Aftermath has made an impact on Standard already. And now that I've checked out some #GPRichmond, it seems that it's impacted Limited, as well. Having access to two different halves of a spell leads to both great synergy and the opportunity to truly divide the spells, using each when either half is relevant.
Let's talk about how this relates to delirium.
Turning on delirium in a timely fashion opens the door to more ambitious deckbuilding compositions and strategies, and cards on the verge of seeing play might get a bit more chance than they had before because of these designs. This strategy has everything it needs to combat most deck types, and is certainly an aggressive choice for a Friday Night Magic if the likes of Zombies doesn't quite tickle your fancy.
They're more than just a great way to help enable delirium. The spells themselves can be pretty good, too.
Jeskai colors have typically been associated with instants and sorceries, mostly lending to the general reliance on blue within that color combination. Red and white usually make an aggro deck of some kind, and blue and white often make control decks. The big distinguishing factor there is the Island mana base, and it stands to reason that those spells aligned with that color have a big, even if temporary impact on the game.
While this spell never saw (nor was it designed to see) ubiquitous play, it was still a way to deal with an uncounterable spell or a problem creature for a short period of time. Savvy deckbuilders saw its home in decks built around Fevered Visions, and this deckbuilder is no different.
Now, I've already brought you plenty of Fevered Visions decks, and I've even had one put together since Amonkhet released . If Fevered Visions isn't your bag, I have two things to say. One, who hurt you in your life to make you not like drawing a bunch of cards? Two, rest assured that I'll have a second deck today, free from Fevered Visions, highlighting one last aspect of aftermath cards we won't have touched on yet.
So, depending on how you look it, let's brew with Fevered Visions or let's get this over with!
This deck shares a lot in common, both thematically and card-for-card with some of my other brews: I shared a few during my first week of Amonkhet brews, there's a deck I shared several months ago that is related, and, if I might say, one of my most well-constructed lists--you can find it here .
The original deck featured between six and eight creatures, but this time, we have only four, three of which are Curious Homunculus. This one-eyed critter flips into a beastly 3/4 with prowess. Prowess, once peppered across several playable creatures, is now considerably rarer. That makes Voracious Reader all the better.
Curious Homunculus, and especially Voracious Reader, support the often hefty cost of casting aftermath spells' first and second halves. From a casting perspective, casting each half counts as two different spells. For Voracious Reader, that means that both halves are cheaper to cast and their costs are reduced. Any cost reducer is effectively doubled with aftermath spells, and the majority of them like to be cast in the same turn, even though their high mana costs often prevents this.
Baral, Chief of Compliance, provides the same reduction benefit and it can be accessed more quickly, as it does not have the same graveyard requirement and can provide the benefit immediately.
Besides our standard four copies of Fevered Visions, the rest of the spells in the deck are instants or sorceries.
These are the deck's tempo spells. Fevered Visions, more than anything else, is a tempo card; and if you can take that away from your opponent, their extra cards will be worthless, while you draw enough spells and buy enough time, to thoroughly protect yourself. Failure is one half of Unsubstantiate, and its Comply half is a great way to stop such problematic cards as Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, a counterspell like Negate, or a vicious finisher like Cut. It's just for one turn, but that's one more spell they can't play. While both halves are just stays of executions, the time is worth something when you're providing pressure another way.
When five damage for one mana is what you need, Lightning Axe is where you want to be. Discarding a card is an acceptable cost for this efficiency, but here, discarding can benefit us, too. Fiery Temper has plenty of opportunities to be cast for its madness cost, but it's still an acceptable rate at its normal cost. The double red is well-supported by the land base despite the fact that we're three colors.
Cathartic Reunion did not exist when I built my Game Day deck. With Cathartic Reunion, you can fulfill Curious Homunculus's flip requirement for two mana. Discard two instants or sorceries (again, not as big a deal this time), and you're ready to go!
Revisiting the deck originally began with Onward in congress with Curious Homunculus.
Picture this. You have an Onward in your hand and another in the graveyard. You have a flipped Voracious Reader. Cast Victory from the graveyard, giving Voracious Reader a prowess trigger, then attack. Your opponent reluctantly declines to block your 4/5 double striker. Cast an Onward from your hand, let the second prowess trigger make Voracious Reader a 5/6, then, following resolution, it's a 10/6 double striker. That's twenty damage!
While not reliable enough to support the deck completely, Onward allows this to happen. Even if you play Onward, then Victory, your Voracious Reader will still hit for eighteen as a 9/6. Insult provides a "double strike" for your creatures and your damage spells. Although you can't use it instantly to blast someone with Fevered Visions triggers, but casting a Fiery Temper for six is pretty good, too. Geistblast also lets you copy either an aftermath spell to hit twice as hard. Dawn is a hard stop to an aggressive, high-power deck like G/B Delirium. If your Curious Homunculus hasn't flipped, it flies under Dawn's radar. Even if it kills a flipped Voracious Reader, Dusk can recover all copies of Curious Homunculus in your graveyard! Commit has good use for either half, despite the fact that you'll "lose" your graveyard. If you give your opponent a fresh grip of seven cards and you have Fevered Visions out, they'll have to work very hard to empty their hand and not die to it. You'll have more than enough counters and removal to make whatever they cast irrelevant.
Declaration in Stone was a keystone in the original Jeskai Fevered Visions deck. You are happy to spend two mana (or sometimes just one) to kill one or more creatures and provide them Clues, something else that costs mana and gives them cards. Declaration in Stone isn't as ubiquitous as it once was, but it's still one of the best tricks you can use against a variety of creature-centered decks.
You'll find that people are quick to cut their creature removal down after fighting a Fevered Visions deck that has few or no creatures in it. They don't want a Fatal Push or Essence Scatter keeping their hand count high without any targets. Stormchaser Mage punishes this line of sideboarding, plus it dodges both of this deck's sweepers.
Speaking of sweepers, let's stare at Sweltering Suns.
Sweepers have a tendency to either be exactly the card you want, or somehow incompatible with the board state, whether it's not strong enough to kill the creatures (or other nonland permanents) on the battlefield or it's too expensive to cast in time. The cycling is the steepest in Standard, and I don't think you'll use it that often, but it does have the benefit of not killing a flipped Voracious Reader or a Stormchaser Mage, which prowess saves.
Release the Gremlins benefits from this deck's high land count and cost reduction. With Baral, Chief of Compliance or a Curious Homunculus, this becomes a sorcery-speed Shatter that gives you a 2/2. Again, your opponent will likely have removed their own conditional sweepers to prevent a dead card, so spending a few mana will not only blast Heart of Kiran or cutesy artifact shenanigans into smithereens but it will also give you an army of troublesome Gremlins.
While slow, Startled Awake can punish a deck that is happy to either mill their deck or draw lots of cards. This steady mill effect can't be easily countered or undone, so it'll be hard to stop. In theory, at least.
We've got one more neat side-effect of aftermath cards: converted mana cost.
While on the stack, Beck has a converted mana cost of two. So does Boom, of Boom // Bust fame. However, together, a split card's converted mana cost is the sum of its two halves. This is still the case even after the recent rules change regarding split cards , and I want us to take advantage of that as best as we can. While we're at it, we'll use the remained of aftermath cards that haven't gotten the love they deserve.
So which cards help us leverage the converted mana cost?
In our current Standard, red seems to care the most. Sin Prodder is a reasonable fighter on its own, with a good body on curve, and untapping with one has the potential to give your opponent's a difficult choice: let you draw an extra card, or take a lot of damage. Stuffing your deck with high-mana cost cards normally makes the decision easy for your opponent: "Sure, go ahead and draw that eight-drop. You're never going to cast it anyway." With aftermath cards, though, you'll actually be able to use the first half. Even if they take damage and deny you the card, you'll still be able to use the second half!
Combustible Gearhulk goes from being a nuisance to creating a devastating trigger if you've got plenty of aftermath spells.
Let's start counting!
This deck is a bit harder to describe in the abstract, but the concept is simple. Play cheap removal, leverage discard outlets, and outpace your opponent with each of your cards. Nominally a midrange strategy, this deck tries to blast your opponents with huge chunks of life, maintaining a good hand size, and picking off other creatures with Dynavolt Tower, which will trigger once for each half of an aftermath card you cast.
This remains one of my favorite enablers in this deck, and it helps you get back a singleton threat that your opponent has dealt with or one you milled over during the course of the game. Corpse Churn, a similar card, will always get the back seat, as it can't get a land.
Spring is one of my favorite aftermath cards in this deck for two reasons. First, it's aligned with the deck's plan of casting big spells and it helps smooth out the deck's multicolor plan. Second, it's a nine-mana card, meaning that a hit off Sin Prodder or Combustible Gearhulk is crippling. The Mind half of the spell is pretty expensive, but in a grindy game, I'll pay Think Twice's flashback cost twice for the same effect. Combined with Attune with Aether, we have plenty of ways to get land and thin the deck down to just the good stuff: high-cost aftermath cards.
While this is not a high-cost split card, its ability to annihilate flyers and non-flyers is powerful enough. If you need the Earth half, you need only spend a green mana to put it from your hand to the graveyard. This also gives you a prowess trigger and a Dynavolt Tower trigger as well.
I tried to make this card work when it was first spoiled but found it difficult to come out profitably, either with madness cards or other cards that preferred the graveyard. Now, you can toss a couple aftermath cards, completely decimate Planeswalkers, and retain access to an effect that you can use when you're ready.
Rags is a fairly soft sweeper, so there'll be more than a few times where you'll toss this clunker into the yard without a problem. In other situations, Riches will let you take control of your opponent's largest threat as you pick off the weak ones. Admittedly, this deck is light on threats; if your opponent is too, you can still get the one that matters. If only Emrakul, the Promised End was still around…
Mouth is decent in this list, but where I really want to crank it up is in a deck with cards like Prized Amalgam, Stitchwing Skaab, and their friends. Then you can could not only have an army in your graveyard, you can recharge your hand!
Sadly, I won't be home in time to make the SCG Tour® event in my own city, #SCGKY, but the format being presented on that event's main stage, Team Constructed, is one I'll eagerly be watching from afar, seeing local friends and storied pros battling it out to win the three-headed battle of wits.
Best of luck to my pals going to battle in my hometown, and may the best three-headed giant win!