Aether Revolt Constructed Review: Green


Limited:  White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold and Lands

Constructed: White | Blue | Black | Red

Alright, welcome to the Aether Revolt Constructed Review!

Let’s take a look at the grading scale. Keep in mind that that the written evaluation of the card is more relevant, as there are many factors that aren’t reflected in a card’s grade. The grading scale is a little different than the one for the Limited format.


(Also known as the “Jace” Scale)

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren.Painful TruthsHissing Quagmire.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat.Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept.AnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing.)

Aetherwind Basker

Constructed: 2.0

I’m not normally a fan of 7 drops in Constructed, but this is potentially a 15/15 trample the first time it attacks. It also fuels energy cards like Aetherworks Marvel, and the ability to make massive amounts of energy is worth taking into account.

Greenbelt Rampager

Constructed: 3.0

This is one of the more interesting cards in the set. By itself, it’s GGG for a 3/4, and that payment can be split up among multiple turns. That’s okay, but not fantastic. Combine it with energy cards and you either get a cheap 3/4 or an energy-generation engine, and those 2 abilities add up to a very appealing 1 drop. Where I see this fitting best is an aggressive energy deck, as it can utilize both halves of this card.

Greenwheel Liberator

Constructed: 2.0

I like this more for Modern than Standard, though a 2 mana 4/3 isn’t quite there either. Without fetchlands, this is a bit too much work for too little payoff.

Heroic Intervention

Constructed: 2.5

I like the look of this. It strikes me as a sideboard card, and an effective one. It counters sweepers (Yahenni’s Expertise aside), is relevant in combat, and can stop any targeted removal spell or ability. That’s a lot of card for just 2 mana, and removal-based decks are going to need to watch out.

Hidden Herbalists

Constructed: 2.5

Burning-Tree Emissary got a new friend, and this could lead to more sweet Reckless Bushwhacker turns in Modern. Fetchlands make this a great turn 2 play, and there are plenty of ways to take advantage of a 0 mana 2/2.

Maulfist Revolutionary

Constructed: 2.0

The 3/3 for 3 part of this is a little less impressive in Constructed, but the counter synergy is much easier to pull off. This will often end up as 4/4 or 5/5 in stats overall, which is worth it in a deck built to maximize that.

Narnam Renegade

Constructed: 2.5

This is one of the Revolt cards that I like best. A 2/3 deathtouch is a solid little fighter, and costing only 1 mana makes it that much more likely it will be on. It’s also relevant without Revolt, and the combination of all that makes this intriguing. At the very least, it’s a super Kird Ape in Modern.

Natural Obsolescence

Constructed: 2.0

Purely sideboard material, Natural Obsolescence gives you a good option against cards you don’t want to send to the graveyard, or cards that are indestructible.

Rishkar, Peema Renegade

Constructed: 3.5

Rishkar is the sweet combination of a lot of stats and a very powerful ability, all for just 3 mana. Any deck with a lot of 1- and 2-drops should consider Rishkar, as this is one of the most powerful cards in the set.

Rishkar’s Expertise

Constructed: 2.5

The idea of drawing 3 to 5 cards and playing something large for free definitely appeals to me, and it doesn’t seem impossible to get that to work enough of the time. The drawback of your 6 drop doing nothing is a big one, don’t get me wrong, but when this works it will be strong enough to risk that drawback.

Unbridled Growth

Constructed: 2.5

I don’t know exactly where this goes yet, but a 1 mana Revolt enabler that you can sacrifice later (making it cost zero on the turn you need it to) that doesn’t cost a card is worth noting.

Top 3 Green Cards

  1. Rishkar, Peema Renegade
  2. Greenbelt Rampager
  3. Rishkar’s Expertise

Rishkar is no joke, and Greenbelt Rampager is a solid dude. Past that, green got a lot of speculative cards, and is not as obviously powerful as some of the other colors.

Aether Revolt Constructed Review: Red


Limited:  White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold and Lands

Constructed: White | Blue | Black

Alright, welcome to the Aether Revolt Constructed Review!

Let’s take a look at the grading scale. Keep in mind that that the written evaluation of the card is more relevant, as there are many factors that aren’t reflected in a card’s grade. The grading scale is a little different than the one for the Limited format.


(Also known as the “Jace” Scale)

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren.Painful TruthsHissing Quagmire.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat.Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept.AnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing.)

Aether Chaser

Constructed: 2.0

If this is good enough, it’s barely good enough. The dream is somewhat worth chasing, as a 2/1 that makes a 1/1 is a good deal for 2 mana, but it’s really going to depend on what aggressive red decks look like and how many x/3 blockers are running around.

Enraged Giant

Constructed: 2.0

Between this and Freejam Regent, red may have enough Improvise payoffs to really go aggro on a deck full of cheap artifacts. If this gets down to about 3 cost, it’s a real beating, and that seems doable if the rest of the deck is made up of good enough cards.

Freejam Regent

Constructed: 2.5

The same caveats about Enraged Giant apply before you should feel free to jam this, with flying and firebreathing being enough better than trample and haste to get a slightly better grade.

Hungry Flames

Constructed: 3.0

Searing Blaze this is not, but it’s close enough for government work. Hungry Flames will kill enough of the creatures that matter, while pinging the opponent for a relevant bit of damage. Whether this sees play is contingent on there being a highly aggressive red deck, but that seems at least somewhat likely.

Indomitable Creativity

Constructed: 2.0

The main use this has is in a deck that can create tokens (either artifact or creature). You then blow them up creatively, and it finds the great artifacts or creatures from your deck, of which you are only playing a couple. That seems worth exploring, even if cards like this have never quite gotten there. It can also downgrade opposing cards, but that’s less exciting.

Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

Constructed: 2.0

Kari Zev is pretty close to a 3 power creature for 2 mana, and that’s something aggressive red decks may be interested in. She triggers Revolt each turn, is hard to interact with in combat, and can create a Monkey each turn for sacrificial fodder (though that seems a little cruel to poor Ragavan).

Kari Zev’s Expertise

Constructed: 2.5

The power level on this is high enough that it threatens some big turns in Constructed. If you side this in against a deck with large creatures, you can set up a pretty sick combat by playing this and a free removal spell at once. It does still seem like a sideboard card rather than a main deck one, but a good one at that.

Quicksmith Rebel

Constructed: 2.5

This looks like another potent sideboard card. Against a deck with many 2 toughness creatures, playing the Rebel and starting to gun them down sounds appealing. You do need artifacts lying around, but Improvise decks may be in the right place to take advantage.

Release the Gremlins

Constructed: 2.5

I don’t know if it’s Sideboard Day or something, but red is getting a lot of cards that look quite powerful out of the board. Release the Gremlins is one of them, as it’s an effective way to punish artifact based decks, though not a card I’d run in the main deck.


Constructed: 3.0

This will see a fair amount of play, it’s cheap, efficient, and gets the job done. The format will dictate exactly how much play, as a wealth of 3 toughness creatures will clearly reduce the effectiveness of Shock, but I still see this as a staple.

Siege Modification

Constructed: 1.0

No. I don’t care how big the 7/11 is, still no.

Top 3 Red Cards

  1. Shock
  2. Hungry Flames
  3. Freejam Regent

Red didn’t knock it out of the park here, but it got some good removal spells, a couple big Improvise threats, and a lot of sideboard options. For a small set, that isn’t bad.

Aether Revolt Constructed Review: Black


Limited:  White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold and Lands

Constructed: White | Blue

Alright, welcome to the Aether Revolt Constructed Review!

Let’s take a look at the grading scale. Keep in mind that that the written evaluation of the card is more relevant, as there are many factors that aren’t reflected in a card’s grade. The grading scale is a little different than the one for the Limited format.


(Also known as the “Jace” Scale)

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren.Painful TruthsHissing Quagmire.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat.Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept.AnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing.)

Battle at the Bridge

Constructed: 2.0

You need to be deep on Improvise before this becomes good enough. Straight-up casting it isn’t acceptable outside of Limited, but if you can make it a 2 mana deal 5 (or the like), it could be worth it. Another use I could see is as a sideboard card, because it does punish aggro decks if you have a decent number of artifacts to fuel it.

Daring Demolition

Constructed: 2.0

I’d be really surprised if this got there, but maybe there’s a black deck that really wants to kill large Vehicles and has no other outs.

Fatal Push

Constructed: 5.0

If you were wondering what the best card in the set was, wonder no more. This is pushed enough to see play across every format, especially the ones with fetchlands. In Standard, cheap revolt enablers, make Push go big, and even the non-revolt version has plenty of targets. Once you do introduce fetches, this becomes absurd, and will kill everything from Tarmogoyf to Lodestone Golem without batting an eye. It’s funny that Smuggler’s Copter got banned before this came out to kick it around, but regardless, Fatal Push is the real deal. It will also incentivize 5 drops over 4 drops when it’s close, which is nice for diversity of threats and costs.

Fen Hauler

Constructed: 2.0

Anything with Improvise has at least some potential, but I’m not a big fan of this. The ability and stats just don’t do quite enough for me.

Fourth Bridge Prowler

Constructed: 2.5

I really like this as a sideboard card in the right metagame. Against an aggro deck full of 1/1s and 2/1s, this is a huge beating. It may even cross the bridge to the main deck, though that seems a lot less likely to me.

Gifted Aetherborn

Constructed: 2.5

This is a pretty good deal if you can get BB early. It’s big enough to survive most combats and doesn’t die to Shock, all while giving you life to play with and taking down anything it fights. I’ve loved Vampire Nighthawk in sideboards before, so this could also be a great Side Board option against aggro, as well as a main-deck option in a black-based aggro or midrange deck.

Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

Constructed: 3.0

Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I like the look of this. It’s a nice little beater that threatens to draw a bunch of extra cards, and at a very low cost. If you have just 1 energy before you play it, it’s already going to replace itself if it lives to your next turn, and it can fuel itself easily. Aether Hub and Harnessed Lightning combine nicely with the Siphoner, and it’s already good on its own.

Herald of Anguish

Constructed: 3.0

Now this is an improvise card worth building toward. It’s immune to Fatal Push, it can come out for 3 or 4 mana, and it eats a card essentially right away. It also flies over for a substantial amount of damage, and can throw your Prophetic Prisms at the opponent’s creatures, making it a threat against both aggro and control. I like Herald of Anguish, and can see it being the gas an improvise deck is looking for.

Midnight Entourage

Constructed: 2.5

Getting a card back whenever one of your creatures dies is an intriguing enough textbox that I’m in for playing a glorified Hill Giant. This can let you get good attacks in with the right curve, and punishes removal decks well. The biggest challenge is finding enough good Aetherborn, but that does seem doable.

Secret Salvage

Constructed: 1.0

Is the secret Relentless Rats? Tell me it’s Relentless Rats. Otherwise, this is too expensive and fiddly to really be worth the effort.

Vengeful Rebel

Constructed: 3.0

I’ve got high hopes for Flametongue Kavu Jr. here. If you can cheaply enable revolt, this is a very powerful play, and in the creature based format that is Standard, one that can generate a lot of value. Renegade Map is a big part of this, as is Terrarion, at which point you may be able to verge on improvise if you want. This also has merit as a sideboard card for creature mirrors, where you have a higher likelihood of just trading guys and then being able to play this without doing anything fancy.

Yahenni, Undying Partisan

Constructed: 2.5

Yahenni doesn’t quite match up to their Expertise, but still has some interesting things going on. Being indestructible and triggering revolt at will is nice, as is growing whenever you kill off an opposing creature. As a 3 mana 2/2, that’s still not quite enough to make this a Falkenrath Aristocrat, but mana-less sacrifice outlets are always valuable (see: Nantuko Husk).

Yahenni’s Expertise

Constructed: 3.5

Mini Languish plus a 3 mana voucher is an enticing card. It is context-dependent, and being this powerful naturally pushes people to reduce the number of creatures that die to it, but it’s still got a ton of potential. I expect this to be played in control, midrange (especially with 4 toughness creatures), and even out of the board in all sorts of decks.

Top 3 Black Cards

  1. Fatal Push
  2. Yahenni’s Expertise
  3. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner

Getting the best card in the set is a nice way to start, and black even picks up a great sweeper, a great 2 drop, and Herald of Anguish (the next best card). That’s a lot for a small set, and I’m very impressed with black’s offerings.

Aether Revolt Constructed Review: Blue


Limited:  White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold and Lands

Constructed: White

Alright, welcome to the Aether Revolt Constructed Review!

Let’s take a look at the grading scale. Keep in mind that that the written evaluation of the card is more relevant, as there are many factors that aren’t reflected in a card’s grade. The grading scale is a little different than the one for the Limited format.


(Also known as the “Jace” Scale)

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren.Painful TruthsHissing Quagmire.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat.Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept.AnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing.)

Aethertide Whale
Constructed: 2.0

I do like that this is a control finisher that protects itself, though we’ve flown past the days where Aetherling-style finishers are what end games. High-end cards these days need to play defense and offense better than the Whale, though in a removal-heavy mirror it could be annoying.

Baral, Chief of Compliance

Constructed: 3.0

Baral looks pretty sweet to me. Getting a 1 mana discount on any spell is a powerful ability in either a combo or control deck, and the loot effect helps you churn through cards. You can even play more copies of Baral than you would otherwise because of that effect, which is nice on a legendary card.

Baral’s Expertise

Constructed: 2.5

This Expertise is a little harder to build around, because triple-bounce is a fairly narrow effect. It can help you combo off with Sram or Aetherflux Reservoir by bouncing 0 drops, or you can slot it into a tempo deck and try and get ahead on board. I’m more skeptical of the second plan, and would think Baral’s Expertise lends itself more to combo shenanigans.

Bastion Inventor


Constructed: 2.5

Hexproof plus cost reduction makes me interested in inventing an improvise deck immediately. Playing a 4/4 hexproof beater for 2 or 3 mana is a real dream, and given enough cheap artifacts this could be the finisher that these engine decks are looking for. Make sure not to have your cheap artifacts do stone nothing. I’m thinking Prophetic Prism and Terrarion more than Ornithopter.


Constructed: 3.5

A 3 mana counterspell with significant upside is a nice addition to Standard. This owns planeswalker ultimates, stops anything you need to stop, and even fights against Aetherworks Marvel. Disallow is going to be a staple in blue control decks.

Efficient Construction

Constructed: 2.0

This is potentially a replacement for Aetherflux Reservoir in this theoretical nonsense deck, but I don’t think that’s the deck’s weak spot. As a fair engine card, I don’t see this being efficient enough to construct a deck around it.

Mechanized Production

Constructed: 2.0

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the combo of this plus Clues, ideally off Tireless Tracker, but I don’t have high hopes for making the full 8 needed to win the game.

Metallic Rebuke

Constructed: 3.0

It would be a huge leak if I didn’t mention how good this card is going to be in Standard. It’s a 2 mana counterspell with just one artifact in play, and a 1 mana counter if you have two. Given how powerful cheap counterspells are, this is very much worth building around. How many random artifacts you can fit into a deck is yet to be seen, but the power level of this card is so high that it’s worth looking at fitting as many as possible. Clues, Prophetic Prism, Vehicles, and more, these all make Rebuke into a powerhouse.


Constructed: 2.5

Negate is great.

Quicksmith Spy

Constructed: 2.0

This looks to me like a sideboard card for matchups where there isn’t much removal. Siding this in if you are a control deck could be awesome, as it is a card-drawing machine if it lives. It’s a little expensive and unreliable to play when it’s just going to die, hence the sideboard trickery.

Reverse Engineer

Constructed: 3.0

I really like improvise in Constructed. It’s not that hard to build a deck that casts these cards for a 1 or 2 mana discount, and Reverse Engineer is the exact kind of card that can fuel crazy combos and decks full of cheap or free artifacts. It can also be a value card in an artifact based control deck, and all those possibilities add up to a card with high potential.

Skyship Plunderer


 Constructed: 2.5

2 cost 2/1 flier isn’t quite there, though we have playtested plenty of blue aggro decks that contain Welkin Tern. Getting an energy counter or a +1/+1 counter per hit is a real upside, with +1/+1 counters sounding better to me. If you can get enough cards that care about this trigger into an aggressive deck, this card has a chance.

Trophy Mage
Constructed: 2.5

I like the value here, and if you can assemble enough powerful 3 drops, Trophy Mage can put in some good work. A 2/2 is a real card, and getting card selection out of the card you draw is worth a trophy when the right tutor targets are present.

Whir of Invention
Constructed: 2.5

This one is slightly harder to get working than Reverse Engineer, but it still strikes a chord with me. Being able to search for all sorts of different artifacts is powerful, and with enough trinkets, this can be cast for a very big discount.

Top 3 Blue Cards

  1. Disallow
  2. Metallic Rebuke
  3. Reverse Engineer

Two counterspells and a card drawing spell. Sounds pretty blue to me, and these three cards are all quite good. It’s a good time to be a blue mage.

Aether Revolt Constructed Review: White


Limited:  White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts, Gold and Lands

Alright, welcome to the Aether Revolt Constructed Review!

Let’s take a look at the grading scale. Keep in mind that that the written evaluation of the card is more relevant, as there are many factors that aren’t reflected in a card’s grade. The grading scale is a little different than the one for the Limited format.


(Also known as the “Jace” Scale)

5.0: Multi-format all-star. (Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage.)
4.0: Format staple. (Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Collected Company. Remand.)
3.5: Good in multiple archetypes and formats, but not a staple. (Jace Beleren. Painful TruthsHissing Quagmire.)
3.0: Archetype staple. (Jace, Architect of Thought. Zulaport Cutthroat. Explosive Vegetation.)
2.5: Role-player in some decks, but not quite a staple. (Jace, Memory Adept. AnticipateTransgress the Mind.)
2.0: Niche card. Sideboard or currently unknown archetype. (Jace, the Living GuildpactNaturalize. Duress.) Bear in mind that many cards fall into this category, although an explanation is obviously important.
1.0: It has seen play once. (One with Nothing.)

Aethergeode Miner

Constructed: 2.5

This isn’t quite there on the rate, but it has some good combo potential alongside Decoction Module, Saheeli Rai, and Aetherstorm Roc. Combine enough of those effects and you get infinite energy, at which point Whirler Virtuoso can go off. This also does protect itself and attack for 3, which is a moderate back-up plan if you need it.

Consulate Crackdown

Constructed: 2.0

Purely a sideboard card, Consulate Crackdown will only show up if decks with 20+ artifacts are appearing in Standard.


Constructed: 2.0

Another sideboard option, Decommission is barely above playable even if you assume Revolt is on, so I’m not very excited about this.

Felidar Guardian

Constructed: 3.5

The combo with Saheeli Rai where you make infinite Cats is clearly one that is worth testing for Standard. I’d be surprised if the combo wasn’t good, in either a control or combo shell, and Felidar Guardian as a card isn’t that bad either. It works with various Enter The Battlefield abilities, and has decent stats. You might get sick of this Cat come Standard season.

Sram, Senior Edificer

Constructed: 2.5

Bone Saw is ready! Sram has the ability to go off with 0 drop artifacts, and could see play in a Vehicles deck. You need to either use him as an engine if you are going full out, or draw probably 2 cards off him if you want him as a value play. Both those seem achievable, and Sram is cheap enough to see play.

Sram’s Expertise

Constructed: 3.0

Three tokens and a 3 drop is a good deal for 4 mana, though you do have to supply the 3 drop yourself. All the Expertise cards seem promising, as cheating on mana is traditionally a huge game. This could fuel some gross turns, and dropping a bunch of tokens in a beatdown deck alongside something bigger or a pump spell is dangerous.

Thopter Arrest

Constructed: 2.5

This effect always sees play to some degree, though this being unable to hit planeswalkers or enchantments is a big drop-off from Banishing Light.

Top 3 White Cards

  1. Felidar Guardian
  2. Sram’s Expertise
  3. Sram, Senior Edificer

Besides the potentially broken Felidar Guardian, White didn’t get anything insane. Still, one shot at a format-warping combo is nothing to complain about, even if the rest of the cards are various build-arounds that may not get there.

Budget Magic Deck: Burn

Legacy Burn, like all Burn decks, is pretty much a numbers game. The baseline for our spells is dealing three damage to our opponent’s face, which means that we need to resolve about six spells to win the game. As such, probably the best way to look at Legacy Burn is as a combo deck, with our combo saying, “If you resolve six spells this game, you win!” While many of our burn spells can go at creatures, this is usually a last resort for when we are about to die because every time we Lightning Bolt a Birds of Paradise, that’s another burn spell we need to draw, that we can throw at our opponent’s face and be able to close out the game.

Monastery Swiftspear is very good and a great budget option. On Turn 1, the Swiftspear gives us one hasty damage, and as the game progresses, this number goes up; it’s not uncommon to attack for 3 on Turn 2 and then 3 again the following turn, thanks to prowess trigger. Eidolon of the Great Revel is one of our best cards because it gives us a main deck way to hose some really powerful decks. In the worst case, it’s a 2/2 for two that deals our opponent at least two damage when they kill it, although it occasionally deals far more damage if our opponent doesn’t have a removal spell handy. However, the biggest reason we need Eidolon is to fight combo decks. In Legacy, there are various Storm decks that can kill on Turn 2 or 3 consistently, but getting these fast kills requires our opponent to cast a whole bunch of spells. Without Eidolon, we’d have a really hard time beating these decks, since they are usually a turn faster than we are, but with it, our opponent can’t simply cast a ton of spells and win the game, since they are taking two damage for each spell they cast, which is enough to flip these matchups into our favor.

Monastery SwiftspearEidolon of the Great Revel

Lightning Bolt is the best burn spell we do have, since it is instant speed, can hit creatures, and doesn’t require any extra work. Chain Lightning is pretty close to a sorcery speed Lightning Bolt, while there are weird situations where the opponent will have two red mana open to “chain” the bolt back at us, this is actually extremely rare. Rift Bolt is Lightning Bolt with suspend one, and while waiting a turn might sound like all downside it also costs three mana, which means it’s a Lightning Bolt that gets around Chalice of the Void on one, which is actually relevant in Legacy. Finally, Lava Spike is a sorcery speed Lightning Bolt that can’t hit creatures, which makes it the weakest of the bunch, but you can’t argue with three damage for one mana.

Lightning BoltChain LightningRift BoltLava Spike

Flame Rift is awesome, it’s essentially a Boros Charm that doesn’t require splashing a color, which means it’s amazing for building Legacy Burn on a budget. While it might seem strange to play a card that damages both players equally, this almost always works out in our favor because we have way more ways to damage the opponent than most opponents have to damage us. A couple of Skullcrack were the two last cards I put in the deck, and they are pretty lacking compared to the other cards in our deck. The problem with Skullcrack, while it has some upside in preventing life gain against a Deathrite Shaman, is that most of our spells deal three damage for one mana, meaning paying two mana for three damage from Skullcrack actually makes it super expensive for our deck.

Flame RiftSkullcrack

Price of Progress may be the most powerful burn spell in our entire deck, often representing at least six damage for only two mana at instant speed. In Legacy, decks are overloaded on non basic lands (while we play all Mountains, so we don’t take any damage), which makes Price of Progress one of our best ways of finishing off the game. Since it’s instant speed, we can wait for our opponent to cast something at the end of our turn and, while they are tapped down, hit them for a ton of damage out of nowhere. Fireblast might be the scariest burn spell in our entire deck because it essentially represents four damage for free at instant speed. It’s the card that makes Legacy Burn far scarier than the Modern or Standard versions. Fireblast allows Legacy Burn to kill an opponent by surprise from a pretty high life total, and since it’s instant speed and essentially free, it’s extremely hard to play around effectively. Finally, we have Sulfuric Vortex, which is the slow and steady plan for winning the game. It’s very important for beating slower, more controlling decks like Miracles. Even beyond burning out more controlling decks, it also provides some lifegain hate, which is key in some matchups.

Price of ProgressFireblastSulfuric Vortex

Here’s the full list:

Creatures (8):

4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel

Spells (33):

4 Chain Lightning
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Flame Rift
4 Price of Progress
1 Skullcrack
1 Sonic Burst
4 Rift Bolt
3 Sulfuric Vortex
4 Fireblast

Lands (19):

19 Mountain

Sideboard (15):

1 Pyroclasm
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
1 Red Elemental Blast
4 Searing Blood
3 Smash to Smithereens
2 Tormod’s Crypt

If you are looking to play some Legacy on the cheap, Burn seems like a great option. Plus, if you already play Modern Burn, you can throw together Legacy burn super cheap (for like $20)! Likewise, if you buy this Legacy Burn deck, you’ll be well on your way to having a competitive Modern deck as well!

Thanks Everybody for reading,


Deck Guide of the Day: Elves

Modern Elves is one of the most powerful decks in the format and it has good matchup against Eldrazi. The Legacy version has many things in common, but with a few critical differences that add power.

The basis of the Elves deck is cheap creatures that can make a bunch of mana. Heritage Druid and Birchlore Rangers are near the top of the list, being 1 drops Elves that can turn all your other Elves (as well as themselves) into mana producers. This is especially important on explosive turns, since both creature’s ability requires tapping Elves and doesn’t care if they’re summoning sick.

Heritage DruidBirchlore Rangers

To combo with the Heritage Druid and Birchlore Rangers, Nettle Sentinels are the perfect engine. What was meant to be a drawback makes this a potent combo card. With Sentinels in play to go with your Druid, every 1 drop Elf you play will net mana. With 2 Sentinels in play, casting a 1 drop Elf will untap the Sentinels, allowing you to tap the new Elf as well as the Sentinels for 3 more mana to easily go off.

Nettle Sentinel

Wirewood Symbiote is great for protecting your creatures, but will also keep the engine going. Returning an Elf to your hand gives you another creature to cast, as well as untapping a creature and recasting the bounced creature. As the glue that holds everything together, many players consider Elvish Visionary the most important card in the deck. It’s cheap, draws an additional card, and is exactly what you want to be bouncing with your Symbiotes when you’re in search of action. Being able to activate your Symbiote on your turn to replay Visionary, and then again on your opponent’s turn, means you can recast Visionary, bounce it again on your turn, and see multiple extra cards per turn. Quirion Ranger is an additional tool for the Legacy version to make sure you can generate tons of mana. Untapping Elves is akin to adding mana to your mana pool.

Wirewood SymbioteElvish VisionaryQuirion Ranger

Craterhoof Behemoth is the card that will actually end the game. Giving all your creatures a big boost and trample makes for tons of damage since you’ll be playing every creature you can.

Craterhoof Behemoth

The key differences between Legacy and Modern start with Deathrite Shaman. Deemed too powerful for Modern, Deathrite is as powerful a mana creature as you can find. He adds reach or life gain in a close game, and disruption against Dredge, Reanimator, flashback spells, and Snapcaster Mages. It’s also a 1/2 Elf that blocks surprisingly well against a handful of decks.

Deathrite Shaman

Green Sun’s Zenith and Glimpse of Nature are 2 more cards that are banned in Modern. In this deck the Zenith is a tutor to get you started with a Dryad Arbor, mana creature, a Heritage Druid or Nettle Sentinels for the engine, a Wirewood Symbiote to keep it going, an Elvish Visionary when short on action, or Craterhoof Behemoth to win the game. The Zenith really does it all in this deck. Sometimes you’ll cash in Glimpse of Nature for a card or two to try to get off the ground, but 1 or 2 Glimpses means drawing through your entire deck, playing more Elves, and generating even more mana off of those to keep going.

Green Sun's ZenithGlimpse of NatureDryad Arbor

Natural Order is your finisher. Some versions of Elves run Progenitus in the main deck while others sideboard it in, but Natural Order usually gets the Craterhoof to end the game as early as turn 2.

Natural Order

The final difference between Modern and Legacy may be the most important. Gaea’s Cradle can generate an explosive amount of mana to kill your opponent in a single turn. The change in the legendary rule is great for Cradle as you can use the first as a “ritual” of sorts before playing another and getting that mana boost as well.

Gaea's Cradle

Here’s the full list:

Creatures (31):

2 Dryad Arbor
2 Birchlore Rangers
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Elvish Visionary
3 Heritage Druid
4 Nettle Sentinel
1 Reclamation Sage
4 Wirewood Symbiote
1 Llanowar Elves
4 Quirion Ranger

Spells (12):

4 Glimpse of Nature
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
4 Natural Order

Lands (17):

2 Bayou
2 Forest
4 Gaea’s Cradle
2 Misty Rainforest
1 Pendelhaven
1 Savannah
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15):

3 Abrupt Decay
3 Cabal Therapy
2 Choke
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Progenitus
1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
1 Scavenging Ooze
3 Thoughtseize

With its explosiveness and consistence Elves is a really great Legacy deck!

Thanks Everybody for reading,


How to Build your Sideboard in Legacy

Sideboarded games are very important, and you play them roughly 50% more than you play preboard games, so they are disproportionately important in increasing your win percentage. Feel free to skip the following section if you are uninterested in the math.

Match-Win Percentage Formula

Let X be your presideboard win percentage. Let Y be your post-sideboard win percentage. Let Z be your match-win percentage. Then:
Z = Probability (win G1 and G2) + Probability (win G1, lose G2, win G3) + Probability (lose G1, win G2 and G3)


Which simplifies to:


There isn’t an easy conclusion to draw from this formula, but I personally keep track of all of my wins and losses and use this formula to determine my match win percentage for every deck I play. How does it relate back to sideboarding?

Well, the use of the formula shows that post sideboard games are extremely important. If you win 50% of your game ones, then your match win percentage is the exact same as your post sideboard win percentage (Y). But, if you win 50% of your post sideboard games, then your match win percentage is just 0.5X+0.25.

Plugging in some numbers, this implies that if you win 60% of your game ones, your match win percentage is 55% and if you win 90% of your game ones, then your match win percentage is still just 70%. To contrast, a 90% post sideboard win percentage would mean that you win 90% of your matches!

Of course post sideboard games are important, but I just wanted to highlight mathematically just how important they are. When comparing decks, make sure to use the above formula instead of a “raw win percentage.”

In Legacy, this translates directly to the fact that for the most part, fair decks tend to perform better in long tournaments than unfair decks. The sideboard cards against degenerate strategies are a lot more powerful than the sideboard cards against fair strategies.

Sideboard Construction

Now, onto some actual sideboard construction guidelines. The most important thing is to make sure you have a complete sideboard plan against all of the decks you are trying to beat, and understand what trade-offs you are making. Typically, when I first start exploring an archetype, I take a look at successful lists with the archetype and pick and choose the flexible main-deck slots based on what I expect to be popular. Typically, I hedge toward beating fair decks game 1, as combo decks can generally be managed post-sideboard. Then, once I have my main deck, I go through all of the top tier archetypes and determine how many cards I would like to cut from my main deck. Then I slowly construct a sideboard by adding cards and checking off the decks I am attempting to beat in order of priority.

For example, my first order of priority these days is beating Miracles. Let’s say I wish to cut 5 cards against Miracles when I am playing Grixis Delver. Then, I pick a specific coherent 5-card sideboard plan against them and add those 5 cards so that I have 5 of 15 sideboard slots. A card like Flusterstorm has applications for beating Miracles and beating combo decks, so I check off a couple slots for the combo decks I plan to bring them in against. Then I look at the next deck on my list and continue this process. By building from the bottom up, I ensure that I know exactly where my 15 valuable slots are going and what matchup trade-offs I’ll make, as well as which cards make up the last few slots of my sideboard. Knowing the “last few” tells you which cards should be the first to go if you are trying to tweak your sideboards to beat specific strategies.

Coherent Sideboard Plans

Another critical aspect of your sideboard plan is coherency. These days, I see Delver decks running Painful Truths, partly as an attempt to outgrind Miracles. Now, if Painful Truths is a key part of your game plan, then I think you should A) have an answer to Counterbalance and B) cut all your Dazes. If you have all the cards in the world but are under a Counterbalance lock, it won’t do you much good. Similarly, if you are trying to outgrind Miracles, drawing cards like Daze when the game goes long is awful.

Along with coherency is effectiveness. I personally don’t find the Painful Truths grind them out plan effective in Grixis. The cards simply aren’t there to outdraw Predict Miracles in most situations. But the new 4 color Snapcaster Delver lists have a lot more built in card advantage and this is a potential path to beating Miracles. In my opinion, Grixis Delver should leave in some number of Dazes against Miracles and focus partly on the tempo plan, whereas 4 color Snapcaster Delver should side out all of the Dazes and try to play a midrange game.

I will split the next section of the guide into 3 categories: fair blue cantrip decks, fair non cantrip decks, and unfair decks. Using Wishes doesn’t really change any of these macro-categorizations, it merely limits your sideboard slots.

Fair Blue Cantrip Decks

Let’s take a look at a couple of sideboards:

Grixis Delver

Noah Walker

Sideboard :

1 Cabal Therapy
1 Darkblast
1 Painful Truths
1 Forked Bolt
2 Pyroblast
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Sulfuric Vortex
2 Baleful Strix
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Pithing Needle
1 Winter Orb
2 Surgical Extraction


Joe Lossett

Sideboard :

2 Moat
3 Flusterstorm
2 Back to Basics
1 Pyroblast
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Kozilek's Return
1 Wear/Tear

One major advantage of playing cantrips is that it allows you to build a diverse sideboard, and that magnifies the power of your silver bullets. One reason Delver is such an effective strategy is that it has access to a variety of post-sideboard “bombs,” and adding even just 1 copy of a card like Surgical Extraction, Winter Orb, or Price of Progress can swing the game entirely. Noah’s list has a lot of these 1 ofs, but he also has a couple copies of the cards Baleful Strix and Pyroblast because they can come in in a variety of matchups. That way, he is able to first cover a wide swath of the metagame and then judiciously use his remaining slots to play these powerful haymakers. So, if you are playing the full suite of Ponders and Brainstorms, I recommend determining your popular bad matchups and adding some powerful 1 ofs.

Joe’s list has fewer 1 ofs than Noah’s, but he is still focusing more on haymakers. Miracles has a few specific weaknesses game 1, namely Chalice of the Void decks and combo decks because he plays a lot of useless removal. His sideboard has a variety of ways to interact with those weaknesses, and he has determined that Moat is worth 2 slots because it is almost unbeatable if it lands against Eldrazi.

Fair Non-Cantrip Decks


NoLoam from Magic Online

Sideboard :

4 Leyline of the Void
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
4 Thorn of Amethyst
2 All Is Dust
1 Karakas

NoLoam is one of the most successful Eldrazi players on Magic Online and I like how his sideboard is crafted. Eldrazi is a deck with no manipulation, so you need to play more copies of cards to guarantee seeing them. Leyline of the Void is the graveyard hate option of choice for Eldrazi because it is free and the most powerful option for beating decks like Reanimator and Lands. The sideboard cards from Eldrazi also need to be versatile because they are playing fewer distinct cards. So, you see the anti combo catch-all, Thorn of Amethyst.

Death and Taxes

Mack Doyle

Sideboard :

2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
2 Containment Priest
1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Council's Judgment
2 Rest in Peace
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Cataclysm
1 Wilt-Leaf Liege

Death and Taxes

David Baumann

Sideboard :

2 Path to Exile
1 Pithing Needle
1 Containment Priest
1 Disenchant
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Leonin Relic-Warder
2 Rest in Peace
1 Veteran Armorer
1 Cataclysm
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Council's Judgment
 Here, two very different sideboard strategies are used for D&T. Mack’s list runs 2 Enlightened Tutors in order to find bomb sideboard cards such as Grafdigger’s Cage and Rest in Peace. This strategy is at its best against unfair matchups where card advantage matters less than card quality. David, on the other hand, opts to play more tutorable threats for his Recruiter of the Guards. His list is better against most fair strategies as he includes more removal and a second Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Both sideboards are clearly viable, and the one you prefer depends on your metagame call.

Unfair Decks


Rodrigo Togores

Sideboard :

2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Abrupt Decay
2 Krosan Grip
2 Flusterstorm
2 Echoing Truth
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Sensei's Divining Top

Unfair decks are almost universally favored against fair decks game 1 and if they could get away with it, they would simply not sideboard. A deck like ANT only needs a sideboard in order to beat cards that they could not easily beat otherwise, such as Counterbalance or Chalice of the Void. So, you can see Rodrigo’s list packs a lot of answers to the above cards and not much else. His game plan against Delver probably only involves sideboarding 1 or 2 cards because his main deck is already geared toward beating counterspells and discard.


Daryl Ayers

Sideboard :

4 Chalice of the Void
4 Tireless Tracker
4 Krosan Grip
1 Molten Vortex
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Bojuka Bog

Lands sits at a weird intersection between fair and unfair. It even has some similarities with blue decks, because of the consistency that 8 effective tutors in Gamble and Crop Rotation provide. But in terms of sideboarding, I see it most akin to unfair decks because it only wants to enact its game plan. Most mana bases in Legacy run very few basic lands, and with 4 Ghost Quarters being the new norm, Lands seeks to lock out other decks from casting spells. So, the sideboard cards are there to counter anything that would stop Lands from enacting its game plan. Krosan Grip is a good answer to Counterbalance and Blood Moon, the Molten Vortex helps Lands against Sanctum Prelate, and the Tireless Trackers can serve as a second avenue of victory if your Life from the Loams get hit by Surgical Extraction. Daryl’s sideboard also demonstrates an almost “transformational” plan against a deck like Miracles. He brings in at least 12 cards because Lands’ game plan typically gets trumped by Miracles’. But, with the presence of Chalice of the Void and Tireless Tracker, he has more avenues to power through Swords to Plowshares.

Legacy has far too many strategies for me to go through them all, but that’s part of the beauty of the format. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a “horrible” matchup and choose not to hedge against it. Sometimes, a matchup is so bad that it would take too many sideboard slots to fix, and it’s often better to just ignore it altogether. Legacy is so diverse that you wouldn’t even expect to play against the most popular decks more than a couple of times.


  1. Post-sideboard games are significantly more important than pre-sideboard games. This means that over the long run, fair decks generally outperform unfair decks in Legacy.
  2. Make sure that you have a coherent and effective sideboard plan against the decks you are trying to beat. Put in the time testing your sideboard plans so that you can ensure that they work in practice as well as in theory.
  3. Have a metagame in mind when constructing your sideboard. Depending on which decks you expect, you can vary your options by building a sideboard like Mack’s to hedge against combo or a sideboard like David’s to hedge against fair strategies.
  4. Blue cantrip decks get to play more powerful haymakers because they see more cards in post-sideboard games.
  5. Non-cantrip fair decks should rely on redundancy because there is no guarantee they will have the time to draw the cards they need.
  6. Unfair decks don’t need to sideboard except to beat hate cards.

Thanks for reading

Deck Guide of the Day: Sneak & Show

There was a long period of time in the Legacy metagame when Sneak and Show was public enemy #1. The best players in the world all seemed to gravitate toward this powerful strategy, but you don’t see it nearly as often these days. Decks like Death and Taxes helped to slow it down, while powerful combo decks with their own interaction helped to diversify the metagame. Still, this is one of the most powerful decks ever seen. The proof is that Kentaro Yamamoto won GP Chiba this weekend with this deck.

As the name implies, Sneak Attack and Show and Tell are the ways to get started. Both cards allow you to cheat a huge threat into play at a cheap mana requirement. The drawback of Show and Tell, that it allows your opponent to put their own threat into play, is rarely effective against the best creatures Magic has ever seen. Sneak Attack‘s sacrifice drawback also doesn’t matter much when one hit is all you need to get the job done.


With Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as your huge monsters, a single attack may not technically win the game, but it has effectively ended the game. With a Sneak Attack already on the battlefield, Emrakul wipes your opponent’s board and leave them in shambles while you have tons of time to find another threat (if you haven’t already, plus the Emrakul shuffles back in). A Griselbrand allows you to completely refill your hand to make sure you have interaction ready to go and another monster for next turn, assuming you don’t find the mana plus monster combo to get Emrakul into play this turn as well!


Acceleration is critical to this strategy to make sure you can cast your Show or Sneak as early as possible. Lotus Petal speeds up your clock considerably. You also get all the value from Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors since your key spells require a big investment of colorless mana.


Playing a blue combo deck that only requires 2 different pieces is a nice place to be in Legacy. You get access to 4 copies of both Brainstorm and Ponder and as many Preordains and Sensei’s Divining Tops as you see fit to include. With so much card filtering, finding everything you need early on is a cinch.


And yet, with all of that already included, you are still playing a deck that doesn’t even require 20 lands, so you have plenty of room for interaction. Force of Will, Spell Pierce, Daze, Misdirection, and Flusterstorm are powerful counterspells that you can add to your deck and that will never require you to spend more than 1 actual blue mana to resolve them!


Furthermore,  if I were to play this deck, I would have access to Blood Moons in the sideboard as this deck has plenty of Islands and ways to cast Blood Moon on turns 1 or 2!


Here’s the full list:

Creature (7):

3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand

Spells (34):

1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
1 Preordain
4 Show and Tell
4 Brainstorm
2 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
2 Spell Pierce
4 Lotus Petal
2 Sensei’s Divining Top
4 Sneak Attack

Lands (19):

2 Ancient Tomb
2 City of Traitors
3 Flooded Strand
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Volcanic Island
1 Tundra

Sideboard (15):

1 Cavern of Souls
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Grim Lavamancer
2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy/Jace, Telepath Unbound
1 Lightning Bolt
4 Monastery Mentor
2 Sudden Shock
1 Wear/Tear
1 Wipe Away

Sneak and Show is one of the best decks Legacy has ever seen, so even though it isn’t played as often these days, don’t sleep on this giant. With a powerful combo, tons of card draw, and enough counters to force through the combo, it’s no wonder Sneak and Show has put up some of the best numbers Legacy has ever seen.

Thanks Everybody for reading,


Legacy Power Rankings

After Grand Prix Chiba and its share of constructed decks, here there are the top cards of the Legacy format.

  • Show and Tell

Show and Tell Show and Tell stole the entire tournament this weekend, putting also two copies of the deck in the Top8.This card is bonkers, it lets you cheat into play some stupid giant creature like Emrakul or Griselbrand and getting from them all the value. This weekend’s victory put back on the radar this powerful deck.

  • Counterbalance

Counterbalance Miracles is still one of the top contender in Legacy, if not the one. This weekend we have seen different version of this deck, but all of them have their power in this enchantment. Counterbalance warped the format so much that Abrupt Decay, #7 in this list, is played almost in any deck. Miracles still put up results, and for that, Counterbalance is #2 in this list.

  • Deathrite Shaman

Deathrite Shaman This little guy is played in BUG and in Elves, both putting up some great results in this GP. BUG was the third most played deck on Day 2. A big part of the success come from this mana Elf that was too strong for Modern. Legacy’s all about finding small advantages or building toward a single huge play, and Deathrite comes packed full of different ways to develop those advantages or hamstring that big play: Liliana on turn 2, exile a Life from the Loam or Griselbrand, shrink an opposing Tarmogoyf. When good card advantage is hard to find, Deathrite Shaman gives you an irreplaceable tool.

  • Brainstorm

Brainstorm Brainstorm is a Legacy staple. Every deck that play blue basically want this in. There were 24 copies of the card in the Top 8 of GP Chiba, and the only decks that didn’t play it were the ones without blue. The combination of Brainstorm plus Fetchland is one of the best form of card advantage and card selection you can have.

  • Eye of Ugin

Eye of Ugin Eldrazi decks still have success despite none of them made Top 8 this weekend. The power of the deck comes from its manabase, where Eye of Ugin is an all-star and a centerpiece for the deck. Discounting your big Eldrazi and allowing you to cast them early make the deck so much powerful. If Eldrazi put up a fast start is quite difficult for every deck to catch them back.

  • Delver of Secrets // Insectile Aberration

Delver of SecretsInsectile Aberration On Day 2, coverage broke down the metagame by archetype. Then, if you combine all of the Delver variants into a single grouping, you get the most represented Day 2 archetype by far. Sure, maybe the usefulness of that analysis is limited, RUG Delver plays nothing like BUG Delver, but it illustrates one point very clearly: a 1-mana blue creature is the best threat in the format.

  • Abrupt Decay

Abrupt Decay Going into Grand Prix Chiba, as going into every other Legacy tournament, Counterbalance was the card to beat. Well, what beats Counterbalance? Abrupt Decay is the natural answer, and BUG Shardless and BUG Delver were all in the top tables. On top of that, the very nature of the format, that just make Counterbalance such a dominant force, i.e. an environment filled with 1 and 2 mana spells, made Abrupt Decay the ideal answer to almost anything an opponent could throw at you.

  • Recruiter of the Guard

Recruiter of the Guard Recruiter is one of the newest card in the format, but it gave a boost to an old and familiar strategy, Death & Taxes. This deck, powered up by the Recruiter, may have found the way into being a Tier 1 in this format. One copy made his way into Top 8 but it also was the fourth most played deck on Day 2 of the Grand Prix.