Drafting Red-White Vehicles in Aether Revolt (Videos)

Feature Article from Seth Manfield
Seth Manfield
1/31/2017 11:01:00 AM
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The Aether Revolt-Kaladesh draft format is definitely weird and different compared to the formats we have become accustomed to. Many of the decks have a low curve and lots of cantrips. The cycle of Implements contribute to this concept, and help you to lower your land count. Red-white is a color combination that is almost always going to lead to a very aggressive deck. I wasn't that happy with how the draft started off, as a lot of the cards that were passed our way were not particularly impactful on their own. This was a low power level draft, but even so we made the most of the situation, as you can see.

Sometimes without late-game bombs the best direction to go is to be as aggressive as possible. This will put the opponent into tough situations, as we saw when we were able to blast past an Aethersphere Harvester against the Blue-Black Control opponent. By being aggressive, I mean having a low curve and plenty of creatures to play on the first few turns. Two-drops are at a premium in Limited because of how important it is to get on the board first. Once you have taken the initiative, the opponent is put on the defensive immediately.

The Vehicles are at their best when you are ahead on board. Vehicles tend to have very high power and toughness ratios compared to their mana cost, so they are perfect in this type of deck. The Modifications we picked up early on in the first pack really helped shape the draft, and were very important players in the games we won. In particular, the game that stands out is where we played Consulate Dreadnought turn one and Siege Modification turn three to attack immediately.

The Modifications on a Vehicle create a two-card combination that demands a removal spell, otherwise the Vehicle is just too powerful. Picking up both Renegade Freighter and Sky Skiff in the final pack was super important as we our deck really needed a boost going into Kaladesh. This type of deck wants to play more vehicles than a normal deck otherwise would. Renegade Freighter in particular is a premium common that is often a first pick in any deck, so seeing one second was a gift. I believe we were in an open color combination, and made the most of it.

During deckbuilding I decided to play 16 lands, but sideboard into 15 lands on the draw. In general having one less land on the draw can be okay, as the extra card makes it less likely you will miss an early land drop. This is an incredibly low land count, compared to the usual 17 or 18 lands you see in Limited. But it works in this format because, in general, cards cost less mana, curves are lower. As the games played out, we never got mana screwed, and if anything we were a bit flooded. Having that extra spell or two in a deck can definitely make a difference.

This deck had a small artifact theme, typical of many decks in the format. We only had one mprovise card, which is going to be good even if you are only able to reduce the casting cost by one. Many of my decks are not all-in on the artifact theme, but having some cheap artifacts or Servos around can be a big help. I was a bit surprised to go undefeated with this deck, and our draws were very good. With all that being said, it goes to show that you don't need to open insane rares and mythics to win a draft. We moved into the aggressive red-white, and while the flexibility was there to switch colors, it was never necessary and I am happy with the result.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield




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