Earlier this morning I mentioned in a passing comment on twitter that the new, post-New Phyrexia Tempered Steel list suddenly felt like a legitimate fast aggro deck to me. This prompted a bunch of you to ask, “Why? What’s the list?”
So I guess folks haven’t seen lists. That’s not really surprising, since the excitement over new archetypes — such as Twin combo builds — leads us to spend a lot more time writing actual articles about them, rather than focusing on an update to a deck that is, fundamentally, undercosted dudes.
Here’s the list I have in my playtest pool. It’s from a Magic League Standard Trial event, and was played to a third place finish by Epilogue.
|60 Main deck:|
|4× Inkmoth Nexus|
|4× Hex Parasite|
|3× Porcelain Legionnaire|
|4× Vault Skirge|
|4× Steel Overseer|
|4× Signal Pest|
|2× Phyrexian Revoker|
|4× Tempered Steel|
|4× Glint Hawk Idol|
|3× Mox Opal|
|2× Phyrexian Revoker|
|2× Torpor Orb|
|3× Kor Firewalker|
|3× Tumble Magnet|
|3× Journey to Nowhere|
|2× Leonin Relic-Warder|
The notable updates from New Phyrexia include Hex Parasite, Porcelain Legionnaire, and Vault Skirge.
Vault Skirge gives you a flying, lifelink 1/1 for 1 mana (and 2 life, but that’s a gigantic “whatever” in this deck) that, conveniently, is immune to countering via Mental Misstep. Neat. And yes, that has come up in testing.
Hex Parasite is, of course, a nicely aggressive one drop. And while I’m not in love with it as a planeswalker solution, it does do something I hadn’t even considered prior to testing — it strips counters off of Pyromancer Ascension..which is actually pretty harsh for the Ascension/Twin lists.
Finally, Porcelain Legionnaire is simply a 3/1 first striker for 2 mana, which is excellent as well.
This is still very much not my style of deck, but it does, at least, generate the kind of game where on turn three you have multiple creatures and a Tempered Steel facing down the Caw-Blade player’s lone Stoneforge Mystic. And the poor dear hasn’t even been able to equip herself yet.
I suspect this deck will not exactly be a long-term performer, as it will force opponents to run more copies of Day of Judgment…and then once they do, it will be a lot harder to work with, and you’ll find you’d rather be packing a bunch of burn spells. But in the short term, it’s ridiculously aggressive, and far less prone to the kind of janky, stutter-step starts that the old Tempered Steel deck suffered from.