I don't know if you have played in a Magic tournament recently, or watched a stream, or listened to a podcast, or read an article about Magic, but if you have, you probably are very aware that Magic players like to talk about vehicles. More specifically, they like to make terrible jokes and puns about vehicles or going fast. Don't get me wrong, I am one of these people too, but we all know what I am talking about. As fun as car-talk is though, we have had stuff going fast in Magic since the beginning, well before vehicles were ever on a proxy sticker.
"This creature is unaffected by summoning sickness."
Haste. Like most Magic mechanics, haste looks to break a rule of the game and that rule is a rather important one. Creatures cannot attack on the turn you play them. This allows the opponent to react to your play and set up some defenses. Haste takes that window away and surprises opponents with information that they could not plan for. Because of this, any one haste creature can throw off combat math and win a game for you.
Imagine then, playing against a deck with 16 haste creatures and having to sleep with one eye open all the time.
That was what I was thinking when I looked at Reality Smasher side by side with Fleetwheel Cruiser. Two of the most efficient cards in Standard are five-power haste creatures and they both happen to be colorless. There has to be something we can do with that, right?
Initially, I began by looking at all of the cards that synergized with this strategy and naturally red cards kept coming up. Burn spells and other aggressive red options obviously pair well with haste, but the mana kept worrying me. Without pain lands in the format, there wasn't easy access to a color plus colorless like there was six months ago. After looking at the mana base again and again, I just kept having to shave more and more red cards until it was barely visible in the list.
While I expected this to be a big downside, the card quality I was arriving at in my almost entirely colorless deck was very high. It turns out, having a block filled with colorless monsters followed by a block containing vehicles makes for quite the colorless arsenal in Standard.
With Smuggler's Copter and Fleetwheel Cruiser leading this convoy, I decided to take the following list into battle on Magic Online:
Most of the deck is pretty self-explanatory, but I will make a few play notes for those cards that aren't.
This is a swing card that will get played for its three-cost base as well as its five-cost kicker. The key here is another haste creature that can dramatically change combat math all of a sudden.
This card has been seeing more play and for good reason. Drawing cards is something that every deck wants to do and our deck specifically loves the unblockable clause as it almost acts like a burn spell in our colorless shell.
Courier does little in the way of damage by itself, but it can gain help from Ruins of Oran-Rief to dish out some punishment. This card is used primarily for its utility in drawing cards later on, as well as the ease with which it pilots a Smuggler's Copter.
In many ways, this is just our Harnessed Lightning, but one we can cast with much more regularity. Most importantly, this takes down opposing Copters, though you can occasionally target your Thought-Knot Seer or Reality Smasher for some extra damage as well.
After this round of testing, the only change I want to make going forward is to sneak one more land into the list. I don't think we want to go much higher than that though, if at all. Our curve is relatively low and one of the dangers of an aggro deck like this is flooding out. We have some tools to avoid that like Copter and Key to the City, but we can't always rely on them. I do think I was a little too conservative before though and would like to increase the count to 23. The best swap is likely the following:
+1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
-1 Pia Nalaar
This was the last land I cut from the deck before but it does bring some utility as a cool legendary land. If you want to add a third copy of Unknown Shores or Sea Gate Wreckage, both would also be acceptable.
Until next week, thanks for reading!