Friday 21 October 2016

Aetherworks Marvel Deck

Aetherworks Marvel
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Kaladesh brought with it many new cards that can be built around and for each I plan to build a dedicated deck and play it in a cube setting at some stage. With any new archetype some planning and testing is required. With cube being causal the testing will come out in the play but I still need to plan the deck to know what I am aiming for when I go to build it. This is my rough draft for the Aetherworks Marvel deck in an unpowered cube. Obviously I will have to do this in a constructed style event as so few of these cards are in the drafting cube.

I love decks like this, not only are they interesting and fresh but they allow you to use incredibly niche cards that otherwise so no play in a cube setting. I doubt this will be a tier one combo deck in any sense of the definition but I also suspect it will be competitive and lots of fun. The version I have below is likely a little too focused on the Marvel. Usually in cube the best way to take combos is to pair them up with other combos that have a significant overlap in their cards, function or support requirements. This frequently seems to be the best way to compensate for lacking redundancy courtesy of the singleton format. Oath of Druids is the obvious combo card I have left out of this deck. I would have to cut a couple of the chaff energy creatures but that would be totally fine. Even though I know it would be better with Oath I will still likely skip that for my first run though. I know if I play it I will exclusively win using Oath and never get to use the new stuff and consequently learn nothing about how that all goes down.

Woodweaver's Puzzleknot24 Spells

Zuran Orb

Attune with the Aether
Mana Vault
Ancient Stirrings

Woodweaver's Puzzleknot
Glassblower's Puzzleknot
Scroll Rack
Aether Theorist

Aether Meltdown
Era of Innovation
Servant of the Conduit

Ancient StirringsHarnessed Lightning


Krark Clan Ironworks
Aetherworks Marvel
Glimmer of Genius

Tezzeret the Seeker

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Darksteel Colossus
Erakul, the Promised End
Emrakul, the Eon's Torn

Greater Gargadon

16 Lands
Aether Hub
Aether Hub
Seat of the Synod
Tree of Tales
Great Furnace

Misty Rainforest
Tropical Island

Botanical Gardens
Flooded Grove
Yavimaya Coast
Breeding Pool

Volcanic Island
Wooded Foothills
Academy Ruins

Krark-Clan IronworksAlthough I skipped on Oath the deck does have Tinker, Channel and win conditions you can make off the back of them. Tinker is mostly a tutor for the Aetherworks and the Channel can ramp you into it... I think the best list for this deck will not only have these cheese options including the Oath but it will likely cut a selection of the weaker energy cards for more artifact ramp and better card quality stuff. Worldly Tutor was in my starting lineup but after adding Gargadon and Colossus for another sac outlet and Tinker respectively I felt I no longer needed that added consistency on the Marvel trigger.

The sac outlets (Zuran Orb, Gargadon and Ironworks) are a backup way to provide an energy influx for your Marvel should you not have managed to get enough from the energy providing cards in the deck. Ironworks somewhat doubles up as another way to hardcast some of the big stuff and is likely good enough to be worth including stuff like Signets, Talisman and Grim Monoliths for. This would further power up Tezzeret who was initially just a second Aetherworks in the deck.

Tezzeret the SeekerI would have loved to squeeze in some looting effect as there is so much stuff you don't want in hand. Being able to dump Eons Torn into the bin and recycle the graveyard is always a nice perk for a combo deck too. Brainstorm and Scroll Rack do a lot of this work but the deck is leaning quite hard on them and some looting would greatly ease that.

The deck has very few answers and problem solving cards. It leans incredibly hard on Harnessed Lightning against something like a Phyrexian Revoker. A well timed Duress is a pretty big deal for this deck too hence the inclusion of Academy Ruins. You can solve most of the problems with your big stuff but only if you can cast it. A rounded and cheap problem solving card likely worth a slot. Shelldock Isle is another great card for this list that like Channel, Tinker and Oath make the deck less of an Aetherworks Marvel deck and more of a pile of cheese.

I am sure I will do a conclusion to this once I get to do it with advice on a list having had some play experience. The cube version certainly looks a lot more powerful and broken than the standard incarnation even if the threats are about as good!

1 comment:

  1. So I actually got to play some of this recently. The deck was great fun to play and had much more game than I thought. It was incredibly complicated as well which also came as surprise. I punted several games with poorly used card quality. I even lost a game due to the order I put cards in on the bottom of my library with Ancient Stirrings! The deck is far from tier one being a pure Marvel deck but with some of the other cheaty things like Oath, Show and Tell or Shelldock Isle it could be.

    To anyone looking to make something like this in cube here is what I learned from my first trial run;

    Era of Innovation is unplayably bad. Far too slow as well as unreliable. I would substantially rather play Sage of Saheeli's Claim or Thriving Turtle! Energy was more of an issue than I though it would be and so having some more cheap sources would really help. A number of times I could Marvel on turn four but only had 5 energy saved up. Glimmer of Genius is another cut I would make, the card is fine but just way too slow.

    Ancient Stirrings was a bit awkward and just a Serum Visions would probably have helped out more. The ability to leave some stuff on top or put things to the bottom is huge. The deck has two modes, get ready to go off and going off and you want to be able to manipulate in different ways for those modes. The lower dig on the blue card quality is well worth the extra utility they offer.

    Mana Vault was also quite the let down. To get your energy up you need to spend your mana as you curve towards Marvel. Vault may help you cast a quick Marvel but that doesn't help with the energy situation. Mox or Talisman style cards that give ongoing mana are far better cards in this deck. You could even just go green mana dorks and lose the Ironworks aspect of the deck all together. It was a decent addition and gave a lot of options but was a little less reliable than I would like with all the non-artifact energy cards you want to play. If you did go that route you could start to include some more interesting targets than just the colourless stuff. Something like a Time Stretch would have been a lot better to hit in a number of my games. It turns out that against most cube decks a turn five (or four on the draw) Eldrazi isn't enough to swing the game. I managed to "go off" in most of my games but I still lost the vast majority of them.

    I played a Sequestered Stash in my list in the end too. I realised I had no way to recur my Marvel if it was destroyed or worse, taken out of my hand. It wasn't great but I was glad to have it. Academy Ruins would have been OK too.

    The one thing that stood out in the deck was Zuran Orb. It did so much work both as a source of energy and as a way to buy some time. Once you have an active Marvel you don't really need you lands as much and are quite happy turning them into life and energy. The games I won tended to involve two activations of the Marvel, one from premade energy and the second from Zuran Orb uses.

    Despite not having the mighty Zuran Orb, or for that matter Greater Gargadon, Ironworks or any other handy sacrifice outlets, the Standard version of this deck is clearly far better. It has much the same powerful things it can do yet gets to run four of all the really good cards; Attune with the Aether, Woodweaver's Puzzleknot and of course the Marvel itself. The cube version certainly has loads of options and is really good fun. It is not however a new force in the meta!