Deck Tech: Four-Color Energy with Ben Weitz

Posted in Event Coverage on October 9, 2016

By Meghan Wolff

Meghan is one half of the Good Luck High Five podcast and an adjunct professor at Tolarian Community College. She loves Limited, likes Modern, and dips her toes into each Standard season. She's decidedly blue and is the #1 hater of Siege Rhino in the Multiverse.

Kaladesh draft comes with plenty of ways to stretch your mana base across three, four, or even five colors, so long as you're willing to prioritize the right cards and take a risk on games in which you'll end up short a color or two.

Ben Weitz, a member of Team East-West Bowl, didn't start his draft this morning with a plan to play four colors.

“The draft started off pretty well,” Weitz said. “Longtusk Cub was my first pick, and then I followed it up with a red energy card like Aethertorch Renegade. Then at some point I got passed a Voltaic Brawler, and so I was like, alright. Red-Green Energy. Aggro. We're doing it. I wheeled a Territorial Gorger. That card has ranged from unplayable to incredibly good in my experience. I thought I was going to have the deck where it's incredibly good, so I was excited.”

In Pack 2, however, Weitz's red-green plan started to fall apart.

“It all dried up,” Weitz said.

His first foray into a third color was for the uncommon Whirler Virtuoso, a powerful card, especially in decks that can produce a lot of energy. At first, he intended to adhere to his initial plan and only splash the thopter generator.

“But then I started taking more blue cards, and it soon became apparent that I really should have been in blue instead of either red or green,” Weitz said. “I was getting cut from somewhere, possibly from both sides, on some of these colors.”

When Weitz picked up a pair of late Prophetic Prisms, his new draft plan began to coalesce.

“The more Prophetic Prisms I got, the more gold cards I wanted to take. I think I third-picked Attune with Aether because I knew that I was going to need to play it.”

At first, Weitz was unimpressed by the pile of cards he'd assembled.

“After the draft I was not super happy,” he said. “I was like, oh man, I hope I have a playable deck.”

He began his deck building with a Temur concoction that included two Select for Inspections, but he couldn't resist the allure of two Prophetic Prisms and two powerful off-color uncommons – Cloudblazer and Unlicensed Disintegration.

“I decided that I couldn't be that greedy,” Weitz said of including both gold uncommons. “But I still wanted to be medium-greedy and I didn't like Select for Inspection in my deck anyway. I eventually cut them for Prophetic Prisms and splashed one of the two off-color gold cards. I've been told by my teammates that that was probably incorrect, but it's made for a really sweet deck. It's just so many colors.”

His deck is at least playable, as Weitz won both of his first rounds on Day 2. Multitude of colors aside, the deck has a high number of quality uncommons and a very good rare. Ironically, his stand-out card is one that doesn't require any particular color to cast.

“Multiform Wonder is probably my best card,” Weitz said. “It's particularly absurd when you can regularly make sixteen energy, which I can. You can attack with a 5/1 that they can't really block. It's a flying, vigilant, lifelinking creature – they can't win a race and they take five a turn in the air.”

What makes Weitz's deck work, in addition to his mana fixing and quality uncommons, are the cards that let him survive to find his third and fourth colors of mana.

“Consulate Skygate is just a great card,” Weitz said. “It doesn't look very good, but it is excellent, mostly because there's a bunch of three-power creatures. It's under-appreciated in the format for sure.”

The same is true of Hightide Hermit, whose fourth point of toughness is a boon in a world of three-power creatures, and whose four energy can power a number of abilities in Weitz's deck.

“It dissuades your opponent from attacking you at all, giving you time to assemble the rest of your colors or assemble the Whirler Virtuoso and Era of Innovation Combo or just find a way to win,” Weitz said.

Of course, an ambitious four-color draft deck isn't without its risks.

“One game I drew not enough of my colors and died horribly,” Weitz said. “That's what you sign up for when you build a deck like this. But the other games where I have my colors I've been curving out really well. My cards are really powerful and I have a lot of gold cards and a lot of uncommons in my deck. I've curved Voltaic Brawler into Empyreal Voyager into Territorial Gorger, and then I play another energy card and my opponent is at 3. I actually even won a game by blasting my opponent for six with Aethertorch Renegade on a stalled board.”

So whether it's a plan from Pack 1 or a final call during deck construction, there's room in Kaladesh draft for the ambitious drafter to wrangle three, four, or even five colors into their deck.

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