Voltaic Brawler and Building Energy Aggro

Voltaic Brawler
Voltaic Brawler will be the centerpiece of a new G/R Energy Aggro deck.

Voltaic Brawler is an outstanding card. Even if Energy Aggro isn’t a thing — just a Gruul aggro deck of some sort — it will likely see play. There will likely be decks where Voltaic Brawler is the only Energy card.

Voltaic Brawler is great when it is working right, due to the nature of the Energy mechanic. For example, you can lead on a second turn Longtusk Cub follow up with Voltaic Brawler, and either put (or threaten to put) counters on the Longtusk Cub to force it through a 2/2 blocker. It can stack with other Energy cards like Lathnu Hellion, or even take advantage of turn one via Attune with Aether.

But that’s not all!

Voltaic Brawler has a sweet fail state (or two, depending on how you look at it)…
You can get in for four, get in for four again, and be left with a card that is on the order of Lambholt Pacifist (which just won both the Pro Tour and World Championship).

“It’s better than Putrid Leech.”

Patrick outlines how Harnessed Lightning will play like Valorous Stance, and Mike points out how seamlessly accurate it will be relative to historical burn cards.

Top Level Podcast also goes over Energy Ramp, B/G Energy Midrange, and intersections between the energy mechanic, and even Emrakul!

All this and more in this week’s podcast!

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Drownyard Temple is Too Insane

Drownyard Temple
Drownyard Temple might just be one of the Top 5 cards in Standard. Let’s see…

Drownyard Temple was featured in multiple decks from last week’s Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad Top 8. Let’s see how this card fits into — or even helps define — the metagame.

R/W Eldrazi Goggles by Luis Salvatto

2 Matter Reshaper
2 Pyromancer’s Goggles
4 Thought-Knot Seer

2 Fall of the Titans
3 Fiery Impulse
3 Fiery Temper
3 Lightning Axe
2 Magmatic Insight
1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
4 Tormenting Voice

3 Chandra, Flamecaller
2 Goblin Dark-Dwellers

2 Eldrazi Displacer

4 Battlefield Forge
2 Caves of Koilos
3 Drownyard Temple
8 Mountain
4 Needle Spires
2 Plains
1 Shivan Reef
2 Westvale Abbey

1 Nahiri, the Harbinger
1 Avacyn’s Judgment
1 Dual Shot
2 Eldrazi Obligator
2 Rending Volley
2 Linvala, the Preserver
2 Hallowed Moonlight
1 Planar Outburst
3 Secure the Wastes

Luis Salvatto played essentially a Big Red deck (splashing for white and colorless cards). You can have played Magmatic Insight and Tormenting Voice in concert with Pyromancer’s Googles for some time… Mike hypothesizes that the “difference that makes the difference” is the printing of Drownyard Temple.

Tons of these cards — Magmatic Insight, Tormenting Voice, and Lightning Axe — all get great with Drownyard Temple; and as such…

“Three copies is indefensible,” says Patrick!

This deck actually wants colorless! There are many lands, like Mountain, one of the two copies of Westvale Abbey, or one of the weird off-color pain lands, that can potentially make room for Drownyard Temple #4.

Speaking of four copies of Drownyard Temple…

Goggles Ramp by Brad Nelson

1 Dragonlord Atarka

2 Hedron Archive
3 Pyromancer’s Goggles

4 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
3 Traverse the Ulvenwald
3 World Breaker

2 Chandra, Flamecaller
3 Fall of the Titans
4 Fiery Impulse
4 Kozilek’s Return
3 Magmatic Insight
4 Tormenting Voice

3 Cinder Glade
4 Drownyard Temple
8 Forest
4 Game Trail
5 Mountain

1 Dragonlord Atarka
3 Den Protector
3 Tireless Tracker
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
2 Draconic Roar
2 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
3 Rwending Volley

Drownyard Temple is even better in Brad’s deck than Luis Salvatto’s! Brad has all the Magmatic Insight-esque interactions and the long-game lock with World Breaker. World Breaker becomes an infinite threat given sufficient time as long as you can keep sacrificing a land… And one land in particular can make that a consistent reality.

We — and a lot of others — have been high on Oath of Nissa since it was printed (which was not that long ago). However Traverse the Ulvenwald is even better in this style of deck than Oath of Nissa! Notably Traverse the Ulvenwald can get either side of the World Breaker / Drownyard Temple combo, graveyard permitting.

Pro Tour Champion and Hall of Famer Patrick Chapin and Resident Genius Mike Flores discuss not only these Drownyard Temple decks but most or all of the Top 8 decks from Pro Tour Shadows Over Innistrad in “Drownyard Temple is Too Insane”:

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