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Re-growing Pummeler

Standard Energy GU (Simic)

djnewellmit

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The essence of this deck is trying to keep Pummeler alive in an FNM-competitive deck following the banning of Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner in January 2018. My pre-ban Pummeler build was in Temur colors, Pummeler Smash, but red was really only a splash because I really wanted to have access to Fling. And since I was splashing red, I split my trample spells between Larger Than Life and Invigorated Rampage. I had considered several times to remove the red altogether before there were any rumblings of an energy-based ban, so this new deck is 're-growing' my Pummeler deck into a purely Simic build.

The first and foremost change to the deck is the number of lands I am running. While I could feel comfortable getting away with 20 lands while also running 4x Attune with Aether, I needed to increase the land count to make up for the loss of Attune. I eventually settled on 23 lands after running several probability calculations; in the end, I should only end up mulliganing 16.5%, which is 2 times in 12 games. I've added a few deserts into the land package for the benefit of Hashep Oasis, and using Desert of the Indomitable to either hedge against flooding, or another desert to sac to Hashep.

In my time playing any Pummeler variant with blue, Cartouche of Knowledge has been an all-star. This build looks to capitalize on the cartouche by playing other threats, besides Pummeler, that can really punish an opponent via flying like Bristling Hydra and Longtusk Cub.

My Temur build wasn't particularly reliant on Rogue Refiner as I had already swapped one copy out for the Pummeler-tutoring Trophy Mage. With this build, I've taken a step further by dropping one copy of Electrostatic Pummeler, but going up to 2x Trophy Mage as well as a main deck Aethersphere Harvester, which can also be tutored via the Mage. The Harvester is sometimes a more desired 3-drop artifact, especially against aggro decks that cannot attack effectively into its lifelink-capable body. The sideboard also contains a pair of Lifecrafter's Bestiary which can also be found via the Mage, and are very useful to bring in against control and midrange builds to let me dig through the deck, usually swapping out one or two Pummelers.

One addition that I consider unique in my build (and you may find it unusual) is 4x Glassblower's Puzzleknot. Every other Pummeler deck I have seen post-ban has chosen the other puzzleknot, Woodweaver's Puzzleknot, to try and fill the energy void due to its 3 energy. But in my testing, I have found the Scry 2 ability much more relevant in filling the land fixing and card draw void left by the bannings; it can act in the early game to make sure I get my third or fourth land, and in the late game I have used it several times to allow me to topdeck a Larger Than Life for the Pummeler kill. Even though it only provides 2 energy with each activation, I have found that to be sufficient every time it has shown up for me. I do tend to sideboard one copy out going into Game 2 when I will be on the draw.

The other addition for which I claim originality is my maindeck Unsummon instead of Deep Dive. I never found Deep Dive useful, and while Unsummoning my own Pummeler may hurt my tempo, it effectively answers an attack into Settle the Wreckage. I've also used the tempo-punishing of Unsummon to buy myself an extra turn or two by bouncing their large 5- and 6-CMC threats, like The Scarab God and The Locust God.

My choices for the sideboard are fairly standard for any Simic energy build.

With one Aethersphere Harvester in the maindeck, the second will come in from the side against token and aggro decks, or when I think the opponent will be playing sorcery-speed board wipes.

I don't think I've had a chance to actually cast Confiscation Coup, so I may remove it for a lower CMC option, maybe another Negate. The idea is to bring it in against The Scarab God, who is all over the place right now in standard. I've found Unsummon has been just as effective an answer to him most of the time.

I bring in 3x Greenbelt Rampager for Longtusk Cub when I will be on the draw against creature-based decks. The Cub is a great turn 2 play when you are on the play, but turn 2 on the draw needs a little bigger body to block or attack effectively into their 2 drops. I've won a few games with a Dumbo strategy (Cartouche of Knowledge + Greenbelt Rampager ).

Heroic Intervention comes in for Blossoming Defense for additional protection from sweepers.

As I mentioned in relation to my choice of Trophy Mage in the mainboard, Lifecrafter's Bestiary will come in against control or mid-range matchups in place of one or two Pummelers (depending on how much spot removal I think they will have).

Negate and Spell Pierce have tons of versatility in here, whether countering their Settle the Wreckage plainswalkers, or Approach of the Second Sun.

Finally, 2 more Unsummon in the sideboard complement the maindeck spells to give me a full playset.

If you like the build, please let me know! I will be taking this to several LGS events in the coming weeks, as well as continue to play test online. Also, if you think I may have overlooked any card choices, feel free to suggest options for both the maindeck and sideboard.

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Beware the Walking Ballistae and Chain Whirlers. It will be risky bringing this deck to Standard Showdown tomorrow, but I'm going to give it a shot. I increased Hadana's Climb  Flip by one to a 3x. I've also removed the elephants in favor of Untamed Kavu in that slot. My plan with the Kavu is to play it out on turn 2, followed by Hadana's Climb  Flip on T3. If the Kavu comes down later and is kicked, it will instantly flip the climb. That's the backup plan in case the Pummeler can't make it past all the one-damage pingers.

RESULTS: Pummeled the competition to a 4-0 victory at the Standard Showdown with 16 players. Went 8-1 in matches. Beat mono-red 2-0, beat WB knights 2-0, beat mono-blue Djinn 2-0, and beat UW Approach 2-1. More details in the comments.

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59% Casual

41% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 9 months
Exclude colors B
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Legality

This deck is not Standard legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.32
Folders Uncategorized, ixl standard
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Revision 8 See all

10 months ago)

-1 Nissa, Steward of Elements side
+1 Nissa, Steward of Elements side