Round 14: White-Blue Aetherflux Reservoir

Posted in Event Coverage on February 4, 2017

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.

Yesterday, I wrote about Mono-Blue Paradoxical Outcome Storm, a deck that didn't quite make it to the Pro Tour. Though Marc Tobiasch's idea didn't show up in Dublin, a "storm" deck built around Aetherflux Reservoir did, and it performed well enough to show up on Day Two as well.

Bai Hualin is playing White-Blue Aetherflux Reservoir at Pro Tour Aether Revolt. It too relies on Paradoxical Outcome to bounce a lot of zero-cost artifacts, such as Bone Saw, Ornithopter, and Cather's Shield, back to your hand. Like Tobiasch, the deck uses Whir of Invention to turn these cheap artifacts into necessary Aetherflux Reservoirs.

Bai added white to his deck for three copies of Sram, Senior Edificer. With Sram in play, each of those cheap equipment cards also draws a card, further fueling the deck's storm count. In his sideboard, Bai's white splash gives him access to Fumigate, a good option for creature-heavy matchups, and a copy of Fragmentize, key against decks like Mardu Vehicles.

Sram was yet another way to draw through your deck with 0-mana artifacts.

To the creature count, Bai also added Glint-Nest Crane, an artifact loving bird who will help find copies of the artifacts you need most. He also added a single copy of Baral's Expertise, a smaller Paradoxical Outcome-like effect that can also cast copies of Aetherflux Reservoir.

I had the opportunity to watch his deck in action versus Jund during Round 14. A few turns into the game, Bai had an Ornithopter, a pair of Cather's Shields, a Bone Saw, and a Renegade Map in play. He was facing down an ever-growing Tireless Tracker, but with a Whir of Invention in hand, he was able to fetch the Aetherflux Reservoir he needed to start boosting his life total.

A Glint-Nest Crane found him a second copy of the Reservoir, and despite being attacked by a 7/6 Tracker, Bai brought his life total into the forties by casting Baral's Expertise on the Tracker and two of his own zero-mana artifacts and putting a third Reservoir into play. The recast Cathar's Shield and Bone Saw net him a total of 15 life.

His opponent, Iurii Babych, was in trouble if he couldn't start applying pressure to Bai's growing life total. Luckily, Babych's recast Tireless Tracker was joined by a Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, and a Sylvan Advocate.

Bai Hualin fought as hard as he could with his interesting concoction. While he's coming up a bit short this weekend, his deck proves to be an excellent starting point for tinkerers worldwide.

Bai was out of gas. He held a Cathar's Shield, hoping to cast it on a turn with more than one spell to play, but his draw step continued to turn up only lands. Eventually, Bai had to cast the Cather's Shield alone, netting 3 life, to prevent himself from dying on the following turn.

Babych attach Bai to 3 and passed the turn. Bai held his breath as he drew. "One card, and I win," he said without looking at it. He turned the card up and laughed. It was another land.

Unfortunately, in game two Bai had to mulligan to three cards without seeing a single land. Though an early Negate protected the Fumigate in his hand from a Transgress the Mind, an early Herald of Anguish from Babych sealed Bai's fate.

For those hoping that a version of Paradoxical Outcome and Aetherflux Reservoir storm is possible in Standard, Bai's deck is both reason for hope and a starting point for discovery and deck crafting. I, for one, will not be satisfied until I've seen someone dealt 50 damage by an Aetherflux Reservoir.

Hualin Bai - White-Blue Paradoxical Outcome

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