Amonkhet preview seasons begins today, and like me I bet you’re all buzzed about finally going to an Egyptian themed set. Well, I say today, but those sneaky people at Wizards of the Coast gave us a whole bunch of previews last week in the form of the new Masterpiece selection, and some reprints making their way to the starter decks. Now it may seem strange to you, but out of all the new stuff we got to see – from Embalm and Exert, Cycling and Invocations – the card I was most excited about was merely a reprinted common! Why you ask? Because the common in question, was Fling.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of facing it during Return to Ravinca standard, or playing with and against it in Pauper affinity, Fling is a red instant that can end games on the spot. The common tread when using this card is to pump up a creature, swing in for a ton of damage, then sacrifice it to deal that damage to your opponent’s dome all over again. Whether being paired with Nivix Cyclops or the much feared Atog, fling has proven to be a potent and hilarious way to win games. But why am I so excited about fling been back in standard?
Well, back when Kaladesh first came out I was having a ton of fun with a little artifact creature called Electrostatic Pummeler. Not only was the concept of smashing your opponent’s face with a 40/40 trampling creature amusing, but it proved to be effective, winning me my Kaladesh Game Day playmat.
Unfortunately, even though it saw some initial success, the deck quickly fell out of favour. The problem was that if you couldn’t protect your pummeler or other stompy creatures with a Blossoming Defense, all it would take was a simple piece of removal to ruin your day. But, thanks to Fling, we have some redundancies built in to our deck.
Should your opponent try to remove your pummeler from play, we can just pump it up and throw it at them, for more often than not lethal. Fling even gets around sacrifice effects, such as Blessed Alliance, (which was the bane of my existence), killing them before they can gain any life. What’s more, we are not just reliant on the pummeler to achieve this. After attacking with a Voltaic Brawler or Bristling Hydra for a couple of turns, we can chuck them at the dome to close out the game, or even a Saheeli Rai if we need to stop our adversary’s combo going off.
And the best thing about this deck, is that it already has a pre-existing shell for us to use as a base.
Whether or not this list will have any legs as the format grows and evolves is yet to be seen. But as a week one deck, I believe you can and will win games out of nowhere. But Electrostatic Pummeler might not be the only viable target for a Fling brew. The Wandering Fumarole/Crackdown Construct has yet to see any real play in standard, maybe now is the time. Or maybe Atog‘s spiritual successor Ravenous Intruder,will start to make an impact. The one thing I can say for certain, is that Amonkhet has the potential to crack Standard wide open.