Mastering Dynavolt Tower

Dynavolt Tower
Given enough time, Dynavolt Tower will win the game for you, itself.

One of the under-appreciated synergies in Temur Tower — a key upgrade from its roots as a straight U/R deck — is the inclusion of Attune with Aether. It’s not just that Attune with Aether helps set up a base of energy (you can have two or more energy in reserve when you first lay your Dynavolt Tower), it’s the impact late game.

Think about a deck with twenty-five or even twenty-six lands. You don’t gain energy by drawing a land. But an Attune with Aether? Substituting a land with Attune with Aether one-for-one makes these late-game topdecks worth four energy. Bang!

Keeping a strong energy reserve fuels your Dynavolt Tower. And given enough time, the Tower will win the game for you by itself.

Patrick calls Victor Fernanado Silva’s Temur Dynavolt Tower deck “a masterpiece” …

Victor Fernanado Silva won the most recent Standard Grand Prix, breaking up the two-point-five deck metagame of Mardu and Saheeli Rai with Temur Tower’s first big win. Silva killed some Dynavolt darlings, and presented a version meaningfully different from other Dynavolt Tower control decks we’ve seen. Most notably, the creatures.

Instead of playing any Rogue Refiners, Silva played “only” four Torrential Gearhulks.

Torrential Gearhulk ups the power of the archetype… While in a Shock-heavy format, it’s unclear that Rogue Refiner would ever even have blocked.

Perhaps even more telling was Silva’s emphasis on control in his build.

Dynavolt Tower Control

Ten. Count ’em. There are ten permission spells in that main deck. Negate and Horribly Awry? More copies of Void Shatter than Disallow at the three? Silva was able to take advantage of a predictable metagame to choose the right answers to solve the format’s problems.

Per Patrick: A masterpiece.

Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin and Michael J Flores discuss not just Dynavolt Tower but all the key moves and trends to keep you up to date on Standard in “Mastering Dynavolt Tower”

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Elder Deep-Fiend into Elder Deep-Fiend (into Elder Deep-Fiend)

Elder Deep-Fiend
Elder Deep-Fiend is one of five Eldritch Moon cards that have completely revolutionized Standard

After a pair of weeks that saw a Spell Queller-fueled Bant Company and a retro-inspired G/W Tokens take early crowns at Star City Games Standard Opens, Pro Tour Eldritch Moon became a showcase for a number of new strategies, many of which were centered around Elder Deep-Fiend.

Turbo-Emrakul, by Owen Turtenwald

1 Chandra, Flamecaller
3 Emrakul, the Promised End
3 Elder Deep-Fiend
1 Wretched Gryff
4 Gnarlwood Dryad
3 Pilgrim’s Eye
2 Ishkanah, Grafwidow

4 Gather the Pack
4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
4 Kozilek’s Return
4 Grapple with the Past
2 Corrupted Grafstone
4 Vessel of Nascency

3 Shivan Reef
4 Yavimaya Coast
1 Mountain
3 Island
7 Forest
3 Game Trail

2 Dispel
1 Coax from the Blind Eternities
2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
1 Den Protector
2 Fiery Impulse
2 Invasive Surgery
1 Summary Dismissal
1 Clip Wings
1 Negate
2 Shaman of Forgotten Ways

Elder Deep-Fiend is a transitional card in Owen’s deck. It buys time and can be a powerful threat… But it’s not the end game for this deck. Owen uses Pilgrim’s Eye as his preferred Elder Deep-Fiend setup man, which is subtly important. Pilgrim’s Eye is an artifact. It’s perfect in every way, actually… A three mana creature that generates card advantage into chaining into a “four” mana “seven drop”. The basic land undoes the inherent disadvantage of the Emerge mechanic, but getting an artifact into the graveyard (and for that matter an artifact creature) makes Emrakul, the Promised End that much faster.

Owen’s deck is all about Emrakul, the Promised End. If he can buy enough time with Elder Deep-Fiend, Emrakul will win it. That is the bet.

Temerge by Andrew Brown

4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Primal Druid
4 Matter Reshaper
3 Shaman of Forgotten Ways
1 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
4 Wretched Gryff
1 Lashweed Lurker
3 Elder Deep-Fiend

4 Gather the Pack
4 Grapple with the Past
4 Kozilek’s Return

4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Shivan Reef
4 Sanctum of Ugin
4 Lumbering Falls
1 Woodland Stream
4 Forest
2 Island
1 Mountain

4 Traverse the Ulvenwald
2 Noose Constrictor
2 Radiant Flames
2 Kiora, Master of the Depths
1 World Breaker
1 Emrakul, the Promised End
1 Eldrazi Obligator
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Thought-Knot Seer

Elder Deep-Fiend has a completely different role in Andrew Brown’s deck. Rather than Emrakul being “the thing” in this deck the Deep-Fiend itself is not just a transitional card but a potential end game lock.

This deck wants to chain Elder Deep-Fiend into the next (and next) copies via Sanctum of Ugin. It is quite feasible to Time Walk the opponent four or so times, attacking for 20 with massive tempo generators. Sometimes you just draw multiple copies; sometimes Grapple with the Past keeps your Eldrazi flowing.

It is pretty natural for Elder Deep-Fiend-based Emerge decks to be Temur. Green is the best setup color due to cards like Grapple with the Past or mana accelerators like Primal Druid or Nissa’s Pilgrimage. Elder Deep-Fiend itself is colorless (but requires blue mana).

Rounding out Temur is of course Kozilek’s Return.

It is difficult to exaggerate how compelling Kozilek’s Return is in this format. It ruins all the small creature decks, and the fat casting costs on Wretched Gryff; Emrakul, the Promised End; or of course Elder Deep-Fiend buy this card back famously.

We didn’t have access to all of our usual recording equipment this week. (Slight) apologies on sound quality this week.

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Heir of the Wilds and Snapping Gnarlid at the Two

Heir of the Wilds
Heir of the Wild returns as a two drop that can hit hard, and punch above weight.

Now might be a great time to be Abzan splashing red!

Red gives Abzan some amazing tools, like Crackling Doom (arguably the strongest card in Mardu colors), Kolaghan’s Command, or Radiant Flames out of the sideboard. Matt Carlson won the most recent Star City Games Standard Open with an Abzan deck touching for many strategic red cards.

Abzan Red by Matt Carlson

1 Murderous Cut

3 Abzan Charm
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
2 Crackling Doom
2 Dromoka’s Command
1 Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury
1 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Siege Rhino
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor

2 Den Protector
4 Heir of the Wilds
4 Warden of the First Tree

3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Secure the Wastes
2 Wingmate Roc

2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Canopy Vista
1 Cinder Glade
3 Flooded Strand
2 Forest
1 Plains
2 Shambling Vent
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Sunken Hollow
2 Swamp
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

1 Duress
2 Infinite Obliteration
1 Virulent Plague
1 Dromoka’s Command
2 Den Protector
2 Dragonmaster Outcast
2 Radiant Flames
2 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Silkwrap

Matt won with four copies of Heir of the Wilds… and only two copies of Den Protector (main).

The format has gotten to a point where Heir of the Wilds is a more appropriate two drop than, say, Hangarback Walker. Hangarback Walker is a great card — don’t get us wrong — but the current demands of the format can ask to hit harder than a 1/1 card advantage engine for two mana… And Heir of the Wilds is great in particular because it can trade off so effectively against opposing people’s Siege Rhinos (or other key monsters) in combat.

Another two drop that deserves consideration in green aggressive decks is Snapping Gnarlid:


We spoiled Snapping Gnarlid prior to Battle for Zendikar, and generally liked it. However most of our discussion has been about Snapping Gnarlid in landfall linear aggro decks. In his “Temur Black” deck, Josh McClain chose Snapping Gnarlid as his two drop, taking advantage of some thirteen fetchlands.

Temur Black by Josh McClain

3 Murderous Cut
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

3 Stubborn Denial

4 Savage Knuckleblade

4 Rattleclaw Mystic
4 Snapping Gnarlid
4 Woodland Wanderer

2 Crater’s Claws
3 Draconic Roar
1 Fiery Impulse
2 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
2 Thunderbreak Regent

4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
1 Shivan Reef
1 Swamp
1 Sunken Hollow
1 Cinder Glade
2 Frontier Bivouac
2 Lumbering Falls
1 Smoldering Marsh
1 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Yavimaya Coast

2 Duress
1 Self-Inflicted Wound
1 Virulent Plague
2 Disdainful Stroke
1 Dispel
1 Exert Influence
1 Stubborn Denial
2 Fiery Impulse
2 Radiant Flames
2 Roast

It is a little ironic, we think, that the actual Temur Ferocious deck goes with Snapping Gnarlid as the Abzan deck adpots Heir of the Wilds.

In addition to Standard chats about green two drops, Patrick and Michael peruse the recent Modern results and talk a little about the math and matchups of that format.

Listen to “Heir of the Wilds and Snapping Gnarlid at the Two” now:

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