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December 12, 2016

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Test Drive – Standard Naya Aetherworks

Hello all and welcome to another weekly edition of the Test Drive! Last week I tried out the Black / Red Zombies Standard deck. The deck was very aggressive and could lead to some fast games, and had the ability to play a control matchup if needed. Today, I’m going to be going over my Test Drive with a Naya Aetherworks deck which focuses on trying to get an Aetherworks Marvel out by turn four and getting to six Energy as quickly as possible to try and spin the wheel and get a possible game winning spell early in the game.

Aetherworks Marvel is one of my favourite cards from Kaladesh and is a card that you can build a deck around. Even though there can be some very amazing starts with Aetherworks Marvel, you don’t want it to be the only chance you have to win. Unlike other Aetherworks decks in the format, this deck can also play a longer game and doesn’t rely as heavily on Aetherworks Marvel to be its only win condition.

So, let’s have a look at the version of the Naya Aetherworks deck that I put through the Test Drive treatment last week.

Naya Aetherworks

Creatures: (13)
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Sigarda, Heron’s Grace
Ishkanah, Grafwidow
Servant of the Conduit
Emrakul, the Promised End

Planeswalkers (5)
Nahiri, the Harbinger
Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Spells: (22)
Traverse the Ulvenwald
Attune with Aether
Harnessed Lightning
Vessel of Nascency
Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot
Aetherworks Marvel

Lands: (20)
Evolving Wilds
Aether Hub
Forest
Mountain
Plains
Game Trail

Sideboard: (15)
World Breaker
Tireless Tracker
Sigarda, Heron’s Grace
Nissa, Vital Force
Tears of Valakut
Kozilek’s Return
Natural State

After playing with this deck, here are some tips I’ve learned that will help you to win more games of Standard at your local game store.

This deck only plays 20 lands and wants to play land drops on pretty much every turn. The early game is a logic puzzle where you need to use cards like Attune with Aether, Traverse the Ulvenwald and Vessel of Nascency to make sure you get not only the land drops you need every turn, but the correct mana that you will need for the three colours. Most the time playing the deck, this wasn’t a problem, but learning how to do it does have a learning curve.

Knowing when to use Aetherworks Marvel activations is key to success. Most of the time you want to do it as soon as you get six Energy, but there are game situations where you want to wait to do it. There are scenarios where you want to wait until you opponent is attacking into you so you can get a blocker or removal. Sometimes you want to wait until you have Delirium so that if you can cast an Ishkanah, Grafwidow you will get three Spider tokens instead of just having a 3/5 creature.

Getting Delirium with this deck is harder than decks like Green / Black Delirium. All the card types are present in this deck, but there are not as many ways to get cards into your graveyard compared to Green / Black Delirium deck builds that play cards like Grapple with the Past, Mindwrack Demon, Grim Flayer and Liliana, the Last Hope to help you achieve Delirium. In this deck, you have Evolving Wilds, Vessel of Nascency and Nahiri, the Harbinger to help you get the four different card types that you need to achieve Delirium.

You will draw Emrakul, the Promised End, don’t panic! Compared to previous versions of Aetherworks decks, drawing Emrakul, the Promised End isn’t the worst thing that can happen. There are seven different card types in this deck that will get to the graveyard and help you reduce its cost. Thanks to Chandra, Torch of Defiance, you can also add two mana to help you cast Emrakul, the Promised End a turn or two quicker than usual. If you do get it stuck in your hand early in the game, Nahiri, the Harbinger will allow you to cycle it out of your hand so that you can draw something that can you help you in the immediate turns to come.

Remember that there are some tricky ways to get Energy if you need to get up to the six needed to use Aetherworks Marvel. You can cast Harnessed Lightning and use no Energy to get an instant three Energy that might surprise your opponent on their turn. Casting an Aetherworks Marvel when you have one already in play will result in you getting two Energy. There’s also using bad attacks to get through damage, since if your opponent blocks to kill your creature, you will get Energy from Aetherworks Marvel.

I believe that this is one of the better variations of the Aetherworks Marvel decks that are out there. There can be some mana issues sometimes with only 20 lands and three colours, but with some practice you will learn how to maximize the potential of this deck.

Let me know what you think your favourite version of an Aetherworks deck is.

Thanks for joining me on the Test Drive this week and I look forward to trying out another deck next week. After weeks of having a two deck Standard metagame, it appears that the format has diversified and more decks are emerging. This should continue with the introduction of new cards from Aether Revolt, so we must wait until January 20th to see how much the Standard metagame changes.