Glory Brought

The banning of Aetherworks Marvel is sure to shake up Standard in a big way. Previously, it had been difficult to find a midrange deck that could go toe-to-toe with early Marvel into something large as well as the late game attrition provided by Aetherworks Marvel. Now there’s space in the metagame for people to play more traditional midrange and control decks. What deck is most prepared to step into the hole Aetherworks Marvel left in the metagame? Perhaps it’s this take on Temur ramp:

Kiora, Master of the Depths
There’s a lot of things to like about this deck. In particular, it does a lot of the kinds of things that Marvel was doing, but without the additional upside of the occasional turn four Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Without that avenue available, this deck takes a different tact to accelerate into big plays and overwhelm the opponent with card advantage.

Your goal is to utilize Oath of Nissa to help ensure you begin the game with a mana creature like Servant of the Conduit or Naga Vitalist. These cards will allow you to accelerate into bigger plays on your third turn; potentially a Kiora, Master of the Depths to help pull ahead on cards or just the ability to cast multiple spells on the following turn, such as a removal spell and a cantrip or mana creature. Kiora is particularly powerful, since she enables you to untap mana creatures and get even more out of them on subsequent turns.

On the one hand, it’s completely reasonable to swap out pieces of the energy engine in favor of mana acceleration, but where does that leave you as far as the top end of the deck goes? The key to this deck’s endgame is Glorybringer and Crush of Tentacles. Glorybringer is a great way to turn the corner against aggressive decks, particularly in conjunction with Kiora to untap it after you exert it. The other component to your top end is Crush of Tentacles, which allows you to reset the board while rebuying your Oath of Nissa’s, Kioras, and Rogue Refiners to pull even further ahead on cards. If the game goes late enough, you can even create a loop with Greenwarden of Murasa to ensure that you can reset the board every turn for the rest of the game.

The last exciting piece of this deck is that you no longer need to play Attune with Aether, which enables you to play Traverse the Ulvenwald instead. With Kiora and Oath of Nissa providing some of the types that are harder to come by, it’s relatively easy to power delirium, and the ability to tutor for various narrow answers like Ishkanah, Grafwidow or Whirler Virtuoso to keep the board under control while you build your way up to Glorybringer.

If you’re looking to play a Temur midrange deck that plays a similar role to Temur Aetherworks Marvel, then this seems like a great place to start. It’s certainly possible that cards like Crush of Tentacles are a little too cute, and could be replaced with more efficient removal or additional copies of some high impact threats like Ishkanah, Grafwidow. There’s a lot of room to explore in this shell now that you’re not obligated to spend so many slots on energy synergies, and I can’t wait to see where the deck ends up!

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