Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Aether Revolt Review: Black

Blue looks great.

Aether Poisoner: Part of the 'token for energy' cycle that I want to abuse. Great card because it expands the uses of Energy beyond mostly Blue and Green.
Battle at the Bridge: This type of card is very useful for casual players. It can win games. Compare with Consume Spirit-an uncommon in some of the core sets (X1B, Spend only black mana on X.
Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player and you gain X life.)

Alley Strangler: solid common. Any common with Menace or Prowess is solid in my book.
Daring Demolition: as long as Vehicles are only found in this block, this card will see very little play. Every block has cards that are answers only for other cards in that block. As such, it's all right. Naturalize for 1G would have done the job much better, yet it is good for Black to also have an answer.

Fatal Push: The most hyped card of the set. I am glad that it's an uncommon. If the hype proves true, I am planning to crack many packs of this set. If you love cracking packs as I do, the best sets are the ones with great commons and uncommons. Ponder in Magic 2012 comes to mind. Compare with Tragic Slip-a common-from Dark Ascension: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Morbid — That creature gets -13/-13 until end of turn instead if a creature died this turn.) This one is definitely better since it can deal with some of the strongest creatures in all of Magic and it does not have to wait for you to kill something else before you play this. It can also take out some of the better Walls in the game. I get the hype, and I hope that it proves true.
Cruel Finality: good in Limited and casual play. A variant of Tomb Hex (Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. Landfall — If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, that creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn instead.) It's a great addition to the Black toolkit.

Defiant Salvager: solid common, especially when you broaden the selection of what you can sacrifice to the Modern and Legacy card pools. Of course, there is Viscera Seer-a common (B Creature — Vampire Wizard, Card Text: Sacrifice a creature: Scry 1.) But this one also allows you to sacrifice an artifact and you get a counter for your troubles.
Fen Hauler: Will this be the Gurmag Angler of Improvise? I certainly hope so, but I think it is easier to discard six cards to the graveyard than it is to play six artifacts.

Foundry Hornet: love the artwork. Solid uncommon. Especially useful against a deck that creates a bunch of 1/1 tokens as a core strategy.
Gifted Aetherborn: Compare with Vampire Nighthawk-an iconic uncommon (1BB, Flying Deathtouch Lifelink). It's a really good uncommon, even without Flying.

Fourth Bridge Prowler: solid common, especially in Limited.
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner: "draw a card" OK, this is just great. Menace is also great. Two Energy to draw a card is great.

Gonti's Machinations: another solid uncommon. In multiplayer, the sacrifice benefit can be really good. If you have something that makes you lose life every turn, you are getting Energy every turn. You just need to make sure the life loss is countered by either a very aggressive strategy or some lifelink in your deck.
Ironclad Revolutionary: more of a casual play at such a high casting cost.

Herald of Anguish: I will have to play it to know how good in can be in the eternal formats. It can be BB 5/5, and that is just crazy good.
Renegade's Getaway: good in Limited.

Midnight Entourage:  The first clause is what we would expect from a battlecruiser lord. The second clause, however, says 'draw a card.' The second clause is very, very good. There are many solid sacrifice outlets in Black, especially outside of Standard.
Perilous Predicament: battlecruiser uncommon.

Night Market Aeronaut: good in Limited.
Secret Salvage: it's too late to use in any other format than battlecruiser Standard, yet it reads like a lot of fun there. I would pick the strongest one and two drops I can think of as candidates and go to town with two or three of one of those out of this play.

Resourceful Return: solid common. I am a huge fan of 'draw a card.'
Yahenni, Undying Partisan: this is one of the weakest of this cycle. Indestructible is great, but not always; and you will need to have a lot of target removal to get those counters.

Sly Requisitioner: I like getting something out of sacrificing an artifact. We shall see how strong and breakable Improvise turns out to be.
Vengeful Rebel: Minus Revolt, it's a Limited common. You will need to trigger revolt and get the ETB bonus for it to feel like an uncommon, and that is OK.

Yahenni's Expertise: A conditional Languish that does less since Languish does -4/-4. Yet, there are some great cards I would love to cast for free at three or less mana in other formats.