Deck Tech: Energy Combo with Bernhard Lehner

Posted in GRAND PRIX WARSAW 2016 on October 29, 2016

By Olle Rade

The first few standard events after a Pro Tour are always extra interesting. Most people tend to stick with the established decks that they have seen done well. Others use what they've seen to predict what they will play against and tune their decks to take on the newly formed format. Someone who certainly has the later approach is Austrian Bernhard Lehner, who didn't play at Pro Tour Kaladesh, but found his interest in Standard while preparing for another event.

"Me and some friends are planning to go to the team limited Grand Prix in Rotterdam next month, so we started by drafting a lot. And in the Limited games I found a synergy that I used to build a Standard deck that I like so much that I ended up going to Warsaw to play it," he explains.

The deck, dubbed "Energy combo", is built around the interaction between Whirler Virtuoso and either Decoction Module or Fabrication Module. The plan is to flood the board with Thopters and both building them at instant speed and making them larger, which makes combat a nightmare for any opponent.


Bernhard Lehner

"It may look like a limited deck, but I really think it is one of the Tier 1 decks of the format. It's really fun to play and I'm actually surprised that no one played this at the Pro Tour in Honolulu," said Lehner.

The rest of the deck is built around creating as much energy as possible, and making the most of it. Creatures like Longtusk Cub and Servant of the Conduit both generate energy and can use energy from cards like Attune with Aether, Aether Hub, or leftover energy from Harnessed Lightning.

"I actually made a 20/20 Longtusk Cub once in testing, but that's not what the deck is designed to do. Usually it's a 2/2 that can't be blocked profitably that generates a lot of energy, which can be used to make more Thopters," said the Austrian.

Lehner certifies that he and his friends has put more than 100 hours into testing and tuning the deck, which started out based around Aetherworks Marvel, but ended up more on the Whirler Virtuoso route. Aetherworks Marvel still fits in the deck, as a way to both make energy and to cast the two "big" cards in the deck for free – Whirler Virtuoso and Ishkanah, Grafwidow.


Thopters, energy and strange artifacts, a typical board of Bernhard Lehner, here in a round 6 feature match against Lukas Blohon.

When asked about how the deck is positioned in the expected field, Lehner explained that he thinks his opponents will be surprised by his deck. The main advantage being to know almost the exact contents of his opponents decks, where they would know none of his. The two most popular decks, Blue-White flash and Green-Black delirium were surely on his radar for the weekend.

"Blue-White can be tough, and especially Archangel Avacyn can be hard to handle and very annoying if it flips. So I've dedicated a lot of cards in my sideboard against that. Also the aggressive version of the Green-Black delirium deck is a close match-up. Where my deck really shines is against control decks, like Jeskai or Grixis, because every card in my deck generates value in form of energy, and Whirler Virtuoso is a fantasic card even on it's own."

The deck also has the added benifit of being able to generate an infitine amount of Thoptes. It does take three copies of Decoction Module and a Whirler Virtuoso, but it is something that very well might happen. At least if Bernhard Lehner can put the pieces of his soft-combo deck together the way he hopes to.

Temur Energy Combo, Bernhard Lehner, Grand Prix Warsaw

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