Aether Revolt snuck up on me this time. I wasn’t able to attend the pre-release, but did draft on release weekend. I went to the draft “cold turkey,” having not researched any of the cards. Believe it or not, I drafted two “Fatal Push,” probably the most important card released in the entire set. In case you didn’t know, “Fatal Push” is a one-drop instant black kill spell. A card that is bound to be useful in Modern, as the only cards that have filled that role until this point have been Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt.
I went through all that, hanging out at the Tangled Web all afternoon, and I never even saw the new Planeswalker decks. Maybe they were there…maybe they were sold out? The first time I even had a clue that such a thing had released was when I saw it at Wal-Mart. I snatched up Tezzeret, and here was my experience.
The Tezzeret Planeswalker Pack came in the same style of packaging as the Nissa and Chandra Planeswalker Packs from Kaledesh. Aether Revolt takes place on the same plane, (is actually an expansion of the set Kaledesh,) and so this deck adds more to the entire experience of the block. Tezzeret is obviously foreshadowing the upcoming “Amonkhet” set, which is going to heavily feature the great villain of Magic the Gathering, Nicol Bolas. (Tezzeret has been something of a henchman for Bolas, along with Sarkahn, at least as far as I understand.)
Not pictured is the plastic case that is the main part of the packaging. It forms a nifty little tray…I just haven’t figured out how to use it yet. The contents of the box are really in this deck box, which prominently features Tezzeret, Master of Metal for its art. This is the same style of box that Nissa and Chandra came with, and it is a great little box to carry sleeved cards in. I personally think the Wizards are hitting a homerun when they make these Planeswalker Packs. New players want planewalker cards, rare cards, and new players want to feel like they fit in when they come to a tournament. Most tournament players have fancy deckboxes, etc. So this is an all around great product for the new player. The only thing lacking is actual sleeves.
Here are all of the contents. Two packs of Aether Revolt. One foil Tezzeret, Master of Metal (which can’t be acquired officially any other way than opening this product.) The deck sealed in cellophane wrap. And two pieces of paper. One is the guide to playing the deck. The other is the Magic the Gathering Quick Reference Guide. If any Wizards product should include the Quick Reference Guide, it is the Planeswalker Packs.
Let’s have a look at this splashy card.
Tezzeret is the strongest Intro Pack planeswalker I have seen. His +1 ability could be a game changer. It is so-so in this deck, but imagine a deck where there were four copies of some incredible artifact. (Here’s a list. Platinum Angel. Sword of Feast and Famine. Elbrus the Binding Blade. Black Lotus. Need I say more?) Tezzeret can plus up and get that in your hand! And all the extra cards you overturned? You just shuffle them and put them on the bottom without consequence!
To -3 Tezzeret on what is likely turn five or six won’t be that great.
But the bottom -8 ability is bonkers. And because the +1 ability, and the starting loyalty is 5, it’s not even that hard ultimate Tezzeret. And then it’s GG.
What else is here?
The guide to playing the deck is a big pretty poster, featuring Tezzeret and giving us some story. We also get the decklist, in case we modify the deck, or want to keep it together. This information is available online, in case you lose it however.
So what cards are here?
There are some cards here that are exclusinve to this set. These are Standard Legal, too, incidentally. They are Submerged Boneyard (the blue and black tap land), Pendulum of Patterns (four copies), Tezzeret’s Simulicrum (which gets a bonus if you control any Tezzeret Planeswalker), and Tezzeret’s Betrayal which lets you kill something and tutor Tezzeret Master of Metal.
I’m a fan of decks like this because the cards have lots of value built in. Many of the artifacts here have card-draw effects attached to them. Notable, when Treasure Keeper dies, you get to cascade! Because tricks like this are built in, Tezzeret doesn’t have to rely so much on cards like Reverse Engineer.
Another feature of the deck is Tezzeret’s Touch. This card is reminiscent of Ensoul Artifact from M15…a card that made the “death scissors” a fringe winning strategy during the Kahns of Tarkir period. This card has an advantage on that one, though, in that it has the ability to return the artifact to your hand if it gets destroyed.
The creatures in this deck are value-types. Tezzeret’s Simulicrum is just good stuff. And even better if you have a Tezzeret on the board. (Lightning Bolt every turn. Ouch!) Augmenting Automaton has the classic pump ability built in. I will say that I don’t get much out of Improvise as a mechanic. It is just bad Convoke. Most artifacts have “tap to activate ability.” If you tap them to pay for a ridiculous creature, then you just lost value.
How does it play out? Well, this deck really works! I have yet to test it against the other Planeswalker Pack, Ajani. And I think that will be the true test. So far the deck has taken out the SpartanKid’s Tron deck, BUT, he did have a bad draw.
I suppose this time I will let you in on what I pulled from the booster packs. Prepare to be JEALOUS.
Yep. The other Tezzeret! And ANOTHER copy of Fatal Push to go with the other two I drafted. (How is it that I drafted 2? I opened one in my first pack. First pack first pick. In second pack, the player to my left must have pulled an incredible rare, because they passed me my second one!)
It might be early to rate this deck because I haven’t played it that much. However, I suspect I will be rating it a 5/5. Like I said, this is my style of deck, with lots of tricks. And it is black and blue, two of my personal best colors.
I will update my rating after I get my hands on the Ajani deck, and have them play each other!