Vehicles and planeswalkers. Planeswalkers and Vehicles. These permanent types are taking over Standard in all flavors.
Heart of Kiran is back on top. This went from being a valuable mythic to a bargain deal pretty quickly as Energy decks fought Red Aggro and U/B Control to be top dog. No longer, as a 4/4 flying creature for 2 mana is a great rate. Being able to utilize planeswalkers to crew your Heart means that you get an incredibly efficient creature to pair alongside the most powerful cards in the game. While this deck isn’t flooded with creatures to crew the Heart, combining high loyalty planeswalkers with vigilance Vehicles still works.
Karn, Scion of Urza and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria are both game changers from Dominaria. They’re high loyalty planeswalkers that can provide a ton of card advantage or protect themselves. Karn isn’t the best at protecting himself, but Constructs can add up especially when paired with the Vehicles that are also artifacts. Teferi can bury a problematic permanent and then turn on the card advantage stream—drawing cards, untapping lands, and crewing Heart.
Gideon of the Trials hits hard and does a great job of keeping you alive. It shuts down their biggest threat each turn until the board is under control enough to start swinging for 4. Being able to shut down their creature while crewing a Heart each turn is a tough combination to beat.
Toolcraft Exemplar and Scrapheap Scrounger give you a pair of early aggressive creatures that are also just big enough to crew Heart of Kiran. You don’t have many creatures to exile to bring back your Scrapheap, but you also don’t need to thanks to the value all of your planeswalkers will be generating. These creatures work well together, get in some nice early damage, and then hop into Vehicles to finish the job.
Walking Ballista looks like the card to beat in Standard. While Karn, Teferi, and many others are vying for the top slot, Ballista is perfect for the early and late game. This is another artifact to combo with Karn’s Constructs or to turn on Toolcraft Exemplar, provides early game removal, and is a late-game mana sink that just wins the game.
Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp gets me really excited. A 5/6 flyer is no joke and you have just enough artifacts to play in the first three turns to make sure you’re getting your Mahamoti Djinn on turn 4. With 15 cheap artifacts, this is a reliable threat, and being able to attack with a Heart on turn 4 before tapping it to cast Zahid threatens to end the game immediately.
Aethersphere Harvester adds to your artifact count. The life gain is a nice bonus in racing situations, and this gives you extra uses for your smaller Ballistas or Constructs from Karn.
You’re pretty focused on creatures and planeswalkers, and lighter on interaction outside of Teferi, Gideon, and Ballistas. You do have a few copies of Seal Away to give you a tempo removal spell to help win races and combo well with Teferi’s +1 untapping two lands. A couple of copies of Cast Out round out a solid deck as a way to cycle early or remove a threat you otherwise couldn’t deal with late.
Heart of Kiran is definitely happy to see cards like Teferi and Karn enter the format and is sure to be one of the best cards in Standard going forward. With a strong colorless shell of Heart, Ballista, and Karn, these three cards will be showing up in lots of lists!