Daily Digest: Fixer Upper

How do we get new Standard decks? Easy! You push the mana! Ross Merriam shows a successful pilot that did just that! Do I smell an #SCGBALT Standard Classic sleeper?

Normally I like to keep my aggressive decks simple, clean, and consistent. That means using as few colors as possible so your mana is rock-solid and your lands enter the battlefield untapped. Curving out consistently is too important to jeopardize for even significant power level gains.

But the fastlands and Shadow lands are great fixers for aggressive decks because they provide an untapped two-color land on the critical early turns of the game, so there is potential to be a little greedier with the mana in aggressive decks in Kaladesh Standard.

This deck is really a mono-red aggro deck with two splashes rather than the single splash that R/B Aggro employs. As a result you gain access to the best pump spell printed in years in Blossoming Defense, a hyper-efficient two drop in Voltaic Brawler, and Arlinn Kord. These are excellent additions to a deck that is simply lacking in power relative to the rest of the format.

And with the most successful decks sticking to consistent, two-color manabases, you cannot rely on your opponent stumbling to gain an edge. Rather, you have to put your cards against theirs and fight it out, so the added power level is quite welcome.

But the coolest part of the deck is the sideboard. Once your opponent brings in all their anti-aggro cards, you completely transform into a midrange deck. A bunch of Tireless Trackers and planeswalkers make those cheap removal spells look rather embarrassing, although I would be worried about this deck’s dearth of removal in the post-sideboard games when you’re going to need to deal with troublesome threats on the other side of the table.

Still, the sideboard juke with this deck when your opponent is already off-balance from not knowing exactly what you’re up to and believing that the deck is derivative of a known quantity in R/B Aggro is a great setup. There’s just no way anyone is going to prepare for that. Well, unless they religiously read these Digests, in which case they deserve nothing but the best.

The mana here isn’t great, and I think more Aether Hubs are warranted, but I like how the designer completely avoided Battle lands. Tapped lands are the worst.

Smuggler’s Copter does go a long way toward mitigating the risks of an added color as well, either by digging you to your colors or letting you turn uncastable cards into more gas. Surprise, surprise, Smuggler’s Copter does everything.

The creatures here match up quite well against the top two decks in Standard, and going a little bigger has typically been the solution for aggressive decks in a midrange-dominant metagame. So go forth and break the monotony of W/U Flash and B/G Delirium and win a few games while you’re at it.