pie chart

Steel-Cannon Pummeler (KLD)

Standard Aggro Energy RG (Gruul)



Pummeler's days as glass-cannon jank are long gone. In addition to the usual crazy-fast killing machine, Energy-abusing Creatures, and pump spells, this brew features Arlinn Kord  Flip and a little extra removal in the main.

Thanks in advance for your comments, suggestions, and questions!

WIN-CON: Smash face with Electrostatic Pummeler, using pump effects from Blossoming Defense, Brute Strength, Larger Than Life, Uncaged Fury, Arlinn Kord  Flip's +1, or Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon's +1, then using Energy counters to double, re-double, and sometimes even re-double Pummeler's total power.

ALTERNATE WIN-CON: Smash face with Bristling Hydra, Voltaic Brawler, or even Longtusk Cub ... made better with pump spells and +1/+1 counters. Burn face with Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon's -1 or Emblem.

PREVENT OPPONENT WIN-CONS: Burn Creatures with Harnessed Lightning. Burn Creatures and Planeswalkers with Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon's -1 or Emblem. Protect Creatures with Blossoming Defense.

MOVE TOWARDS THE WIN: Get in some early damage with Voltaic Brawler and Longtusk Cub.

GENERAL VALUE: Ramp, gain Energy counters, and Attack/Block like a Bear with Servant of the Conduit. Ramp and gain Energy counters with Attune with Aether. Drop 2/2 Wolfs with Arlinn Kord  Flip's 0.



  • I'm still below 50% in the mirror. If I can't figure it out, I may have to find room for Commencement of Festivities ... :-(
  • I go back and forth on Key to the City vs. Nature's Way. They both offer evasion vs. go-wide decks and Creatures with high Toughness (e.g., Ishkanah, Grafwidow and her brood). But I think the deck currently needs Removal (for the Aggro match-up) more than Rummage (for Control).



  • Arlinn Kord  Flip comes in with only three Loyalty counters, so cast her very carefully.
  • Arlinn is very versatile, so there's no one best play pattern. When ahead on board though, I tend to +1 (Pump/Vigilance/Haste) her to 6 Loyalty, then 0 (create a 2/2 Wolf) to Transform her, then -6 for the Emblem. When behind on board, I tend to flip back and forth between her front-face 0 (drop a 2/2 Wolf) and her back-face -1 (bolt to Creature or Player).
  • Manage Energy Counters carefully, as Electrostatic Pummeler needs a multiple of 3 to combo off.
  • I like casting Electrostatic Pummeler on Turn 4 with protection MUCH better than on Turn 3 without. Turn 4 Arlinn Kord  Flip followed by Turn 5 Pummeler (with Arlinn's +1) is great too.
  • Consider possible pumps before you cast Harnessed Lightning. Along those lines, make sure you're using Harnessed Lightning right, because it's a little tricky. You chose the target when you cast, then your opponent has priority and can pump, then (assuming the spell resolves) you get the Energy counters and chose how much damage to deal. Here's the Gatherer text for reference: **You choose the target creature as you cast ~. You don't choose how much Energy to pay until ~ is resolving. No player may take actions between the time you choose how much Energy to pay and the time the creature takes damage equal to the Energy paid this way. If the target creature becomes an illegal target, ~ is countered and none of its effects happen. You won't get Energy counters or be able to pay any Energy."
  • Some more Harnessed Lightning tips: Cast it earlier rather than later against Creatures that pump up during combat (e.g., Toolcraft Exemplar and Voltaic Brawler). You can pick up extra Energy counters by casting it but not dealing damage. Against a Vehicle deck, remember that a Creature can Crew in response.
  • With extra Energy counters, Longtusk Cub can get enormous at Instant speed. Because the threat of activation is so powerful, I often cast other creatures in the first main phase just to get extra Energy counters.
  • Don't attack just one Creature into if you can help it. Blessed Alliance is still a thing.
  • Liliana, the Last Hope has to be answered, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Nissa, Vital Force usually do. But I usually just race other Planeswalkers.


Shout-outs to ...

Please don't hesitate to +1 Upvote this deck if you like it ... and especially if you like it enough to put it in a folder :-)


I've played a bunch of casual games lately using different Gruul sideboards, and the results are pretty amazing: My overall win percentage with the deck is up almost 10%!

My meta is very diverse, so there are a ton of single matches. But here are the before-and-after results for match-ups I've played more than once (bold indicates match-ups that are now worse): :

  • Deck: Win % and Matches with Temur sideboard → Win % and Matches with Gruul sideboard

  • UR Miscellany (Aggro, Dynavolt, Panharmonicon, etc): Not enough data → 100% (5)
  • UB Miscellany (Dynavolt, Panharmonicon, etc): Not enough data → 100% (3)
  • Mardu Control: 60% (5) → 100% (2)
  • Naya Superfriends: 0% (2) → 100% (2)
  • Red Deck Wins: Not enough data → 100% (2)
  • RG Wolves: 100% (4) → Not enough data
  • UB Control: 33% (3) → 75% (4)
  • Grixis Emerge: 100% (4) → 67% (3)
  • Mardu Vehicles: Not enough data → 67% (3)
  • RGx Marvel: 50% (2) → 67% (3)
  • UB Aggro: Not enough data → 67% (3)
  • 5C Panharmonicon: Not enough data → 50% (4)
  • Jeskai Control: 40% (5) → 50% (4)
  • UW Flash: 29% (7) → 50% (4)
  • RG Ramp: Not enough data → 50% (2)
  • BW Aggro: 50% (2) → 40% (5)
  • RG Pummeler: 0% (3) → 33% (6)
  • BR Aggro: Not enough data → 25% (4)
  • RW Aggro: Not enough data → 20% (5)
  • BG Delirium: 67% (3) → 0% (2)
  • UG Energy: Not enough data → 0% (2)

TL;DR: Except for metas with lots of BG Delirium, I recommend not running counterspells in the sideboard. They've been fun and memorable, but they don't seem to win matches.

As always, thanks to everyone who's made comments and suggestions so far! They're all archived here or under the View Archive button.

Comments View Archive

21 says... #1

Beautiful deck! I like this list, looks really solid, +1! Would you mind if I try the deck out? Also, have you checked out the awesome spoilers for Aether Revolt? I think cards like Lightning Runner, Greenbelt Rampager, Scrapper Champion, Highspire Infusion, and Consulate Turret would probably be nice in this deck. What are your thoughts?

January 6, 2017 1:50 p.m.

clayperce says... #2

Thanks tons for the kudos, and PLEASE feel free to use it! Just please let us all know how it goes!

The sideboard of course changes a lot ... lately I've been facing a TON of Marvel decks, so I've added another Appetite for the Unnatural and also some Clip Wings to the sideboard.

I'm very excited about AER, but I haven't done any serious brewing with it. I usually only play a deck for a single season, but this one has been SO fun for me, I'm seriously considering keeping it going. But there are so many two-drops in the deck, I'm worried it's not going to be viable in a world with Fatal Push. So right now the plan is to play something like this for AER Game Day, using whatever goodies I crack in Pre-release events. And then see where the meta goes ...

In the meantime, Greenbelt Rampager and Highspire Infusion would be great for sure. Scrapper Champion has possibilities, but if I did that I think I'd go with a broader +1/+1 counter theme, maybe including stuff like Earthen Arms and Lifecrafters Gift. I hadn't seen Consulate Turret, but that could be good. Invigorated Rampage is another good option too. And Lifecrafters Bestiary has potential.

I'm not sure about Lightning Runner in this build. It looks like an awesome card, but I've avoided 5-drops in the deck (though I had 2x Verdurous Gearhulk in sideboard for a while). But it's definitely worth considering, especially if the meta moves more towards Midrange!

Cards not yet on T/O Show

Thanks again, and draw well!

January 6, 2017 2:27 p.m.

Chandrian says... #3

I feel like "Heroic Intervention" may impact the meta a lot, since it allows you to protect your stuff (I feel like hexproof is kinda important for this deck), but it's also a very strong way for the marvel decks to protect themselves...

What are your thoughts?

Heroic Intervention

January 6, 2017 4:47 p.m.

clayperce says... #4

Please take all this with healthy skepticism, but here's my $0.02:

I suspect Heroic Intervention will be HUGE for Marvel and big for Superfiends, but won't see much play in Creature-based decks. Here's why ...

  • It's great against Fumigate, but they're rare and easily played around.
  • It doesn't do anything vs. Yahenni's Expertise, which I think will see much more play than Fumigate ever did.
  • It's great against Radiant Flames and Kozilek's Return though, both of which are increasingly common.
  • For this deck in particular, Blossoming Defense is much better, because (1) the Pump effect is very relevant and (2) I only have to hold up one mana for it. Would it be nice to have more? Maybe ... but I was running a a Temur sideboard Blue for long time and though I looked at Turn Aside every single time I tweaked the 'board, it never made the cut, so probably not.
  • IMO, Selfless Spirit is better than Intervention in any deck that can play it, because (1) it's stapled to a 2/1 with Flying and (2) doesn't require folks to hold any mana up.
  • Planeswalkers probably want this card, to protect against Anguished Unmaking and Ruinous Path. And Gideon, Ally of Zendikar really wants this card, to prevent against Stasis Snare when he's a Creature.
January 6, 2017 5:42 p.m.

Chandrian says... #5


Emrakul, the Promised End, Smuggler's Copter and Reflector Mage!

This will hugely affect Standard and I'd like to know your opinion on it. I mean the strongest decks have been nerfed, so there may be an opening for this deck to the top!

January 9, 2017 6:08 p.m.

The_Grape says... #6

Check out my R/G pummeled deck and give me some feedback. I'm looking for ways to improve it.

I only have 1 hour for FNM! Let's make it quick!

Standard* The_Grape


Also, there is an instant that is: 1 mountain, give target creature +2/+1 and trample until end of turn. I feel that it would be better than Brute Strength. Sorry, but the name doesn't come to mind.

January 11, 2017 11:47 a.m.

clayperce says... #7

I had checked out and upvoted your deck a while back, but didn't really have any comments to add. Sorry.

You're probably thinking of Rush of Adrenaline. I've found the extra +1 Power boost from Brute Strength makes a ton of difference when Pummeler is going off. Though for AER Standard, I'd recommend Invigorated Rampage over both.

Good luck with your deck.

January 11, 2017 11:55 a.m.

clayperce says... #8

Some thoughts (win-losses are from the period 12/20-1/8) ...

On the bans:

  • Not sure about losing Emrakul, the Promised End. I'm 3-3 vs. Marvel and that will probably get worse since IMO Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is actually harder to deal with (Clip Wings was just great against her). I'm 0-3 vs. BG Delirium though, so that's a good thing.
  • This deck is very happy about losing Smuggler's Copter. I'm 4-3 vs. Mardu Vehicles, 2-5 vs. UW Flash, and 0-5 vs. RW Vehicles. Plus, the loss of Copter makes Arlinn Kord  Flip much better, and I just love that card :-)
  • The deck is also happy about losing Reflector Mage ... the double-hit on UW Flash is really going to hurt them.

On the upcoming meta:

  • This deck is not going to appreciate Fatal Push at all, because it has so many two-drops.
  • Even though Bx Control will be getting stronger, it's always been a good matchup for the deck (I'm 3-0 vs. Mardu control, 3-1 vs. Esper Control, and 6-3 vs UB Control).
  • I'm VERY worried about the Saheeli/Guardian combo. I'm currently 1-2 vs. Jeskai Control, and it's going to be stronger. Shifting more removal (e.g., Shock for Saheeli) to the maindeck is probably the answer, but that will of course weaken the rest of the deck ...
  • I've no idea if the Servo decks or +1/+1 Counter decks are going to be successful, but go-wide decks have always been a challenge.

Bottom line: I've no idea if the deck is going to be viable or not for AER Standard, but I plan to play it (with tweaks of course) at least through Game Day.

January 11, 2017 11:58 a.m.

The_Grape says... #9

Thank you for your help. I am definitely going to get some Invigorated Rampage's as they are obviously a direct upgrade from both adrenaline and strength.

January 11, 2017 1:07 p.m.

MisterMystic says... #11

Thanks for sideboard help! Here is my more budget version: Pummel to Death.

January 14, 2017 1:21 p.m.

MarduMarauder says... #12

I like the deck and got a similar idea off the mana source. However, in my deck, I think my pump is a little stronger and recommend that you check it out to upgrade the deck. I prefer Built to Smash and Rush of Adrenaline over something like Brute Strength because they are cheaper and allow you to combo off earlier. Also, I recommend taking out at a few copies of Harnessed Lightning and a copy of Larger Than Life for 3 or 4 copies of Highspire Infusion. In playtesting this card has been amazing because it provides both pump and energy at instant speed. Since you often don't use Harnessed Lightning for removal anyway I think that Highspire Infusion is better (though you should definitely keep a minimum of two Harnessed Lightnings in the main, probably the rest in sideboard). Along with a few other changes, like taking out Servant of the Conduit for some elephants to help make you more aggressive and a little less reliant on drawing Electrostatic Pummeler. If you want to see more I recommend that you check out my deck. I hoped my long explanation helped :)

February 6, 2017 11:05 p.m.

Please login to comment

Compare to inventory

Revision 25 (1 month ago)

+1 Mountain main
-1 Longtusk Cub main
+2 Weaver of Lightning side
+2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance side
+2 Devour in Flames side
-2 Ceremonious Rejection side
+3 Galvanic Bombardment side
+2 Appetite for the Unnatural side
+2 Nature's Way side
-2 Natural State side
-2 Key to the City side
-1 Island side
-2 Radiant Flames side
-4 Revolutionary Rebuff side
-3 Weaver of Lightning maybe
+1 Commencement of Festivities maybe
-1 Bristling Hydra maybe
-2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance maybe
-2 Devour in Flames maybe
-2 Radiant Flames maybe
and 23 other change(s)

See all