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 Modules 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.

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 :)


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Date added 1 year
Last updated 2 months
Exclude colors WBG

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.87
Tokens 1/1 Thopter
Folders To Build in Paper, T2 Kaladesh, Standard (KLD-AER) - Misc, standardzzzz, Kaladesh, Interesting Standard Decks, era, Will haben, Standard decks I wanna play, I guess, See all 19
Top rank #20 on 2016-12-16
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