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Steel-Cannon Pummeler (KLD - Retired)

Standard Aggro Energy RG (Gruul)

clayperce


Description

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 and a little extra removal in the main.

I retired this deck on 1/9/2017, with a 55% win percentage in tournament and casual play. Thanks for all your comments, suggestions, and questions along the way!

WIN-CON: Smash face with Electrostatic Pummeler, using pump effects from Blossoming Defense, Brute Strength, Larger Than Life, Uncaged Fury , Arlinn Kord's +1, or Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon  Flip '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  Flip 's -1 or Emblem.

PREVENT OPPONENT WIN-CONS: Burn Creatures with Harnessed Lightning. Burn Creatures and Planeswalkers with Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon  Flip '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's 0.

SIDEBOARD:

MAYBEBOARD:

  • 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).

GREAT CARDS I'M NOT USING AND WHY:

GENERAL TIPS:

  • Arlinn Kord 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 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.

POSTBOARD:


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 :-)

Updates

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

SpyGuy007 says... #1

Have you considered Verdurous Gearhulk ? Would work well in buffing up the hydra, or just make the gearhulk bigger.

March 11, 2017 8:19 p.m.

clayperce says... #2

SpyGuy007,
Yeah, I ran 1x Verdurous Gearhulk mainboard and 2x in the sideboard for a little while, then I moved to 2x in the sideboard, then to 0x. Lots of folks liked the card a LOT, but I found he slowed the deck more than I wanted.

Btw, Gearhulk has a brief mention in the Strategy and Card Choices section, under GREAT CARDS I'M NOT USING AND WHY: Cultivator of Blades is a great five-drop, enabling a +3/+3 for the whole team on Turn 6. But Verdurous Gearhulk enables +4/+4 on a single attacker on Turn 5, which is just better for this deck. And I'm not running it either.

I frankly have no idea if it'd be any good in the deck now, in AER Standard.

Thanks though!

March 11, 2017 10:23 p.m.

clayperce says... #3

All,
Thought this was extremely cool: Josh Newell's Pummeler deck took 1st place at SCG Classic Dallas last weekend!

March 18, 2017 12:12 p.m.

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