As Smallpox is my kryptonite in Modern, tempting me each time it appears in the 5-0 lists only to eventually disappoint me, so is Metalwork Colossus in Standard. It’s an undoubtedly powerful card, as are the lists built around it, but it has been overshadowed by Emrakul, the Promised End; Aetherworks Marvel; and Felidar Guardian. All were more powerful, easier to set up. But with the triumvirate gone, could this be Metalwork Colossus’s time?
While maintaining a similar core to previous lists of the archetype, today’s Metalwork Colossus deck employs an interesting combo element to it built around Fling. A single hit from the 10/10 puts the opponent immediately into Fling range, and we see four copies of Key to the City to ensure that said hit lands cleanly. Ravenous Intruder functions as a secondary combo piece, and Atog / Fling has a pedigree in competitive environments, so its place should not be viewed lightly.
The commitment to this aspect of the deck is so strong that there are two copies of Hanweir Battlements without its other half, just so you can go from nothing to victory in the span of one turn, a true combo.
But most Metalwork decks are built around singleton, functional artifacts, which means Ravenous Intruder would not be particularly good. That’s where the real innovations come in with this list. First up: the four copies of Servo Schematic, providing three artifacts for Intruder to eat for one card, a perfect role-player.
With the power of Schematic to enable improvise, the deck can also play Maverick Thopterist, which, while good as a combo enabler, is also a powerful card that stands by itself. Note that Key to the City also works nicely with improvise, netting you an extra card on occasion and providing some nice cross-piece synergy.
And finally, with all those 1/1s lying around, Aethersphere Harvester becomes an attractive card, and here it becomes the three-drop of choice over Cultivator’s Caravan. This makes the deck slower to Metalwork Colossus against the goldfish but better against interaction, which is generally a good tradeoff to make.
Even with the bans in Standard, the barrier to entry is high, as the top decks are well-tuned by this point. However, they are also all midrange creature decks, so exploiting them with an over-the-top combo is a good plan.