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Return of Steel-Cannon Pummeler (AKH - Retired)

Casual Aggro Energy RG (Gruul)



Artifact (1)

Land (1)

Planeswalker (1)


Electrostatic Pummeler is back ... bigger and badder than ever!

I retired this deck on 6/13/2017, with a 74% win percentage (26-9 matches) in tournament and casual play. Thanks for all your comments, suggestions, and questions along the way!

The deck's got serious game against Marvel (I'm 5-2 on matches so far) ... even on the draw.

T1: Attune with Aether (2 total).
T2: Servant of the Conduit (4 total).
T3: Electrostatic Pummeler (7 total); hold Servant up for Blossoming Defense.
T4: Attack with Pummeler. Cast Invigorated Rampage , making it a 5/1 with Trample. Pay to pump Pummeler to 10/6, then to 20/16. Cast Blossoming Defense or Fling if needed.

Please note this is rare, but is not a totally Magical Christmasland scenario. Christmas happens 0.27% of the time (1 day out of 365), and the draws play out like this 3.5% of the time on the Play and 5.4% of the time on the Draw ... or 1.7/2.8% including the Blossoming Defense and 0.5/0.9% including both Blossoming Defense and Fling.


  • In: 3x Manglehorn
  • Out: 3x Bristling Hydra
  • I've actually started 'preboarding' like this. It makes the match-up vs. Marvel really easy, and doesn't seem to set me back too much against other decks.






These are all fine cards, but they don't fit my meta or playstyle as well as the ones already on the list ...

  • Arlinn Kord  Flip: Arlinn is bae, and she has been responsible for winning some memorable games. But she's EXTREMLY hard to keep alive in the current meta, so she doesn't win many matches.
  • Built to Smash: Awesome when it works, but I've been stuck with it as a dead card in my hand too many times ... wishing it pumped on Defense, or gave Trample to non-Artifact Creatures.
  • Cultivator of Blades, Glorybringer, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Samut, Voice of Dissent , and Verdurous Gearhulk : These are all great 5-drops. But so far, this deck doesn't want 5-drops.
  • Glorious End: Often, this deck needs "just one more turn" to win, and this card allows that. But it doesn't happen often enough to justify using up a card slot.
  • Greenbelt Rampager: Solid in a "generic" RG Energy build, but kind of meh with Pummeler, since it eats Energy rather than producing it.
  • Highspire Infusion : Maybe if it offered Trample or some other type of evasion ...
  • Larger Than Life: I love the card, and used it throughout Kaladesh Standard. But Fling is much better IMO ... it's is great against Zombie hordes and other clogged boards, is a great response to Removal (kind of like a Red counterspell), and generally wins games that would otherwise be unwinnable.
  • Lathnu Hellion: Solid in a super-fast or Planeswalker-infested meta. Especially with more Flings, so that you don't have to worry about it eating Energy at EOT.

Results from tournaments (e.g., Friendly Standard 5-Match League play on MTGO and tournaments at my LGS) and casual play (e.g., the Tournament Practice Room on MTGO and pick-up matches at my LGS):

Overall: 74% (26-9 matches).

Win percentages (and matches):

  • 100%: 4c Walkers (1-0), Bant Ramp (1-0), Bant Tokens (1-0), BG Eldrazi (1-0), BG Elves (1-0), BR Hellbent (1-0), BW Tokens (1-0), BW Zombies (1-0), GW Cats (1-0), Mardu Vehicles (1-0), Mono-B Zombies (1-0), Mono-R Aggro (1-0), RG Pummeler (2-0), Sultai Midrange (2-0), UB Colossus (1-0), UG Crush (1-0), UR Eldrazi (1-0)
  • 71%: Temur Marvel (5-2)
  • 50%: UR Control (1-1), UW Control (1-1)
  • 0%: Mono-B Revolt (0-1), RG Midrange (0-1), Temerge (0-2), Temur Midrange (0-1)

  • 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.
  • Consider possible pumps before you cast Harnessed Lightning. Along those lines, make sure you're using Harnessed Lightning right, because some people still don't. 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."
  • Some more Harnessed Lightning tips: Cast it earlier rather than later against Creatures that pump up during Begin Combat (e.g., Toolcraft Exemplar ) or Declare Attackers (e.g., 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 1W if you can help it. Blessed Alliance is still a thing.

If you haven't already, I recommend you drop by this thread sometime: All things Pummeler. We'd love to add your voice to the conversation! You can also just ...

Subscribe to the All things Pummeler thread

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 haven't played this deck since the Marvel ban, as I wanted to see how the meta would shake out. Unfortunately, we now live in a world filled with Walking Ballista and Flyers, so I'm putting this deck back on the shelf until HOU.

Thanks to everyone who made comments and suggestions along the way! They're all archived here or under the View Archive button below.

Comments View Archive

mccall123123 says... #1

What would you change because marvel ban? Also will you do a HOU update once spoilers are finished? What are cards that might be replaced? In other words what are the weakest links?

June 21, 2017 5:45 a.m.

clayperce says... #2

The short story:

  • Frankly, I put the deck back on the shelf after the Marvel ban.
  • Yes, I will definitely try a Pummeler deck again in HOU.
  • There's a ton of flexibility with both the Creature slots and the pump effects.
  • Pummeler itself is, by far, the weakest link.

The long story:

  • This deck had serious game against Marvel ... I was personally 5-2 (71%) in matches against it. But with Marvel out of the picture now, there's room in the meta for BG Constrictor and Mardu Vehicles, and that's a REALLY bad thing. Facing Walking Ballista is TERRIBLE (because it's an almost perfect Pummeler-killer) and the deck often struggles against Glorybringer and other Flyers (because it has no inherent Flyers nor creatures with Reach).
  • As I type this, the vast majority of the meta is a bad match-up or worse: 22% BG Constrictor (4x Ballista), 11% Mardu Vehicles (4x Glorybringer plus 2-4 other Flyers and 0-2x Ballista), 10% Mono-B Zombies (actually a decent match-up), 10% Temur Energy (4x Glorybringer and a bunch of Thopter Tokens), 8% RG Aggro (including the occasional Pummeler deck, but mostly 4x Glorybringer plus 0-4 other Flyers), and 5% UW Flyers (12-14 Flyers). Ugh.
  • On cards that could be replaced: IMO, the deck needs 4x Electrostatic Pummeler, 4x Servant of the Conduit, 4x Attune with Aether, 4x Blossoming Defense, 3-4x Harnessed Lightning and 20-22 Lands (depending on your curve) to function. But there's a ton of flexibility on the other Creature slots and the Pump/Trample/Big Damage effects. For example, this deck's got 4x Invigorated Rampage and 2x Rhonas the Indomitable for Pump and Trample effects, and 2x Fling for Big Damage. But during KLD Standard, I ran 3x Larger Than Life, 3x Brute Strength and 2x Arlinn Kord/sometimes 2x Nature's Way for the pump and Trample, and 2x Uncaged Fury for Big Damage.

Hope this helps!

June 21, 2017 7:48 a.m.

Argy says... #3

I told people that decks would make a return.

Way back before AKH.

June 21, 2017 11:27 a.m.

Agent_Fire says... #4

I would suggest add Aethersphere Harvester to the sideboard or main against fliers

July 16, 2017 1 p.m.

clayperce says... #5

Yeah, maybe. In AKH Standard, I never really encountered anything that Harnessed Lightning couldn't deal with. I'm not sure though if that'll be the case or HOU Standard.

Thanks much!

July 16, 2017 1:27 p.m.

Argy says... #6

Just so you know, clayperce, quite a few Pro decks run Aethersphere Harvester in the Sideboard.

Not just because you can bring it in against fliers. The Lifelink can save the game.

July 16, 2017 3:01 p.m.

clayperce says... #7

Really? I've never seen Aethersphere Harvester in a competitive Pummeler list. Anyone who wants a flyer has gone with Skysovereign, Consul Flagship or Glorybringer.

Or were you just saying it's generally a great card worthy of Pro consideration? If that's what you meant, then yeah, sure. It's a great card.

July 16, 2017 3:17 p.m.

Agent_Fire says... #8

I have a bad run against zombies at the FMN and the only thing that caused me to last to about turn 13 was my mainboard Aethersphere Harvester because all my local stores are out of Bristling Hydra.

July 16, 2017 5:54 p.m.

Argy says... #9

In Pummeler.

You can keep spending to keep yourself out of trouble until you get your pieces together.

July 17, 2017 8:50 a.m.

clayperce says... #10

I think we may be talking past each other :-)

I know it's a fine card. But you've seen Pro (or really, any competitive) Pummeler decks with Aethersphere Harvester?!? Because I'd love to see those lists!

July 17, 2017 9:03 a.m.

clayperce says... #11

Yeah, Zombies can be rough for sure! I was normally pulling a couple Bristling Hydras out vs. Zombies, just to lower my curve. Good luck (and skill) in the rematch!

July 17, 2017 9:06 a.m.

Argy says... #12

clayperce from where I'm sitting I understand what you're saying.

Unfortunately I'm not like you in that I'll just read stuff and not keep a record of where I saw it.

July 17, 2017 9:27 a.m.

clayperce says... #13

Ok, no worries. Thanks though; I'll definitely keep an eye out!

July 17, 2017 9:45 a.m.

Eyeknifeyou says... #14

Why not use Ambuscade instead of fling?

September 17, 2017 12:33 p.m.

clayperce says... #15

First, because Ambuscade didn't come out until HOU, and this is a deck from AKH Standard.

But I would have MUCH preferred Fling anyways ... Ambuscade can't hit opponents in the face.

September 17, 2017 1:45 p.m.

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This deck is Casual legal.

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Avg. CMC 2.15
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+2 Mountain main
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