Whir of Invention

A brand new Standard is ahead of us! Not only is Aether Revolt full of exciting cards, but the new B&R is also a complete revolution for the format.

Today I’d like to look at Whir of Invention, how this card might see play in Standard, and some possible uses in Modern and Vintage as well.


Aetherworks Marvel survived the ban list, but not having Emrakul to cast with it is definitely a beating for the deck. The latest versions have been more delirium control, and aren’t truly built around Aetherworks Marvel.

But now that we have Whir of Invention as a way to tutor for Marvel at instant speed, I’m going to bring back the old versions that went all-in on the combo.

Matt Nass Top 8’d PT Kaladesh with a Temur Marvel build packing 4 Ulamog and 4 Emrakul. We obviously can’t play Emrakul anymore, but we might have some other options.

U/G Marvel

Whir of Invention isn’t only an additional copy of Aetherworks Marvel—it’s also very nice to play it at instant speed to bait countermagic and then resolve another copy or a Marvel on your turn.

In order to play Whir of Invention you have to play artifacts, such as Puzzleknot. I could also see playing Prophetic Prism or Inspiring Statuary to help hard-cast Ulamog and Kozilek.

Replacing Emrakul with Kozilek isn’t exciting, but a 12/12 menace that counters stuff on turns 4 and 5 is almost as deadly anyway.

I chose to cut red and stay U/G. This may change based on the format—obviously we don’t know if Standard will be aggressive enough to have to play Kozilek’s Return or Harnessed Lightning.

Another addition from Aether Revolt is Rogue Refiner, a card that shines best with emerge creatures, but here plays the role of a cantrip energy enabler and a blocker. Not incredible, but good enough to fill the curve.

I could see still playing red for Cathartic Reunion, because those 10-mana creatures are way harder to cast than Emrakul, but I wanted to be as stable as possible in the first draft.

The sideboard is pretty straightforward, and it’s very close to what Matt Nass played in Honolulu. I chose to add a singleton Planar Bridge for the slower matchups as a fine Marvel hit, and a powerful threat to resolve.

Modern and Vintage

Let’s move away from Standard and take a look at Modern, where Whir of Invention could find a home in Lantern Control. Obviously, triple-blue isn’t easy in a deck that is mainly B/G, but Aether Revolt offers a new land to help with that problem: Spire of Industry. Between that, Glimmervoid, Mox Opal, and some Botanical Sanctum/Darkslick Shores, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to play this instant-speed toolbox tutor.

Finally, this card could see play in Vintage as well. Time Vault + Voltaic Key is a powerful combination of cards that is very popular in Vintage. I wouldn’t play this card in a Snap-Control where you’re not all-in combo, but I would like to try this in a turbo combo version with Paradoxical Outcome, where you are all about combo’ing off as quickly as possible.

Paradoxical Vault-Cast

Paradoxical Outcome is the card of the moment, and I love the Thoughtcast package. Just like my last article about Mentor in Vintage, I would love to add a singleton Cunning Wish to tutor for ways to deal with main-deck Stony Silence or for Surgical Extraction.

Thoughtseize is a great card for a format like this, and I prefer it over Defense Grid, which is awful in any deck with Force of Will.

Whir of Invention here works just like a Tinker at instant speed—being unexpected and versatile makes it particularly effective. This deck might be too vulnerable to Stony Silence/Null Rod, but it’s as explosive as you can get.

Paradox Engine is another possible addition to combo off with Time Vault and Paradoxical Outcome, generating multiple mana with a few Moxes in play—though I think it’s too clunky and over-costed to see play in Vintage.

We have a bright future in front of us, full of new opportunities brought on by the ban list and Aether Revolt. I’m really looking forward to these next couple of weeks of testing for Pro Tour Aether Revolt!


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