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By: gwyned, gwyned
Jan 30 2017 12:00pm
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I. Introduction

The revolt is on. What began as a celebration of ingenuity and innovation turned out to be nothing more than a ruse by the Consulate to crack down on the greatest minds and inventions on Kaladesh. And so the renegades rise up, launching the Aether Revolt. Which means it's time for the latest edition of my Standard Pauper set reviews. If you're looking for superb analysis of this set's impact on Limited and Standard, I'm afraid you've clicked the wrong link. Instead, it is the purpose of this article to break down this unique set from the perspective of the Standard Pauper player. With this set, we are introduced to the two new mechanics of Revolt and Energize, and we also gain new Energy and Vehicle cards. As such, it would probably be good to already understand how these mechanics work before continuing with this review, as I will not be spending time to break them down. Today, in Part One, I will be analyzing the White, Blue, and Black Commons as well as the three Common cycles.

If you've read my previous set reviews, you should be familiar with my methodology. Rather than assigning a particular letter grade, I will instead note each card as falling into one of four categories: "hit," for those cards that define an entire archetype or will (almost) always be played in a particular color; "grounder," which are cards that should see play in at least one archetype but won't always make the cut; "bunt," which are cards that are only borderline playable; and "myth," which are cards that should almost never be played. As always, special thanks to ChannelFireball which inspired my original "hit or myth" rating system. So with that out of the way, let's jump right to the cards!

II. White Commons

1. Alley Evasion is about as much utility as one could expect from a one mana Instant. As a temporary Holy Strength, it's just enough of a boost to allow a creature to survive combat against a similar foe. Or, it's a White Unsummon that only lets you target your own creatures. While neither effect is particularly powerful, the fact that this card gives you access to both effects shouldn't be overlooked. Obviously this would be at its best in some kind of Azorius Prowess archetype, but is probably useful and cheap enough to be worth considering in an aggressive White Weenie deck or even as a Sideboard option against a deck running negative Auras. Overall this is a useful little spell, but not one that will have a huge impact on your game.

Verdict: Bunt - This isn't a card you should avoid playing, but it's not particularly good either.

2. Audacious Infiltrator is the newest iteration of the 3/1 creature for 1W that has become a normal part of White Common design philosophy. Most of the time, the fact that it can't be blocked by artifact creatures won't actually be relevant, so this card is almost an analogue of Kor Castigator, which had a similar marginal ability to sidestep certain creatures types. In any case, I suspect that the only place this card might see play is in a hyper aggressive Boros or White Weenie deck where you want to be attacking with efficient creatures as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the presence of cards like Boiling Earth or Dual Shot makes playing this pretty risky in any prolonged game.

Verdict: Bunt - I'm certainly not making any bold predictions for this one.

3. Bastion Enforcer is our third card in a row that seems perfectly suited for an aggressive White Weenie build and pretty poor in almost any other archetype. A 3/2 for 2W is certainly good value for its cost, but as a vanilla creature in a set lacking any sort of synergy from creatures types, there is very little else that this card has going for it. There certainly are plenty of other options for White creatures for 3 mana, with Herald of the Fair in fact being strictly better than this card. A card would have to super-efficient or have some sort of other synergy for a vanilla creature to almost ever make the cut in Standard Pauper, and Bastion Enforcer doesn't have any of that going for it. This is one to pass on.

Verdict: Myth - Never playing a vanilla creature is a good rule to enforce.

4. I absolutely love the design of Caught in the Brights, and in the right deck it's actually going to be pretty good. At its base level it's a slightly more expensive Pacifism, and as such should slot right into the Orzhov Auras deck that was popular last season. But in a deck that is running Vehicles, this is a significant upgrade of Choking Restraints, since it still exiles the enchanted creature without having to pay the massive cost. As such, it isn't out of the question to be able to recur this at least once with Ironclad Slayer, giving you excellent value on your investment. And the fact that this card so clearly evokes the flavor of running over a poor hapless gremlin is just icing on the cake.

Verdict: Grounder - This should definitely be a bright spot in your deck.

5. Holy Strength makes yet another appearance as Conviction. In this iteration, you're not only getting an extra point of Toughness for an extra generic mana, but also the ability to return the Aura to your hand for a single white mana. It's a shame you can't activate this ability from the Graveyard, as that would go a long way towards negating the inherent card disadvantage of most Auras. Generally, you only want to play creature Auras that have an immediate and dramatic effect on the game board, and this card falls well short of that mark. Even with all the support for recurring Auras and the ability to move it around, this is not a card that you should be playing in any deck.

Verdict: Myth - I have strong convictions about bad cards like this one.

6. Countless Gears Renegade, in addition to being a mouthful, is also our first Revolt card. As a 2/2 for 1W it's already close to be playable, and as long as you had any permanent leave play the turn you summon it, you're getting 3 points worth of Power and Toughness for your 2 mana, which is certainly a good deal. It also doesn't hurt that it's split up among two creatures, or that the token creature counts as an Artifact for cards and effects that depend on that requirement. The big problem here though is that it won't be easy to trigger Revolt early in the game, which is when this card would really be at its best. In a fairly aggressive White or Azorius deck with Artifact synergies this is worth consideration, but overall it's not that strong.

Verdict: Bunt - There may be countless ways to get value from this, but it still doesn't quite get there.

7. White has seen several creatures like Dawnfeather Eagle that grant a temporary anthem effect when they enter the battlefield. Yet this card is probably one of the better ones we've seen. First of all, it also grants all of your creatures Vigilance, which can make a big difference in a close race, allowing you to swing in freely without worrying about the crack-back. Second, the 3/3 Flying creature it leaves behind is a potent threat all on its own, giving you a reasonable threat to finish off your opponent if your onslaught of creatures wasn't enough to do the job on the previous turn. At 5 mana it's pretty expensive even for a finisher in White Weenie, but I think this is good enough that it will see some play.

Verdict: Grounder - I hope it dawns on you just how useful this card could be.

8. Decommission is another example in a long line of Enchantment and Artifact hate spells in White. In this case, while it's a significant upgrade that you can cast it at Instant speed, you are paying one more mana than previous similar abilities, so of course you have to consider what else you're getting for the investment. In this case, if you've had any permanent of yours leave the battlefield (whether by being killed, bounced, sacrificed, or exiled), you gain 3 Life. This is surprisingly similar to Solemn Offering, a card which at one point was the premiere choice for Enchantment and Artifact destruction. Given how important those two card types are right now, I think this will probably see play.

Verdict: Grounder - I think it would be a mistake to dismiss this as a "Sideboard-only" card.

9. Ghirapur Osprey is a fairly uninspiring Common, despite the fact that almost identical cards have made an appearance in almost every recent set. While a 2/2 Flying for 2W is reasonably cost for its size and abilities, the fact that it doesn't have any other abilities makes it less than appealing. If you're looking for a creature at this casting cost with Flying, I would recommend Dauntless Cathar instead. Granted, it doesn't actually have Flying. But the fact of the matter is there isn't a whole lot of difference between a 2/2 and 1/1 Flying creature on most board states, so you might as well take advantage of the extra value from the Cathar. There just is very little reason to prefer this over other options.

Verdict: Bunt - I pray that I will find better options to play even in a White Weenie build.

10. Inspiring Roar is a nice variant of the typical Inspired Charge effect in White. While it's a Sorcery, you're trading a slightly stronger but temporary boost for one that permanently boosts all of your creatures. Unlike Inspired Charge, this actually gets better in multiples, since you aren't so much depending on an all-out alpha strike as much as you are building an inevitable force to overwhelm your opponent. This also synergizes well with all of the Servo tokens being generated in this block, giving them a significant upgrade and turning them into a real threat. Overall, while this won't be better than Inspired Charge in every situation, it's arguably a stronger card in most matchups.

Verdict: Grounder - This is good enough to inspire a pretty high grade.

While White has a few good cards, on the whole it definitely seems like more of a support color in Aether Revolt. Most of its creatures are pretty lackluster, with the possible exception of Dawnfeather Eagle. In my estimation, Caught in the Brights and Decommission are probably the best of the bunch, with Inspiring Roar earning a favorable mention as well. But none of these cards are strong enough on their own to incentivize you to want to play White.

III. Blue Commons

1. Bastion Inventor has a lot of good things going for it. A 4/4 in Blue is pretty big, even if it does cost a full 5U to cast. But you're certainly getting good value on your investment given that this card includes not one but two very good abilities. First off, you can easily reduce the cost of this to a much reasonable amount with just a couple of Artifacts in play thanks to Improvise. Second, Hexproof means that your opponent won't be able to wipe out your investment with a simple removal spell. This is probably the best target in the set for creature Auras, particularly if you can give it Evasion in the process. A Blue midrange or Control deck using this as a finisher could end up positioned very well in the metagame.

Verdict: Hit - You don't have to invent reasons to build around this card.

2. Dispersal Technician is an expensive and significantly worse Aether Adept. You're paying almost double cost compared to that admittedly powerful card from Magic 2011, getting a marginal one point boost in Power, and can only target Artifacts rather than creatures. More recently, Magic Origins brought us Separatist Voidmage, which is still one mana cheaper and better in almost every situation. Granted, this does trigger Revolt, but it's so expensive that it will be quite late in the game before you have enough mana to cast another spell after summoning this. So while this card fits well with the themes of Aether Revolt, it's just too weak and too expensive to be worth playing in the format.

Verdict: Bunt - It's technically playable, but you have much better options at your disposal.

3. Hinterland Drake is quite similar to Ghirapur Osprey in that you're getting an otherwise vanilla creature with Flying for a reasonable cost. In this case you are getting an extra point of Toughness, but in exchange you give up the ability to block artifact creatures - which, most of the time, probably won't come up, since very few of those have Flying. This is also a little bit better positioned in Blue than in White, if for no other reason than Blue can rely on its spells to carry its uninspiring creatures to victory over the course of a long game. All that said, I don't really think this does enough to be worth including in your deck most of the time, but I suppose it's possible it might see play in the right deck.

Verdict: Bunt - This doesn't quite land where it needs to in order to make the cut.

4. Ice Over is surprisingly cheap for Blue removal and is also very similar to Pacifism. Like that card, it only costs 2 mana, and since it's an Aura you do have the possibility of returning it from your Graveyard as well. Interestingly enough, it can even target Artifacts, which might actually matter given the sheer number of Artifacts in the Kaladesh block. Of course, either way you have to remember that this doesn't actually tap the enchanted permanent down; it only prevents it from untapping normally at the beginning of your opponent's turn. Still, given how cheap and versatile this card is, that seems like a small price to pay, particularly in a color that doesn't usually get very good removal.

Verdict: Grounder - This is definitely an ice card and should see play over and over again.

5. Leave in the Dust is a very nice variant on the archetypical Unsummon. Like most recent cards of this type, it can target any non-land permanent, not just creatures. And the bonus on this card is as good as it gets - it immediately replaces itself with another card. However, you are paying a premium of four mana to get this effect, which is quite expensive for a card that ultimately doesn't have a lasting effect on the board state. This is probably too costly for most tempo-based decks, and most Control decks prefer a more permanent solution to opposing threats. The potential is definitely there, but I'm not sure exactly where this card would slot in to be at its best.

Verdict: Grounder - I hope its high casting cost does leave this in the dusty virtual binder.

6. Mana Leak returns to Standard with Metallic Rebuke, a card that is good enough to potentially see Modern or even Vintage play. Being able to hold up a soft counter for only one Blue mana (plus two untapped artifacts of any sort) is quite strong, even if it does have some pretty specific deck requirements. And even in situations where you don't have any artifacts - whether in play or even in your deck at all - a slightly more expensive Mana Leak certainly isn't the worst. This card is going to push many players towards an Artifact-heavy Blue midrange deck, and I suspect that such a deck will be quite strong in Standard Pauper once Aether Revolt is released. While not great in the late game, at any other point this card is very strong.

Verdict: Hit - Hopefully we won't end up scolding WotC for printing such a strong counter.

7. What can I say about Negate that I haven't said before? This card happens to be one of the best answers to a wide variety of spells and tricks, and often can be the difference between victory and defeat. It's not flashy or interesting, but the ability to prevent your opponent from carrying out a key part of his or her plan for a mere 1U is actually quite strong. If you're playing Blue in Standard Pauper, at the very minimum you should have a couple of these in your Sideboard, and given the current state of the metagame, there are certainly enough potential targets to make it worth including in your main deck. Of course, with  Metallic Rebuke also in this set, it will be interesting to see how much this still sees play.

Verdict: Hit - Boring as it may be, that doesn't negate its value.

8. Ever since Darklit Gargoyle, I have enjoyed creatures like Shipwreck Moray where you can shift its Power and Toughness by paying a particular cost. At its base, a 0/5 for 3U is terrible value, which means that its ability would need to be very strong to make this worth consideration. While it doesn't cost you any mana to activate its ability, it does cost you one of the four energy counters that it produces, which severely limits the number of times you will be able to use it. Worse, activating it once only gives you a 2/3, which is still pretty poor for the four mana you've invested into it. Given all that, the only reason you would want to play this is if you have lots of energy cards and need a decent source of counters.

Verdict: Bunt - I'm really fishing for reasons you would ever want to play this.

9. Reading Take Into Custody, I absolutely expected it to also draw you a card after you played it (much like Crippling Chill and its variants). Of course, that would probably be crazy good value for only a single Blue mana. But even with the extra clause that the targeted creatures doesn't untap on the opponent's next untap phase, you're not really getting enough value out of this to make it worth a card slot in your deck. As is, it's basically just a bad Unsummon in that it doesn't require your opponent to spend any additional mana to get it back into play, nor allow you to catch your opponent off-guard and sidestep an Aura or combat trick. As sad as it is, I think this is actually unplayable.

Verdict: Myth - Immediately take this card out of your deck.

Blue looks pretty strong at this juncture in Aether Revolt. It has two very good cards - Bastion Inventor and Metallic Rebuke - both of which should see plenty of play and are good enough to be worth building a deck around. Ice Over is also one of the best Blue removal spells we've seen in quite some time. We also get yet another printing of Negate, guaranteeing we'll have access to this effect for some time to come. Given these four cards, it wouldn't surprise me if Blue got a major boost in popularity going forward.

IV. Black Commons

1. Alley Strangler is yet another vanilla creature with a single keyword ability. A 2/3 for 2B is perfectly fine value, but doesn't exactly pair well with Menace, since almost any two creatures that block it will be able to kill it while only losing one of them in the process. In a hyper-aggressive Rakdos build, this might be a decent way to sneak through several points of damage, using removal spells to keep your opponent from being able to block it. But even there, you probably want creatures that come down earlier or hit for more damage. Perhaps if this had also had Deathtouch and cost an extra mana or two this would have been playable, but as is I don't think we will see much of this card.

Verdict: Bunt - This certainly won't have a stranglehold on the format.

2. Cruel Finality will obviously be competing with Dead Weight for a slot in your deck, and that's a pretty high standard to meet. This card does give you half of a card worth of value back when you cast it thanks to the Scry ability, and the fact that you can cast it at Instant speed certainly enables some nice sequences where you can squeeze additional value out of this effect. But most of the time you'd probably prefer to pay only a single mana rather than three to get rid of an early creature, and use your later turns for less conditional removal spells. So while I like what this card is doing, I don't think it's quite good enough to replace Dead Weight in decks that are looking for this type of effect.

Verdict: Bunt - It's a cruel world where we have such high standards for good removal spells.

3. For only one additional mana, Daring Demolition is much better than the previous card. While it's not Instant speed, and does require access to two Black mana, this card not only destroys any creature in the format, but can also target your opponent's Vehicles before they become active. Given how strong Vehicles have proven to be in Standard Pauper, this is a great tool for Black decks without access to Green or White, giving them a reliable way of getting rid of Vehicles while not having to worry about having a dead card in hand. At the very least this should be a strong Sideboard card, and depending on how the metagame develops I could easily see this be included in the maindeck more often than not.

Verdict: Grounder - This is exactly the kind of creature demolition I'm looking for.

4. Defiant Salvager is a very interesting card. Bloodbriar definitely made a significant impact on the format given its strong synergies with Eldrazi Scion tokens and the Emerge mechanic, and obviously this card seems like it would be very much at home in a similar type of deck. This can be a great way to generate value out of Servo tokens or creatures enchanted with negative Auras. It also works well with Revolt, giving you a free method of activating that ability whenever you need to. This also works with all of the Implements, which draw you a card when they go into the Graveyard. So, while this will take a lot of work to really get going, I think the support is good enough to make this at least worth trying out.

Verdict: Grounder - A good deckbuilder should be able to salvage some pretty good value from this one.

5. Fen Hauler is almost identical to Gurmag Angler from Fate Reforged. Both cards are 5/5 creatures for a very expensive 6B, and both have a keyword that allows you to reduce that mana cost to a much more reasonable level. Even if you only have two Artifacts in play, you're getting a great deal on such a big creature, particularly in Black where such sizable fatties are so hard to come by. The secondary ability that prevents it from being blocked by Artifact creatures probably won't come up very often, but in a situation where your opponent is forced to chump block, there may be times when it will end up being relevant. Judging by how popular Gurmag Angler was in the format, I predict this will certainly see play.

Verdict: Grounder - This is good enough to be a staple card in the format for the long haul.

6. Fourth Bridge Prowler is arguably an improvement to the well-known Festering Goblin in that it gives the -1 / -1 counter immediately rather than after it dies. In a format that looks to have plenty of tokens and other 1 Toughness creatures, this ability will probably be relevant in a lot of different matchups. That said, even in Limited you aren't really happy having to play a 1/1 for 1, much less in any sort of Constructed format. I suppose this might find a Sideboard slot in an aggressive Rakdos build that is looking for a reliable way to keep the board clear, but even in that particular role this isn't all that effective. Had this been a 2/2 for 2 instead, it would have been much better. As is, I don't think this will see play.

Verdict: Bunt - It shouldn't take you longer than four seconds to prowl up better cards.

7. When Black gets access to flyers, they are often undersized for their cost, so Night Market Aeronaut is right in line with that philosophy. You wouldn't typically be happy with a 2/2 with Flying for 4 mana even in Black, so you'll almost always want to wait until you can trigger Revolt. For that relatively easy requirement, you're getting a +1 / +1 upgrade, which makes a substantial difference in the overall power of this card. The difference between a 2/2 and a 3/3 Flyer is huge, making this card one of the more efficient beaters you can have in Black, with very little downside. Night Market Aeronaut seems pretty good, and will probably find a home in almost any Black-based deck.

Verdict: Grounder - You should definitely be in the market for good cards like this one.

8. Apparently in this block indestructible is replacing regeneration as part of Black's color philosophy, as Renegade's Getaway is the second such effect we've seen in this block (the other, of course, being Rush of Vitality). For your three mana, you are preventing a creature from dying and gaining a 1/1 Servo token in the process. However, this card also allows two other less obvious uses. First, since it targets any permanent, you can use this to protect Vehicles, Artifacts, or even Auras from your opponent's spells. And second, in the worse cast scenario, you can just cast this at the end of turn to generate the 1/1 token, setting you up for Improvise or similar abilities. It's still not an amazing card, but it certainly has some decent utility.

Verdict: Bunt - While it may be useful sometimes, it still doesn't get-away with a better rating.

9. Resourceful Return is our Raise Dead variant for the format, and in this case it's almost a strict upgrade on that classic card. While it costs you one more mana, the ability to actually generate card advantage by not only getting your creature back but getting another card off the top of your Library is pretty significant. While probably not as good as cards like Dutiful Return that allow you to retrieve your best two creatures, this is also half the cost. This is a nice little reward for including Artifacts in your deck but doesn't punish you that hard if you don't happen to have any Artifacts in play at the moment when you need to cast this card. While nothing exciting, I suspect this will make the grade.

Verdict: Grounder - If you are resourceful, you should be able to get a good return on this card.

Black so far looks to be the most interesting of the colors in Aether Revolt. Defiant Salvager and Fen Hauler definitely constrain your choices when it comes to deckbuilding, but the rewards they offer seems like it's worth the effort. Night Market Aeronaut also seems like it would play well in those same sorts of archetypes but isn't quite as demanding in terms of building around it. Daring Demolition is also a very useful removal spell, even if it's not quite as powerful as some other options in the format. There are certainly some good options here going forward.

V. The Three Common Cycles
A. The Aether Cycle

The Aether cycle is a set of Commons with an evergreen keyword ability consistent with each card's color (except for the Green one for some strange reason) that generates two energy tokens when they come into play and also allows you to cash in those energy tokens for a 1/1 artifact creature token when they attack. Like all energy cards, you can spend any energy tokens to activate the effect, not just the ones you generated with the original card.

As far as the creatures themselves are concerned, these are reasonable but nothing exciting. Both the Herder and the Inspector are about one more mana than you would want to pay (a 2/3 Vigilance for 3W and a 3/3 for 3G respectively), and are probably the worst of the cycle. On the other hand, the Chaser is a respectable 2/1 First Strike for 1R, while the Poisoner is a 1/1 Deathtouch for 1B. Similar cards to these two have seen plenty of play in Standard Pauper, and the fact that these can generate an extra 1/1 body makes these reasonable choices for some decks. Finally, in the middle we have the Swooper as a 1/2 Flying for 1U, which is borderline playable but not a strong card.

Verdict: Herder, Inspector, and Swooper - Bunt; Chaser, Poisoner - Grounder;
I would rank these as fringe playable, but I don't expect them to see much service.

B. The Automaton Cycle

The Automotons are all colorless Artifact creatures that cost 2 mana to summon (save for the Black one, which only costs one; and the Blue one, which costs three) and have an activated, Instant speed ability that requires colored mana and produces an effect consistent with that color. These costs range from 2 mana all the way up to 5 mana, and since they don't require the creature to tap, can be activated as many times as you have the mana to pay for them. Unlike most cycles, these cards are otherwise different enough that they are almost impossible to evaluate as a whole.

Both the Augmenting Automaton and the Verdant Automaton boost the creature's Power. For the Augmenting, you get a single point of Power and Toughness for 1B, which goes away at the end of the turn. This is essentially a cheap Shade with a double-costed activated ability to grow it, which is pretty unimpressive. The Verdant, on the other hand, sets you back 3G every time you activate it, but it grants a permanent +1 / +1 counter instead. While this is clearly much better, the fact that your opponent can destroy this for cheap and essentially waste all the mana you invested is a significant drawback.

The Welder is yet another Red creature than can ping your opponent for 1 each turn, and is a very reasonable 2/1 for 2. Unfortunately, it costs you a full 3R to activate it. Still, in an aggressive Red Deck Wins style deck, this ability allows this card to do double duty, attacking in the early game and still doing damage to your opponent once you don't have anything better to spend your mana on. That said, it's still not great.

The Aegis has one of the best activated abilities we've seen at Common: the ability to return a creature you control back to hand at Instant speed. But you're having to pay a full 4W to pull this off, which makes it pretty awkward to hold up enough mana to use this on your opponent's turn. It also has no offensive ability as an 0/3, and doesn't really have enough Toughness to be great on defense either. Perhaps in an Azorius Control archetype this might be good in certain matchups, but I don' think it's likely to see much play in the main deck, despite how good the ability is.

That leaves the Watchful, and it's almost certainly the best of the cycle. It's already a reasonable 2/2 for 3, which while not exciting is at least borderline playable. But for the cost of only 2U, you get to Scry 1 as often as you like, giving you the ability to dig quite deep into your deck in the late game to find a much-needed answer. With Scry equal to about half a card, it won't take very many activations for you to feel like you've gotten your value out of this card. I suspect this card will be a role-player in many Blue-based Control archetypes, particularly if they have any Artifact synergies.

Verdict: Aegis, Augmenting, Verdant, and Welder - Bunt; Watchful - Grounder
I wish I could say these would automatically see play, but I definitely have my doubts.

C. The Implement Cycle

The Implement cycle is a great example of a nice clean design. Each one is a cheap artifacts that can also be sacrificed for a single colored mana to produce an effect, and each one replaces itself with a new card once it's been sacrificed. They also play quite nicely with the Revolt mechanic, since this gives you a reliable and cheap way to trigger it on your turn. But how good are they?

The three that cost only a single mana to cast (Combustion, Ferocity, and Improvement) are clearly the weakest of the bunch. Doing a single point of damage to your opponent or gaining a measly 2 Life is nowhere close to being a card's worth of value, and even with the cantrip ability these are pretty bad. Implement of Ferocity is a little better, since paying 2 mana to put a permanent +1 / +1 counter can actually make an impact on the board state. But unless you've got some significant Artifact or sacrifice synergies, this probably still won't make the cut.

Implement of Malice costs an additional mana to cast, and does net you card advantage, since you've spent a single card to force your opponent to discard a card and you've drawn another card at the same time. This is essentially a half-strength Mind Rot cantrip, which might be an interesting Sideboard choice in a deck that, again, has some Artifact or sacrifice synergies. But again, this is too minor and situational to see much play.

Implement of Examination is clearly the best of the five, which is why it costs three mana to cast rather than just one. Here you are essentially paying an extra mana for Divination, but you can hold off on paying it in order to coincide with other relevant abilities. And unlike some of the other Implements, you can sacrifice this at Instant speed, making it a decent option for a Blue Control deck that wants to hold up removal or permission spells during your opponent's turn. Given you have the right deck to maximize its synergies, Examination is probably worth considering in the main deck.

Verdict: Combustion, Ferocity, Improvement, and Malice - Bunt; Examination - Grounder;
I don't expect to see these implemented very often.

VI. Conclusion

So that's my analysis of the first half of the Commons from Aether Revolt. In closing, let me remind you that you can check out all of my previous articles here on PureMTGO by clicking here. I also publish over on my blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and encourage you to keep up with all my projects there. You can get a sneak peek at any of my videos before they go live here at over on Simply search for "gwyned42," select one of my videocasts, and click the Subscribe button. You can keep up with everything I'm doing on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow. Finally, I am the host of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, which is a weekly PRE featuring a Swiss tournament in the Standard Pauper format, with prizes awarded for the Top 8 finishers thanks to the sponsorship of MTGOTraders. As always, if you've never checked out MPDC, I encourage you to browse over to for all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 7:00pm GMT in the /join MPDC room.

See you again next week for the second part of my set review of Aether Revolt for Standard Pauper!