by DeQuan Watson
Well first of all this card looks pretty gimmicky. Honestly, it just might be. Let’s look it over first:
AEther Mutation 3GU Sorcery Return target creature to its owner's hand. Put X 1/1 green Saproling tokens into play, where X is its converted mana cost. Uncommon
First of all, let’s look at the minor things. It’s an uncommon. This makes it pretty interesting. When a card falls into the Common or Uncommon slot it becomes easily accesible to everyone. So on the local level it may see a lot of play. A card like this can also put a huge swing into a draft. With some of the high casting cost creatures Invasion Block offers to drafters, this card could be a game winner. Getting rid of playable cards like dragons and djinns to get some creatures of your own could be huge.
There are only a few decks I see that can use it though. However, this is more than likely going to change with all of the opposite color gold card and lands given to us by Apocalypse. Just recently words and rumors have been traveling that opposition decks are actually becoming tuned enough for tournament play. We ourselves had one make Top 4 in our last event. He also beat several decent store regulars. With the addition of Aether Mutation, not only can they get rid of any potential threat, they can make more creatures of their own to fuel their cards. Again, the fact that it is uncommon will allow everyone hat needs them to get them.
A minor item to consider is its ability to fit into combo based decks. Decks that generate mana by sacrificing creatures could get a huge boost from this. Also, combo decks may use it as a stall tactic. They can remove a threat from the board for a turn, while creating multiple blockers. This has potential to buy a combo player 3-4 turns in some situations. This could be something seriously worth considering.
Not everything about the card is positive though. It does have a couple of small drawbacks. The first being that is it a sorcery. Anything that is blue and is a sorcery is a bit problematic for blue players sometimes. It can cause you to have to tap out and lose your ability to counter a spell. However, you are removing a potential threat from the board. Lots of serious players don’t tend to go the way of sorceries as they limit a players flexibility. However, if the reward justifies the risk, it may be worth it.
The second most notable drawback is the casting cost. Granted, right now there are a ton of ways to get the mana you need to cast this spell. Especially since one of those colors is green. The fact that it is a gold card could be seen as a potential problem, but I don’t see it being that tough. Gold cards are everywhere right now. However, you don’t always have two colors available when you need it. Especially with it being a sorcery, having to tap blue mana, which may be your only one, could pose a problem.
As for card balance, I think the card is excellent. It gives the caster multiple creatures. It doubles as a creature control spell. It can remove a potential blocker, or even tie up mana making the creatures controller have to recast it the following turn. It also has potential to finish games or swing momentum in a game in limited formats.
I think the card will definitely see some play. How much just depends on the deck types. I think it can turn out to be a favorite of casual players and pro players alike.