This weekend's slate of action is all Limited. Usually there are two opens before the Pro Tour, but since SCG's running Grand Prix: Atlanta, the SCG Indianapolis results are the only premier event decklists available before the Pro Tour.
Chris VanMeter's tournament winner, W/R Vehicles, is a an extreme test of the hypothesis that in week one of any Standard format the optimal thing to do is to play aggro and bash people's faces in. As they say, there are no wrong threats, only wrong answers. I've always thought of that theory as nonsense — Canopy Spider, Chimney Imp, Dripping Dead, and their ilk can be safely categorized as "wrong threats" — but if you squint hard enough, the logic holds. Smother's great against Wild Mongrel but terrible against Decree of Justice. Ruinous Path gets the job done against Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, but against Smuggler's Copter or Ishkanah, Grafwidow? Not so much.
As I've mentioned before in this space, Standard's been, with few exceptions, midrange decks of slightly different speeds grinding each other out. The reprinting of Thoughtseize in Theros, followed by Siege Rhino in Khans of Tarkir exacerbated this issue a lot. However, it appears that with Kaladesh, a straightforward aggressive deck can win for the first time in what feels like forever. It's nice.
Another weekend of Standard results would've shed more light on the Indianapolis results (are these decks for real or not?) or even spawned new decks. That's not going to happen, which means Pro Tour Kaladesh will play host to as unsettled a Constructed format that's been on the Pro Tour in a while. It's gonna be great.
I was watching Gerry Thompson stream last night, and he was running a red-green Aetherworks Marvel deck sporting Attune with Aether and Servant of the Conduit, the latter of which barely missed our Top 10. The deck looked vaguely like this:
Servant of the Conduit is a solid card in its own right, but in an energy-based deck, it has the potential to be great. Depala, Pilot Exemplar... man, I knew that card was gonna be awesome. I never get cards right during preview season. I thought Siege Rhino was going to be terrible because it matched up poorly with Polukranos, World Eater (I am very, very bad). Pia Nalaar also missed, which is a shame because I'm a sucker for a Gray Ogre with upside.
On the way into work this morning, I was listening to the Limited Resources podcast. Marshall and Luis were discussing Veteran Motorist. It's a strange card! 3/1s for two generally don't scry or provide any sort of deck manipulation, but this one does. Also, giving a vehicle +1/+1 is strange; they're already undercosted for their cost. Does Skysovereign, Consul Flagship REALLY need +1/+1? Serious question.
As long as we're conceding that aggro's going to be awesome in Kaladesh Standard, then you'd be crazy to leave home without four copies of Toolcraft Exemplar. This card was pushed, and it shows — it was a four-of in three of last weekend's Top 8 decks.
The little Skizzik that could! I'm glad Fleetwheel Cruiser's making an impact in Standard. Skizzik rules.
Someone pointed out in the comments that Harnessed Lightning synergizes with itself; the first one takes out a two-toughness creature so the second one can Dispatch a four-toughness creature. That's pretty neat!
From here on out, this list will look a lot like Monday's list. No Standard events happened, not even Magic Online, so nothing's really happened to move the needle yet. Someone will stream with a sweet Standard deck this weekend, but until then, prepare to look at the same ol' cards.
Scrapheap Scrounger does have one fringe benefit going for it: it can slot right into Modern Dredge decks.
I get a lot of cards wrong. In videos, in games, in this column — my brain just refuses to retain everything. I have high hopes for today, though. Mostly because I've finally seen a bunch of Kaladesh cards and this list mostly stayed in stasis and probably will until the Pro Tour, but I'll take the win.
White and red decks are good and so our best-selling land creates white and red mana. Simple enough. Let's move on.
A 1/1 for three is our #3 best-seller. It's official: I don't understand anything anymore. I guess if there's an energy deck in Standard that goes off with Aetherworks Marvel, then Electrostatic Pummeler might be sweet, but I seriously doubt there's nothing better to do than a damn 1/1 for three.
Smuggler's Copter is good in every Standard deck. Water is wet. The sky is blue. The grass is green.
Here's a deck that Adam Yurchick featured in his column this week:
Not only does Aether Hub allow this deck to cast Eldrazi, but it pulls double duty by fueling Servant of the Conduit. Aether Hub's a versatile role-player that will see tons of play throughout Kaladesh's tenure in Standard.