Video Daily Digest: Monster Energy

The Pro Tour was next level. Now, it’s the base level. So let’s start looking for the next level for the Standard players at SCG Louisville! Hint: It just might start here!

By now I think we’re all familiar with the cadre of energy cards, namely
Attune with Aether, Whirler Virtuoso, Rogue Refiner, and Harnessed
Lightning. Unfortunately, these cards have garnered a rather ignominious
reputation because of the cards that they’ve supported. First it was the
oppressive Saheeli RaiFelidar Guardian combo. Now we have Aetherworks
Marvel and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.

Despite generally supporting fundamentally unfair strategies, these energy
cards are themselves fair: a mana fixer, a removal spell, and some
creatures with built-in card advantage. So why don’t we put them in a shell
that is more reflective of their true selves?

This deck continues the value train well after turn 3 with a suite of
planeswalkers and Oath of Nissa in place of Aetherworks Marvel, Ulamog the
Ceaseless Hunger, and Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot. The energy cards are
well-suited to defending these planeswalkers, particularly Whirler Virtuoso
and its army of Thopter tokens that block for days as you grind your
opponent into a fine paste.

The deck is then rounded out with some extra creatures that you’d rarely
find in the maindeck of the unfair energy-based decks, although they are
common sideboard options since those decks shift toward a more fair game
when opponents bring in targeted hate for their combo. Tireless Tracker is
the most obvious of these cards, but I’m more interested by the Bristling
Hydras and Glorybringers.

Bristling Hydra is perennially underrated and can dominate a lot of
battlefields with its size while also being nigh unkillable. It’s a great
threat against control decks while still being quite good in other
matchups. Glorybringer gives the deck some extra removal and a great weapon
against opposing planeswalkers, which is important because casting your own
planeswalker in reply to your opponents is rarely a winning play.

Your opponents are likely to groan as you play out the early turns with
Attune with Aethers and Servant of the Conduits before they are pleasantly
surprised that the game isn’t going to end on turn 4 or 5. Unfortunately,
all that means is they will suffer for longer.