This week on Full Force we’re turning the Kaladesh paradigm on it’s head. Kaladesh now feels less like a set that fits into nice two-colour chunks and more like a wild west of three-colour synergy wedges (Energy, Counters, Enters The Battlefield, Artifacts) with powerful late-game combos (Modules, Panharmonicon) and super-aggressive early game (Choo, choo!)
So what are we doing this week? Well, the viewers voted to try out playing as aggressively as possible with Night Market Lookout, so no extra colour restrictions, just crewing some cheap vehicles and smashing in with as many 1/1s for 1 black mana as we can find.
If you watch my stream at all, especially over the last week or so you will probably not be surprised to hear that I actually think this method is a very viable way to attack the format. Maybe not Night Market Lookout specifically, or to force it this hard, but we have tried multiple incredibly aggressive decks on stream to great successes in the format; included decks playing Bomat Courier (which I originally evaluated very poorly) and Wily Bandar (which I still think isn’t great, but in these ultra-aggro decks can do what’s needed). Cards that traditionally look unplayable are a lot better than they look on first glance. With cards like Weldfast Monitor, Maulfist Squad, and Embraal Bruiser the Menace ability can be massive as you make a board that becomes harder and harder to block. To that end a card like Giant Spectacle that looks disappointing is actually very playable; provided you have enough aggressive creatures to back it up. The surprise damage and possible unblockability is a potent combination in a pretty cheap card and can steal a lot of games for you.
So how do you draft a deck like this? I’d move in on this if I started with a Renegade Freighter, and maybe some other high-end aggro cards; Black ones, if you want the Night Market Lookout deck specifically. Cards like Dhund Operative, Syndicate Trafficker, Foundry Screecher, and to a lesser extent Embraal Bruiser. If I start a draft with 3-4 explosive cards like this I start to evaluate cards a bit differently. Four and five cost cards are drastically reduced in value; In a very aggressive deck I only want to play two five costs at maximum.
Removal decreases similarly in importance. Tidy Conclusion is usually great, but in a deck that’s poised to play high-pressure two and three cost creatures over and over to place an opponent on the back foot you want to use cheap combat tricks to punish blocks that you get to force. Cards like Subtle Strike, Rush of Vitality and especially Built to Smash (if you have the requisite artifacts) become blowouts on high-pressure board states, often dealing with the creatures you’re worried about, but for less mana. That doesn’t mean removal is irrelevant, just don’t feel bad if you end up with only one Welding Sparks or Essence Extraction as “removal” if you also have a two Built to Smash or Rushes.
As a final caveat, despite my recent success with this style of deck, I don’t necessarily think it’s necessarily the best choice to attack the format with. It does deserve serious consideration however. Be careful not to fall into the trap of dismissing an opponent as “bad” if they play a Wily Bandar or Night Market Lookout turn one, or jam a Giant Spectacle for the win later in the game. Time and experience has shown me these cards are outside choices, but not indefensible and maybe even good.
If you want to vote in next week’s version of Full Force you can vote on the poll here. Until next week, I hope you aren’t a-Freight of being a Renegade and keep on the Lookout for a nice aggro deck!