"I think it's really cool there are these combo cards to go exploring with in the set. Flavorfully it feels like an Inventors' Fair since there are these weird, cool things you can do in the format."
Josh Utter-Leyton was ecstatic to be playing with Aetherworks Marvel. One of the standout, build-around artifacts of Kaladesh, Aetherworks Marvel made a simple promise: Feed it enough energy and you can cast almost anything for free.
If you could pick only one breakout card for the Pro Tour, then this one's it.
Or as Samuel Black put it, applied specifically to a competitive field of players, the card did one thing and did it well. "It can cast Eldrazi. That is the full answer. It doesn't do anything else. My deck doesn't do anything else. It couldn't be any more straightforward." Renown for building amazing decks and finding new synergies, Black had discovered what many other players in the tournament had: Aetherworks Marvel was just as fun as it was powerful.
"You can cast turn four Emrakul, the Promised End or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Nobody is beating a turn four Eldrazi," Utter-Leyton explained. "Once you're there and realize this is a thing you can do to people, it turns out you're really resilient too."
Even the former World Champion himself, Seth Manfield, found marveling at Aetherworks Marvel to be well worth the effort. "Yes, you need to build your deck to accommodate it, but once you get it into that, you're off to the races," he said. "You can cast the big creatures without paying for them, almost like Goryo's Vengeance in Modern."
Building the deck around it is surprisingly easy, with plenty of ways to power it up and get an Aetherworks online. Both Glassblower's Puzzleknot and Woodweaver's Puzzleknot give you energy and either dig deep or gain life, necessary to have the time to set things up. Glint-Nest Crane is an obvious way to seek out Aetherworks Marvel, but there was another odd, powerful choice at a builder's disposal.
"The surprise gem is Contingency Plan," Utter-Leyton explained. "It accomplishes two things. The first is finding Aetherworks Marvel, and the second is it sets up a giant Eldrazi. Your hit rate for Aetherworks with eight Eldrazi in the deck is around 60%, but it's much higher than that with scrying and Contingency Plan to set it up. The fact you get to stack your deck multiple cards is huge."
Josh Utter-Leyton is just one of many players here this weekend who saw the amazing potential in Aetherworks Marvel.
Black distilled things even more. "Every card in my deck is either Eldrazi, Aetherworks Marvel, a card that looks for Aetherworks Marvel, land, a card that gives energy, or Kozilek's Return." The lattermost card is one of the other big ways to ensure your Aetherworks gets time to be online.
Being impressive, resilient and powerful is great for a build-around card like Aetherworks Marvel, but the other reason to pick it up is exactly what Utter-Leyton mentioned at the start.
"It's really fun, and a bunch of our team chose to play it," Manfield said. "It's high variance. Sometimes you don't do anything, but your opponents kind of feel helpless when it works. The game is in your hands rather than your opponents'."
Tapping into the aether and powering up Aetherworks Marvel might just be exactly what you want to do next in Standard, and some of the best players in the world are already doing just that.