Within Range

Now that various flavors of three- or more-colored energy decks have emerged as the baseline strategies for this Standard format, there’s more space to start trying to attack those strategies. The combination of resilient threats, reasonable fixing, and tons of cards to choose from make energy variants difficult to pin down, but there are plenty of ways to go a little bigger. One such approach is this one by ADK92:

Vance's Blasting Cannons
Across sets and formats, Jund is always going to be Jund. This is a conglomeration of efficient value cards at every point along the curve. Given that we’re in a lower-powered format like Standard, there are fewer cheap options, but that’s what mana acceleration is for.

The gameplan starts with efficient removal in Abrade and Lightning Strike. The alternative is to lead off with Channeler Initiate, which needs time to become a presence that impacts the board, but ramps you into more powerful threats in the meantime. From there, you can curve into either Doomfall or one of your more powerful four-drops like Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Vance’s Blasting Cannons. Doomfall is a great, flexible roleplayer. It can serve as a Duress effect against control decks or a way to kill Hazoret the Fervent against mono-red. Chandra is known to be a Standard superstar, but how about Vance’s Blasting Cannons?

This card takes me back to Outpost Siege. Sure, it can’t find you lands, but it helps to ensure that you’re always drawing business and that can help you keep up with Search for Azcanta. Furthermore, if you ever get to flip it, then you either get to keep aggressive decks off the board completely or start clocking your controlling opponents and force them to find land destruction instead of their typical counterspells or removal spells.

At the top of the curve, you’ve got the real haymakers. Glorybringer and Noxious Gearhulks are great ways to break parity in midrangey mirrors, since you generate immediate value and either tempo or life. You’ve also got Carnage Tyrant to further punish control decks that are trying to do too much nothing, as well as Nissa, Vital Force and Vraska, Relic Seeker as curve-toppers that can break parity on most boards.

If you’re not sure what your local metagame is going to look like and you just want to play a pile of good cards that’s going to be a little bigger than most things that other people are doing, this seems like a pretty good start. All of your cards are flexible. Your three-color mana base is relatively stable and consistent since you get both Dragonskull Summit and Rootbound Crag in conjunction with Canyon Slough and Sheltered Thicket. When in doubt, Jund is almost always a reasonable choice for a new format.

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