After picking up a couple of Aether Revolt Planeswalker decks on a whim, I was bit by the Magic: The Gathering bug I had avoided for so long. Inspired by my Ajani starter deck, I’ve attempted to make a Standard legal variant that attempts to make good on the Aether Revolt mechanics. This deck takes a similar approach to that of the G/R Energy deck that boosts the power of Electrostatic Pummeler to go in for a massive kill. However, instead of focusing on one massive creature, we’re creating +1/+1 counters on multiple smaller creatures to create a menacing army. My self-titled Ajani’s Revolt deck may not be the most competitive but it at least has some fun concept and mechanics worth checking out. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at my first budget deck, G/W/R Revolt.
2x Ajani Unyielding – A powerful planeswalker that grants us card advantage or exiles a troublesome creature.
- +2: Reveal the top three cards from your library. Put all nonland permanent cards revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. Considering we run 32 nonland permanents in the deck, Ajani should be pulling at least one card each time with a decent chance of two. When you managed to nab all three cards, it’ll make for an uneasy opponent.
- -2: Exile target creature. Its controller gains life equal its power. Exiling, even at the cost of boosting an opponent’s life can swing an immense amount of tempo in our favor if used properly.
4x Narnam Renegade – 1 mana 1/2 with Deathtouch and Revolt (+1/+1). A powerful 1-drop that can easily gain it’s +1/+1 for us. As a midrange-based deck, Narnam’s deathtouch helps control the board by ramming into a troublesome attacking creature.
4x Voltaic Brawler – 2 mana 3/2 that spawns two Energy Counters and can gain +1/+1 and Trample. The sole reason we’re splashing red into this deck. This 2-drop is absolutely nuts, providing insane pressure as an easy 4/3 with Trample.
4x Servant of the Conduit – 2 mana 2/2 that spawns two Energy Counters and can serve as a mana ramp. Cards that can help ramp mana are always welcome. If you fail to find a mountain early on for Voltaic Brawler then Servant of the Conduit can supplement the mana.
2x Rishkar, Peema Renegade – 3 mana 2/2, Support ability and mana ramp. One of our main +1/+1 engines. Rishkar is allows us to take our small low drops and start beefing them up into a menacing army. At worst, he can target himself so he can always be a 3 mana 3/3 if needed.
2x Renegade Rallier – 3 mana 3/2, Revolt can revive 2 mana or less creatures. Rallier’s revolt helps to recreate a powerful board presence in the mid-game. Will rarely throw him onto an already establish board and risk over-extending unless I’m confident I can win and have a Heroic Intervention ready to go.
2x Armorcraft Judge – 4 mana 3/3, Card draw off +1/+1 counters. Drop one of these onto a board of two+ creatures with +1/+1 to start rebuilding you’re card advantage in the mid-game. Unfortunately, extremely cloggy if drawn too early.
2x Bristling Hydra – 4 mana 4/3 that can boost to 5/4 with Hexproof. Bristling Hydra serves as our powerful finisher that, with or without additional +1/+1 counters, has the built-in protection needed to swing for game.
3x Oath of Ajani – Gives +1/+1 to all current creatures and lowers cost of Planeswalkers. The reason we run Green/White. At the cost of two mana, Oath of Ajani easily pays for itself on a board of two or more creatures. Unfortunately, as a Legendary card the effects can’t stack so my original dream of to lowering the cost of Planeswalkers by 2 or 3 is dead.
4x Attune with Aether – Search one basic land and spawn two energy counters. One of the best Energy ramps in the game that helps deck-thin your lands by bring mana to the table. As a three-colored budget deck, it cannot be overstated how important Attune with Aether is.
2x Heroic Intervention – Creatures gain Indestructible and Hexproof until the end of the turn. Use this to push for game or destroy an attacking opponent’s board by giving your creatures indestructible and blocking everything in sight.
2x Gideon’s Reproach – Additional removal, save for problem creatures like Flying, Double Strike, or Deathtouch creatures.
3x Evolving Wild – Basic Land searcher and Revolt trigger
2x Tranquil Expanse – Green/White dual-land (slow)
2x Timber Gorge – Green/Red dual-land (slow)
2x Stone Quarry – Red/White dual-land (slow)
+1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade - More consistent +1 Heroic Intervention - More consistent -2 Armorcraft Judge - Can be too cloggy +2 Solemn Recruit - Powerfult 3-drop
The goal of this deck is pretty simple: with the use of Revolt and Energy-based effects, create a board presence of buffed-up low drop creatures to choke-hold your opponent. Ideally, you want to open 2-3 lands along with an Attune with Aether or Unbridled Growth and your 1/2-drop creatures, a pretty standard aggro opening. The twist is, instead of throwing everything at you’re opponent, you’ll use a mix of board pressure and removal to make it into the mid-game with two to three creatures with stats around 4/5. Ajani’s Revolt is all about finding the tempo balance in the mid-game and sealing the deal with a well-timed Heroic Intervention or Bristling Hydra.
Thanks for reading and if you liked this Deck Tech, keep checking back with The DigiQuest for more MtG articles as I start diving into my U/B/C Eldrazi (Modern) deck!