Going into Pro Tour Kaladesh, I knew the format was going to be fast. Aggressive and combo decks were revitalized with the printing of Smuggler's Copter and Aetherworks Marvel. Red-White Vehicles dominated the only major tournament, while a wide variety of Prized Amalgam Combo/Synergy decks decimated online leagues. I knew for certain that I was not going to play the Black-Green Delirium deck the other 10 members of my team had settled on. I wanted to be proactive, and I wanted to match speed with speed.

Sometimes the best way of dealing with a vast variety of hard to answer cards, such as Smuggler's Copter, Prized Amalgam/Haunted Dead, or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, is to play fast and proactively.

Now, the benefit of such a fast format (which many players have been noted feels more like Modern than Standard), is that in order to have a deck be incredibly quick and efficient to compete, also needs to be quite linear. When decks can only play one way they can be predicted, and you can adapt in order to beat them easily.

This allowed two control decks to come out on top, I believe control to be strong choice moving forward, but for the tournament at hand I took a different approach. It seems abnormal to suggest Black-Red Burn after noting how exploitable the linear decks are, but through testing I had found that Black-Red seemed to be beating most decks pre-sideboard and have adaptable post-sideboard strategies that counteracted other streamlined plans that were utilized against you. Almost on accident, I developed a format-wide sideboard for Black-Red. I was attempting defeat my own team's control version of Delirium, so I toyed with boarding in Chandra, Torch of Defiance alongside the real breakthrough card, Goblin Dark-Dwellers. Fundamentally speaking, they are not actually that bad of a card in Burn, especially when you have looters, and create space to shift to grind out opponents.

The Dark-Dwellers were a splash hit. That got me thinking, what if I boarded them against other creature decks? I was already planning on playing Galvanic Bombardment and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in order to combat creature and vehicle strategies, so why not go a bit deeper? I had noticed playing aggro mirrors in this format resulted in many combat trades, something that is usually uncommon in these types of matchups and made it very different. For instance, oftentimes your Toolcraft Exemplar for my Inventor's Apprentice, my Smuggler's Copter for your Smuggler's Copter, Pia Nalaar and Thopter for your Fleetwheel Cruiser. Vehicles make aggro mirrors fast and have a snowball effect. Vehicles makes your next play come into play tapped, and the creatures are so hyper efficient that you can't just pay three mana to Fiery Temper a Toolcraft Exemplar, you are much better off trying to block. This is why the Goblin Dark-Dweller technology was super effective. Within some games, you trade until you can play one and use it to completely turn any race in your favor while providing card advantage.

Many of the commonly played removal spells can't kill them either, leaving you many times with an unblockable 4/4 threat that is also surprisingly an excellent blocker itself.

Here is my list from the videos, slightly adapted from the Pro Tour.

The maindeck is your typical Black-Red Aggro deck except for one Dark-Dwellers which essentially is just an extension of your sideboard plan.

During testing, and then also within the Pro Tour itself, I was able to completely outclass my opponent's postboard plans. Their decks were linear, and they did exactly what I expected them to do. All five of my opponents playing vehicles sideboarded in some variety of Galvanic Bombardment, Weaver of Lightning, and Fragmentize. There was some counterplay, and notably some of my opponents figured out to side in their Gideon, Ally of Zendikar or Chandra's of their own. I would say for the most part though, they were often outclassed, their 75s too unadaptable to compete.

Moving forward, I think Black-Red Burn should be a reasonable player in the metagame. It is certainly less consistent than its vehicular counterparts, but provides greater reach and a higher amount of counterplay through deckbuilding and sideboarding decisions. If control becomes popular after the Pro Tour results, that can only improve. The deck struggles most with Aetherworks Marvel Decks, which performed poorly at the Pro Tour. Their interaction, albeit limited, of Kozilek's Return and Woodweaver's Puzzleknot are quite effective.

Counterplans of Transgress the Mind are extremely weak, as they have a bunch of scry and digging effects, while Transgress takes an entire turn off your board development and only can disrupt them if they have a Marvel already. I'm not sure there is anything that you can do to improve there. I like Black-Red Burn versus the the Amalgam decks. Some games you won't be able to beat the Amalgam-heavy draws, but aggression and Kalitas seem to steal you wins extremely often. Last but not least, I think the Vehicle matchups are favorable. It may get a bit worse if they know what you are up to, but after a solid 4-1 against them at Pro Tour Kaladesh I feel comfortable with these matchups, and it seems unlikely that aggressive vehicle decks won't make up a large portion of our upcoming Standard Metagame.

Burn or be burned.