I always have and always will love artifacts, so Aether Revolt is basically a dream come true. Power definitely plays a part in my favorite cards, but it isn’t everything. Here are my favorite cards in each rarity level of Aether Revolt:
Common: Defiant Salvager
My first and favorite deck from Kaladesh was a B/G Marionette Master (see my variation here). I love playing that deck, but it is missing one thing for me, blue. With this card, and others from Aether Revolt, I could see a fairly powerful Dimir Aristocrats Deck coming together. I will try to get one together and tested before the Pro Tour for your viewing pleasure.
Defiant Salvager’s sorcery speed is definitely a bummer, but heavy token generation and spells to tap threats and make him unblockable pair well with his ability.
In the end, I like it and wanted to give you a card that wasn’t blue or an artifact.
Uncommon: Crackdown Construct
This card is insane! The most obvious combo with this card is the Wandering Fumarole combo floating around the Internet, but it doesn’t stop there. How about Cryptolith Rite (giving all your creatures an ability), any mana dork, Eldrazi Scions, Dynavolt decks and so many more. It might be weak to start, but in the right deck, with tons of abilities, this guy could be an absolute monster.
Ideally, I think this card lives in U/R Dynavolt. Wandering Fumarole is already there, but so is a ton of burn. This burn opens the field, fuels the Dynavolt and allows for Crackdown Construct to swing right in.
Rare: Hope Of Ghirapur
A 1/1 flying for 1 isn’t bad, which means Hope Of Ghirapur is AMAZING. This wrecking ball puts you in the drivers seat. In the early game, it allows you to prevent your opponent from laying ground work. By mid-game it buys you time in a critical moment. In a long game, this card opens the door for unimpeded bombs in the second main phase.
Honestly, I am not sure what the best strategy with this card is, but forcing your opponents hand is second to taking their turn entirely. There are so many ways to remove a creature, with this card, you can totally capitalize on that.
Mythic: Mechanized Production
Mechanized Production doesn’t require the same kind of explanation as the other cards. It reeks of shenanigans. Who doesn’t love copying things? The loophole on this card allows you to target Cogworker’s Puzzleknot and then win on Servos, basically doubling your Servo production. It can be paired with Metallic Mimic to power tribal creatures to unseen levels (looking at you Spirits). Hell, copy Panharmonicon or Dynavolt. It doesn’t fit in every Archetype, but it does fit in almost every deck I would want to build.
I love this card.
A Tempest Reprint In Aether Revolt:
My original choice for the common slot was Conviction, but then I found out it was actually a reprint from WAY back in Tempest. Since I do like it and I did explore some of the benefits, I might as well share why I picked it.
A permanent +1/+3 buff for two mana is something I might have in a white deck, regardless of other effects, but I picked this card based on the second effect. The ability to remove the Aura reduces the risk of a two for one trade, but it also allows you to bait your opponent.
There are at least a few fun ways you can bait your opponents with Conviction. If you know they have removal and want to get rid of it before you play something vital, you can place Conviction on any creature to add pressure to get rid of that creature. If you have 2 creatures and have a trick with one of them, casting Conviction on the one that is less important to you, could shift your opponents focus.
One fun, maybe not extremely effective, pair could be Conviction and Dazzling Reflection. Casting conviction on an opponents creature will likely cause some confusion. If they do attack, casting Dazzling Reflection might make them think twice about doing it again. Don’t have a Dazzling Reflection? This card allows you to bluff until the last possible second. If they do declare the creature with Conviction as an attacker, you are able to strip the creature of the Aura at the last second.