Deck Tech: Four-Color Aggro with Julian Wildes

Posted in Event Coverage on October 23, 2016

By Corbin Hosler

"I don't think I'm going to guess any card you'll play against me," Jon Stern lamented as Julian Wildes curved Attune with Aether into Voltaic Brawler into Spell Queller into Tamiyo, Field Researcher.

Quite the curve for a Standard deck.

But Wildes isn't playing an ordinary deck. He's playing something rarely seen in Magic, and almost certainly not seen in years.

Four-Color Aggro. And when a player like Jon Stern with six Grand Prix Top 8 appearances to his name can't guess what you're doing in the Day 2 Feature Match area, you must be doing something right.

"I looked at the lists from the Pro Tour last week, and I knew I wanted to find something with energy and Longtusk Cub because I liked the mechanic," Wildes explained. "I saw that Yuuya Watanabe had played Tamiyo in his Aetherworks Marvel deck, and while I was playing it online I realized that Tamiyo just wasn't very good without more creatures around. So I took out the Marvels and started adding creatures and ended up where I am.

"Now I'm here and I'm 11-1."

Julian Wildes’ Four-Color Aggro

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No one can argue about the power of the cards in Wildes' deck. Most of the cards he's playing have been powerhouses in the respective Standard decks over the past six months. But never have they all been played in the same deck. And never have Whirler Virtuoso and Woodland Wanderer centerpieced a top Standard deck.

Wildes believes his deck changes that, and he's understandably confident that it has staying power in the metagame.

"The first thing people wonder is if the mana works, but with Aether Hub, Attune with Aether, and Servant of the Conduit you have 12 sources of whatever color you need," he explained. "Woodland Wanderer is almost always a 6/6."

Once the mana flows freely, Wildes' deck applies pressure very quickly. The Brawler and Longtusk Cubs can get very large, while Reflector Mage, Spell Queller, and Tamiyo can lock down opposing creatures to keep opponents guessing, literally. Or — like in Stern's case — completely unable to.

"People just don't understand the cards in the deck," Wildes said. "The surprise factor has been very good, and people have definitely walked right into Spell Queller. But even when people know what's going on it's been very hard to stop, and I believe the deck will still be good after this weekend."

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