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There are lots of powerful and exciting cards in Aether Revolt. The Expertise cards and Fatal Push have substantial implications for Eternal formats and Ajani Unyielding and Heart of Kiran for Standard. That said, there’s one card that went a little under the radar and may be quietly the most powerful addition to Modern from Aether Revolt. Check out Zac Elsik’s take on Sram, Senior Edificer:


Sram, Senior Edificer
This is a deck that existed before the printing of Sram, Senior Edificer but suffered from issues with consistency. The idea here is Sram and Puresteel Paladin allow you to cantrip through your deck with free equipment. Eventually, you can chain equipment into Retract and Mox Opal to let you rebuy all your equipment and proceed with drawing your deck. From there, it’s relatively trivial to use a combination of Swan Song and Pact of Negation along with Mox Opal and Simian Spirit Guide to cast Grapeshot and storm your opponent to death.

Sram solves two problems for this deck, both having to do with consistency. First, you’ll have to mulligan less aggressively to find Puresteel Paladin. Secondly, you’re more capable of fighting through removal spells like Abrupt Decay and Path to Exile. Oddly enough Lightning Bolt isn’t necessarily a huge concern unless you’re on the draw.

If you’re on the play, you can chain together enough equipment to turn on metalcraft for both Mox Opal and to equip Puresteel Paladin with enough toughness-pumping effects to render Lightning Bolt ineffective. Alternatively, if you can find a second Mox Opal to cast Retract, it’s possible to just combo off on the first turn, albeit unlikely.

This is a deck that’s both straightforward to play and blisteringly fast. Its primary issue is it’s vulnerable to most kinds of interaction. Discard and countermagic can prevent your Puresteel Paladin effects from ever hitting the battlefield. Removal spells can force you to find a second copy of Puresteel Paladin to try to combo off. However, there’s a handful of things you can do to fight these effects. Leyline of Sanctity and Silence out of the sideboard help to fight against discard spells and instant-speed interaction respectively. Cavern of Souls is also a possibility if two-mana counterspells become more popular.

This is a deck that saw fringe play even before the printing of Sram. Adding a much-needed level of redundancy and resiliency can only serve to make it more powerful. The deck was already very fast when the pieces came together, and it’s possible the addition of Sram pushes the deck over the top and into the competitive spotlight. Is the deck good enough to keep up with the interactive decks in the format? Is it fast enough that action will have to be taken? There’s only one way to find out, and I can’t wait to see the deck in action.


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