Kaladesh Build-Arounds

Posted in Top Decks on December 20, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Kaladesh is one of the most exciting sets in recent memory. There are countless powerful cards that promise to shake up Standard and Modern. Some cards may not seem particularly powerful in a vacuum, but have a tremendous amount of potential that can be unlocked if we're willing to put in the work. Today, we'll be looking at the cards that encourage us to build decks around them.

Electrostatic Pummeler!

The first card I'd like to talk about is Electrostatic Pummeler. It's super fragile, but the effect is tremendously strong if we use it alongside pump spells. There's a lot of good threats that use energy and it's not difficult to kill an opponent as early as the fourth turn by attacking with a 20/20 creature. Let's build an aggressive Standard deck that uses Electrostatic Pummeler as a potent finisher à la Temur Battle Rage/Become Immense.

Energy Pummeler

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This deck is really good at making a lot of energy. The deck can use Blossoming Defense to protect Electrostatic Pummeler while also inching it closer to lethal proportions. Voltaic Brawler is one of the best aggressive creatures I've ever seen and we'll likely be seeing it in a lot of different decks; here, it's even better than it might be elsewhere because the leftover energy can be put to incredible use. If you like attacking and you're looking to kill people out of nowhere with one of the more overlooked cards from Kaladesh then this is definitely the deck for you!


The next card I'd like to take a look at is Refurbish. Reanimate effects have always been powerful, and there are a lot of strong artifacts that I'd love to drop onto the battlefield. Let's put together a deck that takes advantage of the newest Standard reanimate spell!

Gearhulk Refurbs

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This deck seems really powerful when all the cogs are in place. Unfortunately, the deck leans really hard on Tormenting Voice and Cathartic Reunion. In fact, I might encourage people to mulligan most hands that don't have one of those two cards. Still, there's probably a recipe for success somewhere down the road for a card like Refurbish.

Metalwork Colossus!

There are a lot of ways in which we can find Metalwork Colossus in the current Standard and the card does a very good job of closing games quickly if we're willing to push it to its limits. Hedron Archive does a particularly good job of getting the Colossus into play and Engulf the Shore is a great way to clear the board while leaving us with a massive attacker. Let's put together a deck that pushes Metalwork Colossus to its limits.

Working Hard for the Metal

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Here's a deck that has no problem powering out a huge Metalwork Colossus in the shortest time frame possible. I've always been a fan of Tamiyo's Journal in Limited and I feel like it's strongest Constructed application to date is playing it alongside Metalwork Colossus to find additional copies of the Colossus, or to pick up more Engulf the Shores to survive while our scrappy clunkers do the dirty work.

Aetherflux Reservoir!

Aetherflux Reservoir is a card with a lot of exciting applications. In Standard, we can probably use cards like Paradoxical Outcome to cast a ton of inexpensive spells in a single turn to gain enough life to kill opponents out of nowhere. In a format like Modern, a card like Aetherflux Reservoir has the ability to help us survive before being used at a late game win condition. Let's put together a Modern deck that uses Aetherflux Reservoir to its fullest potential!

Aetherflux Storm

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[Editor's Note: The following combo doesn't actually work, because Cloudstone Curio says "nonartifact." We're going to leave the section in because it lets you know that even a Pro Tour champion and a team of editors who look at this stuff every day miss this during brewing season. Hey, some ideas are cool until you read the card more closely.]

It's a lot easier to get to get a high enough storm count to kill someone with Aetherflux Reservoir than it is with Grapeshot. Aetherflux Reservoir also lets us play a pair of Noxious Revivals in our sideboard to have the ability to gain infinite life every turn forever if the opponent has somehow prevented us from killing them. Eventually, the opponent will deck themselves in this scenario. We can also build Aetherflux Reservoir decks using Cloudstone Curio with artifacts that cost zero mana; this could be a nice angle to take with the strategy and may actually be the final form of the deck.

Aetherflux Curio

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This deck can use Cloudstone Curio to create a lot of infinite loops. For example, Mox Opal along with any other "free" artifact creates infinite mana, which can then be used to loop prophetic prism as much as we want, which finds us our Aetherflux Reservoir. If we already have Aetherflux Reservoir, then the Cloudstone Curio has the ability to just win the game immediately by gaining us infinite life and blasting our opponent for some multiple of 50 damage until they're dead.

The powerful inventions from Kaladesh are sure to get the gears moving in the creative spaces of our minds. What cards are you excited to build around?

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