Aether Revolt Set Review: Blue
Welcome back to the Aether Revolt set review everyone! Today we are going to be covering the Blue cards! Yesterday we want over all the White cards and the top five ended up being great. Let’s see if Blue can keep up with the power level of the White cards shall we? We have some cool Blue cards in Aether Revolt and I’m excited to dive in, so let’s get going!
This is my rating system for Aether Revolt. Keep in mind that I am only rating the cards on their playability for Constructed and that’s it. Not Limited. Not Eternal formats.
0 — Will never see play in Standard (Rating not used for Standard)
1 — Unlikely to see play (Hedron Alignment)
2 — Could see fringe play, or occasional SB card (Negate)
3 — Commonly played. Staple in a single deck, or frequent play in several decks. (Tireless Tracker)
4 — Format Staple, sees play in multiple decks, one of the best cards in the format. (Aether Hub)
5 — Format warping. Every deck plays this, or is built with this card in mind. (Gideon, Ally of Zendikar)
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the article!
Aether Swooper — 2
Might see play alongside Whirler Virtuoso. Only downside is both those cards can't replenish your energy, they'll just consume them.
Aethertide Whale — 1
Aethersquall Ancient hasn't seen any play in Standard. However, the Ancient didn't give you any energy right away either. It can do a bad imitation of Aetherling, where it's hard to remove forever and it has evasion. Only problem is I just don't see it really getting played over Torrential Gearhulk. Sphinx of the Final Word is a better control mirror breaker too.
Baral, Chief of Compliance — 2.5
2 mana for a 1/3 is great for a control deck since it will hold the fort down well. It also essentially acts like a Sapphire Medallion but only for instants and sorceries. That's a tradeoff I'm willing to pay for a 1/3 body that reduces ALL instants and sorceries (not just Blue) and the chance to loot whenever I cast a counterspell. Sure, countering a spell might not happen as often as we'd like but the cost reduction is what you should be playing Baral for anyway. Baral will force us to take a second look at all instants and sorceries in Standard. A job that can be very rewarding if you find the right spells.
Baral's Expertise — 4
The Blue Expertise. This one is going to cause huge temp swings in U/W flash. Even if you have no other cards in hand, you can return one of your own creatures that has an enter the battlefield ability and replay it for value. Can also be used to just buy time in a control deck by bouncing all your opponent’s creatures/copters and then casting a Glimmer of Genius. This happens to play very well into Torrential Gearhulk too since it buys you the precious time you need against the aggressive decks. Plays well with Aetherflux Reservoir too by returning a bunch of cheap artifacts to your hand and then replaying them after you put into play a Aetherflux Reservoir or a Sram, Senior Edificer thanks to the second part of Baral's Expertise. Great card and I'm sure many shenanigans will be had with this one.
Bastion Inventor — 1.5
Unless you're growing this guy with a bunch of equipment or artifacts that pump it, I don't see it panning out.
Disallow — 3.5
This is the best 3 mana counterspell we've had in Standard for a while. It's sad that it neuters Voidslime obsolete but I'm very glad we have it. Countering triggered abilities of Eldrazi is incredibly relevant. Unlike traditional counterspells, Disallow is okay to draw after something important has resolved. For example, imagine you couldn't counter Liliana, the Last Hope on turn three and you draw Disallow on turn five or six. You can still Disallow your opponent trying to ultimate her by countering the activated ability, same thing with Aetherworks Marvel. This is great for control!
Dispersal Technician — 1
I can't think of any real application with this guy in Standard. 5 mana is just too much for what this Vedalken is offering. This Dispersal Technician needs to Disperse himself.
Efficient Construction — 2.5
Man, a Thopter every time I cast an artifact spell? That's great! Could be a great alternate win condition in the Aetherflux Reservoir deck. However, I think Metallurgic Summonings is the better enchantment if you want to generate a bunch of creatures with an enchantment. Still a sweet card that if built around correctly can cause some serious construction . . . Of the Thopter Variety.
Hinterland Drake — 1
More like Hinderland Drake, amirite? Nobody is playing this card, move along.
Ice Over — 2
Illusionist's Stratagem — 2
This card can do some serious damage with Cloudblazer, Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, Thought-Knot Seer, and really any other good creature with an enter the battlefield trigger. Even draws you a card for all the value! There will be no illusion on the amount of value you can generate with this bad boy.
Leave in the Dust — 2.5
An always kicked Into the Roil. You know what? I can live with that, especially since I can reduce the cost with the help of Baral, Chief of Compliance!
Mechanized Production — 2.5
ENCHANT AETHERFLUX RESERVOIR OR A CLUE TOKEN AND THEN WIN, WOOOOOOOO! This card has combo written all over it. It's important to note that you can enchant any artifact and then when you have eight or more of ANY single artifact, you win the game. So, if you can get a bunch of clues, thopters (Ahem, Efficient Construction), or servos you'll win the game no matter what you have Enchanted with Mechanized Production.
Metalic Rebuke — 3
Is this artifact combo/control deck-building itself or is it just me? This card also happens to be amazing with Thraben Inspector since he will turn in on by turn two thanks to the Clue token he makes. W/U aggro/tempo is going to be a real thing. It's going to be scary to see Blue aggressive decks that have Copters and clues just countering things for a single blue mana.
Negate — 2
This is always a solid sideboard card that will on rare occasions see some main deck play when the metagame is heavy with non-creature spells.
Quicksmith Spy — 2
This card has potential, especially if you have a way to untap that artifact, but if you're playing a Blue artifact deck I have a feeling you're going to want Reverse Engineer unless you really value the body of the Quicksmith Spy.
Reverse Engineer — 2.5
A lot of Blue cards in this set work with artifacts. This happens to work great with Clue tokens and even Lotus Petals that Tezzeret creates. Plays well with Sram's Expertise. Refueling your hand for future Sram's Expertise. A very solid card, Concentration was a played card and this card is better than Concentration in the right deck.
Salvage Scuttler — 1
This is very much a Limited card. We have better and more efficient ways to return artifacts to our hand if we want to in Constructed. Paradoxical Outcome comes to mind.
Shielded Aether Thief — 2.5
This card is subtly very good. He will easily take over a game right under your nose. Great in the three / four color energy decks that started popping up.
Shipwreck Moray — 1.5
You have to be a fish to play this card. Don't be a fish, be a shark!
Skyship Plunderer — 2
Great in energy, Planeswalker, or +1/+1 counter decks. Not as sweet as Thrummingbird, but it also kills your opponent twice as fast.
Take into Custody — 1
"Go straight to jail, don't pass Go and don't collect any money!" We have better freeze affect then this one, in Standard. Don't expect for this card to see play.
Trophy Mage — 2.5
This card will generate a ton value. Especially if you are getting Pilgrim’s Eye, Filigree Familiar, Implement of Examination, Aethersphere Harvester, Soul Separator, or Scrap Trawler. Just be careful when building with this card because it wants the game to go long.
If the game is going long, you'll have to be weary of Emrakul, the Promised End from your opponents. You could just play one of your own too so you can match their end game. Well, never mind. I’d definitely keep an eye on this card then, if you can keep yourself alive then you can let Trophy Mage get you a bunch of card advantage. I also want to try it in a Cryptolith Rite deck with Trophy Mage, Duskwatch Recruiter, and Lifecrafter’s Bestiary.
Whir of Invention — 2.5
Blue Chord of Calling. As all improvise cards, this is also good with Tezzeret and clue tokens. Can get anything as small as Consulate Dreadnought or Pilgrim’s Eye (which fuels future Whir of Inventions) or as big as Gonti's Aether Heart or Planar Bridge. This card will be fine to good in Standard but it will really shine in older formats. Especially in decks like Painter’s Servant / Grindstone. Mono-Blue Painter anyone?
Wind-Kin Raiders — 2
Two man for a 4/3 flier isn't bad, the question is, do we have enough cheap artifacts that do something that can also power this thing out? I want to say no, but I could be very wrong and that's why I'm giving it a two.
Top 5 Blue cards in Aether Revolt
- Baral’s Expertise
- Baral, Chief of Compliance
- Whir of Invention
- Trophy Mage
Average rating of the top five cards: 3.0
Blue started off strong with Baral’s Expertise and Disallow, both being 3.5-4. However, after that we quickly fell off with the rest being 2.5’s.Which means Blue got some good new toys but not as many staples as White. I know you might think I’m being a little harsh with my 2.5s but I don’t think I am. Baral, Chief of Compliance, Whir of Invention, and Trophy Mage are good cards but I don’t think they will be as commonly played as Reflector Mage (3) or Smuggler’s Copter (4) were.
Leave your thoughts and comments below and I’ll see you tomorrow as we go over the Black cards!
As always, thanks for reading,
@Alieldrazi on Twitter
Take a look at the other entries in the Set Review!