Elder Dragon Recycling – Phyrexian Power Plant

Welcome back to Elder Dragon Recycling! Last time in my closing I mentioned that we would figure out what to do with all this new Energy we had thanks to the Kaladesh block, and today we’re going to do precisely that. Energy is an interesting new mechanic that sits somewhere between mana and charge counters, being a relatively unique resource that is attached directly to the player. The fact that there was not a legendary creature in the block that cared about Energy means we’re going to have to Dig Through Time to find the best general for the job. Let’s get digging.

Energy is predominantly in Blue and Green. What are our options in Simic?

  • Ezuri, Claw of Progress might not be obvious but many of the Energy creatures that exist are pretty weakly stat-ed, meaning a buff from Ezuri could allow us to create a small army out of our Energy creatures. Energy also benefits from Proliferate, which is a nice bonus considering we’d probably run Proliferate cards in Ezuri anyway, to expound on our +1/+1 counters and experience counters. A good consideration.
  • Kruphix, God of Horizons is a fairly open ended Commander that doesn’t actually commit to much. This is a good possibility but also has it’s drawbacks. Kruphix doesn’t push us towards any particular play and sadly Energy can’t get much out of his abilities. Only a few Energy cards draw us more cards and none of them give us mana, so Kruphix in the Command Zone would probably be a waste. Rashmi and Thrasios have similar issues of being too open ended for our case.

While Ezuri is a strong contender, I think he doesn’t interact well enough with Energy and loses us out on options in other colours. White, Red and Black don’t have that many Energy cards, with White and Black getting only around seven, and Red having 13. This means that whatever other colours we play will mostly be for the most powerful Energy cards in their colour but playing a supporting role in other functions for the deck. Let’s look at the best cards in those colours.

He’s eager to find a better leader

White

  • Aethergeode Miner While not fantastic, it’s got an efficient body and can easily protect itself. If you can get it to attack a few times it will generate enough Energy to start being able to attack freely with blink protection. After a certain point your opponents might stop blocking it just because they know you’ll blink it if you do, which might trigger the ETB effects of other cards on your board.
  • Aetherstorm Roc again isn’t a fantastic card but it is a very efficient Energy generator. One E for each creature that enters is a very good rate, especially if cards are blinking back and forth multiple times a turn. Definite include if we play white.
  • Consulate Surveillance gets us a whole 4 E on ETB, which is more than most cards. Late game once we have an energy engine going we can use this to fog any dangerous attacks made against us, as well as use just the threat of it’s ability to keep people from attacking in the first place.

Black

  • Demon of Dark Schemes Now this is a powerful card. In fact it’s starting to see play in many other decks just because of it’s powerful Massacre Wurm-esque ETB effect, and the ability to reanimate any creature at relatively low cost is fantastic. The Demon will be able to generate you a ton of energy the moment it hits the field, and if you’re able to blink it it can start wiping away board positions completely, and leave you with enough energy to reanimate back your own best creatures – and those of your opponents! This is easily one of the best Energy cards in the entire block.
  • Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is a Dark Confidant for the Energy deck and it is actually much better. We straight up draw the card without revealing it, so there’s more surprise plus interactions with drawing cards, and it only costs us 1 life. The fact that she has menace is a little less relevant since she has such poor stats but it does help her get some attacks in on occasion to generate more energy. Another auto-include should we play Black.
  • Live Fast and Die Young are solid support cards. They will never generate “Wow!” moments on their own but they will do more work than you may realize. After a certain point Die Young will be able to kill any creature for just 2 mana, plus it get’s around Indestructible so thing’s like Avacyn, Angel of Hope or an Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre will still be killable. As for Live Fast, never underestimate the simple uses of drawing a few cards. The Energy is a bonus that definitely helps push it to be more useful to us than Read the Bones.

Red

  • Aethertorch Renegade This card gets us a lot of Energy and has some decent uses for it. We can start pinging down weenies, dorks and tokens, as well as finish off some larger creatures if they’ve been damaged. The second ability can be used to start whittling your opponents down, plus probably kill most planeswalkers. Sadly it’s not very efficient and having to tap means we only get to use it once a turn cycle without shenanigans.
  • Lightning Runner is up there with the Demon in terms of power level. Multiple combats have always been a very strong effect to abuse. The biggest problem with Runner is that, as mentioned before, most of the Energy creature’s are very inefficiently stat-ed, and thus it would be difficult to take advantage of more combats without losing a significant chunk of your board.
  • Spontaneous Artist is another subtle powerhouse. Cheap haste granters are pretty strong, especially when they only cost one E to use. Again, the issue is that most of the creatures have bad bodies and thus would only benefit from the haste for tap abilities.
  • Whirler Virtuoso is the only multicoloured card on this list because the Blue is a given, whereas the Red needs to be debated. As Standard decks have shown, Whirler is a really good card because it can be used earlier for some bodies to keep you alive and chip in, as well as generate energy, or better yet with the proper setup in the late game can create infinite Thopter tokens. This should not be overlooked when playing with it but I don’t believe the quality of the other red energy cards is there to warrant playing a weak colour for one or two strong cards.

So this leaves us with White and Black to pair with our Blue and Green Energy cards. We could argue the merits of Bant versus Sultai but I see little reason to not play both and go straight to four colours. Normally this would be incredibly difficult but thankfully Wizards has gifted us with four-colour decks this year and I believe Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice is the perfect answer to all our problems. She grants us the four non-red colours we need, a strong body, and a useful ability that interacts with Energy. Proliferating at the end of turn is very useful and while it might only be able to give us one energy a turn it is still enough to warrant mentioning, and it interacts with all the other counters we may be making use of.

Now let’s discuss the other important cards we’ll be playing that care about Energy before we move onto the non-Energy inclusions.

Aether Hub is a useful land that can get us all our colours, and can act as a Tendo Ice Bridge that will always tap for coloured mana, as well as getting us an early and free start to our Energy production.

Aetherworks Marvel has shown up in Standard as an incredibly explosive combo/midrange deck and for good reason. The ability to spend four mana and a tap ability to generate a huge mana advantage by casting large creatures is traditionally a game winning strategy. Here we are likely to be able to generate lots of energy with it’s trigger, and then use it every turn to pick the best card from our topdeck and cast it for free. Even if we’re not hitting Emrakul, the Promised End off of this the free card it generates is worth playing.

If this Is the Aetherworks Marvel I’d love to see the Aetherworks DC

Deadlock Trap Is not the most efficient card, but it does draw parallels to Consulate Surveillance and having more copies of cards that can lock down problematic permanents is never bad.

Decoction Module is another card that helps us abuse blinking by giving us energy and even provides a way to return our creatures to our hand for more value or to save them from dying.

Fabrication Module and Animation Module create a nice synergy with the other modules and can help us get a little engine to making energy and getting bodies on the board.

Gonti’s Aether Heartis sadly hard to abuse since it exiles but it will help us generate more energy and if we’re in a game winning position we can use the extra turn to finish off our opponents.

Now that Energy is out of the way we have to fill up the rest of the deck with cards that synergize well with our strategy. Ezuri is gonna be back for the exact same reasons we mentioned him as a potential commander, and Atraxa can also proliferate his experience counters. Since we’re running experience counter’s already, Meren of Clan Nel Toth will be added to generate a few more counters as well as reanimate our smaller creatures that die to sweepers or Demon of Dark Schemes.

Elesh Norn is going to be very powerful in helping our creatures be relevant on the board as well as comboing well with Demon of Dark Schemes to keep our own creatures alive while wiping out the opponents creatures.

Brago, King Eternal, Deadeye Navigator and Panharmonicon are all helpful in getting extra value out of our ETB effects and can help us to generate a ton of Energy or cards.

Grafted Exoskeleton may be a controversial card because of infect but it can help us win games. I’d also be remiss if we played an Atraxa deck without anyway to poison the opponent to death.

Atraxa, Phyrexian Power Plant

All will be converted and reformatted to AA batteries.

 

There is also a link to the finished deck on TappedOut: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/atraxa-phyrexian-power-plant/  What do you guys think: are there any energy cards you think I missed? Should I be playing Red? I’m interested in your thoughts on the deck and on Energy in EDH in general. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions here or on TO and I’ll see you next time.

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