The main strategy is to deal massive damage with Reckless Fireweaver by spamming the board with Thoptor tokens. This can be done slowly with normal ETB triggers, sped up by using Displace or Essence Flux for more ETB triggers, paying the extra mana to generate energy counters with Era of Innovation to use Whirler Virtuoso's ability multiple times, or made into an infinite loop with Whirler Virtuoso, Panharmonicon, and Decoction Module .

The big combo works by having some combination of either two Panharmonicons or two Decoction Module s and then just playing a Whirler Virtuoso. The ETB will trigger 3 Energy from the Virtuoso itself which will double because of Panharmonicon and then the Decoction Module will add another on the ETB which Panharmonicon will double again for 8 energy altogether. You can spend 3 of the energy to gain a Thopter which will trigger the Module again for 2 energy leaving you with 7. You can spend 3 of the 7 to add another Thopter which will trigger the module again adding another 2 which leaves you with 6. You have enough to do it four more times and be left with 2 energy, but then it stops after only dealing 7 damage (assuming you also have just one Fireweaver).

I overlooked how Panharmonicon would be adding an extra trigger of the damage from the Fireweaver since I was mostly concerned about tracking the energy counters. This scenario would yield twice as much damage making it 14 since two ETB effects happen every time instead of one. That's considerably scarier than I had originally thought because you don't even need to go infinite to kill someone on turn 5. With this I'm also certain that I'm going to be adding in at least 2 of the Salivating Gremlins because when an artifact enters the battlefield and triggers it's +2/+0 ability it would actually be adding +4/+0 instead. This is some powerful stuff. I'm pretty sure the same is true for Territorial Gorger . If you have Panharmonicon, almost every creature entering the battlefield either has it's own energy on ETB or Decoction Module adds it and those do get repeated which are separate triggers to trigger the Gorger separately. Bomat Courier and Filigree Familiar will buff Salivating Gremlins only, but if you have Panharmonicon and Decoction Module then both of them get buffed twice from just that one creature for +4/+0 and +4/+4. If you can activate Era of Innovation then the Gorger will grow even more. Neat.

Having a second Panharmonicon or a second Module will generate more than 3 energy per ETB effect once everything resolves which means you can now afford to do this an infinite number of times. If you don't have the Fireweaver, you can just swing out on your next turn with a million tokens but you could get board wiped and get really upset. Like, table flip upset. You're supposed to make the other guy flip the table.

If you only have one Panharmonicon and one Module out, but also have Era of Innovation you should be able to afford a few extra triggers of Innovation to gain energy for more Thopters to edge in a little more damage. Of course if you have an Essence Flux handy then you can just bounce the Virtuoso and start all over again to get 7 more damage in.

These scenarios are all possible as early as turn 5, and if you don't have the ability to go lethal on turn 5 you can at least attack with a ton of Flyers on turn 6 to finish them off.

Turn 1: Mountain

Turn 2: Island, Decoction Module

Turn 3: Mountain, Decoction Module

Turn 4: Island, Panharmonicon

Turn 5: Mountain, Reckless Fireweaver, Whirler Virtuoso

Waiting for turn 5 to play any creatures could get you killed, but it limits the possibility of spot removal and board wipes before you finish setting up, and there's little to stop you from winning at that point no matter what your life total is (other than 0). The cool part is that if both of your creatures resolve, you can simply activate the Virtuoso's ability in response to any spot removal and as they resolve on top of the removal spell you can keep adding more infinitely to finish the job anyway. A counterspell is about the only way you could go wrong if you've made it this far.

Output Chart

This chart is data collected from 15 different play tests against no opponent. The goal was to find out how many turns it will take to obtain a one turn kill utilizing the various combo pieces of the deck. I was hoping to find out what parts if any are not necessary to the process. Of course an opponent in the way can bring any number of alterations to this data, and I also ignored any damage from turns prior to the lethal turn in question. I was going to track how many games there were in which I had to mulligan, but out of 15 tests I only had to do it once. The colors just help to highlight what cards were in play and what overall effect they had. I was pleased that most of the time when either Gremlin was on the board they did their job beautifully and would be able to attack for a monstrous amount of damage, and the same goes for the damage capability of the Fireweaver since it hits all opponents and proves disgustingly effective for multiplayer.

I found that doubling up on similar effects was a great way to go since it was very unlikely to win with the same exact setup. This makes it harder for your opponent to decide what takes priority as the biggest threat. As in most cases the biggest wrench that could be thrown into this machine is a well placed Counterspell that stops the wheel from churning in the first place. This makes Blue the best candidate for stopping you. Spot removal would be the next thing to worry about, especially if you are going down the Gremlin path and need those one or two attackers to hit home. White will have the most answers with cards that destroy attacking creatures, destroy artifacts, and exile permanents, but of course Red and Black will have some answers of their own. Green will have the least effective responses to your strategy in their main board but will likely bring in some Artifact removal from the sideboard. The nice thing is that there are 10 total setup pieces in the deck and you really only need any combination of two of them to explode. Panharmonicon would get wrecked first as it boosts the effectiveness of literally everything, and Decoction Module is a close second as it functions as your main battery. Innovation is nice and the card draw can really come in handy, but it'll probably be left alone.

Supporting cards include Bomat Courier which is one of the more interesting new creatures of the set. It's a fancy version of Raging Goblin that builds up several cards before you destroy it on command to refill your hand. The early hits you can get in with it lower the required damage to win without the infinite combo and could help you edge out a win if you are behind by giving you card advantage.

In addition to the main energy combo, Decoction Module itself has a means of returning a creature to your hand to save it from removal and most likely regain it's ETB effect like on a Virtuoso. This thing is of vital importance even if you only have one on the table. Three on the table could produce an infinite number of Thopters even without Panharmonicon, but the likelihood of that is pretty slim so I wouldn't wait for it.

Salivating Gremlins are nice here since the tokens will not have Haste. If I can get 3-5 tokens in one turn which is very doable a couple of different ways, then a Gremlin on the board would gain between 6 and 10 extra damage and Trample making him an 8/3 or a 12/3 which should be enough to finish your opponent off with one attack if you don't quite have enough ETB triggers to do the job without combat.

Territorial Gorger pairs very nicely with everything that's going on in the deck, and so does Salivating Gremlins. They both could work out very well because so many separate triggers of Energy counters will make this guy grow and so will all the Thopters entering the battlefield for the Gremlin. Two together would be huge Trample damage. I like the possibilities, and the Gremlins are slightly cheaper so you could drop them on turns 3 and 4, and then start dropping tokens on turn 5 and beyond. Not as fast as the main strategy but it's still a great plan B.

Playtesting with the Gorger has shown that he is an absolute monster. This guy absolutely steals the show since he pairs so well with so many different things. Era of Innovation and Decoction Module gives 3 energy for 1 mana every time a creature hits which pairs so nicely with the Virtuoso. By turn 6 you can swing with a 12/12 Trampler that only gets bigger and swings harder the more land you have. I'm ok with this.

Aether Hub is actually sort of a weapon. If you have a Territorial Gorger , you will get +2/+2 for your Gorgers until end of turn just by using your land drop. Of course there are many other instances of energy building that can cause way more bonus damage in addition to this which makes me pretty happy. It's almost like Grove Rumbler but easily repeatable. It also functions as a mana fixer, but so far that hasn't been a problem.

Pia Nalaar is kind of, meh. You can sink mana into her ability to buff up an artifact creature like a token or a Bomat Courier. She's a cheap means of generating a token and can be bounced to create more. Stopping a creature from blocking is ok, but this deck isn't designed to do much aggro damage with Tokens and doesn't care if most of its creatures die while defending since they have exhausted their purpose once they hit the battlefield.

Filigree Familiar is a cute little fox that adds life gain to the deck while also triggering several ETB effects. Panharmonicon means you gain 4 life, it triggers Era of Innovation as well as Decoction Module, it can be bounced several ways to repeatedly gain extra life, and if it dies you get to draw a card. Solid all around.

Displace can be huge by granting the ETB effect of two creatures in one swoop. You could use it to save a Virtuoso and a Fireweaver from a board wipe that would have otherwise prevented you from winning. Essence Flux is nice for this as well, but a Virtuoso or Fireweaver on their own is pretty terrible. I like the idea of saving both, even though it is possible to win on the same turn that you play a Virtuoso if you have the rest of your setup.

Era of Innovation is another energy battery that can be activated many many times in a turn and allow you to flood the board with more Thopters than you could have without it. If you have only this and Panharmonicon, you can still cheaply build up a ton of energy after each creature drop. The creature causes the trigger of Innovation to activate whether you pay for it or not (if you don't just nothing happens) which means you get two opportunities to pay the mana for 2 energy from each creature drop because of Panharmonicon. This would be two instances of an energy gain for Territorial Gorger as well.

The sideboard has ways of digging through your deck a bit faster if you are having trouble against control or board wipes. Madcap Experiment could save you or kill you if you are missing a Panharmonicon on turn 5, you could play it and drop one for free for just 4 mana and then follow up with a Virtuoso from your hand to finish your combo.

Chief of the Foundry is a great reprint for this kind of deck. Turning all your tokens into 2/2's or possibly 3/3's allow you to win the old fashioned way by just attacking. I moved this to sideboard since it doesn't have an ETB effect. I was torn about this or Filigree Familiar but I'm pretty sure the repeatable life gain is always going to be useful and the Chief doesn't seem as primary as I thought he would be. If my goal was to win by attacking with Thopters every turn then it would be different, but I want to kill with the Fireweaver or the Gremlins.

Padeem, Consul of Innovation is pretty much just there to thwart targeted artifact removal like someone trying to smash your Panharmonicon to smithereens. That would suck.

Ceremonious Rejection is a possible answer to threats from the counter spell department. Nothing surprising here.

Dynavolt Tower helps add Energy counters and gives you a way to deal with Planeswalkers, extra face damage, or just picking off a creature with 3 or less toughness. There aren't a ton of spells to activate it's energy battery, but there are plenty of other things that can add energy to give you fuel for the lightning.

Harnessed Lightning adds a bit of targeted burn that also adds energy to the mix, if nothing else it's just 3 energy for 2 mana which is exactly enough to get the engine going if you don't have any other way to do it.

Demolish can get rid of several scary lands before they can activate and cause trouble. Westvale Abbey  Flip is always a good target, but any mana fixing lands or mana rocks like Hedron Archive are worthy targets too.

Built to Smash can crank up the damage a bit on a Thopter or a Gremlin if you need to go that route. If I ever do end up tossing in Wandering Fumerole this is the card that would come in with it for that cheap extra damage.

And that pretty much does it. A fun new Izzet Thopter deck to replace pretty much everything that goes away once Kaladesh releases since all of the staple cards were from Origins. I feel this can be more powerful since it offers an infinite combo possible by turn 5 if you hit your cards right, but feels a bit weaker if you can't get there. I love how the Gremlins fit into the mix though and the two together form a powerful team. I'm not sure yet if Energy management is going to be a pain in the ass, but I'm sure it will be. This is a pretty straight forward use of it since I really only care about putting it into one card.

Thanks for reading, drop some comments if you have any thoughts or questions and don't forget to rock that +1 button :)



ArmorEuro says... #1

Wouldn't it be better to play Wandering Fumarole over Highland Lake since the both enter tapped, both make same mana but the fumarole gives you another out for damage or blocking

September 18, 2016 8:35 a.m.

clayperce says... #2

This is really elegant; nice work!

I'm with ArmorEuro on Wandering Fumarole. That card is just so nice in a long game. Another Land you might want to consider as well: Ruins of Oran-Rief?

Draw well!

September 18, 2016 8:49 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #3

I had gone back and forth on that one, and yes you absolutely could. I used to have it in there before I found Aether Hub and I took it out because I never actually activated it. I suppose in the right situation it could be useful but I was always spending most of my mana every turn and lethal damage always occurred before too many turns went by. I didn't see the need to add another $8-$16 to the deck. They are absolutely interchangeable though if you already had them.

I'd feel better about them if I had pump spells and could edge in a good amount of damage as a plan C. As it is the only downside I see is that Wandering Fumerole is to be feared when you see it because tricks are expected and it would draw out some kind of burn or removal and I'd really rather keep my land alive. It could be a nice bluff, or your opponent might just not have an answer to it. I'm just playing it safe here, there's plenty of other things that deal a crazy amount of damage.

All that said, I have only run through testing on the site here since I don't have it in paper for obvious reasons so I don't know exactly what will happen. I'm sure I'll find out in a few weeks if the Fumerole has a place, but for now I'll save a few bucks with the Lake. Thanks for your input, I do appreciate it :)

September 18, 2016 8:55 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #4

Thanks clayperce :)

I hadn't even considered the Ruins, could be nice on a Bomat Courier or just a Thopter for a little damage. I really wish that thing didn't come in tapped though lol. Hmm. I'll try that out too, it'll really come down to how often I (or my opponent) actually survive into mid game. My intention is to unfairly win with the Virtuoso combo and combat doesn't matter, or Trample over them with a gigantic anteater (Gremlin) or two.

I'm really excited to put this thing through the gauntlet and test it in paper against my other decks and my friends at our weekly game. We always build stronger and stronger decks that challenge each other, I feel like this one is really special.

The sideboard is where I really anticipate make changes. I feel like I'm going to need some kind of board wipe, that new one that does 3 to everything after you sacrifice an artifact should probably be in there.

September 18, 2016 9:06 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #5

Now that I think of it, why not just 4 Spirebluff Canal? I was worried about how they would be coming in tapped after your first few turns, but Highland Lake and Wandering Fumarole always come in tapped. The answer is the $7 sticker price vs $.21 lol, but that would be the ideal thing to bump in quantities because they can come in untapped. I hate how expensive land is as singles... Oh well, I usually get my hands on them slowly before they cycle out.

September 18, 2016 12:24 p.m.

The concept behind this deck is very similar to my deck, "Attack of the Robo-Goblins," which I playtested your deck against in order to test the strength of my own deck. When I saw your decklist and detailed descriptions of the combos, I immediately thought to myself that this would be a great deck, and I couldn't wait to see how mine would fare against it. I'm also a huge fan of Reckless Fireweaver, although my own deck doesn't use it, so props to you for actually making the effort to build a deck around it.

Unfortunately, I quickly noticed that your deck has some pretty major problems, in that you barely have any lands to cover the very steep mana-curve you have set for yourself. You have almost as many 3-cost cards as you have 1 and 2-cost cards combined, and that's without even counting the 7 extra 4-cost cards in there. Not to mention that half of your 1-cost cards are situational instants, and only 4 of your 10 2-cost cards are even creatures. Even if you did manage to draw them, those 4 2-cost creatures are your Fireweavers (ie: The very cards that the deck is built around,) so you'll basically be letting damage through until you can finally get out a 3-cost defender... unless you're willing to block with them and miss out on your only chance to make your deck work before you draw another one, which is not likely to happen soon enough given as you have no drawing power, tutoring, or even scry. And that's without mentioning the biggest problem with this deck, which is that you only have 20 lands. You've obviously put a lot of thought into this deck and how the cards interact with each other, but how are you ever going to afford anything unless you pick up a perfect hand?

I would suggest adding some more land (most of the pro-tour decks run between 22-26 these days,) and dropping the number of 3-cost cards in your deck. For as much as you might like its synergy with Panharmonicon, I'd seriously recommend dropping Filigree Familiar from the deck altogether. By using those 2 free spaces for lands, you could critically improve the likelihood of getting 3-cost cards. I know, it's super cute, but you are already severely overloaded on 3-cost cards, and it's just not an important addition to the deck relative to everything else. I would also recommend swapping out your blue control cards (Essence Flux and Displace) almost entirely. That probably sounds pretty bad, but I've prepared 5 compelling reasons as to why you should do it anyway:

1 - They're taking up 8 cards in the deck.

2 - They don't fit in with the theme of the deck whatsoever. You don't even have a single Spirit-type card in your deck that could benefit from the +1/+1 effect of Essence Flux.

3 - Sure, you might be able to save your Fireweavers with them, but there are plenty of ways to do that which don't require you bouncing the cards back to your hand, repaying their mana cost, and also tolerating another turn of summoning sickness and missed combo opportunities.

4 - Although you could possibly use them to grant you more triggers, you're not going to be alive long enough to actually set up your combo and get your boardstate to the point where you could actually benefit from using them, or even have enough mana AND spare life-points laying around that you could ever afford to play Displace instead of a better card.

5 - A full playset of Built to Smash would serve you much better, save more lives, and do more damage than both of these cards combined, AND you could use the extra 4 cards of space for something else more important (ie: more land, 2 more Era of Inventions, some scrying, better creature protection, etc... you really are going to want at least a full playset of Era of Invention with this deck, in any case.)

Anyways, I hope some of this helps you improve your deck's effectiveness. Of course, do take everything I've said with a grain of salt; it could be that I just got a bunch of really terrible hands in playtesting. Perhaps everything works perfectly, and I'm simply mistaken about the lack of lands, the overprevalence of 3-cost cards, etc... To my own credit, however, I have been playing this game for almost as long as I've been alive, and I do not have any other reason to believe I am mistaken other than simply being a bit rusty, but feel free to let me know what you think of my suggestions. Overall, I'd still say your deck seems pretty well designed, just that it needs a few adjustments to run consistently. Enjoy!

October 17, 2016 3:48 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #7


Oh, how I do like salt. Salt brings out more flavor in everything ;)

I'm excited that you've provided such a thoughtful response which I will respond to more thoroughly when I get home. I've tried a few of the things you spoke about and will explain my findings.

Thank you for your insights, I really do appreciate it :)

October 17, 2016 4:34 p.m.

No problem! :) I'm glad to see that you've noticed my comment, and I look forward to seeing what you think about my suggestions. Again, I am by no means a pro-player or some kind of expert, but hopefully some of the adjustments I've suggested will be useful for you.

October 17, 2016 7:27 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #9


Alright here we go,

First I'll preface by saying that this deck (along with a few others) was created prior to the Kaladesh pre-release to prepare myself for card interactions if I ended up getting Red and Blue favorable cards (which I was hoping for). I got the exact opposite with Black and White, but I did play against a few builds that used these exact interactions so I knew exactly how to dismantle it. Whenever I build a new deck, I also typically structure it based around 20-20-20 (20 land, 20 creatures, 20 spells/other) and then mold it and shape it as needed through testing which is where the 20 land started from. I typically end up having to add at least one more, but it's a good base line since I can start by having 4 copies of 10 other cards exactly to make a 60 card deck and then through rigorous playtesting find out what cards I'd like to see more of, what I'm seeing too much of, and what might help fill in any gaps. That's how card counts go down from 4 to 3 or even 2 and how some get removed completely. Mana hasn't been a challenge, so it's just stayed at 20. When I got my cards that day I got literally nothing for this deck. The only thing at all was two copies of the Fireweaver and not one single card other than new Kaladesh Islands and Mountains. I opened 14 packs that day. I did, however, get a ton of cards for two other decks so I put this project on the back burner until I finished assembling the others. I'm pretty happy with how those play, so I'm only now ready to Proxy basically this whole deck to get a real feel for how it stacks up to other Standard builds locally, and then I can make the necessary adjustments before buying singles. Panharmonicon alone was going to cost me $20 for a set and over the last few weeks it's gone down to $10-$12 for a set so I'm ok with being patient, lol. I have a home game that involves 8-12 people every week so I get plenty of testing on Mondays :)

Moving on,

I agree that it needs a little more land. Not 26, but I think 22 will suffice. Mana issues aren't really the issue, but nobody likes to mulligan down to 5 or be stuck waiting to draw another land. I only need a few things to happen and then the damage takes off dramatically, but ordering makes a difference and so does disruption by your opponent. Starting hand plays a big part in this, but just 3-4 mana is all it really takes which happens often enough, so keeping a hand with 2 different colored mana and the appropriate combo pieces or just a hand with 3 mana and a few pieces is usually good enough. Adding two more mana will increase these odds and also increase the odds of drawing into them when needed which I completely agree is necessary. The second point that I agree with is that Filigree Familiar is cute, but not entirely necessary. The life gain mitigates some of the damage likely taken while setting up, and as a chump blocker he replaces himself with a card which are not bad things, and the fact that I can repeat the life gain with a bounce effect makes it even better. However, in the grand scheme both of those things don't end up making enough of a difference so I feel they are the best slot to change back into land. So far I feel we are on the same page.

Here is the main reason I disagree about Built to Smash. Great card, but this build doesn't benefit that much from the three damage as a combat trick because it will produce a lot more with Flux (I'll explain how) and the only real attacking done is by two creatures that not only already have trample (or gain it), but for just one to three mana can exude a lot more damage than just +3/+3, or even +9/+9 if I managed three BtS and I can do it with just one card. I'll come back to this. That said, I do already have 3 copies in the sideboard, but they are mainly there if attacking with the Thoptors ends up the strategy to win. I'd swap in those and the Chief if I want an aerial aggro win.

So the first thing you've overlooked is that both Displace and Essence Flux are not returning anything to my hand. The only thing that returns to my hand is the activated ability on Decoction Module for 4 mana. This probably won't happen much, but it's there if the opportunity presents itself. Flux and Displace remove them and then bring them right back. This does work defensively, but it can be used offensively as a combat trick for the Gremlins or as a means of melting your opponents life with the Fireweaver combo if you have it. I think you short changed how much damage all of this is doing, even if you don't have the full setup. I'll explain, and this will go over why I think Flux is more bang for your buck than Smash for one mana.

The Aggro Win (5 turns):

Let's say you have one of each Gremlin that you played on turns 3 and 4, you played a Module on turn 2, and then on turn 5 you play a Fireweaver and a Virtuoso. You've got bodies early on to discourage attacking, you wont be dead that quick. Two energy from the Gremlins following the Module, then another two from the Fireweaver and Virtuoso makes 4, then another 3 from the Virtuoso himself makes 7 energy available going into combat on turn 5 and no mana left untapped. Keep in mind that on turn 5 those Gremlins are able to attack. You've gotten three separate instances of energy gain already on turn 5, which gives the Gorger +6/+6. That's as big as two copies of Smash and you didn't have or need mana to get it nor did you need to have them in your hand. At this point you are attacking with a 2/3 Gremlin that doesn't have Trample and an 8/8 Gremlin that does. The smaller one will likely get chump blocked and then all or nothing may get thrown under the Gorger. Then (after defenders are declared), you can remove 3 energy to create a Thopter with the Virtuoso which triggers the other Gremlin for +2/+0 and gains an energy back from the Module which gives the Gorger another +2/+2 and leaving you with 5 energy. You can do this again to go down to 2 energy and then gain another back to be able to do it a third time so the Gorger has a total of +12/+12 (six separate triggers of energy gained) and the Salivating Gremlin has +6/+0 and they both have trample. 3 artifacts entered the Battlefield so the Fireweaver has also dealt 3 damage which means you've got 22 Trample damage headed towards 17 life points with a 14/14 Gorger and an 8/3 Gremlin. Even without a Fireweaver that's a lot of damage that is repeatable on subsequent turns by bouncing for ETB triggers. You really should wait to do this after defenders are declared and your opponent will likely underestimate what is about to come steamrolling through. See why the +3/+3 is just a drop in the bucket? This is a great alternative to the infinite combo which can occur in the same number of turns with a completely different starting hand. Not every deck has different win conditions achievable in just 5 turns. The cool part is that both can happen in smaller chunks over a few turns with smaller attacks or fewer ETB combo damage triggers or all at once in a blaze of explosive glory. Also, in this example the Fireweaver is completely extra, so you can do this without him meaning it's possible to swing out for a win with only 3-4 cards very quickly. You could just as easily have saved the two mana for an Essence Flux or two and attacked for literally twice as much damage from all the extra triggers.

So here's where Displace and Flux are better than Smash in my opinion, starting with Flux. For the same one mana (just a different color) you could exile and then return a Virtuoso to the battlefield. Even if you had nothing else but one of either Gremlin on the battlefield, you'd be gaining energy so the Gorger gets +2/+2 anyway and using the 3 energy to create a Thopter gives you +2/+0 on the Salivating Gremlin and that's the minimum effect you would get from it. Sure that's one less damage than Smash but they still would have Trample. If you had both then you're gaining 4 extra trample damage and it's already better but if you have more combo pieces the extra damage goes even higher (almost exponentially). With Smash you'll never get more than +3/+3, and as mentioned Flux can even "save" any one of your dudes if you needed it to. Smash might get out of burn range or lethal damage from attacking or blocking, but spot removal is spot removal which makes it pale in comparison. I'm not upset at all that the creatures aren't Spirits and won't get a +1/+1 counter. I'd probably be bouncing it again anyways and it would just fall off. Creatures that aren't Gremlins won't really need to be attacking either so I'd be left with plenty of chump blocking Thopters for defense. I wouldn't want to endanger the Fireweavers or Virtuosos by leaving them open to get picked off by any combat tricks. I pretty much treat them as Enchantments that do stuff.

Again, Smash is absolutely not a bad card, and 4 damage in the air on a Thopter could be big, but not that big. If you can't keep things on your board you are probably losing anyway and neither card will save you, but I just think Flux does it much better. Disperse can be even more dynamic if you actually have two ETB targets like Pia or the Virtuoso. Hitting both of them and then returning to the battlefield gives you three creatures back all at once which as explained can make for a ton of extra damage. The cool part is that you can do this deceptively after blockers have been assigned to kick out a ton of extra damage that your opponent may not be expecting at instant speed, again doing a lot more potential damage than Smash or even direct player damage from other cards. Sometimes you only have one good target for Disperse but that's ok, it's almost like having 8 copies of Flux except the extras cost more but with the bonus of being able to add another target.

Finally, the biggest draw back to Smash is that you can't use it defensively since it specifies "target attacking creature". It's an aggressive card that likes aggro but doesn't have that gentle side that wants to keep things safe. I actually overlooked that one myself, but I think that brings everything together for my argument there.

Saying that these cards don't fit the theme whatsoever I found a bit off the mark. The artwork, flavor, and small benefit of a counter don't all fit, sure, but the benefits and synergy fit like a glove and are absolutely what I built the deck to do. They supplement the fact that there are obstacles that will keep you from getting a full setup like missed draws, removal, disruption, counters, etc... by allowing even small components of the combo to work independently from the others. Panharmonicon is the most likely to get removed since it clearly benefits every single other permanent I have (literally doubling energy gain, power and toughness bonuses on the Gremlins, and damage from the Fireweaver). Flux and Disperse both give me the opportunity to use a card and some mana to get that extra trigger just like Panharmonicon would. If I happen to get to use them AND have Panharmonicon then you and everyone else at the table (if it's multiplayer) would just die slowly as everything on the stack resolves. That is why they are so important and fit as well as they do.

So that's my counter on that subject. You may still disagree, and that's fine, but I've said my peace and I stand behind it. Absolutely no hard feelings.

Now, Era of Innovation I'm not sure can go up to a full playset nor do I think it really needs to. I think the 6 energy to draw 3 cards could be amazing, especially since gaining energy is so easy. However, the energy gain by itself isn't quite as reliable as the Module since you have to pay mana for it. I do like how you can sink excess mana into it, but you only need one copy on the board to do that since there is often multiple creatures hitting the board in a turn to use it and you only have so much mana. I feel like having more than two would just mean that I might end up drawing into another copy of it instead of something more important and that just doesn't gain me anything extra. I want to be sinking my energy into Thopters and I want to be sinking my mana into energy for more Thoptors, not necessarily sinking my mana into energy to draw more cards. It may be nice to do once to fill my hand back up to try and recover from something drastic, but at that point it means that I'm behind and won't be able to recover. That aspect doesn't really excite me and I'm not sure I want more reasons to be in that position. Three copies may make sense and may be a better balance, I don't know yet. I'm not disagreeing with you exactly, I'm just not too sure change is needed here just yet.

As far as playtesting, and I'm not knocking you down at all here, but I'm pretty sure the order in which cards are played and the timing of when to use them (as I intended) was probably not ideal in favor of this deck. When my friends try to play my decks (which happens a lot) that is always the biggest and most noticeable shortcoming: misplays. Again, I'm not saying you don't know how to play, but I'm trying to say you probably don't think like I do because I fall pretty far and away from the normal play style you'd see on the pro tour. In fact, when I first started going to FNM I lost so bad because I wasn't used to playing against people that played competitively and I found myself even saying out loud to "think about what you would normally do, and don't". I've since learned how to use my unpredictable card choices and play style to my advantage and do much better, but it makes my thought process a lot less obvious. I wish this website had a way to actually challenge other users or at least do side to side play testing with multiple decks instead of just using two tabs, but I suppose there is always MTGO and XMagic or whatever. Even a way to spectate a play test with a chat window to visibly demonstrate what is happening or what is meant to happen would be cool.

Anyway, I believe that comments on everything brought up and even flew off on a few tangents that sort of explain my thought process. I did make the change to add two lands in place of two Familiars, but I'm not sold on changing out either Flux or Disperse for, well, anything. If there was another card that did the same thing for less mana or with a different benefit than a +1/+1 counter that I'll never see I'd be very interested in that, but otherwise I just don't think I can be convinced that anything else would be more effective. However, Disperse would be the one to go between the two since it costs more if there was another 1 or 2 cost option that somehow worked out better in the style that I want. I think you'll agree that Smash is not that answer (for me personally) but I wouldn't be upset at anyone that built this deck and put them in there. Actually, the one card that I think could wiggle it's way onto the main board is Padeem, Consul of Innovation since it's a decent sized body that is big enough to withstand a lot of things besides black removal or white exile and it protects my fragile combo pieces that like to sit at the side of the table and do work. I do see him as mostly a multiplayer card though since I don't have to be quite as concerned about speed and will have more time to set up since I wouldn't be the only target at the table. Not until game two anyway, they wouldn't like seeing what happens if I'm left to do whatever I want for 8 or 9 turns.

Thanks again for your insights, I hope you don't take anything I've said in response the wrong way. I'm not at all saying that you are wrong about anything but I think that many changes would take the deck in a direction that I wouldn't particularly enjoy. I know that I'm not the world's best deck builder and probably wouldn't ever make it past the first day at a pro tour, but I do have a lot of fun playing decks like this locally and typically finish anywhere between 10th and 3rd at my LGS for FNM which is ok with me. I like to think I have more fun than my opponent even when I lose :)

October 18, 2016 5:03 a.m.

XDhasRisen says... #10

What amount vile aggregate for colorless triggers

December 16, 2016 8:55 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #11

Hm. Well, Vile Aggregate would end up being half the size or so of the Gremlin, but it would retain its size. I suppose it could work, but I'm not sure it would be quite as good. Worth taking a look at because of its 5 toughness if burn or -x/-x like Grasp of Darkness were an issue.


December 16, 2016 9:53 p.m.

XDhasRisen says... #12

I was just looking through my binder after I saw your deck and I was like oh this seems like it would be good in this deck anyways if you try it out please let me know

December 17, 2016 1:41 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #13

Sure thing :)

December 17, 2016 8:51 p.m.

EvilArcher85 says... #14

Maybe this is a dumb question, but why wouldn't you run a couple Saheeli Rai's?

December 20, 2016 2:03 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #15

It's not a dumb question, I've considered her before. Originally she was over $15 each and budget was in the way but now she's a third of the cost. There's a few roadblocks though where I wouldn't just automatically want to add her in.

The first being that she has no protection. I don't have anything that I could really throw in front of her until at least 4-5 turns in (and maybe I wouldn't want to) so not only would she die easily, there's little chance I'd get to use her awesome ultimate to grab the combo pieces I may be missing. This makes her way too slow in one regard. On the other hand, if I already have two combo pieces then playing her and using the -2 puts down a copy of one and I'm in infinite combo territory. That's sweet. If on the Gremlin strategy she can also make another gremlin to double up the damage which would also be sweet.

The problem is where to cut to make room without throwing off anything else. I'd consider trying a pair of her in place of the fourth Panharmonicon and Decoction Module since she is essentially another copy of either as needed. Or maybe in place of the third Gremlin and Gorger.

I'm just not sure but maybe it's time to take another look at her. Thanks for bringing it up, I'll see what happens.

December 20, 2016 5:53 p.m.

I'm going to revive this to see what you think of the Aether Revolt cards in here.

Mechanized Production is an alternate win-con that might be worth using instead of one of your Gremlin sets. It is expensive, though, at about $6 each as I am writing this.

Maverick Thopterist is essentially another Pia Nalaar for the purposes of this deck, though significantly better. One of the problem I have with the deck is how much it relies on Whirler Virtuoso. A playset of Maverick Thopterist would essentially give you an alternative way to get thopters down. Its thopter ETB effect does get doubled by Panharmonicon which is amazing, and I would be very surprised if you ever have to pay the full 5 mana to cast it. As things stand, I've never had to use Pia Nalaar's mana abilities anyways.

Whir of Invention would be a very interesting way to dig for that one combo piece you are missing. Like Maverick Thopterist, it would get fueled by your Thopters and artifacts, so I don't see you ever paying its full mana cost.

You might want to consider Gonti's Aether Heart. It's ridiculously expensive, and I'm not convinced it would be good for the deck, but it is that kind of card. It gives twice as much energy as Decoction Module, for three times the mana cost, but its energy ability would allow you to turn a thopters swarm into a much faster death if you didn't have your Reckless Fireweaver or any of your gremlins.

Either Disallow or Disappearing Act could be good in the sideboard. Disappearing act's additional cost might be a good thing for this deck too: return a Maverick Thopterist or Whirler Virtuoso for an additional ETB effect, or use it to save anything from removal. If there are multiple spells on the stack, you might be able to counter two spells by removing a target with the additional cost, then directly countering another one with the spell itself. Also, though Disappearing Act might get countered, the return to hand effect cannot. It can essentially be used as split-second protection.

February 6, 2017 5:51 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #17


Awesome card choices, sir. So I haven't come back to this since the official Aether Revolt release but I took a lot of notes during spoiler season. I definitely had my eye on Gonti's Aether Heart first. Whir of Invention made the list as well. I love both, but I'm not crazy about either here. The Heart costs too much without a way to cheat it out or reduce cost and there would need to be unnecessary changes to make that work. I don't hate it as a one of in the sideboard, but I have found a place for it in a completely different deck that can use it better. Whir could probably replace Madcap in the sideboard. I like the tutor for that missing piece, but with all the testing I've done I rarely run into a scenario where that tutor would help me win any faster or easier. I like the gamble in Madcap, though neither card are game winners.

Mechanized Production I can definitely get behind. In fact, that may be worth dropping to three Panharmonicon and Modules in favor of a pair of these since they make more copies every turn or could just win with 8 Thopters. Both seem strong. I'm not sure how I overlooked that one, it wasn't even on my radar.

Maverick Thopterist is one that I missed at the prerelease but packed later in a draft and thought "hmm, this card has a really terrible name." Lol. I agree that this is pretty much a strict upgrade to Pia. The 5 cost will always be a 2 or 3 cost and the 3 for 1 ETB is massive. It works beautifully to bounce with Flux or Disperse too. I do like the flexibility of Pia's activated abilities, but not enough to argue which card is better for this deck. Another good catch.

In the Counterspell department I think those are going to be more Meta dependant, though I do like me some Disappearing Act. I used that in my Aetherflux Reservoir deck and never thought to try it here. Fits like a slipper.

Overall nice observations. I'll play around with this some more and see how things go. I think those little changes will tighten up the deck even more which is awesome because I found it to be incredibly reliable already.

Kudos :)

Oh, and I love Mechanized Production over Shaheeli Rai, especially since she recently spiked way up in price again lol.

February 7, 2017 12:35 p.m.


Is it just me, or would playing Maverick Thopterist while Panharmonicon is down give you 10 (8 artifact) ETBs? You would get 4 thopters right? Oh boy, this could be really big. I mean, throw in a Decoction Module and you got yourself 20 energy triggers too.

February 9, 2017 3:34 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #19

Sort of.

That's one for himself which triggers the two tokens and that ETB is triggered again by Panharmonicon for two more tokens for a total of five creatures in one play. Each one gives you two energy from the Module (1 each plus an extra from Panharmonicon) for a total of ten energy.

It's not quite as good as the Virtuoso since he can generate a lot more than four tokens by using the energy, but it's still quite good.

It's even better if you already have a Virtuoso and do this and then can either Displace or Flux either of them for even more energy and Thopters which also triggers even more Fireweaver and Gremlin damage.

February 9, 2017 3:58 p.m.

Leatherankh says... #20

I've been running something similar in my deck Reckless PanInfinicon, but a new addition has made it even nastier: Mirage Mirror. Having another piece that can copy whichever combo card you need is just nuts. Also, not necessary, but if you have a couple copies of Westvale Abbey  Flip kicking around, add them in. The ability to make a 9/7 monstrosity when the combo just isn't clicking is amazing, and it doesn't detract from the deck at all to go down a couple basic lands.

August 9, 2017 11:24 a.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #21

Oh, that Mirror... that's stupid... geez... probably better than the Mechanized Production as it is an artifact drop and whatever the production is on just gets killed anyway. At least the Mirror is able to copy creatures too and could make me another Gremlin or Fireweaver. Good call, hadn't considered it for this.

August 9, 2017 11:43 a.m.

Endrobot says... #22

I've been looking for a really fun sort of trolly deck to play with my friends, and thanks to you, i think i found it! this deck has so much care put into it, especially for a budget deck. i can't wait to see the look on my friends faces when i pull this deck out!

September 17, 2017 10:55 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #23

Thank you!

Thankfully with Standard rotating I will only have 2 card slots that I have to replace (Essence Flux and Displace), but I think those will be easy enough to find.

I could see trying to be more of a Thopter aggro build and running 4x Favorable Winds, but there are still flicker effects like Illusionist's Stratagem, Siren's Ruse or even just Unsummon. I also like the idea of Mirage Mirror to make more Modules or Panharmonicons. Fling could be stupid good for those Gremlins.

I can see myself overhauling the sideboard as well. It'll take time and consideration, but it'll be worth it. This deck is very fun to combo off and win with :)

September 17, 2017 11:52 p.m.

Endrobot says... #24

again, i just want to comment on the amount of care put into this deck! my three fave things in Magic our A:artifacts. and B:winning the game in a trolly way, mostly with card effects but also with a million 1/1's. and C:infinite combos (which normally goes hand in hand with B). this deck combines those three in a delightful way! my friend as recently gotten a lot of powerful decks, while I'm stuck with just one. this deck will really pull the rug out from under him. and can i just say how nice a thoughtful Hobbez9186 has been? i just am in love with this deck. Thx Hobbez9186!

September 22, 2017 10:40 p.m.

Hobbez9186 says... #25

Thanks ;)

September 22, 2017 10:44 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 2 months
Exclude colors WBG

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.40
Tokens 1/1 Thopter
Folders To Build in Paper, T2 Kaladesh, Standard (KLD-AER) - Misc, standardzzzz, Kaladesh, Interesting Decks, era, Will haben, Standard decks I wanna play, I guess, See all 19
Top rank #20 on 2016-12-16
Views 6053