 5:
...and am immediately rewarded by picking up the Puzzleknot with the next pick.
Pack 3 pick 6:
None of the cards in this pack overly thrilled me. I took the Ambitious Aetherborn for its fabricate ability.
Pack 3 pick 7:
As I mentioned earlier, Thriving Turtle is welcome in the deck due to being cheap and defensive, so welcome to the team, buddy!
Pack 3 pick 8:
Much like the Turtle, Consulate Skygate is a welcome addition. Plus, it is an artifact to help turn on improvise.
The remaining picks for pack 3 were:
Pack 3 pick 9:
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
I'm happy with how the deck turned out, though the improvise/artifact theme is only kind-of there. It ended up as more a flying/defensive blue deck, splashing black. I'm not sure how it will go and am not confidant it will be a 3-0 or even 2-1 deck, but we shall see.
I'm going to keep this part shorter than normal, as feedback I have received has stated that most people are less interested in this part than the draft itself. So I am trying a shorter, more concise summary.
I managed to win game 1 on the back of curving out with a Glint-Nest Crane, a Hinterland Drake and two Aether Swoopers. My opponent seems to be on an artifact plan, with cards like Chief of the Foundry and Walking Ballista.
Game 2 I lost due to never drawing a Swamp; I tried to put up a good fight but my opponent was able to run over the top of me with a Fen Hauler.
Game 3 was a lot closer. I was able to start off okay, chipping in with some damage in the air and keeping their ground creatures back. However, they landed a pretty early Pacification Array, which turned out to be one of the key cards; once they were able to play their Dawnfeather Eagle, and tap down my best flying creature, I couldn't do anything about it.
Game 1 took a while, as although I was able to play a couple of Hinterland Drakes, my opponent once again had Pacification Array (I can already see this is going to be the most annoying card to play against in this format). My opponent was able to slow me down further with Caught in the Brights, but eventually I was able to get their life total down to 0 with my steady stream of flyers.
Game 2 didn't take long, simply because my opponent conceded once I played Aethersphere Harvester! Oh well, I'll take it.
Versus: White/Red (splashing black and green)
Game 1 looked like it would be over very quickly, as I didn't draw my 3rd land until turn 6, then my 4th on turn 9. My opponent was on the aggro plan, playing cards such as Inventor's Apprentice and a pair of Audacious Infiltrators. I was able to take care of them through removal and blocking though, and managed to eventually stabilize on 7 life thanks to Tezzeret's Touch on a Prophetic Prism. Eventually I was able to get out a pair of Aether Swoopers and make a bunch of Servos, winning the game on turn 18.
Game 2 was over much quicker, with my opponent playing an Untethered Express on turn 4, then enchanting it with a Siege Modifcation on turn 5. I couldn't find an answer to it and was killed very quickly.
Game 3, and I sideboarded in a Select for Inspection after that last game. This game also dragged on for quite some time, with me gumming up the ground with my Thriving Turtle, Shielded Aether Thief and Consulate Skygate while chipping away in the air with a loan Aether Swooper. This continued for some time, until I found a second Swooper. My opponent played a Skyswirl Harrier to deal with my flyers but I had been saving removal for such an occurrence and killed it. Once I played my Wind-Kin Raiders my opponent was on a quick clock, and I won the game on turn 16.
A 2-1 result is not a bad result for a deck that I wasn't sure came off the way I was hoping. Flyers are very good in this format it seems, though I was disappointed my Aethersphere Harvester never really saw play. Tezzeret's Touch impressed me as well.
I'll be back next week with another draft. See you then!
BONUS CONTENT: SEALED DECK
I thought it'd be fun to present you with a sealed pool I opened and see what you would build from it. Let me know colours/picks in the comments below.