Drafting Digest: A Bridge Too Far

Aether Revolt is practically in our hands already, and Ryan Saxe is here to help you get your bearings on the Draft format of the moment! How’ve you enjoyed it so far?

The beginning of a Limited format is my favorite part. As you all know by now, I love problem-solving. Drafting is just a continuous stream of problems to solve, and the more you draft a format, the better you get at it. At this point, you can gain a pretty large edge by getting ahead of the curve. Understanding that there are way more two-toughness creatures might mean that Furious Reprisal is better than Welding Sparks in Pack 3. I’m not sure if this is true, but it’s worth exploring!

As you’re drafting Aether Revolt, ask yourself questions about the format. Try to give yourself some problems to solve and get ahead of the curve! The draft today poses quite the interesting puzzle that requires more knowledge of the format than we really know at the moment. Let’s give it a shot!

Pack 1, Pick 1

The Pack:

The Pick:

Unfortunately, I don’t think this pick is very interesting. Quicksmith Rebel is just miles more powerful than anything else in this pack. I have had the chance to play with the card twice now, and against it as well. Every single time, it has exceeded my expectations. They need instant-speed interaction, and if they don’t have it, then Quicksmith Rebel starts plowing down their creatures. As I said, more decks have two-toughness creatures than in Kaladesh Limited, so the effect from the Rebel is even better than you would expect. Also, the Rebel looks pretty in foil, so it’s certainly the best pick!

Reverse Engineer and Daring Demolition have both gone up from my initial impressions, but they just aren’t on the same power level. Don’t get me wrong; they are great, just not as good.

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

Maverick Thopterist was a great addition to Quicksmith Rebel. Both cards want you to have early artifacts, share a color, and have a high power level. The following pack is one of the more interesting choices I have had. There are a variety of options, and I honestly don’t know which is objectively correct. After another week of this format, there likely will be a general consensus. What would you do?

The Pack:

The Pick:

Well, this pack is stacked! I started with two extremely powerful U/R artifact-based cards and got passed a pack with plenty of options. It should be noted that red cards are worth more than blue cards in this pack because Maverick Thopterist is splashable, especially in a set with Renegade Map at common.

The most powerful card in the pack is Vengeful Rebel. I could draft the black card and maybe splash it or Maverick Thopterist, but if I don’t splash, I am throwing out quite the powerful card. Skyship Plunderer is also powerful, but U/R is the worst place for the proliferate-esque ability, as there aren’t many +1/+1 counters and energy is no longer as abundant.

Now, looking at the red cards, we have a very efficient two-drop that synergizes with artifacts or a solid removal spell. I’m expecting many people here to lean towards Chandra’s Revolution, but I think if I’m taking a red card, it is going to be Aether Chaser. I have been impressed with the card. It attacks and blocks extremely well as well as making a Servo. The fact that I already have two cards that want artifacts on the battlefield prior to turn 4 makes the Aether Chaser really appealing here. Also, I have now drafted U/R twice, and enough of the improvise cards want to be cast on turn 4, which definitely gives Aether Chaser a bonus.

So now the question is, which card would you take? I am taking Aether Chaser. It is more crucial towards the strategy and synergizes the best with the most powerful card in my pool. It is also just a solid two-drop, which is always premium.

I expect this pick to be controversial, and many of you likely have differing opinions. I would love to hear them! In this draft I initially took Skyship Plunderer, but after further analysis and an understanding of the archetypes in Aether Revolt, I think Aether Chaser is the correct pick!