We may not have Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves in Standard, but casting powerful threats ahead of schedule will always be a potent strategy in Magic, especially Standard. The threats these days are so powerful that they can run away with a game if not answered immediately, so putting that kind of pressure on your opponent as quickly as possible makes sense.
The downside is realized when things don’t quite come together. You have to make your land drops, have an early mana accelerant, and have the threat to cast. One turn off or one missing piece can make everything fall apart. You also make yourself more prone to flooding if your opponent manages to answer your first threat or two. The former problem is always going to exist, since it’s a structural issue with the macro-archetype, but it can always be mitigated with a well-tuned list. Today’s deck finds an elegant solution to the latter problem.
After the powerful Servant of the Conduit, the mana acceleration in the deck comes in the form of Eldrazi Scion tokens generated by Catacomb Sifter and Eldrazi Skyspawner. The tokens only give you a one-shot burst of mana, but with the quality of five-mana threats available, that’s all you need. After getting one on the battlefield on turn 4, you can naturally play the rest provided you make your first five land drops. This means the deck naturally has fewer poor draws than most mana-acceleration aggressive decks and is thus less prone to flood.
Moreover, Smuggler’s Copter gives you a way to use an extra Scion token or Servant of the Conduit on the battlefield and discard excess copies in your hand. I know it’s surprising, but Smuggler’s Copter is a good card in a Standard deck!
Even the five-drops provide an outlet to make your mana acceleration effective in the late game. Skysovereign, Consul Flagship like Smuggler’s Copter lets you use them as crew fodder while Verdurous Gearhulk turns them into legitimate threats.
The mana here is obviously stretched, since you’re playing an effective four colors, but Aether Hub and Corrupted Crossroads do a lot of work. The use of fastlands helps ensure that you’ll curve out smoothly and Lumbering Falls is a nice mana sink. Given how light black and blue are, I don’t think the mana is prohibitively poor, and the power level you get in return is huge. If you were a fan of Stormbreath Dragon or Thundermaw Hellkite, this deck is going to be for you.
- 4 Catacomb Sifter
- 4 Eldrazi Skyspawner
- 3 Sylvan Advocate
- 4 Thought-Knot Seer
- 4 Verdurous Gearhulk
- 4 Servant of the Conduit