Video Daily Digest: Air Force Won

Wait, wait, wait…a U/R Skies deck? In Standard? With a thirteen-card sideboard?! Ross Merriam didn’t believe it at first, either, but the 5-0 League result on Magic Online doesn’t lie! Let’s take to the Skies ahead of the SCG Season Two Invitational!

It seems so obvious. Favorable Winds is good with flying creatures. Thopter tokens have flying. There are several Constructed-power-level creatures that create Thopter tokens as well as quality Vehicles that have flying themselves while being easily crewed by those tokens.

Put them together. Add some quality removal spells, in this case removal spells that can potentially go to the face to provide reach for your desired aggressive gameplan. The fact that you have several energy sources means you could reasonably play Harnessed Lightning should you want to have a reliable answer to larger creatures.

The beauty here is in how the supplementary pieces fit so seamlessly into the rest of the deck. Glorybringer is a proven midrange threat in Standard, to say the least. It’s in fact one of the strongest such threats. This deck gets to top its curve with it very easily, and turning it into a 5/5 flyer consistently via Favorable Winds does several positive things for you. It ensures that your Glorybringers trump opposing copies, that yours attack easily into Aethersphere Harvesters, and that yours more often dodge Harnessed Lightnings.

None of these advantages is particularly strong in and of itself, but taken together they are significant. And those same advantages come with one of the other supplementary pieces in this deck: Siren Stormtamer. The card can easily protect your high-powered threats, but even outside of that it’s a fine early flying threat that is pumped by Favorable Winds.

In decks like this that are ultimately underpowered relative to the rest of the format, having early threats on the curve is quite important. When you come out of the gates quickly and put your opponent on the back foot, you restrict their ability to play their own game, since they need to react to the pressure being applied to their life total.

With that idea in mind, this is clearly an aggro deck, even if it may not seem like it. If you’re interested in picking it up, keep this in mind and play to that strategy. Mulligan aggressively for hands with a solid early curve and play to end games quickly and you’ll be competitive. There’s not much in the way of card advantage here, so trying to play a long attrition game will not go very well.

Fortunately, that’s how I like playing Magic, so bring it on.