Standard Mardu Vehicles


Pro Tour Dublin has recently come to a close and one deck really seems to have shined, Mardu Vehicles. The prevalence of this deck in the Pro Tour has caused a lot of stir in the Standard community. Although it is by no means unbeatable (having many unfavorable matchups) that didn’t stop the deck from taking six of the top eight spots in the tournament. Many speculate that the deck’s incredibly favorable match up against Copy Cat is why it did so well. Regardless, if you are looking to get into a new Standard deck, it looks like Mardu Vehicles is going to remain a fairly good contender for a while to come. So without further ado let’s jump into the decklist.

We will be looking at Lucas Esper Berthoud’s variation, which swept through the recent Pro Tour walking away with a spot in first place.

Lucas Esper Berthoud's Mardu Vehicles

Creatures (22)
Inventor’s Apprentice
Pia Nalaar
Scrapheap Scrounger
Thalia, Heretic Cathar
Thraben Inspector
Toolcraft Exemplar
Veteran Motorist

Instants and Sorceries (6)
Shock
Unlicensed Disintegration

Other Spells (9)
Aethersphere Harvester
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Heart of Kiran
Lands (23)
Aether Hub
Concealed Courtyard
Foreboding Ruins
Inspiring Vantage
Mountain
Needle Spires
Plains
Smoldering Marsh
Spire of Industry

Sideboard (15)
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Cultivator’s Caravan
Fatal Push
Fragmentize
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Inventor’s Apprentice
Needle Spires
Release the Gremlins
Selfless Spirit
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Skywhaler’s Shot

Now let’s take a closer look some of the cards and what they do for the deck

  • Inventor’s Apprentice and Toolcraft Exemplar are both creatures that become much stronger than they should be for their mana cost, just by controlling artifacts.
  • Pia Nalaar gives you tokens that can either help crew vehicles or be sacrificed to make one of your opponent’s creatures unable to block.
  • Scrapheap Scrounger can easily resurrect itself, making it a constant pain for your opponent. Additionally it can be brought back to buff Inventor’s Apprentice or Toolcraft Exemplar and it can also be sacrificed to Pia Nalaar to keep making your opponent’s creatures unable to block.
  • Thalia, Heretic Cathar makes it difficult for your opponent to play emergency blockers and can punish them for playing nonbasic lands (Thalia additionally really puts a damper on the Copy Cat deck).
  • Shock and Unlicensed Disintegration can clear the path for your creatures and deal damage to your opponent if necessary.
  • Heart of Kiran and Aethersphere Harvester are powerful vehicles that can be crewed by most of the creatures in the deck. Heart of Kiran can even be crewed by planewalkers…
  • Gideon, Ally of Zendikar can transform into a 5/5, fill out your board state, or create an emblem to make your forces that much scarier. You can even create an emblem the turn he comes into play. Sure you may not always get as much value as you would from keeping him around, but if you are worried about your opponent removing him or you just need to push through a little more damage to win the game it is a viable strategy.
  • While you will need to adjust the sideboard for your local meta, there are a few cards that will be useful in a lot of situations.  Selfless Spirit can protect your forces from being wiped out in one turn. Fragmentize and Release the Gremlins are great for disrupting any artifact strategy, with the added bonus of leaving you with an army of gremlins.

Mardu Vehicles may be a meta dependent deck, but that didn’t stop it from overrunning the Pro Tour. It’s definitely a fun deck to check out and can really hold it’s own against much of standard.

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