Drafting Digest: The Sram Whammy

Temptingly powerful two-drop or premium removal spell? It’s a good problem to have Pack 1, Pick 1 of your Aether Revolt draft, and Ryan Saxe is here to sort it out!

Now that I’m in the double digits of Aether Revolt drafts, I’m beginning to settle into the format. Testing out theories, exploring archetypes, and let me tell you, this format is fun!

In my experience, Aether Revolt has been synergistic, but not as much as Kaladesh. It’s quite subtle, actually. Improvise and Revolt both play very well into normal Limited games, and understanding how to prioritize cards that help those mechanics without diluting your deck with mediocre cards is the key to drafting properly. For example, Audacious Infiltrator has gone up in my pick order because the three power incentivizes your opponent to trade, which naturally turns on Revolt while beating down!

Of course, there is still much to learn. Let’s look at a pack.

Pack 1, Pick 1

The pack:

The pick:

This pack has a ton of solid cards. Aether Swooper, Chandra’s Revolution, and Scrounging Bandar are all solid commons, but there are two cards in this pack that actually stand out: the rare and the premium removal spell.

A week ago, I would’ve just taken Sram to try him out, but now I’ve played with and against the card four times (although two of those were from sealed, where Sram is notably worse). Sram, Senior Edificer is a very powerful first pick, but you just can’t put too many Vehicles, Auras, and/or Equipment in the same deck. They all take up the same slot, and I never really want more than four cards there. Where Sram really puts in work is when you have Caught in the Brights or Revoke Privileges, so if you pick him, make sure to draft those highly.

But then there’s Hungry Flames. This card is very good. Instant-speed removal is always hard to come by, and this is very good. It’s unclear whether or not this card is better than Welding Sparks, but I was always happy to first-pick Welding Sparks.

So which card is better? I’m going to take the Hungry Flames. There are a lot fewer four-toughness threats in this format as opposed to Kaladesh, and it has been premium so far. Although Sram, Senior Edificer has a high ceiling, the removal spell is just too efficient here.

I also want to give Scrounging Bandar a shout-out here. The card has severely overperformed so far. From triggering Revolt to making a large flier, the card really does it all!

Pack 1, Pick 5

The picks so far:

The pack:

The pick:

I started out with a great removal spell, and then just took the best cards in the pack for the next three picks. I have two good green cards and two great white cards and see a great R/G gold uncommon? Well, thank you very much, don’t mind if I do! I am taking Outland Boar here.

It’s true that a good pump spell will make my deck, and Welder Automaton is a completely serviceable two-drop, but the power level of those cards are just too much lower than Outland Boar.