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December 8, 2016

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Next Level Analysis: Aether Revolt

Hello and welcome to this week’s version of Next Level Analysis. Each week we take a deeper look into the latest decks and the cards performing best in them. Each week the goal is to pick up a new strategy or idea that can help you take your game to the next level either at your local card shop or at a large tournament. Well, that wonderful time of the year is here again and I don’t mean the holiday season. Spoiler season is here once again. This week we will be taking a look into what cards have been spoiled and try to figure out what cards will find a home and where. Once again, I will be using a grading scale of 1 to 10 to rate each card as far as its playability in a format. A card that receives a 1 is unplayable in my mind and a 10 will be a format changing card. Without further ado let’s take a look at the Aether Revolt cards that have been spoiled.

Pia’s Revolution
Pia's Revolution

This card seems solid. When I first saw this card, I thought of two decks; Eggs and Affinity. If Affinity can pull off enough mana on turn one to cast this card, things could get interesting, especially if a second Mox Opal is involved. Do I get more free mana or do you take 3 damage? Another deck that bases it whole strategy on returning artifacts from the graveyard to hand and play is Eggs. If you have never heard about this deck I would recommend checking out Budget Brews as Craig Thompson gives a great run down on the history of the deck and how it functions. As far as this card in standard, there are many great artifacts seeing play and this card should have great interactions with them.

Standard Rating: 6
Modern Rating: 5


Up next we have the new Voidslime. Being able to counter either an activated or triggered ability is not something that gets printed very often. Disallow should be an all-star in standard control decks by being able to counter abilities such as activating man-lands like Hissing Quagmire and Wandering Fumarole. If all else fails, it still is a counterspell for 3 mana. In modern it might be a harder fit. Voidslime does not see much play so it will be interesting to see if the lack of green mana in the casting cost helps this card find a home in the heart of control players.

Standard Rating: 8
Modern Rating: 3

Dark Intimations
Dark Intimations

This card did not make the list due to its playability but more because of the other Bolas cards that are implied. Dark Intimations leads us to believe that we could see a new Bolas planeswalker in this set as well as the future sets to come in standard. However, I believe that Nichol Bolas will only be found in the Amonkhet set and in a planeswalker deck. As far as this card is concerned, it is a mini Cruel Ultimatum. As far as constructed play, I just don’t think that this card has the right tools to work with in any format right now.

Standard Rating: 2
Modern Rating: 1

Trophy Mage
Trophy Mage

Did someone say Dynavolt Tower? This card should see play in standard in the Grixis Tower lists. Being a combo player myself, being able to more consistently get the card you need to combo off seems like a solid 10 in my book. However, I am unsure what other decks will take advantage of Trophy Mage. If it was a 3-drop artifact of less I think Trophy Mage would be viable even in modern.

Standard Rating: 7
Modern Rating: 2

The Planeswalkers
Ajani Unyielding Ajani Valiant Protector Tezzeret Master of Metal

So far I have not been blown away by any of the newly spoiled planeswalkers from Aether Revolt. The converted mana costs are just too high for the reward of the abilities. Sure Tezzeret, Master of Metal has the same ability of the highly played Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. However, a 4 drop planeswalker seems much better than this 6 drop. In commander, these might see some play but as far as standard and modern I just don’t see it. Look’s like Chandra, Torch of Defiance still is on top on my best new planeswalker pinnacle.

Standard Rating: 5
Modern Rating: 1

With more spoilers coming out each day make sure to check out the Daily Dose to get all of your spoiler news and check back again next week as we continue to look at cards that will make a splash in both Standard and Modern constructed formats.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and all of the other great ones that can be found on MTG Canada. Until next time, best of luck in taking your game to the next level. I also would love to hear from you whether it be feedback on my article, or a deck that you want me to take a look into. You can send any questions or feedback to and I will get back to you as soon as possible.