We’re a couple weeks into Dominaria Standard and the metagame is taking shape. R/B Aggro, W/B Aggro, U/W Control, and G/B Constrictor have been the most successful archetypes thus far, and that’s in part due to those decks playing a lot of powerful cards. It usually takes longer for shells that are more difficult to optimize to be tuned to the point where they are competitive.
The Construct aggro core of Walking Ballista, Metallic Mimic, Foundry Inspector, Scrap Trawler, and Karn, Scion of Urza is intriguing, especially because all the cards are colorless, so the options to surround them with are nearly endless. Of course, that number of options makes it difficult to find the best surrounding cards.
Today’s list puts the Constructs into a Simic shell that I like for a couple reasons. Llanowar Elves provides the deck much needed acceleration to keep up with the other decks in the format, and Verdurous Gearhulk is a great curve topper for a deck that’s good at flooding the battlefield with creatures, especially those that the opponent is loathe to use removal on. And I don’t even need to mention the synergy with Walking Ballista that has been a key part of Winding Constrictor decks for over a year.
Adventurous Impulse and Glint-Nest Crane give the deck velocity, allowing you to more consistently assemble the deck’s synergies. All the Constructs are markedly better when you have all of them together, and the evasive body on Glint-Nest Crane is great with Verdurous Gearhulk.
The one downside of this color pair is a lack of interaction, but in an aggressive shell you don’t need much. Metallic Rebuke is a card I’ve always thought should see more play and is great at cementing an early lead. Walking Ballista and the singleton Skysovereign, Consul Flagship provide some ability to interact with threats on the battlefield, but for the most part you’re going to have to mulligan aggressively for a strong early curve.
This is the stage in a format that I enjoy the most. The early weeks are so full of uncertainty that it often feels like throwing decks against a wall and seeing what sticks. Without a picture of the metagame it’s hard to build with any direction and form coherent sideboard plans, and late in the format there isn’t much room to maneuver. Right now is the sweet spot where there’s still space to explore, but you’re not exploring in the dark.
- 4 Llanowar Elves
- 3 Verdurous Gearhulk
- 4 Glint-Nest Crane
- 4 Foundry Inspector
- 3 Scrap Trawler
- 4 Metallic Mimic
- 4 Walking Ballista