Energy is the talk of the town. Aetherworks Marvel allows Standard players to do things that really shouldn’t happen so early in the game. That’s not the only use for this valuable resource, however.
The Player’s Championship was dominated by Temur Energy aggressive decks, but Standard wasn’t that prominent of a player. Winning a few matches does not a dominant deck make. It does, however, help highlight what the deck is capable of.
All of the energy creatures we have in Standard come out of Kaladesh. This is a brand new resource and mechanic, so it’s going to be around Standard for a long time and only increase in strength. Servant of the Conduit is the baseline creature that many different decks incorporate. It isn’t the prototypical “energy” creature, but it does require a small reserve to give you a decent boost in mana.
Electrostatic Pummeler and Bristling Hydra are the MVPs. Hydra does a great job of hitting hard and protecting itself without needing to invest much of anything. Pummeler is the card that many of the all-in slanted decks are going to focus on for the combo finish. A single pump spell with a moderate energy reserve can be enough to allow the Pummeler to trample through for enough damage in one swing.
Voltaic Brawler hits hard and early. It also has the ability to gain trample, so it’s a nice target for all pump spells. Longtusk Cub takes advantage of those games where you’ve stockpiled energy against removal, while also being one of your best energy generators if you’re able to get through for damage.
The pump spells that grant trample do the most with Uncaged Fury, and attempt to replicate the amazing power of Temur Battle Rage, a highlight of Standard for a long time and current standout in Modern Death’s Shadow decks. We don’t have Become Immense, but Rush of Adrenaline and Larger than Life can both pump Electrostatic Pummeler to a high enough power that, combined with the trample, it will end the game in one swing with an Uncaged Fury.
Blossoming Defense is in many ways your weakest pump spell, but in others your most powerful. Protecting a creature from removal is a huge tempo swing.
The biggest addition many are making to their energy aggro decks is to finally find a home for Arlinn Kord. Arlinn does everything you want in a deck like this. She creates additional creatures when you have a hand full of pump spells. She can pump a creature while also granting haste, meaning that all of your energy beaters will be threats to end the game immediately. This makes it harder to attack Arlinn, as well, since your opponents may need to protect their own life total. After Arlinn flips, she threatens to pick off creatures or grant a creature like your Pummeler trample to end the game with an Uncaged Fury.
Attune with Aether is a game changer for Standard, allowing decks to play fewer lands while still being able to fix their colors and add to your energy reserve. This is incredibly important for so many of Standard’s top decks. That also gives you the ability to play an Island in the sideboard and board in countermagic such as Ceremonious Rejection and Negate to fight longer battles. With Aether Hubs and Servant of the Conduits already main, this gives you access to as many as 15 blue mana sources after sideboard—plenty to handle the load of powerful sideboard options!