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Aether Revolt

Aether Revolt
AER set logo
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Leaking aether
Design Mark Gottlieb (lead)
Mark Rosewater
Ken Nagle
Gavin Verhey
Adam Prosak
Ari Levitch
Development Ben Hayes (lead)
Sam Stoddard
Ethan Fleischer
Adam Prosak
Yoni Skolnik
Tim Aten
Art direction Mark Winters
Release date January 20, 2017
Plane Kaladesh
Themes and mechanics Energy counters, Vehicles
Keywords/​ability words Crew, Improvise, Revolt
Set size 184 cards
+10 Planeswalker deck exclusives
Expansion code AER[1]
Development codename Stock
Kaladesh block
Kaladesh Aether Revolt N/A
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Planechase Anthology Aether Revolt Modern Masters 2017

Aether Revolt is the 73rd Magic expansion, and the second in the Kaladesh block. It was released on January 20, 2017,[2] and is a small expansion.

Set details[ | ]

Aether Revolt contains 184 cards (70 commons, 60 uncommons, 42 rares, and 12 mythic rares) and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. Ten additional cards are found in the set's planeswalker decks (2 mythic planeswalkers, 2 rares, 2 uncommons, 2 commons, and 2 common dual lands). These are numbered #185/184 to #194/184.[3][4] Some Aether Revolt booster packs contain a Kaladesh Invention. The expansion symbol of the set is a Far Eastern-inspired floral motive representing the "leaking spire," the symbol of the Renegades.

Storyline[ | ]

“  It's Time to Take the Power Back  ”

A revolt takes place on Kaladesh. Led by Pia Nalaar and aligned with aether-pirates, essence-drainers, and weaponsmiths, the Renegades have seized control of large portions of Ghirapur. They seek to overthrow the authority of the Consulate. The Consulate responds with increased security and surveillance, the seizure of unregistered inventions, the monitoring of aether distribution, and the enforcement of a city-wide curfew. The Gatewatch and Ajani Goldmane support the renegades, while searching for the nefarious planeswalker Tezzeret.

Story Spotlight cards[ | ]

Aether Revolt contains five Story Spotlight cards, used to showcase key moments in the story.

Magic Story[ | ]

Main article: Magic Story
Title Author Release Date Setting (plane) Featuring
In the Dead of Night Alison Luhrs 2016-11-30 Kaladesh Yahenni, Nived, Gonti, Farhal, Vedi, Dhriti, Najm, the Gatewatch, Rajul
Quiet Moments Michael Yichao 2016-12-07 Kaladesh The Gatewatch, Saheeli Rai, Ajani Goldmane, Yahenni, Pia Nalaar
Breakthrough Kimberly J. Kreines 2016-12-14 Kaladesh Rashmi, Tezzeret, Sana Ahir, Bhavin Jani, Mitul, Saheeli Rai, Liliana Vess
Revolution Begins Nik Davidson, Kelly Digges & Kimberly J. Kreines 2017-01-02 Kaladesh Chandra Nalaar, Pia Nalaar, Gonti, Sram, Rajni, Kambal, Kailash, Rashmi, Mitul, Avaati Vya, Kari Zev
Burn Chris L'Etoile 2017-01-04 Kaladesh Dovin Baan, Tezzeret, Dhiren Baral, The Gatewatch, Oviya Pashiri, Ajani Goldmane, Vatti, Dayal, Pia Nalaar, Kari Zev
The Skies over Ghirapur Ari Levitch 2017-01-11 Kaladesh Kari Zev, Ragavan, Jace Beleren, Ukti, Depala, Laksha
Breaking Points Doug Beyer 2017-01-18 Kaladesh The Gatewatch, Pia Nalaar, Hope of Ghirapur, Saheeli Rai, Rashmi, Ajani Goldmane, Oviya Pashiri, Vatti, Dovin Baan
Puppets James Wyatt 2017-01-25 Kaladesh Liliana Vess, Tezzeret, Gideon Jura, Chandra Nalaar
Renewal Mel Li, Kelly Digges, Alison Luhrs, Doug Beyer, and Chris L'Etoile 2017-02-01 Kaladesh Pia Nalaar, The Gatewatch, Dhiren Baral, Ajani Goldmane, Padeem, Yahenni, Depala, Crankshaft, Sana Ahir

Marketing[ | ]

Aether Revolt is sold in 16-card booster packs (one card being a marketing card), two planeswalker decks, and the Aether Revolt bundle. The booster packs feature artwork from Ajani Unyielding, Tezzeret the Schemer, and Maulfist Revolutionary.[5]

Kaladesh Inventions[ | ]

Main article: Kaladesh Inventions

Kaladesh Inventions are premium foil cards with a special Kaladeshi card frame and a separate expansion symbol. They are not part of the set but can be found in some booster packs. Kaladesh Inventions are all artifacts, include all new art and flavor text set on Kaladesh, and appear slightly more often than premium mythic rares. These cards are playable in any limited format where they are opened and in any constructed format where they are already legal. Thirty Invention cards appeared with Kaladesh and 24 in Aether Revolt.

Prerelease[ | ]

Prerelease Events took place on January 14, 2017.[6]

Promotional Cards[ | ]

Tokens/emblem[ | ]

Aether Revolt features 3 tokens and 1 emblem.[7]

  1. {R} 2/2 Gremlin creature for Gremlin Infestation and Release the Gremlins
  2. {R} 2/1 Legendary Monkey creature named Ragavan for Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
  3. {C} Artifact named Etherium Cell for Tezzeret the Schemer
  4. Emblem for Tezzeret the Schemer

Aether Revolt boosters also include cards to place energy counters on.[8]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Vehicles and Energy counters are carried over from the previous set.[9] A theme of mana cost X or less is also present with numerous cards allowing for casting, returning or tutoring such cards.

There are two new named mechanics:[10]

Cycles[ | ]

Aether Revolt has six cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Automatons Aegis Automaton Watchful Automaton Augmenting Automaton Welder Automaton Verdant Automaton
Five common artifact creatures that have a color identity through an activated ability.
Aether Critters Aether Inspector Aether Swooper Aether Poisoner Aether Chaser Aether Herder
Five mono-colored common creatures that give {E}{E} upon entering the battlefield and can spend {E}{E} to create a 1/1 colorless Servo artifact creature when attacking.
Experts Sram, Senior Edificer Baral, Chief of Compliance Yahenni, Undying Partisan Kari Zev, Skyship Raider Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Five mono-colored rare legendary creatures that tie to the Expertise cards.
Expertises Sram's Expertise Baral's Expertise Yahenni's Expertise Kari Zev's Expertise Rishkar's Expertise
Five rare sorceries with an on-color effect that also allows for the casting of a free spell of converted mana {1} less than its casting cost.
Implements Implement of Improvement Implement of Examination Implement of Malice Implement of Combustion Implement of Ferocity
Five common artifacts, each of which has a colored activated sacrifice effect and lets you draw a card when put into the graveyard.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W} {W}{B} {B}{G} {G}{U} {U}{R} {R}{W}
Two-colored draft archetypes Spire Patrol Tezzeret's Touch Weldfast Engineer Outland Boar Renegade Rallier Hidden Stockpile Winding Constrictor Rogue Refiner Maverick Thopterist Renegade Wheelsmith
Ten uncommon cards which each represent a two-colored draft archetype.

Mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Rare color artifacts Peacewalker Colossus (Aether Revolt) Merchant's Dockhand (Aether Revolt) Scrapheap Scrounger (Kaladesh ) Bomat Courier (Kaladesh ) Lifecrafter's Bestiary (Aether Revolt)
Five artifacts that have an activated ability require a color, one for each color.

Pairs[ | ]

Aether Revolt has five mirrored pairs.

Mirrored Pairs Description
Call for Unity ({W}) Aid from the Cowl ({G}) Rare enchantments for 3MM with Revolt, with artwork of the Consulate Tower under assault.
Quicksmith Spy
Quicksmith Rebel
Rare Human artificers for 3M with mirrored stats that grant target artifact a tap ability upon entering the battlefield.
Aerial Modification
Siege Modification
Uncommon auras with "Enchant creature or Vehicle" that turns an enchanted Vehicle into a creature.
Aeronaut Admiral
Reckless Racer
Uncommon Human Pilots that have keyword abilities, alliterative names, and mirrored flavor text that show citizens recruited into the two sides of the conflict.
Skyship Plunderer ({U}) Maulfist Revolutionary ({G}) Uncommon Human revolutionaries that can add counters of any type to a single permanent.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

Common to Uncommon[ | ]

Uncommon to Common[ | ]

Functional Reprints[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Mechanized Production is an alternate-win card.
  • Gonti's Aether Heart is a unique extra turn spell on a permanent.
  • Exquisite Archangel can prevent its controller from losing the game, similar to other angels like Platinum Angel.
  • Fatal Push is a powerful removal that saw tournament play - notably for Modern, which filled the strange gap in which Black had the weakest removal in the format compared to Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile. With fetchlands making Revolt fairly trivial, the ability to remove almost all the powerful two-drop creatures at a mana profit revived Black as a color.
  • Indomitable Creativity is a powerful variant of Polymorph style effects that can target artifacts, transmute multiple permanents, and be played at instant speed. This unique power led to it being the key piece in eponymous combo decks in Modern that decks played almost no creatures other than a few instances of the best in the format, like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, and could use spells like Prismari Command and the land Dwarven Mine to create tokens to transmute. Once Archon of Cruelty was printed, the format began dominating Modern and winning many tournaments. Variants have appeared in formats like Pioneer and Historic that play creatures like Torrential Gearhulk and Velomachus Lorehold.
  • Heroic Intervention is a powerful protection spell for decks built around powerful permanents and wide boards of creatures. It sees competitive play in Pioneer and Explorer and is also a heavily played card in the casual Commander format.
  • Whir of Invention is an artifact tutor with improvise. It has strong similarities to Chord of Calling in terms of both design and strength and is a key component in Modern decks built around Urza, Lord High Artificer colloquially called "Whirza" decks.
  • Disallow was a counterspell of choice for Standard control decks thanks to its flexibility in targeting activated and triggered abilities.
  • Hope of Ghirapur has a unique effect similar to Silence and has seen play in Pioneer, particularly in decks built around Ensoul Artifact which can turn the Hope into a 4/4.
  • Kari Zev's Expertise is a Threaten style card that saw play in Red Deck Wins in both Standard and Pioneer. In addition to being able to steal many of the dominant Vehicles in those formats like Smugglers' Copter, it also provides significant tempo compared to other Threaten effects.
  • Spire of Industry is a powerful multicolored land for artifact decks in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.
  • Scrap Trawler became part of an infamously complicated and powerful combo in Modern alongside Krark-Clan Ironworks and Myr Retriever to near infinitely loop low mana value artifacts and eventually generate enough mana to win the game by looping Pyrite Spellbomb Because the combo was so powerful but also so complicated as to be difficult to understand and take substantial amount of time and clicks to execute, the Ironworks was banned in Modern in 2019.
  • Winding Constrictor is a key card in the eponymous deck in Standard and Explorer, Golgari Constrictor, which is built out of ways to use its counter-increasing effect. The deck also makes use of Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, a powerful card advantage engine that gets even better with the Constrictor, as well as Aethersphere Harvester, an aggressive creature that can also stabilize its controller against aggro starts.
  • Gifted Aetherborn was one of the best two-drop black creatures for midrange decks in Standard and Pioneer.
  • Implement of Combustion sees play in Pauper Burn decks built around artifact synergies. These decks can sacrifice the Implement to effects like Kuldotha Rebirth and use it to enable Galvanic Blast.
  • Sram, Senior Edificer is a card advantage engine for Aura-based aggro decks in Pioneer.
  • Kari Zev, Skyship Raider is a Red Deck Wins staple for decks in Standard and Pioneer, and her monkey token partner inspired the infamous Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer from Modern Horizons 2.
  • Renegade Rallier has seen play in a variety of decks like midrange and creature toolbox decks in Modern and Fires of Invention decks in Pioneer.

Banned and Restricted cards[ | ]

  • Felidar Guardian, as part of the Saheeli Rai combo, received the dubious honor of being the first card in 18 years (since Memory Jar in Urza's Legacy) to be emergency banned, after the release of Amonkhet. Unlike Memory Jar being banned shortly after release, Felidar Guardian received a ban at the end of the week of the regularly scheduled ban window, suggesting a level of public outcry influenced the policy.
  • Rogue Refiner was one of the two chosen Energy sources (the other being Attune with Aether) to be banned to weaken the Temur Energy deck after the release of Ixalan, as its midrange shell was stronger than anything else in the format. Being a cantrip, a curve-relevant body, and coming with two energy meant it often converted into two or more cards easily.
  • Paradox Engine is a powerful combo piece and value engine that can easily win the game in a deck built around artifacts that tap for mana and other effects. It has seen some competitive play in formats like Modern and Legacy but is most notable for being banned in the casual Commander format in 2019, mostly because it combos so easily with cards like mana rocks and mana dorks that were already played in nearly every deck in the format.
  • Walking Ballista was considered a fair midrange card that doubled as a clean infinite-mana win condition, and hence a powerful pivot plan for many decks. It was banned from Pioneer in August 2020 as part of a combo deck cleanup, as it already had a combo with Heliod, Sun-Crowned, forcing ramp and infinite mana decks to work harder to win. Similar concerns likely contributed to it being removed from Kaladesh Remastered, effectively making it also banned from Historic. In addition to its success in Pioneer, it was a staple in aggro decks in Standard and has made a massive impact in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage thanks to artifact synergies and the Heliod combo.
  • When the Brawl format was created in 2018, Baral, Chief of Compliance immediately began dominating tournaments on Magic Online with the ability to make every counterspell powerful. After winning six out of the top eight slots in the first two Brawl Challenges, Baral was quickly banned from the format.

Trivia[ | ]

Card comparisons[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Aether Revolt has two planeswalker decks:[5]

deck name
Colors Included Planeswalker
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Ajani W G Ajani, Valiant Protector
Tezzeret U B Tezzeret, Master of Metal

References[ | ]

  1. Product information
  2. Wizards of the Coast (May 16, 2016). "Announcement Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Blake Rasmussen (January 5, 2017). "Exclusive Cards in the Aether Revolt Planeswalker Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (January 6, 2017). "Aether Revolt Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b c Blake Rasmussen (2016-12-05). "Aether Revolt Packaging, Promos, and Planeswalker Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Gavin Verhey (January 9, 2017). "Aether Revolt Prerelease Primer". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Blake Rasmussen (January 6, 2017). "The Tokens of Aether Revolt". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Trick Jarrett. (January 7, 2017.) Yes, and so will Kaladesh boosters in pre-prelease packs. Community Manager's Twitter account.
  9. Mark Rosewater (January 2, 2017). "A Revolting Development (and Design), Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Matt Tabak (January 2, 2017). "Aether Revolt Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Ben Hayes (January 3, 2017). "Leading Aether Revolt". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (January 9, 2017). "A Revolting Development (and Design), Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.