Full Force drafting is a series dedicated to forcing archetypes in draft formats. Join me every Thursday as we learn the ins and outs of the most recent Magic draft formats.
Aether Revolt has finally arrived and I’m learning the format from the bottom up, trying to push the boundaries of drafting (and common sense). This week we looked into the RB archetype, a color combination that relies a lot on improvise and artifacts in Aether Revolt. To take it a step further, I focused on a sub-theme; Sacrifice. The goal was to combine as many sacrifice effects with Threaten effects (Hijack, Wrangle) as possible.
As you can see, we ended up missing out on a lot of black outlets in this draft. The missing Defiant Salvagers certainly hurt the deck and I made a misstep by not taking the Hijack in pack 3, assuming it would wheel. Despite this and a mediocre finish, the deck looked surprisingly viable on paper. It had a pretty blinding pace to it and when it actually curved out in game 2 against my opponent it was pretty brutal. With a bit of luck, a slightly better build (more Hijacks and more Salvagers) I’m confident this deck is very viable.
My advice on going for this strategy is two-fold. You should try to take Salvager and Smasher early on and wheel the Wrangles or Hijacks as most decks don’t care too much about them and Salvager and Smasher will make your deck even if you don’t have any Threaten effects, while the Wrangle and Hijack shouldn’t be maindeck without the sacrifice engines. The other piece of advice is to try to build it so you can go to at least 16 lands, if not 15 and go for blazing speed with Improvise. The Embraal Gear Smashers let the deck have reach if you get stalled out and it can be blisteringly fast and punish slower decks or decks with clunky mana-bases.
VERDICT: B- Viable
On paper the deck seems fast and powerful with a number of ways to still maintain late game reach. And that’s not even considering the incredible entertainment you get seeing the light go out of your opponent’s eyes the first time you steal their creature with a Salvager on the board. I’ll definitely be attempting it in the future!
Next week we’re moving into a new archetype, so watch for the voting on my Twitter and good luck wrangling up a few wins!