Welcome back to Master of Magics, and another Historic deck tech. With the release of Kaladesh Remastered there has been a huge influx of very powerful and format defining cards, and as you can expect this has had a huge impact on Magic Arena’s eternal format. Last week we had a look at Mono Black and how it has evolved with the addition of new cards like Fatal Push and Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, which you can find here. Today we are going to look at a powerful strategy from Standard past, that is now set to reshape the format in a big way. That deck is of course, Aetherworks Marvel.
For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of playing against it during Standard (or repressed the experience of getting smashed by it one too many times) Aetherworks Marvel is a deck based around the card… Aetherworks Marvel. Look, some deck names are nice and simple ok, just roll with it. Marvel is a four mana artifact that you can tap and play six energy counter to activate. When you do, you get to look at the top six cards of your deck, pick one, and then cast it without playing its mana cost. Now if your thinking this is a busted ability and can easily be abused to win games super quickly, you would be right.
In fact, it was so good that like many game breaking combos in recent times it resulted in the deck been banned in Standard. But now it is back, and now it has even more options to choose from with Historic’s expanded card pool. I have been playing a few versions of this deck over the last week or so, and finally settled on a composition that I was happy with. A composition that has shot me up the rankings in very short order. So today I am going to share my recipe for a Simic version of Aetherworks Marvel, so you too can experience the joy of crushing your opponents hopes and dreams as early as turn four.
The non-land cards in the deck are split into three section I like to refer to as the engine, the fuel, and the payload. The engine is of course the driving mechanic of the deck in a full playset of Aetherworks Marvel. Not much to say which hasn’t already been said with this really. It the crux of the deck and will often lead to a decisive victory if we can activate it on turn four or five.
The next part of the deck is the fuel. After all, our engine isn’t going to be doing much if we don’t have and energy to power it. Luck for us, we have quite a few great cards to achieve this, and each one also has added value beyond the energy it provides. Attune with Aether allows us to reliably hit our land drops in addition to the two energy it provides. Servant of the Conduit gives us mana acceleration on a 2/2 body, while Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot keeps our life total fairly high while we arrange our combo (and can be sacrificed to get us even more life and energy).
Aether Theorist gives us three energy, a 1/3 body to block with, and the ability to scry and help make sure our Aetherworks Marvel activations avoid finding un-useful cards. Rogue Refiner nets us two energy, and draws us a card for its troubles. Finally, Growth Spiral my not get us energy, but it does ramp us and provide additional card draw which should never be underestimated.
Lastly, but by no mean least we have our payloads. These are how we are going to win the game, so I guess you could call the bombs if you want to be vanilla about it. First up, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. A 10/10, indestructible eldrazi titan that exiles two of our opponents permeants upon casting is already great. But when it also exiles twenty of our opponents’ card whenever it attacks you get a real game ender. In fact, if you exile your opponent’s mana base when you cast it you are like to receive a concession right then and there.
But what’s better than exiles two of your opponent’s permanents? How about exiling all their non-non-coloured permanents instead? Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is one of the most powerful planeswalker ever printed, and has proven it value in Standard, Modern and many other formats since its release way back in Dragons of Tarkir. Reprinted in Coreset 2021, this card is another quick way to get your opponents to surrender if you can get it down early, and even can save your bacon if you are in need of a board sweeper in the later game. Just remember it also exiles you coloured permanents.
Lastly, we have a card that pulls double duty as a win-condition and a way to get another win-condition onto the board. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is another great planeswalker, with the ability to turn our mana base into a string of lethal threats. But in this deck, we are more interested in her static ability which can be a real life saver.
You see, it is inevitable that we will end up drawing a Ulamog or Ugin at some point, rather than finding them with a Marvel activation. They then will sit in our hand while we try to get together the necessary mana to hard cast them, which can be a real pain. But with Nissa’s ability to turn our Forests into “Sol” lands, the prospect of hard casting one of our larger threats isn’t just possible, it a certainty.
Speaking of Forests, lets look at our mana base. Since we want to take advantage of both Attune with Aether and Nissa, we are going to be run quite a few basic lands in this deck, with eight Forests and four Islands. Next we have a playset of Breeding Pool and Aether Hub to work as our duel lands, and finally two copies of Fabled Passage to complete the fixing of our two colour mana base.
4 Aether Theorist
4 Servant of the Conduit
4 Rogue Refiner
4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Attune with Aether
4 Growth Spiral
4 Woodweaver's Puzzleknot
4 Aetherworks Marvel
4 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Breeding Pool
4 Aether Hub
2 Fabled Passage
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Essence Scatter
2 Broken Bond
1 Gaea's Blessing
2 Heroic Intervention
2 Scavenging Ooze
2 Leyline of Sanctity
2 River's Rebuke
For the Sideboard we have a few answers to problematic match ups. Disdainful Stroke, Essence Scatter and Disallow serve as our counter spell package, while Broken Bond helps us deal with Artifacts and Enchantments. Gaea’s Blessing can be a life saver against mill decks, and Heroic Intervention can protect our board from most kinds of removal. Scavenging Ooze pulls double duty as both an answer to graveyard-based decks and aggro thanks to its life gain ability. Leyline of Sanctity helps protect us from direct damage and hand attack, and is castable thanks to Servant of the Conduit and Aether Hub. Finally, River’s Rebuke can help keep the pressure off with returning our opponents board to their hand.
And that about does it for Simic Marvel for Historic. What do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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