Runaway! Steam-kun

Konichiwa Tomodachi,

Watashiwa Brew City des and today we are gonna talk about Runaway Steam-Kin.

This will be a 2-part series where I delve deep into standard and modern to see what storm this guy is brewing up.

First of all, let us break down the card:

1R (2 total cmc) for a 1/1 is relatively weak, but his ability lets him grow quickly. For every red spell you play, you get to put a +1/+1 counter. When you reach 3 +1/+1 counters, you can remove them all and add RRR to your mana pool.

First off, let me just say this card is a flavour all-star. Like any steam-powered machines, pressure builds up, and you gotta release it before it explodes. In MTG world, pressure builds up with +1/+1 counters, and you have to release it in the form of red mana.

Mechanics-wise, Steam-kun is also very interesting. I will showcase his uniqueness and versatility in the following 3 standard decks.



In an aggro deck, your aim is to ‘play fast and hit fast’. Runaway steam-kin can help you with that. In standard, even though he is heavily undersized as a two-drop your deck has many low cmc spells that can pump him into a 3/3 or 4/4 by turn 3-4. There will be little opportunity for you to use his mana-adding ability because it is more useful leaving him as a 4/4 beat-stick.

Main Deck 
Creature 22
4x Viashino Pyromancer
2x Dismissive Pyromancer
4x Runaway Steam-Kin
4x Goblin Chainwhirler
4x Fanatical Firebrand
4x Ghitu Lavarunner

Instant 13
2x Risk Factor
4x Shock
3x Wizard's Lightning
4x Lightning Strike
Land 21
21x Mountain

Enchantment 4
4x The Flame of Keld

This list is an all-in aggro list with plenty of one and two-drops. The name of the game is to get your opponent’s life down to zero. Turn your creatures sideway often and use the burn spell liberally to target your opponent. The Flame of Keld and Risk Factor will refill our hand with gas to push the final points of damage.



Midrange are decks that fit between aggro and control. Its aim is to play good quality cards at every mana cost, create 2-1 situation and slowly win the game with card advantage. Steam-kun on the surface again may not be the best 2 drop to play in a midrange deck, but his ability to add mana and power out big drops early can be game-changing. Together with Sarkhan, Fireblood you can drop big scary dragons and cause mayhem. We also have a lot of kicker spells like Fight with Fire and Verix Bladewing that can be kicked with Steam-kun.

Main Deck 
Creature 24
4x Demanding Dragon
4x Goblin Chainwhirler
1x Lathliss, Dragon Queen
3x Legion Warboss
4x Rekindling Phoenix
4x Runaway Steam-Kin
2x Siege-Gang Commander
2x Verix Bladewing

Instant 6
4x Shivan Fire
2x Spit Flame

Sorcery 4
2x Banefire
2x Fight with Fire
Land 23
23x Mountain

Planeswalker 3
3x Sarkhan, Fireblood



Last but not least, steam-kun can play a vital deck in a combo-style deck. Using it as an engine by looping cards, this deck can deal massive damage in one go. The deck runs 8 ‘cantrip’ spells (Crash Through and Warlord’s Fury) that replaces itself so you will never be down in cards. These cheap spells power up your Steam-kun. With Electrostatic Field and Guttersnipe in play, the spells quickly become deadly. When you play 3 spells in on turn, you can release the Red mana from Steam-kun and keep on going. The deck also features Arclight Phoenix as it is very easy to reanimate with a lot of cheap 1-cmc spells.

Main deck 
Lands 21
21x Mountain

Creatures 16
4x Arclight Phoenix
4x Electrostatic Field
4x Guttersnipe
4x Runaway Steam-Kin
Spells 23
1x Banefire
4x Crash Through
4x Lightning Strike
3x Risk Factor
4x Shock
3x Tormenting Voice
4x Warlord's Fury



All these decks are only used as templates for you to build upon and tweak. I’ve kept them mono-red because of simplicity. It is very easy for you to splash blue for the Combo build or White for the Midrange build.

I expect great things from Runaway Steam-kin. In the next Ravnica set, Gruul and Rakdos may even push his Aggro side to the max!

In the second part of the article, I will dive into how Steam-kun is shaking things up in Modern.

Till next time, sayonara!



Brew City

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