DECK BREWERY: Sultai Aetherworks

The current standard format is deadlocked in a very clear cut rock – paper – scissors matchup consisting of Mardu Vehicles (yeay!), BG Constrictor (boo!) and Saheeli Combo (meh). These decks are resilient in many forms, especially Mardu Vehicles, where the damage can come from planeswalkers, vehicles, lands, creatures, combos or worse, direct damage dealing spells.

If you are expecting a clean victory over these decks using the current existing unbanned card pool, you probably have to knock your opponent out cold. However, there is a fringe deck that has appeared and based on your RNG skills (luck is a skill, for those of you who are still questioning this), may grant you easy victory against any deck.

Enter Aetherworks Marvel. Prior to the banning of Smuggler’s Copter and Emrakul, The Promised End, Marvel decks ran rampant mainly because casting an Emmy on turn 4 usually meant game over for your opponent. Even though the big floating Eldrazi mama is gone now, I believe with a right mixture of cards and great luck sacking skills, the stalemate that is standard can be broken.

Most people would run Temur Aetherworks, but I have added my own twist into this build and lo and behold, Sultai Aetherworks.

21 Creatures
4 Servant of the Conduit
4 Rogue Refiner
2 Tireless Tracker
4 Winding Constrictor
3 World Breaker
1 Distended Mindbender
1 Kozilek
2 Ulamog

3 Planeswalkers
1 Jace, Unraveller of Secrets
2 Ob Nixilis Reignited

11 Instants and Sorceries
4 Attune to Aether
3 Fatal Push
1 Murder
2 Baral’s Expertise
1 Nissa’s Renewal

4 Artifacts
4 Aetherworks Marvel

21 Lands
4 Aether Hub
4 Botanical Sanctum
4 Lumbering Falls
1 Sunken Hollow
1 Blooming Marsh
3 Forests
2 IsIands
2 Swamps

Sideboard (15)
4 Aether Meltdown
2 Negate
1 World Breaker
4 Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot
2 Herald of Anguish
1 Ruinous Path
2 Conduit of Ruin


The main idea of the deck is simple enough. Here are 3 steps on how to play this deck.

Step 1: Pretend you’re a newbie and randomly amass 6 energy by turn 4.
Step 2: Drop Aetherworks Marvel on turn 4, activate its ability and pray to RNG you hit Ulamog.
Step 3: Laugh at your opponent and proceed to win game.

However, if you get countered or fail to amass the necessary energy needed or fail to hit a good payoff in your top 6 cards, you’re screwed. Now, it’s not over just yet, because the deck is designed to be resilient against all forms of threats.

The main culprit of this deck is that slimy snake, Winding Constrictor, which basically adds a +1 count to all your energy generators. With the snake on board, you can gather 6 energy very quickly, as cards like Rogue Refiner and Tireless Tracker provide bodies and card advantage.

Speaking of card advantage, all the high end creatures of this deck center around some sort of ridiculous benefit if you manage to cast them. Mindbender and Ulamog both strip 2 cards away from your opponent, World Breaker deals with troublesome artifacts and lands, while Kozilek refills your hand.

Baral’s Expertise allows you to regain control of an unfavorable situation while casting a free body or removal spell. Nissa’s Renewal breathes new life into a game that you are about to lose as Jace and Ob is there to make sure you draw enough cards. Both of the walkers also act as a late game win cons if your luck happens to be going south with Marvel. If all else fails, just animate your Lumbering Falls and beat your opponent down.


Against the notoriously robust Mardu Vehicles, remove a few early bodies and the walkers to bring a full suit of Aether Meltdowns (which provides energy and removes pesky threats) and an additional World Breaker. Against Saheeli Combo, bring in Negate and Herald of Anguish as it strips them of their hand early. Against suicide rush decks and BG Constrictor, Woodweaver’s Puzzleknot is a heavy punishment that they can’t recover from.

If you’re feeling your RNG is not up to par, fear not as your sideboard has the answer in the form of the top deck fixer, Conduit of Ruin. Nothing feels better than panning for your opponent’s ruin by placing an Ulamog on top of your deck and activating Marvel. No rewards for guessing what the activation will unveil.


While this is not the most consistent deck in the format now, it provides a fun experience as you can chain your draws into huge, otherwise unplayable creatures. If lady luck is on your side, this deck might just be consistent enough to push you into a top 4 placing in your local FNM tournaments. Till next week, keep brewing more decks!

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