G/R Energy by Leonardo Luzardo Soares at GP Porto Alegre Trial
In this 2 deck format (3 if we’re being generous), any new type of strategy is very welcome. This G/R Energy deck is a newer version of the deck that was picking up some traction at Pro Tour Kaladesh. It’s much closer to an aggro-combo deck than a pure aggro deck, due to the incredible damage output of the deck on any one turn. Doing something individually powerful seems to be the way to go in this Standard format, and this G/R Energy deck might be the deck to mix up the format.
Greenbelt Rampager, Longtusk Cub, and Voltaic Brawler are all good, solid beaters that come down early. All can attack through common blockers in the format like Whirler Virtuoso (assuming Cub has a +1/+1 counter). These cards allow the deck to pressure the opponent’s life total early, which helps massively with the second part of the game: the combo phase. Electrostatic Pummeler is an extremely high variance card. At times it will be a 1/1 for 3 mana, and others it will be an instant win for 3 mana, when paired with the right cards. Once the opponent’s life total has been brought down by the deck’s early creatures, Pummeler will threaten lethal more times than not in future turns, due to the suite of pump spells available.
Most of these pump spells are bad cards on their own, but when positioned like burn spells can be very effective. Invigorated Rampage and Larger Than Life are both very unimpressive by not pumping toughness and being sorcery-speed respectively, but push through the most damage of any pump spell in the format. In order to avoid a stream of chump blockers, Invigorated Rampage or Larger Than Life is frequently needed.
Highspire Infusion is another great addition in the deck, and I think it merits more copies in the mainboard. It pumps 1 less than Larger Than Life, but it also gets you 2/3 of the way to another Electrostatic Pummeler activation. Blossoming Defense is the “most playable” pump spell in the format, and helps non-Bristling Hydra creatures protect themselves against removal spells and add damage during combat.
This deck operates a lot like Modern (and Legacy) Infect. It wants to land early creatures, apply some pressure on the opponent, and eventually force the opponent’s hand in combat, where pump spells finish the job. Unlike Infect, however, the deck is very capable of going wide. Don’t overcommit to killing your opponent in the early game, and the deck will do the rest for you by presenting lower-risk opportunities as the game goes on.
Here are the changes I would make going forward:
+1 Longtusk Cub
This is day 82 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 81 here, where we featured a Modern format staple that looks to apply the beats and deny mana.
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