By now I think we're all familiar with the cadre of energy cards, namely Attune with Aether, Whirler Virtuoso, Rogue Refiner, and Harnessed Lightning. Unfortunately, these cards have garnered a rather ignominious reputation because of the cards that they've supported. First it was the oppressive Saheeli Rai-Felidar Guardian combo. Now we have Aetherworks Marvel and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger.
Despite generally supporting fundamentally unfair strategies, these energy cards are themselves fair: a mana fixer, a removal spell, and some creatures with built-in card advantage. So why don't we put them in a shell that is more reflective of their true selves?
This deck continues the value train well after turn 3 with a suite of planeswalkers and Oath of Nissa in place of Aetherworks Marvel, Ulamog the Ceaseless Hunger, and Woodweaver's Puzzleknot. The energy cards are well-suited to defending these planeswalkers, particularly Whirler Virtuoso and its army of Thopter tokens that block for days as you grind your opponent into a fine paste.
The deck is then rounded out with some extra creatures that you'd rarely find in the maindeck of the unfair energy-based decks, although they are common sideboard options since those decks shift toward a more fair game when opponents bring in targeted hate for their combo. Tireless Tracker is the most obvious of these cards, but I'm more interested by the Bristling Hydras and Glorybringers.
Bristling Hydra is perennially underrated and can dominate a lot of battlefields with its size while also being nigh unkillable. It's a great threat against control decks while still being quite good in other matchups. Glorybringer gives the deck some extra removal and a great weapon against opposing planeswalkers, which is important because casting your own planeswalker in reply to your opponents is rarely a winning play.
Your opponents are likely to groan as you play out the early turns with Attune with Aethers and Servant of the Conduits before they are pleasantly surprised that the game isn't going to end on turn 4 or 5. Unfortunately, all that means is they will suffer for longer.
- 2 Bristling Hydra
- 2 Glorybringer
- 4 Rogue Refiner
- 4 Servant of the Conduit
- 2 Tireless Tracker
- 3 Whirler Virtuoso
- 1 Ajani Unyielding
- 1 Arlinn Kord
- 2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
- 1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
- 2 Nissa, Steward of Elements
- 2 Tamiyo, Field Researcher